I wrote this in Stay Close: During the Christmas of 2006, when neither son came home for our large Italian family gatherings, the grandparents, uncles, aunts, cousins, and friends didn’t know what to do. My brothers didn’t know what to say. They didn’t even know whether to invite me to the festivities or not. The cousins were confused: Could they ask about Jeff or would it be kinder to leave him out of the conversation?
My reflection: I remember well that Christmas Eve Mass when my older brother turned gently toward me and said, “Not sure I should ask but – how’s Jeff?” As I looked at him, my eyes welled with tears. I opened my mouth to respond, but I was unable to say a word. He just nodded and we both turned forward. The question floated in the air.
Today’s Promise to consider: During the holidays, let us remember that addiction can severely isolate us. We might feel ashamed and lonely because our lives are not as joyful as we wish they would be. I will avoid this treacherous place by being compassionate with myself and my family. I will find serenity in honesty and prayer.4281
So true Libby but so very difficult to accomplish. Family and friends do not know how to interact with parents of addicted children. They will say nothing due to fear of how the parent might respond or they may say something that is hurtful and in either case I learned to forgive them because I knew they were clueless. We, as parents, have enough to deal with without adding the family/friends element into the addiction equation. Just my experience! I pray for all parents and for their children.
You’re so right, Pat, and as you write, “so very difficult to accomplish.” Nothing easy about addiction, and the holidays just exacerbate everything.
Sending my best wishes to you and yours for a beautiful holiday season filled with peace and joy.