The Second Coming
Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.
The darkness drops again; but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?
Well. That was a week. After three weeks of peace and life being about life while The Oldest was out of town, he texted me last Monday. "Mom, I need help." It's my deepest hope and my deepest fear in three words. I asked if he meant it. If he was really ready. I asked what he needed: "I just need a hug." "I'll go anywhere and talk to anybody you say." I flew him home the next day.
Even driving in from the airport though, I knew this wasn't what it seemed like. I knew that once again I had believed what I wanted to. That we'd thrown our house into turmoil to no avail. That we'd brought home someone who wasn't ready for a home. I mentioned a treatment centre. He said "treatment for what?" When I said addiction, he said that's not what he needed help with.
Up and down. Round and round. Five days of promises and changes and "just talking to my friends helps." By friends he means weed and alcohol and ... who knows.
Trying to be clear without nagging, I remind him of his promise again and again - Anywhere. Anyone. Those were the words he'd said.
But clearly I just don't understand.
So today when the addictions counselor he'd agreed to see called me to let me know he'd stood her up again, I knew I had to draw a line in the sand and stand behind it. Luckily, I had an appointment with my counselor right after that phone call, and he gave me some great ways to look at this, some affirming perspective. Some key phrases. There's no good news here, but it also doesn't have to be a total failure - he asked. I responded. That small dance is it's own win.
When My Man and I got home tonight, The Oldest was waiting in the hammock. We all walked in together, made a little small talk - me rehearsing over and over in my head how to tell him this would be his last night here until he gets help - when out of the blue The Oldest said "I'm going to sleep at Buddy's. I'm just grabbing my stuff." I offered a ride. I asked what was up. He has work, steady work, staring early tomorrow. Buddy's house is more convenient.
But he was too quiet. The whole ride to Buddy's he was quiet. And you never know with The Oldest what the quiet means - anger? Sadness? Guilt? Did he know I was about to kick him out? He hugged me. And thanked me. And said he'd see me soon.
I didn't get to deliver my carefully rehearsed speech. But I know this isn't the end. Maybe there will be no end. All I'm left with is a widening gyre. And some rough beast, slouching towards bedlam.