Loosing my Son

by c.
(EUROPE)

I was meditating to the sound of tranquility falls 3. I was at the side of a beautiful brook in the meadow that Don describes. Suddenly it reminded me of when I was last with my son and daughter in a park in London.They were 8 and ten respectively at that time.I had just told them i was leaving England to come and live in ******* with my new wife and child.We sat there in silence and I felt a spiritual bond I thought would never be broken.This has made me very emotional.

I split from there mom when I went into a rehab in 1996.It was a very hard thing to leave my kids,I grieved the separation for many years, but I knew if I didn`t get sober I would probably end up dead.They stayed with me every other weekend and I loved them with all my heart. Their mother went on to marry an alcoholic, so they ended up growing up in a dysfunctional environment anyway. I met a girl in recovery and we got married.

I had to detach from their mother as she became very abusive.Particularly when she found out I was getting married.I made amends to her for the way I treated her when I was in active addiction,but I don`t think she ever really forgave me.Even after fifteen years she recently sent me a text saying I should go and get drunk and die.Her anger was still as intense and venomous as it was at the time of our parting,Of course i didn`t reply.

Shortly after that, When my son was only fifteen he started sending me drunken texts(orchestrated by his mother) demanding money.I replied back to him by saying "don`t talk to me in that abusive manner again'.He told me he wouldn`t speak to me again and for over a year he hasn`t.I believe I was right to set a boundary with him as I will not be verbally abused by anyone.In the past guilt over their 'abandonment' has stopped me doing this but the more I healed my own abandonment the stronger I became and was able to set this boundary.I believe I am showing him the right way to treat someone is not to be abusive to them.

The gulf between us had widened even before this, for that I hold my hands up, I did leave the country, even if I know it was what I had to do to heal.I knew I had lost him a couple of years ago when we were by a river and he pointed to a boat and said to his sister,"dads got a boat like that"(referring to his step Dad.)That remark really hurt.

I still pray for those kids every night and ask god to look after them and to forgive me for bringing children into this world when i was so sick irresponsible and incapable of meeting their emotional needs. I have truly done the best I can in a bad situation, I am still sober and hopefully they will see me as a good role model.I am aware they have been damaged by me and take responsibility for that, but I also try to forgive myself.

In time I hope they can forgive me.Someone recently shared at an A.A meeting that a couple of years after they got sober their daughter (who he didn`t live with) had said to them "don`t change to much or you won`t be our daddy anymore".This really struck a chord with me, because the further I went on in recovery the more distant my kids became. We speak a different language now,my way of life is alien to them,they are often uncomfortable in my presence and visibly squirm if I mention anything to do with recovery(I try not to now).

That is the sad fact about emotional recovery,we leave people behind even if we don`t intend to.Of course sometimes we have to leave people behind (abusive ex-partners e.t.c)lest they drag us down,but sometimes there are loved ones we want to bring with us and we can`t and that hurts to the core.

I hope the situation with my son resolves itself eventually, but i won`t hold my breath.My door is always open for him and eventually he will break away from his mothers control and hopefully see her for what she truly is.A hurt human being with an addiction to booze and very deep abandonment wounds(her own father)

My love for the children i left is unconditional.I will always be there for them.I know they may say i didn`t love them because i didn`t give them the time(as children equate time with love) and they maybe right.I can never make that lost time up.I will continue to heal my own wounds of abandonment stay drink and drug free and love them from a far.

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Apr 09, 2011
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Good advice from Lisa
by: C, (EUROPE)

Thanks Lisa,

your comments have given me a real lift this morning. I have always hoped in the back of my mind that one day the phone will ring and my son or daughter will say 'hey Dad, we need your help, or we love you,or just 'how are you doing'.As you have saidin your post,miracles do happen and to actually hear that they happen to others in a similar situation is inspiring.I guess this is the power of sharing.

I have left the door open for them to contact me, i still send cards. All i can do is keep living a sober life and try and show them a good example.
It`s funny how things happen in recovery, only a couple of days ago i was looking through old photos of my son and daughter when they were babies, i also came across their fathers day cards, i got very emotional and held the cards close to my heart, trying to feel some kind of conection. The old adage 'if you love somebody let them go',comes to my mind.In many ways i have let go of them they have moved on with their lives and thats o.k. I still have all the good memories of them growing up and at the end of the day they know that i loved them and still do.

Thanks once again for your comments, it`s great to hear positive and constructive feed back, particularly from a fellow A.A. God bless. C.


Apr 08, 2011
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just a simple idea
by: Lisa

Hi C
Just a simple idea from a fellow AA. I have heard similar stories many many times. I recently hear a lead from a man in California who was "estranged" from his young daughter for almost 20 years I believe. He was forbidden to talk to her by her mother. He did however keep tabs on where they lived at all times and every holiday, birthday, xmas, valentines day etc send her a card/ note, short letter saying he loved her was praying for her and hoped she was well and to see her soon or just to let her know he was thinking of her. He never bad mouthed her mother. He didnt concern himself if she saw the letter/ cards or opened them. He just kept sending them. Then one day many years later when his daughter was in trouble and had no one to turn to she called him up and asked for help from her "daddy". And said she always knew he loved her. He has been close to her ever since.

Miracles happen every day in recovery... We are living proof my friend.

Oct 30, 2010
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Positive feedback regarding boundaries
by: Anonymous

hi Angie ,

Thanks for your positive feedback.This website is truly a godsend.It has taken me to much deeper levels of recovery and i feel i am now dealing with the core issues and the 'original pain'.It has taken me 14 years of sobriety,but at last it feels like i`m getting to deal with the source.

It`s great to be able to talk freely about issues of abandonment with people who not only understand but have dealt with those issues themselves.I never feel judged by you or Don.To be honest, my wife, who is also a recovering Alcoholic with 14 years sobriety has been a rock,but to have another outlet of expression has taken the pressure of our relationship.

I was also inspired to read that you have managed to have a relationship with your own father.This gives me great hope regarding my own situation. so thanks. C. (Europe)

Oct 30, 2010
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To C. in Europe
by: Angie Carter

Thank you for taking the time to write such a heartfelt snapshot of your situation. I applaud you for your determination in getting clean and sober and staying that way!! NOTHING can get any better until that happens first, and it sounds like you are sincere in your efforts.

It takes a mature person to deal with that kind of emotional hurt and continue to stay steady and keep on the right track. Setting healthy boundaries can alienate you for those who wish to cross those boundaries, because eventually you may to remove yourself from the situation if the other person continues to violate the boundary.

In my own personal opinion the most powerful tool I think that you are using is prayer. I have seen some miraculous things happen because of prayer!! (AND your willing to stay clean & sober, of course.)

My father left when I was 5 and I never saw or heard from him again until I was 40. I got sober at the age of 33. He was in the top three of my resentment list. I worked through those issues with a good therapist, my AA program, God and a supportive husband. Our meeting after 35 years was a positive thing! We have an ongoing relationship today.

I won't stay that I haven't had to continue to work on this because I have. Different thoughts, feelings and scenarios have come up in our present day relationship that have allowed me to further uncover, discover, discard.

My father has been good to reach out to me, continually tell me he loves me, takes responsibility for abandoning me, and allows me to verbalize my thoughts and feelings and doesn't RE-ABANDON me for those things.

My only few suggestions to you would be; continue to verbalize love to your children, continue to walk a healthy path, continue to hold a boundary that does not allow anyone to abuse you, leave the door open for a relationship and let them know that it is open,(it does not have to include you PAYING them in order for them to have a relationship with you, but when they get older if they need your help you might be able to help them if it's not going for drugs and alcohol) and continue to pray!!!

Miracles happen and one happened for me. I have every hope your situation will turn out to be a happy one! Kids want to believe in their parents, kids want and need their parents love, even if the other parent tries to poison their little minds. Good Luck!

Angie Carter

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