Talk about a love-hate relationship.
I love you very much! The “real” you that’s deep inside. I love your wit, your charm, your absolute brilliance. I love your kindness. Then there’s the hate. I hate who you become on drugs. I have hated your choices, your actions, all of the pain you have caused. The lies. I have hated the addiction, the selfishness. I have hated seeing mom and dad bail you out time and time again. And the way they long for the “real” you to return. I have hated watching our little brother hate you with every part of his being. And I have hated myself for hating you.
I was the one who first discovered the secret.
You were in college and I think I was a senior in high school. I was helping you move from one of your little rental places to another when I found a needle on your bedroom floor. Then when I opened the warmer drawer of your oven and saw items that didn’t belong you quickly boxed them up without a word. I told dad and when he confronted you, you just excused it (like you would hundreds of more times) as items from the hospital where you worked. No big deal.
Then there was the night mom ended up in my bed at 2:00 a.m. sobbing uncontrollably because you received a serious facial injury in a bar fight and you were in jail(the first of many stays). In so many ways mom and dad felt they lost you as they had known you. The last twenty years have been dotted with lies, drugs, rehab, numerous calls to the police to check on your well-being.
You’ve entered and exited our world as if we had a revolving door.
You show up when you need something, suck us all dry, leave and then hold us all at arms length-going days and weeks without returning calls. I am so sad for all of the opportunities you have been given that you have squandered away. From educational, relational (marriage), and career. You’ve held them for a little while then the addiction takes over.
This last time has probably been the worst. Re-enter our world-destitute, dejected, divorcing. You make mom and dad feel sorry for you. You know which buttons to push-you push them all, you push them well. Then you did the most selfish, unbelievable thing. In the past it was thought you had stolen prescriptions, but taking dad’s pills right after his back surgery? And then going to get a refill without his knowledge-for yourself! He was in pain and needed that medicine.
You had no regard at all but YOURSELF!
And when confronted you did not even show remorse or sorrow, you just said, “That was last month.” Mom and dad go on hurting, but enabling you because their greatest fear is that you will harm yourself and they are too scared to make a stand. Once again when I talk to mom most of the conversation is about you. I listen. I hurt. I listen. I hate. You go to bed for days, only getting up to do more drugs. You are depressed. Self-absorbed. I’ve thought it before one other time and the thought comes back and lingers for a few days. It would be so much easier/better if you were just….. The thought makes me cringe and I give it to God.
A few more weeks go by and your life is great again. You have a new job, one you don’t deserve. Mom and dad have forked over thousands of dollars to clean up your mess and you move on. We all breath a slight sigh of relief and silently wonder how long it will last?
Several years ago, during another rough time with you, you hurt me very badly. My wise husband said, “You need to forgive him because it is the right thing to do.” I knew he was right. I needed to forgive even without your apology because you didn’t know how and still don’t. I listened to him and obeyed the God in Heaven who continually forgives me. I forgave you that day, and the day after that and many, many times since then.
When you reappeared this summer I had to forgive you and I knew God spoke to my heart about you. He said, “You cannot fix him, but you can love him.” Simple, yet so profound and also hard. I don’t put my hope in you ever changing because Christ also showed me to put my hope in HIM about you!
I don’t know how long your “good” will last, but I love you and I forgive you.
My soul stirs for your brother. My heart cries for you and your family. Oh how hard to forgive over and over again. I love what God spoke to the still of your soul, You cannot fix him, but you can love him.” Oh my, may we all remember that in each of our circumstances!
Is there someone you need to forgive AGAIN? I pray you find the strength to forgive over and over again.