Back in 2010 when things with my youngest son, Charles, started to go off the rails, I had to come face to face with my parental pride.
I had to readjust, accept, and alter my expectations. I had to face people who blamed our family’s problems on my unworthiness as a parent. I had to figure out how to come to terms with being the target of a lot of gossip and learn to dismiss it and focus on that which was more important.
Before then, I wonder how often I may have blamed parents for a child’s drug problem or blamed my own son’s issues on others. Surely, it wasn’t us. It had to be the friends.
Maybe I was braggy, ignored parents struggling with the disability of a child, dismissing it as “not my problem.” Did I consider how hard all of this would have been if I were a single parent? Maybe I didn’t really think about any of us, ask about it, or otherwise pay attention. Perhaps I was content to be in my safe, naive little bubble.
I honestly don’t remember.
I do, however, remember my decent into humility and how it changed me. I became less opinionated, listened more and became more open-minded. I admitted to powerlessness in controlling anyone other than myself.
Nothing has been more humbling than suffering through the mental illness and addiction of my youngest child and then losing him to suicide. This is one of the gifts of surviving extreme adversity.