Monday, May 10, 2010

No Rhyme or Reason

Lately things with the Kyd have been...ok.  Not great, but ok.  Knowing that I have no real control over Kyd's self-medicating addictions, or his mental states, I laid down some basic rules and boundaries to keep me and Lexi safe and to keep the chaos to a minimum.

He's not allowed to come home intoxicated.  He's not allowed to invite anyone over without ok'ing it with me first.   If either of these things happen, or if he causes other major disruptions including my being woken in the middle of the night by a call from him, his friends, or authorities, I will pack his things and help him find a half-way house to live in until he can figure something else out.

These boundaries are terrifying for me.  I always had a rule with my kids that if they got into a situation they didn't feel safe in, that they could call me and I would come and get them, no questions asked.  This works for Lexi, but not for Kyd.  Such parent-child contracts are meant for the kid who may misstep but is able to learn from mistakes.  Kyd doesn't.

He gets in trouble, I bail him out of trouble, and he goes right back to it.

So it terrifies me that I've had to set such a radical boundary that goes against my deep wish for my children's safety.  I'm sad and angry that I can't have reasonable contracts with my son that help him to feel safe and loved, but instead I have to set major boundaries so that my daughter and I can feel secure in our own home.

Lexi once asked me why Kyd never seemed to learn.  She was angry in part because she felt I came down harder on her for much smaller transgressions, and when she complained that I didn't come down this hard on Kyd I had to explain that I had many times, but he wasn't capable of learning the lessons he was meant to from consequences.  I also pointed out that I rarely had to dish out consequences for her because she was so quick to learn.  

She felt better, but I can understand her confusion.  Even though I have a much tougher boundary for Kyd ultimately, there are smaller more reasonable boundaries I can't even think about having.  I can't say, "don't drink" because he'll agree but it will be a lie.  Then I would have to enforce a consequence for the lie, but first have to prove the lie.  Even then, it wouldn't matter because he would break any consequence, or if not, his behavior wouldn't change.  The lesson wouldn't be learned. 

There's no rhyme or reason to most of Kyd's behavior.  So much of it doesn't make sense.  I don't know if things are calm at the moment because of my new, and very clear boundaries that only tackle the things I can't handle, or if it's just an upswing in his cycle.

All I know is that I'm living through this one tiny moment at a time.


  1. Be prepared to act on your rules. I had them, we have all had them. Even the threat of prison did not stop Stevie from using. Check out halfway houses now, or a rehab. Have a plan and stand firm! I would also add, hide all the valuables, sleep with your purse and your keys. And never give up hope! Lexi, your brother may know already, it is just that the want and the will have to be in sync. I pray for you both daily!

  2. Jan, I have definitely had to sleep with my keys and wallet under my pillow before. I've also had to lock the doors to keep my own child out. I'm working towards making arrangements since I know it is almost always a matter of time.

    But I also try to enjoy and encourage the good times too. :)

  3. These sound like great boundaries. But I see why they're frightening, too, as boundaries so often are. I'm also glad that things have settled down a little.

  4. hi, im mariah...i have had mental illness and addiction for about 13 years. i have a year clean and no longer consider myself mentally ill. the sad thing is- u can want ur son to 'get better' but nothing will change without his desperation. one way to quicken that, is to stop enabling him. i will pray for you :) check out my blog, if u want.

  5. Oh, Briar. This sounds so unconscionably hard for a mother to have to do. I hear the stories of the parents in my Al-Anon meetings and there's no doubt in my mind that they have one of the most difficult detaching-with-love assignments that a human being can be given. Holding you (and Kyd and Lexi) up, in my little pagan Buddhist prayers....

  6. Mariah, thanks for stopping by. I'm happy to hear you have one year under your belt clean. Good for you. I pray that it doesn't take 13 years for Kyd, but then again, he's already close to halfway there.

    RJ, all I can say is "yup", and thanks for the little pagan Buddhist prayers.