Life Lessons, Part 2
In June 2007 my mom retired. It was time for her to sell her home and for the five of us to get out. My family did not want to live with me. I moved to a studio apartment while the kids went to live with my ex. I struggled, I had not been on my own for twenty-three years. The silence was deafening. I lost touch with most of our married friends, and struggled to make a new life for myself and repair the damaged relationships with my children. I was able to secure employment, paid off my restitution and was dismissed early from probation. My current employer applauded my honesty about the background check and gave me a chance with the company.
Today my children realize that I was not alone with my problems. They have come to realize their father suffers terribly; he is a hoarder and keeps his head buried in the sand when it comes to reality. Today I am on great terms with my middle son and daughter.
Life for my older son has not been easy. He was very mature for his age and never quite fit in. He was a loner; his only outlet is and continues to be a game called Magic the Gathering. He will be twenty-seven and still lives at home with his father.
I see the problems my oldest is going through. I know he suffers from depression and a mood disorder but he refuses to get help. It wasn’t until I had my own illness that I realized what my father had gone through. And now as a woman who has been successfully treated for my illness I see that my son will continue to live this way until something drastic is done.
My ex enables him; he lives in his room all day and plays Magic on the computer. My ex covers all his bills. He is a smart boy, graduated undergrad with honors four years ago, but has not worked a day in his life. I suggested he see my therapist which he did for a month before he decided she really “wasn’t helping”. She has told me she feels my son suffers from a personality or mood disorder which results in his social awkwardness. I called our general Dr. who also feels my son has a mood disorder and could possibly benefit from medication.
My other two children have tried talking with their father and their brother about therapy. Neither one feels its necessary; they don’t see the “problem”. Until their father tries to help himself he will never be able to help our son.
I can’t give up on my son, although he told me to leave him the hell alone. My hands are tied. I have obstacles I encounter daily due to my criminal record. I have no credit and will never be able to buy a home, and worry about my future every day. I am trying to get my record expunged, a lengthy process with no guarantee. I remain optimistic and thank God daily for the blessings in my life. I am surrounded by good friends and family that love me and have come to respect and admire me for getting my life back in order. I have repaid my debt to society and volunteer in the shelter so others know there is a way out and lives can be rebuilt.
But what’s the old saying you are only as happy as your eldest child? Is there someone that can help me reach my son before it’s too late?