I've been sick the last few days. Ugh. I'm tired, cranky, and I don't feel good. I couldn't sleep last night until I downed a nice amount of NyQuil.
Today I stayed home from work and slept mostly, but this evening I've been treated to some arguing and angst from my wonderful teenager.
I've tried very hard since he returned home from rehab three weeks ago to maintain a balance in giving him the freedoms he deserves while keeping a hawk's eye on his activities. I've been pretty clear with my feelings about him hanging out with the friends that he used to get into trouble with and tried to encourage him to form new friendships with people who don't drink or use drugs. He has tried and tried to push those boundaries, much to my dismay. I have come to a point where I dread the words..."I know you're probably not going to like this, but how would you feel if I..."
And I hear these words every. single. day.
He has one friend in particular that he has practically been obsessing about--the one that he got into the most trouble with (they once got picked up in a hobo camp under a bridge in Everett after running away). He has asked me day in and day out if I would be OK with him contacting this kid and I have repeatedly told him no.
Fast forward to last Friday. I had an awesome conversation with one of my bosses about the power of letting go and that no matter how much babying I do now, the kid is seventeen years old and has to be allowed to make his own mistakes and enjoy his own successes.
*Nothing I do now will give us back those years that I was not his mother*
Not even holding him hostage in our house. I think somehow I thought that, if he had the things here that he enjoys, he wouldn't seek out those old friends.
OK, so Saturday our in-home couseling session went well and I spoke up about the letting go. Well, I swear he took that and ran with it. Despite my best efforts, he decided that he was just going to go ahead and call his friend--yes, the one he used to get into trouble with.
Yesterday I spoke with him about it. He insisted that it was what he really wanted to do and that he was just trying to be honest with me about it. I explained to him that, doing something that he knows I strongly disapprove of and then being honest about it later doesn't change the fact that he blatantly went against something that I explicitly said no to.
Today he went and hung out with that friend.
Did he get high? I doubt it.
Is this opening a can of worms I don't feel ready to deal with? Definitely.
Anyway, he came home late (we knew he would be late because he had to take the bus) and was acting weird. When I went to talk to him about it he layed there on his bed with a smug grin on his face like he doesn't give a shit how I feel. He says he cares. But his actions tell me he doesn't.
So here I am...in this place I never expected to be (with this particular kid). I'm confused, hurt, and afraid of what's to come. I almost feel like, if he relapses, then it's my failure. It will be because I failed him. It will be because I didn't keep him close enough and watch over him.
But on the other hand, I know I have to let go. I can't take responsibility for his successes or failures. I can only stand close by and support him.