I am having a hard time right now.  Just this minute, just this hour.

My 13yo son is very, very angry at me.  He’s also angry at his dad, but mostly at me.  Thirteen is already such a transitioning, trying time.  Throw in a mom in recovery… and it’s hard.  I can’t make him not be mad.  I’ve apologized and explained and offered help in every way I know how.  I can’t fix this.  I can’t undo the times I’ve messed up, the broken trust, the sad memories. I can’t ask for a different past, for either of us.

I can only keep doing the next right thing, and then the next.

In the process of recovery, I have learned so many, many things about myself, my family, my needs and shortcomings and strengths.  I have spent a lot of time and effort learning about myself, because I can’t fix a gadget I can’t understand.  I am that gadget, and I have needed a lot of fixing. Unfortunately, all of my learning and my new understanding, while helpful in raising a family and being a better mom and wife, cannot help my son understand himself.  I cannot bring him up out of the depths of anger.  I can only offer thoughts and ideas on ways to move forward.  He is stuck.  He is in a place where he does not *want* to move on from that anger.  He is so hurt.  And he is the master of his own gadget–only he can find the way to fix his own psyche.

I have to be patient.  I have to be kind to both of us.

I took a walk alone today, after having a conversation with my son and his counselor and my husband.  I was feeling below low. I had to think.  While in the midst of my addiction, I was *sure* that my drinking couldn’t affect my kids because I was sure I didn’t matter.  In learning that I matter, I discover that every drink had more serious repercussions than just its effects on me.  Every drink cost my family dearly.  Learning that I have mattered all this time is hard.  It is painful to know my children were harmed by my alcoholic behaviors.  I have caused harm to the people I love with breathless abandon.  I have damaged my little miracles.

I am trying to be gentle with myself.  It’s difficult.  I want to scream, and gnash my teeth, and have all of this not be real.  I was doing so well.  Moving forward every day.  Hopeful. I was hopeful.

I will be hopeful again.  I cannot let my son’s sadness and disappointment and anger be the reason I stop doing well.  My recovery will impact him, too.  My recovery will matter.  In the midst of it, I can lose sight of the fact that I am doing good things.  I am moving forward.  I need to remember that I can impact him positively from now on, just as I impacted him negatively before.  The past is the past.  I do not live there.

I will keep reaching out to him.  I will keep hoping that one day the hand of a beloved son will reach back.  I will keep hoping to help him become unstuck.




Things here are otherwise going ok.  Our family emergency is still ongoing.  Making a rubberband trip to Anchorage in the morning.  Coming home tomorrow;  it’s a lot of driving.

Homeschool year is firing up.  Had fun doing a pointillism lesson with 11yo and 4yo.  🙂  Nothing like “painting” a cupcake to get those creative juices flowing.  This one is my 11yo’s



I’m sticking to the 1500 calories per day I allotted myself, and so far it’s not hard.  It is surprising how much more lemon water I drink now that I’m not snacking.  Found the most delicious grapes two days ago-they ended up being quite  a chunk of my calories for those 2 days!  Worse things out there, aren’t there?

Enjoying walking a bit along with the usual gym visits.  It’s been grossly hot here, with thunderstorms at night. Humid and ucky.  Walking anyway, which the 4yo loves.  🙂  Horses around the corner(s) from us, makes her very giddy to walk always!

Our State Fair is happening this week.  We always buy season passes and go every day.  We used to make a big deal of collecting schoolwork to turn in and display at the fair:  Sugar cube castles, lego dreams, artwork.  We’ve gotten out of the habit the last few years.  I’m hopeful that next year we’ll be back at it, especially as Little One will be excited to display her year’s masterpieces.

The art habit has rubbed off.  11yo is employing her new sketchbook to great effect.  She’s practicing out of “Drawing for the Artistically Undiscovered,” and really producing great results.  I love having her up with me after the others are in bed. She draws, I draw or paint, we sit in companionable silence and create.  Very harmonious, and a good thing to remember when I am feeling not-a-good-mom moments.

I’m putting together a Harry Potter wall art ensemble for one of our older girls.  She will be 22 in September, and we are all dedicated Pott Heads.  Final piece will be 4 small canvasses that all tie together, all black and white, so she can display them as she likes.  I’ve got two done, two to go!

I’ve been playing with the leftover abstract paintings I did, cutting them into butterflies and doing different things with them.  Like this:


And I’ve also been having tons of fun with oil pastels.  So messy, but so gloriously *alive*!


Have a wonderful Tuesday everyone.  Talk to you soon!



13 thoughts on “Pain

  1. I really wish I had time to comment on this right now, but I’m off to see my Family Support Advisor. I’ve been seeing her for 2 years, ever since my son’s addictions reached a crucial point. My son was alcohol dependent by the age of 14. He’s 21 now and things are so much better. He was/is angry too. I’ve blamed myself. I think we do…don’t we? I’ll be thinking of you today. Don’t beat yourself up too much. Being a teen is harder for some than others xx

    Liked by 3 people

      1. I do know what you’re feeling, or at least, I think I can. I was clinically depressed when my kids were little. I was a shouty, vile mum. I smacked them and although it wasn’t alcohol in my case, I had many other damaging addictions. My kids (especially my youngest) were neglected a lot while I did what I wanted to do. Eventually I did address it. I have spoken to them all about everything and have apologised so many times that the eldest eventually told me to ‘get over it’. They KNOW I’m sorry. I have a good relationship with all 3 and they come to me if and when they’re in their own crisis’. I had to forgive myself. That’s still hard for me but it’s necessary. I’ve thought about you for days re. this post. I hope you’re doing OK. Xxx

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I am sorry you have to go through this. It’s so hard to face the damage we did to our kids. its almost unbearable. The only thing you can do in the present moment to make it up to him is not to drink and to give him time and space. You are doing great. Facing the guilt and sitting with it, without it swallowing you up is half the battle. xxx

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Beautiful, brave writing, Penelope. I’m so sorry for your pain, and your son’s. We would do anything to save our kids from harm and the knowledge that we have caused any is bitter indeed. As you say, all you can do is keep doing the next right thing – I have found that to be so powerful and true in my own recovery; I guess it has helped me to make peace with the idea of moving forward from my past rather than being able to fix or change it. Lots of love to you and safe driving today – I hope there will be some resolution or easing of your family emergency very soon. xxx

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you so much. I’m just sort of on autopilot. Doing all the right things, for now, until he shows me the next move.

      Thank you for thinking of me. (It *was* a long drive, as always…some days are longer than others).


  4. I had never heard the term Pott Heads before – hilarious! Glad to hear you and your children are engaging in art and daily outings, you are building great memories with each moment. Sorry to hear you and your son are having a rough time but your attitude sounds spot on. He will come around and it will take time, 13 is such a tough age even in the most “perfect” of families (and those don’t really exist). Doing the next right thing is a great focus. Your struggles, recovery and honesty will likely end up being a valuable lesson. Thank you, as always, for your heartfelt posts and touching stories!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Such compassionate, wise comments from all the others ❤️. As you go through this painful time with your son I’m keeping you in my thoughts and sending you huge virtual hugs xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

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