“Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light.”
~ Brene Brown
This quote, as many have stated can bring up a lot inside me. There are so many avenues I could go down with just this one quote. Today, however, I have darkness. In my soul and in my heart. Darkness that is my own, but born from a darkness that is in my daughter.
There are never enough words for me to express the love I have for my daughter. It isn’t just love, but respect that she will never believe I have. She has made mistakes. I have written openly about her addiction, with her consent. Sharing my feelings here is always something that I have been able to do and feel comfortable doing. Today is no different.
I have struggled for the past six years with not only my daughters struggles but my own. Most of the time, when we struggle at the same time, I set my shit aside and focus solely on her. This is what parents do. It doesn’t make me special or “Mother of the Year”. It is what we do.
My daughter talks openly with me about her darkness. As openly as she can without the fear of scaring me stopping her. She usually leads with, “I have some pretty dark thoughts and places where I go when things are bad.” Yeah, it scares me but I usually sit quietly and let her finish. Rarely will she go into that darkness with me. She dances around the edge of it when she is talking to me, but, she never lets me dive into the darkness with her. We always protect each others heart, even when we shouldn’t. This is an unspoken understanding. We should probably change that but for now it works for us.
Her addiction has put us through some serious difficult shit and we always manage through it. We don’t always come out smelling like roses and the stench of the crawl through the shit is always noticeable, even though we ignore it most of the time. It bothers me that there is a casual approach to it. On the surface it is casual, but there is nothing casual about it if we deep dive into it.
My darkness steams around the fact that I let her get away with this casual way. Her gangster slang, her street smart knowledge, her badass attitude both annoys me and comforts me. I know she can handle herself in most situations, mainly, because I can only imagine what she went through when she was getting high on heroin. The seedy, shady, gross places she went to by her drug of choice are the darkest places I can imagine. When in reality, they were brightly lite finished basements of kids with rich parents, or a well let parking lot outside a fast food place. I’m sure there were some dark and creepy places that mirror the images in my mind as well. I honestly don’t know which is worse.
We talk about heroin, cocaine, weed, crack… all of it. In some ways she educates me and in some ways she reinforces my fears, sometimes it is one in the same. She watches my reaction and waits for the look that tells her I’ve heard enough. My darkness is my curiosity. I want to know what could be so amazing that you would risk everything for it. What do you give over all your control to and know it could kill you. I want to know. I want to know what is stronger to her than my love for her. My darkness is also knowing I will never have those answers.
Last Monday, I received a call I never thought I would receive. A friend sent me a text that said, “call me, Allison is in trouble.” I started the text immediately, and said fuck outlaid about 20 times. The whole time (which seemed like eternity but was actually seconds) I just kept thinking, “at least she is in trouble and not dead.” That is my true darkness, that she will die before me. More than most parents because she has died before and I got her back. My darkness is wondering how many times that can happen and she wakes up.
She was in trouble and still is. While it is drug related it isn’t what I thought. She will be in trouble for awhile but we are both hopeful that everything will work out. She is currently in another state waiting to see how things will turn out. I have no doubt I will write about it, and she and I may do a podcast about it, for now, I need to keep it close.
I know a lot of parents are quick to get frustrated and give up on their kids when these things happen. I get it. Its exhausting. There is an emotional drain on you that happens when your kids are struggling that is not describable. I try but always fall short. Allison thinks I could never love her or be proud of her, especially now. That couldn’t be farther from the truth. She is the strongest person I know without question.
When Allison looks at herself, all she sees is darkness and failure. She doesn’t see her light anymore. She doesn’t think she has light or is worth even standing in the light I see in her. I don’t know how to change that. I feel I spend a lot of time trying to do just that. This recent thing is a set back and its a tough one. I’m not happy it happened but it doesn’t make me love my daughter any less.
Allison seems to explore her darkness. Maybe she isn’t exploring it. Maybe she is just dwelling in it. I look for ways to help her not just sit in that darkness but explore it and find the source. Maybe that is too scary for her. I hope some day she does find the infinite power of her light. I know this light is brilliant and I look forward to being blinded by it.
(I am pretty sure I missed this QuoteQuest but the quote was strong for me this week)