About a week ago my two daughters wanted my opinion on whether or not they should allow a friend of my youngest daughter to move in to their home. In the past, I would have jumped at giving my opinion; after all I thought I was the only one with the right answers and if everyone would do as I say every body's life would be perfect. I hesitated in giving my opinion because I am working very hard at allowing my grown daughters to make their own decisions whether they be right or wrong. I told them both that they are grown women and certainly capable of making their own decisions but they insisted they only wanted my opinion.
This young man in question is an ex-drug user or maybe I should say an on and off drug user. My youngest daughter has known him quite a long time. They are good friends when he is clean, and not so good friends when he is using. Right now, he is not using. For the most part, I like him. He is respectful, friendly and has a good heart - when he is not using. I don't know exactly what he is like when he is using because he doesn't come around to let me see that side of him. I only know what most people are like when they are actively using - they are less than trustworthy.
So, my daughters asked for my opinion. Hesitantly I gave them my opinion prefacing it by saying, "This is only my opinion, you both are old enough to do what you think is best." I listed all the reasons why I thought that him sharing their home would be a bad idea. I told them that he is not working a program of recovery and the chances that he will use again may be great. I told them that if they gave him a key to their house and he did start to use again all the locks in the house would have to be changed because, for the most part, drug addicts can not be trusted when they are using. I asked them how they would handle him bringing women they do not know into their house because he wants to have sex with them? I asked them if they realized that if he lived there the freedom they have in the evening and morning wearing just their "nighties" would be over. I even mentioned that when people who are friends move in together oftentimes that is the end of a friendship forever. Ultimately I think they understood clearly that I thought the idea was not a very good one.
They told him he could move in.
They told me their decision today at dinner. I nodded affirmatively. My throat tightened as I choked down my meal; my scream stuck in my throat. My heart felt so heavy in my chest. I'm ashamed to say I couldn't wait until dinner was over and then I couldn't wait for them to leave.
As I watched them pull out of the driveway my tears welled up in my eyes and then rolled down my cheeks. I couldn't stop them. My throat hurt from suppressing the screams I wanted so badly to shout out. I wanted to call them and say, "Please, don't do this. Please, you are making a big mistake." I had to do it. I couldn't stop myself. I picked up the phone and called...my sponsor.
An immediate relief rushed over my body as I heard my sponsor say hello at the other end of the line. I didn't waste any time. The tears were flowing as I relayed what had just happened. I told her I was scared. I told her I wanted to tell them not to let him move in. I told her that they asked for my opinion, I gave it and they didn't take it. I told her I had to do something but I didn't know what to do.
When I finally shut up the phone was silent. I waited for a couple of seconds. My sponsor always pauses before she speaks to me when I'm upset. I waited a couple of more seconds before I said, "Are you there?" I could almost feel her warm smile as she responded, "Yes, I'm here."
What words of wisdom did she give to me? She told me, "it sucks but we are powerless over other people's actions". She said, "we want to get in there and run other people's lives because we think we know better than our Higher Power. It's easy to revert back to things that are "comfortable" but that doesn't mean those things are right. Now that we know better we can do better". She said that "it's not always easy to do the right thing".
I started to laugh. Those thoughts were the exact thoughts I had expressed to my sponseee earlier today. I said them to my sponsee but I obviously didn't hear them for myself. I was so overcome by fear that I couldn't hear the words I spoke to my sponsee until my sponsor said them to me.
I'm feeling better now. I've once again allowed my Higher Power to be in control of my life and the lives of my daughters. I thought for a minute there He might have needed my help but I think He can handle it all on His own. I'm sure there is a lesson in all of this; I just pray it's not too painful.
As always, let me mean it when I say, "Thy will, not mine, be done."