A question I often am asked is, when did you start trusting your son, again?

As often as this comes up, it always stops me cold.  The corollary is rarely asked:  how long did it take to lose that trust?

Al-Anon literature says that “trust” is a choice.  Suffering from the wreckage of addiction in my household and my family, I can choose to believe in a “power greater than myself” to return my life to sanity.  I can choose to trust that a spiritual being will bring me the relief that I crave, if only to breathe again normally.

But how and when can I choose to trust the person who brought me all that pain?

Addiction causes one crisis after another, often crashing so close that there is scarcely time to assess the damage.  Like a pile-up on the highway, the body can barely absorb the shock before another one strikes.

Like most crises in life, time is the answer.

So I respond the only way I can, with my own story.  It took time.  Jacob was at least two years into recovery – and a recovery I “trusted” – before we began to trust him again.  The telling moment arrived when he wanted to purchase a car.  He needed help and we offered it in the form of an interest-free loan.  He was in Florida.  We were in Maryland   The transaction happened over the phone.  So there I was on a calm, summer evening, reading aloud the numbers on my credit card to this young man who just a flashpoint ago was stealing from my checking account.

The moment amazed us both.  Trust – or so it suddenly seemed – had returned.

My response to the anguished moms and dads who so often ask me this question is, you will know when the time is right.  And may it come soon  – for you and your loved one.



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