Since coming to Al‑Anon 25 years ago, not much has changed with my son, but much has changed in my life. I went from a life consumed with fear and worry to learning how to deal with these issues. I learned a lot about myself and about why I was having trouble letting go of my son.
After working the Al‑Anon program, my husband and I enjoyed our time together travelling and being very active in this wonderful program. Then our third grandchild, a girl was born to this son and his girlfriend. We already had two grandsons, so she was the first girl in our family.
My other grandchildren lived in another state and we visited them about every three months. I was looking forward to having a grandchild close to us.
As time went on, her parents were leaving her with us almost constantly. Part of the time, we did not even know where they were. We decided to get protective custody, so they could not come back anytime they wanted and get her. It was evident they could not provide a stable home for her. Shortly after that, we obtained guardianship. So now, at least I knew she was taken care of properly.
It was a big change in our lives. It affected the time we were able to spend with our other grandchildren. There were hurt feelings and jealousy, but eventually they accepted the fact that we were acting as her parents.
Now twelve years later, our granddaughter is still with us. She has brought so much joy into our lives. It is hard being both grandparents and parents. Our whole life changed. Our golden years are filled with her school activities, her friends, navigating her adolescence years, and dealing with the hurt and disappointment caused by her parents. Her father has been in her life and our home many times. We always hope and pray he will choose recovery. He has been in and out of A.A., but has never stuck with it very long. She has not seen her mother, who lives 30 minutes away, in three years.
About three years ago, we told our granddaughter that alcoholism is her parents’ problem. We took her to Alateen, and that has helped her understand this devastating disease. The Al‑Anon program has been a lifesaver for us. I must continue to go to meetings, have a Sponsor, use the tools, and feel the pain of this disease.
By Teresa E., Tennessee
Forum July 2014