Restoration – Part 3 – Passengers Door


With the pile of Rust gone through and cleaned up it was time to take a real look at what was left if anything to salvage to begin the process of bringing it (the relationship) back to life.

There was absolutely no Trust left.

Not much left in the area of Care.

A gaping hole was where Concern was supposed to be.

And the section where Help was, had completely disintegrated.

But the Drivers Door was somehow still intact.

My first thought was to see if would still open, and if it did maybe I could climb in and access what was inside.  But as I contemplated doing so I realized I had sat in that seat many times and hadn’t done a very good job at “driving” the relationship.  I walked around to the passenger side and the door was banged up… but it was open.   Maybe, just maybe I would try this for now.

Letting my God take the driver’s seat of the relationship between my son and I was the best decision I could make.  It totally freed me up.  I no longer had to worry about the direction it would take, should take, will take.  I knew with Him in the drivers seat, that it would take the shape it needed to.

With one less thing to have to worry about I could get back to my restoration work.

That’s right, that pile of rust had belonged to me.  Not my addict.  It wasn’t my job to cut the rust away on him.  It was for me to cut mine away…

Now to start gathering the new materials I would need to fill in those holes!

Restoration part 2 – After the Tin Snips


Definition of Rust: Rust occurs when iron or an alloy that contains iron, like steel, is exposed to oxygen and moisture for a long period of time. Given sufficient time, oxygen, and water, any iron mass will eventually convert entirely to rust and disintegrate. Surface rust is flaky and friable, and provides no protection to the underlying iron.

My last post left me surmising the pile of rust that lay before me.  After cutting it all away, what was left of the relationship barely resembled a skeleton.  I’m pretty sure even the skeleton was missing a leg, maybe even part of hand.  It had taken me much too long to understand the depth of my son’s illness, and the extent of its harm on our family.  

It took an event, like such had never happened before in my presence to see the true condition for myself.  It (the event) was a magnifying glass through which I had no other option but to see completely through the eyes of the other members of the family.  As this event unfolded, and the true condition of my son’s heart, soul and mind were lay before me ALL of my motherly hopes fell to the ground.  I had no other option but to cut away all that was corrosive for no other reason but in hopes of one day a true restoration process might begin.

For the first time in nearly 9 years, I completely shut my son out of my life.  I did not answer his calls, his texts.  After several attempts on his part to reach me, he stopped trying.  He knew I would not and could not respond.  I knew he was living in a car in the snow and yet I knew I would do nothing about it.

 I let the rust sit.

His girlfriend’s mother tried reaching me to DO SOMETHING THEY ARE SLEEPING IN THE CAR IN THE SNOW…  I could only respond with… He knows where the shelters are, if he is choosing to sleep in the car that is on them…

I let the rust sit.

He tried to pull me into his drama while he lay in a hospital bed supposedly sick.  I didn’t respond.

I let the rust sit.

It would take me 4 months to begin to allow myself to respond.  During those 4 months I went over and would look at the rust pile, see what was there.  Poke at it some to see if truly had no life left in it… and try to process in my heart why I had been so blind to its full existence.  It took me that long to begin to trust my own heart to relate to him based on the truth of his condition and the truth of my past response. 

Oh, I had long put enabling away… but there were still those Rose colored glasses that I preferred to look through, when what I needed was that Magnifying glass that exposed the truth.   I had to throw those on that pile of rust too.

I couldn’t begin a real restoration until I had  taken a complete inventory of what I had to work with.  This would be NO PATCH UP… this would require getting down to the bare bones, and probably even replacing some of the bones. 

Come back for more of the process…





The Definition: “Something that has been brought back to an earlier and usually better condition”.

The Process… A LOT of hard work!

We had many such projects in our yard and garage.  My first husband loved the idea of restoring old cars.  He nearly had an old ’68 Mail Jeep restored, and just before we divorced he had a ‘72 Charger started.

Restoring an old car takes a lot of work, (which he never finished… but that’s another story).  Once the car would come home, the first tool he would use on it was a pair of tin snips, cutting away the worst of the rust spots.  Then he’d have to cut new metal to attach in the really bad spots.  Then the application of ‘bondo’ and then ALL that SANDING!!!!  And that was just to make the outside look like new; the inside was where a lot of the expense came.  Adding new carpet, re-upholstering the seats, gathering all the missing or needing to be replaced nobs, handles, etc., all the while tinkering with, cleaning up or just plain having to replace the motor.

Relationships that need to be restored take just as much care and time.  Matter of fact they will take even more time when the relationship has been broken down because of Addiction.

It has been nearly 6 months since I asked my addict to leave my home after a good stretch of sober living.  This has been an extremely long time of ‘relationship at a distance’.  I have found it hard to even begin the restoration process this time.  (We’ve been down this road a number of times).  I knew the process… I had no problem taking the “tin snips to the rust and cutting it out”…

But I stopped there…

Cutting out what was bad was necessary.  But this time there was so much of it, the rest of the process seemed too overwhelming to even begin.  I couldn’t get past the pile of rust and brokenness that lay before me.  So MUCH had accumulated over the last 9 years.  All the other times I had attempted the restoration process, I short cut it.  I tried to hide just how much real rust should have been cut out. I barely sanded before trying to put a paint job on the outside.  Making it look good from a distance, but eventually… ALL that needed to be cut away and hadn’t been became painfully obvious!

So I cut… and I cut… and cut some more.  Till there was more gone, than left standing.   I was exhausted.  And I walked away for what seemed like a long time…

Come back next week for more on the process.