Today Alex has left to return to Pensacola. He was here for just shy of three months. The experience didn’t turn out as I had hoped or expected, but it has been a valuable learning experience for me and—when he has had a chance to reflect on it—hopefully for him, too.
The first month went very well. But two months ago he began communicating with a young woman who very quickly occupied most of his waking hours. Coincidental with this development, he ceased being present, his commitment to all work ceased, and he became poor company.
I’m not sure he would agree with me, but my perception is that his interactions became antisocial. He stopped working around the house. He also stopped writing for this blog, but more importantly, for a time he even stopped writing for himself.
When I complimented him as his personal productivity resumed, he chose to take offense rather than accepting the spirit in which the compliment was intended. He seemed inclined to blame me for his failure to accept a personal role in our increasingly strained relationship. I would have preferred that he regarded the responsibility as shared.
Unintended slights were interpreted as “disrespect,” and he stated that he was not interested in finding a resolution to our differences. He’d quit.
I have told Alex that I would welcome him back to Estrella Vista anytime, but that he must bring with him a commitment to get along or not to bother.
Ironically, I received word from our fiscal agent a few days ago that we had received a matching grant from the employer of one of our most loyal supporters. Suddenly the funds were available for us to settle a debt that the state of Florida says Alex owes it, plus to purchase the pickup we wanted to buy for him.
At the same time, one of Alex’s former girlfriends wrote a comment on this blog that accused me of “enabling” a pattern of irresponsible behavior. She accused me of some other things with which I disagree, but I would have to agree with her that we do not want to be guilty of enabling unhealthy behavior. I have always believed that the purpose of the Redemption Project should be to level the playing field, not to reward irresponsible acts.
So the funds will not be spent right now to benefit him. It is preferable that he pursues his chosen path and earns the equivalent himself.
As Alex reminded me, yesterday was the thirteenth anniversary of his father’s death. The road to recovery from parricide is long and arduous and has many unexpected turns. Anyone looking for quick and easy answers—parricide and supporter alike—will not find them here. But setbacks can be a valuable teacher, too. That is why our commitment to support of these young people is lifelong and unconditional. However that is not to be interpreted as Carte Blanche.
I continue to have faith that every person has the ability to find the best answers to life when they are free to choose for themselves.
Groove of the Day