1) Message on website from Jane:
In the midst of my extreme pain, I found your website and comfort. I am a recovering alcoholic, sober for 25 years. My son is in the midst of heroin addiction and dealing drugs. Last week I had to put him out of my home. I am walking by faith daily, knowing that I am not in charge of this man’s life. He is 25 now, but has been doing drugs I think since his early teenage years. This is not something I ever imagined for his life or mine.
Your website on advice to parents gave me much comfort and I bought your book. I am requesting the study guide if possible. I am an Episcopalian and I know that my God is steadfast from my own journey. Facing His will for my life and my son’s, however, is frightening to me. Yet, I know God’s will is perfect. I mean I know this in my heart. Yet I continue to think the worst. I do ask your prayers for both of us that we be lead from this darkness into the light. I am most sincerely grateful for your deeply healing life narrative and the guidance it contains.
2) Response from Susan to Jane:
Thanks so much for letting me know my words have helped to bring comfort. Please do get the support you need to face this extraordinary challenge. Your faith in God will be tested but will be strengthened by going through this test. Keep your heart open, get support to feel your pain, set your boundaries and release your son to God’s hands. Remember he is God’s son also. And PRAY a lot. I hope you also seek the support of Al-anon or Families Anonymous. I could never have made it without Al-anon.
Attached is the Study Guide. If you want, let me know your response to reading the book, and let me know how your story with your son unfolds. You will be in my heart and in my prayers.
With faith in the unbroken love of God, Susan
3) Response From Jane:
Thank you for your kind words. I am doing the things you suggested. I have released him to God as I believe in my soul this is a spiritual journey that Jack must walk out. As you well know the pain has been searing and at times I have thought I just want out of this vale of tears. I looked inward through meditation and prayer. From your web page I found out what I think I already knew in my soul, but did not want to face – this is my spiritual journey as well as Jack’s. Your confirmation allowed me to embrace what is. And, Susan, in reality you provided a sounding for me, which centered me and …not sure how to express this idea…but provided some sort of peace within me in the midst of this overwhelming chaos. The phrase “my God is steadfast” has centered upon my heart or that is where I feel its presence at any rate. Thank you for releasing your journey into our shared experience so that the many coming behind you may experience the light in the darkness.
4) Susan: [I asked Jane if I could re-print her words on my blog, to help reach more parents who need to read the “Advice” words on the website and/or the book.]
5) Jane’s response:
Please, please use my words. You will never know what your words did for me. I truly believe that God led me to your website and I received exactly what I needed– communion across time and space. Intensely profound. I was wallowing in the bad mother syndrome and all that, yet I knew that I had loved both my children with a committed intensity, therefore your thoughts were extremely validating. Tonight in my reading from the text Love Unbroken I was deeply moved by your commitment to never withhold your compassion from another human being. Deeply stirring to my soul. I only hope other parents who are experiencing this anguish will be led to your website. It was an eternal moment for me. Shelley’s words convey my gratitude for your courage to share and teach:
Hail to thee, blithe spirit!
Bird thou never wert–
That from heaven or near it
Pourest thy full heart
In profuse strains of unpremeditated art
Thank you, Susan