Monday, June 25, 2007

A Tale of Two Women, A Mini Series, Part XIII

Deanna decided to join a gym to help rebuild her strength and get back in shape as she was feeling stronger and stronger everyday and started interacting with people more. She felt this would be a good solution. She and her toddler would go three times a week. At first Deanna had a personal trainer that was kicking her butt, but she was not complaining because she was starting to feel better and more importantly could see the results of her efforts. Long after her personal training sessions ended Deanna continued she regular workouts and pushed herself further each time to see how far she could push her strength. The day finally came when Deanna reached her personal goal of leg pressing 580 pounds. She swears she heard the 'Rockie' theme song playing in her head. She was thrilled beyond words because she was able to see her growth, see the fruits of her labor when she put her mind to something. She realized God had lead her to this point to show her that she was strong, that there were rewards for her efforts, and most importantly that He was there for her the whole way.

Deanna’s friend Nazar graduated with his Master’s degree and excitedly began looking for work, but was perhaps a little impatient in Deanna’s mind because he only gave his efforts a few short months before making a decision that would forever change things. Nazar had made a trip out to see Deanna and told her his goal was to find work in California because he wanted to be closer to her. He explained that she was his family. Deanna was thrilled to have her friend move closer as she loved their daily conversations. There was a real bond that had formed between them. He came and spent a week with her looking for work and then returned to Chicago. Deanna felt disappointed because she did not think a week was sufficient enough to find work and shared those sentiments with him.

In the fall of that same year Nazar also received his U.S. citizenship and passport, and they celebrated his good fortunes. A few short days before Thanksgiving Deanna had invited Nazar to their Thanksgiving celebration. She thought it would be fun for him to experience it as an “American”. He thanked her for her invitation but declined because he was living for Qatar to look for work. Deanna argued her points as to why Nazar shouldn’t leave, but ultimately he did. Vowing nothing would change between them, they’d remain in forevermore contact, and would visit one another; however, Deanna knew from experience that the best of intentions didn’t always work out. Nonetheless Deanna was so sad that she was losing her confidant, her best friend, her heart hurt once again.

Deanna had heard about a marriage minded Muslim website through a friend and decided to post an add without her picture. She searched the other ads, of course the one’s with pictures, as well as received contact hits on her page, but nothing Deanna aspired to do anything about until one day in spring. One morning Deanna awakened and did her usual routine of things, make coffee, dialing up the internet, work on her assignments, and most importantly spending time in prayer with God. She loved the mornings because they were quiet and peaceful. On this particular morning, however, for some strange reason she had the thought to post her picture on the website she had been browsing through for some time now. She was uncertain as why to post the picture as she liked being invisible, but it was like an exterior voice telling her to do so, which she did. On that exact same day she received a message from someone who had just signed up that very day, named Magdolin. Deanna read the nice message and then clicked on his profile to see who Magdolin was, and low and behold the most beautiful creature she had ever spotted with the face of an angel and a smile as big as the sky lit up before her. It literally took her breath from her as she muttered, “oh my”. She nervously clicked on the profile button to read further details about Magdolin to which she learned he was in his upper 30’s, single, had no children, had never been married, was Muslim, was educated, was an executive chef, and….”UGH!”, thought Deanna, EGYPTIAN. Deanna thought to herself, “Whhhhhhhhhhhhhhy? Why couldn’t you be anything else but Egyptian?”

After much thinking and praying she decided that she was not the one to sit in the seat of judgment and forbid all Egyptians from every crossing her path just because of Adam. She realized that was ridiculous as well as discriminatory and so decided to respond to Magdolin. She and Magdolin, known as Aly, began corresponding through email everyday. It became one of the things Deanna looked forward to most, and it seemed the same was true for Aly. They seemed to have an immediate connection, but Deanna was very skeptical and perhaps even a little cynical in her thinking, but continued regardless in her correspondence. She had learned Aly’s father died when he was 12 years old, leaving him to raise his two younger brothers as well as provide for his mom. He began working in the early hours of the morning before school at a bakery making bread, then went to school, came home checked on his mom and brothers and then return to the bakery. He had shared that he didn’t harbor any bad feelings over not having a childhood because he knew that was Allah’s choice. He knew and still knows without a doubt that Allah loves him and he loves Allah, so he gives all thanks to him for the good and bad in life. When his younger brothers graduated from school, and his mom had remarried to a man Aly had introduced her too, he felt for the first time he could now leave home and begin his life. So, he left Egypt bound for the Gulf countries to pursue his culinary skills. By summer Aly and Deanna were now talking by phone and just as enthusiastically as they were through emails, and instant chat.

By summer of that same year things with Clint and Claudia had escalated out of control. Clint had done nothing about his alcohol and drug dependency. Nor had Claudia done anything about seeking counseling for this condition. The two just remained on the same crashing course they had been heading down for many years. At this point Clint’s parents were now confiding in Deanna that they didn’t know what to do anymore. They felt like they shouldn’t be involved in this situation, that Clint and Claudia needed to get their acts together. Her dad knew Clint drank as he had seen him do it before, but was not aware of his drug addiction. Deanna's mother on the other hand knew, but kept silent. Deanna’s father had told her that he and her mother were older and that they were retired and should be actually living and enjoying their golden years, not still taking care of their son and his family. Her father seemed frustrated, saddened and even uncertain as to what to do, and more importantly was he suppose to do anything.

Deanna finally sat her parents down to have a talk with them and share the hidden secret of her brother. She felt time was volatile and they needed to act right now for the sake of her brother. He was truly spinning out of control, and if something wasn’t done soon it would only lead to disaster. She shared with her parents that she knew someone whot could serve in an intervention, a program designed to confront the addict with their problem. She believed this was their only recourse at this time because neither Clint nor Claudia had done anything to improve their situation. Deanna recalled seeing her father’s face and could see the pain inside of his eyes, and this just boiled her blood. For this pain was needlessly coming from her selfish brother.

Deanna made all the necessary arrangements with a counselor she knew named Doug who was trained in the arts of intervention to meet with the family. In the meantime Deanna’s father contacted Claudia and made secret meetings with her to explain their intentions, of which Claudia conceded to these terms. With the exception of Deanna, everyone in the family was very sad and were feeling helpless. Of course, Deanna wanted only the best for her brother, but in order for him to have that he needed to get his act together and get off the drugs and alcohol. For until he did, Deanna saw him as a burden more than someone that was helpless.

Deanna, her parents, Claudia and even Bud a close friend of the family, met in one early morning days before the intervention was to take place, to discuss the procedure in its entirety. Doug explained that Claudia needed to bring a packed suitcase of Clint’s clothes with her to the appointment. Doug could not express enough to everyone how they needed to keep their mouths quiet until this intervention in order for it to be affective. He reminded them that their silence although it seemed like a form of trickery was necessary in order to express the point across to Clint that everyone was united in no longer accepting his behavior. He further explained to everyone that at the intervention with Clint’s suitcase sitting visible that each person would need to tell Clint how they felt, and more importantly how they felt about his alcohol and drug addiction. Once each person was done saying their words, then Doug would also talk with Clint and explain to him that he had a couple of options. He could either seek professional help through a rehab facility which would be located far away or he could continue his same destructive life style, but would need to move from the family home and have no further contact with his family members as they would refuse to talk to him.

Of course, hearing the harshness of this intervention was causing some uncertainties in Deanna’s parents and sister-in-law. She could see the wavering in their faces and their actions. She reminded them that although this was a very difficult process to go through, they were doing this for the sake of Clint because he was too weak to help himself. They all agreed they felt Clint was too weak to help himself, but had hoped there could have been an easier way.

The morning arrived and everyone was sitting at Deanna’s parents house nervously chatting awaiting the arrival of Clint. Doug reassured the family again and applauded them for their strength to move forward with this intervention. The moment arrived when everyone saw Clint’s truck drive up in the driveway. You could hear a pin drop from the silence that fell over the room……….the moment of truth was finally hear and Doug and Deanna could see the unsettling in everyone’s face. Clint entered the house to find everyone standing there and looked perplexed. More than just seeing his parents, wife and sister, but Bud, the man that had been Clint’s hero growing up, and this other guy who he had never seen before in his life. Doug jumped up and introduced himself as all the pleasantries were said to one another. Clint inquired as to what was going on to which Doug managed to through unspoken words get everyone to move to the living room to sit and be more comfortable. He explained that the family had invited him to this meeting and that he’d like Clint to respect his family and hear what they had to say. They started first with his father, who had written a little script because he didn’t want to leave anything out. He said to Clint that he loved him as well as his family. He said that he’s been seeing Clint’s attitude change for sometime and not in a good way. He felt Clint was becoming a very angry man and hated to see his family dealing with this anger. He also believed Clint was an alcoholic and needed to get help, and then bowed his head before anyone could see the tears running down his cheeks. Clint sat stoic saying nothing, and looked at his father.

Next Clint’s mom told him that she wanted nothing but the best for him, but felt he had a problem and needed to get some help. She worried about her grandson, and hoped he could do something for his sake. Then bowed her head told him she loved him while tears rolled down her cheeks. Again Clint sat stoic saying nothing, but saw the pain in his mother’s face.

Next Bud told Clint that he loved him and had known him such his was 2 years old, to which the two men smiled at one another, and then said that he believed Clint had a drinking problem and needed to get some help. He assured Clint that he’d be there for him no matter what and support him through his recovery. He then fell silent with tears in his eyes.

Next it was Deanna’s turn. She looked directly in her brother’s eyes, lowered her voice and told her brother that first and foremost she loved him. She loved his wife and his son. All the while their eyes never fell from one another. Deanna shared that both she and her brother knew he had a problem with alcohol and drugs as Clint had previously disclosed that to her in another meeting, to which Clint agreed out loud. She hoped that he would make the right choice and get some help for himself as well as his family as she was tired of seeing him destroy himself, to which he agreed.

It was now finally Claudia’s turn, and the room fell dead silent. Claudia looked into her husband’s eyes and you could see she had opened a hidden door of strength with inside herself because she sat tall and confident. She told Clint, she loved him and wwoul always love him. She was tired of living the life they were living with his drinking and drug use. She was tired of the pain everyone was going through. She was tired of their lives being so miserable. She stood up, walked across the floor, grabbed his suitcase, and said, “Clint you must either get help for your problem”, sat the suitcase in front on him “or you are not welcome back in our home”, to which you could see the sadness wash over Clint.

Doug knowing this was the most poignant part of the moment decided it was time to sweep in and finish this intervention off. He explained to Clint that he had two choices, he could either agree to check himself into a treatment program that his family had found for him or he could continue his life as such, but fully understanding his entire family would forevermore turn their backs on him. He agreed to Doug that he struggled with alcohol and drugs and that he worried everyday whether his work would find out. He agreed that he needed to do a few things first and then go to the treatment program. Doug informed him that he was not allowed to do anything other than go to the treatment program THAT day. He explained to Clint he needed to call his work and rearrange his schedule because he was going that night, to which Clint agreed to do.

Things did not necessarily work out for Clint to go that day in light of all their preparations, but he was able to go the following day. Clint’s dad drove him to the treatment facility, which was a good distance from their respective homes. The two men chitchatted about nothing in particular due to the tenseness of the situation. Once there, they were shown the facility and the program was explained to both Clint and his dad. Clint signed all the necessary documentation to enroll in the program and his father paid for his stay there, which would be a minimum of 30 days. The two men said their goodbyes and Clint’s father got in car and sobbed, for this had been probably the hardest decision he ever had to make in his life.

1 comment:

a_akak said...

hope he does well, but i dont think so