I struggle with this one hard!
I remember when my ex husband and I were having a fight, my daughter was around four or five. He had been drinking all day while out fishing. I was furious when he finally returned home. This was after a month of sobriety. He fell off the wagon, again…
I told him to get out and go stay with his parents, or check into treatment. I didn’t want to do this anymore. I stood there watched and listened to him about how nothing was wrong with having a few beers while he fished.
Everything he had said a month prior about stopping was out the window. All the promises broken, all bets were off, he wanted his beer. His wife and daughter did not matter.
There are many forms of addiction out there and the grip is strong. But you want to believe someone loves you enough.
I’ve been hurt by addiction a few times. It hurts when given the choice their love for the addiction is stronger and they turn their back on you.
Then weeks, months and even years go by. Maybe they stopped and did seek help. Then it circles back around. You notice patterns of behavior and recognize them. You had faith in this person, you had faith in a program that was supposed to help, yet it didn’t last and they turned back to that powerful addiction again and choose it over you. You had hope, then your world comes crashing down. It triggers anger, rejection, sadness, worthlessness, disgust, disappointment and abandonment.
How could I not be enough? What is wrong with me that I am not worthy of this addiction? You question everything you said, did and are as a person. But you have to realize the addiction is about them, not you. It is about the demons they face and have not dealt with. How they are self medicating or self soothing. This is especially hard when you are hurting and feeling rejected.
I’ve come a long way in recent months on dealing with some of these core issues about how I manage these emotions, cope with rejection and acknowledgment of their choices. But I still struggle.
In retrospect I am also acknowledging the damage this has done to my daughter. If I was feeling and not managing those emotions well as an adult, how incredibly difficult it must have been for her as a child.
I feel responsible for my choices that have caused her such grief and blame myself for exposing her to it. Is it any wonder she had her own battle with addiction? Is it any wonder she is depressed and anxious? Is it any wonder she has difficulty with relationships? Is it any wonder? We are all the product of our environment. I can’t help but to feel like a failure as a parent. I was supposed to protect her.
Then I dig deeper into my childhood and the things I was exposed to. The pain of examining these truths and unhealthy patterns is a reality I would much rather forget. However, in order to become a healthier, stronger person I must.
Life is hard. We all have choices. Sometimes we make bad ones. Some people cope and deal with the harsh realities better than others. Some turn to addiction, some don’t. Some people survive, sadly some don’t.
I’m including the link above for informational purposes. The list includes chemical and behavioral addictions.
Addiction comes in many forms, we often look at drugs and alcohol because we are most familiar with those. But there are so many out there. Make no mistake, the various forms can and will do the same type of damage. It can leave hurt and scars just the same.
If you are an addict or love and addict, I encourage you to seek professional help. Your life depends on it and your family depends on it. You are enough!!
As always, thanks for reading. I’m not a professional, just a mom holding the lantern. Be gentle and kind. You never know what someone is going through.
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