Chesterton Tribune

A mother's regrets

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The ripples of an addiction can capsize the addictís family. One mother, a resident of Valparaiso who wishes to remain anonymous, on keeping her head above water:

How do you weigh feelings of anguish when you tried to do everything right but things went so wrong? . . .

Of course there is guilt. Did we do something wrong? Did we not do enough? We thought we knew all the warning signs. We thought we would know beyond a shadow of a doubt if our children used drugs, but we never really thought they would. After all, we raised them better than that. But this has to be somebodyís fault, so it must be ours. . . .

Holidays, birthdays, weddings, graduations, and everything in between are not the same anymore, because either the addict child is away in treatment or possibly incarcerated or the addict child hasnít been home in the past few days. Itís not only their presence that is missed, itís the thought that the child would be graduating from college right now or this would possibly be their wedding to plan if it hadnít been for the drugs. . . .

Whatever the cycle of addiction, your family is in turmoil. Life has revolved around the addict child. Other childrenís needs havenít always been met because of the crisis of the moment. Mothers and fathers deal with the situation sometimes separately and all relationships within the family suffer. Parents tend to be very suspicious of their other children and their friends now. The other children resent the implication. They are not only embarrassed by the behaviors of their addict sibling, but are very angry for what they see their parents are going through because so-and-so was so stupid to even use drugs and life as this family knew it was sucked from everyone. . . .

You awake every morning and then reality hits. You try to fall asleep at night with a heavy heart. But you do give thanks for the many blessings you have and hold tight to your partner, because you are trying to weather the storm together and you still have hope because your child is alive and this gives you strength to ride the rollercoaster of emotions again tomorrow.

 

Posted 6/27/2002