I Have Mixed Emotions, and I Need Independence
Lately I’ve been going through life feeling somewhat numb and detached. I’m trying to figure out what to do with my life, my children and our future.
You see, for the past five years we have lived with a man who has the insatiable disease of addiction. In the worse way; he’s functional and in denial.
From my childhood I was taught, “What goes on in this house, stays in this house,” and to some degree I understand that. But I heard a preacher say once, “That if what’s going on in your house is destroying your house and ripping everyone to shreds, you’d better get on the rooftop of that house and scream, HELP!” This too, I understand!
Sometimes our deepest, darkest secrets are the very vices that sabotage us. Those places of darkness sabotage our homes, our families, our friendships, and even our communities.
Drug addiction (that is never completely dealt with or resolved) is a catastrophe that shatters individual lives and everything and everyone around them. I know this because I am that everyone, and so are my children. We are directly affected by this disease.
As mothers we often consider our own emotions and assume we know what our children are thinking and feeling about the addiction in our homes. But this time I wanted to get my children’s point of view, and I’ll admit, I was humbled. This is from the hearts of my three children; this is their take on what it’s like living with an addict.
(My 19-year-old daughter-A) “It hurts me so bad because he’s taking away from the family, not realizing how selfish he’s being. I feel like he honestly does not care because if he did, he wouldn’t do what he does or at least he would try to get some help. But he made a choice. Life is all about choices. He obviously couldn’t make the right one because even when you’re tempted you can still make the choice to walk away before you do the wrong thing.”
(My 15-year-old daughter-B) “Sometimes I feel sorry for people who do drugs. Usually people only do drugs for a temporary relief from their problems, but it’s not like that’s going to solve anything. When all the drugs are gone, they just feel worse than what they felt like before and they’re always out of extra money. You can only help someone who wants help. If they don’t want help, there is almost nothing you can do but move on. Even if they are your family. It’s really sad when someone looks like they have a decent life, but they have these secret addictions. You would think they wouldn’t have a reason to smoke or drink, but I guess they find reasons.”
(My 13-year-old son-C) “When he does drugs it makes me feel uncomfortable, not safe, sad, angry and sometimes I wish I could leave and go to Oklahoma with my aunts and cousins. That’s it, I don’t feel anything else.”
For every mixed emotion I’ve experienced, trying to choose whether to leave or stay, I’ve decided to combine the wisdom from my children with the instincts of my own heart. Addiction is a disease that I admit I am powerless over (12 Steps) but I do have the power to make a choice to protect my children and move on to pursue a better life and healthier environment, which is my priority. They should never be made to feel unsafe in their own home. And neither should I.
My children and I deserve independence from this drama; but one thing I know, is that this too shall pass.Toni J. Spearman is an author, (2 Faces of a Preacher’s Wife) is available now, editor and Life Coach in West Texas. Follow her on Twitter @ToniSpearman1.
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