I grew up with an alcoholic father and an a mother who was addicted to opioids.I was the oldest and just assumed the role of both parents..or either,when situations arose in regards to my younger siblings.It was just the way it was.It was my norm, and I just accepted that fact.
I had a wonderful supportive extended family,not that they took over any these roles,but they would call..or visit..bring meals..ask if I needed anything..took us out of the situation when needed..all the time, never acknowledging the problems verbally,out loud, within our family unit.
I learned survival skills..responsibility..compassion..empathy..I sat in the rooms with my father giving him support..so proud of his sobriety..my mom received no help , as they would just write more scripts for pills..sell her over the counter meds..day after day, without a question..or any concern..even after 3 OD's..no one said a word..pump out her stomach,medicate her,write her another script..send us on our way.
My point is ..how did I grow up without any baggage..without any professional help!
My only conclusion was I didn't know any different..it was, what it was and I just did what was needed for our family.Yes, it was dysfunctional in today's buzz words..but it was my norm.there was also a lot of love..there were good times,times of sobriety for my father,times when my mom wasn't completely zoned out,we took family vacations..Both my parents gave whatever they could to help out a friend,a neighbour,a stranger,Every Sunday we sat in church.
It wasn't until I had children of my own that I knew..promised myself..promised God..my children would not grow up like that..and they didn't.They grew up in normal,loving,nurturing family,with rules and boundary's and responsibility.
I guess my question has always been, as I now journey alongside my son with his disease of Addiction..How in the hell did I get through this with my parents..unscathed!!
I will not be so lucky on this journey,this time.
They say knowledge is power,It is also heart wrenching !
The drugs of my parents choosing, were not the same in volume, or in potency ,of my sons.
The fear,the helplessness,the knowledge..Oh the knowledge..In knowing, I could lose my child,cannot be compared.There is no greater love than of a mother for her child.
I will not let it defeat me,I will keep researching,I will keep on loving,I will continue to keep him close.I will cheer lead whatever path he chooses to maintain his recovery.I will share,Loudly..our story.I will continue to advocate,support,reach out to others on the same Journey.I will continue to heal,So I never..never again be taken to my knees in such devasting fear,.Yes, I will come out of this one a wee bit battered and bruised..but not defeated !! I do pray for other Families,Those who live with this disease..God bless us all..xo