Please welcome Anonymous to the blog today! This is such a moving story, I am so glad that the author chose to share it with us!
This isn’t my story. Not exactly anyway. I’m a bystander who’s dealt with the consequences of it though. Honestly, I feel pretty weird writing this, it feels like I don’t really have the right to. I’m not dealing with substance abuse of any sort. I have dealt with a different kind of addiction though somewhat due to it. When your parent is an addict of any sort, in this case a drug addict, your mental health sort of goes straight downhill. Fast. You’re stressed, tired, annoyed, pissed off and walking on eggshells at any given moment. So many eggshells. It’s stressful and disturbing and sometimes scary. You wonder why this had to be your parent even if it’s not the “worst” case of drug addiction you’ve read about. Is it really “that” bad?
I have been the child of an addict for around 30 years. It’s not an easy thing being the child of an addict even when you feel it is.
When you’re the child of an addict, you learn a few things:
- You learn that 1 in 5 children is the child of a parent who abuses alcohol or drugs according to Psychology Today.
- You learn there is a face behind the addiction and it’s real and serious.
- You learn there are different kinds of drugs and they all have different effects.
- You learn it’s a mental illness just like any other.
- You learn to keep you parent’s addiction to yourself.
- You learn that you prefer certain drugs of choice for your parent over others.
- You learn your parent can be capable of maintaining a regular job while using.
- You learn to how to tell when they are using.
- You learn how to test if your parent is under the influence or not
- You learn that your parent is still capable of loving you
- You learn your parent is capable of cleaning house, making lunches and cooking dinner like any other.
- You learn to cope in unhealthy ways with the backlash that happens when your parent uses.
- You learn this is your normal and no matter how many years go by, you still don’t know how or if you’ll ever really confront it.
- You learn that you are traumatized and you’re still learning how to deal with everything as best you can.
- You learn that you’re still not used to it despite it being your normal.
- You learn that no matter how often you see it or sense it, every time it makes you feel ill.
- You learn that you’re a lot luckier than other children of addicts.
- You learn it’s not their fault and it’s not your fault. It’s a mental illness.
And for what you don’t learn, you wonder. . .
- Are they really that bad off? Really though?
- Is this behavior, action, feeling, etc. you’re experiencing because you’re the child of an addict?
- Is it only a matter of time until you’re an addict too?
- What do you even have control over in your life?
- How is it possible for the same person that has used for as long as you remember also be the parent you’re closest to?
- It’s always a wonder: Is my behavior because of my genes? How much is my mental health made up of my parent’s?
Will they stop?
Will they stop?
Will they stop?
If you’re the child of an addict, no matter what your age, because we’re all still children, maybe even more so, you’re not alone. Especially if your parent is still struggling with this. You’re not alone. You’re not alone. You’re not alone. I’m here with you.
If you ever need someone to talk to about it, you can email me at YoureNotAlone11.firstname.lastname@example.org
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