As a kid, I did not know what life had in store for me. And although you always believed in me, you did not know the life I had in store for YOU!
I would like to say I started off life hopeful for my future but that is not my story. My life started in a house of chaos, yelling, fear and distress of your marriage. Many time I felt I was to blame for you and daddy fighting and other times I just blamed you. I wanted to be daddy’s little girl so badly and spent a lifetime chasing that dream. My perspective of a man’s love for me has always been grounded in fear of being abandoned and a belief chasing a person or doing back flips for their love is “normal.” The toxic interactions I saw as a child, became the same interactions in my relationships. You can say you did the right thing eventually and were able to separate yourself from the marriage. Today, I can agree that is commendable for a mother to show her children but it is also the reason I began a resentment as a kid. There were times as a child, I thought my dad left because of me- I was unlovable. But mostly I blamed him leaving on you since you stopped chasing and fighting for his love the way I did. With a child mentality, I did not understand the situation. I only knew that I wanted a family, like all the other kids. I wish I knew then what I know now, to see you were not to blame and most importantly- neither was I.
In time, I grew to be a teenager- still full of resentment for what I lacked and trying to fill a big void inside of myself. No matter how many problems I threw at you or how difficult I could be, you always loved me and did your best to deal with my anger. But unfortunately, your life took a sharp turn when I found a solution, or way to fill the void, down a spiraling path of drugs and alcohol. Once this lifestyle began, many years went by of behavior that cause you and the family a great deal of harm. There were many sleepless nights for you when I would not call or come home. The lies, manipulation, broken promises, disrespect, stealing, and everything else I had to do to maintain the lifestyle. When I was using, it was never that I did not care about you or consciously chose drugs over you- it was survival. There came a point that I did not have a choice to use or not use drugs- it controlled me.
Any family that has experienced addiction understand how dangerous the lifestyle can be. What many families do not always understand is that addiction is a disease and going to treatment for a short period does not always “fix” the problem. You understand addiction, at times it felt like too well! The manipulation became harder and the spiraling walls grew narrow. At the time, I was very angry you started to see the addiction for what it really was- not your daughter as a victim. You knew I did have a choice and kept pushing me to see that. The disease of addiction wanted me to believe I could never get clean and at the time, it honestly felt like the easier path. Boy was I wrong and looking back I am grateful you learned enough to help me to see I could get clean.
Not long after I was at crisis twice in one week for suicidal idealizations, I got on a plane to Florida and checked into Genesis House. The time I was there I began to see what life could be- without drugs and it did not look like anything my addiction said it would be like. There were times it was hard but having you in my corner is always a blessing. You may not always be where I can see you, but you are always right on time when I need you.
In recovery, I have learned so much, and we have been able to work on our relationship. Please find comfort today hearing me explain there was nothing could have done for me to avoid it, it was my journey. I thank you for never giving up on me and still believing in me at my worst. Our story may not be perfect, but we are able to say we went through a lot- made it to the other side and are stronger because of it! Today, I know anything is possible and see hope in my life. I am not perfect, I make mistakes and fall short some days but if I stay vigilant in my recovery, things always work out.
Happy Mother’s Day!