Some people go through life not knowing what it is like to deal with somebody who has abused drugs or alcohol and probably have a very negative, biased opinion on who that person is or was during that part of their lives. You can’t blame them for they way they think. Like I said, they have no idea what it is like to be involved with an addict, especially when the addict is your parent.
Every day, there are thousands of us adult children of addicts who are forced to live their lives a little differently than everybody else. We are faced with stress, fear, anxiety and temptation every day. We feel judged by those who know our situation, even though we shouldn’t.
It is definitely a challenge to try to live a normal life. If you are on the outside looking in, there are a few things that we, as the adult children of addicts, would like to you know.
1. Our parent’s are not necessarily bad people.
Now, I can’t speak for everybody here when I say this, but it’s the truth for a lot of us. Just because they fell into an addiction doesn’t always mean they started off doing the bad things that they do/did to get their fix. They are still human, and they made some pretty terrible choices that led them to where they are. In a lot of cases, they got involved with the wrong people during very vulnerable point’s in there life, and they got taken advantage of.
2. We are afraid of the future.
We are afraid of the future because we can’t control it. We are afraid that our parent’s may fall into a relapse, if they have gotten clean. We are afraid of getting that phone call telling us that our parents were involved in a deal gone wrong and are now dead. We work so hard to keep the addiction out of our lives. The possibility that it will make it back into our lives scares the hell out of us.
3. We are afraid for our children.
We are afraid that our children will have to go through what we went through. We are also constantly worried if we are over parenting or under parenting. We second guess a lot of our parenting decisions. We just want to do right by them, and we always worry that what we are doing is not good enough.
4. We do not mean to be controlling.
This started way back when we were kids. We had to learn to take charge of stuff when are parents weren’t able to. We also feel like we can keep things in order, but it has to be exactly what we want. We know that we need to loosen up a bit, but sometimes its just too hard.
5. We have a hard time finding a whole lot of positive in the situation.
Yeah, we learned how to take care of ourselves and our siblings early, but we did not want to. We were forced to grow up well before we were ready. We desperately wanted to have our parents take care of us so we could enjoy being a kid, but we didn’t get to. We craved some sort of structure from our parents, but they couldn’t give it to us.
As adults, we know more about the addiction that our parents deal with, and we are able to realize just how fully it impacted us negatively. We don’t ask for your sympathy, nor do we expect it from anybody. All that we as adult children of addicts ask for is just a little bit of understanding of the situation.
We are trying to create awareness of this side of addiction. Addiction doesn’t just affect the addict; it affects everybody they are close to, especially their children.
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