A mother wrote to me: My husband and I were always here with our kids, but it seems to me that lots of kids who were on their own did better. Many of our neighborhood children grew up with our kids, and they all very successful. How did mine turn out to be an addict?
My reflection: This is a question I asked myself for years. I have two sons: one is addicted to heroin and the other isn’t. The kids in the neighborhood seemed to turn out OK. Why my son? What did I miss? What could I have done differently? Many parents ask themselves these same questions.
Today’s Promise to consider: Today, I accept the validity of all my diverse feelings. I refuse to hide my confusion, isolate myself, and keep the secret and the shame. I hate the addiction, but I will release myself from feeling that I failed my son. I did my best and there is no blame.
I too have feelings of blaming myself for my sons addiction and of enabling him. i was addicted to alcohol after my divorce but my sons addictions started when i was still married. i like reading these posts to know i am not alone.
Jeri, Being a mother of an 18 year old addict, I understand. For now I do not blame myself or anyone else. We raised seven children and of course the baby of the family is the one. In my case I see he has a sense of entitlement that makes him think he is not an addict but a kid doing what he wants. If I have learned one thing is that it does not matter where you come from or how you raised them, if they are going to follow – they do. Knowing the heartache all to well. My prayers are with you and always know you are not alone.
i sometimes have an overwhelming feeling of How could this be my son?? He was loved cuddled private schooled everything was going great for his life. His brother in Medical School!! I know that this Disease also wants to rob us too. It’s very natural as a human being to question that But when I invoke my Spirituality I have The Strenght to know Ultimately it’s his work he has to do this Lifetime. I Surround Again and Again and Again. You are not Alone
Thank you for the honesty in addressing the question we all ask ourselves when the problem becomes apparent. After years of wondering if I could have changed this – my answer is no. I do have regrets about different things with my daughter but it is what it is. I refuse to hide or be ashamed. She is still my daughter & an important member of our family. Thank you for writing about the hard questions with grace & compassion. Sending you a hug!
When my son was working step eight with his mom and I this topic was discussed. We actually laughed at some of our insane tactics to control him and mold him back into the person we wanted him to be. In my mind if only I could accomplish this transformation then it would offset the blame and shame I felt. My only regret now is not breaking free of my own denial and finding my personal recovery through Families Anonymous sooner. Working the steps with a sponsor freed me from all blame and shame. I was given back my life, my peace and serenity. I remember my first face to face meeting and how thankful I was to be in a room with so many other parents who knew exactly how I felt and instead of pointing a finger of blame only surrounded me with understanding and compassion.
I guess that’s the million dollar question “why my kid”?
I don’t know how many times I have gone over and over what I could have done better. My daughter had a good upbringing, at least that’s what I thought. How then is it possible this happened to us.
For many years I felt a total failure, ashamed to tell anyone what was going on because I would see the judgement in their eyes and that always made me feel even worse.
I have accepted now that there may be things I could have done better but would that have changed the path my daughter has taken, probably not. We are only human, we did the best we could, our love for our daughter has never faltered and so I no longer blame myself for what has happened.
I realize this disease could happen to anyone at any time and the best thing I can do now is help others understand that it is not their fault. The feelings of shame do nothing but keep us in the dark.