my name is <removed at user's request> and i am the child of an addict.
specifically, an alcohol abuser.
perhaps you have read my hub about it. if not, do take time and check it out. it is interesting because it allows people to see the other side of addiction - the steep price addicts' victims must pay through no fault of their own. even though you may find it a hard read, it only scratches the surface. the complete story is harrowing and certainly not fit for prime time.
imagine emerging from that and still being able to create a new, better life for yourself, all on your own, even though you had no role models to speak of, save your teachers.
no one asks to be born to an addicted parent.
imagine being born to an addict and instead of enjoying every child's birthright, that of being born into a peaceful, loving home in which your basic needs are freely met and also your higher needs are met, including being nurtured and encouraged and loved, instead of being subjected to abuse and shame and ridicule and chaos and homlessness and seeing your beloved parent staggering around incoherently and being selfish and ignoring your cries because of their own selfish addiction.
the children of addicts don't see addiction as a disease.
a cold is a disease.
cancer is a disease.
no one chooses to score some cancer and inject it into their veins. it just comes upon them completely against their will.
if you are the child of an addict, stand up and be counted.
you also have a voice.
I attend adult children of alcoholic meetings ACA and find them most helpful. Good thread Cosette
I don't quite know what to say about this? I understand that the children of addicts have a story to tell and I know first hand how difficult life can be as a child of parents with addictions myself. However I also happen to think that addiction is a disease and I love both my parents dearly and know why they do the things they do. Just because I have not followed in there footsteps, does not mean I am any less understanding of there plights, if anything I am more understanding because I know that people would not volentaraly put themselves through that much pain, anguish and misery, unless it was to help them deal with some kind of other disease, wheather it be mental, physical or emotional. What I get from this is that addictions are not a disease and I don't agree.
i don't see anyone posting negative opinions on the "addicts helping addicts" thread. why should my thread not enjoy the same privilege? this thread is a support thread, okedokee?
Let this be the support thread it is meant to. The last thing anyone needs is doubting the severity of the topic and mocking it by uneducated comments,
Have a nice day
as you are probably aware, based on my own experience, i have my own opinions about it. it doesn't mean they are right, it just means they are my opinions. and i respect other people's hubs and forum posts by keeping my thoughts to myself, although i do express them in my hubs or my own threads.
thank you, again, Kimberly. i appreciate it.
Avery more common topic than most admit, yet quickly disregarded. This warrants a bump so that so many that missed it, may have a chance to post.
Sorry to intrude Cosette but I feel this thread was sadly overlooked. For some, pretty important.
I agree ... the children of addicts are victimized more than society as a whole as they are being taught in school that drugs are severely damaging to one's health, and then they go home to realize that one or both of their parents are doing them and worry over how long they might have until they become an orphan.
Children pay for many of the mistakes made by there parents. And while we all are human, I think the greatest chance of sobriety any addicted parent could possibly have is to look into their child's eyes and say to themselves 'I'm not going to make this lovely child into an orphan ...'
That is a beautiful thought Yoshi if only there were more parents out there who thought like that, there would be less children in foster homes or living with relatives but many times the addictive person chooses the drug over the child not realizing what they are doing until it is to late.
They don’t think like that though because they don’t realize where they are at.
I don’t know that I would define addiction as a disease. A problem, definitely. I am addicted to cigarettes and noone lets me off easy because I have a disease.
I was raised by an alochol abuser and it was horrifying in so many ways. Everything from the humiliation of coming home with friends ands the furniture being sold to fund a party, to being in the back seat of a car and having my mother’s drunk boyfriend driving us on the highway whilst drinking from a 26oz bottle of vodka, vomitting on himself and tailgating the other vehicles, while she says “shut up so he can drive”.
I have zero respect for my own mother because of these things as her child. But I foster and many of the parents are addicts and I do feel compassion towards some of them. It’s confusing. Detachment I guess.
i remember we moved into this one house on Victor Hugo drive. for some reason we had no living room furniture. it's funny, you don't ask where it went when you're little. anyway i remember my brothers brought some big pieces of wood home and nailed them together then took a green chenille blanket and draped that over it and that was our 'sofa'. the final humiliation, to say the least.
the life i live is luxurious in comparison. charcoal gray plush leather sofa and chair...it's like a big marshmallow.
welcome, Jean. i've noticed you around. thank you for commenting on this thread.
Thanks Cossette. I wasn’t little when this happened, I was 13 so I knew exactly what was going on and so did my friends parents ;( I moved out at 14, couldn’t take it anymore.
It’s nice your brothers built some furniture. We never would have thought of that,lol.
haha we were very resourceful from a very young age, no doubt.
thank you kindly, Izzy. and they do have lucid moments. moments when they know what they are doing to their children. it's just easier to retreat into the sanctuary of their addiction than face reality. i remember being very young, around six, and seeing it in my father's face...guilt and shame. children are very perceptive. moreso than adults realize. i loved my father and still do. but i do hold him accountable for the damage he inflicted on so many lives, and my mother as well for not protecting us. i wish we had had a relative willing to step in and take charge, but alas, there was no one.
ever hear this song? it's a good one. i think of him when i listen to this song for some reason.
Silent Lucidity by Queensryche
You made the same point I was thinking!
If addiction is a disease, how come as as smoker I am not considered ill?
As a nurse I was taught addiction to alcohol and drugs was a disease, but is it?
The physical symptoms of coming off cigarettes has been described as similar to heroin withdrawal - feeling as your skin is crawling etc - so there is a comparison to be made.
But like I made the choice to light that first cigarette that drew me quickly in to an addiction, are alcholics and drug addicts in the same boat? Their choice was when they first took it. Their returning choices were not really choices - they were addicted and had to have it.
I am so glad you wrote about the victim side of addiction though Cosette. It is something that no-one seems to ever talk about it. It's all about the addict. Not their children, yet they suffer the effects more than anyone, even the addict themselves, who are so out of it they do not realise what they are doing.
I think that line of thinking is screwing people up. They even say you inherit this disease. Neither I or my siblings are addicts. My adopted daughter gets health care paid for by the gov until she is 21 because apparently she will grow up to be an addict. What if I raise her properly, don’t allow her to go to parties, and keep her busy with normal kid stuff? Is she going to leave my house, go to the bar and automatically become addicted even is she is a happy well adjusted person? I doubt it.
even very young children sense when something is not right if their parent(s) are addicts. adults have a false perception of children not 'knowing' about their addictive behavior believing, 'they're just kids, they don't know what's going on.'
not true. kids have a deep sense and desire for security because it's part of the developmental growth pattern. when they're not receiving it, they may not be able to pinpoint what's wrong, but they know something is lacking, many even blame themselves, that mommy or daddy don't love me.
there is a lot of shame in a child of an addict unless or until they receive help in understanding it's not their fault.
cosette, you're a strong survivor who can help others.
you're right about that shame thing. maybe that is why i am such a perfectionist, even now..."i'm not like that, see?"
ACoA really made me come to terms with that part of the equation. i stopped apologizing for parts of my past that were not my fault. i think everyone should be accountable for their actions, including addicts. saying it is a sickness negates any accountability, it seems to me.
thank ((you)) for your comment.
I am the child of addicts and became one myself. Even though I grew into what I saw I still made the choice to do it. So I don't blame them. I (like many people) went through hell. Addiction is a disease of the mind, body ,and spirit. Drugs and alcohol are just a symptom of the need to escape. Escape from me. I had to identify where my negative self perception came from. That emptiness inside that I tried to fill anyway I could. I am in recovery now and I help other addicts. It is a disease. Terminal if not arrested.
My father drank hard and used to beat me with his belt. I have memories of welts, a swollen finger where the buckle caught it once and my mother screaming at him to stop.
When I was bringing up my daughters alone in difficult circumstances, out of despair I would hit the bottle after they went to bed. I don't know if they were ever aware of it or not. They have grown up into loving and beautiful young women.
I love an alcoholic. Have been through 2 years of physical and emotional hell as a result since we were able to set up home together. So many times, I have been tempted to show him the door, but in the end could not forget he had been my rock for 10 years, even though we could not be together at the time. None of the abstinence-based methods worked. However, now we seem to have found a way out for him using the Sinclair method. Four weeks in and he has not come home drunk, is alert again, doing things around the house, and I can once again see the man I fell in love with.
Sinclair method? have you written a hub about this?
Hmmm, this brings back similar memories for me too. I can't remember about 7 years of my life I was so out of it. One day my eldest daughter who was about 2 at the time, asked me if I was here, if I was awake. I was awake just out of it. From then on I didn't use drugs or alcohol - I decided to go with the pain and be a real human instead of one in hiding.
I am also a child of alcoholics as well as a recovering addict/alcoholic who finds the argument regarding addiction as a disease tiring.
My experience growing up was far from violent-their anger at each other was in hushed tones and I became a very tiny worrier, for want of a better word. This sort of childhood agony I still remember vividly, and it has indeed shaped the course of my life: in particular my personal relationships.
I am still terribly reticent when stressors present themselves, and have never learned to deal with anger successfully.
Ach, the list goes on, but I do believe much of my personality was shaped by the dysfunction in my birth family. I became an addict myself, as I said, but am uncomfortable labeling it a disease. I began my career as a user of substances for various reasons-genetics I do not blame.
more situational then biological? makes it no less real and difficult.
I have all the respect in the world for people who say ENNOUGH and stop the cycle. If they bacame an addict or not.
I really think so, Justine, though I realize it's not the prevailing sentiment. Yep, I mimicked much of the behavior-as all kids do-that I was surrounded by. Drinking behavior was my model, but drugs were not so stinky!
I love this thread. I so wish I would have seen it earlier... what, with all the icky banter here of late. I'm just not sure many people who haven't walked a mile in our shoes can "get it". For some reason a lot of this has resurfaced for me in the past few weeks. I'm so glad I'm not the only one...
I'm sorry, ws, for the last few weeks. It seems we have something in common-although you didn't give details about your situation, mine is an absolute madhouse containing 3 users/drunks in the home with me as the only sober one. I'm gonna tear my hair out one of these days! Thank God I am not a child.
Thanks, lorlie! Thanks for reading my hub, btw. I'll respond here a.s.a.p. Fortunately, my current situation is drug and alcohol free. It's all in the past for me, but for complex reasons has surfaced lately with a father attempting to reunite. I REFUSED to marry anyone who drank or used any substances, that's how crappy it all was. I hate everything about it: the smell, the rosy cheeks, the stupid banter.
I'm so sorry you're having to live through this, lorlie. I can't imagine being the only sober one now. If you need to talk, please email me any time. Oh how I remember. FYI, I think you are a very cool woman. Very talented writer, too.
Thanks so very much-I just might, so beware!
You know, I'm becoming sort of distant from the family because of that stupid banter, etc., and I get away from the house as much as possible-sometimes it is so disgusting.
In a way, I might as well be living with a frickin' alcoholic, though. My husband might as well be a dry drunk... he's so angry all the time. I'm so fed up I just don't know what to do. OMG... I've been holding this in for so long. I actually left him the summer before last, but came back "for the kids". It has a similar feeling to living with a drunk, it really does. So, in a weird way, I relate.
Both my parents were addicts. My mother died from the disease, and my father is in recovery. It's hard to be a child an addicts. We have a twisted sense of self-identity or at least I do.
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