Growing up with an addict

this could be the first time I have put all of this into words for people aside from my closest friends or family.  Growing  up with an addict is strange.  Children of addicts become different than other children in a way I find difficult to explain.  We know we’re different than our friends, but we don’t know how or why. We carry the trauma of our childhood with us through the rest of our lives.   For me.. growing up in a home faced with an addicted parent.. in my case my father.. was isolated.  I learned to cover up my feelings very early on as if they didn’t exist or matter.. I learned that other peoples happiness and health was more important than my own.. and I learned that I was different.. and always would be.  As I have aged now into my early twenties, repressed memories of my botched childhood begin to resurface, and I realized that my childhood was a little less than ideal… 

I have become accustomed to my overdeveloped sense of responsibility for other people because I would rather take care of others than myself.. I mean come on.. I did learn this behaviour before the age of 10…  I am often full of guilt for many actions taken in what would have been a normal young adults life… such as going to parties and drinking alcohol with my friends… even if it’s not excessive.. I find it almost impossible to differentiate between love and pity because I want to fix every person that needs fixing.. pity feels like love because it fills the heart and takes over… 

 I have so many memories from my childhood blocked out it is a little bit difficult to recall a lot of good and bad times.. What I can remember vividly.. as I’m sure many children of addicts can relate to.. is the first time that I realized something about my family was very very different.. at the age of 8 or 9 my father went to rehab for the first time.. as a contractor and being he told “daddy’s away for work”  I knew something was up.. what kind of contractor goes out of town for a month to work with no warning? A few weeks after he had gone to rehab, we were allowed to go visit.. I can clearly remember the drive and begging to pick up a “get well soon” helium balloon and a chocolate bar that melted on the dashboard of the car.  
 
this was not the first time I watched my dad go to rehab.  I watched his health and recovery slip out of his hands many times after that year.. including disappearing for days at a time.. talk of money disappearing.. watching my mom slowly go “crazy”.. 
 
in 2010 shortly after I came home from my first year of university, I discovered my dad had relapsed and was using again… how did we find this out?  His phone shut off, he didn’t come home for 24 hours and he was found the next day in a motel almost dead, body full of a cocktail of drugs and alcohol.. he had tried to commit suicide and was placed in the hospital for 72 hours.  shortly after he came home, he went to rehab for 50 days in florida.  
 
Most recently.. when I came home from my 3rd year of university to attend to a friend who was in hospital for mental health related reasons.. my father bent down to pick up his glasses and his pipe fell out of his pocket and landed in front of me.. using again.  
 
he has now been clean for almost 1 year….. “apparently”… who am I to believe this after all the lies I’ve been told in the past about being clean, getting clean… and staying clean.  I’d be crazy to believe this is the time he stays clean forever.  
 
As for me.. I am still learning to cope… depression, anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder are not all uncommon to me.  Thoughts of suicide have become rampant in the past year. 
 
Here’s to hoping my family makes it out alive.. literally. 
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For those who know

For those who know what it’s like to stuffer from any form of depression, be it mild or severe… You know what it’s like when I say the only place I want to be is bed. I want to go to sleep and never wake up. Becoming sick and tired of the way my life is going and the way those apart of it are acting. Wait.. I should take that back…. I do have 2 people who have stepped up to try a support me and understand what I’m going through. But what I have to ask is why is it that the friend I have known since birth… The one who has just as much going on in her mind as I do… Isn’t there for me. After thinking about it last night I realized…. This person thrives off of other people’s weaknesses and unhappiness…. If someone else is vulnerable they are easier to pick at and make the other person feel better about themselves. It’s been like this as long as I can remember but i always made excuses and forgave and moved on. I don’t think I can move on anymore. I’m not strong and I’m not stable and I can’t take being made to feel even smaller and more worthless. Time to cut my losses. So is it time I end my life? I think before that becomes my life conclusion I owe it to myself to try one more time to climb out of this hole.

expectations

expectations

It has been said that the people we love most have the capacity to hurt us most. I often wonder why is this the case. I think I know my answer. As an individual who constantly strives to make everyone happy before myself.. I have begun to realize that not everyone in my life thinks and acts that way in a reciprocal fashion…Though For as long as I can remember I’ve always thought everyone else around me is better.. I have created perfect images of everyone in my life and decided that they can all do no wrong.. but I can. Because I hold such respect for those in my life that I love, I truly had myself convinced that every bump in the road was in fact my fault.. this starts to hurt after a while. But is it really all my fault? How many mistakes can a single person make… maybe I’ve been acting as a doormat for too long..

As I sat with 2 old friends for dinner tonight and listened to them regale stories of nights I had not been apart of.. I began to realize I had been silent a long time and no one had asked me if I was alright.. (do I sound like a narcissist yet ?). I realized this is because they were having a jolly old time.. and I, across the table.. was having a thundering reality check that maybe you’re childhood friends aren’t meant to be your adult friends forever. People change.. they change.. I change.. and our environments change. I am no longer interested in clubs, bars, alcohol, house parties or “wild nights” … I’m interested in quiet nights in with close friends in an intimate and comfortable setting… So.. does that mean it’s time to let go? How do you let go of people you have lived through experiences with and loved for so long? When these people whom we think of so highly and for whom we have created this immensely perfect image in our minds, do something to knock down that perfect image, everything is thrown for a loop… but maybe this is all supposed to happen… maybe every single person we meet and love is not meant to be a long lasting person in our lives… Maybe these people we have grown to love and then grown apart from are only meant to be temporary lessons in life before we move on to our next chapter.. Everyone is going to change.. and it is not my place to judge them.. but what I can judge is the place my life is heading and if I am unhappy with that because of the people I choose to spend my time with .. maybe it’s time that I make that change

Work to forget

Sometimes I feel like going to work is the only thing that can get me through a full 7 hours without thinking something negative. I love my job, I Love the people I work with, love my boss and I love most of the customers that come into the store. Going to work forces me to put a smile on my face and stay in a good mood all day, but it feels true… It doesn’t feel forced like when I go to college or go out and people ask you “how are you?” And you jam a huge fake smile on your face and reply “I’m great thank you how are you??” Like a robot programmed to respond that way no matter how you feel .. Sometimes work saves me when I feel like nothing else can because it gives me a reason to present myself nicely, smile, be polite, and get things accomplished that I can feel good about. If only I could feel like that all day every day