“That’s something that was, but my parent beat it.” Nothing could ever be sweeter to the child of an addict.
If you are one, please know this – an addict doesn’t love drugs more than you. They are sick. There is always hope for a recovery. Never give up hope, even if you have to be pragmatic and realistic about the situation as it is.
An addict is not capable of fully parenting while under the influence. If there is a significant other in their life that can fill the gap, then it becomes possible. Sadly, addiction often causes neglect, which can cause the child(ren) to be taken away from the parent(s) by the courts or child protective services.
Drugs are often the choice of the addict because there is a bad pain that they need to dull. Then, the drug takes over their life.
My first marriage was destroyed by heroin. I wish I could have made a difference. Eventually I realized that I was not helping the situation and left with my daughter. In an ironic twist, after our divorce, he refused to pay child support. I struggled as a single, working mother doing low wage work and having to provide not only food and shelter but daytime child care and medical services. Her paternal grandmother had cared for her while I worked from the time she was 3 months old. I was offered an opportunity to make real money driving an 18-wheel truck. I didn’t know if I could do that work but I was desperate enough to try. I always thought my daughter’s time away from me would be temporary.
I never agreed to my ex raising our daughter. His mother turned her over to him. Had he not remarried a stronger woman than I was, with a daughter of her own, and had they not had a daughter together and were able to give my daughter a family, I would have intervened once I was strong enough financially to support her. We did have visits. It wasn’t much but I did what I could to stay connected to her under the challenging circumstances. Recently, I learned some sad truths that her childhood home was not as happy as I would have hoped for it to be. It is her reality and I am some cause of that. I fully accept my responsibility.
It is my lifelong sorrow that it never happened for her to return to being raised by and living under my own roof but she survived and we remain close. Though I don’t forgive myself for not being there, she understands that we were all doing the best we knew how. At least that.
I understand the pain of any mother who loses the opportunity to raise her own child, however that happens.