The Sad Truth

“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.

 

Complicated

I’ve been following threads this morning that touch on a topic that I have struggled with before.  It is complicated.  I am pro-Life in a pro-Choice way.  I believe it is a woman’s right to choose and I am deeply concerned about efforts to overturn Roe v Wade.  I just read yesterday that an amicus curie brief was released in which 205 Republican lawmakers, including 39 senators, have asked the Supreme Court to consider whether the 1973 protection of the right to an abortion “should be reconsidered and, if appropriate, overruled.”

Personally, I once resisted the suggestion to have an abortion.  My husband was a heroin addict and had developed hepatitis.  We had a nephew with severe birth defects.  My husband was concerned that our baby would also have negative impacts.  I don’t know why but I just knew she was perfect and defended her life.  She is perfect.

Yet, then I became pregnant under worrisome conditions.  I was taking exotic drugs of a psychedelic nature frequently.  My partner was not the kind of man who was going to be a supportive father.  I was not in a financial position to raise a child on my own.  I had already voluntarily surrendered my daughter to her paternal grandmother while I tried to get on my feet financially.  Shades of my maternal grandmother and how she lost my mom to adoption.

I had an abortion because it was safe and legal.  It was not an easy decision to live with, I will admit that.  It haunted me a bit.  I remember a message coming into my awareness that my son would come back when the timing was better.  It would happen 25 years later.  A son was born into a stable marriage with good circumstances.  Interestingly, my daughter had a similar experience with a still birth and when she became pregnant again, had the same kind of knowing that this was the same son’s soul that was lost before.

I have some concern about a missionary zeal that takes babies from vulnerable young women in order to indoctrinate them into evangelical Christian orthodoxy.  Yet, I also recognize that homelessness and drug use and a lack of financial and familial supports are a serious issue.  I have concerns that Roe v Wade will be overturned and young women will return to back alley abortions in their desperation.

I don’t really have answers to any of this.  Just concerns that are on my mind this morning.  Personally, I believe we live these lives to learn and develop at the soul level and that there are no mistakes, no death and an eternity in which to expand our awareness.