Quote of the Week

"If I cannot do great things, I can do small things in a great way" ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

If Only They Knew ~ Written by Violet
Posted by:Sally--Sunday, July 10, 2011

It seems there is an endless supply of people with “good intentions”, who have made it their mission to “fix” me.

I do understand I have plenty of issues that could use some fixing but not by people who have not walked in my shoes, which are not so big right about now.

They truly believe that if only I follow their advice my life will be “fixed”.

Do they not know that I live my life morally with values so I could demonstrate direction for my sons in choosing between right and wrong.

Do they not know I gave consequences for bad behaviors.

Do they not know I how hard I tried to pick up the pieces left from their fathers suicide.

Do they not know it’s hard to smile all the time when you live with the demon of addiction.

Do they not know that I still get up each day and pray about the things I cannot change.

Do they not know how hard each relapse can be.

Do they not know that even though my son is an addict he is still a person with feelings.

Do they not know I do not want them to pretend my son is dead.

Do they not know I am learning not to enable and to detach with love.

Do they not know I need support not criticism.

Do they not know I sometimes just want a shoulder to cry on or an ear to listen.

Do they not know I carry enough guilt (warranted or not) on my own, without their help.

Do they not know I have tried everything I know to help my son and myself to live not just exist.

Do they not know I understand that to live does not mean you’re alive.

No, they do not know.

As I think about how these issues affect me. I have to also remember I have been guilty of some of them myself in dealing with my son.

On this path of addiction I have learned from many of you, to listen more to what my child is really trying to say and act instead of reacting. Although I am not doing that so well right now with the good intentioners.

My hope is that people will realize that just because my son is an addict does not mean I was an absentee parent.

I was there to change his diapers, to stay up all night when he was sick, for his first steps, his first day of school, his first surgery, his first broken heart, the first lie I caught him it, the first bag of weed I found, the first pill, the first heroin stamp, the first relapse, the first court appearance, the first stay in Shuman..

No they do not know….

It’s easy to judge from the outside in (isn’t that an inpatient placement place?) which is something I have learned from our journey. I have made a conscious effort to try and not succumb to that temptation with not only people I meet, but also my son.

I believe that I am stronger now, able to stand but every time I get knocked down by a good intentioner, it takes a little longer to get back up. As an addict's mother, I have learned, again from many of you, not to back down. They have stood me up at the gates of Hell (where families of addicts all have seen) but I WON’T BACK DOWN.

I read a saying that time heals all wounds, but even healed wounds leave scars, which will be with us forever. I pray for healing of my wounds so I can start dealing with the scars.

Although I don’t see the light at the end of the tunnel yet, I believe I do see a glimmer. So for today I will walk towards it and hopefully someday I will be out of the tunnel and into the sunshine with my boys at my side.



Max said...

You should be a professional writer!
Not only is this a beautifully written piece, it is one all of us at PSST can totally identify with. We are all here for you, and HEAR for you!

Rocco said...

I hear you loud and clear Violet.

Although I will admit that I was guilty of this prior to becoming a parent of an addict. Sally and I did not have a lot of personal experience with addiction or alcoholism so we were some of the people who had all of the good intentions but little knowledge to go with them.

I never actually tried to shame anyone but:

I had no idea of what parents of addicts were going through.

I had no idea of why parents of addicts would “put up” with their child’s bad behavior.

Like most people with good intentions I suspected that the parents were either not parenting enough or in some cases were “over-parenting” and their kids were rebelling.

I certainly never understood the quantity of drugs or the easy access to drugs that our young children have today in our schools, at our convenience stores, at our parks and playgrounds and throughout our safe and secure suburban neighborhoods.

I had no idea that the local police/magistrates have bigger issues to deal with than teenagers “just using marijuana” and will typically let them go with a slap on the wrist and a fine for the parents to pay.

I really had no idea how disgracefully our Medical Insurance [*so-called] Providers handle our addicted children and our families. *I now refer to them as our Medical Insurance Deniers!

I had no idea how insanely skewed our privacy laws are concerning a parent’s ability to get information about what drugs, how much and how often our kids are using from their service providers.

I never understood how ill-equipped and poorly prepared our school systems are in addressing teenage drug abuse. They typically do some seminars for the kids and their parents, pass out posters, bumper stickers and other paraphernalia and feel that they have done all that they could. The truly outrageous aspect is the parents that pressure the school boards not to address the addiction issues because it may reflect badly on their schools and their community.

I never actually experienced or fully understood the “Just Using Marijuana Gateway” to harder drugs.

I never knew the devastating effects that drugs [including “just marijuana”] had on the adolescent brain.

As we like to say at PSST Meetings – “I knew how to be a good parent; I did not know how to be a good parent of an addict.”

One of the ways I have learned to detach from feeling bad when talking with others is to be somewhat open and candid with them – they are either truly interested or they are scared away from talking with me in the future.

You have been one of PSST’s better examples of how to continue to support and work with our children Violet.

Thanks for expressing the feelings of a lot of us parents of adolescent addicts.


"Actions speak louder than words; let your words teach and your actions speak." ~ St. Anthony of Padua

Jessica said...

I know that I need to develop a thicker skin, because it really troubles me when "good intentioners" say "Really ? All of this for JUST marijuana ?"

AS Violet stated it so well, no one knows the whole story unless you have lived it.

Thank you Violet and Rocco for validating all of us through your posts.


Wilma said...

What a wonderful post. You are an AWESOME writer. You have expressed so eloquently what we PSST'rs feel.
Your comments also hit home. I myself thought "its just weed" and how many people do I know that experimented when they were young and turned out o.k. Little did I know how devasting "just weed" could be.
Thank you both so much for your amazing words.


Anonymous said...

God Bless You! Everything you have put into words, are felt by my soul.

I'm so tired of hearing "well, hopefully he learned his lesson". What a pile of BS.

PSST will always be here for you, and is stronger because of your sharing and caring.


Lloyd Woodward said...

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