Monday, November 15, 2010

I thought we were good parents

For the first several weeks, the most powerful emotion I felt was guilt.  I thought we were good parents, how could I have missed the fact that our son was a heroin addict?  And how on earth could I have raised him to become an addict?  I had always been of the mindset that it's all about how kids are brought up, and however a person turns out has something to do with their parents.  This felt like a slap in the face and a kick in the stomach at the same time.  What did we do wrong?  Why did he do it?

Well, I still struggle with that and I think I always will.  But, I really hope that I learned some things that could maybe help other parents, and maybe just maybe... help me to understand too.  

I think he made a couple of bad decisions early on, he has to take responsibility for trying it in the first place.  But after that, it soon was out of his control.  Once the addiction took hold, he became a victim to the disease.  Yes, a disease.  The fact that addiction is a disease was not an easy concept to accept.  Once we accepted that, we could deal with it differently and recognize that the disease was causing our pain, not our son.

Son2 was very good at hiding things from us.  He was an excellent liar.  He played on our emotions, our sense of humor, our weaknesses, our distractions.  He manipulated us and it worked.  Neither one of us had a clue about the drug use until he told us.

Something that really helped me during this time was a support group.  I didn't want to go, I didn't think it would help.  But it helped me to realize that we were not alone, and it really helped me to think about things.

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