Sunday, January 2, 2011
Addiction's affect upon relationships
I was just about to e-mail someone in my extended family, and thought about how our son's addiction has affected my relationship with that person. Although this family member very much loves D and us, over the past year's of D's addiction and what we've all gone through, our relationship has changed, ..more recently, into a more shallow one, I'd say. This person has been consistently supportive and has prayed for D and us throughout this painful journey. However, as with many people that aren't the addict's parents, or the ones "on site" and seeing the addict regularly, there's so much that's not apparent or known by them, that is to me, too much to necessarily explain, detail wise,...event wise, ..that changes the understanding of it all. After all, they're hearing what's happening from me, colored by my emotions and not necessarily often seeing the addict,...if they don't live locally, as with my family member. As much as my husband and I have so often been very angry, resentful, and fed up, even detached from our son due to his behavior and choices from his addiction, .....I can also feel frustrated by others that are close to me that don't understand it all better, especially from some aspects that I've shared with them. I guess I'd like them to also know how much D was predisposed to this from the get go,...how he's always been more affected biologically than my other kids,....that he'd never thought he would end up this way and has great shame about it. I KNOW he made numerous wrong choices....I KNOW that he's been selfish and a liar and hurtful and all the other negative things that addicts do, but I also know that it's not black and white and that D himself isn't like others who also experimented with marijuana and drinking as teenagers, including myself. It affected him differently from the beginning. This family member and I had a tough conversation when he kept suggesting that D go to Teen Challenge, a wonderful program,...which I'd have loved that D go to. But at that time,...it was extremely iffy that D would go to any treatment program,...never mind commit to a program that's over 1 yr. long. My relative got angry on the phone, and since then, doesn't mention D at all, and if I mention him, he quickly talks about something else. He knows that he's out of state in treatment right now. I just realize that it's another facet of addiction,...for those that love them.....there are so many things that are affected by it. However, it does hurt and I am working on having better perspective on it. I know my relationships with others have been affected too,...friends I haven't seen or talked to for a long time, that I'd normally have been in touch with, etc., but I'd let D's addiction shut them out as I tried to cope with it. I look forward to working more on having those relationships come back in touch again this year, whether or not D is in recovery,...for I certainly don't know what will happen in the future. I'm thinking that my experience is pretty common and really, I wish that society in general understood more about addiction and how it happens. I hope that more and more is made clear in the future in our country and others.