I have said in the past that I believe what people tell me. I think, for the most part, trusting others is a good trait. I think it’s a bad trait when someone tells me something, and when their actions don’t match up to their lip service, I blame myself for the “misunderstanding.” This has not served me well. It has served me even worse when dealing with a loved one who happens to be an addict.
And I hate that word addict because it sounds so dirty. I feel it doesn’t encompass what the whole picture is to me: a disease that one uses drugs and alcohol to self-medicate. I liken it to a diabetic: both are medical conditions, but there is still that personal responsibility to take care of oneself. The diabetic knows his body can’t process a stack of pancakes with extra syrup with a side of Dunkin’ Donut Munchkins, anymore than an alcoholic who can’t process alcohol. But either way you cut it, when being close to someone who is deep in his addiction, loved one live with holding their breath and waiting for the other shoe to drop.
Well, the other shoe recently dropped. And this time, for me, is different. Usually, I go into panic mode and wring my hands and try to wave flags to get the people to see the severity of the situation. I feel like it’s my fault if this person doesn’t get help. I get frustrated and sad and drained when my words fall on deaf ears.
For the past 15 years, I’ve always been the whistle blower. And for the past 14 years, I have felt that no one has ever taken me seriously. The person in question has hated me for this, claiming I am a tattle tale. And everyone knows, no one likes a truth-sayer. The people most affected by this situation have told me it is not what it seems, that everything will be fine. But this time, I bravely accept that this situation is not fine. This time I stand strong that what I am seeing is not going to get better on its own. This time I don’t feel the need to scurry and rant and rave for others to see my point of view. Because, this time, I see the sad truth with kind of clarity only healing and time can deliver. This time, I have never been more grateful for the time and money that I have spent on my therapy. I am also grateful for the Don’t Get Drunk Friday posts by Stefani Wilder Taylor at Baby on Bored for helping me understand this disease. This post, and this post by Aunt Becky at Mommy Wants Vodka also helped me see the families of addiction more clearly. Thank you, both, so much.
I believe that although the other shoe has dropped, rock bottom has not yet been met. I love this person more than words can say, but I watch the situation from afar. Someone who is not well is unpredictable and lashes out; I am not ready for those emotional scars to be ripped open to bleed again. I can’t be drained like that again, not with two Babes, now one who is old enough to understand when something is not right. I help from behind the scenes, the person never knowing my involvement. And even though I know in my heart, these boundaries are the right and healthy thing to do, I feel guilty.
My hope is that one day this person will accept help and become the person he is meant to be. My hope is that he will want to be with his family and help create that special fabric only extended family can make. My hope is that the Babes will get a chance to know him. My hope is that I will get to know him.