Sophie's Choice always comes into my mind whenever I feel like I am being put in a position that I must choose between my son and my daughters. It may be unfair and over dramatic statement, but when I saw that film I cried watching Sophie being put in a situation to choose between her children. At the time I was not a mother, yet I felt my heart strings and all my maternal instincts being painfully torn! Obviously I am not in such a torturous and hopeless situation as Sophie, and it is not which one of my children will live or die that I must decide, but in all honesty, I might as well be. I feel I am choosing who I love more, and I believe that that is how my children feel. This is what I feel in my heart.
My intellect is beginning to understand that our life is not so simplistic as our emotions sometimes lead us to believe. I must try to be less emotional and more logical. Not always an easy task for a mother!
I need to keep my eyes open and focused on the damage being down to my daughters and to myself, not because of my son, but because of the situation that his addiction has created. No child should have to be brought up in a home in which there are drugs, emotional abuse, constant tension, depression, fear, vulgar language etc.
Recently it has hit me hard that instead of thinking that my son has been suffering from his dependency on drugs for the last 5 years, I have been deeply saddened by my realization that my youngest daughter has been living amongst this dependency and its fall out for 5 of her 8 years!! That hurt me and made me feel I have let her down. I have let them all down. I can not regain her childhood, I can not regain my son's adolescence. I can not regain the years my middle child has lost during this battle either. I can however, prevent more years being lost, maybe not for all my children, but for two of them.
This still causes me great distress. Secretly I often wish I was not in this alone, so that I would not be the only one who has to shoulder all the responsibility. I also fear that that is a sign of weakness that I can not find the courage and strength to make these very difficult decisions alone. That will not change though, I can not bring my parents back from the dead, I can not wave a magic want and presto have a wonderful, loving, supportive man by my side and I can not transport my sisters from the other side of the world to be with me here. As long as I am scared to make tough choices, the more years my children and I will loose.
My key worker at the drug clinic will only have one or two more sessions with me before the allocated number of sessions are finished. And as she herself said, I have not really moved forward in that time. I am still stuck, we all are, stuck in our life in the life we have lived too long and do not know how to live otherwise.
She asked me what I wanted out of life, I really did not answer the question well but later realised that what I want out of life is for my children and I to ENJOY life, and none of us enjoying life at the moment, not at all!
Addiction damages the family, not just the addict. Who is to say who is suffering more? We are all suffering, but suffering in different ways, for different reasons. Maybe the better question would be, who can be helped? Who wants change? Who is going to make some steps to make those changes?
This article seems appropriate
I like the way it says that the addict and the family need to learn in "recovery is rewiring their body/mind
systems to be able to tolerate increasing amounts of emotional and psychological pain without
blowing up, shutting down or self medicating".
At the end of the day my maternal instinct tells me to do everything for my son, make him want to recover, be persistent and keep reminding him he needs to get better. Yet my logical side tells me that no matter what I do or say, if the addict is not ready to face their demons and have concluded on their own that they HATE their life so much and everything that has resulted from it, that they will do anything it takes to get better, no one can make it happen. I have heard it from others, and I have heard the little voice inside my head, "The addict must WANT to put an end to their addiction"...that voice is getting louder and one day it will over power the other voice in me that cries, "my baby, my poor baby".