Sunday, June 2, 2013

Drugs and Alcohol and my life

Day Three

Your Views on Drugs and Alcohol

     There is a long, long history of drug/alcohol addiction in my family. I don't really know how far back it goes. But I do know that my father was an alcoholic. And I don't know if I ever saw him sober. There are some heavy drinkers in my immediate family. And my oldest son is addicted to meth! My ex-husband is an alcoholic and a meth addict. Drugs and alcohol have impacted my life is a BIG way. 

     I remember when I was a small child not really understanding what it meant that my dad drank. We would often get into the car to go to the bars to find him. I can remember the smells from the bars. I remember the thick, hanging cigarette smoke. And the smells of stale beer. And all the men sitting on the bar stools or playing dominoes or pool. I remember how my mom and dad would fight. I didn't know that it was because of alcohol. I just know that they fought. And that sometimes it was violent. Sometimes he would hit my mom. And sometimes he would hit one or more of us kids. And once I can remember that my mom hit him. With an iron. And the police came. And we went to grandma's house. And then the end that came when  my dad committed suicide. But it did not end there.

     My mom re-married. And he, too, was an alcoholic. And there was more fighting. And drinking. And the money issues. Because he would spend it all on alcohol. My mom was a classic enabler. She was attracted to these types of men. After many years of drinking my step-father quit. I was an adult with young children of my own. It was good that he quit. But then came the need for prescription pain medications. And that led to problems of another kind.
     
     Then I was married for the first time. And my husband was in the Navy. And it was the 1960's. And there was a LOT of marijuana around then. My husband liked to smoke. And he drank. And he got a job selling it on the West coast and did not want to come home to his family. And it destroyed a marriage.

      One day I received a phone call. The caller did not tell me who she was. She said that my oldest son was a drug addict and he needed help. He had two little kids by this time. Their mother was in jail. She was a habitual traffic offender. He was taking care of these two tiny little kids. But I knew in my heart that he was a drug addict. I didn't want to believe it. I wanted to keep my head in the sand. The law would be coming to his house. We helped him get rid of anything that might cause him some problems. But that only helped him to hide it better. I had to wake up. I had to admit it. He went to jail. He went to rehab. He went to jail. He went to rehab. A pattern was forming. I no longer had my head in the sand. And I could no longer enable him. We took his kids. We hired a lawyer. We told him it was over. It's up to him now and what kind of life he wants to live. And it is hard! But we have to stop the cycle. We have to stop the madness. We have to do what we can to end the patterns. We have taken a stance and we will fight the fight. Every single day. Until we win.

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ON MY TABLE


These flowers are sitting on my table and they look kind of like I have been feeling this week.
A little droopy. A little ragged. But still a bit pretty.


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13 comments:

  1. Those flowers are still beautiful, Paula!

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  2. Oh wow drugs/alcohol really affected a lot of people in your life :o that is so unfortunate! I suddenly feel very lucky that I don't have any family members that suffer from substance abuse. But the good thing you never got involved, but I guess it still took a huge toll on you :(

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    1. It takes a huge toll on everyone around those who use!

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  3. Drugs and alcohol have affected you in a big way. I am very proud of you for stopping the cycle. I know it was a tough decision because he is your child, but one made out of love. We can't help the ones that wont help themselves. I've learned that the hard way. Thank you for sharing your story. You are such a wonderful person to have gone through so much in life. I love that you didn't let your circumstances define you; you defined your circumstances. You are awesome!! The flowers are beautiful. *hugs* my friend.

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  4. My heart breaks for you, having to make those tough decisions. Your decision was so brave and sure, and I admire you! I've watched a family close to me enable their child for the last 30 years. The child has been in and out of rehab, pretty much depleted all the parents' money, and continues to steal from them and do the meth. Not to mention, the grandparents now raise the grandchildren. I don't believe it will ever end for them.

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    1. It is really so much HARDER to quit enabling them. But we had to quit. It was destroying us. And now it is all about his kids and keeping them from following the same path. Thank you Trinity. You always bring me a smile

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  5. Alcohol ... that was our family curse - grandparents, uncle and father. My dad died from a fall, but he would have been dead from alcohol in a few years. Yeah, I have memories. But I have buried them pretty deep. I have spent a lot of time warning, educating, threatening my kids against the excesses of alcohol - and I don't tolerate stumbling drunks. My first 21 years of that was enough with my dad. I am not a tea-totaler, but I am cautious. I treat alcohol with respect.

    Your own situation sounds very heart breaking. Some people break under such pressures. Sounds like you have gotten tougher!

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    1. Yep, they say that if my dad had not committed suicide he would have died shortly of cirrhosis of the liver. I, too, drink in moderation!

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  6. I truly believe you can't help people that don't WANT help...and until they hit rock bottom... there's nothing you can do. People are weak...and until they realize their own strengths... they will fail and fall into bad places. I mean, we've got an entire SOCIETY addicted to food... we can't make that illegal too. "have you had your caloric intake for the day?" No more twinkies for you. Free will... and for many, a free ride.

    So thankful you listened to your heart and saved those kids!

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  7. A beautiful post. I say beautiful because it's so enlightened. I am late to this blog prompt, but playing catch up. I'm sorry you had to go through all that, blessed that you made the tough decision to not be an enabler. It's not an easy path. Until someone admits they have a problem and actually realizes they need help, there's little anyone else can do. A sad situation, thank the Lord you have the children.
    Drugs & Alcohol Catching Up

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