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Monday, July 19, 2010

Only Child

I am not the mother of an only child.

I don't know if I would have acted differently if I was.

I am not the mother of an addict son.

My daughter had CHILDREN.

All of those things figured heavily into my actions and decisions over the past 11 years.

I had other children still at home. My job as a mother was to love and protect THEM from the fallout of their sister's bad choices/addiction/disaster of a life.

My basic feeling is that although I tried for years to help my daughter to get/stay clean, it wasn't working.

My first response was as a mother. save, save, save.

My second response was as a mother - protect, protect, protect (the other children)

My third response was as a mother, SAVE the grandchildren.

My fourth response was as a human. Stay sane. Do whatever it takes to not spend the rest of my life crying, wailing, guilty and miserable. Take back MY life and actually enjoy the days. Not be consumed by HER addiction any longer. Let HER addiction be HER problem.

she did it, she can fucking well deal with it. I am not the addict. I did nothing wrong. I didn't force her or contribute to anything that led her to use.

I took back MY life from the insanity and set myself free.

Would it be different if she were an only child? I dont' know. I won't cast stones, because I live in a VERY FRAGILE GLASS HOUSE.


  1. Oh Dawn, the end result would probably be the same. It doesn't do any good to play the guessing game. You did (and every loving parent does) the best you know to do under the circumstances. It is a horrible thing we all have to deal with and we have to stay strong for ourselves and our loved ones. You are always in my prayers and I admire what you do for your family.

  2. Dawn, how did you take your life back? I wanted to stop, fix, protect and clean up after Stevie.... now I just want to know. I want the connection to still be there- even though it is a connection to fell.
    I admire you!

  3. Jan, one day I just sort of stood up and said enough is enough! I have had it with worrying constantly if you are going to use, die or whatever.

    YOU are taking control of my life and I won't allow it anymore. It's bad enough that heroin has to control YOU, but I don't have to let it control ME.

    Leave. Get on a bus, get hit by a bus, I don't really care either way, just get out of my house and out of my life. I will not worry about you anymore, if you die, it is your own fault - I will mourn you but I won't be surprised, I expect it will kill you, if you live and get sober, it is your own doing, I will be proud. If you go to jail you are probably a criminal and belong there. don't call me. If you overdose and are in hospital, you did it to yourself, don't call me.

    I am DONE. It is NOT my problem, I didn't cause it, can't cure it and cannot control it.

    Take your addiction, your heroin, your behaviors and your manipulations and lies and just go.

    IT was rocky there for a year or two. Now, we are civil. I don't ask. I don't listen. If she brings any of it up, she is asked to leave immediately. If she nods off while her, I take her home - no questions, I just say "come on, you are nodding and I'm taking you home NOW". If she reverts to manipulative behaviors, she is asked to leave or I will call the police.

    I call her on her birthday, I still buy her presents, I still take her calls. I allow her to visit her children. She allows me to take the one she still has for overnight visits.

    But heroin no longer runs my life, or impacts it at all really.

  4. I am the mother of an only child, but everything you write applies to me 100%. I KNOW when I read your words, but when will I submit??? Every time I am miserable, I KNOW it is my choice - yep - I did it again - made off with the steering wheel but forgot the car. Someday I will be 100% at not making myself crazy!!! Right now I know I have made a lot of progress, but still have a ways to go.
    I like your last post too, as I am guilty of those self-destructive thoughts that - oh, this is over! ha!
    Thanks to you and my other blog friends and Al-Anon I am much further along at this stage.
    God bless and, as always, thanks!

  5. As the mother of many your words really resonated with me.
    I am trying Dawn. As you commented on my blog post "day by day".
    And now I am CHOOSING to live my life, on MY terms, not my daughter's- day by day.
    ps. you are a rock. Thank you for sharing your strength.

  6. hi dawn,

    thank you for inviting me to read your blog. i so admire you and your long journey. i totally respect you for raising your grandchildren. i love the cast of characters on your sidebar, expecially bonehead. that made me laugh out loud. your words have impacted me greatly. i started my blog just a few days ago in search of the truth and as much honesty as i could handle nd i've found it here. thank you.