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Saturday, August 28, 2010

Kindness ?

Regarding my last post, linking to Can You Accept The Truth , Her Big Sad left a comment. Her comment inspired this post. But, this post is not directed at her. It is a rant.

I do see the point. However, when a parent first finds out their child is a heroin or opiate addict, everyone SURROUNDS them with kindness. At least that was my experience. Friends hug you, at least the ones you tell. The community here surrounds you with cyber hugs and tells you you are not alone in this walk.

Everyone talks about what programs are best, what clinics work and don't work, what interventionists are the best, how much they cost, etc.

Not too many people out here in cyber land just simply say, you can't win against heroin. Heroin always beats out families. you cannot help your son/daughter. all you can do is minimize the damage.

Our kids get arrested. I read posts about how unfair this is. How our poor babies are locked up with "criminals!!" and not even offered any help at all.

Who says, well it's because they broke the law and they are criminals. You think you feel any different that a mother or father who's child is locked up for manslaughter because the kid drove drunk and killed someone? That kid is really sorry, about 2 seconds after they sober up. They will continue to be sorry the rest of their lives. And they will continue to think they don't deserve to be locked up for ONE LITTLE MISTAKE. And so will their parents.

We don't all see things from the same perspective. We know that. There are so many of us out there now.

Can You Accept The Truth has some very valid points. Once of his posts starts out "you will read this and not believe it...."

How true is that? We ALL did that. We do not, did not, wish we didn't have to, accept the truth.

For 11 years now, I have been saying a variation on a theme. Stop enabling your children with love. Give up hope. Turn your hope over to God and let Him deal with it.

I have said "your child is dead. They may be still walking and talking, but YOUR CHILD is DEAD."

And, no one wants to believe that. I have strongly advocated for parents to immediately seek out grief counseling to grieve for your dreams that will never happen.

I have said, kick the kid to the curb. It is the KINDEST thing you can do for him/her. Make them go hungry, make them be unable to bathe, make them stand on a street corner and beg for money to buy heroin to shoot in their veins. Make them prostitute. Take away your love, take away their comfort, take away your implied PERMISSION for them to continue to be a f'n addict.

Because every single time you feel sorry for them and give them a ride, feed them, call them, reassure them of your love, give them a hand up, or a hand out, you are, in fact, enabling them.

You really don't have to like the facts. You don't even have to accept them, or agree with them. But your denial doesn't change the facts.

You can send them to rehab. It might even work. There are always cases that stand out.

But truthfully, until you have actively stopped every single iota of support from you, emotional, physical, financial and otherwise, your addict is going to have the feeling that you are always going to be there. They will NOT HAVE CONSEQUENCES for their actions. The strongest consequence an addict can face is loss of family. You can still love them, from a distance. But until an addict has lost everything, EVERYTHING they have, and sometimes even that won't work, an addict will not hit the elusive "bottom" that we all pray our addicts hit. Or they will not have that AHA moment that other parents think is the catalyst for change. Whatever you call it, bottom, eye opener, catalyst, AHA moment, it will not be reached until all hope is gone for the addict.

So kindness? It doesn't happen in my world. The kindest thing I ever did for my daughter was turn my back on her completely, and take her kids away. She isn't clean, she is on methadone. But by my doing that, kicking her out when she was pregnant with MY GRANDCHILD, she was either going to die painfully or get her shit together. At that point, I didn't care either way.

Harsh? Yeppers. You all know me, and you know I can be in your face harsh.

Someone spoke of those homeless addicts who's families have abandoned them. And that they didn't need to.

Really? And the addict didn't need to keep using. The addict was given a choice in just about every circumstance. Clean up or get out. They CHOSE to continue to use. Disease or not. They chose to not get or accept help. Now, they are homeless. THEY gave up their family.

Where do you draw the line? Only you know. All of us will spend thousands of dollars first. It's just what we, as parents do. We all walk the same walk, at different times.

Those of us at the end of the walk, after YEARS of tears and heartbreak and financial ruin think differently than those of us who have just started the walk.

Yes, we are harsh. The addict gave us that.

Do I feel bad when an addict dies. Yes. I feel for the family left behind. Do I feel bad for the addict? No. I don't. And I won't either. Every single addict knows that every single time they hit up could be the last. And they just simply do not care.

Harsh is now my middle name. If you don't like the truth, don't read it.


  1. I'm surprised you didn't write in ALL CAPS for the whole post b/c I know that has to be how you feel as you read some of our blogs. I'm glad I read this post when I did b/c I needed the reminder to STOP FEELING guilty I haven't called Heather. I haven't talked to her in a week (since my birthday), left her a message while I was bored waiting outside Panera for my Aunt to show up. She hasn't called back. When my friends don't call me back, I don't keep calling them. Thanks for the reminder. I know this is a small thing in the grand scheme of your post.
    Reading this particular post reminded me of buying lottery tickets - and all the people who say not to waste the $1, that at least you'd still have the $1.
    I always appreciate your honest posts, you've really helped CARRY me many times this past year.
    God bless.

  2. Thank you for your rant. And I honestly mean that. I know there are times when you probably want to reach through the monitor and shake some of us. Thank you for continuing to say your piece. You and your experience and strength and hope (in God! :) I was listening!) are so very valuable to me.

    I think I'm probably just too beat up by this whole thing. I want to hear everyone's viewpoint. I hope to hear it said in a way that I can take it in without feeling attacked (not saying in any way that YOU write in an attacking fashion, earlier today I was just trying to express the way that I hear best and I'm not sure I'm making sense).

    I also FEEL PERSONALLY, from experience, that no one solution works for everyone. I can point to several addicts I know personally and have grown to love, who were finally ready, whose parents/families didn't kick them to the curb, and somehow, they've racked up 6, 10 and 11 years clean respectively. They're on their own now.

    I guess the thing that frightens me, is when someone says their way is the only way that will work? Since I've seen it work in more than one way, a declaration that someone else's viewpoint is The (only) Truth makes me nervous. But then again, every single one of us is entitled to speak our truth. And I will continue to take it all in, and sort it through, and try to make some sense out of it and apply in in a way that makes me a healthier person (and less likely to hurt my daughter with my kindness).

    I have a feeling I've rambled on and on and not made sense.

    As usual though..... love, hugs and prayers for you and your family!

  3. I wish I knew how to make italics or underline in a comment. The use of caps above was not to yell, but for emphasis.... sorry! :)

  4. Dawn, I read Can you accept the truth's blog and he doesn't tell me anything I don't know. However, that being said, he creeps me out. He is a very arrogant person. He critizes people's blogs like he has a right to. He seems to think he is God's gift to parents of addicts. I won't read him anymore, he is too arrogant for my taste.
    As you know, my daughter denounced her family when we quit enabling her. This fact however, did not put my resourceful daughter in the ditch. She is still an active user, and just switched her blood relatives for non-blood relatives. No problem there.... Only because she is not in touch with her family, does not mean she has landed in the gutter. At least not yet. She will always find people who are gullable and give her and her family a hand out. She just tells whoever would listen, how her family has deserted her, how her mom told her to have an abortion, etc. (all lies) and people have mercy on her. She is hard wired and it will take a miracle to ever get her off drugs.

  5. As I've posted about myself and thought about recently, each person's truth is their own. No one is the absolute expert on being a parent of an addict; and whether anyone else agrees with me or not, I believe each individual reacts differently to different things (even addicts and certainly their families). That being said, I don't feel "bad" or "guilty" reading anyone else's post because I take what I need from it at that moment and leave the rest. And yes, sometimes I need a kick in the a.. and sometimes I need some kindness; and it seems that out there, all of that exists. I hope you never stop posting and commenting because I never want to stop reading your posts.

  6. I won't be reading him ever again and agree with the posts above. I do however always appreciate your point of view and the fact that you can say what you mean without making others defensive. Thank you so much for that, it has helped me a lot, even if we don't always agree about every single point.

  7. Bristol. Denouncing my daughter didn't work either. Sometimes that sucks really, REALLY bad. Other times, I can deal with it pretty well.

    Junkies are so resilient. They can live for days on a dollar or two LOL. And still manage to get dope.

    I know that my daughter still, after losing two of her kids, not having family, etc..still hasn't hit her bottom. Apparently, she doesn't HAVE a bottom to hit.

    Sad. She still blames everything and everyone for her addiction, everyone, except herself. She still denies alot. She still tells people that she only goes to methadone clinic because of rheumatoid arthritis pain management. Sigh.

    I just keep contact with her at a minimum, and just so she can visit the two kids I have custody of.

    To me, she is still an addict, even though on methadone maintenance therapy.

    I hate being around her.

    Kicking her out didn't work to help her get clean.

    However, Kicking her out did HELP ME to stay sane and not live in the constant reminder, constant drama, constant worry, constant idiocy.

    And for that, it was worth it.

  8. I won't be posting here again as I have too many who "despise" me here and I wouldn't want to detract from the good work Fractalmom is doing.

    I did put a disclaimer on each post and a more detailed one that I will ask all to read before continuing on my blog.

    Due to your comments and suggestions from professionals I will make some adjustments to my blog but I doubt they will be enough to win the "Blog of the Year" contest.

    By the way, I agree with just about every comment made about me.