In a situation like this with a drug addicted child/young adult; opening the door and allowing people in is a hard thing to do. You worry about judgment both for you as the parent and for your child as an addict. I know that most people don’t look at addiction as a disease. Prior to doing tons of reading on the internet, buying books and researching at the library on addiction I too found it hard to believe it was a disease medically proven. A predisposition they are born with and all it takes to activate this illness is to use alcohol or drugs one time and then they are hooked. It has to be true because when I was a teenager I tried drugs once and I didn’t like it and never did it again. It didn’t affect me like it did my son. It startled me and in a way took some of the guilt off me as I thought and still kind of do, blame myself. I’m found thousands of parents just like me suffer watching this happen to their child too and the similarities of events are shockingly the same.
When I opened the door to this tragedy allowing certain friends and family in on our enormous struggle with our son I found a mixture of different reactions. Most have been supportive and sympathetic to us and our son. But some don’t say much at first as I’m sure they don’t know what to say. One in particular all of a sudden in a conversation this past weekend voiced her opinion along with jabs at my parenting. An in-law attempted to be supportive but almost without thinking started to criticize me as if she knew the ins and outs of our parenting. She said “Now you know what you did wrong with Al, don’t make the same mistake with your youngest.” I sat and took it. She went on to say “You can’t be their friend you need to be their mother and not joke around with them and play immature games with them.” I found myself trying to explain to her the difference in my relationships with my two sons. I tried to explain how my relationship with Al was indeed close and that we have a connection that transcend words. We were silly at times and I thought “why am I trying to justify this with her!” At one point I just stop talking and agreed with her saying “OK” and “uh-ah”. I hung up the phone and thought “what just happened?” Afterwards it took me a while for it to all sink in and then I started to get angry and then hurt. Who is she to judge me?? She has no clue as to what kind of parent I am; she lives in another state and sees my family once a year if that?! I blow it off and tell myself to let it go. You’re not going to find support in everyone one you know so be prepared for it. Just another stab at my already broken and fragile heart! <Deep breaths>