As parents of addicts, I think the majority of us struggle with the question:
What did I do to contribute to him/her becoming an addict?
Then we hear our peers, and most of our addiction specialists assure us again and again: It was not your fault. There is research and evidence that shows addicts come from all types of families. It doesn't matter if they were loved or if they had obvious trauma in their childhoods - the disease of addiction was pre-existing in them and there was nothing we could have done to stop it.
But....its still nags at many of us. Maybe we could have stopped them from tying it the first time, maybe we really did do something to mess them up to the point that they sought out an escape.
Last night the speaker said that 80% of addicts have had abuse, neglect or trauma in their past (verbal, emotional, physical or sexual). That's a lot. I don't doubt that statistic, but if its true then wouldn't that also mean that some of us played a role in it? It was disturbing to hear that ugly statement coming from a professional in the field since I've worked so hard to not believe any of it was my fault.
I've come to the conclusion that if I did something - or did not do something - it was not intentional and it was done in love. I refuse to waste time and energy feeling bad about something that is in the past and can't be changed. I've apologized to Keven for the things I know I did wrong as a parent. He tells me over and over that it was NOTHING I did.
So if you start to go town that road, stop yourself. Blog about it or call a friend or email another parent. Don't let it rob you of the present moment because all parents make mistakes and addicts come from loving homes as well as unhealthy homes.
If you know your child had an unhealthy upbringing in your home, then you probably did too. Really, its a cycle that goes through many families but can be stopped. The last need we need is GUILT.
QUOTE From Kansas Bob's Comment (this really sums up this whole post!!!!)
"Years ago a friend told me that if I took the blame for my addicts failures then I would also be tempted to take credit for his success as well. It helped me.
My failures and successes belong to me.
His belong to him."
Peace, Hope and Love, Barbara