Reconnecting With Your Kids In Recovery
I hurt many people on my path of self-destruction. I have lost many, actually most of them. My children are teenagers now but they have each suffered in their own individual ways from my drug abuse and addiction. I cannot say one has suffered more then the other but my daughter is the oldest.
She had to be the mom and protect her little brothers from being taken or from anyone finding out that something was wrong with me. She was 11 years old when it started after my husband left. It got worse six months later when my dad died. By 12 she did her best to hold everything together, checking the boys homework, making sure they took their baths, cooking dinner. I was locked in my room or home office getting high and drinking myself to death, during the day I mostly slept and she had to watch her brothers.
A year past since my husband left the winter before and I was quickly wasting away and loosing everything.including the house. The landlord gave me plenty of time to find a new place but he wanted to tear the place down. I started staying in the city at my new boyfriend’s house and sending the kids to stay with my sister. I began shooting up and smoking crack. Eventually, I stopped picking them up and by the summer I had signed custody over to her.
My daughter hated it, she cried constantly, in her eyes I chose my boyfriend and drugs over her. When I got out of jail 2 years later and moved in with my sister and my kids my relationship was strained with my daughter. I had forgotten how to be the mother and I became her friend to win her back. It was long before I was back on drugs and robbed my sister. I was arrested and sent back to jail and when I got out I was back in the city living in motels with my new boyfriend. I finally got clean 9 months later through the methadone program and Narcotics Anonymous. Within a few months my kids were at my 1 bedroom apartment all the time. My sister saw that they wanted to be with me and I wanted to be with them, I was serious about recovery. She gave them back to me and they have been with me ever since. My youngest lives with his dad but I get him whenever I want and he’s with us every weekend.
We lived in that 1 bedroom apartment for a year and a half, I was clean and super recovery woman through it all. Unfortunately my daughter viewed me as friend not a mother anymore, she and I were close but everything I gave into was out of guilt including allowing her much older boyfriend to move in with us. I could not say no to her, I forgot how to parent her.
After almost two years of a pretty great life together even though we lived in that 1 bedroom apartment, we didn’t care, we loved being so close, all of us. Then we moved into a 2 bedroom apartment around the corner and problems started. I isolated, became hostile and irritable. I stopped attending meetings, many other things happened bottom line is I relapsed. I relapsed hard and fast. Whatever faith and trust I had from my family was gone, my kids ran their own lives and in doing so we were evicted for the constant in and out and slamming doors of my son’s friends among other things. We had no where to go but the city.
We moved back to the city last summer in August, by September I was back in methadone and a week and a half later I was clean. I have been ever since and doing whatever I can to protect my recovery. It must come first and before anything else or I am no good to anyone.
My daughter resisted when I began to become involved in her life again. She rebelled over and over. Recently it has become so bad that what little resemblance of relationship I have with her is dwindling away. I get so frustrated and I realize now that when I look into her eyes, into her soul, I am looking at myself and I project that onto her. I see her walking my path of self-destruction, I scream and yell but really I am screaming at myself, I’m resenting myself. Something had to be done.
Someone suggested we write letters to each other. We started two days ago and it’s working, we are sharing a journal and writing to each other because we cannot communicate. I have to say I really hope it lasts. Reconnecting with her is a challenge and I need to remember I have two other sons who are hurting too.
Healing takes time. It cannot happen overnight the way we want it to. As addicts we are always searching for that immediate or instant gratification but, this is a process, it’s a journey. We have to learn patience and place things in our Higher Power’s hands because there is only so much we can do. The important thing is we try.