Mental illness is real. Some illnesses are talked about and recognized more than others, like bipolar disorder. Then there are ones that people think are made up like body dysmorphia, self mutilation, eating disorders, anxiety, and depression. We need to talk about mental illness because ignoring it or hiding it will only push others away. We need a good support system and people around us who understand when it's time to give us our space, comfort us, or just to remind us that it's okay. It's shows like these that take us from pretending mental illness doesn't exist, to talking about it without shame or embarrassment.
I'm not a mother yet. I don't the feeling of a mother/daughter relationship. I don't know how it feels to be a mom worried about her child, but I know how it feels to be a daughter worried about her mother. I think the comparison can be made because parents worry sick about their children. Teenagers are wild, reckless, and their brains aren't fully developed yet. My mom is wild, reckless, and her brain cells are fried from years of drug abuse.
It's 12 am and I am watching YouTube videos and crying. I watched a video about a family losing their 13-year-old son to natural causes. It breaks my heart to think of a family losing a child, much less a child at such a young age. Just like my wild mind does, it wandered.
Throughout the course of my childhood, my mom had many, many boyfriends. None as infamous as the "prison boyfriend", to this day I believe my mom had a fighting chance at recovery and he took that all away, now my mom is addicted to crack, same as cocaine just smoked instead of shooting or snorting. My mom and he were on and off till about 1994. About 1993 my mom, prison boyfriend, and my new half-brother moved to Florida. My mother now was a full fledged crack addict. Not only had my mom abandoned Jamie and I but now my little baby brother. Just a baby left to be raised by my Great Grandmother in her 80's at the time. I don't think prison boyfriend was in Florida very long before he left my mom and went back to Missouri. My mom then began her life on the streets.
I barely have any memories of my life before my mom's addiction started. I have no happy memories as a child of my mom that I can recollect, not one. There were lots of babysitters. Men, women, strangers, we were always with someone other than our mom. To be honest at the time I didn't really care, because when she was there she wasn't really there at all.
I went to school the next day with the article in my see-through binder. Yeah, I thought it was kinda cool. I had the cool mom. I had the mom that wasn't like any other mom. Really, I had a mom that wasn't a mom at all. I didn't really care about that at the time, though. I am sure teachers felt bad for me. The sad thing is, nobody said anything to me about it. It's like everyone in that town ignored the major issues. Not once did anyone make sure that I was okay while my mom was in jail.
As a part of the Pretties Addiction Series, I am asking other children of addiction to share their stories. The second contributor to this series is my childhood friend, Amanda. Her mother is an addict, like mine. Her and I grew up together and at that stage in our lives didn't even know what addiction was, but both of our parents were addicts. Fast forward years later and we both struggle with our mom's addictions every day. There are times when she's the only one I talk to about this stuff because it's hard to find someone that really understands. I hope that her post touches someone out there that is also dealing with an addiction in their family. If you need to talk or you have questions, please feel free to ask them! Her and I are open to any questions you may have. Thank you - Joyce (Owner of Women and Their Pretties)
I still remember the night that the world found out my mom was an addict. I already had my suspicions, but we didn't talk about those things in my family. As I said before, I remember my mom being "weird" and high, but it was never brought up in conversation. It was that nasty, dirty elephant in the room. We all knew it was there. We all looked around it, turned our heads, closed our eyes, and pretended it wasn't there. The thing is that nobody understood the size and severity of this "elephant" until it was fully exposed to the public. I will never, ever forget that night. It was the night that my entire life changed.
As a part of the Pretties Addiction Series, I am asking that those who have struggled with addiction themselves, write their story. The first contributor to this series is my paternal cousin Jamie Duboise. Both of her parents were addicts and sadly, Jamie went down the same path as them. I admire her strength and bravery to be honest and open for this series. Our goal with this series is to touch one soul. She hopes that her words will reach at least one person. If we can change one person, then that's a wonderful first step. Take a moment to read Jamie's story and let us know your thoughts in the comments section below. Thank you - Joyce (Owner of Women and Their Pretties)
Ellen Hopkins couldn't have been more correct with the metaphor in the book Crank. Meth isn't a drug. It's a monster. It's pulls in it's victims and takes over their souls. It's the monster in the closet that you were always afraid of as a child. It's the boogie man that nobody sees, but everyone knows it's there. It brings darkness to a beautiful bright day. It's the elephant in the room. It's a sickness. It's a terminal cancer. Meth is a monster and it will steal your moms soul.
I don't remember the day before my mom became an addict. I couldn't tell you the moment that everything changed or when she lost that beautiful spark that all mothers have. Maybe I just don't remember that far back or maybe the years of trauma have completely clouded my mind. I do remember the days when my mom wasn't herself. As if I were outside of my body, looking in. I can see my 8 year old self staring up at my mommy and wondering why she was being weird. I remember thinking, "What's wrong with my mommy?" I can still feel the nausea in my little tummy; a feeling that I got every time she was "acting funny". My mommy was a part of me. I didn't know what addiction was, but I knew something was seriously wrong.
If you've read my blog, you may have come across a few hints about this addiction series. It's been mentioned, but I wanted to gather all of my thoughts and ideas for this series before making an OFFICIAL announcement. Well, now it's official and I am excited and afraid. I have a few of my own "stories" or "vent sessions" written out for the series already. I also have a few amazing individuals that are willing to share their stories with all of you. This series will not only focus on how it feels to be a child of an addict, but it will focus on addiction in general. You can expect guest posts from: Children of Addicts, Recovering Addicts, Struggling Addicts, Family/Friends of Addicts, and maybe some informational posts. Drug addiction isn't a joke and shouldn't be spoken about lightly. You can expect every post to be packed full of raw and real emotions.