Addiction can take many different forms. Too often we dismiss addicts as the crazy people we see on television not realizing that an addict could be our next-door neighbor, our best friend and in some instances, our parents. For this woman she remembers her childhood by the arguments that her parents had. Hiding in a closet or behind a couch she eventually realized that her mother was the aggressor. She decided at a young age she didn’t want to be anything like her parents but when she was old enough, she left home, got in with the wrong guy and began the cycle all over again. How do drugs overtake your life? What makes someone who grew up in a terribly difficult situation do the exact same things and become the exact person she never wanted to be? It is when her addiction finds her on the ledge of an apartment building holding her daughters’ hand that in a drug induced hallucination that she actually finds clarity. This is a story that reminds us that where we come from is not something to try and outrun, but rather a set of circumstances that we must embrace an overcome in order to be stronger adults than our situation set us up for.
The first time I watched my mother abuse my father I believe I was about seven. I had lived most of my life listening to them argue and fight but that was the first time it ever really clicked, the reality that even though I heard both of them screaming it was my mother who is abusing my father. Another typical story, not exactly what most people believe domestic violence is but that is the world that I grew up in. I always told myself I would be nothing like my mother, I wouldn’t be abusive, my children would never see that side of me. It was definitely there. I have seen my mother come out from inside me and I hate it every time it happens. I won’t do that to them, I am trying too hard to not do that to them. But life has a way of giving you everything you don’t want, need or ask for… it’s someone’s karma I suppose. Because as I stand here my daughter was four years old the first time she had to dial 911 and tell them, “My mommy is dying. Mommy swallowed something special and she’s dying.”