This I believe

Brittany - phoenix, Arizona
Entered on May 13, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30
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I believe that being the child of an addict makes you stronger. Once you have accepted the hurt rather than denying it entry, the healing process can truly begin. By being broken and betrayed you have the opportunity to build yourself higher than you ever were. When you are going through the motions, you may feel like there is no way life could benefit from all the pain. But in the end, looking back it all seems worth some of the anguish.

My mom was an addict. Even though her lifestyle is not on the full throttle destructive path it was before, during, and after her pregnancy with me, she will always be a “substance buff” in my eyes. She still fines happiness in manipulating her relationships with family and still is abusing prescription pain killers. The decisions and actions she took during my childhood are the strongest influence on my own choices.

From the beginning, I was not given the boosts I needed to be set up for success. No one can upstage the queen. For me, my falling apart and self-loath began early. My life felt empty all through my teen years. While all my friend’s parents were encouraging them to love themselves, my mom was constantly pointing out my imperfections. My relationships with people fell apart before they could start because I did not know how to handle myself around people; I only knew how to act around addicts. Soon, the friends I felt safe confiding in began to dwindle. High school began and I did not have a nurturing mother in my corner. I never realized what I was missing until then.

Depression sank in fast. I could not find comfort in simply pleasure I once enjoyed, I was isolating myself into my internal chaos, and I was bottling up any emotion that dare come to the surface. Confusion was all that flooded my brain. Why has she been gone for two weeks and no one knows where she is? Why doesn’t she want to see us on Christmas? Why can’t she open her eyes this morning?

I turned 18 this month and now is the time for me to write my own story. The path has been inflexible to accept how my mother has broken me and the people around her. However, this has only driven me to make a future for myself, and build a strong foundation for my children that my mother did not do for me. I still continue to deal with the pain of her actions everyday, but I do so with a new outlook. Instead of condemning myself to failure, I choose to end every step I take with hope. I believe being the child of an addict is okay; in the end you are a stronger person with a better sense of appreciation of the world around you.