My daughter left today. She is going back to college and J is coming home from rehab on Sunday. I just feel so much…it makes my heart hurt.
I know I talk about my daughter like she is perfect and in my eyes she is almost as perfect as it gets. She always tries to do the right thing and I sometimes wonder if that is in reaction to J making such poor choices and my husbands alcoholism. I don’t want her to carry baggage from her childhood into her adult life but I think that is an impossibility. I see it already. She goes through great pain to keep her emotions in check and I see me in her and I don’t like it. I think she is scared…scared of the future and what it will bring. Maybe that is what she should be feeling going into her Junior year of college with lots of decisions to be made.
When I was young growing up in a dysfunctional family, my goal in life was to be invisible. To not draw attention to myself…to do the right thing, to look perfect and to be perfect. Which I guess sounds good in theory but I swallowed a lot of emotions and took responsibility for things that had nothing to do with me. My parents would be shocked to hear any of this. I am sure they thought they gave me a privileged life with lots of travel, good schools and all the other stuff a kid could want. They tried to shelter me from brothers addiction but as we all know that is impossible. The fact that they tried so hard to hide my brothers addiction from me, instilled a sense of shame and secrecy I carry with me to this day.
So I try not to hide everything from my kids. I try to share age appropriate information with my other children but It is not always clear to me what appropriate is at any given moment. The truth is and anyone who has younger children with addiction living in your house knows this: They hear WAY more than they should no matter how hard you try to prevent that from happening. So addiction has shaped my life and continues to shape my children’s lives leaving invisible scars on their hearts and souls. The sorrow I have for this fact is immeasurable…there is nothing I can do to change it.
My hope is that J’s journey through addiction will change into a new path of recovery…I know J needs to do this for himself but I also wish he understood it is not just his life that is impacted.