When ever my daughter comes home after being away for awhile she loves going through family pictures. It obviously brings her great joy. She just loves to reminisce about all the details..birthday dresses, Christmas parties, old friends and family vacation photo’s. I find myself looking at the photo’s and wondering what I was thinking at that moment. Are there clues to my future? I look happy but am I really? Addiction has not only clouded the present but it has also distorted my past. This picture was taken not long after my brother died…am I happy?
When J was born it was a very difficult and traumatic birth. When they first brought him to me and tried to place him in my arms I said NO, I don’t want to hold him. I feel guilt to this day. I was just so overwhelmed by this painful experience that I was totally unprepared for, and I didn’t want to hold him. My husband was the first to hold J. After a few minutes, a very wise nurse came and took the baby from my husband and placed him in my arms before I could utter the word no. It was love at first sight…and I was his mommy. I will never forget on the day we were to go home I looked at my husband and said “Oh my God, are they really going to let us take this baby home?” I had never held a baby in my life and now they were sending me home with one? My husband thought this was so funny. He was the oldest in his family and had 3 younger brothers. He had held babies and changed many diapers. He walked out of that hospital a proud dad to a beautiful baby boy. I walked out of that hospital a young frightened girl who had just become a mom. I had never even changed a diaper before!
I don’t trust my memories anymore. Was I happy? Yes I was…I think? I would not trade my children for anything but if I had to go back and do it all again would I have 4 kids? I am not sure I would. Maybe if I had dedicated more time to J’s childhood things would be different …maybe 4 children stretched quality time to thin and I just wasn’t a good enough mom. Maybe if I insisted my husband worked less, he would have been home and been a positive influence in J’s life.
After reading all of this back…I realize addiction is deeply entrenched in my life. My oldest brother died in a rehab! He had been fighting addiction for as long as I can remember. Why did I choose to marry my husband knowing he was an alcoholic? Why am I surprised by my life?