I don’t know how to respond….

to uncomfortable conversations … Even my own mother in law makes comments that are so hurtful but she is apparently completely unaware.  Maybe it’s just that I am too sensitive or read into it to much but it cuts me to the core. Does anyone else feel judged by their in-laws? I mean I literally feel like they are testing me to see where I measure so they can rank me at the top, bottom or insignificant. My husband thinks I am crazy and never hears it or sees it the same way.

I have a sister in law who is crazy. She crashes cars, buys things they can’t afford, berates her husband in public, uses mortgage money to shop for new cars, embarrasses her kids in public…I am talking about really heart wrenching things to her family. “BUT at least she raised her kids right. You can’t fault her for that? Right? You just can’t”…says my mother in law.  I just stare at her with dull eyes and no expression. Are her kids great because that crazy fucked up woman raised her kids right or did she just get lucky?

I feel like she looks at me with pity and thinks well if only YOU raised your kids right J wouldn’t be an addict. My husband wants to know where I am getting that message from? I tell him that I get that message every single day from the TV, social media, relatives, friends. Hell, Kathy Lee  Gifford spews to who ever will listen what a good mother she is because her kids haven’t been arrested, been to rehab, or kicked out of school…so she must be doing something right.

Obviously I deserve that judgement. I am a bad parent. This conversation along with judgment comes up more than anyone realizes. Most of the time the people don’t realize that I am a mother of an addict but the reaction is always the same pity and blame. I did not get married and decide to have child so he can grow up and become an addict. I raised all my children with respect, love and attention.  Then why do I feel so lousy?

This is why I don’t share what is going on in my life with ANYONE. I did not want my husband to share this with his parents and I was right. It leaves a dark cloud that covers my entire family, my parenting and my love. It influences how they see me and how they see my other children. They measure and weigh my children’s accomplishments and compare them to the “good grand-kids” and my beautiful children come out lacking in some way. It is insulting to hear about their other grandchildren excelling and then pity my youngest who has dyslexia. He is not STUPID….he is brilliant. He just happens to not have the ability to read well. He is thoughtful, insightful, and full of information none of which came from him reading. You can learn and still not be able to read.

I HATE this. I don’t want to be a bad mother. I didn’t sign up for this. Can someone tell me how to resign from this position? I am not at all sure I am right for this job. Would my children be better if I was not a part of their lives? I can not wrap my mind around that. Nobody loves those kids like I do. So everyone just needs to shut the hell up!


About madyson007

I am a mom of 4 who thought she was home free when my oldest son went off to college. My serious blunder? Genetics and being naive or maybe just plain stupid.
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9 Responses to I don’t know how to respond….

  1. Lisa says:

    YOU and I can only believe in our hearts what we want to believe. It is our internal assessment of ourselves that really matter. For the longest time YOU and I before our addicted sons HAPPENED probably judged others too. Wondered if that junkie I just saw walking the street happened because his parents sucked. Wondered how that family with 4 out of 4 national honor society graduates made that happen. Why did we fail? We didn’t. Our sons and daughters made that decision to play Russian roulette with their life. Despite knowing damn well drugs were bad, they decided to give it a whirl. That is not your fault or my fault or any other parents fault on this blog or any other blog. Sure I could have not gave him that basement bedroom, sure I could have made him work for more that he had and not spoiled the ever living bejesus out of him at times….but through the course of this hell for the last 5 years I have learned one thing -great parents have kids that are addicts and shitty parents raise road scholars. It does not matter. You sometimes get either/or. Only you can allow them to make you feel the way you do. Do they know you have a blog about addiction? Do they know how hard you pray every night for your son to see the light? Do they know how much time and effort you put Into being a mom and doing all the right things? How you juggle work and home? Stop it….Chin up my friend

  2. Ron Grover says:

    Lisa offered some good advice and I’m not going to repeat everything she said so eloquently.

    Guess we are all bad parents my other kids lives don’t count. Yea sure.

    We can’t control other peoples feelings and beliefs any more than we can control our child’s addiction. I learned to be head up high with my kids, even the addicted one. I talked to anyone that would listen, it helped me and it helped them. Sometimes Darlene would say “Do you have to say so much?” I always told her yes, it helps everyone. I was trying to take away the stigma before removing the stigma was fashionable. LOL

    It’s all about us. We must get comfortable with ourselves and our son’s addiction and disease. It’s not about bad parenting. It’s about your son and how drugs affected him. In fact I actually wrote a blog post about that today. My last 3 posts have about the stigma of addiction. Please read today’s post. http://www.parentsofanaddict.blogspot.com

    It’s an educational process for everyone, even your in-laws. Maybe hubby and you need to sit down and explain addiction and what J is going through. Education never hurts, sometimes it doesn’t help but it never hurts. Refer them to some blogs maybe. Maybe they could read our blogs or I’d even talk to them if you like.

    I know you love J or you wouldn’t writing here and be so upset. Be strong and keep loving him and believing in him. There is no hope for anyone if you give that up, not for J, yourself, hubby, in-laws or anyone you love.

  3. Sheila says:

    People are ignorant. Educate them when you can, but you are not the idiot whisperer.

  4. Sheila says:

    Allow me to add– I have two children who are very bright, hard working and kind hearted.
    One has 2 degrees and is working for a non-profit she really believes in.
    The other is a junkie who was recently fired from Starbucks for constant tardiness and he lives with his junkie GF who is a dancer at a strip club.
    I love them both but one worries me to death.

  5. Ron Grover says:

    Where there is hope there is life. Oldest daughter, Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing from Baker University, Masters Degree in Policy and Aministration, Kansas University, currently Manger of KU Pediatrics Clinic. Second daughter, stay at home mom to our wonderful grandkids. Currently attending school part time at JCCC studying to be (dumb me don’t know the term) some kind of radiology to do sonograms on mothers and studying to do breast smashing for mammograms. LOL Our son an addict in recovery since July 2010. He works full time is a Team Advisor at his work. He is a great father and last summer he bought a house and I hear that makes him a HOMEOWNER.

    There is hope and life after addiction. Think it was a Journey song, Don’t Stop Believing.

    Don’t stop believing in yourself either.

    Guess I’m the shits as far as being a parent. Raised a son that suffered from addiction. That’s how I will be defined the rest of my life. If anyone thinks that bothers me…………what do you think?

  6. Sheri says:

    What people think about me is none of my business. It took me years to realize that but when I did, I felt so much better. I don’t go around telling everyone about Kevin’s addiction but I if someone asks after him I tell them what’s going on, honestly and without shame or fear of being pitied. I also tell them that it’s ok and that even though he is in prison, I will never stop loving him or holding out hope that his life improves, because it’s the absolute truth. If they walk away and judge me, that’s ok too because I do my life, not theirs.

  7. Liz says:

    I understand… You take their comments personally. I do too. No matter how many times people say it’s ‘not your fault’… I still believe that somehow it kinda is. Somehow, some way, I feel like I should have done a better job at catching this in the beginning, before it got so bad. Before they turned to heroin. As a single mom raising my daugther, I feel like I could have done better.

  8. Another mother says:

    I do feel your pain. But be thankful that your in laws are in the enablers. That’s what I deal with. My addict can run to them and tell all kind of stupid stories and they believe him. The give him anything he ask for and continues to bale him out of everything. And then they treat us as bad parents. I can’t tell you how bad this hurts. We try to get him help and they have sabotaged every thing that could have worked. You are not a bad parent no more than I am a bad parent. Our children have made bad choices and we are paying for them in one way or another. Pray pray pray for tomorrow to be the day.

  9. Syd says:

    There is a step in recovery in which we inventory ourselves and look at what our part is in resentment, fear, harms to others. I have inventoried myself over the years and found that I did have a part in some things, but not in the alcoholic being an alcoholic. I had a part in being angry at her and enabling her. I had a part in using self-pity and the hostile martyr role as ways to manipulate her into sobriety. I made amends for those things I did. But I didn’t make amends for causing her alcoholism.

    I believe that addiction/alcoholism is a disease and often a symptom of a deeper condition such as depression, bipolar disorder, ADD, etc. No one would be blaming you if your son had a brain tumor, diabetes, heart disease, or some other medical condition. A lot of what people understand about addiction/alcoholism is nil. And I understand that so I choose to inventory myself, see if I have a part in something, and if I don’t, then I let it go. I don’t beat myself up over what other people think. It is none of my business what they think of me.

    My suggestion is to take care of yourself, be good to yourself, stop the self-pity, find others who have been through what you are going through and share your story and listen to theirs. There are amazing people out there who have no judgement about you because they understand exactly what you are dealing with and how addiction can tear families apart. It is a family disease too.

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