Yesterday Annette posted on her blog about a family wedding and seeing her two kids drink. She said it bothered her greatly and after the wedding she was very emotional about the episode. Her kids did not get drunk but it was just the fact of a joyful occasion and seeing them drink was upsetting.
It's best if you go to her page and read her experience. She writes it very well. And chronicles what she needed to help herself.
I made a comment about PTSD. I know, I can hear you all now, quite a diagnosis from someone 1000 miles away. However I feel I am very qualified. Probably most all of you have a copy of my diplomas and degrees hanging in your bathroom, they come in 500 sheet rolls.
Parenting an addict or loved one is a traumatic experience. Being raised in an alcoholic household has a long lasting effect. I spoke to a friend and she related how she feels even today after 30 years when things are out of hand and a male raises his voice.
Not to minimize the effects of war on soldiers but all of us can suffer the effects of trauma on us very deeply when such an emotional event goes on for such a long time.
I have my own experiences. When I speak to other parents especially parents new to experiencing the effects of drugs and addiction on their child........it's hard and sometimes impossible to keep my own emotions in check. Feelings of fear and hurt take over even after years of sobriety by my son and thousands of words written by me about taking care of myself and detaching.
Long ago I wrote about putting those memories in a box in the closet. I related to Annette that at times my box is opened. I also said something yesterday in my comment about "I don't know how to throw away the box." I have been doing a lot of thinking about those words since I wrote them to her.
In reflection, I never want to throw away that box. Even with as terrible all those things in that box are they are me. It's not like I want to live in that box again but I want it to always be a part of my life. The pain hurt terribly and I would never choose to do it again but an important lesson learned is that I can if I must. Growth occurred with that life, not just for me but also with Darlene.
PTSD, yes I was traumatized. I still feel the effects. Being aware allows me to heal. The flashbacks and pain doesn't go away, I learn how to deal with it and know what it is doing as it occurs.
I see it sometimes in Alex too. Yesterday in a casual conversation something was mentioned about jail. The look on his face and his immediate response, "I never want to hear that door close behind me ever as long as I live."
Later in the evening I was thinking about his response and look. It dawned on me that he got what I was saying over and over for seven years of his using. "Son, please live a life of honor." HE GETS IT.......a life of honor, raising his family, paying his bills, working, no lies, no stealing, living and loving......a life of honor, he is living it every day.