So having been verbally, mentally, and emotionally abused and rejected by people with addictions, you might think I would be inclined to write a blog bashing them.
Not only the above but lied to, manipulated and of course they stole things-valuable things.
I should be angry, bitter, filled with resentment towards them….but I don’t.
You might think that I am a fool or pathetic or that I’ve lost my mind.
That’s ok, that lets me know you just don’t get it. Today, that is ok with me.
I’ve learned passing judgment is a waste of time and energy.
Do you know their real story, what makes them act, react, use, abuse? Have you walked in their skin and in their mind?
I’m not saying we should accept their evil ways; the hurt, pain, and stress they cause us. It’s NOT ok.
Sometimes what I want to is explain addicts to a society that only knows how to judge them.
I don’t know but today that’s what I want to do.
I don’t want to tell you this so that you feel sorry for the addict but maybe that the next time you won’t feel the need to judge.
Addicts sort of fall in an obscure dimension.
They aren’t considered mentally ill (although many of them do have a mental illness) or physically ill. They aren’t considered to have a disability.
If the addict comes forward and admits to their addiction, it often comes with shame and fear attached to it.
The shame comes from the judgment and the stigma attached to being an addict.
The fear comes from the ensuing pain as they withdraw and everything they have to face that they have been avoiding.
They feel trapped, alone SO LONELY.
It’s almost like they are stuck in a programmed autopilot; destination-self destruction.
What exactly is it that they really need
A friend would be good. I mean a real friend that knows how to love in a healthy way, with healthy boundaries. One that is willing to speak the truth in love (not anger). One that is willing to share life and not impose it. One that will never leave, forsake, or abandon them. One that will not tolerate abuse, manipulation, lying or any of their other unhealthy antics but will expose it when it is happening-again in love and not anger.
They have to know that you are safe.
They want stability.
Most of all they don’t need you to judge them or assume that you know what they are feeling, thinking, or what they want or need.
Believe it or not, they know what they are doing is wrong and most likely know what they should be doing but struggle with that on a daily basis.
I was married to an alcoholic, a VERY abusive alcoholic.
I didn’t know anything about alcoholism. I tried al-anon but I didn’t understand the program and no one there offered any information. I was so embarrassed, lost, confused. I didn’t know what to ask and by all appearances I should have known what I was supposed to do. I sat in a room where I saw women knitting, saying negative things about their spouses…same thing every meeting. I didn’t see that it was helping me at all so I stopped going. I tried another recovery program but my husband tore the workbook up and threatened me if I went back.
People don’t understand why women keep going back to their abusers. That’s a blog in itself and I will visit that.
I’ve learned a lot since that marriage. Yes, I did leave him eventually. It was more to protect our children. I knew they deserved better and feared for their future.
But, I’ve learned a lot about addicts and addictions.
As I’ve said many times about many things…I wish I knew then what I know now.
Maybe I can help some to never have to say that.