Did you ever feel ashamed or disgusted with your child?
Oh yeah, all the time. Most of the time it’s when he would do things to harm other people. When Jack was using, I witnessed him knock his brother out over a pair of sunglasses. That disgusted me. Even now it makes me sick to my stomach. I still have that visual of my youngest son going to his knees. Jack made a boy in high school kiss his feet because he said something that Jack didn’t like. It is just disgusting because Jack knows better. He knows right from wrong. He knows. And Jack is only like that’s when he’s using, because when he’s not using, he’s a great person. You would love him if you met him. You would absolutely love him. You would have no clue. No clue at all that he was a drug addict. Jack looks like any other 28 year old.
Hell yes. I still carry it with me even though I know they are living their lives. They made these choices to use or to continue to use or to reuse. And as much as they love me and love themselves, they can’t stop. I’m still quiet about it sometimes when I see people I don’t know. Because they don’t understand. But usually when we open up, we find out that there’s somebody in their family that is also afflicted with the disease.
I never felt ashamed of any of my children. Nor disgusted. But I did feel disappointed. I’m now very disappointed in some of the stuff that Brady was doing because we weren’t raising him that way. And he was doing really well. So to see him crash and take that 90-degree turn was disappointing because that wasn’t Brady.
It’s not easy to admit to people that your child has addiction issues. So, in a sense, I was ashamed. But I am less so now because this is a story of perseverance and what I would call success, although this will be with her for the rest of her life. And you’ll always have in the back of your mind, “will she relapse?” She was home at Christmas time and she was going to borrow the car. Well, the trauma in my head automatically starts thinking – well, ok, where is she going to go? What is she going to do? And I know it is probably unfair, but that’s the trauma. Lots of times way back when she would borrow the car, she was going to go score some drugs. When she was in the midst of her addiction, we went with her to make sure. Exhausting. Just exhausting.
Honestly, never. Never. Love the addict but hate the drug. I’ve been frustrated but not disgusted. I’ve been disgusted by the way they live, you know, the pig stys and the filth. Riley wasn’t a stealer. She wasn’t a thief. But Bailey was, and I’m disgusted that she stole. I’m disgusted by the filth. But that’s not by my daughter. She’s in there though. Love the person and hate the drugs.
Shelly: We both did.
Travis: I’ve spent my life trying to develop a name for myself, a name I felt my son was destroying right in front of me. It was really difficult. I worked my whole life trying to do the right thing. Trying to treat people right, trying to lead people, trying to raise my family right. And I felt like it was all going to be wiped out because I had this drug-addicted son that I didn’t understand.
Wayne – Ashamed of the addiction, yes. At the time, yes, because we were thinking “What in the world”. These are those other people. Those people on TV. I remember going to a legal hearing downtown in the court building. And there were 50 people with a 9am court hearing and I’m looking around and I said to Tyler “Do you look similar to these people?” And he said “Nope”. Because Tyler was an athletic, fit, well dressed college kid and these were derelicts that looked like they just came off the street. But Tyler had something in common with them. They all had an addiction.
Christy – I think any one who is not educated who is having to deal with addiction is disgusted with their loved one. Because they just see the actions. They just see them stealing something. Or they just see them walking in high. And you don’t understand why can’t you just get better? Why cant you just stop? So there are definitely times you will feel ashamed and be disgusted with your child. You won’t have compassion until you become educated and understand the disease.