All of these questions swirled around in my head. There is more than one way to look at everything. To really not be ashamed of myself, and to help them with their shame, I have to walk the walk, as well as talk it. And like I've said before, I usually do parenting the hard way. But to truly lift the shame, I have to not be ashamed.
The article was posted on the newspaper's website Thursday night at 10:30 PM. I read it right away, and didn't sleep all night. So Friday, I couldn't eat (rare), hadn't slept, and it actually felt a little familiar of days gone by. The sick feeling in my stomach was super strong. I was very, VERY anxious. I was filled with fear and regret.
My boys weren't thrilled that I told the story of that last crash. But as I mentioned before, they are stronger than many kids, because they've had to be. I may have a chronic illness, but I am not stupid. I would have worded it differently had I written it myself. But papers must sell, I guess. I made it clear to them that the events of that night, saved our family. And they should understand that. I am very sorry. And also very grateful. I live my amends with my kids every day by staying clean and present. They are all incredible people.
I took them to Nickelodeon Universe, at the Mall of America to ride the rides the day the article came out. They didn't have school that day, and we needed to get out of the house. Buying their happiness? Maybe. We had a great time.
The word "meth" makes people nervous, uncomfortable, and scared. It is scary. But the word "beer" doesn't make people as nervous. I realize that beer is legal. But alcoholism is just as tricky and dark as drug addiction. And one is no worse or better than the other.
Many of you asked if they have had therapy. We did have some family therapy and some of my kids went to individual therapy. We are not in any therapy as of the moment. Well, their dad goes (well..when he doesn't skip.) Because at the moment, everyone is doing fine. I may start them, now that sports are over for the winter. More therapy, never hurts. I'm undecided.
In spite of when we were actively using, we still enrolled them in sports, we still had Christmas, we still did their homework with them. We still kissed and hugged them. I'm not saying we were great parents. We were dead behind our eyes and trapped by a drug. We fought constantly when we tried to quit. We were not the parents we truly are.
Those sad days and bad feelings about their parents are still healing for them now. The disease of addiction is hereditary. It is genetic. But to see your parent recover is just as powerful as that. Even if some of that recovery (Bob's dual diagnosis of PTSD) is slow. They know first hand what drugs can do. They also know what recovery can do. I can't be ashamed of any of that. Do I wish I didn't put them through that? Of course I do. But I can only live today. We have all walked this road together. And if we can help another parent, kid, addict, then we can feel good about that.
Thankfully, I am on this side now. I am in recovery. I play catch, color, cook dinner, (I suck at it, and we eat a lot of pizza) go camping, snuggle, laugh, and love. I help them when they need help. They are as happy as any kid on our block. It's not perfect. But who is?
The boys play football and baseball. And my daughter is starting her hybrid online school right this minute. We don't constantly talk about all things recovery. You can let your kids visit. We wont fill their heads up with anything heavy. We do have a lot of fun around here, and it gets better every day.