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A FACE OF HOPE

Mary-Kate

jamie l. pic for phone

Normal for me was seeing my mother passed out on kitchen floor before heading to school.

When I was ten and I got a dollhouse mansion for Christmas. I felt so cool and wanted to show it off to all my friends. I knew I couldn’t. I never had friends from school at my house. All my other friends would have been able to invite people to their house, it’s a normal thing. But when you’re the daughter of a drug addict normalcy is rarely seen. When I was younger, my definition of “normal” was vastly different from my peers. Normal for me was seeing my mother passed out on kitchen floor before heading to school. Normal for me was being more of a parent to my mother than she was to me. Normal for me was living in a constant state of fear whenever my dad would leave the house for a 24-hour shift at work.

Having a parent that is an addict is an extremely weird thing to maneuver through.

I questioned her authority over me. I brought her to bed more times than she ever did for me, I made sure she was safe more than she ever did for me, and I took care of her more than she ever did for me. So why should I listen to her when she now wants to be a parent? Another side of me loved it though. I relished in it. I finally had a mother! I deeply craved someone that would do my hair, go shopping with me, and all the other things girls my age did with their moms. Even when we would do those things it was never the same because I had to keep an eye on her to make sure she was okay. Walking down the street I’ll see a young child with her mother and I feel my heart become weighted instantly. It’s a mixture of two things: envy because I never got to experience that and an urge to tell that little girl how lucky she is and to enjoy every minute of it. Getting help is the best gift an addict could give to their child. Nothing else matters. All the anger, resentment, and pain works itself out. Addicts tend to think that getting sober won’t matter when concerning their relationship with their kids. They think the damage is already done. That idea is completely wrong. All a child of an addict wants is for their parent to be healthy and present in their lives.

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