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Raised by an Addict

This is really hard to write but I feel like it important to share because there are things that will come up from time to time that are a direct response to the addiction that controlled a person I love and therefore a portion of my life.

In 2017 I felt like I had to write and share about this but I knew that sharing my story of the impact of my dad’s addiction would be embarrassing to him. I didn’t want to do that or deal with the reaction of something that very much impacts my life even in adulthood. Mostly the reaction because let be real, the addiction was out of control.

So why am I talking about it now? Well late 2018 My dad passed away and a small part of me felt free from the chaos of the addiction. I loved my dad but his addiction was a pain the ass because it brought about inconsistency and fear. The first few months I spent separating the parts I missed and were grieving from the parts I felt free from. I should mention that my dad was NEVER physically abusive and his core addiction was gambling.

Impact of the Addiction

My parents got divorced when I was 5. I never had the anxiety of being homeless or going without a meal. The anxiety was directly connected to his mood which was connected to hiw financial standing. Personal Wealth was very difficult to obtain because if it was communicated or celebrated, the expectation was that you had to help him. As a adult any negative emotions is extremely difficult to deal. The difficulty isn’t the emotion that someone else is feeling but that you have to help solve the problem. Negative emotions are the doorway to being bullied emotionally, atleast that’s where my brain typically lands.

The impact of the addiction is so much greater than I can even tell you. I think it probably would have been even worse had it just been ignored but my mom and I discussed it, and the impact the addiction had on our lives.

It is very easy to do an internal analysis and see that I have a slightly addictive personality. I know this. The buzzing that happens inside my head with an adrenaline rush is very real. I have to be very careful. There have been times in the past where I hand my wallet off to someone I trust and they know to hold on to it until I have come down from the rush and the buzzing goes away.

Why it Matters?

For my business:

it matters because I work really hard to not let these impulse moments show up during big decisions. I trust my gut especially when it comes to manipulation but there are also times where I have to keep my distance from individuals because my reaction to their behavior is connected to the “trauma” of being raised by an addict.

Trauma feels like an excessive word but dealing with the ups and downs in major areas of my life for so long, I would say that at the very least I have trauma- like reactions.

For you:

If you are dealing with anyone with an addiction, you know it is hard work. It takes incredible skills. You are AMAZING! You are also not alone. I never went to group sessions like Al-anon or Gam-anon. They were just to far away from where I was living or took me away from something that brought me joy. I also had my mom as support

If you feel alone in it, look up one of these groups. Consider talking with people about it. I can’t say it will free you from the problem but it is always nice to have hand to hold.

The Burden

As I write this I struggle. Why? My dad was not a bad person. He was not given the skills to cope with the stressful things in life. He also was the son of an addict who was the daughter of an addict. This trauma is not just his. Ever since a label was given of addict in my head with my dad I struggle. He never hurt me. He loved me to the best of his abilities. Sometimes the addiction and the inability to deal with emotions he experienced would take over. It had nothing to do with me. I just dealt with the waves of chaos that reverberated off the problem.

Addiction is an infectious disease. It latches on to people and the “quick -solution” becomes a very long problem. From time to time I may mention it. I just felt like with the topics that I want to touch upon it was important to give you the backstory of the passion and drive that is connected to those topics. Especially those that are about money, debt, finances, and budgeting.

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