Hello, my name is Keri and I am the parent of 5 gifted and talented children, 2 are meth addicts. I love my children but there have been difficult times when that love was hard to find. My guilt was an ever present emotion and fueled decisions that only created more chaos. It is no secret that an addict in a family breaks everything. The continuous years of guessing who is behind door number 3…sober addict or active addict affected me monetarily, emotionally, physically…it affected every family relationship even when they were not around. They were ‘the topic’. When the addiction became active the tentative webs of trust forged with a glimmer of hope were broken…again, and again, and again. When the addicts finally were arrested and incarcerated…well, each time I breathed a long sigh of relief…then felt guilty I felt relief and then was grateful they weren’t dead.
I wrote part of the following in 2008 when my son was incarcerated (third or fourth time, I forget) for Meth addiction and its associated felonies. I wrote this about him before I knew that my daughter had also lost her battle for sobriety from meth. They have both been incarcerated since 2008.
It has been a week since I accepted that Clayton has again lost his battle to the powerful addiction which has controlled him through the past 20 plus years. The emotions and pain in my heart as I watch him lose himself yet again is like watching the promise of a sun filled day be stolen by thickening dirt encrusted treacherous winds in advance of a tornado; knowing the destruction that will surely be left in its wake and mourning the loss of the light. I feel no anger. Anger died long ago. There is only a great engulfing sadness filling my soul for the loss of my son; handsome, bright and talented.
In the beginning before he is completely lost, he reaches out for help, but the madness already has hold of him and though he talks of his desires to stay sober, his ability to act, to flee the demons is gone.
Yes, demons ARE real. Meth literally breaks people open, sucks out their soul, and something else comes to live in their bodies. Their eyes become flat and lifeless and darkness emanates from them like vapor; anger and hatred penetrate everything. Their demeanor changes, the expressions on their faces change, their voices change. I’ve looked into the eyes of my children and have seen demons looking back.
I HATE METH. I HATE DRUGS. I love my children. I pray for them. I pray for their children. I pray because that is all I can do. Once the tornado of meth addiction rips through…life is changed forever, changed every time with each relapse. Wives, husbands, children; every precious relationship is lost, and in the aftermath the innocent are left to cope with the pain and destruction when life as they knew it is destroyed. I thank God and pray his greatest blessings be to the faithful mother, father and sister whose strength and courage saved my grandchildren.
The very hard lessons I’ve learned: When making decisions regarding anything an addict says, asks, pleads, or promises, make those decisions with your head NOT your heart, whether they are sober or not. It is ok to say NO, it DOES NOT make you a bad mother, husband, wife, friend or child. Their addiction is NOT YOUR FAULT! It is OK to Protect Yourself!
It took many angry, hurtful, fearful years before I could let go…when I finally let go and turned them over to God He gave me peace. He alone knows their path and His plan for their lives and they are in His hands. I am asked only to love them. I cannot change them nor protect them from themselves. I do not have to pay their fines and restitution or lawyers, or support them in their addiction or in prison; and that is all right. I forgive them, I forgive myself, and I love them; but I’ll be watchful when they are released even as I hope and pray for their success.