Things I Would Like to Say to My Heroin Addict Daughter

Posted on September 28, 2009. Filed under: Parent of an Addict | Tags: , , |

Things I Would Like to Say to My Heroin Addict Daughter:

  1. Who have you become?
  2. You are a stranger to me.
  3. You have used me up.
  4. What is your life about?
  5. You are a parasite on society.
  6. What do you do all day?
  7. You are careless with life – your own, others’, relationships, possessions, living spaces, your precious dogs – – – and on, and on, and on . . .
  8. You are poor white trash.
  9. When/how did things go so wrong?
  10. You have been lying and stealing for most of your adult life.
  11. I am not interested in your talk – only what you do.
  12. No one is going to rescue you.
  13. I’m planning your funeral and need your input.  How do you want to be remembered?
  14. What are you so afraid of?
  15. You’re killing your 92 yo grandmother – and have devastated our entire family.
  16. What do you know for sure?
  17. Face the truth.
  18. Grow up.
  19. You are my teacher.
  20. You used to be beautiful.
  21. What is your purpose in life?
  22. Other than not wanting to get “dopesick”, why are you using drugs?
  23. Do you have any self-respect?
  24. Why?
  25. I’m afraid of you.
  26. You have been a drug addict your entire adult life.
  27. Is there any beauty or joy in your life?
  28. What have you become?
  29. Help me understand.
  30. You do have power over your own life.
  31. Why can’t you just admit that you need help and you don’t know what’s best for yourself?
  32. Why are you so angry?

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13 Responses to “Things I Would Like to Say to My Heroin Addict Daughter”

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I need to find the right words to try to save my daughter from heroin . Once a beautiful smart girl, now a loving mother of a one year old baby. But spiraling out of control due to Heroin and mental illness. Lost job , crashed car, I found heroin on her coffee table with the baby home , and took it to police. Child protection services took the child away ( they were just supposed to put them in mother child program) Once a love filled family, now my daughter hates me for Ruining her life and taking her child away. Such pain , I can’t even bear it. I’ve been paying her rent but need to say no more…

Leigh – – – you are not ruining your daughter’s life – she is doing that all on her own. Addicts are master manipulators and in blaming others for their circumstances. Keeping your grandchild safe was a courageous thing to do, although not easy. There are no words that can ‘save’ your daughter. However, YOU can save yourself from the effects of your daughter’s addiction by getting help and support for yourself. Al-Anon has been a life saver for me and has taught me how to set boundaries, stay within my own hula hoop, and develop healthier relationships, in all areas of my life. Enabling the addict can often make the problem worse, although it’s so difficult as a parent to see your child lose everything. Read about ‘detaching with love’ – and let her know that you will support her in any way possible when she chooses recovery. And take care of yourself first. Hope you find some ‘pearls’ here in my blog and the strength, experience, and hope to begin your own recovery. Good luck.

Difficult but important post.

Lisa, I am impressed by your comment…some really great insight and well said.

On the issue of enabling…Many parents seem to feel so helpless about their ability to influence positive change, and so powerful in their ability to cause a continuation of addiction via enabling. The truth I think is closer to the middle.

Small acts of support and kindness like buying a few groceries will not be the deciding factor in perpetuating an addiction (obviously. And denying you and your loved one this small shared moment of kindness will not somehow result in a Eureka moment and race to recovery.

Love first, and don’t worry too much about enabling. You don’t have that much power to perpetuate and addiction by enabling. You don’t have that much power to stop an addiction by not enabling. Your biggest power lies in your psychological status as a parent and your ability to influence and support recovery via love, encouragement, and by providing informed treatment advice and practical treatment support.

Thanks for this, Tom. Actually, I didn’t intend to re-post this post that I wrote months ago. I just went back to it to update it and add to the list – and didn’t realize it would post. It sounds so harsh when I look at it and read it – but, it’s often how I feel. Those waves of anger, sadness, shame, disgust, guilt,and bewilderment wash over me as well as those that remind me of who my beautiful daughter used to be – and who still is, deep down inside. My next post will be about that. It’s going to be difficult. It’s almost easier being angry at/disgusted with her than remembering what the things are I love and miss about her.

First of all, your list (and it could continue) are things we all feel. Thank goodness, I guess, that we don’t feel all of these things, all the time. And mostly, through it all, we keep loving them, and I still think it is a good thing.

I have recently started to accept this concept of disease as it relates to addiction; and the more I understand that, the more I understand the issue of craving drugs (even when clean) which is not the same as my craving a candy bar; I am beginning to understand stress and the impact on relapse; and for me, I am mostly understanding that although I won’t enable, I will continue to love and make sure my addict understands that he is still part of a family and not alone. And I have to do that while detaching, which I think is sometimes more painful for me than the addict.

I’m sort of rambling here, but remember that you are not alone, the feelings are normal for your situation and getting them out and on paper allows you to move forward and continue to take care of yourself which is so important. You continue to be in my thoughts and my prayers.

Yes, I have the same list, and still no answers. I bet it just felt good to get that out and written down, kind of a release. Every family has their own path and individual journey as it relates to their addicted loved one. I have done the same in the past as HBS, taken food to my son, even bought him a few groceries (don’t do that anymore, a bit enabling). But I try to do what feels right for me, not what is necessarily going to bring the best outcome for my son. So when thinking about whether you should meet with your daughter, just ask if it is something you want to do and if it is the loving thing to do for yourself. It helps to bring it back to ourselves. (((HUGS)))


I’d like to know the answers to those questions too.

and the list goes on.

Keep us posted on how it goes, if you go to see her. We all care! I can’t say if it’s the right thing to do or not. I can say that I have often met my daughter at a generic location and bought her a meal, and told her how glad I was to see her and how much she was loved. I have asked each time, if she would like transportation to the county (free) detox. I have given her a ride to whereever she was staying, be it a drug house or a storage unit. I don’t give her money, but I have handed her an extra sack lunch. Even those things, which I did in the early years, I’m not sure I would do now. Hard to say. In a sense I want to remind her what a clean life is like, but I don’t want to enable her not to feel the consequences of what she’s doing. It’s a quandry. But please keep writing, and please let us know how things are going from time to time. I care – a LOT! ((Hug!))

That’s the big dilemma. Let Hayley really feel the consequences of her lifestyle, which are especially intense this time of year; or, show some compassion and motherly love – take her some warm clothes, give her a hug, etc. I guess that at this point, since I haven’t seen her since August, maybe I’ll try to ‘tough it out’ through Xmas, and let her fully experience her self-imposed isolation. My professional contacts and AlAnon friends all say that Hayley is extremely resourceful and most likely won’t go cold or hungry. Afterall, she talked a cab driver in to driving her 170 miles, with no $ on her at the time. A few other contacts have told me that their child would have died if they had not ‘stuck with them’. There’s no way to know the truth of that one, I guess. Again, the boundaries of what constitutes enabling are so fuzzy.

“You have used me up.”
“You are poor white trash.”
“You have been lying and stealing for most of your addult life.”
These really hit me. I have moments when I look at my daughter and wish others could see the person I know is lost inside her somewhere. When she’s in jail and I visit and see her in that jumpsuit, in a line to go back to her cell, there is NOTHING that differentiates her from the rest. That breaks my heart. Every one of those women have special things about them that somehow got lost along the way. She has a moderate amount of clean time under her belt right now, but we’ve been playing this game 10 years. We know she is only one breath, one bad decision, one difficult circumstance she doesn’t want to face, away from a relapse. Sorry…. I’m rambling!

Thanks for your comments. It does help to hear you affirm some of my most horrible feelings, and get a glimpse in to your story. I haven’t yet visited my daughter in jail, but the day is coming, I’m afraid. I’m now trying to decide whether or not to meet her somewhere. She texted me that she wants to see me. I’m not too eager to see her – am afraid, mad, sad, etc. I’m also wondering if by not seeing her, it will more effectively reinforce the consequences of her lifestyle choices?

Thanks for your honesty in posting this. Wow. And we just never expect anything would bring us to a point of wanting to say these things to one of our children. I understand though. “You have used me up.” Yes … I’ve been there too.

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