Years of constant worry.

Posted on October 15, 2009. Filed under: Parent of an Addict | Tags: |

I’ve had a knot in my stomach, worrying about my daughter for the last 12 or 13 years.  Something just wasn’t right.  Her chaos, lack of accountability, and irresponsibility weren’t just quirkiness or immaturity.  They were symptoms of substance abuse and dependency, and/or a personality disorder/mental illness.  I’ve always been anticipating that dreaded call – that she was in real trouble – in jail, the ER, even worse.  In reading over old journal entries from the past 10 or so years, I realize now that my daughter’s heroin use is probably the logical outcome of her constant struggle to cope with life.  I should have trusted my gut and not wavered in expressing my concern about her emotional/mental health.  I tend to catastrophize – was raised that way – – and have to constantly monitor my over-reacting to perceived crises.  This time, however, my entire family and therapist, were wrong, if that’s any consolation. It’s not.

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3 Responses to “Years of constant worry.”

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I had the same feeling about my daughter. She seemed so tense, so uncomfortable within her own skin, from junior high on. Her little shoulders were always kind of up and bent, like she would have retracted her head (think turtle) and hidden from her surroundings if she could. She was unable to handle the word “no.” Didn’t matter how quietly it was said, she interpreted it as “yelling.” Something was just “off” and I’ve never figured it out.

OMG – – – I experienced the exact same scenario with my daughter. If I said ‘no’, or disagreed with her – or if any one else did, she would say that I was yelling at her – or the other person was being so ‘rude’, and out of control. Her hypersensitivity eventually became intimidating to us and we would carefully tiptoe around her so we wouldn’t ‘set her off’. At some point, my husband (ex now) and her brothers decided they preferred her to be using marijuana since it seemed to ‘mellow’ her out. I often wondered if she just couldn’t filter out all the incoming stimulus very well. She has always seemed easily overwhelmed with the details of living a normal, independent, adult life. She’s never been able to keep her apt/house/car/purse orderly or clean; can’t plan or organize; always in financial and some kind of personal relationship crises; I could go on and on. I’ve also read and learned about Borderline Personality Disorder, and wondered if it’s an underlying mental health issue.

you know, that’s sort of funny in a bizarre way. the one in our house who was like that, that we all tiptoed around not to ‘set her off’ is the oldest, now a successful nurse. the junkie, on the other hand, was the good one. always got along with her sibs, got along with everyone, was popular in school, never got in trouble.

it was her sister we thought would be the wild one, hair 10 different colors at once, going to a megadeath concert at age 14 without telling us wearing a pair of shorts that made daisy dukes look respectable..(and the entire band signed them – sigh)…

so go figure!! my wild one turned out respectable and my respectable one turned out a junkie.


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