I’m often asked how my past affects my current life. And if the mistakes I made then are some that I pay for daily. To answer that simply: yes I pay daily.
For me, I’ll always be known as the girl that abandoned her child. My family (tho they say they don’t) will always remember the hurt I caused and things I did. It really doesn’t matter how good I do or how far I grow past everything. The weight of my mistakes pull me down and seeing my oldest son’s face is a constant reminder of what could have been.
I go through times where I want him so badly, and then other times it’s like I’ve trained my brain to forget him. I tell myself how I’m not worthy of him and I don’t deserve him. I tell myself he’s better off not knowing me. His life is so great and I would only bring him down.
Holidays is always hard for me and no one can possibly understand why. I’ve struggled for years to show up and be normal and I truly try to socialize and be apart of the family but I can’t. I don’t belong and I never will. I’m not one of them and it shows. No one has ever directly made me feel that way. This is an issue within myself and one that I’ve tried to run from but I can’t.
I typically sit outside or off in a room alone, or in the corner of the living room at my grandmas while I watch everyone around me converse. I watch the kids play and I listen to the casual conversations of my family members catching up around me. Very little attempt is made to speak to me aside from maybe 3 people saying hello, how are you, it’s good to see you: the usual things you say to someone you haven’t seen in awhile.
I know it’s a two way street and I can usually talk someone’s ear off but for some reason at any family function I freeze. I count the minutes until I can leave and hide in the safety and comfort of my own home.
I dread each passing day when we are near a holiday because I know it means going through it again.
I really don’t even know how to act around my oldest son. I don’t know what to talk to him about, I really don’t know him at all. If I’m being honest I don’t even know his teachers name or what grade he’s in. I don’t ask. It hurts thinking about him and talking about him and it’s just something I try to avoid.
And when I’m at these gatherings I think to myself “does everyone feel how uncomfortable I am? Can they tell I don’t know how to talk to my son? Do they see me struggling to control my two younger children and think I’m unfit?” Etc etc
Aside from my anxiety over being around family I have to deal with things like poor credit and a criminal record. I’m held back from being able to get a house and finding places that will accept me in a rental house is near impossible. I will forever be a felon. I have the most amazing referrals but they’re pointless because we never get that far in the conversation before I’m turned away.
Sometimes I’m made fun of, or my mug shot is sent around when I’m feuding with anyone. I’m thought of as “that type of person”. I’ve been called grimey by people who 1) have never met me and 2) are way lower than me on the totem pole of life. But since they don’t have the past that I do, in their mind they’re better than me and always will be.
I struggle with ptsd on top of it all. The occasional paranoia that I’ve learned to sort through for the most part. When I’m pulled over for a speeding ticket I immediately go into a panic attack. I’ve even gone as far as texting my husband as if it were my last text he’d ever get from me. My mind goes into a state of life or death final moments. The people who I’m supposed to feel protected from are the ones I feel most afraid of.
I focus so much on the positive outcome of my past as an addict that I really don’t share how hard my life is because I don’t want to come off as weak. I genuinely wish I would have known how badly my life would be affected after all of this. I wish I would have known that even after getting better I’ll always be the one that did this and that.
Everything I have I’ve had to fight for. I even had to fight myself for the mindset that I do deserve good things in life.
Making friends is hard because I feel like they don’t like me, or are making fun of me. Or I just flat out don’t trust them. It’s a daily struggle sorting through it all.
I can say that I’m a completely different person now. I do so much better with anxiety and I am thriving in life. I handle everything that’s thrown at me mostly without panic and I hope to someday coach someone else through their own chaos.
I’ve got tons of great questions and topics coming your way, next month is my 5 year anniversary for being sober so I definitely want to write every week up until then.
So sorry I’ve been so MIA! Life is crazy and busy but I’m back and ready