I recently read an article which talks about the benefits of ‘children living with parents while they are rehabilitated off drug use’. The writer speaks about a drug rehabilitation service that works with parents helping them to get into treatment as a way of keeping their children. Living together in rehab is seen as a positive move, one that will spear the children the trauma of separation.
The trauma is not only about being separated at birth but for some, it continues through out their lives and emerging at the other end is adults working to overcome cycles of rejection, neglect and sometimes abuse. So though on the face of it, this looks great there needs to be a long term commitment to continued support that will enable these children to get the parents they deserve.
Recovery is possible
Addiction doesn’t have to be a life sentence; some programs can help. I worked in addictions for many years and saw many miracles. But I also saw the hard work that has to go into this becoming a reality. The things that have to change, the facing of old wounds previously medicated by drugs, the giving up of the maladaptive coping mechanism. Sometimes this is an ongoing work and takes support from many different agencies to ensure success.
The impact on families
I also saw the effects of substance use on families; I saw the impact on children, the daily rejection, the anger with no outlet, the decisions that they make to not become like mom. The confusion. I never forgot the words of one 11 years old ‘ I am usually fine at school but start to get anxious after lunch because I never know who will pick me up after school’ if its mum, ‘will she be drunk?’. ‘If she is I know, we won’t have supper, and I will spend most of the night hiding in the closet.’
As stated above this will take effort on the part of the drug user and the agencies helping to support them. Perhaps they will have to learn how to connect with children who will be struggling with the effects of rejection and abandonment.
Research indicates the risk of depression and suicidal ideation in the lives of someone growing up in an environment where they face rejection, abuse, substance using parent. These risk factors are high, and the work to undo the impact of this can sometimes take years of concentrated effort. If you are reading this, and have grown up in a home where these risks were present there is hope, healing is possible. When you apply yourself to your health and healing and commit time and energy to it, you will see the fruits of your effort.
If you have experienced this and is now a parent, you might be feeling uncertain of how to parent in a way that is different to what you experienced. The five days challenge raising resilient children will help to give you some of the tools that you will need to make impactful changes. You can register for the challenge HERE
Additionally, join our private Facebook group Parenting after childhood Trauma for weekly training.