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Hard time having compassion for the addict

mj Hard time having Compassion for the addict...sorry
Hi, I've been moved to join this chat site as my daughter is an addict, and the disease has progressed to its ultimate level of awfulness.. She is our "only child," now 28 yrs. old. My husband and I have never lived with addiction, and were not so much in denial, more like ignorant about this disease.

Anyway, to make a long story short, after years of alcohol and drug abuse, she ended up using meth over a year ago, and this drug was the one that has done us all in. She was more or less a "functional addict" before the meth. She was in college, doing quite well, has lost her car, her fiancé, her family, etc. etc. The typical agenda for meth addicts. She was in jail for "traffic violations" this last summer. Had hooked up with a 49 yr. old addict who still takes money from his mother, all sad and pathetic.

I am having trouble having "compassion" for the addict at this stage of the game, being a non-addict, parent of an addict. My daughter KNOWS, and has admitted herself to being an addict. She has never pointed her finger and blamed us for any of it. However, she still goes about very arrogantly thinking she can do her own form of recovery, whatever it might entail. We ended up having to tell her we do not want to see/hear from her again until she is clean and in recovery.

Also, I am a teacher, and we have a beautiful 5th grade girl here who often comes to school with stomach pains and headaches, often trying to contain her crying spells...all because her mother is a meth addict who keeps going off and running. This girl had to move in with her grandma. Her Grandpa (who would be my husband's age) fell over one day of a heart attack and died, totally unexpected. I'm convinced it was of a broken heart from his daughter's behavior.

Sorry guys, but I really am having trouble having "compassion" for the addict. They tell us we need to have compassion in our Nar-Anon mtgs. When I see the consequences and all of the ugly, evil debris the addicts have left behind, I cannot bring myself to have compassion. My compassion goes to the poor girl who suffers because of her mother's choices. (Her mother has been to a meth rehab, and STILL chooses to use...are we to have compassion???

Maybe my heart can soften some day, but right now,
I'm more p----- off than compassionate. I want to take this girl in my arms and take her home with me.
How many other innocent children are suffering because the addict just wants to use because it is
"more fun" than living a responsible life with family and friends and employers. I feel my blood pressure rising, so I'll sign off now. Sorry, but I'm just being honest...
Sfj Re: Hard time having Compassion for the addict..
Do you have compassion for the "Morbidly Obese?"
Those dying from Lung Cancer due to cig smoking?
the Welfare mom with eight kids who avoided birth control?
the auto accident victim, paralyzed for life because she wasn't wearing a seat belt?
the soldier destroyed in Iraq who volunteered to serve?
or ?
Re: Hard time having Compassion for the addict..
Call it what you want, but I don't think feeling compassion for anyone is going to harm you. Your daughter is no longer an active part of your life until she is sober right? Not feeling compassion is going to do nothing but tear you down. I can't blame you for your negative feelings towards addicts but they serve only to break you down.
I can't think of one addict that is going to suffer due to your ill contempt towards them. This attitude is only going to negatively affect those you love or do feel compassion towards. Instead of love effecting how you treat others, you are allowing pity to control your actions. Allow love to dictate your actions, you will feel a whole lot better and be able to help make the world even better.

p.s. I am not questioning your love. I am just suggesting you work towards not allowing pity to be the overwhelming feeling and allow love to take over.
TerryCa Re: Hard time having Compassion for the addict..

Welcome! I think that as a mother of an addict I have gone through many stages of feelings: anger, sadness, compassion, confusion, empathy and even indifference.

Yes, children are especially vulnerable to the actions or lack of action of the addict. Thank god they are resilient, more so then adults! This doesn't mean that I feel it's okay to hurt the children, no not at all.

Educating myself by reading and talking with addicts and their families has taken the anger from my heart along with giving the burden to my higher power.

Maybe through your anger you will start a group for parents of addicts to meet/talk and hash out their feelings or maybe you won't.
Re: Hard time having Compassion for the addict..
MJ, how long ya been coming here? Have you read from the addicts trying to kick this crap what they go thru?

One lady posted regular about what she was going thru. She goes by LaGrumps. I'll tell ya, it just broke my heart.

Take our Stillcatest, she is trying so hard and it so hard for her. I  feel compassion for anyone going thru this. It's hard. We don't know cause we haven't been there.

I don't believe for one minute if people knew how hard their lives would be because of meth that they would go ahead on.

I hope you come to terms with your anger. Your loved one needs you.

Oh and I'm not trying to be mean here.
Re: Hard time having Compassion for the addict..
I recently found out my son (22) is a meth addict. After coming here and reading all the info, the past two years make so much more sense. Compassion? It's all I have to give my son. I won't give him money cuz I know what he'll do with it. He knows I love him and will be here for him when he's ready. If you believe there's hope for your daughter, and I hope you do, let her know you love her. It may be the only positive thing she has - even though she might not realize it. One day, God willing, my son will get clean and our relationship will return to the joy it once was. Because I showed compassion during the hardest of times.
Re: Hard time having Compassion for the addict..
mj, there are bad days-dark and angry days, and then there are the days that have a glimmer of hopefulness and faith sprinkled with love and laughter. Hold onto the hope, faith, love and laughter and as a very compassionate teacher, remember that the bad days are learning experiences. I believe tomorrow will be better-it's faith. Faith that I have comes from experience in seeing God's hand and love even in the darkest of addict's lives.

By the way, I blew my top yesterday at the addict most present in my life that I love very much-I threw so much hate and anger at him that it just about knocked him over-yes, he deserved it, but no, he didn't. The day before I was at peace and feeling compassionate and all of those good things...I relapsed just like the addict...I'm better now and back on track to healing myself-today.

I know you said your daughter has had addictions to all sorts of drugs and alcohol and I'm sure you have gone through h3ll, but do you realize the impact of meth? It's different and meaner and uglier than any other drug with much longer tentacles that seem to squeeze their mean little way into many more lives of the people who care for addicts.

I think you still have all the compassion you had-you are just having a dark time. Hug yourself and love yourself and soon you will have it back for your daughter.
mj Re: Hard time having Compassion for the addict..
Thanks for all of your insights, especially "luvepiphany's" reply.

I am praying every day that God can come into her heart. She knows her family and friends (her non-addict friends) love her unconditionally, however, we also know it's too painful to keep watching her self destruct. I know we have to "Let Go" and have her travel down her own path, recovery or not. I have learned to accept what happens to her, but I have not stopped hoping, even though if I keep my expectations low, I'm guarding against another disappointment.

Currently, she has gone back to where she grew up in high school where her friends who knew her as who she was before meth are trying to "help" her. I think she might be trying recovery on her own. I am learning to surrender, surrender, surrender.

I hope in time my heart will lighten up, and I think it will. I'm just going through what we non=addicts have to experience too, it is truly like a relapse on our part, well said!

THanks all...
in SF
Re: Hard time having Compassion for the addict..
Dear MJ,

I find compassion comes much easier when I start comparing my life to my ex-boyfriend's. In my world, I have a sister I can call whenever I'm feeling down, and she is always sure to make me laugh. I have friends who are supportive, I have a job I love with wonderful co-workers and a great supervisor, I have a safe roof over my head and lots and lots of great books to lose myself in...

In his world, he is completely estranged from his family, including his two daughters, his "friends" are all users, he is a self-employed carpenter and his helpers are all users, he is being evicted from the boat on which he lives, and he lacks the concentration to read the newspaper, let alone a book.

So, in comparison, by life is pretty darn good, and in recognizing this, I can feel nothing but compassion for the man I love who is suffering alone.

As for your student, the best thing you can do for her (and yourself!) is to give her as much love and attention as possible, and, most importantly, make her feel that she is loveable. You would be doing a great service to the both of you.

I hope this helps.
Re: Hard time having Compassion for the addict..
Welcome MJ

QUOTING luvepiphany:
I think you still have all the compassion you had-you are just having a dark time. Hug yourself and love yourself and soon you will have it back for your daughter.

Have I told you how smart I think you are, Luv? If not, well, you are quite smart.

QUOTING Sleepless:
As for your student, the best thing you can do for her (and yourself!) is to give her as much love and attention as possible, and, most importantly, make her feel that she is loveable. You would be doing a great service to the both of you.

Sleepless, I agree and you posted eloquently.
I was thankfully only addicted to meth and ice for 6 months and as of today, I am 16, oops now 17 days clean. I posted here about my meth-addicted friend (that I cannot fix or rescue), read all this site has to offer for 3 long weeks while doing meth and ice, and decided to lay the nasty stuff down. My meth and ice addiction pale in comparison to many here, as does the time of my recovery. I think the thing that irks me most about meth and ice besides how it ruins all who encounter it (and how HARD!, minute by minute at times, it is to stop using, is how I was able to be a "functioning addict"--meaning no one saw I was enjoying those nasty chemicals that combine in ugly, nastier, make-shift labs and the feeling it gave me.

In hindsight, knowing the pain meth and ice cause those of us who were addicts (or are and are fighting to kick the hold it has on us), I'm glad no one knew but my meth addicted friend. If anyone that loved me had known, at the point I was at, I may never have quit this nasty drug.

Being p'oed is a form of anger which only eats away at the one who holds it. Have faith God will take it away from you and that your daughter will get treatment.

Hate Meth but Love the Addict--they have unspeakable hurts already (and mine are minor compared to some).
Re: Hard time having Compassion for the addict..
Having a daughter that is now clean I TOTALLY understand where you're coming from.

And...ya know? Compassion and anger are not even opposite emotions! I was SOOO angry that my daughter disrupted our lives by CHOOSING to use meth and all the repercussions her use caused us.

It took the better part of a year away from all of us taking her to treatment classes, meetings with counselors (both individual and with both of us), probation meetings, anger management classes, and close to 100 hrs. of community service.

We couldn't leave the area because there was not enough time to go anywhere overnight, so no vacations etc...

Yep!!! I was frikken sick of it all and felt resentment.

I felt saddened at the same time because folks like my daughter, (and we caught it real quick before it totally destroyed her), and the folks on this board that are recovered/recovering could possibly be fighting a lifelong issue.

I can say that I'm pretty damn lucky to not completely understand this problem of addiction. But what all the counselors (drug counselors) and this board did for me was to help me understand enough to know it's got to be really tough for those who are addicts and for that I have MUCH compassion!

And personally, having gotten to 'know' the addicts on this board, I know it's a lot tougher for them than it is for us loved ones of addicts...UNLESS YOU, as a loved one, ALLOWS someone else's addiction take over your life!

Thanks to all of you recovering people for opening my mind.
LdyLesa Re: Hard time having Compassion for the addict..
MJ...I totally understand where you are coming back. I totally resent drugs. I often find myself angry with those that get involved in them. Drugs have affected my life in so many ways and I've never thought of doing the stuff. I feel anger when I think that someone made the choice to use drugs for that first time. And that they haven't made the decision not to use it for the last time.

At first, before I came here, there was no compassion...but that was really because I did not try to understand the addict's mind. But here, I read the stories. I find the personalities behind the stories. We hear not excuses, but the honest thoughts of an addict.

I now have some compassion. That does not mean that I allow my step-daughter to run our life. No no no. But I'm able to find the love for her and the compassion and hope that some day she will seek out real help. She doesn't get any help from us now....but compassion.

It takes awhile....especially for the non-user to find this again after drugs of someone else's choice has caused harm in the non-user life. But it does happen. I think you have compassion....you just are frustrated because you probably feel that they have touched your life and you didn't have a choice....we'll one thing you will hear here....you have a choice again....
Penel0pe Re: Hard time having Compassion for the addict..
Resentments hurt the one who resents, not the resented.

I can understand your lack of compassion.

Every addict makes the choice to use drugs. None of us set out to become addicts - "That won't happen to ME. I can control my drug use. I'm just having a little fun."

Most of us start using as children - I don't know too many 12 - 14 year olds who have really good judgment or foresight. Most of us start with drinking and a little pot, and in spite of what we were told, it didn't kill us, so the rest probably isn't going to kill us either, right?

What started out as entertainment becomes a lifestyle... in time, without drugs, there is no fun - we don't know how to have fun without drugs - our brains aren't working right. We literally don't recognize that we are addicted. The disease of addiction told me I was OK - I had a job, I had a house - what's the problem?

Your daughter started using meth late in the game, but it sounds like she's been using other drugs for a while. I can understand your lack of compassion because it seems logical that we would KNOW BETTER...

But trust me, when your brain is impaired, you DON'T know better. I didn't know better - I thought that people who stopped using stopped because they couldn't handle their drugs...

And today I understand that I used drugs to avoid handling my LIFE - but when I was high, I truly believed everything was A-OK.

You don't have to have compassion if you don't feel it. It's OK. It's probably more important to learn to live your own life without your daughter's addiction eating you alive. Compassion might come later, it might not. Focus on your own life.
Re: Hard time having Compassion for the addict..
I wasn't going to respond, but something kept telling me you needed to hear from another mom.
My beautiful 26 year old daughter is out there somewhere doing whatever it is she is doing. I am raising her 2 sons. Not one single day has gone by when I don't cry out to God above to watch over her and keep her safe until she finds her stopping point or her turn around point. I have been coming around this board for around a year and have talked with other parents and addicts alike. Oops, make that recovering addicts. I have compassion for them all, because not one single one of them in my opinion ask to be in a living HELL. Not one of them that I know volunteered to make that trip to Hell and back.
I have found that journaling is a release for me. I can write my inner most feelings and pour it all out, then I feel a little better about things. It is a release of pent up anger towards her for continuing to be addicted, a release of emotions that most times leads to an intense crying and praying stage. I have added many people from this very board to my list for prayers.
You may say you have a hard time with compassion, but I feel that is not entirely true. You have been hurt and you lash out. You are on guard to try to protect your heart from another hurt. Many of us have so been down this very road. It is not easy to watch a loved one do things that you know if they were not under the influence would likely not do. But you do not possess the power to change them on your own, therefore you must find it within to let go and let God and watch from a safe distance.
I ask God to send you blessings on this journey.
mj Re: Hard time having Compassion for the addict..
I have to say thanks again for your wonderful perspectives on this issue, addicts AND non-addicts.
I actually read a book by Father John Martin: Blessed Are The Addicts." He truly believes (after counseling addicts for decades) that once in recovery, addicts are probably the most sensitive, empathic and spiritual people he know, and once in recovery, having a strong calling out there in the real world... I could see these qualities already in my daughter, before the meth came to take it all away. This is what I keep praying for, that some how, some day, she will be able to actualize her gifts that are buried. All of your insights are so helpful, and thanks for allowing me to feel my current emotions without being "judged."
Re: Hard time having Compassion for the addict..
*hugs you*

I thought you were an addict too MJ ........you may be another MJ...if so, you know how we are, I don't blame you.
..I don't have compassion for addicts either.
I have compassion for people...
....it doesn't matter if they are addicts or not.

See also:

How to support an addict without sounding sorry?

How can we, as loved ones, help meth addicts?

Does meth take away feelings or compassion?

Daughter needs help and I can't live like this anymore

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