family and addictions

I asked T a question today. I wanted to know if those with addictions were able to tell the truth. He seemed to think that it was possible–not all of the time, but sometimes.

My mother drinks too much. Her middle sister is addicted to vicodin. Her youngest sister drinks and is addicted to percocet. My grandmother had 9 siblings and 7 of them were alcoholics. My grandfather was also an alcoholic. My brother disappeared in Montreal for a couple of years–I later learned he was drinking heavily, dropping acid and using cocaine–and spent two months in the Montreal Neurological Institute.

That is just my mother’s side. I think it’s safe to say that addiction runs in families. At least it does in my family.

I’m having a hard time figuring out who to believe these last few days. My aunt, who tells stories that don’t make sense to me, or my mother, who tells me she doesn’t remember anything that my aunt has described. I don’t know what any of it means. Is my aunt saying things that aren’t true? Or has the truth of what she says caused my mother to forget it all?

Do heavy narcotics make people remember things differently? What about alcohol? Do addicts live in a different reality? How do you know if what they say is really what happened? Are they addicts because of what happened? Whose side do you take, or is there truth somewhere in between?

My mother just wants to let it all go. She doesn’t see the point in talking about it all. She says that the past is the past and there is no point in digging up the things that happened so many years ago. Maybe she is afraid. I don’t know. But she seems really bothered by what has transpired in the last few days.

All families have secrets. Some secrets limit the wholeness and freedom of every member of the family, often generation after generation. I’m tired. I feel like my whole world has changed in the last week and things are making even less sense than they did before. I’m not really sure where to go with what I’ve heard and I have yet to say out loud any of it.

So many questions, not enough answers…

4 thoughts on “family and addictions

  1. As you know I am an alcoholic, in recovery. My memory is blurred and we most definitely live a different reality. It is hard to explain what it is like but I in active addiction and me sober are two completely different people. Totally different.

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    • Thanks Eve,

      If you don’t mind can I ask you a question? It’s personal so if you don’t want to answer, it’s totally okay, I completely respect that.

      But if you can answer this is my question….

      When you were actively drinking, what you remembered about the past, were they things that really happened?

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      • I most often forgot the real things that happened. I would black out. I remembered things but vaguely. My Aunt is an active alcoholic who makes up stories about the past and she constantly repeats herself

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