Monday, January 7, 2013

How to help an adolescent cope with her parent's addiction

Healing is a cyclic ongoing process. During meditation today, I was surprised to note some feelings of resentment come up for my extended family when I was growing up. A specific uncle came to mind. He was always my favorite. He and his wife tended to avoid our sick family like the plague. And who could blame them?
But we'd see them occasionally, and he was funny, and fun, and I loved him and no...there is no way he could have ever saved me or my sibs from the experience we were having but here's what he could have done, had he known what to do. He could have taken me aside and said this:
"What you are going through right now, with your father's drinking and the poverty and the filth, is not your fault. It isn't okay. It sucks and you shouldn't have to deal with it. You deserve every good thing and it breaks my heart that you are living this way and I wish I could fix it, but I can't." 
He could have gone on to say,
"What you need to know is this isn't you.  You are better than this. You are not going to live like this forever. I see strength in you. I see your good loving heart. You are going to make it. You are going to excel. You are going to fly. I know this about you. I see it." 

It would have taken two minutes to have that conversation. 

Words are powerful things. 
It would have meant the world.

1 comment:

  1. Absolutely. I agree, let's say that to some kids. Promise? Don't forget.