The Life And Times, A Childs Perspective

The result of neglect in childhood could be a teenage life full of rebellion and further issues such as depression and self-harm behaviors like cutting and eating disorders.
When a parent of a child is addicted, they often lose sight of the importance of their role as a parent.

Consumed with self-seeking behaviors they dedicate their time, energy, and attention to the serious game of drugs. They no longer concern themselves with parental tasks such as knowing where their child is, cooking them a dinner, or putting them to bed on time. Holidays may feel empty because of the absence of an addicted parent, or if the parent is there, they may not be present, their mind clouded by the substances they use. The story paints a sad picture for the addict, who may not see it at the time; however who is really affected by the addicted parent is the child.

Seeing addiction through the eyes of a child is a heartbreaking experience. They wonder where their parents are, and why they leave all the time. Children quickly absorb the world around them like a sponge. In an attempt to understand why their parents are never there for them, they blame themselves. A feeling of inadequacy takes the place of where the love grown from a parent-child relationship should be. A child will wonder if they are good enough for their parent to love, and that feeling carries on into adulthood, transforming them into insecure individuals with a fear of abandonment.

The result of neglect in childhood could be a teenage life full of rebellion and further issues such as depression and self-harm behaviors like cutting and eating disorders. The feeling creates further problems with relationships for the child later on in their adult life. In addition, it can lower their self-esteem, something that could take years of professional therapy to correct. 

For the parent who has put their child through this, they may find it to be difficult for them to regain a relationship with their child once they become clean and sober later on in life. The child may have the feeling that they were betrayed by their parent. They may be resistant to forgive their parent at first, because ultimately, the parent abandoned them for a life riddled with drugs, alcohol, dangerous situations, and shady individuals. When this happens, it is important for the parent to realize that genuine forgiveness will not happen overnight. After all, they did not become addicted in one day, so likewise, any part of the recovery process does not happen overnight.

The parent of the addicted child who finds it within themselves to become clean and sober should be patient and understanding, particularly when dealing with adult children. Those children who witnessed the behaviors of their addicted parent will be quick to dismiss apologies that are not followed by actions. Rather than simply saying, “I’m sorry” to their child they should make a real amends by staying clean and sober, and changing their lifestyle to be conducive to a true recovery. This way, the parent is attracting their child to their life, rather than forcing it on them. Once significant of improvements to their lifestyle have been made and sustained for a period of time, the child of an addicted parent will be more inclined to truly forgive and invite their parent back into their life. 

Distributed by Hawaii Island Recovery

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