"It's a domino affect, you have to help each other out in a family"
Recorded November 30, 2017 Archived November 30, 2017 05:45 minutes
DescriptionMYA: Who misused drugs in your family?
MOM: My dad, your grandfather.
MYA: How did their addiction begin?
MOM: Being a little girl he played baseball and he joined a clubhouse. Every weekend they would have baseball games and we would drive to Philadelphia for these baseball games and as far as I could remember I, obviously was to young to see any drug use, but visibly a lot of alcohol use, so he would always drink and drive home drunk and things that I got used to seeing, but I don’t know if that’s when he initially started, but I can honestly say that on the weekends they would drink excessively probably doing drugs at the same time.
MYA: Did they ever try to hide their addiction?
MOM: He was always trying to hide it from us.
MYA: How did he do that?
MOM: Well he would leave on Fridays and we wouldn’t see him until Sundays and he would go on a binge. He would come back when he was sobered up.
MYA: How did you and your family feel when like you realized that he started abusing drugs?
MOM: It affected everyone in the household because of course, financially he just wasn’t bringing in his part of the deal. And it was hard for mom to keep up, working at a factory living check by check, it was hard for her to pay everything on her own and it became a struggle for all of us. The added stress on mom, she took it out on everybody in the household we all kind of suffered.
MYA: What did they do to continue their drug habit?
MOM: Basically, he was just more of a functioning addict he was able to keep a job, but towards the end I’ll say a few years later as his addiction progressed he started to miss work more he started calling out, not only did he have a drug addiction he also had a alcohol addiction, so he would go on drinking binges as well and then not wanna wake up the next day and go to work. So, now that’s less money coming in until eventually he was fired, so that really affected the whole family. We all felt a lot missing in the household.
MYA: How did their addiction cause friction between your relationship with them?
MOM: It cause friction because when he would come home high on drugs and most of the times on alcohol he would start arguing and fighting with grand mom. Three or four o’clock in the morning when you hear your parents arguing and fighting your gonna get up and find out what's going on, and that’s when I would wake up and try to go check on my mom and I would see that he will be hitting her or arguing whatever the case maybe, so then I would get in it cause I would refuse to let him hit my mom, so he insulted us verbally you know with his words it started to affect the whole family.
MYA: What feelings did you develop?
MOM: Hatred for my dad because I hated that person he was when he was under the influence, took me a lot to overcome those feelings, but during this time of his drug abuse and his alcohol abuse it was more of just didn’t want to be around him.
MYA: What boundaries of trust were broken?
MOM: As far as *sighs* trust I would say just couldn’t trust him to be a dad. Our dad was there physically, but mentally he wasn’t. I guess you would say trust for me has always been a big issue when it comes to believing in someone and saying he would change and he never did, he did eventually as he got older, but just couldn’t trust him anymore, to believe in him that he would change at that time.
MYA: How long did this addiction followed?
MOM: Yeah it was all through my whole childhood. I can remember from the time I was six years old up until I was twa-nineteen when I moved out pf my parents house I was nineteen, so the addiction went in even after me moving out a couple years still continued over twenty years.
MYA: Did anybody try to help your family me member overcome his addiction?
MOM: My mom of course, my mom was always there she was always the glue that kept the family together when things started to fall apart she always gave him a helping hand she supported him in everything positive that he wanted to do. When he was under the influence he was a totally different person and then even afterwards when he was sober he was just in denial , just try to say it wasn’t him that, that’s not how he behaved, but she always try to help him. Me I always tried as a daughter to help my mom out because she was the glue she was everything that kept it together. You know it’s a domino effect you have to help each other out in a family.
MYA: Did he ever not accept the help?
MOM: No, no he-he never wanted help he didn’t think he had a problem that was it he was in denial. To him it was just he’s having a great time it was just a weekend thing, but the weekend thing eventually escalated to a weekday thing, so to him he didn't see it as an issue, so to him there wasn’t anything to fix, so to him there wasn’t anything to fix.
MYA: Did he ever try to help himself?
MOM: The only time I can remember him trying to help himself was eventually when all the partying caught up to him and he ended up getting sick in the hospital and ended up with a pacemaker in his heart. That’s when I can honestly say he started to slow down because he realized how he couldn’t party like he used to and he was very young when he had the pacemaker put in , he was about fifty years old. It was a good and bad thing it was sad that he needed a pacemaker and he needed something to help him keep his heart beating regularly that was the sad part, but the good part was that helped him stop using drugs and it kind of put him on the right track, he had to get sick in order to put his life on the right track, unfortunately.
MYA: Is there anything you will like to go back and change?
MOM: If I can go back and change anything it would definitely be educating myself a little more on this disease, so I can help him out a little better.
MYA: Thank you.
MOM: Your welcome.