Trauma Talk #3.
Just about every adult person in my family struggles with substance use disorders. I have been present to it since the womb.
Sometimes I wish I didn’t understand.
I wish I didn’t understand what it feels like to desire not living in reality and being present in this world.
I wish I didn’t understand what it feels like to need some third party vice to make being alive the slightest bit bearable.
I wish I didn’t understand how the pain of simply existing and the need for numbing can take over everything else- nothing is more important than that next fix that will get you through the day.
I wish I didn’t understand that addiction and recovery isn’t linear. Thinking of it in simplistic terms must be avoided, and the complexity of it needs to be embraced.
I wish I didn’t understand addiction is a systemic problem that needs systemic solutions. That we live in a stupid world where substance abuse is stigmatized. In an awful fucking country where the healthcare system fuels addictions and then the government criminalizes them. Where we have inaccessible/ineffective/corrupt social services.
Understanding makes it difficult to navigate life because there’s not really anyone first-hand present to “blame,” but yet I’m experiencing life-altering cyclical harm.
Because I’m a victim of their actions, but they’re also victims too. Of the world, of the harm done to them, of their own minds. I know they are suffering.
But it doesn’t make their actions or the trauma implied on me okay.
Multiple truths can exist at the same time.
I want my family to find healing more than anything; However, I do not think that we can battle our own demons together, simultaneously. It’s impossible for me to battle my own demons and theirs.
I can no longer spend my life being collateral damage.
I want to be able to support and love them, but I have to from a distance— physically, mentally and emotionally. I’m not necessarily sure what this part of my life looks like.
Learning not to take it personally has helped— I know their actions while using aren’t reflections of their character or love. Knowing that removing myself from that environment will allow me to flourish and prevent these generational traumas from continuing provides comfort too.
As I navigate this new, freeing part of my life, just know I am rooting for:
Anyone struggling with substance use/addiction.
Anyone in their recovery process.
Anyone who has been collateral damage to addiction.
Anyone being a support to said people above.