A Guest Post on Parental Addiction and Childhood Trauma
Addiction is an insatiable beast.
There’s really no way to sugarcoat this tragic reality.
Once the beast of addiction has sunk its claws into its victim, everything begins to change. The sparkling person once full of life no longer has the light shining from their eyes. In its place is a dull and empty glaze. The person that was once present, caring and transparent has become elusive, angry, and numbed to reality.
Yes, there are glimpses of the “real” person, but that person shows up less and less often. Now, their love, energy, and time once spent with family and friends are being held hostage by the beast.
This beast is ruthless, requiring its victims to feed its appetite above all else– and at the expense of others. Everything the addict does becomes driven by the urge to satisfy the cravings. They become obsessive as they seek to satisfy this need. Lying, hiding, manipulation, and stealing may begin in order to appease this monster called addiction.
(To be clear, your loved one (the addict) is not the beast—the addiction is the beast, but your loved one does have the choice to feed it or to starve it.)
The addict is not the only one changed by the beast of addiction.
All those in close proximity to the addict are affected.
No one in the addict’s circle of relationships goes unscathed. Little by little, the destructive powers of the beast damages relationships. One by one, they fall prey to the monster of addiction. Friends, siblings, parents, and spouse– each of them affected at some level by broken trust and the destruction that goes hand-in-hand with addiction. Each one grieved by the disappearance of the true person they love so dearly.
To love an addict is to know pain. If you have ever loved an addict, this is a truth that is difficult to deny. The closer a person is to an addict, the deeper the damage. Therefore, the spouse suffers an immense amount of wounding, pain, and confusion.
Yet it seems the most affected of all is the vulnerable child.
***Leah, at Grey Ministries, invited me to share about parental addiction and its traumatic effects on children. To continue reading, please join me over at her blog for the rest of the post:
You may also want to read: Understanding Childhood Trauma