Upon writing about addiction from my point of view, a fellow blogger shared a post with me that spoke volumes to me. You can read it here...A Father Lost by Wally Fry
In the late 1960’s, after trying to lead his family, a father succombs to addiction of alcohol and eventually leaves his family. It wasn’t unheard of back then, but 50 years later, addiction has infiltrated our families at a startling rate and is now a common happening.
But Wally’s story got me thinking, what causes a parent to walk out on their families? And why do some stay and struggle in front of their families? Both choices causing different types of damage.
When you read Wally’s story, you can identify with the pain his father’s choices caused him. But I can identify with his father as well. His father tried for a least a bit of time, because he was able to leave some good impressions on his son, as you will read. I can’t help but to think that maybe his father thought he was sparing his family heartache by simply walking away. He didn’t go off and succeed at a different life; which tells me he was so deep into his addiction there was no other choice for him. Maybe he thought he was doing the nobel thing.
So many addicts do this…step away because they believe they’re helping to spare their loved ones. Maybe what causes them to step away isn’t selfish desires after their drug but the hopeless feeling they have inside. “I’m never going to change. I’ve hurt them too much. I can’t do this.” To where their thinking can become to something like, “It’s pointless trying anymore. The other hundred times I tried, I failed.”
Don’t get me wrong here, because I know there’s some out there with no conscious, whose actions are self-derived and lead to destruction with no regret in their hearts. But many do try, and many do have regrets.
I will say it again, I’m no expert, just a nosey woman with alot of questions. Those who walk away have given up on themselves. They are hopeless.
More questions: What about those who choose to stay and struggle in front of their families? Do we look down on them for the pain they can end up causing? The memories that get etched into the child’s mind? The work load that it puts on the other spouse; do we point the finger and blame? Do we say “If only they would’ve left.” But doesn’t that make them just as guilty as the addict who walks out?
Those who stay while being an addict are hopeless too. And maybe they are scared to go “out there” from underneath the protection of the their loved ones.
In no way should we enable our addicted loved ones, but we shouldn’t turn our backs on them either. It’s one thing for them to choose to run or stay, but it’s another when they have no one to go to whose arms are open wide for them. Like our Lord, His arms are always open wide for us ALL, no matter our sin.
I know there are no clear cut answers in these situations, but there is one that is clear to me when loving our addicted loved ones. We can’t give up on them. As long as they are trying and their thought process is still a desire to quit, then how can we walk away? And until they choose to walk away, we must be like Jesus with our arms open wide.