Parents are so hard on themselves. It doesn’t matter if you are the picture perfect parent. I know none of those. No one does. But the best ones I do know are hard on themselves. The ones that think they are perfect usually are not.
Here right now, I am releasing my parents of any thoughts that they are the reason I became an addict or made any of the choices I made after becoming one. I am an adult, and my choices are my own. There are things I need help with that are overdue; that is all. In no way does that mean I blame you for the present, and the past is the past. We as parents all do the best we can with what we have and know. Believing that you love me is not issue. The issues I have now are my own.
Please stop beating yourself up. I love you.
There are some things that I have to look at about the person I am, not the parent that you were. So when I talk about needing mental help, please don’t hear that as a mark of you or your parenting. You are my mom, and you love me. My dad loves me; that is not the problem. The problem lays within me.
Loving myself in any way healthy has been an issue that I have always had. So it’s my shortcomings, something within my mind that tells me you are bad. You have always been bad and always will. I am trying to silence that voice in my head. It is something only I can do. I am lucky to have the support I have; I don’t even deserve it. So please mom, don’t beat yourself up. I have done enough of that to you. I don’t blame anyone for my mistakes. They are my own, and that is what I am trying figure out.
Nothing that happened before I became an adult matter. I chose to do what I do, and I take full responsibility. When you hear me say I need help and need to work through things in my past, it is not an attack on anyone. It is simply the truth. Please don’t take my issues upon yourself. I love you; I forgive anything you are worried about, or may think I blame you for. I don’t, it’s old news and has no bearing on the present. You did the best you could; I do the best I can with my children it is with myself that I fall short. I am so sorry for all the pain I have caused, how I wish I could take it away. All I can do now is work on the voice in my head that works so hard to destroy anything good in my life. That voice is not yours; it is mine.
I love you.
I sent this apology to my mother in March. I hope it helps a parent understand their child who suffers with these issues.
A version of this post originally appeared on Holy Addiction.
Need help with substance abuse or mental health issues? In the U.S., call 800-662-HELP (4357) for the SAMHSA National Helpline.