I stumbled across this website while writing a paper about Children of Addicts for my Addictions class in college. I choose that subject because it is very near to my heart. After reading some of the posts I felt compelled to share my story, in hopes that someone can relate. Although I do have some supportive family members and a supportive boyfriend, they can never truly understand my feelings because they have not been in my shoes. My parents divorced when I was 4. My father was always wild, and my mother discover him shooting up on their honeymoon. (She claims she was oblivious to situation until then.) I am an only child, with supportive grandparents, cousins and aunts, however they don't see things from my perspective. My father has been mostly out of my life since the divorce- She would have never left him if she hadn't had a child, and if he hadn't become frightening. He was a meth user amongst a multitiude of other drugs and near the end told my mother to call him "Jesus." While driving us all over 100mph down the road, he claimed it was no big deal if we wrecked- he could save us.. he was Jesus. Crazy... I KNOW. My mother and I left with a clothes basket full of belongings and moved in with my grandparents. You would think my troubles ended there. WRONG. As a child I always knew my mom was sort of off. She relied on me to make decisions, encourage her, and keep her from giving up. She spent a year after the divorce crying on a couch in the dark while I attempted to have a normal childhood. Unlike some my family was not poor, and were able to support us in a way that no one thought I would be a child of addiction. I soon realized, even young that my mother had a problem too. She was not erratic like my dad, she functioned, went to work, had relationships- but something wasn't right. At probably 9 years old I began looking through her purse, her closet, under the bed.. I would uncover bottles of pills, and I knew. I remember taking them to my grandparents (whom we lived with) who seemed very concerned. Little did I know this had been an on going problem since she was the age of 20. She started having migraines at 8 years old, which are no doubt a horrible illness. They were debilitating. In order to find a release- she began taking pills- opiates. By 45, she was taking upwards of 20 pills a day- just to get out of bed, just to get to work, just to function. It was no longer a high, it was maintenence. She went through a breakup with a long term boyfriend and spiraled down-hill. She lost a job in the medical field that she had been employed with for 11 years-- all the while placing blame on others, saying someone else wanted her job. She got pulled over one day and was taken to the hospital for a blood test, the officer could tell something was up.. She was arrested for a DUI. Living in a small town- where your name is in a local newspaper if you are given a ticket, go to court, or jail- she was mortified. Image here is everything, and to my mother she ALWAYS appeared well maintained.. She wore nice clothing, had makeup and hair done to the T- anything to keep from being found out. She went to rehab- Said she was clean- Attended a meetings for a week. This was 3 years ago, and day to day I'm not sure if she is clean or not. She doesn't act as out of it as she used to - but there are days... I believe she traded out opiates for something else. An anti-depressant maybe. As for my dad, we dont talk. He lives next door to my grandmother- his mother, and i visit her weekly. He does not speak. He makes me nervous to be honest. And as for my mom, she is my best friend, my defender, the one who understands- but she is also the source of most of my stress and worry. I worry that she will have to live with my when my grandmother dies, that she will OD one day, that people will find out the extent of her addiction. I moved out 2 years ago and began to distance myself from the issue, but the more I attempted to, the more it weighs on my mind. As I get older, I'm 22 now, my anxiety, fear, hurt grows. As a child I thought that I was unaffected, I made it, I overcame their problems.. As an adult I realize I lack coping skills, relationship skills, and carry around an immense amound of anger, resentment, and pain. It feels good to write this down, even if no one reads or responds. I know that it is in no way equal to the amount of pain that some of you have experienced, and I don't want to minimize that by sharing my story- because all in all, with supportive grandparents, an aunt that stepped up to be a second mom, and an awesome boyfriend- I've been okay. I just realize that the older I get, the more the pain pushes to the front. It's hard to ignore nowdays. Thank you for reading this far, I look forward to continuing to read everyones stories and knowing that I am not alone in a group of children who have been let down by their parents.. Good vibes for you all!