From NPR’s “This I Believe” series an essay from a mother of a young woman who has struggled with heroin addiction. After years of blaming herself and others, she now believes that there is no blame. Below is an excerpt, but follow the link and her the entire essay in her own voice.
You don’t expect your child to grow up to be a heroin addict. From the moment of her birth, you have hopes and dreams about the future, but they never include heroin addiction. That couldn’t happen to your child, because addiction is the result of a bad environment, bad parenting. There is most definitely someone or something to blame.
That’s what I used to believe. But after failed rehab and long periods of separation from my heroin-addicted daughter, after years of holding my breath, waiting for another relapse, I now believe there is no blame.
I don’t know why or how my daughter became addicted to heroin; I do know that it doesn’t really matter. Life goes on, and Katie is still my daughter.
Katie and I meet for breakfast on Friday mornings now. We drink coffee and talk. I don’t try to heal her. I just love her. Sometimes there is pain and sorrow, but there is no blame. I believe there is only love.