I’ve been trying to write for weeks, but I can’t seem to come up with something to write about. The weeks are long and boring and money is very tight. I’m stuck in the room almost every day. Hubby’s had no luck with the job search, but will begin attending a local college for a free 6 week mechatronics course. I’m hoping it will be something he enjoys and will help him land a job.
There are kinds of rumors going through the shelter and if any of it is true it is stressful. It’s nothing serious, but it has to do with if we’ll all be able to remain here. It worries us because we’ve come to really like the town and if we’re potentially moved back to the city everything we’ve worked towards already and what we have going on will be for nothing. We’ll have to start all over, but be stuck because city living is too expensive for us.
The kids are doing well, but you can tell the situation is getting to them. I’m finding it harder and harder to entertain them and occupy the time.
I often wonder when will you wake up? I’ve thought long and hard about writing this post knowing I’d potentially get a lot of slack from family and friends. I questioned myself for many months, but recently came across this post and I told myself it’s time.
I come from a family filled with addicts. I’m surrounded by addicted friends. I’ve watched as many lost their battle to addiction. I buried my uncle in November, less than four after losing another uncle to cancer (his brother) because of addiction. I watch my sister use every day, waiting to get the call that she’s dead. Drugs and alcohol surround me.
In some cases the addiction began the common way, an injury happened and they became addicted to pain medication. Other cases, like my sister despite being surrounded by addiction they still turned to drugs and/or alcohol. I won’t say how old she was, but those that know her will know it’s been a long time.
I’d like to say I know why they turn to drugs and alcohol despite seeing what it’s done to others, but I can’t. I’m an alcoholic. I wanted nothing more than to be black out drunk daily. I wanted to not feel. I believed I needed it. Once I was done being distracted by the work day I was heading out to drink. I was young. I picked up my first drink around 13. By the time I was 18 I was drinking almost nightly.
You might say how can I write this post being an addict? The difference is I woke up. Shortly after turning 21 I said to myself it’s time for a change. Despite now being legally able to drink, I stopped. On my own, no AA or help from anyone. I realized it was time to admit I had a problem. I won’t lie, I’ve relapsed a few times. I have over drank when the drinks are flowing, but at most once a year since right before I got pregnant with Khloe in 2006. Those handful of times it was a lapse in my judgement. I told myself the kids were with hubby and fine, I was enjoying myself and that was it. I’m not 100% sober, but I’m now able to enjoy a glass of wine with dinner on special occasions or have a single cold drink on a hot summer day while barbecuing.
I’m different, I woke up. My family is my life. They’re my driving force. I don’t want my children to know the sorrow of loss due to addiction. It’s why I can’t understand when you’re surrounded by love and those trying to help you that you continue down the path of addiction. How can you enter rehabilitation, suffer through withdrawals, come out clean and go back to those still using. It saddens me that when you have a clear mind that you put yourself back into situations that make it easy for you to use.
It might seem harsh, but like the post I read I’m preparing for death. Like with my uncle I am hardening myself. I love him and always will. I lived more of my life in the same home as him than without. We’d watch TV shows and movies together. We had inside jokes. He was like a dad to me. Every day I hoped I wouldn’t get the call, but prepared for it. I saw how he took the loss of his brother. I knew he was too far down the rabbit hole and wasn’t coming back, but I hoped and prayed he would. I hoped my sister would get another smack of reality at his loss, but she too is just going deeper and deeper. It’s why for the sake of my addiction and my children that I tell myself that she is already dead. When I get the call I can tell myself she was already dead it’s just time to lay her to rest. Of course in the back of my thoughts I’ll still hope that one day she too will wake up.
What is “free range” parenting? The below is a definition from Wikipedia;
Slow parenting (also called simplicity parenting and free range parenting) is a parenting style in which few activities are organised for children. Instead, they are allowed to explore the world at their own pace. It is a response to concerted cultivation and the widespread trend for parents to schedule activities and classes after school; to solve problems on behalf of the children, and to buy services from commercial suppliers rather than letting nature take its course.
First of all I hate the term “free range” parenting, kids are not chickens. This is how I was raised 20-25 years ago and it was just parenting. I was raised in the 80s and 90s and once I was around 9 my mother allowed us (my sister 2 years younger) and I to go to the neighborhood parks and friends houses on our own. We were safe in a city that wasn’t the greatest. It is actually the most dangerous city in Massachusetts. With that said I recall hearing of only two murders during my time living there (1982 until roughly 2003), one of which was gang related. In that time frame I never heard of a single abduction or molestation. From 2000 until 2012 there was an average of 2.4 murders per year. I had a hard time finding statistics from when I was younger, but I’ve heard statistics are similar.
What I get the angriest about is all the rebuttals against “free range” parents saying things like “we’re living in a different world, it’s not as safe as when we were younger.” Fact of the matter is in most crime rates are just about the same as they’ve been for a long time, some are even a lot better. We live in a social media society. In the 80s and 90s there was no state wide Amber Alert texts when a child went missing, things were spread by word of mouth and not statuses shared, news was on at specific times or read in the daily paper and not shared on social networks or easily found online. The world has not changed to have a massive influx of criminals, just an easier way to hear about the crimes.
When I was a child there were no terms like “helicopter” or “free range” parenting. I remember my mother being a little bit of both, she hovered when she needed, but allowed us freedom to learn the world for ourselves. If I needed her she was always there, but urged me to take risks and do things for myself. Do I believe that children should be allowed 100% freedom? Of course not, but I also think hovering and sheltering your child will not allow for them to learn real life common sense or try to achieve anything on their own.
I’m not a “free range” or “helicopter” parent, but I do practice a lot of attachment parenting. If we’re outside I will do activities with the kids sometimes, other times I leave them to play on there own and keep an eye on them while doing other things. I can not see Khloe (8) walking with Keira (7) and Kaylee (5) to a park on their own even just a block away. Not because I don’t believe they’ll do well on their own, but because in some ways Khloe is not mentally 8. Can I see Keira at 10 years old taking Kaylee who will be 8 and Kaleb 6 to a community park alone within a few blocks of our home? Yes. They already know not to talk to strangers, they know how to cross streets and keep an eye on their surroundings that can safely say in 3 years they will be fully capable of doing it alone. Many kids at the age of the Drama Queens are expected to walk just under a mile to and from school, but are not allowed to stop at a park to play on their way home.
Parents are too quick to attack each other. DCF is being called on each other because they don’t parent the same way. Just because one family feels they’re children can safely go on their own to a park and you feel it is wrong does not make it ok to harass and report them to the authorities.