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In my experiences in life, honesty is always the best policy, regardless of the consequence. The very fact that you're concerned about your child's future in regards to your revelation of your past, to me, means that eventually you'll have to reveal to him your past in order for you to maintain peace within your very soul. By the time he's of age, you'll be able to reveal to him your past, therefore freeing yourself.
Given the genetic component of addiction, we decided, as health professionals ourselves, to let our daughter know pieces of our stories and the family legacy as soon as she could understand. Our daughter, now 18, has been a shining example of staying straight in high school, and as she prepares to leave for college, has a clear picture of what will happen to her if she begins to experiment, and what to do if it happens.
Thanks for sharing. But I felt your over-generalization of Mormons was a bit extreme and rather close minded. My Dad is an alcoholic and a Mormon. Substance abuse and motherhood and small families and big families and big floral bows (it was the 80's though, right?) and short bleached blond hair are all part Mormonism, too. Your article could help more people if you didn't insist on bad mouthing an easy target.
I really enjoyed this story. Thank you for sharing about this important topic.However- your story is now available on the web- you may not be able to control his access to this story. I don't think this is the kind of thing that will live on forever on the web (and you can certainly talk to Brain Child about their policies), but what is once published is difficult to undo. Think carefully about what you say on the web in public forums and what physical documents you keep at home. Otherwise, the choice of what information to share with your son may not be yours to make.
Thanks for sharing. I have a four month old daughter, and she was born while I was in rehab. In parenting groups we were taught to talk to our children as young as possible about drugs (many of the mothers had already damaged their relationships with their kids due to their drinking or drug use), but I thought some of the visiting kids were too knowledgeable about drugs, and that the context of "mom's recovery" made it comfortable or familiar in a way that disturbed me. I think it's important to keep the discussions about drugs, whether recreational experimentation or genetic predisposition, in a perspective that's appropriate to my daughter's life, not mine.
This was a hard essay for me to read, because I have been at the receiving end of my husband's drinking and drug-use for some time. However, I have to say that I think it is more important what you are doing with your life now than what you have done previously. I can't say the same for my husband, who just can't seem to get sober. It is encouraging to read something about someone who has put her life back together and can manage a family. My advice to all people after my experience has been to RUN in the other direction if you meet an addict, past of present. I have been very open and honest with my kids about their dad's alcoholism because he has not been able to, and I don't want them to make the same mistakes. Someday I hope he will be able to be honest with all of us, but right now, it does not seem likely. Your honesty is a wonderful gift to your child.
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