Getting angry

Getting angry

I rarely get angry.

Is that abnormal?

It must be. Because when friends find out they look at me strangely.

Living with someone who is actively using drugs or abusing alcohol, it is easy to get angry. Probably even normal.

Like the time that Jacob’s high school counselor called me, “Are you aware your son is in danger of failing English? and history?”

Or the time another mother accused me of not reining in my son because he was out with her son doing who knows what.

Or the countless mornings we’d find the side mirror of the car smashed, often dangling by a thin wire.

And the endless conversations that felt only one-way, eliciting monosyllabic responses to pointless questions that resolved nothing.

But I didn’t get angry.  Not then.  Or even later when the counselor we were seeing asked me straight up, “Don’t you ever get angry?”

I’m sure it is unusual. Or something lacking in my make-up – worthy of analysis.

Instead, I just got sad.  Sadder.  And sadder.

Because I knew, even when Jacob’s addiction was at its worst, that this wasn’t my son doing these things to himself or to me.  This wasn’t the sunny, funny kid my husband and I had raised.

It was the addiction.

That cruel, mysterious monster had slipped silently into our warm, safe home one ugly summer night and taken hold of my child, slowly suffocating the boy I knew and loved, but somehow couldn’t protect.

Its sickening grasp held him for years.

Instead of blaming the victim, I turned my rage against addiction.

But not at my son.

Because how would anger help?


7 Replies to “Getting angry”

  1. I felt this on many levels. Thanks for the reminder. Don’t blame the victim. I have to remind myself of this often.

  2. Lisa, I had no idea of Jacobs addiction until recently. My memories are of him and my daughters in rose mor innocent years. If you come to Wilmington DE, please let me know. Nancy

    1. Nanyc, how kind of you to comment,
      Jacob is 11+ years in recovery and doing so well. He still lives in Ft Lauderdale.
      You may want to read the book: Secret No More.
      Yes, I will never forget the years he was with your girls. Hoping they, and you, are all well!

  3. I meant to say in those more innocent years. Sorry about the system changes. My heart is with you all.