As a parent of an addict, I am constantly judged. I am judged if I do too much and judged for not doing enough.
All of this “judging” comes just from the fact that I have a child that is an addict. Nothing more.
None of these self proclaimed judges “know” what I have or haven’t done.
This is one of the stigmas of addiction that needs to change.
It’s always “assumed” that the parent must be an “ENABLER.“
I hate that word!
The first time I met my son’s public defender- she looked at me and said “You do not understand how bad your son is.”
My response was “Yes, I do. I have lived with it. I have Narcan stashed in every room. So YES, I do understand how “bad” my son is.
During my son’s year in drug court, the judge insisted that he had a job instead of going to school. My son’s PD requested that I advocate for my son in this matter and set up a meeting with me and the drug court team in the judges chambers.
The judge and the team INSISTED that he work. I told them all that they had more experience in this matter and if that is what they felt was best, then so be it. But I did warn them that, a paycheck in his pocket was a huge trigger, like with all addicts.
I also told them that “We are all on the same team! And we all want XXXX to be sober.”
A few weeks go by and several court appearances later… and I received the biggest shock ever.
The JUDGE proceeded to call me an “enabler” in open court when my sons name was called. Told my son to ignore me and get away from me.
WTF!!! I was mortified.
Of course, I am not at the podium and unable to defend myself at all.
How did he come to this conclusion??? Assumptions, just like everyone else.
Not once, did he or any drug court member ask me exactly what my husband and I have done as parents for my son’s addiction.
Again, with stereotyping.
But I do understand. With mine and my husband’s medical background, there are tons of stereotypes for patients. I get it. I don’t “blame” him at all. But a nice sit down conversation with me would have been a better route, I think.
Come to find out, the judge himself has an addict child.
Maybe he projected his life onto me. Who knows?
Luckily, that judge is no longer on drug court. I honestly felt it was a “conflict of interest” and too close to home.
But in reality, none of this really matters.
My son is still an addict.