We can fool ourselves into thinking that we have our lives well planned out. It was that way for me, being a product of the 1950/60’s: I’d go to college, meet my prince, get married, have children and live happily ever after. As much as I thought I knew what to expect, my life was riddled with surprises. But the last was the most unexpected, compelling me to write Fifth Child, a non-fiction book about the anguish and consequences of a drug-addicted child, which resulted in parenting her child almost since birth.

My husband and I are cast into a shockingly large demographic. Grandparents raising grandchildren is a growing phenomenon in our country because of our shifting economy, unmarried teen mothers, alcohol abuse and illegal drug use. Close to 10 million grandparents comprise the club. We had already raised four children. Jaime was our third child, and Brady is her son, who began calling us Mommy and Daddy when he was three. Readers may be amazed to find calamity overcoming a so seemingly traditional family. But as events and family history unfold, disturbing pitfalls and unfortunate genetic vulnerability reveal fault lines that can sabotage people from any walk of life.

"The Addict's Mom Sharing Without Shame" Video is so important whether addiction has touched your life or not. It's powerful. Please click on the link below to watch the video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gHNZbbePiKg

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Monday, February 20, 2012

Snippet from the Chapter-"MISSTEPS"

            The rehab program had rolling admissions, so patients entered at different times and graduated at different times. Many co-dependents stopped coming when their qualifiers graduated, but some stayed on to continue sharing their strength and hope with the new people coming in. We developed a genuine compassion for most of the people we met through program. We might see them casually or not see them for years, but we will forever be part of the club and they will always be friends. Many people who haven’t experienced this process can never understand, and I always feel compelled to try to make the co-dependent experience vivid. Program people get what you’re going through. There’s no small talk and no explaining necessary, but there is a lot of empathy and hugs. It feels safe.
             Unfortunately, the twelve-step program is not a cure-all and we saw many alcoholics and addicts come and go, along with their co-dependents. It was very eye opening and upsetting to see so much failure and pain. The miracles were those who got sober and stayed sober.                                   
            We learned quickly, but found it difficult to accept that addiction is a family disease in which we played a part. It’s so easy to say that it’s the alcoholic or addict with the problem; that it’s not our disease. Even though Stu and I didn’t choose to abuse drugs or alcohol; as significant others, we were part of the problem. That concept took longer to grasp.