It's hard to absorb the fact that a father could love himself more than his own child. Unfortunately, though, it is a reality that I must face every day of my life, however directly or indirectly. You never think it's humanly possible for a father to love himself more unconditionally than he loves his child - but there is one scenario in which this disturbing circumstance is found tangible- when he is an addict and is selfish. It is so hard to see somebody that is supposed to love you more than anything, love themselves only. Watching somebody prioritize themselves and their addiction over you- it's both a blessing and a curse. Naturally, we are raised to believe parents are the most perfect human beings, and if something is not okay, they will be the last to breakdown. We are raised to believe our parents love us unconditionally and are inherently supposed to prioritize us, their children, over anything else in the world.
It has taken me seventeen years to break this barrier, and finally accept the fact that some parents are not so perfect. For me, that parent who broke the barrier for me was my father. It hurts to know that the person who is supposed to love you most in this world simply does not. But, it's an important fact to swallow, and I am satisfied to say that I've finally accepted this circumstance, although I've tumultuously tried to combat the feelings and deny the horrors of rejection in the past, all through my adolescence. I have, to my benefit, fortunately, realized one thing that I believe I needed to figure out for myself- the fact that love is not implicitly implied. It is not just 'there.' It is cultivated, nurtured, and created. It is evident in actions, words, and physical motions and gestures. Love is not something you can just write off aimlessly. Someone telling you, "I love you" doesn't necessarily mean that they do. Look for love not in words, but in actions. If somebody loves you, they are going to show it.
They will show up.
They will be there.
They will not make you wait.
They will not make you beg for their attention.
They will give love to you unconditionally and without request.
They will show you they love you in the smallest ways, through the smallest actions which ultimately are the most important.
They will be a present and constant part of your life. If something comes up or they are withheld from you, they will make it up to you.
They will stay true to their promises.
It is such a hard pill to swallow. Realizing that somebody who is supposed to love you does not love you in the way that they are supposed to. But sometimes in life, we have to accept things for what they are, raw and honest. I have had to come to terms with this fact, even though it genuinely hurts me... Some people aren't going to love you. Is this wrong? Maybe. But can I change this? No. Addiction isn't a disease. It's a decision. An indirect one, perhaps, but it is, in fact, a solid decision and it can be avoided at all costs.
You have to choose yourself at some point. We all want to save the addicts in our life- we want to save them from themselves. But at some point- we must choose ourselves.
Having a parent who is an addict is one of the hardest things that I have had to overcome. The way I see it, however, everything that happens to you makes you stronger. That quote reigns true- if it doesn't kill you, it simply makes you stronger.
To everyone out there dealing with the consequences of having an addict as an essential part of their life, keep being strong. As hard of a pill as it is to swallow, everything happens for some reason. Let this be your closure. When you can't find one good reason, let it be that this situation you are dealing with will make you stronger in the end. I guarantee it.