You are worthless.
You are useless.
You are a disgrace.
One of the many phrases I’ve heard within my lifetime, followed by the questioning of my existence. These few words often mean nothing, but are gravely effective when told that you are the face of such disappointment in moments in which there truly hasn’t been anything you could have done wrong.
People who are driven by drug and alcohol abuse become a whole different person when under the influence, which I myself know. I’ve gone from being told that I am loved, that I am one’s “princess” because I am the only daughter within two boys, but could possibly be told that I am disrespectful and disgraceful just within a few seconds – and it’s happened before, sober or not.
Living in a household that is so bipolar would make you want to commit suicide right there and then, but then again, it’d probably be ineffective. But, living in conditions where you have to question yourself whether to dial 9-1-1 or not is truly unacceptable. Having to cope with verbal abuse and an intensifying sense of fear can cause a variety of mental dysfunctionalities, such as depression, anxiety, toxic stress, etc.
Throughout the years, I ‘ve had to see my father almost kill my oldest brother, see him scream at my mother while tears formed in her eyes, see valuables be discarded, and experience the continuing change of where to live because there never seemed to be enough money to pay the rent, but enough to purchase liquor.
Depression and anxiety are common factors of mental illness in children and adolescents who suffer from abusive or manipulative conditions. The image below, from the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), proves how common these disorders are for those aged from fourteen to twenty-four.
As seen above, about a third of students with a mental illness drop out of high school, and 70% end in a juvenile system. It’s possible that if they’re experiencing abusive behavior from someone at school or at home who may be practicing drugs or alcohol, then it is likely to affect them academically, emotionally, physically, and mentally. A child could be academically challenged because they’re thoughts of what could possibly be happening at home with the rest of their family can be distracting. These distractions could then emotionally affect them because they know that the person who’s abusing these drugs is harming themselves. Physically, the person could be placing the child in harm, or because of the existence of this person, the child wants to harm himself, such as cutting or suicide. And finally, living with such a person can mentally affect a child and develop disorders.
No one would want to end like the child, who lost his mother due to heroin overdose, in this video:
Not having control when under the influence does not only mean you’re harming yourself, but the people around you as well.
If my father was more responsible when drinking – meaning, he didn’t attempt to start a conversation with an argument, didn’t use vulgar language, or physically and verbally manipulated others – then maybe – just maybe – I wouldn’t have grown up thinking that everything had to be my fault, even if I knew that whatever it was, that it wasn’t; As well as developing depression or toxic stress.
It’s important that you help someone you know who’s going through substance/drug abuse to find help, as well as supporting those suffering from a mental illness.
With that, I end with this video: