There was a ghost living in our house when my youngest child was just a kid, hovering over every bit of his life as he was growing up. The ghost was a character in my youngest son’s story; it was just as real as his addicted brother—causing its own form of chaos—and was present even when his brother was not.
Everything that happened in our home and our family made an impression on my youngest child—twice. First, there was the all-too-real drama (and trauma); then there were the hauntings. An arrest here, an overdose there. A drunken car accident, a brother nearly killed. Handcuffs and jail cells, detox and court. Scary phone calls and scary strangers. Scary, out-of-control brother and scary crying mother. Lies, betrayals, and the loss of trust. Love and hate and twisted fate. Everything that happened—both good and bad-had a part in making my youngest son who he is now that he’s all grown up.
The ghost living in our house is something my youngest child probably got used to—after all, it was part of the only family he ever knew. The ghost is probably hovering somewhere nearby him, still.
“The ghost of my addicted child’s mistakes hovered over everything his younger sibling did (and didn’t do) . . . and so did his dad and I, skittish and fearful and trying to learn from our own mistakes.” ~Sandy Swenson
Today’s thought from the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is from the book:
by Sandra Swenson