Please be patient

I am not afraid of crowds.
I can easily be in an anonymous crowd where I don’t know anyone and the throng of people are merely back drop and atmosphere. I can walk through the chatter and ignore and be ignored and I am at ease.

The throng of people don’t register, they could be paintings, they could be imagination. I see them, but I don’t see them. I don’t have to. I can walk where I please.

But I can not walk into my parents living room on Christmas. Too much history, too much emotion, too much memory or not enough memory on my part.

I don’t like being recognized on the street. If they remember me, then I remember me. I don’t want to do that. I don’t want to remember me a few years ago. I don’t like that guy and I hope he doesn’t come around any more.

If you have seen me day by day and week by week; then you have seen me chase that old me away.
If your still here after having seen that battle, then I’m glad your here to see me now.
It’s OK if you remember me from then, because you know who I’ve fought and won, and you might know who I am now.

But if you meet me now, and you knew me then, then I have a hard time wanting to know you.
Because that will lead me right back to me… the old me… the me I’ve fought off. So I don’t fight my old me anymore…
I run away in panic.
I’m just not ready to fight myself again.

If you still want to meet me now, you have to stand still a moment and when I’m sure that who I used to be won’t show up, then I’ll try and come and say hello.
I’m not hiding from you… I’m hiding from me…
To bad I always know where I am.

It’s a sad solitary game of hide and seek. I want to hide, I don’t want to seek and no matter how many times I count to 100 with my eyes closed, I find myself right way. But it’s not the me I hope to find, it’s parts of the old me.
Then I have to hide again.

So if you knew me then and hope to know me now…
Please be patient…
J under construction.

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I only know addiction recovery or my own journey. I know how upset my husband can get when I point out or talk about his actions while he was addicted. He doesn’t want to remember those days or himself during that time. For me I don’t want to forget who I was during my addiction. I hold on to that memory of her. I need that memory to stay alive so that I know what it is that I can not go back too. Without her, I just might be tempted. Without her pain it may not be worth it. My heart constricts when I think and remember her but I also love her for what she has taught me and for keeping me clean. She is 13 years old now and I don’t know when I was able to think about her this way. I think as you heal, and you will continue to heal, that facing the old J will get easier. Hopefully one day you will not have to hid from him but will be able to hug him and say thank you. Sorry if that was a little sappy.


Hi James. Son is the same way. He tells me that is why he loves being in downtown Atlanta - he feels anonymous there. He has also said there are too many memories and feelings in our home.

Son rarely comes to family functions now. When he does come, all of the family are so curious about him and love him, so naturally their attentions are focused on him. They don’t understand his illness either and some family members ask him too many questions. He hates that.

I haven’t been completely forthright with some judgmental family members about son’s diagnosis either. It’s not because I’m embarrassed it’s because I’m protective over him and there is so much stigma.

It has gotten to where holidays are stressful for all of us. I used to hold Thanksgiving at our home every year. Now I’m afraid to because I never know how son is going to be. His pattern has been every Fall he has melted down (or wheels come off as you say). So it’s even more turbulence and questions with the family.


I don’t see it as sappy. I totally understand why you keep her around. That makes perfect sense.

I have a sort of scared fascination with that guy. I go to my sis and ask… Tell me exactly what you remember of him… no wait… don’t tell me… Ok tell me,… but later… no, tell me now… no wait… don’t tell me.

I’ve been reading some of my journals but they go off on these outer space tangents with rows of dots and the word “carrot” repeated over and over and I just read this so confused at times… other sections will take me right back to where I don’t want to be…

Sometimes I do like to see how far I’ve come. I do like to look at my pages of dots and remember that I will never be in that space again.

The stuff I just did to myself and affected myself, I can handle. I can stare that down. The stuff I’m disturbed by but my kid sis thought was sort of nice… I don’t know what to make of it, but I can sort of face it.

But some of the stuff that I feel took it’s greatest toll on those around me… that is very hard to face.

I think what sparked this, was I wasn’t paying attention when I was shaving and really messed up my mustache, so I got irritated and went clean shaven… ick… I can’t wait until this grows back. I am looking at my younger self and I don’t like him.

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It’s the same for my family. This last Christmas Mom and Dad gave me the roll of errand runner and I think that really helped.

I go and get ice, I go and pick up extra small forgotten stuff at the market. I hang out for 10 and run an errand, hang out for 10 more, run another errand. If I go for an hour and come back for 10 my Mom and Dad don’t make a big deal of it. Since it’s Ok with them the rest of the family settles down.

Family gatherings are the hardest for me. They remember what hell I’ve put my own parents through, they remember taking my kid sis in when she was 7 because Mom and Dad were trying to protect her from my worst. I hate facing that.

I feel very defensive and I do have a few cousins who are flat out jerks, I know it’s them, it’s not me, but it’s still hard to face. It’s odd seeing your side and knowing the side I know too.

For a long time my family would have very small gatherings with only one or two family that knew what was wrong with me and little by little introduced one more and one more. But our family is just so flipping huge that there really is no place that will get us all in. So small sub-sections have developed.


I have wanted to say this before on this website, so this thread is a good time to do it.

I do understand the guilt and bad memories you experience. BUT honestly, as a caregiver, and I believe most parents/caregivers will agree, our ONLY focus is for our loved ones to heal and get better. If our loved ones are trying to overcome this illness that is all that matters.

My son has done some really hurtful things to me and my husband. We realize he did these things because he was ill. But when we see that he is trying and is making a sincere effort to heal, all is totally forgiven and these bad things become just a blurry distant memory, not important at all any more.

Most people have a huge capacity to forgive and forget when they see their loved ones coming out of the dark. Not only does it make our hearts happy to see our loved ones heal, but even happier that they can forgive themselves, because we have.

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I can relate some. Once I cleaned up and was having conversations with those who were still using… They didn’t make sense yet they made perfect sense to me when I was using. I realized wow I used to sound like that. Eek.

My mom is gone so I don’t have to look her in the eye every day. My kids. That was hard. I used to get what the doctor called panic episodes, I guess not full blown panic attacks, trying to deal with those emotions. They are the ones that got hurt the most. They lost out on having a mother for most of their childhood which resulted in other issues. I think the realization that my children love me in spite of my actions during that time, helps me a lot. It’s mutual. I love them regardless of their mistakes too. I truly believe that it will get easier for you.

Sorry about the shaving mess up…

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Bang! right there is what I’m working on. I find that lots of people seem to forgive others before they forgive themselves.

My kid sis is horribly hard on her self for what she calls mistakes in helping me. I don’t even remember half the stuff she mentions. Unless I found it cute in a way… like her voodoo curse breaking with the chicken bones. I do remember that because looking back it was funny to me and in an odd way it sort of worked.

For some reason I have a very hard time getting over this guilt and remorse. I know I have to. I’m encouraged to. It will take work.

I am trying to step out of my own embarrassment. It’s like a residual paranoia I guess, thinking everyone in the room is still judging and harboring ill feelings. I KNOW my parents have forgiven me and we are close now. But I still have some siblings that I’m not sure how this will go. I am working on letting it go. But for my brain to let something go… that takes a while.

That is a bit of the hardest part too. There are some people I talk to now… and I was there, I know exactly why they are thinking tracking sensors were sewn into their clothing. But even though I can understand the action… I can’t understand them anymore. When I talk to them, they don’t understand me either. I used to be like that. It is embarrassing to me when cousins start recalling what I was like.

I know what you mean about having your kids help you even. (Not to be presumptuous) But the one person who should really hate me the most, the person who’s life I REALLY messed up, is the very person who has stuck by me the hardest. It amazes me a lot. But it makes me just as over protective as I’ve always been, which never helps the situation. That is another cycle I’m trying to break.


Not even knowing your family, I would wager your sibs feel the same way as your parents. Son has done some really mean/hurtful things to his sis when he was psychotic, but I do know that if her brother could come out of the dark as you have, nothing else would matter to her. She would be so happy and all would be forgiven.