Shame in Secrets Courage in Telling the Truth
Lita Perna Says...
Where does your daughter think you’ll be when you are in rehab?
I admire you for wanting to protect your daughter. I also understand your concerns about her losing respect for you.
What would you feel if I told you that she already knows more than you think? There’s a good chance she’s been protecting you. That’s a heavy load for a 12 year old. How can you best help her if she’s been keeping her own sad and scared feelings inside? Could this be the perfect time and place for her to begin her own healing?
Talk to the rehab people about your concerns. Ask them about the activities your daughter will participate in. Ask them how this can benefit your daughter?
You’ve probably heard that addiction is a family disease. When there is addiction in a family, everyone is affected.
It is important for your daughter to be able to acknowledge and talk about how your behavior has affected her.
It will take courage for you to face this truth. It will take courage for you to hear what she has to say.
Did you know that research has shown that children of addicted parents show more depression than children of non-addicted parents and are more likely to have anxiety disorders? It has also been shown that children of addicted parents have a higher risk for psychiatric and social problems and future maladjustment.
As a parent, this can be one of the greatest opportunities to teach her valuable lessons that will last her a lifetime.
You will teach her that when you have a problem that is bigger than you can handle, love yourself enough to ask for help. You will teach her to take care of herself, emotionally and physically. You will teach her that shame is in keeping secrets and that courage is in telling the truth.
How could your daughter not respect a mother who had the courage to admit she had a problem and took steps to deal with it? Why would she not respect you for your wanting to get well? How could she not respect a mother who values the truth?
I’d be proud of a mother like that.
Page last updated Feb 06, 2012