It’s been awhile since I’ve written about my mother. When I first started this blog, I wanted it to be a very real, personal way for me to talk about my mother’s addiction and how it has affected my life. One of the things I’ve always wanted to do since I was old enough to understand my mother’s addiction, was to travel far and wide, talking to children, and perhaps even families, about what it is like being the daughter of an addict.
If we’re being blunt, that is exactly what I am. And oddly, nowadays I don’t feel ashamed to say it.
There is a difference between acknowledging the cold, hard truth (my mother is an addict) and falling victim to the circumstances (I can’t because my mother is an addict).
And this is exactly why I have no issue with being known as the daughter of an addict.
Never in my life have I allowed who my mother is to impede on the fact that if I want something, I’ll be damned if I don’t go out and try to get it. Never in my life have I allowed who my mother is to control the kind of loving, polite, and moral person that I strive to be. Never in my life have I allowed who my mother is to be the excuse as to why I deserve any less than anybody else.
Awhile back I had put in a job application to a local business. I even went as far as to typing up a cover letter and resume and mailing it in; I just really wanted to work at this place! Anyway, days went by and I hadn’t heard anything, so I decided to check my email. Sure enough, I had an email! I excitedly opened it up to read:
“Thank you so much for your interest in [company name]. I was extremely impressed with your application, resume, and dedication to the application process. You were originally one of my top picks to interview. As part of our screening process, I always check the social media pages of our applicants. My perception of you immediately changed upon viewing your Facebook page. Many of the things you had posted included language and symbols that do not align with [our company] values. For this reason, I had to remove you from the application process. I think that you were a really strong candidate, so I would really encourage you to clean up your page when applying to jobs in the future, as nearly every employer screens social media in this day in age. Thank you again for your interest. I wish you the best in your future endeavors.”
I stood there in absolute awe and anger. I immediately went to my Facebook page, scrolling and scrolling trying to find something inappropriate that I had posted inadvertently. I found nothing. I was in disbelief. What the heck did this woman see on my Facebook page that would disqualify me as an applicant for a job? I was so upset, I had really wanted this job!
Turns out, she didn’t even look at my profile. I immediately got angry at my mother. Our names are the same, so even though I have my Facebook profile name different than hers, the name on my application was the same as her Facebook account. I got on her page and I found what the woman had said was against her company’s policies. It all made sense now.
But now what?
It wasn’t fair that I was suffering the consequences of someone else’s actions, let alone my mom’s. I was even more mad because it seemed like I was always just playing the role of the daughter of someone whom society sees as bad.
I emailed her back.
I explained how she probably didn’t check out the right account, and if she wanted to see mine, she’d have to look under a different name. I apologized, even though I was in no way wrong. I explained how we were no longer in touch and how her page is very different than my own.
I had an interview the very next day.
It seems (and not that I mind too much anymore) that I always end up having to explain to others that I’m the daughter of an addict. One way or another, the story has to come out, and I’m left hoping that the person I’m telling isn’t as judgmental as I feel like some people are.
I wanted to share that little story just to show just how easy it is to be affected by my mother’s actions. I said before that I am unashamed of being the daughter of an addict, but that does not go without saying that it doesn’t have a very big impact on my life. I am not completely immune to it, even if I am able to admit that it is who I am.
And even though I grew up with a drug addicted mother, does not mean that I will let that change how determined I am to succeed, how hard I choose to love those around me, how well I treat strangers, the energy I put into being a good person, or the attitude I have when I wake up every morning.
You see, I can acknowledge that I am the daughter of an addict. But I don’t have to fall victim to my circumstances.