We have become a society of self defeating rules based on judgments. Turning people into the bad guy forever by making it impossible to overcome. Stigmas, labels, rules, & contempt have clouded us all. Mistakes become lifestyles & excuses become our way of life.
This applies to many aspects but it has hit the family the hardest. I could go on and on over the dead beat dad, child support, & abortion-trust me, but that is not what this is about. This is about a bigger problem. A problem that stretches far beyond family. One that affects all walks of life but reaches into every crevice of society. This is about drugs.
Let me throw out there that I am for the legalization of marijuana. I do not do it, but I know it is better, safer, and helps a lot more than prescriptions do for a variety of things. I do think it is safe to say that most people, in this day & age, do not consider pot a drug-or at least not in the same sense as heroin or meth. Unfortunately the law does. Even more unfortunate is the law that takes children from their parents at birth if they test positive for drugs.
Hold up. I know, I know…it’s horrible & we need to protect the babies. I get it. It raises our flags & puts us on a mission to save these poor babies. Protective mode kicks in & we all suddenly become wonder mom (or dad). But let’s calm down a minute, take a deep breath, and think things through.
For years women have drank (even per their doctors), smoked, took prescription drugs. Some have been through cancer treatments, on psychiatric meds, etc. These are all just as harmful, and in most cases worse. And keep in mind that, not all times but a lot of the time, addicts became addicts due to doctors, treatments &/or stopping the drugs they hooked them on to begin with. Before the age of drug testing, I am betting a lot of our parents would have tested positive & we would have been taken & put in foster care.
Again, I am not condoning the behavior. I know how serious it can be. It is a horrible situation for a child. It is also a horrible situation for the parents & it is an awful situation for all involved when the baby is taken away. I can’t even begin to get into the destructive path that takes (& by that, I mean I can but it is way too long to throw in here ha).
I will throw in that I was a correctional officer for 2 years. I have seen addicts, parents in jail for their addictions. Pregnant women who will give birth in handcuffs to hand off the baby. I have seen them all behind the scenes. I know their struggle. I know their true emotions. I know the cycle of their addictions & their reasons why. I know their desperate love for their children.
We, as a society, tend to look down on anyone we can. If we hear a mother had her kids taken away, we always assume she is a pos who didn’t care at all. And for those of us who live with these addicts, we get to the point that we do not believe anything. Oh sure, the first billion times we hear that they’ve cleaned up & are doing good, we try to be happy & supportive, but we always end up hitting the stfu eyeroll button eventually. We hit that mark real quick when babies get involved, because again we are all the protective super mom (or dad) & have to do what’s best for the kid. Yet we fail to see that we overstep that bound by so much, just being judgmental in the first place crosses that line.
Now, this covers all the above and the whole dead beat dad etc situations. I know it’s a hard concept to swallow & even harder to do, but hang in there. I do not care which parent did what, or which one does anything now, we should never talk down about them or minimize them as people or parents. We do not need to over-explain anything to the kids. And we never need to keep a parent from having contact with a child or child with a parent. Yes, there are times (psychiatric/abusive) when physical contact unsupervised is ill advised, but still we need to keep the drama & personal feelings about that away from the kids. IF the point is seriously all about the kids & protecting them then allowing them to grow up as emotionally healthy as possible is also key. No matter how shitty of a person you think the other parent is, no matter what they have done to you or anyone, the child loves them & they know that “bad” person is part of them. And, as hard as it is for you to hear, despite whatever the reason they are not in their child’s life-they love them!
Yes, I know it is hard & feels so unfair-especially when you are the one with all the responsibility & the other person can pop in whenever & play the good guy. But parenthood is not about getting credit or bonus points. It is not about making sure everyone knows how much you have sacrificed or how you have had it harder than anyone else. It is about raising that child to know he is loved (not just by you or loved more by you). Our job is to literally teach the child about self worth and love.
Bottom line there is, kids need their parents. If they can’t have their parents taking care of them, they at least need to have whatever positive contact they can with them-even if that’s nothing more than you telling them their daddy (or mommy-or both) love them but are just not in a position to take care of them. Allowing open contact (phone calls/skype, writing letters etc), open conversation with you about them & not making it a tough conversation or negative.
That said, I truly believe we are furthering the destruction of family with all these laws. I feel we need to find a better solution to our drug problem here. I can only hope for society to find ways to help addicts instead of shun them, furthering the downward spiral. And, yes, I get it that there is help out there if they want it. I get there are some truly horrible people who could care less what they do so long as they are happy. I also know that most of that is a front because they are so far lost that they see no hope of ever being good enough. We need to find a way to have compassion and empathy & perhaps find that hope for us all.