Two days ago I was driving my daughter home from her med check. We see a psychiatrist once a month (this is our third visit), trying to get the right medication and dosage to help with her anxiety. And she sees a counselor once a week to talk about said anxiety, to try and help her work through it and cope with it. Both treatments are necessary at this point for her and we are hoping that the med she is on right now is the right one (our third med). As we were driving home, she picked up my phone to look at something and asked “Why don’t you have Safari?”. (Safari is the default iphone internet app)
I don’t have Safari because I use an internet app provided by Accountable 2 U, which I absolutely need.
Does my daughter need to know this? I never, EVER intended to talk about my addiction to my children. EHHHH-VER. That was my private issue, my deal, and I didn’t have to talk to anyone about it unless I chose.
Laura is dealing with a lot of stuff this year. She confides in me after her counseling sessions and in between about her anxiety and thoughts and difficulties, of which I have no comprehension because anxiety is not something I struggle with.
I sat there in the van, driving, heart pounding and thoughts racing. Yes, it’s my private stuff and no one needs to know. That’s true. But the deeper questions is: is my addiction such a horrifying, shaming secret that I need to keep it a secret? Because, yes, I still feel that way.
I bit the bullet and started with “Did I ever talk to you about the guys I grew up with?” and went from there. She actually asked at one point something like “Is this an addiction for you?” and I said yes. We talked basically the whole way home (30+ minutes). I did not go to places I didn’t feel comfortable talking about, but the general ideas I was trying to get across were:
- We ALL have something. Everyone. We may hide it and try to look like we have it all together, but it’s there and it’s real.
- You, as my daughter, have trusted me a lot this year with your emotions and problems. I want you to know that I trust you with mine.
I cried at the end. It was REALLY difficult to talk about–even after 22 years!–and I think I view it as a step in the direction of an adult relationship with Laura. She put her hand on my shoulder and assured me she wouldn’t talk about it with anyone. I came home and told Jim that I had told her.
Life is weird. Never say never!