When trying to remember my childhood , I recall growing up around abuse, fear and anger. From being forced to watch my father literally beat the earrings off my mothers head, to experiencing his traumatic rage for myself, that fear inevitably evolved into an unbearable hatred that influenced my decisions dramatically.
I recall my father being an addict himself, but unlike me, his addiction has always been alcohol which was eventually traded out for gambling.– Jay Addicted, Fruits Of Addiction : A Pernicious Love
In order to get answers, you have to ask questions. The exact question I discuss: “Is domestic and child abuse a viable reason as to why those who suffer from it, resort to addiction?” Of course I don’t discuss my opinions from statistical stand point, but from a moral and personal point point of view . During my time at Bridgewater State University, I pursued a background in Psychology and Criminal Justice (for the obvious childish reason, to avenge my mother) with my own concentration of domestic violence, child abuse and the psyche of the abuser. Like any “perfect” mommas boy, the obvious thirst for revenge I developed pushed me to pursue the laws in Massachusetts regarding the issues by learning more about them. My main goal was to understand what other factors, aside from addiction, may have influenced my father to find daily pleasure in beating down his wife and his eldest son.
“Why does he hate me so much? Am I really that bad of a son, mami?”
“No mijo. You’re not a bad son, papi just needs his rest. He had a stressful day at work. He loves all of us…”
Love? It even sounded like she was trying to believe it herself. As much as she wanted to believe that, she’d hold me trying to keep me as quiet as possible, trembling in fear hoping she doesn’t say anything in a manner that may offend him. My father’s abuse isn’t how I’d define love even being so young all those years of his toxic behavior. That must’ve been some rough 3rd world love from their native country because, as an American myself, I’ve only seen American parents scold their kids just to apologize to them afterwards. Uh yeah, I was unbelievably jealous. But then again it did make me feel as if I was tough because of what I endure.
Obviously years later I learning that abuse in a household was much more common than I thought hence my extensive research at my university.
When I attended NA meetings, a common pattern I’d see is people blaming their addiction on their childhood, or the influence their own parents’ addictions would have on them. Of course it’s hard not to hold grudges, which I did for years but I don’t blame my father’s abuse nor his addictions. I don’t blame my mother when she’d feel no other choice than to spank me as well so that my father doesn’t feel as she’s contradicting him. I don’t blame my culture and I don’t blame my parents’ generation where discipline revolved around spanking wrists with rulers, spanking with belts and bare hands, though I wish that’s the only punishment my mother and I would’ve gotten. I know what my older audience may think, “man up, you millennials complain about everything. When I was your age my father would hit me with a rock.” Okay caveman, calm down. Yeah my father wouldn’t use rocks or whatever the f*ck. Though, sometimes when he’d a strip me naked, throwing me in the shower with freezing cold water and whip me with his belt with a barrage of close handed strikes to the face, head, body, and back. When I was too big for him to do that anymore, he’d stick to strictly punches to the face and head and if I had my shirt off, whips across my chest and back with the occasional shot for the head that I would dodge which resulted it more whips.
Who knew I was closer to understanding and answering my own questions than I thought? My own experiences with domestic and child abuse stems back to my child hood but you know what? I didn’t blame my early exposure to addiction and abuse. If I did then I’d indirectly be blaming my father for my own decisions. Truth is I wasn’t even thinking about my past when I smoked weed for the first time. I wasn’t thinking about my father beating my mother when I transitioned over to opiates. Maybe I did inherit my father’s “addict” gene. Shit I might even have his “gambling every weekend” gene too. Countless studies say that addiction is almost always passed down from parent to child. In my case that seems very likely.
Just so we’re on the same page, drug abuse.gov has it’s own article on this topic so I’ll be referring to their definitions. The article states:
Genetics is the study of genes. Genes are functional units of DNA that make up the human genome.–Genetics and Epigenetics of Addiction, drugabuse.gov
Regarding children who witness/experience abuse/violence of any kind; they are said to be more likely to become addicted to substances. So maybe that’s the reason why I became an addict and followed my father’s footsteps? Is that the reason why I began to treat my wife almost as bad as he treated my mother? And is that why I began to neglect (which is a form of abuse) my kids once I turned all my attention to getting high and making sure I had drugs for when I ran out?
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) report that more than a third of adolescents with a report of abuse or neglect will have a substance use disorder before they reach their 18th birthday.– Silvermist recovery
In a recent study published in the Journal of Drug and Alcohol Dependence, researchers from Columbia University found that domestic abuse drastically increases the likelihood of the onset of chemical dependency.– Silvermist Recovery
No matter the evidence provided, every addict has their own reasoning. I know very little about my father’a past, but he had a childhood much worse than me and he suffered worse than my mother and I did. Aside from myself, my father fits the statistics but statistics don’t ask questions as to why people do what they do. I’m not just a statistic, I’m not just a decimal of a percentage. I didn’t resort to drug addiction because I’m scarred from my childhood. And unfortunately, just like my father I took out my anger on my wife but his face wasn’t on her head when I’d hurt her or yell at her. I was blind by my love for drugs but I was also completely aware of my actions.
My childhood didn’t cross my mind all those times I’d have my fits and tear into the mother of my children. I hadn’t even resorted to this level of domestic violence until I hit “rock bottom” and began making my love of drugs a priority over my family’s happiness. I’m an adult, I had a choice and I was conscious. I knew exactly what I was doing and my childhood isn’t what drove me to violence nor addiction.– Jay Addicted, “Fruits Of Addiction : A Pernicious Love”
Again, this is discussed much more in depth in my memoir. Whether I just turned a whole group of readers against me, I am going to be completely honest with my own experiences as well as my opinions. Obviously I’ll also be as respectful as possible, but if I was still the lying junkie I once was then I wouldn’t be able to speak about my flaws honestly. My hope of this post, excerpts from my book and quick study is for readers to understand the perspective of the abused/ abuser and the damage caused to the women who promised to love us.