From a teen: My dad is a drug addict and he treats m mom like a slave. He yells everyday that he doesn’t have his drugs. And when my mom comes home from work he yells at her and asked her ” where’s my food?” and my mom is so tired from work because she’s the only one who’s working in the house. Everyday she would call me and crying telling how crazy my dad would get. He slams doors break things in the house sometimes he would hit my mom. I hate when he does that, i also hate the fact that he treats her that way. He always ask my mom for money. He steals her jeweleries and pawn it. They been married for almost 22 years and for about 15 years of there married he was on drugs. He’s been in jail a few times and he would always get his way out. He’s also been in a program for his drugs but as soon as he got out he went back to his drugs. My mom is really scared to leave him because he has threaten her so many times and she doesn’t want any of her family to get hurt. I feel so hurt to see my mom having to through this situation. She is so fed up with him she told me she cant take it any more and that she wants him in jail for good. She wants to call the police on him but if she wants him in jail for good so that he wont hurt anyone. He told my mom that if she ever put him in jail again he’ll hurt her loved ones which is her parents or her family. So the question is what is the best thing should i do to help my mom. I was wondering if there is a possibility that he would stay in jail for a long time for what he is doing. To be honest i really would like my dad to change but he had so many chances and he blew it.So many times i thought he was goin to be clean but he would always turn us down. I think it’s best that my dad go to jail and learn his lesson because if he’s in there i’ll know that he wont be doing drugs. So if you could please help me i really dont know what is the best thing to do or to tell my mom.
A: I’m so sorry that your growing up has been under the shadow of drug addiction, threats and constant fighting. No kid should have to handle that. Your mom shouldn’t have to deal with it either. Whether or not your dad should be in jail and for how long is a legal question so I can’t help you with that part. I do think it would be helpful for you and your mom to see a lawyer to find out what your rights are and how you can protect the people you love from your dad’s anger. If you can’t afford a private lawyer, check to see if there is a free legal service for low-income people in your area.
Meanwhile – the psychological issue is that you and your mother are living in fear. The constant conflict and stress have to be getting to you. I encourage you both to start attending Al-anon meetings to learn how to distance yourselves emotionally from this abusive man. The program will offer you support and practical help from other people who have been in similar situations. Maybe if you do the research to find out where and when meetings happen, you can pursuade your mother to give it a try with you. If not, please consider going yourself. If your mom sees you getting stronger and feeling better, she might join you later.
I wish you well.
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 12 Mar 2007
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2007). My dad is a drug addict. Psych Central. Retrieved on August 28, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2007/03/12/my-dad-is-a-drug-addict/