Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Is Addiction a Form of Violence?

Here is a very provocative idea that I heard in a meeting recently. It shocked me but I thought, “I totally get that.”

A  woman was saying that we so often, in cases of domestic violence, hear the question, “But why didn’t she leave?” Why do women stay with someone who is abusive? It can seem contradictory or crazy or just make no sense…I mean, who would stay in a relationship that was hurtful, dangerous, life threatening?

Well all of us who have used drugs or alcohol or food addictively know how this works. For years we were in a terrible relationship with booze or drugs. It was a relationship that was progressively worse, but we kept hoping, kept rationalizing. “I can mange this” and “I can control this”, and “If I just change this or that…

Alcohol lied to us, beat us up, stole from us, humiliated us and then made promises,  “Next time will be different.” And we stayed and stayed. We lied to cover up, and we tried to be “better” addicts each time. Finally, when we were bloodied or when someone else saw what was really happening, we surrendered and then we left.

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