Shortly after the break up of her marriage, I noticed my daughter Sarah was experiencing frequent and significant changes in mood. While I felt this to be, in part, expected, I was very concerned because her entire personality seemed to be changing.
She was commonly bad-tempered and would shout or argue with me in a very angry manner, displaying behaviour she’d never used towards me in her life. If not angry, she would frequently be crying inconsolably.
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When I queried these mood swings with her and asked her how she was coping, she dismissed my questions repeatedly.
I thought I could possibly be over-reacting. Nevertheless, the anger did not desist, and I resolved to ask Sarah what, if anything, I had done to constantly be the object of her irritation.
So many times, I’d leave her house after dinner and cry all the way home as I relived the evening, trying to identify what I had said or done to upset her so much.
One Sunday we decided to have lunch at a nearby café and this was the day my beautiful, loving, but very unhappy daughter, told me her story.
She had lived a very miserable life for years.
This included, but was not limited to, a husband who travelled frequently for work, her inability to become pregnant after seven attempts at IVF, frequent drug use and severe paranoia as a result. Sarah had found solace in using drugs – ice.
I was absolutely devastated, but I had reason to know she was telling the truth.
While I listened to her explanation, I made no judgements, but assured her I would support her through the healing process in whatever way I could.
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To my knowledge, I had never previously known anyone who’d been exposed to drug addiction and I shortly realised I had a great deal to learn, to enable me to support her appropriately.