My Mom on Drugs
"I hated you because you chose drugs over me.
When you finally decided to get clean, it was obvious you were sincere.
And you’re my mom, and as my mom, I loved you. I wanted that relationship."
Those of us in the Open and Relational (Process) community believe in creative transformation, not only in individuals but in relationships. Kayla Wilson, daughter of a mother formerly on drugs, believes in it, too.
Creative transformation is just a fancy phrase for healing: emotional and relational. We believe that the very Soul of the universe (God) is present in the world as creative transformation, and that God never gives up on us. We also believe that God needs our cooperation for the transformation to occur. God is not, and never has been, a puppeteer. As Thomas Oord makes clear in The Uncontrolling Love of God -- and is reiterated in a wonderful website dedicated to the idea, with contributions from many, many people who think this way -- God's power is "open and relational" through and through, never coercive. If we are addicts, we need to envision a different kind of future for ourselves, commit ourselves to it, and renew our commitment every day, with help from others. God cannot do it alone.
If we are parents, we have special motivation to do this, not for our sake alone but for the sake of our children. Our life of addiction is very selfish, and we know it. Our children may well hate us for our selfishness, and rightly so. But their anger -- even their hatred -- can help us break out of our narcissism. Their anger is God's face present to us. And so is their love, which is always mixed in with the hatred. Our children love-hate us, and in their love and their hatred, the bonds of relationship unfold. The opposite of love is not hatred, it is apathy.
This page is dedicated to a friend who is both a mother and an addict, who is soon to be released from prison, who seeks to live from God's love, and who hopes to gain her daughter's trust. May this story, daughter Kayla and mother Wendy, give her hope and inspiration. I hope she will also read: I Love My Life: Surviving Prostitution, DrugTrafficking, and Addiction; The Heroin Epidemic and Process Theology, and Celebrate Recovery: Christ and Addiction. And you, too, if this is important to you.
-- Jay McDaniel
Speaking in 2006:
Kayla Wilson (KW): When I asked mom how she got started, she told me that after her papa died, she was just mad at the world and mad at God, and that’s when she told one of her ex-boyfriends that she wanted to get high.
Teri Lyn Coulter-Colclasure (TCC): How old was she when this happened?
KW: 15, I think.
TCC: Your age?
KW: Yes ma’am.
When she got busted, she was at our house. And I think they were making dope and it had spilled on my younger sister.
And it was just so heartbreaking to understand that this is what’s going on and this is how it’s going to be. When I saw her in prison, it was horrible because you see her come out of the door in that white suit. And her hair was gone. And she loved her long hair and I just had to cry. And then having to say bye, and holding onto her, knowing you couldn’t take her with you was the most horrible experience I’ve ever had.
TCC: When your mom gets out of prison, what do you think your life is going to be like?
KW: I think I will have the ability to actually be a child for a little bit. Not have to worry about being the mature responsible adult. I think that it’ll really be nice.
Speaking in 2016:
Wendy Founds (WF): My name is Wendy Founds, today’s date is December the 12th, 2016 and I am here with my daughter.
KW: You remember the day you were released from prison and got to come home?
WF: I do. I remember how you smelled. It was vanilla. And I remember the relief of … our lives get to really start from this point forward.
KW: I do remember specifically when you came home and you wanted to apologize. I think that was a defining moment for us because I got to tell you what I’d always wanted to tell you which was that, you know, you can never make up for that time.
WF: I, uh, bawled for days after that conversation. But it helped me to be a better mom, and I’m still far from perfect. Did you ever wish that I was different?
KW: Yeah, for sure. I can remember, you know, writing in diaries about how much I hated you because you chose drugs over me.
WF: Why did you decide to forgive me?
KW: When you finally decided to get clean, it was obvious you were sincere. And you’re my mom, and as my mom, I loved you. I wanted that relationship.
WF: Did that come too late?
KW: I don’t think so. Sure, would have been great to have growing up, but I’m happy you’re here and I’m happy we’re where we’re at today. And I think what we’ve got is awesome considering where we’ve been. So I’m excited to see what happens next.