A few ways to think about this: addicts of all kinds, especially substance abusers (as were my father and brother) stop maturing the moment they get addicted. Bodies get older but they don’t evolve. Therefore your father, and my father (whose behavior are identical in your examples) were/are stunted. Probably always will be. That makes them adult children, incapable of some of the critical processes that might have otherwise made them decent citizens. My dad understood the moral imperative to provide, but not the one that pressed him to show up like an adult, or give me the right to mature. He wrote me out of the will when I called his alcoholism out. That’s the level of denial.

Hard stuff, Shae.

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Horizon Huntress, prize-winning author, adventure traveler, boundary-pusher, wilder, veteran, aging vibrantly. I own my sh*t. Let’s play!

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