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Family Would Rather Punish Than Praise Recovering Addict

DEAR ABBY: I am a recovering drug addict. I have slipped, as many do, but I have been clean for four years now. The problem is my family. If I look tired, trip over my own two feet (I'm clumsy) or just don't want to be around people, I get questioned, yelled at, accused, etc.

Abby, they do random drug screens at my job. I have passed every one, and I have made amends for my past wrongdoings. But the last time I was accused, after trying to express my feelings calmly, I exploded and vented my frustration. Now my family won't have anything to do with me.

Truth be told, since the breakup, I have experienced a boost in self-esteem, but I miss them. I have apologized, but they still won't talk to me.

How many times must I swallow their accusations? They say I'm in the wrong. Is it wrong that I've had enough? Should I keep apologizing or leave it be? Shouldn't they be proud that I've stayed clean? Please help. -- FED UP IN TEXAS

DEAR FED UP: They should be, but apparently they aren't and haven't trusted your sobriety, which is why they couldn't let your period of addiction go. Because you have apologized and your apologies haven't been accepted, it is time to look forward, form new relationships and move on. I think that would be a healthier path to take than continuing to beg forgiveness from relatives who are unwilling to give it and would rather punish you. Don't you?

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