"Det är i alla fall mitt barn!" : En studie om att vara missbrukare och mamma skild från barn

Sammanfattning: The purpose of this study is to let a group of addicted mothers who live separated from their children voice their thoughts and experiences through in-depth interviews made in the early 90's. From a perspective of experience of life we look at their living conditions, their everyday life, their experiences of pregnancy, their life with the children, and their life after the separation. What does it mean, emotionally and socially, to have children, and to be separated from them because of substance abuse?Guiding the analysis are three different perspectives; the ideal image and the counter image of motherhood, the span between women's need of close relationships and of independence, and the interplay within the family and the relationship with the children.The interviews show that unfavourable conditions while growing up and childhood abuse lead to substance abuse which fills a void in the women. Their abuse starts early in life, but every second woman terminates the abuse during her pregnancy and the first few months with the child. They value motherhood highly, and they also have relationship goals, and look forward to "a normal family life". Their problem is the gap between the ideal and the reality. Their everyday life is characterized by possibilities being narrowed down little by little. For the woman, as a mother and an addict, it is all about the "reverse career". Stress, responsibility for the children, isolation and conflicting relationships with men, leads to separation from the children. It becomes a breakpoint leading into crisis for most of them and relief for some. The way out is to stop the abuse and get the children home. The way to get there can be to find strenght in, and make use of, the close relationship with the child, the relationship with other women and social support from people close to them. Otherwise, there's a big risk that the abuse leads to increased dispair, increased abuse and increased social misery.Early exposure is often passed on to the next generation, and it is a great challenge to make all efforts in order to break "the social heritage".