Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Cool Or Cruel?

Posted by Anonymous.

By the night of my 8th grade dance at the end of the school year, which marked the elusive transition from middle to high school, I was already experimenting with drugs and alcohol.

Nothing major really, just drinking a few hard lemonades at a friend’s house while hoping I looked cool smoking that cigarette. My cousin and I had snuck out while we were camping with the family to sit by the river at night. We happened to encounter two gothic girls smoking pot out of a socket while listening to Marilyn Manson. We both smoked it, got a little buzzed and giggled in the dark as we walked back to our tents hoping we wouldn’t get caught stepping on stick or rustling some leaves.

Nothing major really. But the night of our dance I wanted to “have fun” and I thought all the older kids probably party on prom night and damn it, I wanted to party too. After all, I had always associated being “mature” with partying. So I ingested about 12 pills of a cough suppressant in hopes of “tripping” while at the dance. I soon found myself vomiting in the bathroom, covered in sweat and gaining attention from other girls in the bathroom. “Are you okay?” asked a blurry dark haired figure. “Must have ate some bad chicken” I told her the best I could in between heaves while I tried not to look at the little red dots floating in the toilet water and stomach bile. The assistant principle soon stood outside the door of the stall. She wanted to take me into the office where I could “lie down and sit in the A/C.” I couldn’t even walk to the office by myself and I don’t even know who helped me slump my way over there. They called my parents, (well .. my mom and step-father,) who soon picked me up. They told my parents they thought I was on ecstacy and that they might want to take me to the hospital to be sure. My step-dad slung me over his shoulder and carried me to the car. He fiercely interrogated me, asking me what I took, who gave it to me, saying he was going to kick their ass, etc. They didn’t take me to the hospital though. After being carried to my room, I laid down in my dress and asked him if I was going to die. He laughed a little and said no, I was probably just going to sleep for a while.

We talked about it the next day but I was never in trouble. They expressed their concerns, and admitted to some experimentation of their own. OK, not really experimentation. Usage. My own parents told me if there was a drug I wanted to try, to please let them know and they will get it for me. I mean, after all, they used to be big “rock stars” and all.

They didn’t want me to get hurt, or get ripped off, or buy something laced and be in a safe environment. I actually thought it was cool at the time. Can you really blame me? At 13 I was allowed to drink in my own house, as long as I didn’t leave and it was a widely known fact that I smoked pot in my room sometimes with friends. My stepdad and I even smoked together on occasion. That following Christmas I told them I wanted to try cocaine. I was 14 and it just so happened that they had some. I did one line and we laid on the bed and talked about the high and how “cocaine was an evil drug and isn’t really that much fun anymore…not like it used to be. But that the real high comes from ecstacy.” Naturally, I wanted to try it. We made plans and my younger siblings stayed at friend’s houses and me and my mom and my stepdad did ecsctacy together. I ate a bean and soon felt the “ecstacy” of ecstacy. We listened to music and sang and dance and snorted more beans throughout the night. We didn’t go to bed until daylight. I was barely 15. In total we did ecstacy together at least 6 or 7 times before I went back to live with my dad who has no idea anything like this ever went on. It just feels like such a weight now that I am older, a whole 21 years of age. It doesn’t seem cool anymore. It seems FUCKED UP. And I’m not saying that I had a bad time when we actually partied, it's just weird now. And I don’t think just on my end. Whenever I go home to visit there is always this weird awkward moment when I am introduced to one of their new friends in a party setting and they bust out a mound of cocaine or crushed up beans and snort a line right. In. Front. Of. Me.

And why shouldn’t they? I have done it with them. I just wish that I could have the balls to tell them that I feel ….not right ..about what happened. Part of me wants to forgive them and say it was a mistake and part of me wants to let myself sob and ask them how they could put me in harm’s way like that? How they could voluntarily retire from being a parent and try to become a cohort? I have been in denial about the fact that this is an unusual and somewhat sad situation of a parent/child relationship. When my friends would bring it up in conversation, I would defend and protect them because I didn’t want anyone to think badly of them. They were trying to be cool and understanding, but really it warped my outlook on life from a young age. So now here I sit at 21 years of age resenting the fact my parents tried to let me experiment while so many people resent their parents for the exact opposite.


twistedknickers said...

They were very uninformed and irresponsible. The brain is still growing in the teenage years, in fact, until around age 24. Introducing drugs to you was wrong, wrong, wrong. The only one with the sense to realize it was you.


Just because it is easy to HAVE a baby does not automatically make you a candidate to raise a child. You are 21 Years old and sound incredibly sensible considering your formative years. Let go of your anger at your parents and move forward, depending upon YOURSELF. Sounds like you are doing a hell of a job so far! (Oh, and at 21, if you are uncomfortable around your parents when they have parties and actually party? Don't be there. You are old enough to remove yourself from awkward/uncomfortable moments.

And congratulations for keeping it together so well all those years. Lots of other kids would have never made it out alive!

Kay said...

You're right - they gave up parenting to be your friends. And that's not how it's supposed to be. Most people don't resent their parents for not letting them experiment, at least not once they get a little older and/or have kids of their own. That's when they realize that a parent's job is to keep their kids safe, not to be a friend. And while part of you thought it was great at the time, you're now (or maybe even back then) realizing that what you really needed was the love, structure, and discipline that you're supposed to get from parents.

I have an extensive drug history... but let me tell you, when I found out that my 14yo had tried weed - it wasn't a pretty scene. At all. Do I understand his need/desire to experiment? Of course. BUT HE'S 14. I can't condone it, allow it, or encourage it. That would be failing him as a parent, and I refuse to do that.

It seems like you've done quite a bit of growing up over the years - I was surprised to realize you're only 21.

Is there any way you can let them know that you're not "into that" anymore, and would rather not be around it? At least then you wouldn't have to watch them do it.

I hope getting this out helped you deal with it some.

Jaden Paige said...

I think you should tell them how you feel... Or at least tell them that you would appreciate if they try not to party when they've invited you over. That's not too much to ask, by any stretch.

Anonymous said...

Our parents are eerily similar. I think they're so inappropriate because they don't want to be hypocritical, and they don't understand that as parents, they are supposed to be hypocrites and protect their babies from their mistakes.

Though their actions hardly show it, they do love you. You can confront them, and it might help you, but you'll likely find that they won't ever admit to making a mistake or exercising poor judgment. Which sucks. If you don't like to be around hard drugs, you should explain that to them and let them decide if it's worth it to lay off the stuff for a night to see you. Speaking from experience, let me tell you- they probably won't choose you. Remember when and if that happens- it's not your fault. The most insulting part of it all is how little you actually have to do with their decisions.

Anonymous said...

I am glad that you no longer live them so you don't have to deal with this awkwardness every day. I have no advice for you except to maybe seek counseling so you can tell someone and learn how to deal with your feelings.

Good luck, and I agree with everyone else...you did a great job maturing when you had no one to teach you how.

Anonymous said...

I would keep in mind that what your parents did, by supplying and doing alcohol and drugs with you when you were a minor, should have landed both of them in prison.

If they're "raising" your younger siblings the same way they "raised" you, I would definitely say something to them and tell them you'll report them to the authorities if they don't stop immediately. Seriously. Don't let your siblings go through what you did.

Anonymous said...

I was like you mention at the end, the total opposite of that...and in a way I think there should be a middle road when it comes to openness about things like drugs and alcohol. My parents made it seem so evil that once I was out of their watchful eye, I drank heavily (mostly college binge drinking), smoked pot, did cocaine and ecstasy, snorted pills and took pain killers.

It went on for about 4 years and they knew but never tried to stop me, though now I wish they had. Drugs always seem like a good idea at the time, but then after are so far from that. Drinking I would say is okay in moderation when you feel mature enough to handle that....I just can't imagine my parents exposing me to a lifestyle like that at such a young age.

I enjoyed your story and admire you for being able to share that with everyone here.

bikerchick said...

I commend you for coming to your own, more adult conclusion than your parents about drug use. I just read, "Beautiful Boy" and was freaked out, a father's journey trying to repeatedly rescue his teen from meth and a bunch of other drugs. But not nearly as freaked as when I read "Tweak," the son's account of the same spiral. Good luck.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry you're finding this hard to deal with now.

Unlike a lot of the other commenters though, I'm not sure your parents were trying to be cool, or be your friends instead of your parents. It sounds to me like they were being themselves.

All parents screw up; and I think most parents screw up in the opposite way of their own parents. Me, I'm not a parent but I think I'd screw up the same way your parents did. Because at least it would be different from what my parents did to me (lectures and lockdowns until I turned 18 and got the heck out of there.)

I wonder if you can do both of the things you mentioned: tell them you don't feel right about it, ask them what they were thinking, AND forgive them. Especially if they can articulate it, and apologize.

Wishing you luck whatever you choose.

Georgia said...

I've actually been speaking to my new therapist about my very similar adolescence, so I know how you feel. My mom still doesn't think it was a problem, but when I speak to my therapist, she talks about me never feeling safe or taken care of as a child, and how it affects my life now. It all makes so much sense. My mother was/is so dumb when she's high, so I never felt like there was someone taking care of me. Our parents wanted to be friends, and cool, not actually parent. The best thing you can do for yourself now is to be the adult you always wished they would be. Best of luck, darling.

Shira said...

You're fantastic! You are 21 and have come this far. I was smoking pot at 11 (not with parents), before I even got my period (14) my mother let me go to the beach for a weekend (alone) with a 26 yr old who (surprise) ended up having sex with me for about a year - while my mother basically stood by and watched. Mother took me to get a fake ID when I was 15. I was going to clubs, staying out all night, smoking cigarettes, and basically whatever else I wanted to do. This (and other injustices of my childhood that I won't mention) led me down a path of drinking, drugs, promiscuity and general irresponsibility and insecurity that lasted well into my 20's. That's not true. I'm still not over it and I'm in my 40's.

Keep up the good work. You still have a good deal of youth to enjoy.

Catharine said...

Good for you for learning to take care of yourself!

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