Sunday, November 21, 2010

Why didn't anyone tell us?

There are two parts to this post, and it's about telling.

First of all, one of the things that bothered me a lot after Son2 confessed to us two years ago, was why didn't anyone say anything to us?  Why were we left in blissful ignorance for so long?  I think his drug use was going on for about a year and a half, and several people were aware or had suspicions.  A lot of his friends knew, kids we had never met or didn't know well, but also long time friends of his that we'd known for years.  I suspect that his old friends didn't know how bad it was, or were just plain gutless.  His brother, Son1, heard some things around town and confronted Son2 about them.  Son2 basically blew up and told him to bud out.  I don't know what he heard, but maybe he didn't realize how serious it was, or was just plain angry, but he never came to us.  The one that really bothers me is his cousin M, who lives about 4 hours away.  I believe that M knew for quite a long time, probably over a year, and never said a word, and maybe was even participating.  M has a few problems of his own and hasn't always made good choices.  I don't know if he was really a bad influence, but he sure wasn't a good one.  I have to give him a little credit though, because he finally did say something to his sister, S, who immediately went to her mother, my sister, Sis.  Apparently M was trying to be loyal to Son2, his cousin.  But why do kids put so much emphasis on loyalty, even over health and welfare?  I was pretty angry when I found out about that.  Sis, confronted Son2 and she was pretty harsh with him.  "Tell your parents, or I will," so that's when he decided the gig was up.  Ironically, one of his friends also came forward about the same time and told his mother about Son2.  So, we were going to find out one way or another... finally.

Secondly, it's been very difficult for us to tell anybody about our son's drug use.  There are still a lot of people that don't know.  Telling Son1 and his wife a couple days after we found out was one of my worst experiences.  I didn't even tell my parents for several months, and they still don't know the details, including which drug he was abusing.  I only told a couple close friends, Sis, and one brother, but not the other.  Why?  Simple... SHAME.  I still have trouble talking about it.  It is very painful to go back and think about it and what happened.  I would prefer to ignore it all, and pretend it never happened and everything is fine.  So, a few weeks ago, we were asked to do a TV interview about opiate addiction.  I really wanted to pass, but I knew I couldn't just pretend it never happened, I thought it might help other parents, and they promised to protect our identity.  So, we did the interview.  It was very hard to talk about everything, but I'm glad we did it.  It stirred up a lot of emotion again, and anyway... that's what led me to start this blog.  I was brought up in a very strict, church-going family.  Some of my relatives are pretty hard-core christian, and very judgmental.  I just don't want them to know of my failure as a parent.  So, I stay away from that, and continue to pretend everything is fine.  H, my husband, is of a similar frame of mind.  Not many from his family know either.  I guess we're just chicken.  Everyone doesn't have to know, do they?


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  2. I wrote about the shame of being the parent of an addict. I understand the wanting to hide but you are hurting yourself and hurting your son.

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