Tuesday, 25 March 2014

How do we deal with drug situations in a family that has been disjointed in parts, but trying hard now..

When my daughter and her husband and son went to live in Canada, I comforted myself by saying it was only a day's ride away in an aeroplane, so not too far** Of course that was true, that it wasn't too far, but I never factored in the cost of the travel... which is why having had my health issues takecentre stage for the last four or five years, I didn't have the money to get over to see them.. My daughter and her husband have always been workers full time, and so the little boy who was three went off to nursury school as soon as he was a few months old and this continued in Canada until it was time for him to go to school full time.. Having a child that was left at the nursury from 7 in the morning and collected after 6 in the evening meant that meal times at home could be difficult because everyone was tired, and Father could not stand a child that was fractious and reaction to that was more noise and shouting.. Over the years, they settled into a routine, but moved from Vancouver to Toronto where the days became even longer and he was joined by a little sister when he was 6 years old. There are some men who believe that their role is to toughen up the boys lest they become too 'soft' and obviously this treatment caused much heartache to my daughter but for the sake of peace it continued, and I am afraid that he landed up with a terrible fear which caused him to say he hated his dad.. My daughter was fortunate enough to hold down a very highly powered job which brought in more salary than her husbands, but which allowed them an amazing lifestyle, much better than they could have had in England. Over the years with a couple of more moving houses, they have now ended up in a semi rural area with land around their house and they should be so happy.. BUT drugs have become a way of life for my poor grandson and it is tearing his family apart. So far we think it is the weed, but this is not the strength of those sold in the 60's it is even more enhanced and therefore I think more dangerous. Take a child that feels alienated from his dad, a sister who he thinks is loved more than him, moving schools at 15 to a completely new area, having make new friends,with no support system of family or cousins to help.. they are all struggling to make it through each day ... like walking on ice, never knowing what condition they will find him in.. he has been stealing items from the house and money from purses to fund his now pressing habit.. he is for the first time deciding to do this action where he is in control, although choosing to use a drug that lessons his own controls of behaviour.. There are no deterrrants, apart from tough love, which would turn him out into the streets to fend for himself, and no matter that he thinks he is savvy in the way of living , he would be so vulnerable left to fend for himself.. This is so much in slow motion, this picture of self destruction building up in front of his family and they are stuck not knowing how to get this situation back under control.. with no possibility of chastisement, how are you to teach these kids from a very early age, how they get to know what is acceptable in society without having parameters to be drawn around them.?? I found it hard enough when my kids were exposed to the same sort of temptations, although it was more alcohol than weed... but they did of course have a go, but thank goodness it remained a phase they went through.. My youngest did try a few other things, but told me that he had weighed up the chances of dying from using them, and statistically he worked out he should be ok..!!! Can you imagine how I felt when he told me that.. I am sure he would not be the only one who could think in the same way.. luckily none of mine got addicted, but my grandson is at the moment highly addicted, to the point where he has to have it daily... The further difficulty is that a lot of his friends'parents do not think it is such a terrible thing to smoke weed and in fact in his school the headmaster told my daughter that some have shared their stash with their kids!!!! Along side this, there is action to have it declared legal high... which would immediately open the floodgates to everyone experimenting as much as they like. Of course at every level, I know that my grandson is lost and depressed and not happy in his family life.. this feeling hits a lot of us when we get to our teens.. we are so eager to be adults, and we all think that our parents never understand how grown up we feel, and they are always seemingly too out of touch to understand what we are getting at!! This is a stage that most get through without too much trauma and drama, and even with out drugs or alcohol its a very very trying time for parents all over the world !! .. But drugs whether almost legal or not, upset the balance of the brain. This organ is so finely tuned, that even a little usage of illicit drugs can damage the unfortunate 'one in a million.'.. can cause paranoia, illness, schcitzoid tendancies or trigger other illnesses that are not easily remedied. I despair for my daughter and husband in their attempts to try and help him come to see what he is doing is self destruction, not self medication as he sees it.. He is deeply depressed but this will make him more so, and underneath all the awful exterior when he is 'high' is a charming, well behaved handsome and clever young man.. They see this side of him from time to time, and he relates then, when he is 'normal' and they heave a sigh of relief, then, as soon as he is given more freedom, the first thing he does is get the drugs and gets high.. prowls around their house in the early hours of the morning.. such a terrible calamity is just waiting to happen and being the other side of the pond, I cannot do anything but be there for my girl to listen to her and try and interject a few words which might help her turbulance to lesson ... but most of all, I feel such sadness for this child who is in such a terrible place in his head.. Trying to get onto counselling appointments takes ages, there are so many other parents facing all this ... tring to get the professionals to help, but they feel that he should have been put onto ritalin when he showed signs of attention deficiency when he was 9 years old, and that therefore his parents might have been to blame for what is happening now** As I said, my son in law is trying hard not to shout and explode when the boy does wrong, but getting him to acknowledge that use of this smoking drug is not acceptable because of the havoc it causes, and how he is completely out of control when using it...seems not to be getting through to him at all.... when there is no form of punishment acceptable by law, when no on can help you in this nightmare, back you up or offer useful advice, [apart from saying let him leave home when he is 16 and see how h e survives in this big world out there.. if he gets into trouble then, the police will handle it and he will then be absorbed into the system !!!!]... This is NOT what they had that child brought into this world for,.a darling little being whom you only wanted to love and protect, and now you see him descending into a very real nightmare and there is NOTHING YOU CAN DO to keep him safe from harm... In writing this, I know we are not the only family on the front line, seeing their child facing such shocking temptations, but its really shocking how alone it makes you feel, knowing what is happening and there being so little to help mend the situation.. I am hoping that this is going to be a phase, that she will be able to get him to the doctors and see if his mood swings can be help professionally, maybe by meeting with a professional who can sit down and take time to chat and communicate... this is a hard ask, as I know that alongside all his feelings, he is also dealing with hormonal swings as he becomes a man which also complicates matters. [I thought that dealing with a husband that drank was tough, but watching your darling child self destruct is light years away from that in pain and suffering..] god knows what is going to happen, but I trust that his genes will kick in and the sensible part of his makeup will help him get to a place that will be safe and not self harmful. His turning 16 in May is going to be a real hard time as he wants to leave home at the moment.. I just hope over the next few weeks he will have professional help to get him to be able to manage the reality of his life...<>


  1. Oh Janzi, this is heartbreaking. The sad, sad thing is there is nothing anyone can do until he admits he has a problem and wants help. I encourage you to tell her about Al Anon. Though it is for families of alcoholics it is also for anyone who has a family member with an addiction. Al Anon will teach your daughter how to live with someone with an addiction. She will find comfort and support. Most of all she will find people who have children with addiction that understand the loneliness and frustration.
    They say in Al Anon to give it 6 meetings. It really is a life changing program.

    I will be praying for your grandson.

  2. Birdie is right. There is nothing anyone can do until he sees for himself what he is doing. I have been to Al Anon and it does help. If there isn't one near her, tell her to check out the churches. Some churches have programs similar to Al Anon to help the family deal with this situation. In any case, the family needs help and support as much as your grandson does. This is heartbreaking.

  3. I am certain I left a comment about this. Maybe the Internet ate it.

    Anyway, have you tried writing your grandson a letter and letting him know that you love him and worry about him? He needs to hear it.

    Raising kids is the hardest job nowadays. Many people work to ensure their kids have everything when really all they need is to have someone present in their life. There is still time to help this kid, his parents need to throw themselves into it though before he becomes a statistic. There's no guarantee that he won't anyway because some people are just destined for addiction, but they need to try everything to save him.

    Best of luck to them and to you. Again, reach out to him. Let him know you're in his corner.