Friday, May 6, 2011


His therapist wanted him to work on a “Harmfuls” assignment with me.  I don’t know if it was her way of opening up a conversation about his drug use with me, or what.   We didn’t really talk.  He just asked me to be his scribe and I wrote his answers to the following questions:

1.  Preoccupation with chemicals
Thinking about getting high a lot.  Getting high when I should have been doing something else.  Constantly planning the next time I would use.
2.  Lying about chemical use
I lied about what drugs I have done and how long I was using them.
3.  Attempt to quit or control use
I never tried to quit or reduce my use.
4.  Effects on your physical health
I have gotten close to being hit by a car.  And I have had a few times almost O.D.’d
5.  Effects on family
My family relationship got a lot worse and loss of parents trust.  I did not follow the family rules by using drugs, lying, and running away.
6.  Effects on social life
My life revolved around using and selling
7.  Effects on finances
I spent my money on drugs instead of things I needed or wanted.  A lot of money.  I have no idea how much. 
8.  Effects on school
I would frequently get high at school.  I usually got D’s and F’s, mostly F’s in all my classes.  I was never motivated in school, so my motivation didn’t decrease.
9.  Legal effects
I would car hop in neighborhoods and deal drugs to get money.
10.  Sexual effects
11.  Effects on thinking and feeling
Blackouts, loss of memory, confusion, poor judgment, and isolating.
12.  Effects on you morally
I constantly lied and stole.
13.  Effects on you spiritually
14.  Effects on work or chores
My parents gave up on giving me chores.
15.  Personal example
The negative effects of my use are being stuck in rehab and having a screwed up family life.

After that, I wrote down all the questions that I wish I could get answers to.  I hoped that I might get a chance to ask them during our weekly family therapy.
But, every single time we have family therapy, we talk about our communication problems--probably because we always have communication problems.  From the first day that he came home, we have had daily arguments about something—sleep, X-box, restrictions, TV watching, going to school, etc.  The poor therapist is practically pulling her hair out because we can’t seem to get along.  So, we have never had a chance to talk about the drug use during our sessions.
But, I have so many questions.
I am afraid to ask any of them.
Here they are:
You said you started smoking cigarettes at age 12 because your friends did?  What friends?  Where did you get cigarettes?  How did you not smell like smoke?
At age 12, you started drinking.  Beer and vodka.  Vodka?  Are you kidding me?  Where did you get vodka?  Who did you drink with?  Whose house did you drink at?  Did you steal it from one of your friend’s parents?  Did you drink at home?  How did you hide alcohol in the house?
How did you smoke marijuana in the shower without anyone being able to smell it in the house?  You deny having a stash in the house, yet you smoked weed in the shower.  Did you just carry everything around in your pockets?  Did you smoke it anywhere else in the house?  Did you stick your head out the hole in the screen in your room?
Besides, during school and in the shower, when did you do all of this?  If you were at the friend’s houses that I know and if those friends don’t do drugs, then when did you find the chance to do all the drugs that you said you did?  Where did you do it?  How did you get away with it when I always seemed to know where you were and I always could get in touch with you where you said you were going to be?
When did you go to parties and raves?  You have never been allowed to go to a party in your life.  The only time you have never been at home at night was when you had a sleepover at _________’s house.  You swear he did not use drugs and did not know that you did.  So, how did you manage to go to these parties and raves?  Did he cover for you?  Or, did you lie about even sleeping at his house?  Did you sneak out of our house at night?  How did you sneak out of the house?  How did we not hear you? 
Did you care that when you mixed drugs, you could have died?  Is that how you almost OD’d?  Who was there to help you when you almost OD’d?  How did you survive?  On one of your papers, you wrote that your favorite drug was cocaine.  Cocaine?  You were as mad as heck that we put you in rehab for smoking weed and now we find out that you were using cocaine and almost every other drug imaginable.   
Who is or are the dealers that you got your drugs from?  Who introduced you to them?  How did you decide to start dealing yourself?  Do you feel bad about the fact that you were in the business of harming others just to get what you wanted?  How would you have felt if the drugs you delivered ended up killing someone?  Did you even think about the consequences of getting caught with drugs or dealing drugs?  Don’t you think that being in trouble with the law would have been worse than being put in rehab?
Why?  Why did you do it?  Over and over again?  To the point that it was all that you cared about?   
Do you really think because we had a lot of arguments, or because we were always on your case about school—you had a valid excuse to smoke, then drink, then start using drugs?  Arguing with parents is a normal teenage thing, and most teenagers don’t start drinking and using drugs because of it, so why did you think that was the answer for your life?  Were you trying to hurt us somehow?  Did it make you feel powerful and like you had all the control over your life?  Do you really think that was a good way to control your life?
Why would you do something harmful just because you were bored?  After all that you had learned about drugs and all that we taught you, why would you start using?  When all of the arguments started to get worse and we were trying everything in our power to make things better—how do you think it made us feel to find out that drugs were the reason that everything was getting worse?  Did you think that lying to us and deceiving us was going to make your life better?
Did you steal Lortab or money from your aunt when we trusted you to be at her house alone while you were doing her yard work?  Did you steal other things from her?  Who else in our family did you steal from?  Did you steal from your brother or sister?
Did you steal anything from our house?  Did you steal money from your dad or me?  Did you go through our room and look for money? 
Do you realize that stealing from other people is wrong?  Do you think you should do something to make it up to the community for stealing from people?  How could you think it was ok to steal from people?  What made you feel like you deserved someone else’s money?  How do you feel now about being dishonest and stealing?
Were your “mystery Illnesses” not a mystery to you?  Were you suffering hangovers, side effects from drugs, or were you just too tired from sneaking out of the house at night?  How do you think it makes me feel to know that when your illnesses became more and more frequent, your drug use was also ramping up?  I was worried about your health and you were destroying it in the background.  How do you think I feel now, every time you say you have a headache, stomachache, or just don’t feel well?  Now I get suspicious instead of concerned.
Last fall, when you were sick for 3 weeks, were you still smoking pot in the shower, or at night, or when I left you home alone?  Were you taking any other drugs, or drinking during that time?  Again, I was so worried about you and tried so hard to find out what was wrong with you.  Now it seems like you might have been doing everything to make yourself even sicker behind my back.  I was lying awake all night listening to you cough, worrying about you.
Were you constantly lying and sneaking around?  Were you arguing with us more and more because you were feeling guilty about what you were doing?  Were you picking fights with us so that you could make yourself feel better about what you were doing?  Did it help you to make it seem like it was our fault because we were arguing with you? 
Were you ever afraid?  When you blacked out and then woke back up were you scared?  Did you ever wonder what happened to you or if you had done something really bad while you were blacked out?  
Your sister feels like she was deceived and is sad about the way you were living your life.  When I told her I was writing all of these questions, she started crying.  She says she looks at pictures of you during the last 2 1/2 years and thinks—how could he have been doing drugs this whole time?  Her questions for you are:  Why would you do the things you have done?  Why would you start smoking and drinking?  Why would you use drugs?  Why would you cause so much heartache for your whole family?
How do you feel about drugs now?  You said that your life revolved around using and dealing.  Do you wish you had never started?  Do you think you can stand up to all of the former people that knew that you used?  Can you and will you tell them no, now?  Is that your plan?  You said that you started smoking when you were twelve because of peer pressure.  What are you going to do about peer pressure now?  What are you going to do if the drug dealer starts talking to you again about using?
Now that you have learned even more about the harmful effects of drugs, are you committed to never use again?  Now that you know how your brain could be damaged permanently and that you might have already caused some damage to it, can you honestly say that you will give it all up and never touch any of it again?   
How are you going to keep yourself from getting bored?  How are you going to regulate your mood and your feelings?  How are you going to take charge of living your life clean, sober, positive, and happy?
How are you going to gain our trust back?

How do you think I will ever get over being terrified to leave you alone or let you go somewhere without someone in our family? 

I don’t know how to ask all of these questions.

They are like a big, huge elephant in the room that we are afraid of, so we just avoid it and don’t talk about it.

I feel like the fear will never go away.

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