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An Open Letter to My Three Step-Sons, The Truth Hurts.

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posted on Feb, 3 2013 @ 07:33 PM
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Originally posted by kaylaluv
Sounds like you were hanging with the wrong crowd from the time you were 12. This woman I knew who had 2 sons that got into trouble -- they were also hanging out with the wrong crowd. Their mother wasn't doing anything about it. When the 12-yr old son went to live with his father, the father laid down the law big-time. He told the son, "you won't go to the bathroom without my permission". If the father didn't like someone that the boy was hanging out with, that person was banned. The father made it his business to know every step his son took, and who he was hanging with. The father used tough love, and it took a huge amount of his time and effort, but by the time the son was 14, he wasn't getting into trouble anymore.

The parents CAN make a difference, when the kid is young enough. If you don't start to get involved until the kid is 17/18 yrs old, it gets a lot harder.


Again... as much as I can appreciate your post, did you notice how you started it off? Instead of allowing me to accept responsibility for what I did you have blamed "the wrong crowd" for the poor choices I made.

No one picked my friends for me. No one forced me to smoke, drink or take drugs. Know what my friends would have said if I choose NOT to join them in these things? They would have said, "Ok" and that would have been the end of it. Fact is my friends did not even do some of the things I ended up doing.




posted on Feb, 3 2013 @ 09:37 PM
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This just came across my facebook and it is incredibly relevant to this thread.


“When you plant lettuce, if it does not grow well, you don't blame the lettuce. You look for reasons it is not doing well. It may need fertilizer, or more water, or less sun. You never blame the lettuce. Yet if we have problems with our friends or family, we blame the other person. But if we know how to take care of them, they will grow well, like the lettuce. Blaming has no positive effect at all, nor does trying to persuade using reason and argument. That is my experience. No blame, no reasoning, no argument, just understanding. If you understand, and you show that you understand, you can love, and the situation will change”

― Thich Nhat Hanh



posted on Feb, 3 2013 @ 10:17 PM
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Originally posted by MrWendal

Originally posted by kaylaluv
Sounds like you were hanging with the wrong crowd from the time you were 12. This woman I knew who had 2 sons that got into trouble -- they were also hanging out with the wrong crowd. Their mother wasn't doing anything about it. When the 12-yr old son went to live with his father, the father laid down the law big-time. He told the son, "you won't go to the bathroom without my permission". If the father didn't like someone that the boy was hanging out with, that person was banned. The father made it his business to know every step his son took, and who he was hanging with. The father used tough love, and it took a huge amount of his time and effort, but by the time the son was 14, he wasn't getting into trouble anymore.

The parents CAN make a difference, when the kid is young enough. If you don't start to get involved until the kid is 17/18 yrs old, it gets a lot harder.


Again... as much as I can appreciate your post, did you notice how you started it off? Instead of allowing me to accept responsibility for what I did you have blamed "the wrong crowd" for the poor choices I made.

No one picked my friends for me. No one forced me to smoke, drink or take drugs. Know what my friends would have said if I choose NOT to join them in these things? They would have said, "Ok" and that would have been the end of it. Fact is my friends did not even do some of the things I ended up doing.


I don't want to belabor this, but.. isn't it kind of hard for a 12-yr-old to go buy a pack of cigarettes? You must have had some help - maybe a friend who got you the cigarettes. Point is, you probably didn't do it in a vacuum, all by yourself. Of course, YOU chose your friends, and YOU chose (at 12 years old) to start smoking. My point is -- your parents should have known you were smoking. A non-smoker can smell a smoker a mile away. Once I realized my 12-yr-old was smoking, there would be hell to pay. There would be serious conversations, punishments, grounding, current friends are no longer allowed. If I felt it was necessary, we'd move to get away from the influences. I would nip it in the bud so fast, it would make the 12-yr-old's head spin. But that's just me - because that's the way I was raised by my parents. And, no, I never tried to smoke or take drugs at 12 - mostly because I knew my parents were watching me very closely and would kick my butt if I ever tried. Once I was older and more mature, I saw the stupidity of drugs and made the conscious choice not to do it. I give my parents credit for that.



posted on Feb, 3 2013 @ 10:40 PM
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Originally posted by kaylaluv


I don't want to belabor this, but.. isn't it kind of hard for a 12-yr-old to go buy a pack of cigarettes? You must have had some help - maybe a friend who got you the cigarettes.


Actually it is not as hard as you might think. Not all stores ask for ID. Would you expect any less from an 18-19 year old who is working a minimum wage job? Cigarette machines also do not ask for ID. I never had anyone buy cigarettes for me when I was kid. Fact is, just like illegal drugs, if you want them you can find them. No matter how many laws people make trying to stop it.


My point is -- your parents should have known you were smoking. A non-smoker can smell a smoker a mile away. Once I realized my 12-yr-old was smoking, there would be hell to pay. There would be serious conversations, punishments, grounding, current friends are no longer allowed. If I felt it was necessary, we'd move to get away from the influences. I would nip it in the bud so fast, it would make the 12-yr-old's head spin. But that's just me - because that's the way I was raised by my parents.


roflmao you can't be serious. What you're saying sounds great in theory, but how many times could you afford to move or change jobs before you realize that you can not control every single thing your kid does? My Mother knew I was smoking, it was not hard to tell since I came home smelling like smoke. Fact is, once I left the home to go to school or go play or whatever, I was on my own to make my own choices. Mom and Dad can not be there every single minute of every single day. What happens when your kid comes home smelling like smoke? How long are you going to ground him? Unless you plan to keep that child under lock and key for 6 years, you can not be there to stop every thing and control every decision they make. Thinking that you can is simply delusional.


And, no, I never tried to smoke or take drugs at 12 - mostly because I knew my parents were watching me very closely and would kick my butt if I ever tried. Once I was older and more mature, I saw the stupidity of drugs and made the conscious choice not to do it. I give my parents credit for that.


Interesting choice of words. I notice how you said you never chose to do drugs or smoke at the age of 12, but what you didn't say was that you never tried it ever... which proves my point. Your parents can not be there every minute of every day. Eventually, at 12 or 22 you will be left to make your own decisions. The responsibility of what we do with our lives lies with the individual and the individual alone.



posted on Feb, 3 2013 @ 10:57 PM
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reply to post by MrWendal
 

There is a difference between taking responsibility for someone else's choices... versus acknowledging responsibility for your influence on another person (usually invisible initially) for better and worse.

The first is absurd. The second...

Or sure... keep going with the black/white style responses. Keep pretending you and everyone else plopped out of our mothers and started making all our own choices without influence (conscious and subconscious) from anyone else at all.
edit on 3-2-2013 by ErgoTheConclusion because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 3 2013 @ 11:26 PM
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reply to post by ErgoTheConclusion
 


I am not pretending anything. What I have done is used my own personal experiences as a basis for my opinion.

I did not come from a family of drugs and alcohol or cigarettes. So to blame family for my choice to indulge in these things makes no sense at all.

I blame me. That's it.

If you want to you can blame the Joe "Cool" Camel on the cigarette box, but that Joe Cool Camel did not put a gun to my head, buy my first pack of smokes, buy the lighter, pull the cigarette out of the pack or light it for me. I did that!

The first time I did heroin, I was the first of anyone I knew to try it. My friends didnt do it. My friends told me it was stupid. I did that... on my own and against the advice of every single person in my life who had known it.

So if you think you know me better than I know me, than by all means tell me some more about the things that influenced my decisions.



posted on Feb, 3 2013 @ 11:56 PM
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reply to post by MrWendal
 

Have I suggested you should "blame" your family?

Most in here are operating and discussing in a black and white manner where it's either:
1) "Blame" the parents (or society)
2) "Blame" yourself regardless of anything else ever

... and there is no room for both to fundamentally be part of what a family discusses to get through problems.

I have tried very hard to not use the word "blame", but you insist so I'm stuck with it.

It's interesting that you keep suggesting that because your parents didn't do drugs, etc they are then supposedly incapable of playing any part in the steps you took from birth till your first cigarette that lent influence towards you then... when given the choice... choosing to try it.

To ignore the impact of the origin situation the kids in the OP came from as just being *irrelevant* to any discussion of seeking solutions and ways to heal is literally insane. Whether you or anyone else feels the impact is justified *is* irrelevant because the impact has already been made. If an impact was made however irrationally... choosing to ignore it or just pass the entire thing back to the person struggling... is choosing to help perpetuate the problem. That is having an influence.

The OP letter is the step-parent having an influence. Otherwise why even write the letter? Just stop answering their calls (which is another type of influence). But no... the choice made by the step-parent was to be dramatic (and public) about it. That choice of the step-parent will naturally affect the feelings and thoughts of the kids. The kids will then of course make their own choices based on how they felt when getting the letter that their step-parent chose to send them. The letter is clearly intended to make an impact.

If you have a child and you teach it to not cross the road without looking you are having an impact. If you don't teach them that you are having an impact.

I'm not suggesting to know you better than you know yourself, I'm suggesting that in your effort to be pedantic you have boxed yourself into a stance that basically says it really doesn't matter AT ALL whether a parent is involved with a kid or not, whether they leave them in the street, or hyper obsess over them. Both tend to result in issues on average but oh well... parents choices don't have any meaningful impact.

Your environment made it possible and moderately acceptable to smoke. That's not a good or bad thing... it simply is. That had an effect. If you had been screamed at every time you came home you would have had a different experience. You may have made some similar steps but you being "allowed" to versus being "punished" made a difference on what your later options would be and thus subsequent choices. For better and worse.

It is not my suggestion you should have been punished (I'm actually in favor of kids being allowed to demystify drugs to some degree)... only emphasizing the different choices that could have been made by your parents which would have resulted in different environments and whether you wanted it to or not... create different options and thus different choices, different attitudes towards your parents/others, more/less angry days, etc.
edit on 4-2-2013 by ErgoTheConclusion because: Broke post into two parts so they are easier to read.



posted on Feb, 4 2013 @ 12:55 AM
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reply to post by MrWendal
 

I'm a recovered addict as well. I don't blame my parents. But they made choices that made it easier for me to get where I got. We talked through it... there wasn't anything to be ashamed of on either side... but in order to heal the division in the family of which the drug abuse was just a symptom it took both sides saying "Ahh... I see how we were affecting each other that helped it get progressively further and further".

It was a very simple in principle process though still quite challenging. It was accelerated greatly because my parents knew from their own experiences with THEIR parents that there was more going on than just "our kid is doing drugs" and immediately went for the real problem under the surface.

Part of what helped was up to that point I *had* done nothing but blame myself and due to their own experiences with their parents were able to help me see and understand that some things I was blaming myself for (and choosing to escape from) weren't my "fault" or "responsibility" and we were able to clear up where the confusions had started and what we both had been doing to sustain them. That had more of an influence on me getting over the addiction and negative cycle I was on than anything else.

But I guess I shouldn't give them any credit for being wise parents who applied their life skills when they recognized there was a problem and quickly focused on healing the invisible real issues rather than make it worse by attacking the surface issue. I just got over it all by myself and they were wasting their time reflecting back to better understand the effects unrealized for years and sort of choices they were making when learning to handle a genuinely strange 8-10 year old while getting divorced etc. Cliche life story these days, heh... though it wasn't the divorce I was "blaming" myself for.

Thank you for the discussion.
edit on 4-2-2013 by ErgoTheConclusion because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 4 2013 @ 10:11 AM
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Good Monday Morning ATS, All I can say this a.m. Is 'Holy Freaking cow!!! I go on here on friday I create a rant for ME by ME for a venting of MY problems dealing with three drug addcited step-sons. Just a rant, just FOR ME to blow off the steam that builds up within dealing with all this.

I found out what I allready knew. More folks than not on here have dealt with this situation in one way or the other. Either other parents and family or recovering addicts them selves. I applaud all of you who have overcame your dependence on drugs/alcohol.

I will now try ro clear up a few things in my thread. First & foremost . My wife is not now nor never has been a drug addict. I miss-spelled Nar Anon by typeing Narc-A-non. So sorry for that confusion, it caused arguements within the thread, My bad on that one. I prefer not to go to the meetings, She needs them more than I. She's my wife, I stand by her side.Allways.

The sons. Oldest we have damn bear zero contact with.. Prioer to him leaving for college, he was a straight A student. After about a year you could tell something was changing. After about two years the contact was cut off by the son, not us. A letter from N.C State University gave us the news he was no longer inrolled in school. My wife is an alumni of N.C State she made a call or two and we began to undertstand the downward spiral. Realize this child does not live with us and has not in 5 years. His problems are completely seperate from the other two. We tried to visit, we tried to get him back in school, we tried all we knew to do. when we learned about the drugs it was a real big shock, especialliy this kid. The oldest is the last one we found out about, seems as the brothers knew and keep it silent. A conspiarcy of silence is what we dealt with between the three. Basicly the two younger ones gave up their brother when the addcition light was shined on them.

Middle child. Two years younger than my blood son. They meet each other thru another friend, then they became friends then introduced me to my now wife. We have been together ever since. We put up with all the basic 14 & 16 year old boy shat. Weed, drinking, girls. Maybe not in that exact order. When they hit the older ages of their teen years, they started to drift apart. My son would tell me his brother was hanging out with the wrong folks. He slowly pullled out of hanging with his brother and became his own man. Middle kid moves out at 19, married less than a year later. He got married and BAM kid on the way. That baby died in the arms of my stepson at Duke Medical center, a result of underdeveloped lungs. He lived less than 24 hrs. This is when the drug use became public knowledge to us, the parents.....Can't say the drug use caused the death, but it sure as hell did'nt help.

My thinking then was that episode would either bring about change or they would go even futher. They went further into the drug use. Their child is taken care of by her mother & sister most of the time. I'm unsure if they have some custody agreement or not. I think they do. So the child is being taken care of by two good people. I know them and they are where we are with the situation.

Last child, When he went thru puberty at around 14, the change was as dramatic as any I had ever seen. Started to slip off with " friends" that sometimes we never meet. Then the trouble. stealing folks checks, bad check charges, forgery. This was around 15 & 16. A whole list of stuff from 16 to 18 & 19. In and out of court. Then 18 to 20. According to him is when the drugs started to get bad. We find that he's been shooting up coc aine since he was 18. We found out April last year. He was living with us then. Right under our nose. Shooting in the bathroom. Outside in the yard. One particular night he simple keeled over right at the dinner table and had a full blown seizure right there in the floor. I thought the boy was going to die in my arms.

Stayed with him all that night in the hospital, he had taken some one else's prescription meds and "took to much" as he said. Next episode, I
m called by my bio daughter at 4:30 am that last child is at her house all sorts of messed up. The police had brought him to her house as he was walking thru her heighborhood in the middle of the night going door to door asking for a damn cigarette. Older couple called the cops as they recognized he was doped up on something. In retro spect that cop should have taken him to jail. Lucky he did'nt get shot.

My wife & I are normal people. We don't do drugs nor have we ever. WE have done th ere-habs, the groups, the doctors. the anti do drug drugs. The enableing stops and we feel it's the only option we have left. The cutting of the ties. Thanks for all who u2u'd me with the words of support. Thanks to ALL who replied, Thanks to Ergo & Santa. Well spoken advocates of your beleifs. I admire folks like you.. ( * retirednature* I await your apology.)
edit on 4-2-2013 by openyourmind1262 because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 4 2013 @ 10:32 AM
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Not done. The three children have to be the ones that decide that they are ready to stop and get help and recover. Until they do that theirs nothing any body can do. This much the class'e are teaching me. We love these boy's. Don't ever think we don't. They know it too. If and when they get to that point.... trust me we will be their for them. They'll need us.

I did'nt know this thread was gonna blow up as it did. It just shows us all that this is a nasty topic to discuss and bring out into the open. It's a problem it seems that all to many can relate too, either side of the fence. I love my step-sons . I want to see them become all they know they can be, and when they need me in the sober future I'll be there each and everytime. A minute to address outing them on here.

It's ATS, it's the RANTS forum. They willl never see this. And yes all Ive said hear has been said to them at on time or another. I have never heard my wife speak of the childrens bio dad as a "piece os shat" she allways said he was'nt like that when they married and it got worse over time. I don't know the man personally so I can't make a accessment of his charactor. My wife has, I will go with what she tell's me . As all I have meet tell her version of events in their marriage.

As in sister, brother, mother, sister -in -law ( Yes bio dads sister) .



posted on Feb, 4 2013 @ 11:42 AM
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Thank you again for the thread and the chance to share my understandings/experiences alongside yours and others.



Originally posted by openyourmind1262
My wife & I are normal people. We don't do drugs nor have we ever.

I'm not sure that actually makes you "normal" in a purely numerical way.



Originally posted by openyourmind1262
It's ATS, it's the RANTS forum. They willl never see this.

Being someone whose anonymous internet rants from 17 years ago have popped up in the most unexpected of places... I've learned you simply can't post anything on the net without the assumption that the *last* person you want to see it will eventually see it.

For example... I don't know if you actually sent the OP to them as a letter, but a google search on just the first sentence pops it up as one of the top search results. Why would the kids have reason to google it? Doesn't matter why once it has happened. But that's just the most blatant way for it to pop up unexpectedly.

Thanks again and best to you and everyone else.
edit on 4-2-2013 by ErgoTheConclusion because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 4 2013 @ 01:00 PM
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reply to post by ErgoTheConclusion
 


Was'nt sent to them. This rant was for me, my own selfish reasons I guess. Needed to vent shout out loud so to speak. I chose ATS as I"m impressed by some of the insight I have gotten since my time as a member. Your insight in this thread is an example. Thanks for your contribution to the subject matter, I really do appreciate it. And again, congrats on your present life and your getting it back on track, regardless of the route you took. Being whole & human again is the goal. Sorry If I angered anyone with this, anger is what brought it all about. Take care, OYM



posted on Feb, 4 2013 @ 01:41 PM
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reply to post by openyourmind1262
 


Children reflect the upbringing they receive. Yes it is all up to the parents. To say anything else is to stick your head in the sand and pretend that you don't affect the children.



posted on Feb, 4 2013 @ 01:51 PM
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reply to post by openyourmind1262
 

No anger here... this was one of the best discussion experiences I've had the chance to have on these subjects. I'm truly grateful.

I am also genuinely interested in how things go for you guys so I hope there is some chance for an update down the road somehow. I think you might be surprised how fast (within reason) things will change if you guys really stick to this and let them stand or fall entirely on their own. Until they really believe you won't be there to pick them up, they won't know how to make different choices (even if they "should").

Once they know you really aren't there to pick them back up... and really feel it... then they will find out just how dependable the circle they have surrounded themselves with really is. But they truly won't get there so long as someone is there to reliably pick them up. Bio-dad could become a factor to help extend it (my own family has the bio-dad LOVING the attention he gets when the kids want to complain that the bio-mom and step-dad aren't helping). You can't control that other than to finally see for yourself how someone repeatedly protecting junkies is their own more "mild" form of junkie.


Good luck, it is indeed very hard to watch someone you care about experience things you yourself never want to and never wanted to see them go through. Especially if jail or death via overdose (as opposed to say death while rock climbing) are potential options on the menu.
edit on 4-2-2013 by ErgoTheConclusion because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 4 2013 @ 04:17 PM
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Originally posted by nixie_nox
reply to post by openyourmind1262
 


Children reflect the upbringing they receive. Yes it is all up to the parents. To say anything else is to stick your head in the sand and pretend that you don't affect the children.


Wait!?!? Who's got thier head in the sand?

All I will say is this, an influence does not a decision make.....we are not talking about children 5-10 years old but young men in thier early 20's. The bio dad may have been an influence, but he certainly didn't put the needle in thier hands!!

I will say that I PERSONALLY have had negative influences as well, but the choices I have made are MY own and not the sole result of anybody else! A person cannot ever truly know who they are until they face and take full responsibility for the results of choices that they have made.



posted on Feb, 5 2013 @ 08:32 AM
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Originally posted by Darkphoenix77
All I will say is this, an influence does not a decision make.....we are not talking about children 5-10 years old but young men in thier early 20's.

The decisions the 5-10 year old makes (and the effects + reactions of those around them) have a significant influence on the sort of options available (perhaps *perceivable* is a better word) to the 20 year old and thus the sort of decisions they will make from there.

That really was the last lingering thing that was scratching at the back of my head wanting to be expressed on this topic so thank you for helping me scratch that itch, haha. I'm about saturated so will be appreciative again for the discussion on this and probably be taking a break from ATS to work on some creative things, heh.

edit on 5-2-2013 by ErgoTheConclusion because: (no reason given)





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