I stand so often in a room full of young ones looking at me with tired eyes. They look weary and much older than they really are – drug use ages you folks and not in a good way. Assessing the room is always emotionally difficult for me; the range of emotions emulating from these young folks makes me feel as if I am part of some concoction swirling around inside of a blender. There always seems to be one that stands out in the group that is doing his/her best to double up on the “hardened shell” persona. This breaks my heart. On the inside they are full of so much pain, pain they won’t show with their words or outward appearance yet it hauntingly radiates from under their downcast eyes.
Others are far too quick to tell me how much they have learned through the sessions and how they will never again touch drugs or alcohol. So eager to say the right things that it scares me. I know how difficult it is for them to stay clean. In my heart I am hopeful that they are sincere. For some in the moment they are totally sincere, they just don’t realize that it might be easier said than done. For others it’s just a game they play with me, thing is I’m not playing. During our discussion time they will often unknowingly reveal to me just how sincere they really are about their commitment to sobriety. If they are in truth only playing a game, it’s a deadly one to play. They hurt themselves the most. I tell them upfront to only speak their truth… if they can’t speak the truth then don’t respond. But teens will be teens and their immaturity surfaces easily.
Posing to them the question “how did your parents react to you getting in trouble with drug?” is never easy for me. Mainly because I am almost always astonished to hear that they really didn’t react or seem upset. From the level of apathy in the parent groups, I believe them. Hearing those responses inevitability get’s my feather’s ruffled. I just don’t understand it – parental apathy. I’m not sure if parents realize that their apathy is often passed on through the generations. Not the best gift to give your child(ren).
Let me tell you folks, believe it or not these young ones are yearning for someone to give them direction. They may scream and complain about consequences, but they are old enough to understand that being held accountable by their parent’s means their parents care about the choices they make in life. Too often they are filled with feelings of abandonment and confusion. They lack structure in their lives and they have not been taught how to regain their footing. There are painful situations that they have been through in the short lives and no one is showing them how to deal with their emotions; how to process their experiences so that they can move on to a healthy adult life. How are they to find their way without the help from the parents that brought them into this world?
Who is to be held accountable in these situations? I ask you to consider this question.