Why do parents feel the need to cover-up for us?
I started abusing prescription drugs when I was in high school and when my parents heard of the first incidence, they could not hear any of such accusations from the headmistress. Yes, I was simply experimenting like many other teens do with other drugs but the problem is I became hooked. My school “click” got busted and we were all sent home to come with our parents and of course the usual drug test results.
When I got home it was very clear in my head, I either “get” my parents or they “get” me. Yes I knew I was slipping into a bad habit but I kept telling myself that I was only doing it till I was done with high school after which I would straighten my act. So, I played the wounded card with my parents and they had to believe that it was the schools head girl who had a problem with me and as a result she kept putting my name in all sorts of lists (Noisemakers, Mono harassers, bullies etc). Needless to say, the next day I was taken to Chiromo Lane Medical Centre for a drug test that was more than positive! Here is where the first mistake occurred, I retracted my earlier story about the head girl and said that I had only tasted the drug as most of my friends were tasting and then we got caught, I swore with both living and non living things that I had never done the drugs before. Back at school, my parents told the headmistress that my test results came back negative.
I stayed on in the school for two more terms until my parents had to transfer me to another school. Guess what happens when all you have simply done is changed the addicts location and taken away the drug of choice? We adopt, yes, and we are very smart about it. Before my parents knew what hit them I was now using the ethanol which was easily accessible from the school lab to get high. At this point they had to accept what was happening to their daughter. I had to stop school and be taken to rehab.
At first I was very angry with them, was me being taken out of school the best decision they could take? What happened to covering up for me? Why couldn’t they just transfer me to another school? After all, this had proven to be an effective way of solving problems. But as time passed I realized that they were doing this for my own good. I “did my time” in rehab and still continue with my follow-up session to date.
I complete high school this year and I am glad that I took time out from school to take care of myself and I can comfortably look myself in the mirror and say that yes it was bad, it was sad, I was a mess but am in a much better place thanks to you guys and my parents help. I can afford to joke about my struggle because it made me into who I am.
I am lucky that my parents acted when they did, as I cannot imagine what I would have turned into if they hadn’t. I do get that parents feel the need to protect their own image as well as that of the children however I can’t help but wonder at what cost. Of course I do not expect that as parents you go shouting that your child is an addict, has some mental illness, is a thief and so on. But get us the help that we require fast!
It is not about you as a parent when I am sinking low into depression or when am stealing from the neighbors or even yourselves to fuel my addiction. It’s not about your image anymore, or the women in your chama groups or your reputation and the work place, it is about me, my problems, my troubles, my illness, my life and how to correct the wrongs that are going on.
I appreciate and I keep thanking my parents for what they have done for me but sometimes I challenge them and ask why they lied to the headmistress the first time, if they had taken action then, I would not have experimented with the ethanol.
I laugh sometimes when I tell my story and people tell me that I brought all the troubles I had upon myself and I must admit, nobody held a gun to my head and told me to experiment, I willingly took that up. Many other forces are at play when a teen starts to lose their way.
Before you lie for us, before you explain us out to your friends, before you expose us to more danger than we already are in. Try to genuinely understand what is happening to us accept the situation and help us move past it.