My Twitter bio reads:
Chronology: Unhappy child – rebellious teen – hippie – disco girl – addict – 12-stepper – clean and sober – recovery counselor.
I’ve already talked some about the “Unhappy Child” time of my life in the posts:
- Eternity http://wp.me/s1g41l-eternity
- Who Am I? Why Am I Here? http://wp.me/p1g41l-a
- The Watchful Child http://wp.me/p1g41l-e
- Casual Cruelty http://wp.me/p1g41l-i
While I was in grade school and seeing Dr. Edna, I appeared to be very acquiescent. With her professional guidance, I learned how to play Go Fish, be sneaky, hide my feelings, and stop listening to my mother. Too bad there isn’t a Nobel Prize for Psychiatry.
All that stopped when I hit puberty, entered junior high, and discovered drugs, in approximately that order. It became harder and harder to maintain the even keel Dr. Edna espoused in the face of my mother’s continued downright meanness. Eventually, the emotional swings of a normal young teenager became a real burden when trying to cope with a situation my brother has described as being “like war.”
I found myself fighting with my mother every moment we were together. When she criticized my weight, my hair, my behavior, I’d make a nasty remark right back at her. I became as mean as she was. To attempt to take the pain way, I smoked pot almost every moment we were apart. I was using weed the way she used alcohol. Within just a couple of years – by the time I was 15 – I was almost indistinguishable from my mother. Mean as a snake, and addicted (to pot instead of booze), and hating my life.
I had the misfortune of beginning my teen years in 1968, just as marijuana use became really widespread. Even in the lily-white suburb of Rye, New York, there was a growing group of “low-caliber people” that had ready access to the weed. All a 13 or 14 year old had to do was walk across the street from school to the park to obtain as much pot as they wanted.
Henry, bless him, tried to referee between my mother and myself for a while, and then he gave up. I feel terribly guilty because I think all of the fighting contributed to his early demise.
I already had a great “drunkalog” for AA and I was only 15. I had a lot more to go.