Author Topic: My son remembering  (Read 1757 times)

Sugarbell

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My son remembering
« on: October 12, 2016, 08:05:26 PM »
So my oldest went to a party/sleepover last Sat. The parents took six 13 year olds to the movies about an hour away.

They left the older son (16) and his 2 friends alone at the house.

So when they get home...the 13 year olds go to the basement to hangout...it reeked of pot smoke. (These are good parents who were mortified).. they tried to handle it privately...but the 13 year olds played detective and found a small bag of weed in one of the older brothers friends bags.

So...older brother in trouble..his friends sent home. The kids Mom is washing all the younger boys sleeping bags, etc.

So...my son is telling me about it...Then blurts out "The basement smelled just like our garage used to when Dad was alive. Like it always smelled like pot...now I know what it was...I never knew but now I know...Dad smokes pot out there.

And I lied...."No..don't think so...sometimes he burned sage..it was just sage.
I get the "Yeah whatever look..and he says no I know the difference...you burn sage a lot...it's a different smell".

But I continued to play dumb. I can't let him know his Dad was a chronic 6 times a day pot smoker the last 9 months of his life. Just can't.

Death of a parent when a kid is young...the curse that keeps on creeping up. Ugh.
B.W.H. 9/24/2007

trying2breathe

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Re: My son remembering
« Reply #1 on: October 12, 2016, 08:55:56 PM »
What a jolt, SB, to have your son tell you he remembers.  I understand that smells stay with a person pretty much forever. 
So sorry that you're left to try to deal with this.  Do you feel at his age that he can't handle the truth?   There are some unpleasant truths about my DH that I've told my kids, if for no other reason than they need to know what's in their genetics and know what to watch for.   Thirteen is young, seems that he's figured it out already.  Maybe there's an age appropriate way to talk about it? 
Good luck ~
Have I told you lately how much I love you?

Portside

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Re: My son remembering
« Reply #2 on: October 13, 2016, 04:02:46 AM »

And I lied...."No..don't think so...sometimes he burned sage..it was just sage.
I get the "Yeah whatever look..and he says no I know the difference...you burn sage a lot...it's a different smell".


I feel you SB but I wonder if this is the best path given the age of your son. At this age, sons already think their Moms or Dads are the dumbest creatures on the face of the earth. He may think you are giving him more ammunition to build his case.

Perhaps another option is just not to confirm his observations. Something like "Well, I really don't know." At that point he may think we are only clueless, not lying through our teeth.

My boy recently asked me if it was true that his mother didn't always feed him and his brother while I was at work. (She didn't.) I can't remember my exact words but it was along the lines of "Well, mom did the best she could."

In any case, it's a tough call.  :(

Good luck - Mike
The war is over for me now. But those of us who did make it have an obligation to build again, to teach to others what we know, and to try with what's left of our lives to find a goodness and a meaning to this life.

Julester3

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Re: My son remembering
« Reply #3 on: October 13, 2016, 09:57:38 AM »
I am an advocate for plain truth. One can withhold some information if you feel the kid is not ready but generally honesty works best. I am honest with my girls when they ask about anything about their dad. He was a wonderful man. Was he perfect? Heck no! Did he make mistakes? Yes! 13 years is very savvy and smart. My 13 year old is very astute and observant. It would be insulting for me to lie to her. I recommend having a conversation with your son but you can add additional dialogue to it to make it a learning moment.

Right now, my daughter was asking about drinking/being drunk and has observed stupid behavior that results when you see videos of drunk people on TV. So now she's very critical if I or any adult she knows takes a drink. I have to remind her that 1-2 once in awhile is okay. That is called moderation. It's drinking a lot and pretty often that is a problem. Then she will ask about her dad and I have told her yes, he's made bad choices and has gotten very drunk. As a matter of fact, I could count 6 times where it was me holding his head over the toilet to throw up. I told her it isn't pretty and in the end you feel pretty sick. I don't particularly like the feeling and so I am moderate. Her dad finally learned his lesson trying to keep up with the young guns from work at an open bar at a work party. He realized he was too old and tired as a working father and husband in his mid-thirties to be drinking like a 21 year old frat boy. He was pretty miserable the following day for the entire day but he never overdid it after that. See? Lesson to be learned. HTH!

Sugarbell

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Re: My son remembering
« Reply #4 on: October 13, 2016, 03:15:14 PM »
I think Portsides clueless "I don't know" is probably best.

He was only 4 when Dad died. I choose to remember the good for my kids sakes. I mean at this point telling him point blank "Yeah your Dad smoked pot all the time In the garage."--How would that help my kid??

He's 13...He's brilliant and very wise for his age. He may suspect...or even think he knows...but he thinks I am a scatterbrained airhead at times...so I think playing clueless will work best.

Trust me...moving back to childhood hometown...I play clueless like daily when he asks about high school. He doesn't need to know all my skeletons. 🙄
B.W.H. 9/24/2007

mmg19

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Re: My son remembering
« Reply #5 on: October 13, 2016, 03:38:17 PM »
I like Portsides assessment.  Honesty is the best policy but I would say I don't know what the odor in garage was and use this as a teachable moment on the decisions he will confront as a teenager.  If he were older and had more specific memories perhaps not being clueless would work. 

This situation reinforces my stance on not being naive and leaving teenagers alone at night with friends when I am not there. 


oneoftwo

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Re: My son remembering
« Reply #6 on: October 13, 2016, 03:50:26 PM »
For some people, smells leave a long memory- as long as visuals do for other people.
He's getting to the age where they are exposed to a lot. If he has not tried it yet, he WILL know what it
smells like. Don't mess around.
At that age we knew what pot smelled like, why wouldn't he? 
All you can do is soften the truth.

tybec

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Re: My son remembering
« Reply #7 on: October 14, 2016, 05:37:05 PM »
I might have a unique perspective here, maybe.  My DH was a "pothead" as a teen.  I was a clean cut girl who went for the "bad boy."  He had an interesting dichotomy of being a party guy but then very involved in his church as his family was very "religious."  I never did drugs except drink.  Thankfully, nothing bad came from it.  Anyway, he joined the Marines when I went away to college, got disciplined, focused and we married when he got out and he never went that route again.  I would not have married had he, as I went into mental health.  So, fast forward, and DH became a great church youth leader.  He did small groups of boys who are still so tight and communicate with me.  He has told some of his story to some at church, some kids who are all adults now, as I read about some of their statements to him on FB.  People KNOW HIS STORY.  WE called it the "dark years."  At home in our little tiny town of 6500 and some here where I have lived for 21 years.  WE talked about how he was going to handle it once our son got old enough, and he said he wouldn't lie as that would not be helpful. He grew up with one huge lie, and it tainted his youth and young adulthood until he could handle it with help, counseling.  So, UNLESS no one knows of your husband's past, your kid is likely going to hear about it.  My son is likely going to hear bits here and there unless I move away and also never take him back to our hometown.  Think about where you want him to hear stuff from, how and what story. 

Now,  I am a kid therapist, trauma focused.  Kids are so much aware and KNOW so much stuff, it is unbelievable.  And, they will form their own story to help them understand happenings if they are not told by an adult the facts/perspectives. AND they 99% of the time form a story where they are responsible in some form for the bad things that happened in their life, which I know most here know that.  Has to do with child development.  My son is 13, and just went through sex ed, and I thought I had sheltered him, but the questions we reviewed each night told me he was really observant of things despite my attempt to shelter him. 
So, now handling it is all on me.  His dad's past, challenges, etc.  But I rather him hear from me than family members, possible adults from church my MIL (whole other issues), etc.
So, just some things to consider in how you try to manage your kids' memories or what they may learn from others. 

Good luck!

RobFTC

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Re: My son remembering
« Reply #8 on: October 14, 2016, 11:00:10 PM »
I mean at this point telling him point blank "Yeah your Dad smoked pot all the time In the garage."--How would that help my kid??

You'd be confirming the truth he already knows you're withholding?

As poor of a liar as I am, I know I could not do dumb, I just say stuff tactfully.

Take care,
Rob T
There was something fishy about the butler.  I think he was a Pisces, probably working for scale.

Portside

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Re: My son remembering
« Reply #9 on: October 15, 2016, 07:14:51 AM »
I mean at this point telling him point blank "Yeah your Dad smoked pot all the time In the garage."--How would that help my kid??

You'd be confirming the truth he already knows you're withholding?

As poor of a liar as I am, I know I could not do dumb, I just say stuff tactfully.

Take care,
Rob T

I don't know Rob, is there a way to say this tactfully for my case?

"Yeah, when your Mom was real bad she'd run naked down the street and the cops would have to fight her to bring her home. She would run away too for weeks on end with no money and then whore herself around in dirt bars so she had a place to sleep at night. Her 'boyfriends' of the day would sometimes find my number and call me to come pick her up two states over. She'd be filthy with matted, tangled hair and smelled like booze, ass and pot. Sometimes she had lost all her clothes and would be wearing whatever her one night friend gave her - normally a dirty tee shirt and no panties. "

I understand what you are driving at and I respect your thoughts but I think that sometimes you just have to tell the whoppers to the kids or leave it at: "Your Mom was desperately ill and didn't act right all the time."

Best wishes - Mike
« Last Edit: October 15, 2016, 09:38:25 AM by Portside »
The war is over for me now. But those of us who did make it have an obligation to build again, to teach to others what we know, and to try with what's left of our lives to find a goodness and a meaning to this life.

tybec

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Re: My son remembering
« Reply #10 on: October 15, 2016, 08:23:40 AM »
Portside, I hear your point.

There are tactful and honest ways to talk about things. It is hard.  I use the word SAFE a lot.  "You can't see your parent because they are unsafe.  They broke laws or couldn't take care of you because  they were unsafe.  Using drugs and alcohol can make people choose things they never would do otherwise.  And, sadly, they are unsafe and unable to take care of themselves, let alone their children."  But the person that I fell in love with, married, was not that person.  But they changed because of the addiction.   And kids will keep asking if they want to know more, believe me.   I have seen amazing parents handle the most difficult situations well with their kids truthfully. It is no different than a divorced parent talking about their ex kindly about truths but not saying, "Oh, your mother was a whore and that is why I left her."  There are ways, but it is hard. 

SB, you will do what you feel is best for you and yours.  It is who you are.   :)

RobFTC

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Re: My son remembering
« Reply #11 on: October 15, 2016, 05:36:38 PM »
Portside, I get your point, too - I think your ending summary is just fine; kids don't need complete information.  The longer story might be something I would share over a beer with adult children, perhaps in their late teens if they expressed a need to know.

Our closest analog (and it's not very close) was that when we were talking about unplanned pregnancies, I told the girls that their Mom had a little boy and put him up for adoption early in her time at college, and how she felt about that.  It fit, and I got to tell them something about her Mom that might otherwise die with me.

Take care,
Rob T
There was something fishy about the butler.  I think he was a Pisces, probably working for scale.

Sugarbell

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Re: My son remembering
« Reply #12 on: October 16, 2016, 07:57:06 PM »
We moved to the town I grew up in. I haven't lived here in over 25 years..Anyone their Dad met from here when we used to visit did not know that side of him (he was Mr Prep/Corporate..drove a mini van..appears conservative but inside the van you would have reggae playing and he would be smoking dope.

He was an enigma..I keep in touch with 2 of his best friends that live an hour away..they have now traded in the pot smoking days and are great Dads.

So that isn't an issue. (I actually am slowly revealing my wilder s
days to my oldest because I know everyone here..and he's bound to hear something-Nothing major just parties/drinking in high school. That's been a very gradual process.

There are more opportunities here and my kids love it...but with a larger school also comes more negative influences. He has great friends (know all the parents).. they are the athletic/smart group..but I also know kids are easily influenced. He has seen more "couples" fights at school and says their are groups of kids in 8th grade who are the "druggies" and brag about getting drunk/high on weekends. But they live in different areas of town..and the kids are "tracked" by test scores/grades..so most of those kids aren't on the academic track him and his friends are.

But I am no fool...he's going to be around it. This was his first time smelling 3 hour old leftover pot smell..and he was worried he would fail a drug test cause the smell was still there (they randomly drug test athletes).

But clueless is best I think. His Dad is dead..he lived through knowing how his Dad died since he was 4. He's healed from it...I focus on the good..I want my kids to know their Dad loved them..I won't backslide with an impressionable 13 year old.

And he thinks I am a forgetful and clueless half the time. So that helps.😊
B.W.H. 9/24/2007