Weed would have been better.
I always thought it would be so terrible to be one of those kids who found out their parents still smoked pot way into their adult hood. Not that I personally have a problem with weed smoking, I’m pretty indifferent at this point. But I just always felt that would be such a blow to the mind and heart to know that there was a secret that large that had been looming over the family for all that time.
Luckily, for me, my parents never dropped that bomb. Although a lot of people do think my Mom must be on drugs to be that positive I know for a fact that they do not have that particular secret to share. For this I always felt very grateful. I perceived my parents very differently when I was young and it took time and distance for me to realize that they are just human and flawed like us all. Having children does not automatically make you the worlds best person, as everyone knows. However I took solice in the fact that although my view of them changed, they never misrepresented who they were or are now. Or at least that was the impression I was under until my last visit with them.
My visits back to Vermont are never fun to begin with. I reached the lowest point in my life in that gray, cold and cloudy, frozen hell hole. Every once in a while I work through it to go see my parents, this last time it had taken me 4 years to work through it before I was able to go back. But I did, and true to the Vermont I despise, the sun did not come out once in the four days I was there and the levels of gray were incomprehensible, and yet the weather was not the darkest part of my trip.
I have been struggling with sever depression since I was 15, one of my brothers has attempted suicide a few time and the other brother has sever social anxiety disorder. It is no surprise that our family has some serious issues. My father has always been a glass completely empty kind of a guy, he not only rains on your parade but tells you it will rain on every parade from here on out. We have all always known he is not the happiest man, but clearly he loves his family and in his own strange way has done everything he can to help us find a good life for ourselves. I know as he gets older it’s hard to him not to feel guilty about how fucked up his kids are and that’s hard to see. But nothing could have prepared me for how hard it would be to hear that he also has struggled with suicidal tenancies and thoughts for his whole adult life, and that he is still struggling now. He is 55.
I have always known what it feels like to love someone who wants to kill themselves, because I grew up very close to my brother. It was terribly painful and heartbreaking. I never forgot how it felt when I started to go down the same path. I tried to keep my feelings berried very deep down inside, so as not to affect others the way my brother affect me. Now that I have been investing a lot of time and effort into trying to overcome this disease I have started to be more open and honest with my family. But when my father told me that he has been living with this same feelings for so long, it killed me. The guilt he feels can be seem on his pained face, the sadness for still having to deal with it and the realization if he still feels this way at 55, there is probably no hope for his children. At that point I would have given anything for him to have told me he still smokes weed. Instead I have an extra layer of sadness, not just for my father, but for what my future will most likely hold…a little parental drug use looks like a piece of cake to me now.