144: Dear Anonymous…I Disagree

Friday night, I wrote an entry about differences between the forces teens face today compared to years ago. Before I went to bed that night, I received a comment from an anonymous author. Said author was critical of what he/she translated as a “negative stream” and “dark picture” he/she believes I am creating. (I have copied it to the bottom of this post exactly as it was sent to me.)

I feel the need to respond to “Anonymous” as loudly as possible, so here it goes…

Dear Anonymous, Thank you for the comment you sent in regards to my post “So Very Different.” Your words were helpful, as they reminded me of several things that are probably important for me to share. As I have gradually come to terms with the fact that my words are very public and M is mad at me, I have made some valuable discoveries.

Some risks are worth taking. If I had ridden this teenage wave in the way in which my once passive, timid, and fear-driven personality had carried me, I wouldn’t have the hope I now feel in my heart.

And here’s what may really surprise you…My hope comes from all of the exceptional parents, inspiring teachers, kind friends, and extraordinary kids out there.

The truth is, M’s good friends, middle school and high school students I work with all day, and, of course, my own kids – inspire me each day. I am lucky to know many great, inspiring people of all ages

My words are just honest. And my words have just become a way for me to feel like I can make a difference. And the biggest difference, the difference that keeps me moving forward, is the hope that M will come out of this on the other side. I am a mother, and I will do what is necessary to give my children the healthy wings they will need to navigate through life. As we all know, it’s not always easy.

I genuinely thank you for keeping this important dialogue moving forward.

Sincerely, J

And now I have included the comment that inspired my words today…

From Anonymous, Friday night at 8:30: “I know times are different but as I read all your blogs I have to say there are a lot of good kids out there, there are a lot of parents who watch their children and have open communication. You paint a very dark picture of teens. I fear for K that you will enter his teen years with a negative view of teens. Yes there are kids that push it and do the things you say M has done. But there are fantasitc kids and fantasic parents who all know the dangers but have managed to rise above it. Your constant stream of negative views are not new to us they only show that you are just becoming aware of them. Don’t put everyone into that catagory.”    Written by: “Anonymous”


10 thoughts on “144: Dear Anonymous…I Disagree

  1. We share resources, we learn, but most of all we share prayers as only a mother can. We come together as any support group does, it is a disease. Do you think that these kids want to be addicts? They don’t, thats why it’s called addiction. Praise god this blogs not for you.

  2. Major Momma, I am so incredibly proud of you. Thank you for sharing your heart and your spirit… both of which enriches us immeasurably. Thank you for sparking this discussion about the people we love the most, our children. Knowing you is a gift for which I am grateful.

  3. Hi Jennifer,

    I don’t see your blog as being negative in any way. I see it as sharing your thoughts about your personal situation. Of course there are many “good” kids out there. Our kids that have gotten caught up in substance abuse are also good kids, they have made some poor choices, and hopefully will turn their lives around to make healthier choices in the future. Addiction does not discriminate.

    The point of why I write online is to reach out to other parents who are in a similar situation and let them know that they are not alone, there are resources out there and other parents share their same concern. I would image you have similar goals and purpose. This is not a problem of just a few, this is a community problem that unfortunately is nationwide, and one that we all need to be aware of and address. Thank you for being open and sharing your story. I know you are helping many families.

  4. I too am the mother of an addict. I have 6 other children besides, and none of them suffer from this disease. All were raised the same, all were loved equally. What is on my heart here is it seems everywhere I go, I hear of “good kids”, meaning those who have never been in trouble, done drugs, or any of the “bad things”, vs. “bad kids” who are always in trouble, have done drugs, and most of the “bad things”. I have to say that I do not believe kids are bad or good; addicted kids are simply kids who have made mistakes. Yes, some continue to make them, but those who have never struggled with the afflictions addicts suffer with cannot hope to understand what it’s like to sometimes try with everything you have and fail again and again. This does not make them “bad” kids. Some kids have underlying psychological problems that may take time to get diagnosed. Some may have had to start on medications that bring different difficulties. And still some have a biological predisposition to addiction. From an addicts point of view (as told to me by my daughter), being judged as “bad” or “not good enough” is definitely something that continues to feed an addiction. Addiction has no respect of color, class, creed, or social status. It is a disease, and just as you would not look upon a cancer patient as “bad”, try looking upon an addict as having a disease. Addiction is something that CAN be overcome however, sometimes the journey can be long and agonizing. These kids need all the understanding and support they can get, especially from those of their own generation.

  5. This is an important discussion. I would like to help Anon understand that being a “fantastic kid” or a “fantastic parent” does not immunize our families from addiction any more than it protects us from cancer or diabetes. Addiction is a brain disease and impacts many in today’s youth culture, where one out of five teens admits to taking pills not prescribed for them (Center for Disease Control study), You can find objective information about addiction, as well as support and resources to help your family,at http://www.parentpathway.com. The Seeking Serenity blog there provides great support to parents by parents who have been in the trenches..

  6. well, yes there are great kids out there and great parents BUT I will agree 100% with absolutely no hesitation that what teens face now is NOT what it used to be. While the 60’s were very different than the 50’s and the 70’s different than the 60’s and so on, what is the “norm” out there now is startlingly different and the last thing we need is to pretend it is and that everything is going along nicely.

  7. It’s a journey… a learning experience…even when i read back on my own stuff from a year ago i see a difference in my perspective ..it’s experiences i have had..and I know in another year ill have morphed further…

    thanks for writing..

    parent of addict !

  8. Keep writing Mamma,
    Those whose lives have not been touched by addiction will NEVER understand that they did not rise about it, they fortunately escaped it. Be loud always because if we’re not our spirits will be crushed, and healing will never come.

    To Anonymous,
    Consider yourself lucky and blessed! There are millions of children out there who’ve never strayed down this path and THANK GOD for that. For those us traveling this road, our journey came unexpectedly, and is long and exhausting. For those of us who write about it, there is a darkness you will never understand because you’ve been lucky.
    Jacqui Brown
    Yes, that’s my real name.

  9. Jennifer, you never surprise me but always endear me with your ability to be open and always learn from others (perhaps it is your profession that leads you to this). Thank God we always seek the best in others and try to keep them in that light but we do have to keep ours eyes OPEN.
    Not once have I read your blog and thought you were lumping all teens in one category, nor forgetting the gifts that all of them bring individually. It is really important to raise awareness. Being married to a Police Officer for 30+ years and hearing his stories, taking the phone calls in the middle of the night from friends and family seeking help because their child was in trouble has proven that any one of us can stumble and to turn a blind eye to that would be sad. I believe that the teens of today do have different struggles and much more accessibility to things we never would have had. My children and I keep coming back to the conversation about desensitization and how powerful that is.
    Thank you for taking a stand and not being too timid to share as you learn and learn from others who share.
    “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” …Plato

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