I’d like to start off by stating that I am not an addict to my knowledge. An addict is someone who cannot control whether or not they will consume or partake in an activity that will most likely have negative side effects after a certain time. People can become addicted to cocaine, caffeine, tobacco, alcohol, and other substances just as they can also become addicted to video games, sex, and food. It is true that some substances are more addictive than others. However, I’m witness to plenty of people who have and do not have the addictive personality trait. I have an uncle who is clearly and alcoholic and weed addict and another uncle who is neither of those but is addicted to caffeine.
Who is to say one addiction is better than another? Well, addiction is when a habit has negative side effects on a person’s life. For example, an alcoholics negative effects are quite common in that these people are abusive, negligent, and tend to have a variety of health issues. You might think it isn’t that bad to be addicted to caffeine, however it has been proven that teenagers have had to be hospitalized due to overdosing on caffeine and some have even died. Not to mention the negative side effects of not consuming the amount of caffeine the body is used to already. Which include soreness, fatigue, and other cold related symptoms.
With this being stated I’ll proceed onto one particular story of my family and the drug addict (me). Recently my grandfather and I got into an intellectual argument about Marijuana. This is after winning two other debates about etiquette and mental disorders which he very clearly hadn’t been prepared for. Therefore, it was easy for me to relinquish his outdated theories with information that is more credible and up to date. I’ll summarize these two talks in the hope of clarifying the type of conservative thinker my grandfather is, which should help the reader understand what I’m up against.
The first talk started off by him stating how sad it was that his three children married women that were under his expectations. I stated that he shouldn’t blame them as much as he should blame himself and that in the end they made that decision and if he is to get involved then he should be getting involved by making positive contributions without negative commentary. He then stated that only a fool blames others and I said well then there would be no need for lawyers. I said that everyone plays a role in someone else’s behavior up to a certain degree. I said that parents are to blame for their children’s behavior for the most part and I also mentioned how if he would’ve bothered to read any etiquette books as I have then he would know that it is very impolite to talk negatively about anyone unless it is to help that person.
On one occasion we went to see my mom on a family vacation with him. When my mom came to the hotel to see us, my grandfather left the scene and told everyone who asked that he refused to be near my mom due to what she has done to my dad. So I had the opportunity to talk him down again, respectfully of course. We debated on our way back to Utah until he said “all I have to say is that you’ll understand when you have a son marry a bad woman”, and I said “I may not get to that point any time soon, however I can say that you must not know what it feels like to have a grandfather who doesn’t take his own advice into account of his actions with loved one’s”. I told him about how the event of seeing my mom went from positive to negative due to everyone then having to worry about why he doesn’t want to see my mom. This proved that he is political when he see’s fit and not when he is supposed to be, which is what I had him understand until he admitted that he isn’t smart enough to know how to handle certain situations and we left it at that.
The second debate was about my younger cousin who had only recently got to live with his father in Ecuador after living with his mom until he was 16. From age 13 – 17 I took the challenge of getting him out of the custody of his low life mom so that he may have a chance for a better future. I succeeded in defeating his mother in the legal system by using her own overconfidence in the system. Everyone was happy about my help and agreed with me that my cousin was saved just in time. During the time I was helping my cousin get out of his mother’s grip I taught him all I could. I felt bad considering that when I finally was able to spend some real quality time with him I noticed that this 13 year old could hardly speak, had kindergarten handwriting skills, and couldn’t do one push-up.
Within three months he was speaking more clearly, read and wrote more, and was able to do 100 push-ups with short breaks. He eventually was granted freedom from his mother’s care and put into my dad’s custody which allowed him to go live with his dad in South America. His dad is the alcohol and weed addict, which sounds like lunacy to put the kid in one messed up home to another. However, unlike his mother at least his dad has a stable relationship, is an architect, and hasn’t had the opportunity to raise a kid the way his mother has had a chance to.
I spent one year with my uncle in South America for my Junior year of high school of which I am sad to say it was good and bad for me. Good that I learned to read, write, and speak Spanish fluently due to the Public school system there not having any teachers or students that spoke English. In English I read a lot of Anne Rice and and in Spanish I was reading classics like The Odyssey and other ancient tales. I also learned to appreciate the music and art of another culture. On the other side of the coin I also learned how to smoke cigarettes and drink alcohol. I also became used to smoking weed at least every weekend if not more so with my uncle. That was only if I was doing good in school, otherwise I’d be stuck at home instead of going out to party with him.
I don’t think it was the best choice for my dad to send his troubled teenager over there, but what is done is done and I’m the person I am today. A 27 year old father, student of psychology and a convicted felon. Yes, right after coming back from Ecuador I attended my senior year at a super conservative high school where I made friends with other hispanics thinking they would understand where I was coming from, instead we went and burglarized a house, did cocaine, and often times drank. Thankfully, we were caught and the biggest downfall was that all my supposed friends were 17 and I had just recently turned 18 making me automatically the leader and also the one to receive the most punishment for the crime.
I told my dad and grandpa that my cousin needed more time with me to rehabilitate his negative behavior or else he would cause problems for the family in South America. Pridefully, they all said that it was time for his dad to take care of things and that he would be able to handle it. My uncle himself said that now he was ready to take care of his son. My younger brother and I laughed at the arrogance and made fun that they’d be sending my cousin back within a few months due to them not wanting to put up with my cousin’s arrogant and ignorant behavior. We were wrong, my uncle sent him back flying after a year and a half.
The second debate as I stated earlier was with my grandfather regarding the matter of whether or not it was a good decision to send my cousin back here. I was saying “no” for many clear and obvious reasons while they were saying “yes” due to fear and emotion. What happened was my uncle had recently found out that my cousin hadn’t been attending classes for three months and was apparently infatuated with the dean’s daughter.
First my uncle tried to blame the dean for letting her daughter get away with skipping classes with my cousin without any penalty. I told him “well isn’t it your fault for barely noticing, couldn’t you tell he was skipping classes if you were even a little more involved with his school work or his life? He then answered by blaming the girl and both her parents, that their plan was to have my cousin impregnate the girl so that he and his family would be liable to pay for the baby and eventually bring the whole family to the United States. I said “well why would you allow him to continue seeing that girl if that is your fear, take him out of that corrupt school and sacrifice some time to homeschool him or find a tutor for him”. He then said that he couldn’t keep him locked up there and that he was afraid that my cousin would want to kill himself due to the recent conversations he’d had with him.
The next day my cousin barricaded himself in his room after I had suggested the night before to my uncle to take away his electronics and give them back to him as soon as his behavior improves. Grandma tried to talk to him and he slid a note under his door among all his electronics that were outside of it stating that he didn’t need any of his stuff and that they couldn’t punish him any more than he was already punishing himself. My uncle called me and asked if he should just break down the door and slap him. I said “sure you could do that but the best thing is to remain calm and wait for the moment to talk to him intelligently”. I also told him that he shouldn’t worry about him doing anything in his room as I know him well enough to know that he likes himself too much to actually kill himself and that he doesn’t have food in there so he would eventually have to come out.
I also told him that I’d write a full regimen which I did and took me almost two hours to complete, that should not take too much time out his architect business to help my cousin become auto-sufficient and eventually be ready to go back to school even better prepared than before. I told him that my regimen has been effective with my cousin over here and that this strategy has also worked for my other cousin, my own daughter, and also for my younger sister who my wife and I are currently guardians over. He said he’d read it and try it, but the next day he calls my dad to tell him that he is just going to pretend that everything is okay and that he’ll be sending him back with him thinking he’ll be back in two weeks. During which his aunt and his grandmother would take charge if they wanted to and that since he is 18 it’s up to him what he does from this point on.
I told my dad what had happened and my dad agreed until my grandfather repetitively mentioned the danger of my cousin being kidnapped over there or getting that girl pregnant. I finally sat down with both of them and after almost two hours of trying to make them see that this is an irresponsible and emotional decision of his dad, they both continued telling me how I wouldn’t understand unless I lived over there. I told them that I might understand more than they apparently thought due to the lack of knowledge they have on the situation and after convincing my dad once again that my uncle’s excuses were nothing but excuses like the latest one that he had told both my dad and grandfather which was that he didn’t have time to take him to a psychologist for the rest of his life.
Apparently, the following day after the barricade incident, my uncle took my cousin to see a psychologist/sociologist and a psychiatrist. According to my uncle the psychologist after this one visit had recommended he see a psychiatrist or that he’d need therapy for the rest of his life considering the damage already done by his mother. The psychiatrist who they went to see right after, had supposedly told my uncle after speaking with and evaluating my cousin this one time as well, said that he would have to be highly medicated or put into a mental hospital for a very long time. I took the liberty of calling my uncle after he had avoided me so much and asked him what was going on, he told me that same story and that it was dangerous.
I caught him off guard and asked him what did either the psychologist or psychiatrist diagnose my cousin with after only one visit. He stuttered and panicked saying that he didn’t remember and that he was going to go ask his wife. He came back three minutes later saying that it was negativistic disorder which I later found out is only one characteristic of a person who may have passive aggressiveness. Some of the symptoms include laziness and lack of respect to authority. I told my grandfather and dad during the conversation I had with my uncle about the supposed diagnosis and that it was obviously yet another excuse to send him here.
It sounded to me like my grandfather simply didn’t want to accept that the fault at hand was not my cousin’s but my uncle’s for not willing to have the patience or time to be even a semi good father. I finally had to tell my grandfather that his prize son may not actually be all he seems to be. I had to make the choice to be a rat or not, however at this point I figured since my uncle had the courage to interupt me and blatantly lie to me over the phone so much that I probably wouldn’t be visiting him anytime soon, so rat it is. I told my grandfather that due to his behavior his own kids don’t tell him certain things out of fear that they’ll lose respect and hurt his feelings, but that I didn’t have that fear that considering that I think of him to be a smart man and that he could take it.
He pushed for me to tell him what I knew and I told him that I knew many things that he isn’t aware of and that he should be, but that I would tell him once he proved that he could handle a conversation without becoming ill after hearing what may be bad news to him. He agreed that he would be rational no matter what I tell him so I told him that the biggest pot head in the family that I know of is my uncle and that my uncle is not a murderer, a wife beater, transexual, or any of the negative things my grandfather had said people who consume marijuana become.
I was surprised when my grandfather said he did suspect something when he found a pipe that my uncle had said was one of his friend’s. By the way my grandfather has had my uncle mooching off of him for more than ten years and that’s why he is a 37 year old married professional living with his parents. He then told me well he thought it was way worse like that maybe my uncle was actually a homosexual or had killed someone. I found this even disturbing due to that if it was anyone else he would criticise that family member or person for hours for being homosexual or a consumer of any drug. I ended by telling him that my uncle has a reputation of being irresponsible with me and my two other siblings by letting us smoke weed and consume alcohol with him while we were underage. I also told him not to mention it to him if he could and that he should see for himself that his son smokes weed by looking for the signs like red eyes, fatigue, and laughing in inappropriate situations. He promised he wouldn’t tell him and gave thanks to me for helping him see that he was wrong in thinking it was a good thing to send my cousin back for such an immature reason that my uncle had.
The next day we talked about weed and I explained to him that in my studies of psychology I’ve made it my hobby to learn about the effects of Marijuana. Not only the effects of marijuana from a psychological standpoint but also from the economic, political, historical, and physiological standpoints as well. I admitted that I had consumed Marijuana with my uncle almost every opportunity when I was alone with my uncle and that since then I would consume in social settings. Such as when I’m at a party I’d prefer to consume marijuana rather than get drunk. I told him that this past year I can literally count the number of times I’ve consumed which would be three and that I don’t consider myself a drug addict since I don’t go out looking for weed or feel the need to. Also that I am not an addict to alcohol or tobacco and not even caffeine. Therefore, he shouldn’t worry that if his son is a bad son just that maybe he should consider that his son does have an addictive personality towards alcohol and weed and that it might be due to this that he took so long to become a professional and that it might also be why is too immature to handle parenting his son.
The following day my grandpa had told any family family member he could that I was a drug addict, thankfully I was able to predict that it was a possibility he may pull a stunt like this. Therefore from that point on I had to convince everyone that knew me here that he was wrong. He told my father in law, both my uncles, my grandma, and my dad. I told them all pretty much the same story. That I go to church, I love and provide for my family, and I am productive. I asked each one if they thought that I was a drug addict and they all said “no” after coming to the realization that it is no surprise for grandpa to spread misinformed biased rumors like wildfire.
I then took it upon myself to debate with him about weed. I told him that I can provide countless materials on the matter both stating the positive and negative effects and also stated once again that it has been a study of interest to me to find the most credible information. I asked him if he could provide me with any credible information about it and he said he saw a documentary once that was about a study in a place that proved that weed leads to premature death. I told him “well that may be, however I have the names and the actual documentaries that prove otherwise”. We debated about it for days with me constantly reminding him that sometimes we think what we say and do is so right that no matter what anyone says there is no other way. He even went as far as telling me that he was around during the late 60′s in New York during the height of the hippies and that he never in his whole life had consumed any drugs.
I interrupted him immediately by saying, “That is a lie, and I’ll tell you why right now”. I explained to him that to my knowledge he has drank and smoked since he was a teenager and had to my knowledge only recently quit smoking tobacco after my brother and I persuaded him to quit cold turkey, which he successfully did. I also said that I know he still drinks since I saw him drink a beer the week before, and that the main difference between alcohol, tobacco, and weed is that the first two are legal drugs to consume and if anything alcohol and tobacco don’t typically help people with cancer, aids, or depression. Whereas, weed does, which would mean if anything weed is far less a drug than either two of the before mentioned. He then said well would you prescribe weed to someone then. I said “no, I’m not a doctor why would I do that if I am not qualified”. He then asked “well what if your daughter one day tells you that she is smoking weed”.
I told him if that day comes I’ll be somewhat prepared with the knowledge I’ve gained from my studies in psychology and life experiences. I continued by saying it depends on her maturity and her dependence on marijuana. I explained that if she comes to me as a 15 year old who doesn’t do well in school and is not doing anything good with her life I’m of course going to be not only disappointed in her, but mostly in myself. However, if she is 18 and doing great in college, that I wouldn’t mind it at all as long as it is under her control.
Well we ended there and he continued to tell everyone I was a drug addict, which didn’t matter to me considering I knew that all the people I do care about knows that I am not. However, at this time my other cousin who is also 18 made the decision to come live with me after a having a pleasant summer over here. She decided it would be better for her to study away from family not completely on her own, considering I’d help her to find a job and with anything else I could, for instance in getting her driver’s license. It was all going good until my caffeine addicted uncle was persuaded to take her back because I was apparently brainwashing her to become a drug addict. How could my uncle say no after hearing this, he would be irresponsible to leave her here in my grandfather’s eyes. My cousin said it was to help her family out before she started school and that she might be back but if she didn’t come back that she’ll miss my wife and I dearly, but will continue to seek advice from us when needed and will continue to study.
My wife and I were okay with this since we know that no matter where that girl is, she will do well considering how mature we both know she is. The problem is that instead of butting in for something good all the old man continues to do is make things difficult even though he is proven wrong time and time again. I told this to my dad when my dad asked what I had against my uncle and why I had to mention him in the weed arguments. I told him that I had nothing against him that it is only a very clear tool to use in the argument that grandpa makes which is obviously based on experience and emotions only. I also said why is it okay for him to spread rumors of everyone and butt into his all his children’s marriages only to have all the women his children marry eventually hate him. My dad agreed with me and understood my point of view.
The next morning my grandfather was in my dad’s room telling him how could it be that someone who is addicted to drugs could manage a family. That must be why I am living with my dad still he says. I interupted and said well I’m not a drug addict and I can leave anytime I wish, I only live here due to the lower rent and to help dad. I could easily pay $200 more and have my own place. However, I’m not only helping pay the bills, but I’m also watching over my 10 year old sister for my mom and dad which requires that we stay there for the time being. I told him I understand why he might assume I am a drug addict but that a drug addict could be someone addicted to sugar and the effects could be just as bad and are actually worse if you consider diabetes.
I also said that he couldn’t consider weed the same as heroin or cocaine and my dad agreed and said that grandpa has the tendency to do so. Then grandpa said well it is the same, so we both told him it wasn’t. My dad took me to work with my grandpa in the back seat and all the way there we continued to tell grandpa in every way we could imagine that weed is not the same as the other more dangerous drugs and the only reason people see it that way is due to the stigma created by decades of negative propaganda. He disagreed and as I got out of the car and he did as well to switch places with me he hugged me and told me “oh my grandson don’t consume anything okay”, I said okay and added “Don’t drink any coffee grandpa”. His jaw dropped in disbelief it seemed and I looked behind him to see my dad clearly giving me a thumbs up to a well made point.
Later that day my dad called and sounded stressed, I asked him what it may be and he said right away that it was my grandfather calling everyone once again to mention how I’m a drug addict and then also telling my dad to be careful because I’m a drug addict. My dad said he was sick of hearing it and that he would pick me up to go get my car that had been left at the office. When I got into the car I hadn’t noticed that my grandfather was in the back seat and I said “You know dad you can’t blame grandpa for his behavior at this age, it would seem that he can’t accept that he is wrong…” at that moment dad makes a thumb sign to the back of me and I see my grandfather with an straight face. I continued by saying “as I was saying when someone cannot accept that they may be wrong after clearly being shown with credible information and logic then that is when like grandpa says that person is stubborn which is worse than being a brute”. Dad gave me the okay look and was going to go on but was interrupted by my grandpa.
My grandpa said sternly “We are no longer talking about this matter any longer”! I looked down and was about to say something when my dad surprised me by speaking up and said “No we will not stop talking about this, I’m not done talking about this so if you don’t want to talk about it that’s fine”. I Agreed and also said that I wasn’t finished talking about it. However, after that little outburst from both of them I continued on by talking about mental disorders, social behaviors according to population and the majority’s culture. It was a little awkward since I talked to without any feedback considering the two seemed like they had enough.
Well I’m still labeled a drug addict according to my grandfather and some of the family members, and I also found out from my cousin that my reasoning was sound. My cousin confirmed that his dad didn’t try to talk to him and that it was messed up to him that his dad didn’t tell his aunts or grandma that he was sending him back for good which means that now he has to care for himself all of a sudden as long his grandma is willing to help him. He also told me that when his dad found out that I was talking about weed with grandpa that he told him to stay away from me and that he repeated that to him more than once on a daily basis. He told me that he thought it was weird he’d tell him that and that he knew there was something behind the matter.
I helped my cousin get a job and I told him I’d help him as long as he’s willing to listen to me. I told him all I ask him to do to earn my respect and my advice is to make it a habit to read and be informed and to read out loud so that life will be easier for him. He agreed and has been reading what I’ve been suggesting and has been thankful. I’m glad I have enough knowledge and reason to use the information I have to do well and I know that sometimes people will not agree with me, however it will not stop me from continuing my education and to continue informing myself for the betterment of myself and my family.
This is a story, it’s from my point of view, some things may be construed due to the fact that it is my point of and I will mention right now that I have not consumed marijuana in the state of Utah since February that I had consumed at a friendly get together. I have not consumed and don’t pursue marijuana due to the fact that it is illegal in this state and that it is not worth it in my mind to get in so much trouble over something so many people don’t understand. My grandfather is a brilliant man and has many good things to be proud of, however it seems that the family was right when they told me that he is just stuck on his way of thinking. I only thought that maybe he would have the capability of rejecting his thoughts based on experience since he was able to quit smoking tobacco cold turkey.
My job and studies require that I remain sober and especially my job which has random drug tests and I am not addicted to marijuana to the point that I’d risk losing my job. Some people are addicts and losers who consume weed, if they didn’t consume weed they’d still be addicts and losers who consume weed. I know of plenty of intelligent people who have consumed and I think it is absurd to think that someone who smokes weed is automatically and addict or will become one. The gateway drug theory has also been proven fallible. In this I end as the drug addict grandson, until my next post.
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