What would you change in your family?

There is not a lot of joy living in my parents' house

He said straight away before I had a chance to start our counselling session. " Isn't it?" I was taken back: "I thought your parents send you here because they care..."
He said straight away before I had a chance to start our counselling session. " Isn't it?" I was taken back: "I thought your parents send you here because they care..."
"They don't understand me," he cut me out: "Drugs are my way out, they are fascinating cause they change my consciousness."
"They don't understand me," he cut me out: "Drugs are my way out, they are fascinating cause they change my consciousness."
" What is your first childhood memory?" I asked him suddenly imagined him as a little child.
" What is your first childhood memory?" I asked him suddenly imagined him as a little child.
"The smell of the forest and my father holding me tight, but he died when I was very young." He closed his eyes and I let him to reflect but suddenly he opened his eyes again.
"The smell of the forest and my father holding me tight, but he died when I was very young." He closed his eyes and I let him to reflect but suddenly he opened his eyes again.
"I still smell this forest when the needle slid into my arm, a bizzare awesome calm, it's in your blood, moving towards your brain..."
"I still smell this forest when the needle slid into my arm, a bizzare awesome calm, it's in your blood, moving towards your brain..."
"Your body may fall apart," I whispered, quietly in sudden silence, but he doesn't hear me. "I am stoned, I am high, I am above and below law and reality."
"Your body may fall apart," I whispered, quietly in sudden silence, but he doesn't hear me. "I am stoned, I am high, I am above and below law and reality."
Another client. She entered the room quietly. "Are you okey?" I asked her gently and she murmured under her breath.
Another client. She entered the room quietly. "Are you okey?" I asked her gently and she murmured under her breath.
"I am so relaxed, opiates help me to live in a never ending dream. I am in a mystical place, very little that's negative gets through me."
"I am so relaxed, opiates help me to live in a never ending dream. I am in a mystical place, very little that's negative gets through me."
"Tell me about your family," I nudged her quietly. "There is nothing to tell," she shrugged and closed in.
"Tell me about your family," I nudged her quietly. "There is nothing to tell," she shrugged and closed in.
"I can imagine you as a beautiful child with a big smile," I suddenly heard myself to say.
"I can imagine you as a beautiful child with a big smile," I suddenly heard myself to say.
"Where I come from all girls had to be beautiful and obedient." She bit her lip painfully and closed her eyes again.
"Where I come from all girls had to be beautiful and obedient." She bit her lip painfully and closed her eyes again.
Another client, another day. "Why do I take drugs, hmm, let me think?" He winked at me: "Cause I can do more things with grass."
Another client, another day. "Why do I take drugs, hmm, let me think?" He winked at me: "Cause I can do more things with grass."
"And what about your family?" I asked suddenly. "What about them?" He threw the question at me back: "They just don't understand."
"And what about your family?" I asked suddenly. "What about them?" He threw the question at me back: "They just don't understand."
"What is your best childhood memory?" I tried again. "Swimming together in our family pool,"
"What is your best childhood memory?" I tried again. "Swimming together in our family pool,"
his eyes moistured with a sweet memory, "We had some good times together."
his eyes moistured with a sweet memory, "We had some good times together."
"You had to be a good swimmer?" I smiled at him encouragingly. "Swam as a fish, my mum even gave me blue bedsheets so I pretend to swim in my cot too."
"You had to be a good swimmer?" I smiled at him encouragingly. "Swam as a fish, my mum even gave me blue bedsheets so I pretend to swim in my cot too."
"What happened then?" I asked again. "I stopped swimming, I lost my confidence," he bit his nail: "Blue sheets turn red with blood, but with grass everything happens naturally I can get into the kiss, believe in innocent touch again..."
"What happened then?" I asked again. "I stopped swimming, I lost my confidence," he bit his nail: "Blue sheets turn red with blood, but with grass everything happens naturally I can get into the kiss, believe in innocent touch again..."
"There were always too many rules in my family," another client said to me. "What do you mean by rules?"
"There were always too many rules in my family," another client said to me. "What do you mean by rules?"
" Too many eyes to watch over you, neighbours living just behind the wall, hearing everything and your parents commenting endlessly on your behaviour..."
" Too many eyes to watch over you, neighbours living just behind the wall, hearing everything and your parents commenting endlessly on your behaviour..."
"They are just worried about you," I tried to say but he jumped in: "About what, about those few drinks ?"
"They are just worried about you," I tried to say but he jumped in: "About what, about those few drinks ?"
"Why do you drink?" "Why, I guess everything is unconstrained, there is not as many social barriers placed on me, I do what I want to do..."
"Why do you drink?" "Why, I guess everything is unconstrained, there is not as many social barriers placed on me, I do what I want to do..."
"I need to escape," another client made his point clear. "Escape from what?" I asked quietly.
"I need to escape," another client made his point clear. "Escape from what?" I asked quietly.
"Escape from everything, from our conflicts, our family, LSD can do it for me."
"Escape from everything, from our conflicts, our family, LSD can do it for me."
I watched my last client to leave our counselling room for a day thinking about their issues with drug use.
I watched my last client to leave our counselling room for a day thinking about their issues with drug use.
The first thing to be aware of is that only a minority of people using any drug, except nicotine, develop serious problems with their use.
The first thing to be aware of is that only a minority of people using any drug, except nicotine, develop serious problems with their use.
People developing problematic use who end up in drug treatment are often faced with social deprivation, drug law enforcement practices and availability....
People developing problematic use who end up in drug treatment are often faced with social deprivation, drug law enforcement practices and availability....
They are often rejected by mainstream and seek active emulation and admiration from like minded peers...
They are often rejected by mainstream and seek active emulation and admiration from like minded peers...
They start to use drugs at an early age, often have no social competence, suffer from personal disorders and psychological distress,  trauma from childhood....
They start to use drugs at an early age, often have no social competence, suffer from personal disorders and psychological distress, trauma from childhood....
What about their family? Are they left behind? Some of them complain of no relationships with their family and some of overly authoritarian or neglect parent...AND YET NONE OF THEM FEEL THAT THEIR FAMILY LET THEM DOWN
What about their family? Are they left behind? Some of them complain of no relationships with their family and some of overly authoritarian or neglect parent...AND YET NONE OF THEM FEEL THAT THEIR FAMILY LET THEM DOWN

"There is not a lot of joy in raising my son,"


her plaintive eyes

said it all,

knowingly

patting her arm,

the words came out

of my mouth

repeated

so many times

to overstressed parents,

whose children

I had

in my class.



"Do not give up,

never give up

on your children,

being born

in different shapes

and sounds,

no one can predict

who we greet

when time comes."


She nodded,

but I knew,

she didn't hear me,

"Impulsive and narcisstic

was my little one,

from the first time

I hold him in my arms,"

she was lost in her past:

"I ignored his tantrums,

and him as well,

you know,

his father left me,

when he was just two and half,

but what I really need to ask,

is my child act impulsively

because of his ADHD?"



"It is not easy to raise a child

on your own,

especially sons

they crave

to have their dads around."

I smiled at her encouragingly.


Another teacher-parents' meeting,

another mum,

"She was beautiful,

she was mine,

I was on the top of the world,

holding that soft pink skin

looking in her angelic eyes,

that tiny miniature of me,"

her eyes moistured

with memories of love.


"Never needed to scold her too much,

never really went on my nerves,

but now

I am just

too tired

to look after my autistic child."

I nodded and she closed her eyes.


For a change,

both parents

entered

our school,

hand in hand:

"Then we noticed

something else

in our five years old,

still,

were not ready

to admit,

there is something wrong,"

the father told me

and his wife just sighed,

"He was

just,

suddenly,

hard to control,

often hostile to us

and everyone else."


"There are many professionals

to help,

you are not

the only one,

having

severely

misbehaving

child."

I gestured at them

to follow me

to see the full classes

of students

lacking basic social skills.



There was a student

with conduct disorder,

screaming on the top of his lungs:

"Screw you and your game,

whatever you tell me,

I am not going to do."



They looked at each other

reminded,

suddenly,

of their son.


When we passed the classroom,

one more time,

the student settled down,

enjoying the game

he refused to play.


This time they smiled

at each other,

there was hope in their eyes.


Then an young mum

rushed through the school gate,

from distance

I noticed

her pale face,

her nervous eyes

darting around

she finally said:

"My child looks normal,

there is really nothing wrong with him,

not like that,"

she pointed at a student in a wheelchair,

"He is just growing up

without showing emotion,

remorse or empathy."


"What do you mean by that?"

I quietly asked.


"He likes to lie,

not just avoid punishment,

as all children will,

but for any reason

or none."

She shrugged and took a cigarete out.


I pointed at the 'no smoking' sign

but she just kept puffing away

and talking at once:

"If I cry and tell him,

he hurted my feelings,

he just doesn't care.

He just have to have

what he wants.

If he gets it,

he chooses not to be cruel,

but at the end of the day,

he will do whatever works best,

he has already killed his friend's pet,

just a tiny guinea pig,

cause he was told to hand it back..."


"Are you going to ignore it?"

I asked looking her straight into eyes.



"Ignore what, it was just a guinea pig after all?"


"Those traits of antisocial behaviour,

you told me about,

or are you going to confront the problem

to help your child to change the course?"



"No one can tell me

if my son has personality disorder,

they just say,

that his brain is still developing

that the normal behaviour

up to teenager's years

can be misinterpreted

as psychopathic,

do I want my son be diagnozed

with disorder

been considered

untreatable?"

Suddenly she came close to me

and the cigarette's smoke filled my lungs,

I started to cough

while she resolutely shook her head:

"No way, forget it."


"I admire your attitude,

but smoking

is really forbidden,

here,"

I took the cigarete from her hand,

while she continued.



"I have read on internet,

the capacity of empathy,

which is controlled

by specific parts of the brain,

might still exist

weakly

in my son

and could be strengthened,

I have to hope that's true,

I have to be patient,

I want to believe it is true."

Her eyes shone expectantly

and I desperately wanted

to give her

only positive news.



"He may grow up from it

in his late teens,

the experts say.

He will learn to pacify the rough waters,

learning to control

himself

from outside in."

I quietly said and she beamed

waving at me:

"I'll bring him in,

straight away tomorrow,

I'll bring him in."



Looking after her

I remembered

what she was not told,

that some of these children

just develop a larger skill set

of manipulation.

They know how to get what they want.



'The callous-unemotional child',

was written under Kyle's name,

opening the new student's file,

her son's diagnosis

suddenly obvious,

and something else

added in neat handwriting:

'respond to reward

far more than punishment,

what you will notice first

is the manipulativeness

that he is showing.'



'The cold-blooded behaviours

low levels of cortisol

and below-normal function

in the amygdala,

the portion of the brain

that processes fear

and shame...'

I studied his condition,

that no one else at the school had.



'The callous-unemotional kids

don't feel

uncomfortable,

don't develop

the same aversion

to punishment

or to the experience

of hurting someone..'

I read more thinking

about his young mum

and her determination

to help him out.



Why some callous-unemotional children

grow up to be

deeply troubled adults

while others do not?

I asked myself

and the answer lied just in front of me...


"What would you change in your family,

if you had a chance?"


"Nothing,

I have a new boyfriend

who helps me with Kyle,

his father was just a 'ratbag',

but look,"

she pulled up a sleeve up on her blouse,

name of her son was tattooed on her arm,

" You can't wash it out,

family is forever,

Kyle will be fine,

Kyle is my son."



More by this Author


Comments 37 comments

FreezeFrame34 profile image

FreezeFrame34 4 years ago from Charleston SC

Great hub here! I found myself going back and forth reading all of the captions under your beautiful pictures to the text on the left. I didn't want to miss anything!

It is heart-breaking thinking of children growing up and thinking negatively about their childhood-a time that should be so uplifting, stress-free-full of love, learning, and growth.

All children don't learn the same way, and it's sad when parents get frustrated and "give up". All children need to know that their parent(s) love them unconditionally and they want what is best for their child (not them).

It can also be hard to differentiate between what was a person who had a mental disorder who turned to drugs, or a person who took drugs and now has a mental disorder. Once thing that doesn't change is the fact that their life will never be the same after using drugs- but that is not a good thing! It doesn't help them "escape". It just creates more problems!

Voted up, beautiful, interesting, shared. It's all that and a bag of chips!


Rosie2010 profile image

Rosie2010 4 years ago from Toronto, Canada

Oh Beata, what an awesome hub. I noticed the writings underneath the lovely photos first, so that's where I started. I was drawn in like a movie. Your poem continues the the story being told with the photos. It's a marvelous read about families, special need children and what happened to them when they become adults, about being a mother, and more. A very interesting read. A beautiful art. Voted up and shared.

Have a nice day,

Rosie


Patty Kenyon profile image

Patty Kenyon 4 years ago from Ledyard, Connecticut

Awesome Hub with incredible pictures that went very well with the story you told!!! I have four children and each of them very, very different...although at times, very challenging, I wouldn't change a thing!!! :)

Voted Up, Awesome, and Beautiful!!! Awesome Job!!!


Beata Stasak profile image

Beata Stasak 4 years ago from Western Australia Author

Thank you wholeheartedly, my dear fellow hubbers for embracing my new hub so warmly, it makes my heart sing with joy and gives me hope that there will be less sadness and more love and understanding in every family, I encounter in my life and work:)


kj force profile image

kj force 4 years ago from Florida

Beata Stasak...a very controversial subject...did the parent not do their job correctly ? or did this child perceive incorrectly ?..some parents feel so guilty they lavish the child with the wrong attention..all children NEED discipline..which in turn is love...perhaps we as parents need to step back and analyze just what we are doing and how we are coming across our children, in order to correct the isssues...

Enjoyed the hub..pictures are interesting...


Vellur profile image

Vellur 4 years ago from Dubai

A great hub, touched my heart. Children are the responsibility of parents. they should do their best and help the child grow. Special children should be given extra attention,love and care more than other children.


Angela Blair profile image

Angela Blair 4 years ago from Central Texas

Such meaning and depth in this Hub -- beautifully written and your sense of perception is so obvious and clear. Excellent work and I truly enjoyed both the Hub and the magnificently stated captions under the pictures. Best/Sis


Beata Stasak profile image

Beata Stasak 4 years ago from Western Australia Author

Thank you, kj force for your meaningful monologue, 'it is complicated,' this is what my professor of Counselling Studies would say. Maybe, as you suggested, we shold step back and find the middle way, like in everything, too much love or not enough love shape our young human beings in wrong way and they just try to 'fill the gaps to feel whole again' by addiction of different sort:)

Thank you, Vellur and Angela for your encouraging comments, children are our future and I often feel to urge to write about what I have experienced in my everyday paid and voluntary work:)


phoenix2327 profile image

phoenix2327 4 years ago from United Kingdom

This is an amazing hub. With the simplest of phrasing you've turn statistics into real people whose stories will stay with us long after we've clicked the back button.


Beata Stasak profile image

Beata Stasak 4 years ago from Western Australia Author

Thank you, dear 'phoenix' they are real people for me and now they are also for you:) B


rcrumple profile image

rcrumple 4 years ago from Kentucky

Beata -

Unbelievable. First the poem was so filled with internal contradictions and obivious weaknesses, and then the pictures and the stories underneath portraying the naive thoughts of individuals where simply overwhelming. It is amazing how many excuses can be sought and made when reality is invisible. Magnificent in all aspects!


Beata Stasak profile image

Beata Stasak 4 years ago from Western Australia Author

thank you, dear rcrmple, as I see my 'reflections in words and images' have many interpretations:)


teaches12345 profile image

teaches12345 4 years ago

Very touching and beautiful. All children are special and deserve to be loved. Loved your captions as they brought out your story's purpose clearly. Voted up.


Beata Stasak profile image

Beata Stasak 4 years ago from Western Australia Author

Thank you, my fellow teacher for your kind response and all the best with your teaching and of course hubbing:)


QudsiaP1 profile image

QudsiaP1 4 years ago

Beautiful hub well presented.


Beata Stasak profile image

Beata Stasak 4 years ago from Western Australia Author

Thank you, my fellow hubber, happy you liked it:)


Jellybird profile image

Jellybird 4 years ago

Just dropped in to say Hi. I feel blessed by your article. Thanks.

Be cool

peace + J


Beata Stasak profile image

Beata Stasak 4 years ago from Western Australia Author

Thanks Jellybird, live in peace and love as well:)


IntegrityYes 4 years ago

I respect your writing. I voted up for sure.


IntegrityYes 4 years ago

I respect your writing. I voted up for sure.


Beata Stasak profile image

Beata Stasak 4 years ago from Western Australia Author

Thank you, my dear fellow hubber for stopping by and acknowledging my little writings, there are many exceptional writers up there, so I feel very honoured:)


ivanmarginal profile image

ivanmarginal 4 years ago from Jakarta

Stunning hub, I just can't say anything when I read your poem line by line. The pictures also speak up. Great job. I voted up.


Beata Stasak profile image

Beata Stasak 4 years ago from Western Australia Author

thank you Ivan, happy you liked it, there is nothing else the writer can ask for:)


btrbell profile image

btrbell 4 years ago from Mesa, AZ

A beautiful hub for a first readf here! I am looking forward to more!


Beata Stasak profile image

Beata Stasak 4 years ago from Western Australia Author

Thank you, my fellow hubber for finding the time to stop by and leaving so nice comment, all the best to you:)


GClark profile image

GClark 4 years ago from United States

Unusual and thought provoking article illustrated with great photos! Frankly, I have't met many people who would choose to relive their childhood. The really strange thing is that what we perceive as a child can be totally different than the same events viewed through our minds as an adult. Thanks for giving us so much to consider. Voted Up


Beata Stasak profile image

Beata Stasak 4 years ago from Western Australia Author

Thank you, my fellow hubber, you are right, there is difference how we see the world as children and how we perceive the same world as adults, however my 'labyrinth of stories' are just 'scattered images in mind', the things I experience in my daily work and life, what is happening around me...but they are not my personal stories.....


HoneyBB profile image

HoneyBB 4 years ago from Illinois

Very interesting hub and helpful to those who feel that their child is not developing on the same level as others around them. Voted ++


Beata Stasak profile image

Beata Stasak 4 years ago from Western Australia Author

Thank you, HoneyBB, your response is very appreciated:)


rdsparrowriter profile image

rdsparrowriter 4 years ago

Interesting hub with beautiful words and pictures :) I love it :) Sometimes being a parent is also difficult. I sometimes wonder how my mom manage to look into all three of us who are totally different from each other. I don't know whether I can be like her, but all I know is that she's a blessing in my life. Thank you for sharing . God bless you!


Beata Stasak profile image

Beata Stasak 4 years ago from Western Australia Author

Thank you for your beautiful answer, it is not easy to be mum, I know it as I have three grown up children of my own and I keep wondering and stressing out how they manage to live successful and happy lives...God bless you, too and keep writing and hubbing...and reading of course:)


Francesca27 profile image

Francesca27 4 years ago from Hub Page

Wow! You are cooler! Your photos are beautiful. I don't know how you do all the work you do.


Beata Stasak profile image

Beata Stasak 4 years ago from Western Australia Author

Thank you, Francesca for your beautiful response, I don't do too much, but I guess it is easier to write about something that is close to your heart and I always 'think in images' so it is the easiest bit:) B


steffsings profile image

steffsings 3 years ago from Pacific NorthWest

This is a beautiful and haunting post. It is slightly controversial in the description of family bonds that challenge the depths of love. Decisions to love regardless of the difficulties caused by nature or nurture. There are many parents/guardians that face these same issues and many hope to one day say the same... " _______ (insert name here) will be fine". Great job.


Beata Stasak profile image

Beata Stasak 3 years ago from Western Australia Author

thank you, my fellow hubber for your beautiful description of my piece, they say that happy families are just that, happy families but unhappy families are unhappy in many different ways....all the best from Beata


Sue Bailey profile image

Sue Bailey 3 years ago from South Yorkshire, UK

This was really good to read and I identified with some of the parents stories. For me being a parent to a difficult child has been a roller coaster of emotion. I might write about it one day when everything settles down (he's 21 now; is there hope of that I wonder?) Voted up, useful and interesting and shared with my followers


Beata Stasak profile image

Beata Stasak 3 years ago from Western Australia Author

thank you, Sue, each parent's story is unique, individual and different but all of them contain great anxiety and uncertainty what will happen next....wishing you lots of strength and hope for the future that may unfold in our advantage...we never what awaits us behind the corner:)

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