Ever since I was young, I wanted to kick ass and make peace. Usually in that order. As I've gotten older, the meaning of those two phrases has changed. I've turned into a very mild social justice advocate that uses humor and sarcasm to point out wrongs rather than anger, and 'make peace' seems to have turned into 'care not'.
Well, that's an exaggeration, but perhaps I'll better explain myself in a bit.
Dad called and we spent an hour on the phone talking about Sister's "drug problem"--it's in quotes because 1, her "drug" is marijuana and it's medically necessary and 2, she'd go off it if she could--she's said as much and from what I've witnessed of her behavior, it's held true. Mom recently had a very bad experience with MJ when she took an edible in the worst way possible (ate the whole thing, was at work, drove around later, was fucking high for the next 6 days with digestive issues and lethargy), so of course she told Dad and now this has added certain fuel to some of Dad's concerns. After an hour, this is what I got:
1. He thinks she's using too much, but has no idea what a normal amount is or what an acceptable amount is. CONCLUSION: He doesn't like that she's using marijuana at all.
2. He thinks her live-in BF is an unemployed 30-year-old slacker with no motivation. CONCLUSION: He's unemployed and he's 30--the other things may or may not be true. I'm also bothered by his apparent disinterest in finding any sort of employment.
3. He thinks going through suffering and hardship is good for young people. CONCLUSION: She's not suffering enough to satisfy him.
So he goes on about this and I'm trying to temper his arguments a bit--I kept repeating, "So what do you really want to say to her? What is the point of this conversation? What is your desired outcome?"--and also thinking, "Damn it, this is going to turn into another minefield lunch*. Maybe I should drink. But then Dad may think I have an alcohol problem. Damn it."
My thoughts on the matter:
1. I don't think my sister has a drug problem. The physical symptoms she suffers from (nausea, lethargy, depression, lack of appetite, pain) are all aided by marijuana usage, and her apparent lack of progress is due in part to her intense idiopathic low back pain. Ignoring the low back pain and not factoring its presence into her recovery is stupid, but Dad wants to concentrate solely on the marijuana usage. I'm sorry, but what would you rather she do to deal with all her physical symptoms? The medicine that stabilizes her moods also makes her gain weight, which is worse for her back. The pain medicine for her back fucks up her digestive system. Another medicine she's been prescribed gives her energy, but no appetite. And ALL OF THEM have side effects, whereas nothing in the vast body of European research out there suggests that marijuana has any negative long-term physical effects. Is there psychological dependence? Yes, but not as much as some other medications, which actually come with warning labels about that specific effect.
2. BF is not working as hard as he could, but I also don't know him well. I'm not as familiar with his physical condition. Now granted, I have no fucking clue what he does all day, except go to the gym, play video games, and take care of Sister when she's really ill. This apparent lack of doing anything does not engender confidence, and I can understand why the 30-years-old thing scared the fuck out of Dad--people are normally productive citizens by now, and while she and BF aren't in danger of going broke (settlement money ftw), they don't have any incoming cash flow. I agree with Dad on this point that this is troubling.
3. I think the frustration of being unable to work is suffering enough. I do think detoxing from marijuana would be good at some point in time, but not while there's a clear reason to use it. No other medication can handle the symptoms she's feeling right now. However, there's currently an idea being kicked around that she goes out to live with my blind uncle, who's an amazing acupuncturist and healer. We all believe he'll be able to help her a great deal. She also favors this idea (at least she did when last we spoke) and her BF is also going to do some self-betterment because he doesn't like where he's at right now either. We'll see how their relationship survives. But in any case, adding physical suffering to mental and emotional suffering doesn't seem entirely necessary.
Dad is going on sabbatical this year and he wants to take the entire year to live with Christine and monitor her. She'll be pissed because she'll feel like Dad's hovering and to a certain extent, he will. But he's also rightfully concerned that he doesn't know enough about her day-to-day life to make informed judgments on how she's actually being affected, and I feel like she has to understand that he's also anguished because (as he said) he's able to help so many young people...but not his own daughter. He's told me that he feels very sad about not spending more time with us when we were growing up, and while that's a nonissue to me, it obviously costs him sleep at night. So he's compensating. Overcompensating? I don't know. But I don't oppose this idea.
And that's how (we're back to me now) I feel. I don't oppose this. I don't support that. There are many days I just want to be left the fuck alone to do my own thing and cuddle my husband and kitty and go to work, and just exist in a vacuum, or perhaps a selective bubble. But I'm fooling myself, because I already live in a bubble.
((There's something else too. Dad said he believed Sister's BF was supplying her with drugs. He doesn't know that those drugs came from my house, were created by my husband, and is continuously supported by our support. Vin is smoking with them all the fucking time and he's smoking at home too, and I just don't see the point of using it that often. Maybe if I had a really boring job and a bunch of personal stress (buying a house, silly wife), but I don't. I love my job and my personal stress is very low, so why do I need marijuana? I don't. I think that's why I find my mind and spirit wandering for significant portions of the day.))