Ida Lawrence, Contributor
The other day I was talking with a person who is an addiction counselor, and of course our conversation turned to the young people who are her clients. I wondered what she sees as the core problem that brings a young person into addiction… is it peer pressure, drug advocacy in music, drug availability, escape from traumatic life events, or what?
Her opinion is that it can be any one or more of those things, but problems in the family – the mom and dad and family dynamic – this is her main culprit. Now, let’s ask ourselves… is that the real truth, or is it the system-sanctioned truth.
We know that addiction is just another manifestation of the messed up world we’re living in, and things often do come down to how men and women relate to each other, and relate to their children, but I’d like to go a little deeper.
I was there, in the California 1980s when the crack cocaine epidemic began. Without even going in to the CIA connection, I can just ease off and say that young people went for a cheap high and they didn’t know how addictive it was. It had nothing to do with how good their moms and dads were, or their families. Availability, price and the popularity of that ‘high’ drove quite a few of the people I knew into a degraded life.
Today there are definitely family problems, but there is also a huge proliferation of pharmaceutical drugs on the street, especially the opiates to which so many are addicted. How did the drugs get to the street I wonder… who is manufacturing so much more than can be prescribed legally, and who is at the top behind the drug proliferation. Who is it in the seat of power within the music industry, promoting violence, perversion, drugs and death? It’s not the kids… they’re just providing what the powers want.
Forces behind forces behind forces: so there’s a lot that young people face… the worst of it being a future under far more difficult conditions than what their parents experienced, or, no future at all.
And yet the addiction counselor says it’s mom and dad. Should we settle in then to the belief that moms and dads used to be better… our own moms and dads were better? Has something gone wrong and the male/female relationship is devolving into hell?
Yes, there is devolution going on: broken families, poverty, joblessness, abuse, sexual abuse, fatherless families – all of the manifestations of a society in a downward spiral. But at the same time there is also evolution going on. We are in a time of transformation… some turn in to the downward wind and some seek liberation from it.
I want to focus on the evolution, because this is the light at the end of this dark time… the place where there is hope to be found, for the children.
There was no illegal drug abuse in my community when I was 18 years old – alcohol abuse, but that was the norm. Families stayed together and there was a foundation to stand on… an out of balance foundation, but a foundation. I married at 18 and divorced at 27. My husband blamed the divorce on women’s liberation.
Everything out of balance must find balance, so we’re going to see whether women’s liberation can eventually be viewed as human liberation. When I was young I didn’t know that women had been beaten, imprisoned and force-fed because they wanted the right to vote and own property. I had no clue of what went before, and I imagine I wasn’t supposed to have a clue. Suffragette wasn’t in the history book.
But there was a book that led to an awakening in me… it was, Our Bodies, Ourselves: Information on Women’s Health and Sexuality. I was 25 years old at the time I read it, and the mother of two children. What a novel idea… that I could understand and appreciate my reproductive system and even enjoy a sexual response!
Everything about my body had been presented to me as something we don’t talk about: keep it in the dark please! The natural instinct of breast feeding was not addressed at all when my first child was born: the doctor handed me pills to dry up the breast milk… you don’t want that stuff leaking out! So the book on my body opened the door.
What happened at that time was that a lot of women began to realize how badly they had been made to feel about their femininity. It led to angry reactions, and women trying out free love, radical opinions, domination and aggression. We can see the spin off from that today: mothers running the show with no male counterbalance; fathers abandoning out of frustration or a programmed diminishing of responsibility.
So this is what the drug counselor bases her view upon, and it’s a legitimate phenomenon… a profound learning experience on how to catch the wrong wind in your sail.
Still I’m claiming there’s an evolutionary side… things getting better instead of worse. When women gained the right to vote it was an equalizer. Men and women remained men and women, they just both had a say. So what happened when we realized that our female physical bodies were capable of so much more than vessel duty? Some took that info in and asked themselves about the feminine sexual response. Conclusion: upgrade required of both parties.
I need to select a partner more carefully… he’ll be someone with a lot more than a casual interest and a penis. Search begins for an energy/heart/mind match: someone who knows there is treasure in the depth of me. With that match a new type of bond is created, starting from the zero point. We’re in this thing as equals, and is that ever beautiful… I’m still feminine, you’re still masculine, and every time we wish, the twain shall meet for a cosmic reunion.
What does this do for the children born of such a relationship? It makes them creators and inheritors of the renewal energy. Dad doesn’t diminish his daughter, mom doesn’t dominate her son, and I suspect there won’t be any employment for the addiction counselor.
I can’t help but believe that the renewal is built upon the masculine and feminine relationship in balance on all levels. The profound reward of this is the ultimate draw. It’s how we’re meant to be, it’s how the beginning began, and it’s happening now at the new beginning.
This is something we can offer young people… keep it in mind. There is a natural high to life when male and female are in balance: no external opiates needed.
About the Author
Ida Lawrence is an author, blogger, copywriter and editor based in Atlanta, Georgia. She has authored two books on racial justice and human rights, and numerous articles on human rights, self-empowerment and related subjects. Ida is also a certified Tai Chi instructor with a special interest in helping seniors and the disabled with Tai Chi and Chi Kung practices modified for their use. Her goal in life has been to find answers to the question of ‘why’ and then to explore the question of ‘what is’. More of her work is available at her personal blog, http://talk2momz.com/.
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