Did Matthew Take His Pills?
Ida Lawrence, Contributor
“Humans suffer greatly because they are in a spiritual-mental void, it comes from the unexplored inner self; the wounds of childhood. To heal yourself forever, you have to be brave enough to peer into that void.” ~ Stuart Wilde
I’m sitting across the room from a sane, comfortable, relatively happy 21 year old male named Matthew. He’s been living with us for more than a year. He makes funny jokes, he’s always willing to help, he cooks dinner often and he does chores without being asked. He has studied for and obtained his GED, he loves the dog and the cat and they love him, and he’s what we’d call a very decent, normal young man.
Matt does have a few things he’s working on… he gets very nervous in new situations, his hands tremble a bit, he sometimes has trouble sleeping, and he hasn’t found a job yet, so that’s kind of a bummer. But other than that, he’s communicating beautifully, his thinking is very clear, he has a great heart and he’s fine.
The title of this piece is, “Did Matthew Take His Pills?” and the answer is NO. He hasn’t taken his pills for nine months. He’s drug free for the first time since he was four years old and drama free for the first time in his memory. Matt was given Ritalin at age four. He continued to be drugged while the system determined he was not just an ADHD problem, he was mentally ill.
Matt doesn’t remember how it began. What he does remember is unexplainable whippings from his dad – at random times, for no reason. I’m guessing he must have been singled out in kindergarten as needing Ritalin, and that’s how it began. The medicating continued until he was 20 years old, with only one brief break that he can recall. He was given almost every psychotropic drug on the market (at one time he was on five) and when he ended up at our house it was 200mg of Seroquel. He was a damaged kid, having experienced drug side effects, behaviors and diagnoses that would freak you out if I told you about them.
The system put Matt on probation, and his brother asked if he could live with us, as he had nowhere decent to go. We took him in. After two months of watching him, I asked, “Why don’t you just take half of that pill and let’s see what happens?” He climbed up from there, with support from his brother and our family.
And the really cool thing is, Matt is starting to look into the void that Stuart referred to, and explore his unexplored self. He’s starting see the little boy who was terrorized. He’s looking at his short life experience not as a reason to suffer more, but as an experience that he can make peace with, and grow from. Now that’s beautiful!
I suspect you know I’m not telling you about Matt and his pills because I want to stir you into action against the system. They’re drugging children into hell. Leave them to it and focus on yourself and your children. Change has to start within and proceed organically. We have to move in another direction, away from anger and indignation. Battling the system is pointless as far as I’m concerned. Escaping it what I want to do. So, the relevant part of Matthew’s story is… “What he does remember is unexplainable whippings from his dad – at random times, for no reason.”
Parents inflict their pain upon their children. Matthew’s parents did. I have done it too. Why do we do that when we are intending to do our best with our children? Well, one answer is that our childhood experiences are hidden in the void within and they greatly influence our adult behavior without us being conscious of the influence.
When you were a child, was there a moment when you realized that you could not rely on your parents? For me, it came when I was about three or four years old. I saw my angry father coming toward me and he was so unlike the daddy that I loved – his anger seemed irrational – and my mom didn’t step in to stop him, or protect me or comfort me – I felt abandoned. I lost my innocence then, and I’ll be darned if I didn’t carry those feelings with me for many years and weave them into my relationships, and pass them on to my children.
After looking in and reassuring the little girl who lived in there, and releasing my parents from responsibility for her, I was able to move forward. I’m now talking with my children about the wounds of their childhood, and explaining their mom to them a bit. Conversation helps a great deal. As we talk, I encourage them to tell me anything they want, and even accuse me of anything they want, as long as it helps them see into the darkness, look at what they lost, and move past it.
One of the most effective methods you can utilize to help you handle that kind of conversation is offered by Khris Krepcik. It’s simple, but difficult if you’re not accustomed to it: no emotion, no reaction, no opinion. That doesn’t mean no feeling or no understanding, it means to stay centered and keep your heart open. Apologize to your kids and help them so that they won’t pass the pain forward, as you and your parents and your parents’ parents did.
You can gently offer your view or your experience of course, but not emotionally, and not as a reaction. Pay attention to your thoughts too, for you’ll likely find opinions coming forth that belong to the control system, and not necessarily to you. Encourage your children’s evolution and continue your own simply by being tender, generous and respectful, and by allowing them to be themselves.
When it comes to releasing your own parents from responsibility for the conditioning that you experienced, there is a very nice meditation at this website called “Karmic Family Clearing”. I found it to be liberating, and I recommend it to you if you’re ready to make a move.
With regard to Matthew, and his experience, we could look to some wisdom offered by Morpheus in the Matrix movie: “The Matrix is a system, Neo. That system is our enemy. But when you’re inside, you look around, what do you see? Businessmen, teachers, lawyers, carpenters. The very minds of the people we are trying to save. But until we do, these people are still a part of that system, and that makes them our enemy. You have to understand, most of these people are not ready to be unplugged. And many of them are so inured, so hopelessly dependent on the system that they will fight to protect it.”
So that’s what we’re dealing with here – a system of control. If your child is having a hard time in school and the teacher calls in the psychologist who recommends the doctor who pulls out his prescription pad… please remember Matthew’s story. Humble up, put your ego aside. Start listening to your child, and to yourself. Become the healer.
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/.
This article is offered under Creative Commons license. It’s okay to republish it anywhere as long as attribution bio is included and all links remain intact.
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