“I oscillate between the carrot and the stick”
Roselyne Febvre, journalist and author of the book The hummingbird’s heartbeatEditions du Rocher
“When I found out that my 15 year old son was smoking cannabis, I didn’t really worry. He assured me that it was commonplace in college. The problem is that he began to smoke more and more. He liked to be perched, as he said. He refused the harshness of today’s world, this obligation to work well, to have objectives…
At 19, he moved into a small studio and, without realizing it, he took it to the next level with his girlfriend: magic mushrooms, MDMA (1), cocaine, ketamine ( an anesthetic for horses!)… This cocktail triggered psychiatric disorders in him. I no longer recognized my son: he was becoming a liar, manipulator, violent, thief… My fear was to find him dead. Hospitalized several times, he saw many doctors but never really recovered and drug addiction replaced that of drugs.
→ ANALYSIS. Cannabis, cocaine or ecstasy: how to help our teenagers protect themselves from drugs
I constantly oscillate between the carrot and the stick: to be present and to let him take his autonomy, to be nice or tough… The more I try to control him, the more he tries to escape me. My ex-husband leaves me to carry this burden alone and I would never have survived without outside help. Alternative medicine (acupuncture, meditation, etc.) and brief psychotherapy helped me a lot. When your child is doing badly, you also have to go see what’s wrong with you and change certain behaviors. »
“My parents didn’t try to understand me”
Charlotte, 32 years old
“I started smoking hash (hashish) at age 15, in boarding school. Out of boredom, with girlfriends. I didn’t realize you could be addicted. A year later, I started smoking on my own but I never touched hard drugs because they turn people into corpses.
Cannabis was a kind of self-medication in the face of my hyperactivity: it calmed me down and allowed me to find a form of lightness in a period weighed down by the separation of my parents. When they became aware of it, I had already been smoking daily for a year. Panicked, they didn’t want to handle the problem themselves. They immediately put me in the hands of “professionals” (doctors, shrinks, etc.) without trying to understand why I was doing this or trying to solve the problem together.
I always heard that I was different, difficult to manage… Afterwards, I became hopeless. I tried several times to stop alone by throwing myself into challenges: cycling around Iceland, canoeing down the Seine, but it didn’t last. Today, I manage to limit my consumption. Sometimes I think the only way to get rid of this addiction is to get pregnant. »
“We did not know how to react at the right time”
His mother Annette, 59 years old
“Adolescence was a complicated period for Charlotte: she isolated herself, she was very rebellious, she argued with everyone, even with her friends. We did not know how to react at the right time. My ex-husband was very bossy and quiet. Me, I knew nothing about this drug and its effects, I was destitute.
→ CHRONICLE. Adolescence, group age
Afterwards, I think we should have had family therapy or met other parents to be less alone. Today, Charlotte has found a form of balance and we are quite complicit. But what a waste! She could have done brilliant studies. »