As I get older I feel less of a need to keep things from my past a secret from my family. I guess when enough time has passed it feels safe to share stories because I am not the same person as I was back then and I can agree that what I did was stupid.
Of course there are certain things which will forever remain in the vault of my mind but every now and then experiences which I deem less shocking slip out in conversation, like the time I blurted out that I have tried ice (crystal meth).
We were talking about the new lockout restrictions in pubs and that led to us talking about drugs and the “ice epidemic”.
“How can you tell if someone is an actual addict or just experimenting?”, I asked.
“Unfortunately with ice it seems once people try it, they become addicted to it.”, my mother responded.
“But I tried it once and I’m not addicted.”, I said too casually. I think I assumed that I had already told everyone about that but my family looked horrified.
I explained that years ago at a party some friends and I huddled in a room and shared ice from a pipe. I tried it because I didn’t really care what happened. I wasn’t pressured into it or anything. “It didn’t really do much, I don’t think. I was already pretty drunk.”, I said in hopes of somehow playing down my stupidity.
Everyone agreed that I was very lucky not to become addicted and then suddenly the conversation shifted because my family didn’t want to think of me being so reckless. Later on I apologised to my mother because I sensed that she was upset and shocked by what I had admitted. She told me that she was sad that I had been in a place in my life where I didn’t care about consequences.
If you’re going to be honest about the past with family then I think its better to stick with things like faking being sick to get out of school or breaking something and blaming it on a sibling. Sometimes there isn’t enough passing of time to make what seems like no big deal to you become no big deal to those who have come close to losing you again and again.