My mum found out I was taking drugs and it nearly destroyed our relationship

‘I saw the complete devastation, disappointment and fear in their eyes’


Rebecca Waterman speaks to a third year Maths student at Nottingham about the unthinkable day her mum discovered she had been taking drugs.

I know it doesn’t sound like the biggest deal ever and perhaps it’s a position that you need to be put in to truly understand its magnitude. But when my mum found out about my recreational use of drugs, it almost completely destroyed our relationship.

I’m in my second year of uni and like the majority of people I know, I’ve taken mandy, ket, pills, coke etc throughout my years here and a couple of years before on nights out and at festivals. Which, admittedly, is nothing really too crazy or out of the ordinary to the typical university student.

But when you go on those nights out and you’re flying about the place having the best night ever, making new friends in the smoking area and memories you’ll probably forget the next day, chatting absolute shit to absolutely everyone, no one spares a thought for their parents.

In fact, I know for sure that I never thought my social life and my home life would ever become so detrimentally intertwined. I’d seen her the next day or told her about the nights, obviously omitting the mention of drugs from my stories. And when she had previously had her suspicions, I lied and swore on people’s lives I hadn’t touched them.

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Last summer, my mum’s friend found out from her son that I, like pretty much everyone single one of my friends, was taking drugs. When it got back to me I knew I had to have that impossible talk with my mum before she found out from someone else.

Naturally, I thought about denying the entire thing and playing down the whole situation. But since we’re so close and I am a terrible liar, I knew that the truth had to come out.

I thought my parents might shrug it off – she’d lived through the 70s, and probably done much worse, I thought. It’s not until I saw the complete devastation, disappointment and fear in her eyes as they try to come to terms with what you’ve just told them, that you just realize how futile all that ‘fun’ has been.

Regardless to say, my mum did not take it well at all. At first she was stern and cold and as I was sobbing away as she repetitively asked me where I’d taken them, where I’d got them from and who I’d taken them with.

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I don’t think I’ve ever truly let down my mum until then. She was so entirely distraught that I knew our relationship would never be the same again. She kept telling me: “Without trust, we have nothing.” This was the lowest I had ever felt.

From that day forward, I’ve been trying my hardest to avoid those kinds of nights where I know all my friends will be dropping. I either have to be that awkward drunk friend on a completely different level to everyone else or just leave early.

I do resent my mum quite a lot for this. It’s just a really unbelievably unfortunate situation to happen. I see my friends when they’re buzzing and having fun and I can painfully empathize and remember what it felt like to not be ridden with this weighty guilt the whole time.

I thought I’d find it harder to avoid drugs on nights out and festivals. I went to Outlook festival a few weeks after it happened and just drank. It is difficult when I am tempted by friends.

I never thought my mum would find out about it, but she did and, to an extent, ruined my fun for the next two years of uni.