Monthly Archives: August 2016

Far Behind

I have days that seem to happen more often lately. From the time I wake up until around 1:00 p.m. I am extremely irritable . It’s to the point where I make an effort not to talk to people. Then there are days where I want to talk and almost want to argue with those around me. I never feel like I’m being heard. I feel invisible so often. I have felt invisible for so long. I say hurtful things to provoke a response. I do this with my twin sister the most. I think because I feel abandoned by her the most. I feel left behind.

It isn’t her fault that she could handle High School and College. She was able to go on dates with men and have actual relationships. She had boyfriends. My twin graduated from College and had a good job before moving to California to be with her boyfriend, who is now her husband. She took a huge leap but knew she loved him and went. It wasn’t all fun for her, she felt a little out of place there and it was hard to find work. What was I doing? Self destructing in the best way I knew how. Slowly but surely killing myself either with large quantities of Joaquin’s Ginger Flavored Brandy and Black Label or abusive men. There were too many times to count where I woke up with no memory of how I had gotten where I did or exactly where I was. A lot of times I had bruises, red marks, or cuts that I couldn’t remember either. Other people would have to tell me and that only happened if it was something they thought was funny.

I can’t remember a time where I didn’t seek my sister’s approval. She would say small things that cut me to the bone. I wasn’t allowed to drink or be drunk in her presence. I couldn’t use alcohol as a layer of protection. I remember in High School everyone was wearing leather Motorcycle jackets. I went with my sister to buy one. We each had saved money for one. She was always slimmer than me. I would guess a size 10 to my size 18. We started to try on jackets at a leather store in our local mall. She turned and looked at me in one. She started laughing loudly. I felt my face burn. I felt other people looking. She said “Never, ever, buy one of those jackets! You look so mean! You look like a big, bad, Motorcycle Mama!”. I put the jacket back and just watched her try them on, giving out compliments. She looks beautiful in all the pics she’s in with it on.

One afternoon we were out with my friend W. I don’t remember anyone else. They were trying on hats. I think Cowboy hats had made a comeback in High School. Again I was trying one on. I couldn’t get any of them to fit!! My head was too large for an XL hat! My sister made fun of this also and I laughed along. I probably teased her but I just don’t remember. She told me I wasn’t allowed to hang out with the same people she did. On our 21st? Birthday her roommates were having a surprise party for her. They felt bad that they were having a party for just her when it was my birthday too. She knew about the party and had told them that I was under no circumstances allowed to be there. She didn’t want to deal with me. Knowing these things hurt. They hurt more than I ever admitted.

I know and accept that I have hurt people with my Alcoholism and erratic behavior. I own any of the cruel things I’ve done and said. I wake up every morning with my brain screaming at me not to be here on this earth. I don’t think I was meant to be. My mom didn’t know she was having twins, I came out first. We were extremely underweight and had to stay in the hospital until we were over 5 pounds. I’ve never had a feeling of belonging.

FAR BEHIND~ CANDLEBOX             (A FEW LYRICS)

Now maybe    I didn’t mean to treat you bad    But I did it anyway

And now maybe    Some would say your life was sad    But you lived it anyway    And so maybe   

Your friends they stand around    They watch you crumble    As you fall to the ground

And someday    Your friends they stand beside as you were flyin’    Oh you were flyin’ oh so high

But then someday people look at you for what they call their own

They watch you suffer    Yeah they hear you calling home    But then someday we could take out time to brush the leaves aside so you can reach us

But you left me far behind

Now maybe I didn’t mean to treat you oh so bad but I did it anyway

Now maybe some would say your left with what you had    But you couldn’t share the pain

Now maybe I could have made my own mistakes  But I live with what I’ve known

And then maybe we might share in something great  But won’t you look at where we’ve gone

But then someday comes, tomorrow holds a sense of what I fear for you in my mind as you trip the final line

And that cold day when you lost control    Shame you left my life so soon You should’ve told me

But you left me far behind     You left me far behind

 

Advertisements

Chicken Or The Egg?

 

I just finished reading a post on a Recovery Blog. It was about the dispute over Addiction being a disease. Addiction was classified as a disease by the AMA in 1987. What wasn’t really discussed was the role that Mental Illness plays in Addiction. I know first hand that it’s a huge one. Scientists still have not been able to agree which comes first. Is it the Mental Illness that leads to self-medication and addiction? Or is it the theory that Chronic drug/alcohol abuse increases your chances of becoming a victim of assault or trauma. This can cause PTSD, Depression, Eating Disorders, etc. I’m afraid there will be no clear answer in my lifetime. I can only go by personal experience. I can’t deny the statistics though.

61.5 Million Adult Americans experience some form of Mental Illness in a given year.

13.6 Million Adults are considered to have “serious” Mental Illnesses.

  • Serious illnesses are Schizophrenia, Bipolar Disorder, and Major Depression.
  • 9.2 Million have co-occurring Addiction Disorders
  • 46% of homeless adults staying in shelters live with severe Mental Illness and/or Substance Use Disorders.

The National Bureau of Economic Research reports that 69% of people diagnosed with a Mental Health Disorder at some point in their lives will abuse Alcohol. A staggering 84% will abuse Cocaine.

A Dual Diagnosis is difficult to treat and too many Psychiatrists and Doctors are not trained to do so. People with an Addiction Disorder are twice as likely to suffer from mood and anxiety disorders. The reverse is also true.

There are also other factors to consider. A Genetic Predisposition is one. If Mental Illness and Addiction is prevalent in your family there is a good chance it could affect you. Then you have Triggers. Certain stressors or trauma can lead to addiction and other Mental Illness. Last but not least is your Brain. Early symptoms of Mental Illness may indicate an increased risk for later drug/alcohol abuse. There are brain scans that can be done that show a specific pattern in Bipolar patients and Mentally Ill patients with Addiction problems.

Suicides are the 2nd leading cause of death for those between the ages of 24-34 and the 4th leading cause for those 35-54.

ME

Here’s what I know. I had symptoms of a Mental Illness from the age of 10/12. I hid in my room and tried to hide it from everyone. My family went through a rough time when I was younger. I don’t think they noticed as long as I was quiet. My brother was fighting everyday, getting suspended from school, eventually expelled, selling drugs from our house, physically starting fights with my father and causing chaos. My mom had a breakdown and was hospitalized. My brother was kicked out of the house at 17. He started smoking pot at the age of 13 and continued until now at age 50. I don’t know when he started drinking he looked 21 at a very early age. I would guess 14/15 and continues to drink now. I don’t know when the gambling started.

My mother has a Schizophrenic sister and a Schizophrenic brother. Her sister does not use drugs or alcohol but is heavily into Religion now. Her brother was addicted to IV drugs mostly and was homeless. He passed this year from AIDS related complications. No one claimed him. He was buried with the rest of society’s unwanted. This angered me. My mom never would’ve allowed it. My mom suffered from Depression but was never really diagnosed. She was also an Alcoholic but hadn’t had alcohol in over 27 years at the time of her death. She has 3 more siblings that are Alcoholics. What is their mental status? Who knows? There’s so many secrets and dysfunction it would take an entire team to figure it out.

My father has severe Anxiety and Social Phobia. He’s never been diagnosed. I’m diagnosing him because he has all the symptoms I have. He self-medicated with Alcohol but has been sober for about 35 years. He still hasn’t fixed his problems he just suffers.

I had several brain scans that showed all the markers of someone with Bipolar Disorder. Supposedly. If you go by the new research. I even had some rare questionable findings that put me on a “lab experiment” list. I refused everything after looking into it further. Maybe some things I don’t want to know.

STIGMA STATISTICS

These statistics are from a “Public Attitudes Survey” on Mental Illness taken in Texas. It’s from 2004 but I compared them to the most recent statistics and there was minimal change. I couldn’t get the PDF for the most recent so I averaged them out. These are surveys done by the CDC and NAMH.

  • 40% surveyed agreed that anyone with a history of mental problems should be excluded from public office.
  • 1 in 3 believe a child should immediately be placed in an alternative setting as soon as they exhibit a Mental Illness in school.
  • More than 50% believe Major Depression is caused by the way you are raised.
  • 1 in 5 believe it’s “God’s Will”.
  • More than 50% believe Major Depression is from people expecting too much from life.
  • 40% believe it’s the lack of will power.

It’s difficult knowing this is how people think. I’m not surprised based on the responses I’ve received from my own community. Will it change? I can only hope so. I do what I can. Some days are difficult for me. When I have trouble finding my words or I’m stuttering, I get tuned out. I can’t make my point if no one will listen. The hardest part is when someone walks away from you while you are talking. It feels like you are invisible or you don’t matter. I then wonder if I ever did. I kept silent for so long maybe I should’ve stayed that way.20160602_173411


Crazy From The Heat (Not Really)

In four days I leave for Florida. I bought a one-way ticket and rented a beach house for two weeks. Can I afford this? No. I put it on a credit card and hopefully I can pay it back. I needed some time away. Most people think that because I’m on Disability my life is filled with TV and eating Bon Bons on the couch. It’s far from it.

Everyday I am in physical and emotional pain. Everyday I wake up with a lump in my throat, a stiff neck, lower back screaming, hips popping, and a wave of dizziness that let’s me know I’m still here. Lucky me. If it’s a Monday I look forward to my dad coming home from Dialysis. I watch the clock. If it’s past 10:30 I know it’s going to be bad. This means that the staff has infiltrated his fistula again and can’t stop his bleeding. They have to leave him “clamped” longer until the bleeding stops. They blame him and make him feel like a scolded school boy. They have even gone as far as putting him at a station without a TV for a week and that was built for a Right Handed Patient, this means the tubes and wires have to across my dad’s stomach and chest making it hard to relax for four hours.

My sister said today that he needs to speak up for himself. She was pissed at me because I hung up on her. I hung up on her because she wasn’t paying attention to anything I was saying. I couldn’t reach her all day yesterday. She had just come back from another week long vacation where there was supposedly no cell phone reception. This was her seventh or eighth this summer. I’m afraid to leave now because she won’t even answer the phone when she’s 10 minutes away. What if something happens to my Dad while I’m gone and she doesn’t answer the phone? Why can’t she understand that I am sick too?

Lately my stuttering is so bad it scares me. I find myself on the floor in the bathroom rocking back and forth, stuttering to myself. When I stutter it’s to a point where it sounds like a deaf person trying to speak for the first time. I mean no disrespect, I mean my voice has the same pitch and tone. The Doctors found it odd themselves, it was unusual for someone with a stutter to have a change in their pitch and tone. It was a key factor in the diagnosis of the type of Conversion Disorder I have. It’s why it sounds so disturbing to the people who know me. I don’t find it funny and I will never understand why or how anyone could laugh or mimic someone like me. I do think it’s unacceptable the same way my dad’s Dialysis care is.

I find my fuse is short lately. I also find myself not really caring. I have had episodes where I have let things that bother me simmer for so long that one day I see red and hear a rushing sound in my ears. If I continue to swallow it down it’s going to kill me. I’m worried my dad is going to hurt himself when I’m away. He’s been extremely depressed. It’s been 90 degrees here and he’s working under his truck for 8 straight hours without stopping. He does these things just to see if he still can. He’ll lift a 100 pound bag of grain just to see if he can. He just had his Aortic Aneurysm repaired and he isn’t supposed to lift anything heavy with the arm that has the fistula! I can’t take it some days.

I also wish my twin sister would love and understand me someday. I wish she would stop with the guilt and shame. I wish she understood that I didn’t take attention away from her consciously. I don’t remember most of it because of alcohol or I just don’t remember it. I know, thanks to my one friend, that I’m not that crazy. She has one of the best memories and wonders what the hell my sister’s problem is. My best friend remembers the bullying and teasing I went through. That’s putting it nicely. While that was happening my sister had a large amount of friends and wasn’t bullied or teased. She never intervened on my behalf. When I became a Senior in High School and started drinking I turned a little mean and they left me alone. The kids in my school knew who I hung out with outside of school at that time and were afraid of them. For once I caught a break until I realized I was tossed into a much worse place. A place of worse degradation, brutality, and suffering.


Bipolar Memories

I recently read Polishing Dookie’s post “The Piano Man” on her blog and found so many similarities that it had me thinking. I thought of my own Grandparents and immediate family. I then went through some pictures. I’m not sure if this was a good idea or not.

I never knew my father’s father. He passed away at a young age from bleeding ulcers. I know he was stern, hardworking, and did not show affection. I’ve only seen one photo of him and it was blurry. I know my dad was born and raised mostly on a farm. He’s the oldest of 9.  My father’s siblings do not talk to each other at all. They do not show emotion. All the men on my dad’s side of the family have these famous Popeye forearms. I’m not kidding. My dad, not realizing what his looked like, had an anchor tattoo on one and a skull on the other. The tattoos were so horrible no one was surprised when the tattoo artist was shot to death a few years later.

My father’s mother was 4′ 9″ and also stern. She didn’t do hugs until she was in her 70’s. She didn’t tell her children she loved them until she was in her 70’s. She had been adopted and the circumstances of her childhood were less than ideal from what I can piece together. My sister and I would be left with her on occasion when my parents needed a weekend alone or there was an emergency. It wasn’t our favorite place to be.

For some reason we spent most of our time with my mother’s side of the family. My mother’s mother was loud and overbearing. She wasn’t the best wife or mother. Of course my mom always longed for her approval. She never got it. Even though she raised her brothers and sisters and was the one who sacrificed the most. My mother’s father was a plumber and served in the Army. He let my Grandmother do as she pleased without question or responsibility. Eventually she left him with 7 children, there was 8 but she had given one up for adoption when they were first married. It wasn’t my Grandfather’s.

My mother was close to her father. When he was diagnosed with Colon Cancer and Bone Cancer she was devastated. He insisted on being treated at the VA Hospital. He was diagnosed too late but as a last ditch effort they had taken bone from his neck to fuse something. He had a halo screwed into his head. When my mom would take us daily to see him she would have to clean him, change his diaper, there would be vomit running down the front of the halo and his top. She would clean this too. Her siblings couldn’t see him like that. When we received the phone call that he had passed away I could hear my mom screaming at someone on the phone. The Hospital was refusing to remove the halo saying it would break his neck. She thought this was insane since he was already dead. He had suffered with that thing on him and she wanted it off. She told them she was coming there with a screw driver and if it wasn’t off by the time she got there she was doing it herself.

My mom was one of the toughest most loving people I will ever know. Her experience with Lung Cancer changed her personality and changed the rest of us forever. I’ll never fully recover from those years.

I’m at the point in my life where my father is thinking of what he needs to do with the house and anything else he has. He’s been trying to figure this out for months. My mother wanted the house split 3 ways. My dad isn’t so sure it should be like that. He knows everything that I’ve done for him and my mom. I’ve also paid for a lot of things and pay monthly bills. I’m on Disability. My sister is married with a house, my half brother makes a lot of money that he usually gambles or drinks away.

It’s already started. My mom had a ring made for me from an extremely gaudy ring my Grandmother had. When she showed it to me she said “This is for you after I’m gone. I know you’ll probably never get married like your sister so I wanted you to have something for yourself”. Now my sister debates this and my father doesn’t know what the truth is. I doubt the ring is even worth much. It’s just the point of it. I can only imagine what they’ll do when it comes to my dad’s antique clocks or if he doesn’t make a will or a decision about the house. I’m not looking forward to it. Neither one of my siblings would have a problem with me living in a shelter or my car. At one time my sister had said something about me living with her. They have a good sized house and a spare room. I wouldn’t because of her husband. I mentioned it in passing recently and she denied ever saying it.

Family. Do we have to like them? No. Do we have to love them? It depends on who you ask.


YOU DISGUST ME

When did public shaming become acceptable in our society? I have never found it to be a useful tool in any situation. I’ve witnessed it and had it done to me in many ways.

What about thinking your son is weak? So you make him wear his mother’s dress and make up while mowing the front lawn. Yes, this too I’ve seen.

Now in the digital age we can be haunted 24 hours a day with our past, shame, and indignities.

I have received numerous emails with the words YOU DISGUST ME as a heading. At first I ignored them. Then they came daily. I noticed I started getting emails saying someone had accessed my public records. I didn’t think anything of it because I didn’t think I had one.

I was wrong.

As quite a few of you know, the man I drank with for years(I’ll refer to him as J.) had beaten me up one evening. J was not arrested. He drove me home, carried/dragged me to my parent’s front steps. My father opened the door and saw me. He could also smell the alcohol coming off of me. J. said “I fell”. I kept saying I didn’t fall that he broke a big wooden chair over the back of my head and neck, sat on my chest and arms, repeatedly punched me in the face with his skull rings on, and then threw me down a flight of stairs.

The problem was I was drunk and badly injured. My parents didn’t think the police would believe me and frankly my dad didn’t believe me until my mom told him J. had called my brother before he even brought me home to tell him that no matter what he heard “it wasn’t his fault”. This made J. look guilty and later on he actually bragged about it and did it to someone else.

A few years after it happened I was drinking and happened to run into one of J’s friends. I admit that I was nice on purpose. I told him I wanted to “forgive and forget”. I didn’t. He was living with J. so he took me over there so we could work things out. What happened was I took a baseball bat to all of the windows in his car and the lights. I may have tried to swing the bat at J. also but of course in his case he had called the police and they showed up in minutes with guns drawn. How fun for me. I having nothing against policemen/women but the ones that were on duty around J’s house always knew what was going on there. J. had underage girls drinking there constantly, he sold drugs out of the apartment for years, he bought underage kids alcohol in exchange for money (he made an extra $250/week just doing this), there was always an ex-con living with him breaking parole at some time or another. They would let all of this slide for years. It had something to do with his father and grandfather. They had no love for J. but they were not going to see his name in the paper.

So I was arrested for Drunken Disorderly, Destruction of Private Property, a Restraining Order was issued, Resisting Arrest (don’t remember that), Restitution to the Victim (I laughed when the judge said this and was yelled at), Probation for One Year, and Alcohol Counseling for one year.

They said after 7 years it would be off my record.

After my mother died I didn’t deal with anything well. On the one year anniversary I was drinking. For some reason I decided to leave my friends house. I didn’t know where I was going. I hadn’t even gone 2 streets down when I decided to turn around and go back. I knew I shouldn’t have been driving. My car died in the middle of the road. Like an idiot I was outside the car trying to push it out of the way. A police officer stopped and asked what I was doing. I told him I was trying to get back to my friends house because I realized I shouldn’t be driving. I didn’t want to lie. Now I looked in the driver’s side window and saw that the car keys were on the seat and I was trying to push a car while it was in park. Stupid, on all counts. I was arrested for DUI and given a $250 ticket for PARKING WHERE I WASN’T SUPPOSED TO. Now I know I was wrong but the cop couldn’t have it both ways. You charge someone with driving under the influence when they are not in the car, the keys are out of the ignition, and the car is in park. You then give them an outrageous parking ticket that confirms it. I’m lucky that I had a good lawyer because I blew a .34 and just for that would’ve lost everything. I’ve been sober since. All charges were dropped but it shows up if you look up my public record. It isn’t supposed to. I was never convicted. Something else happened that evening that made them drop the case and made me a little more frightened of men that I feel could do harm to me.

Someone gaining access to my public records and calling me disgusting isn’t that bad. It’s when you have to see it everyday. Day after day you are reminded of your drinking, how you hurt your family and people hurt you. You are also reminded of your damage. How you flinch at loud male voices and startle easily. How you stutter if confronted in an aggressive way. Most of all you feel angry that someone is trying to use what they perceive as your shame to discredit or hurt you. That is the part that I can’t tolerate. I won’t tolerate.90187c6f4365a5d308d28df32ad4b59d

 


Easy Breezy

1974372_10203801673429154_2743617788152765748_oI’ve said it before but I’ll remind you that I really don’t have anyone in my life to ask stupid questions. Questions like, “Do you like this vacation rental?”, “Do you think it’s too much?”, “Are they supposed to charge for that?”, or “Do these pants make me look fat?”. lol Ok I really don’t care about the last question.

I bought a one way ticket to Florida that leaves on August 20th and I have to book a place soon to stay. I was looking at Homeaway but there are a lot of fees connected, driving the price up. When you first see $129/night for a 3 bedroom, 2 bath, house with a pool on the water you think “YAY!!”. Then you click on it and it turns into $4,000 for 12 days. “BOO!!”.

Someone at Capital One wasn’t paying attention and gave me a credit card with 0% APR for a year so that’s what I’m using for this trip. I still want to be careful. I want to pay it off as soon as possible and not fall into old bad habits with money that brought me to Bankruptcy.

I’ve just been afraid lately that this might be the last time I’m able to really travel. I want to see a few relatives that are important to me. My Auntie Lee is my mom’s sister and just like her except almost always happy and blond. We were very close and I love her. She’s getting older and my health is getting worse. My kidney is having some issues which scares me. No one is really taking any of it seriously except for me. My dad has his own health issues and is worried about his birds. He’s also been accessorizing his truck for some weird unknown reason. He thinks he’s on an episode of “Pimp My Ride”.

My sister just came back from her 10th vacation this summer and when she called she only wanted to talk about herself. Not exactly a surprise. She wasn’t happy at my attitude. The pharmacy gave me my medication made by another new company that they do not have a complete ingredient list for. Of course after a week on it I already know it’s crap. I also know that they won’t let me exchange it or do anything about it because it’s a generic of Adderall. They don’t realize how many of these overseas companies still use gluten as a binder and the medication’s efficacy is dramatically changed. I am a zombie who cries all day. Thank you so much CVS!

I do have good news. My brother came over with his son, my oldest nephew. He’s going to an excellent college. When I say excellent it’s an understatement. I’m so proud of him. He’s kind and smart. I showed him my blog and he said “I love you Auntie Day”. Too bad his older sister doesn’t see me the same way. She has been diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder and has aimed her cruelty and violence at me on more than one occasion.

I am petrified to go on this vacation. It’s more expensive than I thought it would be and I’m not sure my relatives in the area are going to have time for me. Part of me is sad and part of me accepts that. I’m also afraid something will happen to my dad while I’m gone. If it does than I break my agreement and find the first flight home right? It’s a 4 and 1/2 hour flight. I hate that I have to reassure myself constantly instead of being able to just go with it. My sister’s input of “That’s stupid” or “Are you crazy?” hasn’t exactly helped matters.

Before my brother in law knew me as well as he does now he would say to my twin sister “Why can’t you be more like your sister? You know, easy breezy?”. She would respond with “Because she’s on drugs asshole!”. He would laugh at this. It went on for years until he finally understood that I just laughed and went along with what everyone said to avoid confrontation and because I was medicated. It wasn’t until the day everything bubbled up like a volcano that he learned.

I wish I could be easy breezy and let things go instead of going over every possibility of what can and will go wrong 1,000 times a day until I want to vomit. I am my father’s daughter.

The picture was taken at The Naples Zoo in Florida when I last visited. I enjoyed my time there and felt at home with the atmosphere. I have to try to remember that.


Angry Birds

I know that my father’s love of animals, specifically birds has been since he was very young. I realize it was a coping mechanism for him. He wasn’t outgoing like my mom, he never liked social situations or small talk. He often could use them as an excuse to get out of things he didn’t want to do.

His pigeon hobby came close to costing him his marriage almost more than his alcoholism. What do you do with a man who spends 9 hours a day at work to come home only to spend his evenings and weekends with his birds? The birds came before family vacations. If there were babies about to be hatched forget it. I watched my mom slowly start to withdraw herself. She started sitting at the kitchen table, smoking Winston Light 100’s, staring out the window.

My mother loved my father with all of her heart. She would have died for him. And make no mistake my father loved my mother the same way. She saved his life. He will never love another woman the same.

That being said she admits she became pregnant on purpose. My father had taken off at the news and came back at some point during her pregnancy or right after we were born. I know they were not married until we were at least 5 years old. I was an observant/nosy child and always found out the family secrets. I kept them to myself until drunk and angry when I knew they would hurt the most.

I sometimes doubted my dad ever wanted us. I thought he felt trapped or forced into taking care of us and marrying my mom. My mother was so loud and different than him I wondered why he didn’t leave. She would have weeks of depression where she stayed in her nightgown, locked in her bedroom. We all pretended it wasn’t happening. When we were very young I think we were sent to a relatives house for as long as they could take us. As we got older we took care of ourselves.

When my mom was ok she was more than ok. She made up for the flaws in both of them. I don’t know how she did it sometimes. As I sit here now at the same kitchen table, alone, isolated, watching my father kill himself over pigeons, I can’t help but wonder. Did she give up? Did she have enough of seeing my dad but not really ever being with him? Her bestfriend and sister had just moved away. She was used to either talking to her or seeing her everyday. Now she would have to get on a plane to see her. With one lung and other health problems that probably wasn’t going to happen. My Aunt made her leave the house and keep active. When she left that was it. My father never tried. I did a few times but she refused.

She spent more time in her room and more time sneaking food she wasn’t supposed to have. She was good at talking people into bringing things that were not good for her. She would cry and say how depressed she was and how maybe a candy bar would make her feel better. I would go in her room while she was in the shower and find bags of candy bars! She was an insulin dependent diabetic with 1 lung, that 1 lung also had emphysema, she had fluid around her heart and ate bologna sandwiches 4 at a time. It became harder to watch, I spent more time drinking when I could.

It’s easier to understand looking back years later. I don’t think any of us could’ve done anything for my mom. She would tell me she felt like she was drowning. For someone who had a phobia of drowning this had to be a nightmare. I held her beautiful hands in mine and cried with her when she told me this. She passed away a few days later.

People often ask why I don’t live on my own. First of all I’m scared, second I owe my dad my life and he needs me. No, I don’t owe him because he’s my dad. I owe him because he has been there every time I tried to get sober and failed. He has been here when I got sober and so far have stayed that way. He has been there every time I tried to kill myself and never judged me, he just held me and cried. He sat with me through endless hours of mind numbing movies and TV because he knew I didn’t want to be alone. He did this for years. When I think of my parents I think of one picture. It makes everything clear.DSC01024 (2)

Like a bird in flight I start to feel free from my hostility and glimpse a little bit of solace.


%d bloggers like this: