Matt, It felt like we sat there forever. My body too numb to move. I was still in shock at how ugly we became, I could hear the demons laughing as they tore us apart. I got up but still couldn’t look at you. I needed to feel the sea air. I walked out the door not looking back. I could only imagine how bad I looked. I could feel the swelling left behind by my flood of tears. I was back in survival mode, not interested in talking just needing the rhythmic sound of the waves to calm my battered soul. I sat on the damp sand and relived every moment of your addiction. The roller coaster of emotions I lived with for years. I felt physically beat up and emotionally drained. I knew we could not go on like this. In the past I always had a plan B but now my mind was numb. No plan forming in my brain. Just a feeling of hopelessness washing over me like the waves I loved watching. I sat until the rain started and my belly hurt from lack of food. I looked around at the vastness of the ocean and knew Jesus was there. I prayed for strength and asked for forgiveness. The ugly person screaming at her son was not me, she was a byproduct of his disease. The saying, hate the disease, love the addict kept bouncing around my brain. God, how I hated this disease. I would rather you had cancer than be an addict. Cancer got treatment and sympathy. Addiction got hate and blame and isolation.
I found you sitting on the deck, cigarette in hand. Ok, Matt. We have no choice. I can’t keep living like this. I can’t count on you, it’s not your fault. Your disease is worse than I knew. You can’t stay here alone. I am calling a realtor. I’m going to sell and try to salvage what I put into this house. You look at me like you’ve been slapped. Mom, I love it here. I don’t want to leave. Matt, I love it here too but we had a deal and I finally get that your not capable of handling your part. We go back and forth as my heart slowly continues to break. I want to blame you. I want to point my finger in your face and say, This Is Your Fault. You and you’re damn addiction. How can you keep falling back into it’s trap. How much do you have to lose before you stop…I bite my tongue thinking of the boat that some other family was now enjoying, the jet skis, my jewelry, all the possessions lost to pay for your disease. God, how I wanted to grab you and shake the life out of you.
I spent the next hours going through what I was taking and what could stay. I felt like a robot, pulling pictures off walls, packing boxes, but not allowing myself to feel. If I felt I knew I would break. I needed to stay focused and not allow my heart to reach my brain. You sat and looked at me with the eyes of hate. Mom, how can you do this to me. You’re overreacting. Your out of control. Really, how can I do this to you…I could feel the crazy, ugly mom coming from my soul. Matt, don’t say another word or I will walk out and never return. You have killed me but I’m still here. My soul has been battered, my heart broken over and over again. Yet, I’m still here. If I were you I’d just shut up and start packing..It’s the least you can do. I choked back sobs as I remembered a different time of unpacking, of hanging pictures of moving furniture and the joy of having a place by the sea. Me, you and Natt, laughing and setting up a home with such hope and joy. Excited for your new life and knowing that my piece heaven would be looked after with love. Planting the garden, laying the walking path, putting up the fence while the dogs ran around with smiles coming from the beach. Loving life as it was supposed to be. Now this ugly reality of a disease I could not fix and you could not control was slowly destroying every bit of happiness in life.
The realtor arrived, papers were signed, the For Sale sign in place and all I could do was cry. Neighbors coming shocked as they realize that we are leaving. I try to make up another lie, I’ve become such a great liar. Yes, Matt has a great opportunity up north. No, I won’t be able to get here enough. Oh dear God, leave me alone. My son is an addict, I lost the house, happy now…My mind is getting ugly I want to scream, to punch and throw a tantrum at life. Instead I walk to the sea. I sit and release the sobs. I am alone and so broken. Dear God, do you not listen when I pray. Where are you, why are you allowing this to happen. I look at the vastness of the sea you created and cry until there are no more tears.
My car is packed with boxes full of broken dreams. The house is as clean as I can get it for now. You are standing in the doorway. I can not look at you. I can’t let you see my face. I can no longer control my emotions. I’ve left you enough food for the week knowing that your unemployment check will most likely be used for smokes and the white demons. Mom, you don’t need to do this, this is crazy. No Matt, what is crazy is that I’m killing myself for nothing. I trusted you that’s crazy, trusting an addict. Yup Matt, I’m not killing myself pulling extra shifts while you sit back and live in lala land. No more I’m done. My heart just can’t take this anymore. I’m picking me. I’m saving me. Don’t say another word. I will be back with a U Haul Saturday. I better walk into boxes and a clean house. Pick the furniture you want. I will store it and pray that someday you will use it again. Got it Matt, yeah, sure mom…..
I remember driving home in silence. No radio, no me, myself and I trying to come up with plans to get Matt out of whatever mess his addiction created. Just silence and tears and prayers. Ok God, now that I’ve lost everything I love whats next. Are you going to take my marriage too. How do I tell my husband of less than a year that my adult, addict son must come home. Home is with me. I’ve told so many stories, so many lies right to his face trying to protect Matt. Now what. Just walk in and say hey, look who I found wondering around homeless. Oh by the way, I’m selling the beach house cause Matt didn’t pay the mortgage he bought pills and told lies. Oh did I forget to mention he’s an addict and now I’m bringing the demons to our home. You’re ok with that right…. Holy Crap, Matt, what are you doing to me.
I pull up to a quiet house. The dogs out back. Ray on the deck. Hey, welcome home I say without letting him see my face. Swollen eyes will give me away. Hey, whats wrong. Ray grabs my arm as I try to walk past. Hey, you’ve been crying. Talk to me. Oh God, I have something to tell you. Something I’ve been hiding for years. I can’t do this anymore, live with this lie. We sit. You are silent as my dirty little secret flows from my mouth as the tears flow from my eyes. I am a mess. I can’t look at you. I’m too ashamed and afraid of your reaction. I stare into space and tell you it’s ok to leave. I will understand. I laugh and say I would leave if I could but he is my son and he is sick. I could not live with myself if I abandoned him. He makes me crazy and ugly at times but I love him. There is no choice. I close my eyes and feel the sun on my swollen face. You get up and I’m bracing myself for goodbye when I feel your arms around me. Do what you have to do, I know you will fight forever I would be shocked if you didn’t. I am sobbing again. You let me cry. We unload my car together, the boxes of broken dreams now with me. Life now uncertain. The addict son coming home. I pray for help, I pray for guidance, I pray that Ray will stay. Addiction robs everyone of everything until there is nothing left to take but your soul……..