Matt, I must say I was pleasantly surprised. You really kept your promise. No drama, no chaos at least none that reached me. Life was good as Ray and I got into the rhythm of married life. I was finally back at work busy every day saving those babies. My life found a rhythm again, a calm that I hadn’t felt in a long time started to settle in my brain. So this is normal I would think out loud as a smile would find my face and a lightness found my step. Everyone noticed. I felt so blessed. Finally I was able to just concentrate on my life without the constant stress and worry about you. I would remind myself that you were a grown man living your life and this was how it should have been all along.
Being back at work and having the ability to pick up extra shifts allowed me to get the mortgage caught up on our house by the sea. I felt so accomplished and once again felt that I was in control of how life was supposed to be. God, I just didn’t learn that lesson. So foolishly I continued down the road of denial believing that your addiction had left the building and we were home free. I no longer worried about our dirty little secret and started to act like we had returned from a very bad place but were safe now.
Weeks turned into months. We spoke nearly everyday. You and Lisa seemed to be finding your own rhythm as you spoke of a more permanent future together. Even though I still felt she was not your match I kept my opinion to myself as my only concern was for you to be happy and stay clean. Whoever you loved I loved thats just the way it was.
Ray had to travel for work so I took those days off and planned a trip to see for myself just how things really were in your life. I had to admit I missed you. I wasn’t used to you not needing me like you did in the past and was feeling kinda left out of your life. I kept reminding myself that this is how a normal relationship was between a mother and her adult son, but you and I never had normal so I was having a difficult time adjusting. Driving down I tried to keep my spirits up. Tried to keep that anxiety at bay. After all, you said you were fine and you sounded fine, so why in the heck was my body starting to react like the old days. The throat tightening, the worry about what I would find, all the normal feeling I had in the past came rushing to my brain. Oh God, what if I’m wrong and he’s lying, what if, what if. Stop, for God sake stop, shouted my brain. WTH is wrong with you. Do you always have to think the worst. Maybe, just maybe he is telling the truth and you will have the happily ever after you have been praying for. For God sake take a break. So once again it was me, myself, and I all battling back and forth reliving every horrible moment of your addiction. I just could not get my brain to shut up. So here I am, once again talking to myself in my car on the way to the beach just like the old days. Groundhog day, yup just like Groundhog day. Really Matt, I think my whole being knew that this was just a break in the storm and my body and mind were getting ready for battle.
I arrive. The house is quiet, the dogs are gone. I use my key and let myself in. I long ago lost the feeling of guilt about coming in unannounced. I was paying most of the mortgage and felt like I had every right to just let myself in. It was getting dark so I walked around turning on lights. I figured the neighbors would see my car and know everything was ok. It was obvious you didn’t spend much time home. I could have written you a note in the dust. Matt, you weren’t raised to be a slob but this was crazy. At least the sink wasn’t full of dirty dishes. I opened the fridge and was greeted by the greenest food I’d seen since my college days. Ok, so this was proof that you were spending most of your time at Lisa’s. So that’s a good thing right, my brain is thinking. After I grab a trash bag and clean your fridge, the old mom police starts to resurface. I Try to tell myself not to do this, but I knew my brain would not relax until I did. So just like the old days I went snooping. All the time telling myself I was doing it for your own good. I lifted your mattress. Looked in all your favorite nooks and crannies. I kept listening for the sound of your arrival. Dam, I wish the dogs were here. They would give me ample time to run to the couch and grab a book, smiling my innocent smile if you came home during my search. I really didn’t know what I would do if I found anything. Probably have a break down but that still didn’t stop me from snooping. Nothing, absolutely nothing. Do I really believe that this horror story has come to an end or have you just gotten smarter.
So now I see a big pile of mail. Stay away, don’t look my mind is spinning like a top. He’s a grown man. He’s handling it. I can feel the guilt running off me like syrup as I grab the pile and scan the addresses. Electric bill, water bill, credit card bills all thrown casually in a pile like they were junk mail. Slowly I open one figuring you wouldn’t notice a torn envelope in this mess. Now my heart starts to sink. Overdue, not by a month but months. That familiar feeling of suffocating has found me. I leave the pile and walk outside. I need to feel the sea air. I need to breathe. Calm down, there has to be a reason. I start to walk and before I know it I’m a Lisa’s door. I hear music and laughter. Too much music and laughter for someone who needs to be at work in the early morning. The door is unlocked. I walk in. You look like hell. Cigarette hanging from your hand, a joint hanging from her’s. You see me and look like you’ve been shot. She jumps up, WTF. Yup exactly, WTF. I feel like I’ve been kicked in the chest, I’m trying not to scream, to act like an adult. I just can’t believe I bought your crap. Here I am working extra shifts paying not only your mortgage but sending extra payments to get your cards paid off. Working myself crazy to keep you from stressing over life. Doing whatever I could to make your life as simple as possible. I am the best enabler you could have ever asked for. Someone please tattoo it on my forehead so whenever I look in the mirror I will see just how stupid this addicts mom really is.
I leave out the back door, the dogs wake with the racket of the slam. They come running as if to say please get us out of here. You follow, I can’t even look at you. I am sick, so sick of your selfishness, so sick of being taken for granted. I’m running as fast as I can with the dogs in tow. You catch up, we are both breathless, I’m sobbing. Matt, what are you doing. You are with another addict. Why are you doing this again. How many times will it take before you get it. Mom, I lost my job. I felt my heart crack, just a little. You what. You heard me I lost my job. You were so happy I didn’t want to burst your bubble. I’ll figure it out. I took a pill and came to work. Charlie let me go. Oh God Matt. One pill or many pills. You’re a mechanic for God sakes. You can’t work on cars when you’re stoned. WTH is wrong with you. What were you thinking. Now everything is screwed. I can’t keep paying your bills and your mortgage. How can I explain this to Ray. Oh God, I should have know this was too good to be true. Addiction never leaves the building just hides in the shadows waiting and watching until it latches on again sinking it’s hooks into your soul. Matt, I can’t do this now. I’m sick of this life, this lie we live. All I ever wanted was normal. I leave you in the dark. The dogs follow me and we don’t look back. My heart once so happy now starting to break. I know the path this will lead to. I’ve walked it too many times. The demons will not let go. Our dirty little secret will surface. This lie will continue to haunt us, to shatter us into a million pieces. I curl up in the dark, the dogs lie at my feet. I stay like this for hours. I keep telling myself that you have a disease, that you are sick, that I can get you through it again, that I can fix it just once more. I try to tell myself it will be ok. But all I want to do is scream………