Well Matt, I left your house empty handed and heavy hearted and headed to the beach. I walked for miles, feeling so defeated. my mind full of what if’s and why’s. What could I have done differently to have stopped your addiction before it started. You see Matt, as your mother I had this foolish notion that I was powerful enough to cure you. That all I had to do was continue to tell you how to live. Work hard, pay your bills, enjoy life by the sea, stay straight. Oh Matt, looking back I now realize how unrealistic my expectations were for you. The demons that continued to seep into your being were more powerful than a mothers love. Somehow deep down I knew we would begin the battle again. I only hoped you would let me back in. We met for dinner at a place near the beach. You told me you would like to treat me to dinner as a pay back for all the things I’ve done for you. I knew you too well, this was no pay back, this was keeping me away from knowing that something was amiss in your world. So we played the game. A son and his mother enjoying each others company. We talked about everything else as the elephant grew larger with each sentence. I wanted so badly to confront you with what I’d discovered earlier. To point blank ask the question that would send our lives spiriling once again out of control. Instead, I bit my tongue. Smiling at your stories of work and Lisa. I remember feeling like I was in a fog, not really hearing just observing, waiting for a slip up. I was a marionette nodding and laughing on cue. I had to keep your secret to myself. You could never know that I once again over stepped that fine line drawn between a mother and her adult son. We parted with a hug and a promise to keep in touch.
I drove home with a racing heart and mind. Knowing that our dance was about to begin again. Wondering what it would be this time. Which pills would take you to that place you craved more than life itself. God, please keep him on the path to health. Keep him safe. Find a way into his heart, let him know you and find his peace without pills.
A week passed, we spoke, you continued to pretend that you were living the life I needed you to live. You phoned at odd times. Times when you had to be straight. The middle of your work day or first thing in the morning. I didn’t catch on at first, but suddenly it hit me. You couldn’t afford to slip up and lose your income. Pills aren’t free. So now I would call at times convienient for me. Friday nights and weekends. The times I thought were the perfect trap and I’d catch you at this game we had both decided to play. Matt, you should have been an actor. Or maybe you figured my stragety and now we danced around these calls like two strangers trying to fiqure the other out. Cat and mouse, you and me. Sad but true. The calls were not what they should have been, but a trap I was setting and you were fleeing.
My life was on hold. I knew that no one could ever understand that my adult son and saving him was the priority of my life. Yes, I worked and spent time with Mike, Heather and Madison. I tried not to have my brain constantly consumed by you. Unfortunately, a mothers instinct doesn’t take a break. I so needed a break.
Our game continued as the months passed. I got back into trying to steer my life in a direction not totally consumed by your addiction. My friends, tired of always hearing the worry in my voice were becoming distant. You see Matt, mothers don’t ever want to think that addiction can happen to their children. Hearing about you scared them. Made them think that their perfect world with their perfect children could turn into the nightmare we were unable to escape. Not my son, would always be their responce while listening to our story. Although this angered me, I understood. Addiction was taboo. Dirty and nasty. Something not talked about at functions. Foolishly they thought if they stayed away our trouble would not rub off on them.
One night, unable to sleep I checked in with Match. I had stopped dating as there was no one I’d found interesting enough to waste a night off with. I’d rather rent a chick flick, grab a bottle of red curl up with the dogs and vege. I had a wink from this guy named Ray. A wink is when someone reads your profile and is interested in meeting. Well, I thought what the hell, he couldn’t be any worse than the asses I had already wasted time with, so I winked back. Next came an email then a phone call. Holy shit, a normal guy. I was intrigued. What really sealed the deal of a date for me was a night laughing with close friends, see Matt, Joanne and Terry loved us both enough to stick by when all the others left. We were sitting in Jo’s kitchen pulling up all the guys profiles and laughing our asses off at how stupid they were. The guys wondering what the hell was so funny joined us in the kitchen. Ray’s profile popped up. Rod stopped and said, Hey, that’s Ray. He’s a great guy. Go out with him. He mountain bikes. I know him. You will be ok.
Date night. I was nervous, didn’t know what to expect. Matt, guys would post pictures of themselves twenty pounds lighter and expect me not to notice or still be married and just looking before making the final break from the wife. Like I said, asses. So I wait at Steward’s the pub where we agreed to meet. Ray is late. I’m getting pissed. Ok, asshole, you have about five more minutes before I leave and delete Match from my computer. Just as I’m turning to leave, in walked this guy. He looked just like his picture. He came right over and took my arm. I’m Ray, let’s get a table. Incredible. He was exactly what the doctor ordered. Conversation flowed. A drink turned into dinner. An hour turned into not wanting the night to end. A connection. Holy crap, feelings I had long since buried started emerging. Laughter, joy. Wow, the most incredible blue eyes staring into mine. I felt like I was 16 again. Heart fluttering. This guy was amazing. We parted with two kisses and a promise to continue. I got in my car feeling happy and hopeful. For once, your darkness didn’t flood my mind. Was there hope for someone like me to have normal among the chaos that your addiction brought to my life. Please God. Let this be real. I really need someone for me. Just once, some bright spot in a life consumed with saving a son who didn’t want to be saved. A lightness that I hadn’t felt in so long flooded my heart as I turned off the light and thought about Ray.