Mother's Heartbreak

A Story of Addiction & Loss

Tag: demons (page 1 of 4)

Tough Love: Take two

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Matt.   I sit and allow myself the luxury of the dream.    You are that tow-headed boy again.   You are laughing and jumping in the waves.  Your laugh is so precious, like music to my ears.   The innocence of life.   The simple joy of jumping the waves.  Running into the surf, crashing into the waves, now such a treasured memory.   I look back trying to understand what happened.   How did that innocent boy change into the angry man you are today?

I sit watching that boy and his dog and allow the happy memories to wash over me with the surf.   I feel the sun on my battered body.  Feel the healing power of the warmth and light bathing my soul with a peace long forgotten.   Memories of happy times.   Summers by the sea.  Birthday parties and family barbecues.   Bike riding, football games and high school graduation.   Where did it all start to change?   Years of happiness now overshadowed by years of ugliness and pain.   I watch as the surf slams into a sandcastle and wash it away like it never existed.   That sandcastle is our life before your addiction.   So little of it resembles what it used to be.

I sit until the sun goes down and a chill fills the air.   In the past I would have walked back to our precious home.   The dogs would greet me and together we would wait until you joined us.  You would grab a bite and we would grab the leashes.  Soon we would be surrounded by yapping and jumping.  Once again headed to our favorite spot.  The dogs would run free and we would sit and share your day.  A mother and her son sitting by the sea enjoying each other.   The best of friends.  Today the harsh reality of your addiction follows me as I drive by what was once our home.   So filled with happiness, now a casualty of your demons.   I can’t help myself.  I stop my car.  I close my eyes and see you washing your boat.   I see that smile and watch as you climb down to greet me.  I can almost imagine feeling your arms wrapping around me and the whisper of your kiss on my cheek.   I break out of my fantasy and realize what I’m feeling are  tears running down my face.

I drive home leaving a piece of myself behind.   The sea is our connection, our happy place.  The changing current mimics our changing lives.   The riptide constantly pulling us farther and farther from safety.  Your addiction slowly drowning both of us.   I keep throwing the life line and you keep losing your grip.

Returning home is bittersweet.   Reality awaits me and right now I hate reality.   The last time I saw you I was cussing and shaking and spitting mad.   The words spewing out of your mouth were vicious and vulgar.   You and I reached the lowest point of our lives.  A mother and her son being torn apart by your demons.  That day I felt trapped in a hell I never want to visit again.   I’m still embarrassed at how your behavior brought out the ugliness in my soul.  Your demons stealing both my soul and my son.

I knew your call would come.   What I didn’t know was the guttural response it would produce.  The sound of your voice, once so welcome, now caused my heart to race and my throat to close like I’m being slowly strangled.  I am breathless.  Punched in my gut.   I hear the words, “I’m ready to leave, I want to come home”.   “I need a ride”.   I’m torn.   I want to be that Mom.  The one who always runs to your rescue.  Who always picks up the pieces of what you left behind and tries to put them back into a neat little package.   I’m just not that Mom.   You broke me.

“Matt, find a ride yourself, I can’t do it this time”.   “I’m not ready for you to come home”.    Your silence is deafening.   I can feel your disbelief coming through the phone.   “WTF am I supposed to do?”   “You know how far it is from home, you brought me here”.    “Yup, I did.  You cussed me out and snorted drugs off my dashboard”.   “You locked me out of my car as I made an ass out of myself in front of a police officer”.   “Oh yeah, I remember”.    “Call your friends”.

I hang up the phone and immediately feel like a piece of shit.   Addict’s Mom guilt.   It gets me every time.   Here’s my precious boy asking to come home.  I keep seeing that tow-head running toward me with arms extended.   I need to see the man, the addict.   I must find a way to stay strong and save what’s left of me.

I’m on edge.  Pacing.  Once again beating myself up.  How could I be so cold.   I keep reminding myself that you have a disease.   You are battling for your life and here’s you mom acting like some cold bitch.   Oh God, I grab my phone and dial your number.   I’m in tears as it just rings and goes to voicemail.   I leave you a pleading message.  Once again I am a mess.   My job is to save you, it’s what I do.   I’m still on the phone as the dogs start jumping at the door.   I turn to see your face.  Clean shaven.  Bright, clear beautiful eyes pierce my soul.   I am gone.   You drop your bag and I feel your arms circle me.  “God Mom,  I’m so sorry”.   “I can’t believe I treated you like I did, forgive me”.

So it begins again.   This life of chaos and helplessness that briefly turns to hope.   The rollercoaster that briefly allows you to think you have the power to get off.   I feel it again as I’m pulled back into your addiction by a mothers love.   Strapped in tightly holding my breath as we are climbing to new heights.   I allow myself to think maybe just maybe this was the “magic time”.   The one referred to in the books I’ve been reading.   Beautiful Boy and Addict in the Family have become my bibles.  My go to reference books that make me feel like I’m not a crazy, horrible mom.   This time I have a twist in the ride.

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“Matt, you can stay here until you find another place”.   The words are out before I even know they are said.   You look at me like my head is spinning.  Your smile gone, your eyes dark.  I see the cloud coming in.   You are not getting your way.  I have to start to save myself.   “It’s too hard on me to watch how you live”.   “I can’t see you day after day doing nothing to better yourself”.    “You need to find a job and a place to live”.   “I will always be here for you just not under the same roof”.

You walk away and I crumble inside.   Humpty Dumpty fell off the wall and no one could put him back together again.   I’ve been Humpty.   My heart broken and shattered.   Now I am responsible for putting my pieces together.   For me to heal you must go.   I’m trying to be that parent.   The tough one who does the right thing.   That tough love, let them hit rock bottom thing that every parent in my books has been able to do.   So now in front of you I am tough.  Behind closed doors I am Humpty.

I watch as you pack.   A friend you met at NA has offered to share a house with you.   I keep telling you how great it will be for you to become independent.  You look at me like I have lost my mind.  “You are welcome here any time”.   I’m trying to stay light and positive.  Pleading for both our lives.   I know I can not continue to be slowly destroyed by your addiction.   I must save myself to continue to save you.   We need a break from the ugly, daily chaos that has slowly wrapped us up.  You are no longer you and I am broken to my core.   Inside I want to wrap my arms around you and protect you from yourself.   I am fighting my internal battle.   Enabling is what I do.  Making life comfortable for you has become second nature for me.  I am a fixer and I have spent years trying to fix you.   I am slowly realizing that the fixing can only be done by you.   At least that’s what I’ve been told.  I tell you Kahlua will be fine with me.  She has become my dog through your addiction.   She is old and needs care I know you will not provide.  She looks at me with pleading eyes.   No worries old girl, you are safe with me.

A few months pass.  Life is starting to find a routine again.   You visit and we are starting to enjoy being together.   I feel like the rollercoaster is on the up swing.   I’m allowing my heart to feel that we have finally found a way out of the grip of your demons.   The fantasy that you are becoming the Matt I so desperately need you to be and I am returning to  the sane version of me plays over and over in my head.   I need this so badly.  I continue to watch closely for signs.   I listen for those words.  I look at your beautiful eyes.   I follow after you leave to assure myself you are safe.   I am so wrapped up in my fantasy I don’t hear the demons beating on your door.

The day is sunny and warm.  No warning of the storm that is about to slam into our lives once again.   You were home.  You were happy and clear.   You walked Kahlua.   It felt like a normal Saturday afternoon in a normal family.  You hugged me as you were leaving.  “Mom, you were right to do this, I need to be a man”.   Oh how my heart soared.   Yes, yes, yes.   My brain is shouting.  I am high-fiving me, myself and I.   We did it.  We did it.   The celebration in my brain is so loud I don’t hear Ray screaming.   “Get in the car”.  “Get in the car”.   He is running to grab the keys, his phone to his ear.   What, what.   My once celebrating brain now confused and frightened.  “It’s Matt, he had a seizure”.

No, no, no!  My mind is screaming.  Disbelief flooding my body as we race to the Emergency Room.   I’m screaming at Ray for details.  He knows nothing more.   Where, when and how are questions whirling in my head.   Never once did your addiction enter my mind.  My heart is in my throat choking the life out of me.  I am shaking so uncontrollably  that Ray puts his arm out as if I’m a child trying to stop me from flying through the windshield.   I remember that sandcastle being slammed over and over again until only pieces remain.  I am that sandcastle.

I jump out of the car and run past the ambulance.   I can feel you there.  The triage nurse looks up and immediately knows I’m your mother.   She calls back.  Before she hangs up the phone a doctor is by my side.   Oh God, Oh God, Oh God.   Flashbacks of another E.D,  Of my colleague, Terry telling me I had to do this.  “Mare, you can do this”.  With me crumbling in her arms.   I can’t breath.  I follow like a lamb being led to a slaughter.  I have no idea what I will find beyond those doors.   The doctor can say very little.  You are an adult and protected by HIPAA.  I overhear seizure than cardiac arrest as I approach your room.   I feel my knees start to buckle as my breath is vaporized out of my lungs.

You are conscious.  Breathing on your own.   My Mom brain leaves as my Nurse brain takes over.   You vital signs are in normal range.  Your cardiac rhythm is slow but steady, no irregular beats for you.  Your color is pale.  You are smiling and looking at me as if this is all just a joke.  The Doctor and Nurse are at your bedside.

I grab your hand.   “Tell me what you did”.   You look away.  Ray and Mike have walked into your room together and stand beside me.   I grab your face in my hands and start to sob.  “Do you think this is a game?”   “Do you see what you are doing to me?”   “How many more times do you need to almost die before you kill me?’  You are getting red.   The embarrassment of my behavior making you uncomfortable.   “Tell them to tell me or I will walk out and never look back”

Cocaine.   I’ve just been shot in the head.   I close my eyes and see it explode into a million pieces.   Blood is everywhere.   I can’t speak or breathe.  I see myself slap your face and walk out of your room.  I leave you with Ray and Mike.   I am drowning in your addiction.  I hang onto the wall as I walk out.  My sobs are like that of a wounded animal.   The nurses look at me as I sit outside holding the pieces of my heart in my hand.   All at once it hit me.   You have crossed that line.   Being a nurse and seeing your battered body, knowing you had rods and screws holding your spine in place gave me the excuse to believe you weren’t that addict.  You were just abusing pills to combat your pain.  How naive I have become.  My love for you placed blinders over my eyes.   Denial has been my survival until this moment.   My theory now shattered at my feet along with my dream of ever returning to who we used to be.

I sit alone as the sun goes down on another day robbed of joy by your addiction.  I wonder how much more my heart can take before it stops wanting to beat.  I hear the rumble of the wheels as the roller coaster pulls up along side my bench.  I feel the pull of a force begging me to ride again.   The harness secures my place as the engine slowly starts to move.   I close my eyes.   We are on the beach.   You are laughing and jumping into the surf.   “Mommy, mommy please stay with me”.   “Don’t let me go”.   A mothers love has no boundaries.  My heart will not give up.  I say a silent prayer to Jesus for sparing your life.  I grab the bars and am whipped away once again.

Smart Moms Do Stupid Things

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Matt,  I was a whole lot of stupid and a whole lot of smart all rolled up into one out of control mess.  So now I had everything I needed in my hot little hands.  The names and address of the poison pushers and all I can do is sob.  The image of your face, the hate in your eyes is branded in my brain.  You love your demons more than the mom who has loved you in all your ugliness.  The mom who will do anything to save you.  Who will fight you in a public parking lot, who will risk life and limb for her son.  Oh God, what got into me.  I am a desperate, crazed person.  Your addiction has changed me from a rational adult to this desperate nut case.  I look at myself in the mirror.  I take off the hat and let my hair fall, I stare at my reflection and I don’t recognize the person staring back at me.  Your addiction has taken it’s toll.  Baggy eyes from tears and lack of sleep.  Cheek bones sticking out, pain etched into my once happy face.  Eyes that no longer shine, a mouth that has forgotten how to smile.  The face of an addicts loving mother, full of pain and grief for something she can’t fix.  My heart is broken by the people we have become.  Our hugs have become punches, our laughter changed to shouting, pointing ugly fingers and saying ugly things.  I hate what we have allowed your demons to do.

Barking dogs bring me back to reality.  I see the scripts on my printer.  I grab them as I see you coming up the stairs.  Matt, I had to do it.  Matt, I love you and can’t sit back and allow you to destroy yourself.  Matt, let me help you.  Matt, I know you have back pain, but you are hooked.  Nobody needs this dose and volume of drugs.  They don’t care about your life.  You are nothing more than an income for them.  They are not doctors they are killers.  I realize I am screaming.  I hear my voice as I am becoming out of control.  I’m pleading for your life and you are staring at me with hate in your eyes.  I try to regain control, I need to get through to you, to break through the demon built walls and get into your drug damaged brain.  I have to reach you.  You continue to stare at me with that f**k you gaze.  Give me my scripts.  Matt, please I will give you a little more than I have been let me keep managing them.  I will be better.  Give me my scripts.  You come closer, the dogs stand between us.  They sense what I feel.  I am afraid.  My brain is screaming.  My son, I am afraid.  Your eyes are dead, shark eyes.  Looking right through me.  I feel like my soul has been stepped on.  I am sobbing as I give you those pieces of paper that are killing us.  You turn.  I am left in darkness.  The dogs comforting me.  I sob into their fur and pray.

I allow myself time.  I allow myself tears.  I allow myself anger.  Ok, now I’m pissed.  I grab the copies of your scripts.  Ok you f***ing doctor imposters.  You’ve pissed off the wrong mother.  I’m coming after you.  Ha, I’m a nurse.  I will do it the right way…I grab my laptop.  Delaware Board of Medicine.  I hit the file a complaint tab and feel such power and relief completing the form that will start the process of an investigation into the practice of these pill pushing pieces of s**t.  If I can’t go in there and beat the crap out of them for making you an addict then I’ll do the next best thing.  I will report their overprescribing to the doctors that oversee physicians in this state.  I hold back nothing.  I tell them how it’s a cash practice.  I send copies of the massive volume of pills you are given each month.  I report that there have been no scripts for physical therapy or any other means of pain control than the opiates you now live for.  I point out that Percocet and Methadone should not be prescribed together.  I report how they included a muscle relaxer into your mix of deadly drugs.  I am on a roll.  I feel my spirit lift.  The dread lifting.  I will do whatever I have to if it means saving you.  I hit the send button and do the happy dance.  The dogs wake as I am jumping around.  I have won the lottery.  The killers will be investigated and shut down.  Your monthly visits will stop.  I have saved us.  I am so happy I don’t realize how naive I was about the power of addiction.

Once again I am that cat.  The one that got the canary.  I can’t stop smiling.  I have a secret.  I tell no one. I am stupid with cockiness.  I have done it.  I don’t say a word to you as I continue to observe your behavior.  Now unemployed you spend most of your time underfoot.  I force you to walk the dogs with me.  I force conversation all the while knowing that your supply will soon disappear.  I suggest physical therapy,  acupuncture anything but drugs.  I sneak down when I hear you in the shower and search.  Pills, pills, pills, finding your supply and controlling is all I can focus on.

An unrecognized number appears on my phone.  I cautiously answer.  Yes, this is she.  Hello Detective.  You’ve received my complaint.  Hallelujah, my brain is singing as you watch from afar.  I walk outside to finish what I have to say.  Would I be willing to testify,  Holy Hell, Absolutely.  I will stand on the roof and scream about the no good pill pushers.  I am flying.  I am supermom.  I have pulled it off.  I saved you and all the lost souls who have become victims of this practice.

Weeks pass.  I hear nothing.  Your appointment coincides with your unemployment check.  Hey Matt, what are you doing today.  You look at me, I’m going out.  I’m an adult, get off my back.  Ok, now I know where your headed.  I wonder how much longer this will go on.  You are leaving as the mail is arriving.  Oh God, in my hand is a letter from The Delaware Board of Medicine.  My heart is pounding.  I run into the house ripping into the  envelope.  My eyes see the words but my brain is not comprehending.  What, are they F***ing kidding me.  We find no fault with the prescribing methods of this practice.  I am silently screaming.  Did you not see the dose and amount of killer drugs they were prescribing.  Did you not get the fact that it is a cash only business.  No paper trail of income, WTF…Are you in on the deal.  Do you f***ers get a kick back.  I hear you pull into the driveway.  You come at me like I am your prey.  WTF did you do Mom.  Who the F**K do you think you are .. They kicked me out.  You reported them.  Are you out of your mind you crazy bitch.  Now you are the one screaming and I am the one staring.   Matt, please I was trying to help.  You don’t need that poison, please I didn’t know what else to do.  Well you did it alright.  You push me out of your way.  I hear you throwing stuff, Matt please can we talk.  Get out of my way, get out of my life.  Hate pours out of you and onto me.  Matt.  I run after your car as you speed away.  Oh God, what have I done.  Why don’t I learn.  Please keep him safe.  this is all my fault.  I thought I was so smart and all I did was screw everything up.  I call your cell.  It goes directly to voice mail.  I leave you a pleading message.  Matt, I will fix this.  I will find you a real doctor.  I will find you real help.  Oh God, Matt if I didn’t love you I wouldn’t care about what you did.  Please Matt, please.  I hear the beep.  Time up.  Voice mail over.  I was pleading to a dead phone.  Oh God, what did I do.  I walk inside and see myself in the hall mirror.  My eyes are empty, my face full of sadness.  I stare at a woman I no longer recognize.   Oh God, Help…..

 

Drugs, Jobs and Roller Coaster Rides

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Matt,  Holy shit, holy shit, I am doing the happy dance.  Hugging you and jumping for joy.  I get a grip and look at your face.  Matt, what’s wrong, this is the best news ever.  You will be doing the work you love, making real money and having a sense of pride.  I’m still not getting it.  You look like you just received the worst news instead of this great news.  You grab my shoulders holding me still.  Your eyes bore into mine.  Mom, I have to take a drug test…Ok, so take it.  Oh God Matt, I still lived in my little world of denial.  I figured that since I was handling your pills and being very stingy with  how many you got that our problem was under control.  I foolishly thought I’d fixed you again.  I had no clue as to the many sources you had and believed that because you weren’t bugging me for them that you realized you really didn’t need them.  Stupid, stupid me.

Days go by and your still evasive when I ask you about the job.  Mom, I’m waiting.  Waiting for what.  It was then that it struck me.  You were lying again.  I’d overheard you on the phone asking about passing a piss test.  Yes Matt, I did pretend to not notice you on the phone but my ears were on high alert as I tried to learn as much about who you were hanging with while pretending to be looking for my phone or whatever would pop into my mind when I saw you sneaking around talking in whispers.  Passing a piss test.  Ugh, so gross your slang.  Couldn’t you just say drug or pee test, nope had to use words that conjured up images in my mind that I’d rather not think about.  I guess my education regarding the slang used by addicts was in full swing.  Thank you Google.  I was educating myself and was amazed at the stuff posted on the internet.  I guess if you could learn how to build a bomb you could certainly find out how to pass a piss test.

So you could pick up a detox kit from GNC.  Well, I’ll be damn.  I foolishly thought they were a health food store.  The jokes on me.  Addicts are beyond smart.  I saw this sitting on your dresser when I was snooping or working out in your space.  However you want to look at it you left it out and I found it.  I, your naive mom just couldn’t believe what you were going to do.  Take a chance on this stupid kit instead of not using.  So it’s the big day.  You leave the house with this big grin, like you were the cat that swallowed the canary.  I decided to play along.  Good luck.  you got this, giving you a hug and letting you go.  Oh God,  wouldn’t it be easier to just stop then to play all these games.

I watch your car leave the neighborhood before I begin my daily search.  Hoping to find your source of these demon pills.  You were fox sly and tore the labels so I had no idea where your pill pushers were located.   You are back way too quick and way too happy.   Hey, how did it go.  No worries Mom.  I’ll start as soon as my results are back.  A week passes, nothing.  No call, nothing.  I’m in a panic and you don’t care.  Matt, call. You should be starting by now.  Have you heard anything.  I come home from work everyday and find you way too comfortable sitting in front of the TV.  Matt,  WTH.  What is going on.  Mom, get off my back.  I grab your phone and look up the number.  I call.  You failed and you knew.  I am ready to explode.  Matt, why. I can’t even talk as I feel my body fall apart.  The aftershock of your addiction once again kicking me in my gut.  My high hopes for you shot out of the sky and all you can say is get off your back.  I’ve always compared being your mom to riding a very fast, very high roller coaster.  The ride left me breathless, heart pounding and feeling very unsettled.  Never knowing from one day to the next where we were heading and how we would land.  Once again, my hopes for a normal life shattered while you look at me with disgust.

Matt,  this was the start of our ride.  You finally got a job as a service writer.  A job using your brain and not your back.  Only by the grace of God passing the infamous piss test.   You smelled a lot like vinegar for days but by now I didn’t care if you had to eat dog crap.  Anything that worked to get you a job.  I remember making your lunch, yeah I know, just like when you were in school.  That’s how it felt.  My boy getting back into the world.  Having a purpose instead of planting yourself on the couch for the day.  I was as happy as I could be.  Pretending that we were finally on the road to normal.  I allowed myself to ignore the slowness in your speech.  You glazed eyes.  Your excuse that you were just getting used to working again.  Matt, are you stoned.  Really Mom.  You would look at me with such hate.  I chose to stay in my little world slapping away those doubts that surfaced.  Stop, I would tell my brain.  He’s just tired.  He’s been sleeping in and hanging out and now he has a time clock.  Eight hour days.  Cut him a break my heart would cry.  My brain would send out warnings.  Matt, Mom.  Stop.  I’m tired.  My back hurts.  I can’t sleep. I’m being watched.  Matt. Please stop.  Mom, get off my back.  Matt, we are going out for my birthday.  I’ve left dinner in the oven.  We won’t be long.  Mom, I got fired.

Adjusting To The New Normal

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Matt,  I must say having you living under the same roof again just killed the spontaneity in my life.  Before you I could walk around bra less in sweats and not worry about anyone taking a peak.  I could turn up the music and sing and dance with only the dogs as my audience.  I was so used to my privacy on my days off that it took a while for me to realize another grown man was in the house.  This man wasn’t my husband, he was my unemployed son who also happened to have a problem with pills.  I remember the morning I rolled out of bed and grabbed a tank top, braless of course,  just wanted to grab a cup of coffee before I got dressed.  Never thinking that you would be standing right in the middle of the kitchen as I half awake smacked right into you.  Crap, Mom, really.  The look on your face was priceless.  Hey if you don’t like it get a job.  Great, my adult son just got a look at the boobs.  Boy this was going to be such fun…Not.

Talk about you getting a job became our daily conversation.  I’d start with hey Matt, what ya going to do today.  Hey Mom,  what do you want me to do today.  Oh wait, it’s the same thing you wanted me to do yesterday, get a job.  How about you get off my back.  How about you let me handle it.  So now instead of my mornings being peaceful and quiet they were becoming a battle ground between you and me.  Hey Matt, we had a deal.  You come live here, you find work.  Work isn’t sitting on your butt watching bullshit TV all day.  Drinking coffee and living in lala land.  Remember the deal Matt.  I do.  I’m not going to watch you sit around and waste your life.  Get moving.  Out.  Go to Unemployment and look for jobs.  Oh boy, the looks I got from you.  Memories of your teen years came flooding back.  Now here we were at it again except now you were years older but no more mature.  I truly believe that your maturity level was stunted when you first started using.  Now the wingmen were becoming warriors.

Ok, so now on my days off I was on the hunt.  Finding you a job became my new obsession.  I became a mom on a mission. I would scour the want ads with my black sharpie in hand circling anything I though you might qualify for.   Every weekend Ray would find me hunched over the want ads.  Hey, you looking for a new job.  Nah,  I’m looking for Matt.  Don’t you think he should be doing that himself.  Well, hell yeah, but he’s just a little too comfortable living in luxury and collecting a check in the mail.

I was relentless.  The more I pushed, the more you fought.  Mom, lay off.  I just got here and you’re constantly on my back.  Matt, you got here months ago and nothing has changed.   I come home from a twelve hour shift and here you are all day.  Must be nice to be retired at thirty.  My peaceful home was becoming a battle ground.  You were acting like you owned the place.  Like you didn’t have to be responsible for anything.   Holy shit, then it hit me like a slap.  This was you. The product of my enabling all those years.  I took care of everything for you.  Never stepped back and let you fall.  My God, I never let you feel consequences for your behavior.  I fixed everything.  Now we were both paying the price.  Ok Matt, now I get it.  I’m as responsible for your behavior as you are.  Well my little buddy, things are going to change.  Rules will be followed.  You looked at me like I had two heads, you started to snicker and I could feel the crazy mom coming alive.  Ugly started pouring out of my mouth.  All the years of cleaning up your crap finally surfacing as we stood nose to nose in the kitchen.  Even the dogs were on high alert.  Fur standing straight, ready to pounce on you to protect me.   We screamed pointing fingers at each other, throwing blame in the air.  Oh God, this really isn’t who we are.  Matt, STOP.  I will not live like this.  My heart racing, that familiar feeling of wanting to puke in my throat.  You slam out the door and I sit in silence, once again ashamed of who we are becoming.  Your addiction was changing how I lived and who I was.  Having it in my face 24/7 was becoming unbearable.  Something had to change before we killed each other.   I sit and once again formulate a plan in my mind.  I can’t help myself.  I am a fixer.

You return, we both apologize.  This has become our new habit.  Tear each other up, take a breather, apologize.  Matt, this has to stop.  You need to stop taking the pills.  I want all your bottles.  I will give them to you but not to the point to make you high.  You look at me like I’ve lost my mind.  Meetings Matt.  Here is the list of NA meetings.  You must go and start working the program.  Your staring at me, piercing my soul with the hate in your beautiful eyes.  Matt, you have a job interview tomorrow.  I made some calls.  Matt, this is how our life must be.  You don’t say a word.  Killing me with those eyes.  You go to your room in silence.  I follow.  You are pissed, damn Mom, can’t I have my privacy.  Nope, you can’t.  I want to watch you get your pills.  You have no idea how many times I’ve searched your living area.  You have no idea that I’ve been on a ladder pushing up ceiling tiles in my finished basement that has now become your home.   You have no idea how I’ve gone through you things, picked up your mattress in my search.  You are sly.  You hide those demons like they are gold.   I fool myself into thinking if I have control you will be normal.  That life will return to the way it should be.  Stupid me thinking I could outsmart the demons.

I watch, you try to hide from me.  Blocking my view with your back.  Matt give me the damn pills.  I see you scrambling.  I grab your arm and we struggle.  The bottles fall to the floor and I am on them.  I grab them and stuff them in my bra.  Go ahead tough guy, I dare you.  I leave you cussing me out with the  grin of the Cheshire cat spreading across my face.  HaHa.  Got them.  A moms got to do what a moms got to do.

Tomorrow comes and I am on you.  Get up, clean up, eat and out the door you go.  You are still looking at me with daggers but I am on cloud nine.  My addict has a job interview and I have his pills.  You leave and I turn into the Mom police.  Flashlight in hand I start my search.  Every nook and cranny is inspected.  Once again I depend on the dogs to alert me to your return.  I am crazy, relentless.  Think like an addict I tell myself.  Where would you hide your stash. Think, think.  Every drawer has been  pulled completely out checking the underside for your stash.  Damn,  I know you are slick.  I know you have some reserve or you would have fought harder.  Your hunting boots.  Stinky, sweaty, muddy hunting boots.  I reach in, turning my head against the smell of years of use.   Ah ha.  All the way in the toes I feel a bag.  Yes, my brain is screaming. Yes. I pull hard and a bag of loose pills pops into my hand.  Holy shit.  Percocet, Methadone, Xanax and Vicodin all  staring me in the face.  I am stunned.  You are sick, very sick.  I hear the door, the dogs quietly let you in.  Shit, shit, shit.  I grab the bag and start to dance.  Mom, WTH are you doing down here.  This is my space.  Hey Matt, this is my house.  I work out here and just finished.  My heart is pounding.  You are staring me dead in the eye.   We are like two wild animals sizing each other up.  Do we pounce or pass.  I pray things are as you left them.  I pray you won’t know.  The dogs start barking.  Thank God.  Gotta walk these guys.  You want to come.  You look at me still unsure, hey Mom.  I got the job….

A Calm Before the Storm

beach

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………

 

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