A Story of Addiction & Loss

Tag: beach house

Shattered Dreams, Broken Hearts, Altered Lives


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……..



Heaven’s A Little Closer In A House By The Sea


Matt,  I knew I had to trust you to do the right thing.  I had to believe you would do everything you could to find a new job and pull your weight not only with the bills but in taking care of the house.   I kept telling myself to relax and just give it time, but that nagging little voice wouldn’t let me be.   I called every few days and was getting the feeling that I was annoying you with the same questions.   Oh well, maybe it was my turn to annoy you.  Maybe it was my turn to push and push and push until you finally did what you promised to do.  Every call was answered the same way.  Yes Mom, I looked for a job today.  Yes Mom, I called about that.  Yes Mom, I paid those bills.  Blah Blah Blah.  I felt like I was reliving groundhog day all over again.

I tried to just act normal.  Working and spending time with Ray, but my mind was always drifting back to you.  Unemployment was barely giving you enough to live on and pay a few bills.  I knew the dam was going to break but had no clue that it was about to explode.

I received the call on my lunch break.  A number I didn’t recognize.  I held my breath as I answered hoping it had nothing to do with you.   Seriously,  are you kidding.  A new bank taking over our mortgage isn’t real happy with the arrangement made to keep us afloat.  The my son’ sick and lost his job card wasn’t getting any sympathy from this new gatekeeper.   Holy shit, really you want what, payment in full in 30 days to prevent foreclosure.  No amount of begging or bargaining was having any effect on this new I don’t give a shit about your problems manager who was making me feel like the biggest loser in the world.  I hung up and tried to not let the sobs escape my throat.  This was too much, the straw that broke my back.  I find a private corner and call you.  Matt we are in trouble.  I barely give you time to speak before I start to realize your speech is slurred and those hateful words, Hey Mama float out of your mouth.  My throat is closing, my heart is racing, I want to puke.  I hang up knowing that nothing I say will penetrate your brain.  You are in your favorite place.  Euphoria surrounds you as the demons take you away from reality.

I finish my shift, fly home, change.  Ray, once again is away on business preventing me from making up a lie.  Keeping our dirty little secret was hard enough, I didn’t want to start new lies.  Your addiction was turning me into just that, a liar.  Making up so many stories to cover for you that soon I feared I would forget who I told what and be caught.

Driving down in the dark allowed me to openly sob without drawing attention to myself.  I was sobbing and talking to myself feeling that familiar hopelessness wash over me like the tide I loved to watch.  How could you let me down, how could you continue to destroy everything you said you loved.  We sold everything we could spare to keep our little piece of heaven.  Now we were on the brink of losing my happy place and my heart couldn’t take the pain.

I pull up to the dark house.  Your car is there. I hear the barking.  My heart is racing,  I’m physically sick.  I puke in your trash.  Great, let’s hope the neighbors didn’t catch that performance.   I let myself in and hit the light.  You are there.  The light hits your face and I see the demons.  Hey Mama.  I grab you and start punching and sobbing and punching.  You are not fazed.  You laugh and brush me off like a bug.  I come back at you now screaming.  You prick, you coward, how could you do this to me.  I’ve loved you and helped you.  Paid your bills and given you the perfect place to live.  You repay me by spitting in my face and destroying everything I love.  I hate you.

I’m out of control.  Pulling cushion off the couches.  Dragging your mattress off your bed.  Tearing the place apart looking for your demons.  You sit watching with your glassy eyes, quiet knowing that if you speak I will attack.  I feel the bottle in your shoes.  The amber beauty you love so much.  Empty.  You SOB.  I come at you shoving the bottle in your face.  You laugh.  Your eyes looking at me but not seeing.  Your skin pale and clammy.  Your speech slow and slurred.  I slap your face, you react.  Now I’m in nurse mode.  I’m pushing you into the shower fully clothed soaking you with cold water.  Snap, you are back and pissed.  Punching and spitting and calling me names that break my heart.  We struggle, you slip past me and run into the wall.  You are bleeding, the dogs are on you protecting me.   My God, who have we become.  I don’t know these people.  I’m shaking and soaked and ashamed.  What have we done to each other.  Your demons making me ugly and hateful.  You push yourself up and slam the door to your room.  I hear the shower.  I sit holding myself as the dogs come to comfort me.

I am shocked at how I acted.  I’m the adult here, the fixer.  I fixed this alright.  The rage I felt scared me to my core.  This is not who I am.  I love you and I could have easily killed you and left you behind.  I feel like I’ve lost my mind.  You are sick and I am sick.. Your addiction is slowly killing both of us.

You approach me like a scared little boy.  It’s ok Matt, the crazy lady is gone.  We sit and let the silence hug us like a warm blanket.   You reach for my hand and I put my head on your shoulder.   Matt, we can’t do this anymore.   We can’t be these hateful, ugly people.  I don’t want this to be us.   I don’t know what to do to fix this.  I am lost and broken.   Matt, our house by the sea must go.  I’m sorry Mom.  Please don’t hate me.  Matt, I could never hate you.  We sit together.  I can’t look at you.  My tears are falling and I don’t even try to hide the fact that the wetness dripping onto your hand is coming from my broken heart.    Addiction destroys everything until there is nothing left to destroy………

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