If there is one thing on this earth that can anger me the way the methadone clinic does, it would have to be my mother. My mom was once the light of everything in my life. No one could have told me any different either. I forgave many times when I was younger for the things she did-things that very likely set me on the path towards drug addiction. Things that I am about to write about now.
The first thing I remember forgiving her for was leaving me when I was in the fourth grade to move to Louisiana. She had just found a new boyfriend, and was head over heels in love. I was hurt-I was hurt badly, but she was my almighty. Once she left, I always eagerly anticipated the holidays. Christmas’ would come; she would travel home, and cut me open wide when she would leave again. Although I didn’t know it at the time, it was those cuts and many more that would eventually bleed me dry of the unconditional love, and devotion I once reserved for only her.
The summer before I was to start my sixth grade year, I got the best news I could ever have imagined. All my tears had finally paid off when my brother and I were turned loose by my father. He loosed us into two years of misery and fear with a woman that had no business raising kids. Many more cuts would come during those two years, and they were the deepest of all, but I forgave. I forgave her for the great “Morgan City” lie she used to tell. I don’t know if she realized it then, but that was always the puke that came from her mouth when she was going to stay out drinking. “I have to go to Morgan City for work today”, is all we needed to here. I was in the sixth grade, and knew on those days that I would be responsible for getting my own dinner cause mamma wasn’t coming home.
I also forgave her for the wait. That terrifying time when I lay wide awake in a pitch black room, listening for car doors and praying, “Please God see my mamma comes home safe”. I don’t know if God ever heard me, but she always came home-eventually. When she did, I forgave her for the fights that came after. I would stand at my bedroom door waiting for the shouts to begin. Then I would run in, and throw my small body in between her and the boyfriend. All I cared about was protecting mamma. I didn’t give a shit about my own safety; I just didn’t want to see her hurt. It didn’t do any good as several times she was left with bruises and bald spots on her head. I remember once as I begged the boyfriend to stop, him saying, “Get out of here A-you don’t want to see your mom bleed”. What the fuck kind of mother…?
By that time, I had just about had enough of mamma, but she still had a few cuts to make. Just before moving back to Florida, she finally wrecked the car on one of the “Morgan City” nights, and got a DUI. She came home the next morning with bumps and bruises, and promised it was all over. No more drinking she said, and I believed her. Once the two year Louisiana horror story was over, me and my brother moved back home with dad. We didn’t talk much about all we had lived through out there. My dad wasn’t the easiest to talk to anyway. Mom and boyfriend married, and then moved to an apartment about an hour away from my dad’s. It was easy for her to hide the drinking she never quit with me and my brother only visiting every other weekend.
Still, I forgave. I forgave her for never having the guts to tell me that my father wasn’t really my father. I even forgave her when my heart was crushed the day I found out from my step-brother that she never quit drinking after the DUI. I forgave, but I wasn’t going to forget-that was the final cut.
Later in life I didn’t forgive, when the woman I once called mamma, took my brother to a bar. This was at a time when he was in the throes of a crack addiction fueled by low inhibitions when he drank alcohol. She said later that she knew he was going to drink so she wanted to be able to keep an eye on him. He stole her car that night, and traded it to a dealer for a few hits of crack. I could be wrong on this, but I’m fairly certain she called the police. What kind of person does such things to her children? Either way, she by her own choice has been doomed to a life of turmoil and misery. What comes around, I guess.
I said before that my journey into drugs is very likely the result of the things my mom did. The other day I was speaking to my brother about this. He has been to many rehabs and programs and had this to say- All of the bullshit we went through in Louisiana was at a time in our lives when we should have been receiving love and encouragement. It was a time when we should have been getting the positive reinforcement that we could accomplish whatever we dreamed. Instead, we got what we got, and were taught to find things to help us escape reality. While I do realize there comes a time in everyone’s life when they must own what they’ve become, this seems plausible to me. We never truly grew up. At least not in the way that we were supposed to.
In the last year, my mom has begun drinking heavily. Even when we were in Louisiana, she wasn’t like she is now. Her life is a mess, and she will likely lose her job soon because she drinks at work. She will also probably lose her life because unlike in Louisiana, she no longer has youth on her side. I tried, albeit not with much enthusiasm, to talk some sense into her a couple months ago. When it didn’t work, I finally went to her, with all the “why’s” of when we were young. I’m in a fight of my own see, and I finally needed to get some answers. I wasn’t worried about protecting her feelings anymore; I just wanted to know how she could do what she did. I actually thought it may break her when she heard what I had to say, but I had to say it. To this day, I feel one of two things is true. Either she truly doesn’t realize what she meant to me, or she doesn’t care. I can’t answer that, but I know what I saw, or better yet, what I didn’t see in those tired, defeated eyes when we had our talk. We are currently not on speaking terms. If somehow she ever reads this (which I don’t imagine she will), I have two questions for her…
Do you really not realize what you once meant to me, or do you just not give a fuck? Are you going to kill yourself with your drinking, and die letting me continue to believe the latter?