Yesterday I got a text from Michelle, my step-brother’s (SB) girlfriend. I have never spoken a word to this woman, I have never met this woman, I know nothing about her..period. She has my number only because my SB used my phone to text her the day I took him up to Louisville to the halfway house. She text me because she wanted to have me pick up cable boxes and take them back to the cable company. WHAT?? I immediately respond by telling her they were her problem, not mine and she can deal with them.
Texts went back and forth about my SB and then she called me. I answered her call and I listened to what she had to say. Again, she doesn’t know me and since I have no issues with confrontation I asked very hard questions and demanded the answers. My tone with her was direct. I listened and listened and before I knew it she had confessed to me that she was an addict and in a Suboxone clinic. She told me that when she met my SB, all she wanted was to be loved and in a good relationship. As she spoke, I sensed the severity of her brokenness and the reasons for her addiction(s).
I had heard my SB speaking to Michelle over the phone. The things he said to her were degrading and flat out unacceptable. If he had spoken to me like he did to her, I probably would have tracked him down and run him over with my car. I’m not kidding. He told her that she was a, “No good whore,” who was only good at, “laying on her back.” I couldn’t believe it. When I asked Michelle why she would allow a man — or anyone for that matter to speak to her like that, she said to me, “I don’t know.” At least she was being truthful. She probably really doesn’t know why she allows men to walk all over her. At this point in the conversation empathy found itself on the surface of my tongue. Trying to encourage her, I let her know that it’s not ok for anyone to talk to her like – doesn’t matter that she’s an addict, she wasn’t worthless. Doesn’t matter that she has done bad things- she was still a person and she is to be respected. At least respect herself enough to know when she needs to step away from things that make her fall. I also told her that she didn’t have to crawl back to ex’s just to have a place to live, that there were all kinds of shelters and programs for recovering, single mothers. Michelle has kids. I really don’t think she knows what she is doing to them by living the lifestyle she does. Addictions of any kind are painful, but especially if you are addicted to, “love.” Being addicted to being loved will make you do some crazy things.
My blog post always seem to find themselves in the hands of family members who like to stir the pot. I speak only truth, and because I do, people get hurt. I don’t write to hurt anyone, I write as a way to get things off of my chest. Perhaps these people are hurt not by my words but rather their own convictions. That being said, I will tell you now that what I saw in Michelle, I have witnessed firsthand from my own life. I am not an addict, my mother is. My mother, like Michelle, is addicted to love and acceptance. She has a heart of gold and that heart allows her to fall for all the wrong people. I don’t just mean to men- I mean every relationship. My mother doesn’t have the ability to see bad in people and she doesn’t understand how broken people are not good for people like her. I have seen many men and various family members treat my mother horribly throughout my entire life, yet, she holds on to them like they are some sort of treasure. I’ll never understand it.
My mother, like Michelle, also has addiction problems to prescription painkillers; she has my entire life. When she cannot get her hands on them, she will come up with some some sort of life-threatening, bone-shattering ailment and go to the ER. That means, I get called. I cannot tell you how many times I have been awakened from a dead sleep to hear how she is having chest pains or whatever- – how she is being taken by ambulance. Oh, I’ll get calls during the day hours too, usually whenever I have planned something with my kids or for myself. I swear to you I cannot get my hair done without a 911. No joke. I use to put my life on hold so I could rush like a bat outta hell to her side. I don’t do this anymore because there is NEVER anything physically wrong with my mother. For this I am talked about badly by the same aunts, uncles and grandparents who have not only agreed with me at one point or another but who are the same ones who she allows to mentally walk all over her. Apparently I am a rotten, uncaring child. (insert the sigh sound and eye roll here) Whatever they need to tell themselves about me in order to feel better about themselves is fine with me. They don’t know that this tough love brings forth one of my biggest fears; that one day something will actually be wrong with my mother, I will blow it off, she will end up dead and I wouldn’t have gotten to say goodbye. Do you know how hard it is for me to have to distance myself, sit back and wait to see if something is really wrong or not? Lemme tell you, it’s nerve-racking as hell. I don’t want to sit and wait, it’s just that if I keep running to her that it’s a way to pat her on the back for a job well done. I can’t encourage her like that. My mother needs to know that I will not play her games any longer. I’m 40 years old and I’m tired. I am so tired.
When I say addiction(s) hurt kids, I mean it. My confession is, because of my mothers actions, I am scared to death to take medicine. Whenever I get a new med from my doctor, be it a decongestant because I can’t breathe, a muscle relaxer because I can’t move, or a painkiller due to surgery- it takes all I have in me to swallow it. Usually I can only take them long enough to feel slightly better, then I put them away. I tell myself that I can deal with whatever better without putting crap into my bloodstream. I tell myself that I am stronger than what ails me. The few pills that I allow myself to take are ones that I know will not hurt me. I am scared to death of germs and being over-weight simply because those things can bring new medications that I don’t want to take and this is why I count every calorie I put into my body and gripe at everyone in the house to wash their hands. In my gut I know this is bad behavior but in my head, the struggle is real.
I have tried to talk to my mother several times, just as I did with Michelle but talking to someone who doesn’t see the problem is pointless. I wish I knew why my mother is the way she is. I wonder if it all began in the womb or if something happened to her when she was a child? I would give anything to know where her problems took root – I’d spray the shit out of it with root killer. I wish I knew how to take the place of her addictions.