Day 133 – Root Killer

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.

root killer

Day 129 – Single Gray Tote

I turned 40 almost a year ago and since then it’s like my body has decided to die. Currently I have a pinched …..something..located….somewhere in the back, neck, eyeball area of my body,  some sort of situation with my stomach/intestines and my right ovary hates me.
As I lie in a hot Epsom salt bath, doped on anti-inflammatories and muscle relaxers I write this post.  (Lord hamercy)  My ceiling has seam-lines where whoever redid it, sucked.  It’s part of its character I supposed.  My house is 60+ years old, it has a LOT of character. Hahaha…
As bad as I feel today I will drag my loopy ass out of this tub and out of this house for a walk.  I know that if I don’t move around today that I’ll feel worse tomorrow. Ain’t nobody got time for worse!!!     New classes begin tomorrow.  It doesn’t end.  I think my courses need birth control.  Seriously. It’s like, I go to bed with 2 classes to go and when I wake up, there’s a whole litter.   Good grief.  Even with my dying body and shitty old house I’m happy.  The physical and emotional pains I feel.. they let me know I’m alive-  I was blessed with another day.   I do not think this is how my step-brother feels.

I had the not-so-pleasure of dealing with him this past Thursday.  Remember when I told you he was back in jail and how I was going to visit him so I could sever the ties? Well that never happened because he cancelled my visit.   When he called from jail I answered. He told me he was being released and had to get a ride up to Louisville to a halfway house.  Normally I would have told him to screw off; I don’t want the drama in my life, BUUUUT I couldn’t.  My dad and his mom were out of town for two weeks and I didn’t want him to rob their house (again) He has caused so much financial and emotional damage to our parents-   with them gone I had my chance to get rid of him.

I picked Earl up around noon.  While I waited for him, the jailer came out. I told the jailer straight up that I would take him where he needed to go, but if he tried to run or tried to give me any shit, I’d shoot him.  I wasn’t kidding. I wouldn’t have shot to kill but I would have shot to stop him.  He has caused too much grief in everyone’s life and he wasn’t about to cause it in mine. Before we left for Louisville I brought him to my house for a few hours while I waited for my partner in crime (Kayla) to get off work to ride with.   When she got off work, I loaded my gun and we headed out.

The trip was crazy. With interstates closed down and every town between here and there under construction, the would-be hour drive turned into two.  We ended up in a part of Louisville just past the security of the city lights.  The side street we turned down was dark and seemingly abandoned.  After passing the halfway house I did a u-turn and pulled over to the curb. Earl got out while kayla and I sat there with the car running and a loaded ruger. The allies were full of men as were the lower floors of the glass front buildings.  They were smoking and chatting it up-  they’d sometimes push carts with personal belongings across the dark, empty street.  Earl finally came back and took a single garbage bag of clothes with him.   I pulled out and didn’t look back.

The next day I had to remove two trashbags of clothes from the trunk.  They reeked of smoke and karosene. I took them to my basement and laundered them.  After folding them and placing them into a single tote I stopped.  I couldn’t believe how a 41 year old man’s entire life could fit into a single gray tote.  A man who began working at 15 so he could buy Nike Jordans. A man who graduated and had and good paying job at Hostess. A man who once had a wife and a daughter to come home to. A man who had a place to live and a car…he even had a dog. 
It was all gone and what was left was a single tote of jeans and tshirts,  few nice button downs, a belt, a hat and a pair of shoes caked with dried mud.  That’s all.
How does ones life end up in a single tote?
How do hard working, good people turn into drug addicted assholes?
I am truly heartbroken for the man Earl use to be, for his momma and for my dad.  It’s like Earl is dead, except he isn’t and I can’t mourn him properly.

That single gray tote downstairs bothers me.  I hate what it represents.

Day 88 – Sorry, I don’t speak BS

I haven’t logged into my laptop for a week.  Last time I did, I did so to post on WP about my brother and his addiction.  Since then I have been quite busy.  I haven’t even been able to think of anything to blog about either.  I stay pretty busy with the grand-baby a few days a week, homework and life in general.

Today I woke up early and tried to go back to sleep. After flipping about for an hour I decided to give up and drag out of the warm snuggle of the Tempurpedic.  Spring mornings are crisp here, the air in the house should have brought me to life but instead it tried to throw me back into my warm bed.  Truthfully I feel like a steamy pile of fresh dog dookie.    Everyone around me for the past two weeks has had some sort of cold and I have done my best (the germaphobe that I am) to avoid catching the crud.  I’ve washed my hands, Neti’ed the nose, aired out the house, used a lot of disinfectant, and since I couldn’t drink the hand sanitizer, I drank bourbon. (Same thing, right?)  Well this morning I woke up to a lifeless spirit and a nose full of snot. A nose that has had its turbinates removed and its septum straightened is a hollow canyon from tip to brain, it should NOT have snot stuffed anywhere inside. (man, that surgery would make a hellavuh funny blog- I better write myself a reminder for that one!!)

I scurried into the bathroom where hot water and steam would hopefully bring me to life and loosen this snot-ball in my face.   Nope, not a chance.  So I popped a 5mg Ritalin and chugged a cuppa and here I sit- NOT DOING HOMEWORK!!!   Good gravy.  I tried to do it but biology week 11 is about the responsiveness of life. I’m not responding to life right now therefore, I can’t learn about it.   After the first of many presentations I decided to call the detention center to see when visiting hours were so that I could go see my brother.  I was hoping for an Easter visit but apparently criminals aren’t privy to holiday visits. Truthfully I only wanted to visit that day because I would already be in town where he is incarcerated due to Easter plans with the family.  The lady gave my an 866 number to call to make a reservation to see him.

A reservation??? I don’t want to eat dinner with him or stay the night, I just wanted to pop in for like 5 minutes to tell him off.  Why on earth would I need to make a reservation to see Earl?  Is he that damn popular now?

I called the 866 number and the robot on the other end had me punching in numbers for English (which is a huge thorn in my side every time I am asked to chose 1 for our national language) to  find the inmate, to chose a day, to chose a time, to accept them all and to end the call.  I’m pretty sure that on my AT&T bill I will be changed for an international call after punching in all those damn numbers and I didn’t even get to talk to anyone!!!

After I hung up I sat for a moment- my heart as heavy as the lump sitting in my throat.  I’m not sad that Earl is in the pokey- I’m glad he is there and I hope he is staying for a damn long time.  More than anything I feel a sadness for my step-mother who, for another holiday, has to celebrate it without her only child.  I’m pissed at Earl for making the choices he has.  I’m angry that has lied to me once more about the reasons for his incarceration and my ONLY intention for seeing him is to tell him to his face how I feel.  I haven’t seen Earl in years.  As I said, I will communicate with him only by text where it can be documented.   Over the years, Earl has stolen from my son, my dad, his mom, my grandparents, his friends and Lord knows who else. To add all of the stolen money, irreplaceable goods and the pills he took from my 90 y.o. grandmother after her knee replacement and from his mom from her back surgery, the court fees, attorney fees, security system, and the bills my dad has had to pay for Earl have far exceeded $50k – –   this doesn’t include all of the money the state has to pay out in order to deal with his ass and we won’t even discuss the emotional damages he had casts upon his family.

I last text with Earl a week ago before he turned himself in for a parole violation.  He told me that it was due to non-disclosure.  He was about finished with court appointed classes when they found out that he was in a Suboxone clinic. (suboxone is used to treat opiate addiction)  The use of suboxone is a direct violation to his parole.    When Earl told me about having to turn himself in and why, I was skeptical. I didn’t baby him or feel sorry for him.  I was like, “Well you knew not to do it so– enjoy your 90 days.”    I found out a few days later that it wasn’t only the concealment of the suboxone clinic that got him into trouble. I knew I smelled bullshit.  Earl had also written a cold check and stolen from his landlord (a family member who allowed him to live in a trailer on her farm and help with the cows because he is a criminal and no one wants to rent to his ass) AND it gets better…. he had the nerve to drive to my dads house, open my dads mailbox and removed pain medication from his mothers mail-order pharmaceutical delivery. Yeah. They found the packing slip in the trailer after Earl went to jail. Can you spell F-E-D-E-R-A-L O-F-F-E-N-S-E????

So yeah, come April 15th at 10am, who is going to have a face-to-face with her dipshit, pill head brother for the last time?  This girl.

I’m done.