Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Reel-to-Reel Imagination and Molotav Cocktails

How do you shut off your brain? Make it stop movie-projecting thousands upon thousands of horrifying what-if scenarios that play over and over again in your head. Not even in a High-Definition or Blue-Ray advanced screening kind of way of the next big thing, but in a scratchy, raw and repetitive skipping reel-to-reel old fashioned method that makes you fear that the next scene is going to catch fire and melt and you will be forever left in limbo wondering what could happen next, left in that awful place, that place no one in that situation should ever be left alone with.

Your imagination.

Fear is a fickle thing in and of itself. Mix that with depression and reality and you have a Molotov cocktail ready to explode itself onto your life at any given moment.

Those eggshells you walk on become ever sharper that even the calloused souls (and yes I intended it the way I wrote it) you step with cease to bear the brunt and you start to feel the sharp edges protruding, even if ever so slightly.

You know rationally what is right and what is happening. What is now. But you also know what can happen, what is likely. All those endless possibilities. You've seen them. You bore witness time and time again to them. People tell you that they won't necessarily happen. That chances are your worst nightmares are as apt to come to fruition as the likelihood of Narnia being found real, or the Bush administration (either of them) admitting fault to anything.

You have seen relapse. You have witnessed the poised and calculated false promise of sobriety. That lie they tell you, tell everyone. "I am sober, I am clean, I am doing this for my child".


You said this before. I know this song. This dance. I have seen it before. Several times. The same dance that had you swaying in and out of shadows stealing from the same child you swore to change for. Rhythmic lies that just spew out of your mouth with ease, without thought. Without consequence to who they affect.

You? Of course not you.

A disease, yes a disease. I understand. But do you? Do you realize how this disease affects more than you? That it taints and tarnishes the lives of others? Rips parents from their children, makes people different from who they are?

Allows you, gives you permission to lie, cheat and steal. A cover. An excuse. One used ad nausea over and over again. "I'm sick. I can't help it. I want to be better," but do you? Do you really? All the while laughing at all you've gotten away with. I was there when you laughed. Scoffed at the Justice system. At how you knew it enough to get away with it all.

Swore you were done, you'd had enough. Listened to you lie, lie to my face as you judged other's. Others who were doing as you did. "How could they do that to their children". Who are you?

A contradiction caught in your own junkie veins.

As I comfort a friend, one who lost his son to this same disease you hide behind, he begs me to keep my son from you. To not let this life destroy mine and my child's again.

A father's pain, his loss and still he pleads to not let it happen to another innocent child.

My biggest fears are this poor man's realities.

Those ominous what-if's.

In several years of just witnessing addiction, never having known its grasp, I watched over and over its power, even from afar over another person. Watched as they became gaunt and moody, angry and out of control. They stole from their own child, they stole from total strangers, they stole from me. Emotionally and physically abused me. Watched them go through withdrawals, listen to them say they went to meetings and try to believe the lies when they said they were clean.

And then I watched my world shatter when they involved my child, MY SON, in the selling and using of heroin by his father and an undercover police bust that had a gun held to his father's head while my child bore witness in the backseat of the car. Felt my heart break when I had to learn my child, my entire LIFE was taken into State custody as he watched his father arrested and he was carted away in a police car as my son, scared so badly he was now covered in his own urine, was taken away in an ambulance. Just 10 days shy of his 4th birthday.

My fears are not irrational. My anger is not unfounded. Hell, I would think there was a problem if I wasn't petrified and furious.

A month before my father passed away, another friend of mine also died. Of an overdose. She was the mother of 5 beautiful kids, she had been doing her best to be clean, she had just gotten custody of her children back. And she was faced with temptation. One that was stronger than she was, because of this horrible demon disease. She was 29 years old.

She was found the next morning by her 9 year old, in the fetal position covered in her own vomit.

5 children, and a dear friend gone. A poor child left with the image of finding her own mother. She was a sister, a daughter a friend. And now she is a memory.

My fear is not irrational.

This past week, this wretched reminder has made me realize that I am at war. That the clich├ęd 80's War on Drugs may have started when I was in elementary school with the DARE program, but it is not just a thing people say. It's become my life. It's become my mission.

A war I have to fight with everything in my being to keep my son safe. I will do everything in my power to keep the enemy at bay. He will not see what my friends children have seen. He will not know that sudden loss ever again. Not have someone yo-yo in and out of his life. Especially when they are not worthy of them.

If they know anything of love, if they give a shit for well-being of their child, they will know the best they can do is take care of them...from afar. Pay their dues and walk away.

But know that I will fight you, every step of the way, tooth and nail, with every breath in my body and every ounce of dignity I have, because that is something I know you will never have.

Sometimes, sadly, the enemy has the same blood as your child running through its veins.


  1. That's raw and it makes the message you have really clear.
    I will try to make one thing clear. Anyone who is getting clean and sober for anyone but themselves is doing it for the wrong reasons. Our Sobriety has to be the most important thing we have or we lose it and everything that comes with it.

  2. I can't say firsthand I've dealt with addiction of any sort..but I know that my father grew up with it. My grandpa drank a quart of vodka every day and would sit in his chair until he passed out every night. Just something he did...I've even got a story of how he got out of a DUI because his BAC was 7.000 and they figured it was a faulty machine when in all reality he couldn't walk and was very likely -that- drunk...
    To be exposed to such torture has scared my dad...scared him so much that he won't touch a drop...he doesn't want to know about it...be around it...nothing...
    I can only hope that the same fear turns into hope for your son...that he'll remember those things, horrible as they were, and grow from it rather than let it take him over...
    Of course, with a mother like you...I have no doubts he'll grow from it! :)

  3. My father is an alcoholic, I dated an alcoholic for 3 years and my cousin died last May because of alcoholism. It's been around me all my life...and as you have so kindly mentioned several times, I turned out pretty fabulous. HAHAHA...you will do the best you can while you can and your son will do the rest for himself. He might falter along the way but he will learn and will understand.


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