Self Image
Posted: June 22, 2007, 7:13 PM


Posts: 8675
Joined: April 24, 2007



I had this idea in my head of who I would be as a parent. I would always be motivated by love (not fear); I would always be honest with my kids (except I didn't know one of them might nearly kill herself and then I'd have to lie - yes, have to); I would always have the house where all the kids wanted to come (except my own kid - no drugs allowed).

People see me as strong and competent - I am the go-to gal for everyone I know. Yeesh, even my screen name cries out, "I can do it all!" Have a problem? I'll figure it out and give you the best possible advice. Need a shoulder? Mine are huge. Want a hug? Oh, come here you poor thing. I cultivated this sense of who I am, who I was. In some ways it's been good, and I feel good about the ways I've been able to help others. But I couldn't help my daughter. I fought so long to maintain the illusion of everything being under control that when I finally confessed to mother that I had failed at the single most important relationship of my life (Kramer vs. Kramer, I believe) I was so relieved I collapsed on the kitchen floor. Never had even given her a chance to see what was happening. All she saw, all anyone saw, was me being too hard on my girl; they never saw what was happening and why I was losing control - control of the situation and control of my self.

Sometimes I feel sad and angry at what we've missed (Don't you mean been cheated out of?) - no high school graduation (the proud parents talking about college-oops nope, dropped out 99 days before graduation), no graduation from boarding school (See, she really can do it! - oops, nope, ran away.), no independent life for her (Yes, her own apartment, good job AND school, too...she's doing great, really great. - oops, nope, crashed her car DUI), no college (Well, school's not for everyone, she's very happy in her job. Actually this one's true.) ,the milestoneless photo albums (unless you count sober days -oops, nope, had a year and a half, now back to two months).

I think I'm getting over these things, I hope so. We're both a work in progress, and my work here is done today. I said I'd start a journal, and I did - go me.

Defending Your Self Image from The Book of Secrets by D. Chopra

Over the years you have built an idealized self-image that you defend as me. In this image are packed all the things you want to see as true about yourself; banished from it are all the shameful, guilty, and fear-provoking aspects that would threaten your self-confidence. But the very aspects you try to push away return as the most insistent, demanding voices in your head. The act of banishment creates the chaos of your internal dialogue, and thus your ideal erodes even while you are doing everything to look gook good and feel good about yourself.

To really feel good about yourself renounce your self-image. Immediately you will find yourself being more open, undefended, and relaxed

Much time is spent in self-help trying to turn a bad self-image into a good one. As reasonable as that sounds, all self-images have the same pitfall: They keep reminding of who you were, not who you areIf you release yourself from your self-image, you will be free to choose as if for the first time.

Self-image keeps reality away, particularly at the emotional level. Many people dont want to admit what they are actually feelingCertain emotions feel too dangerous to be part of your ideal image of yourself, so you adopt a disguise that excludes those feelings. Deep-seated rage and fear belong in this category, but sadly so does immense joy, ecstasy, or free-wheeling spontaneity.

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Posted: June 26, 2007, 12:25 PM


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This summer I am trying to do for me, that's right, ME. I have spent most of my life taking care of other people and I want to have some freedom now. I spend most days in my garden or reading on the porch - makes me think how different it is from last summer...

June 22, 2006 - So excited to go see R and help her set up her new apartment. At first I was freaked to find out she had just packed up and left the facility - no graduation ceremony and party for us. So close to going the distance, but once again she self-sabotaged, cut and run. She loaded up the car we bought her for school and work commuting and left the facility with no plan and no place to stay. She answered her cell phone around 5pm and said she'd stay in touch, but she just couldn't stay there, "they" were mean to her and had taken all her privileges away - including her cell phone and car - made it sound like there was no reason for it, but we know better.

She went to her night classes and a friend gave her the keys to his empty apartment - two weeks left on the lease, but he was already living somewhere else. Whew! For the next week she makes all her classes and work shifts, calls twice a day and sounds really good. SO we agree to help her rent an apartment in Houston, cosign by fax, and I'll head down to get her settled in. At least we know she's in a safe complex - it's one of the ones we visited to prepare for her graduation from the independent living phase of rehab.

July 4 & 5, 2006 - Something's wrong. I got home on the 2nd after ten days with R in Houston - really good time, but I was worried about her being lonely after I left. She's not answering her phone - not like her. I called to say Happy 4th and see how her first social event since leaving the facility went. She was invited to a family cookout at a co-worker's home, he also works at the facility so he knows what she's about. But no call back in over 24 hours. I call work, she was a no-show for her shift, no call. I am panicked and my radar is well-trained enough after all this time to know there's something very wrong.

The call comes from the facility - she's in jail - OUI and been in since the night of the 4th. The 5th would've been her 18 month soberiety date. I arrange to fly down and post bail with the intent of handling the legal end and bringing her home - clearly she can't be on her own. So after only three full days home - one of them making travel arrangements and freaking out - I return to Houston where I post bail then sit outside the release center for five hours until she shows up. She's a mess, no meds for three days, dirty, hungry, crying. She says she's sorry, sobs, sobs, sobs, I say I know, then don't say anything for a few minutes. She says she wants to come home...she was so lonely after I left...she started looking at her family photo album and fell apart...went to the party fully intending to get messed up.

Lawyers are hired, court dates are set. The car is totaled, she hit four cars going the wrong way down a one-way street. If her car had been bigger or their cars had been smaller - I shudder to think. She was found unconscious at the wheel. At the lawyer's office we get to see her field sobriety test at the station - what a treat. The lawyer says he can get her off, but I don't want her to get off - she needs to pay a price for what she's done. Plus, she wouldn't be able to leave the state if they continue the case.

We head for home five weeks later. It was the loneliest summer of my life. I knew no one in Houston, except facility folk and R's employer. I spent the five weeks talking to lawyers and police officers and making arrangements to sell everything we'd just bought. I missed my husband and other daughter. I missed my mom and my sisters. God, I was sad.

So this summer she's home. She's forgotten what I did for her. She's revised what we agreed to as boundaries when she moved home - pretends we never had certain conversations about how things would be. She's not in relapse, but not really in recovery either. She's not using, but not working any program either. Yesterday I asked her to name five things she was grateful for. After naming them she said, "Oh, yeah, and my family." Guess I know where that puts us - right back at the end of the list just like always.

But I'm taking the time for me now. Friends, family, garden, road trips, beach, and books - these things I do for me.








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You will not change what you are willing to tolerate.

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Posted: July 3, 2007, 9:44 AM


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Yesterday a friend who is also struggling with her daughter said that right now she feels like it is time for her to love her kids even if they don't love her back. I wish I could be so philosophical. Still in that space where I take things too personally and can't seem to move out of it despite a lot of spiritual reading and work on myself. I think I've got it covered then *poof* I'm right back where I swore I wouldn't go.

R is like a one-way street right now - all about getting what she wants with nothing coming back to the heart of the family. I mentioned to her how this felt to me, but I wonder if I should've just kept quiet. B says he's trying to give her lots of space and just let stuff go by. Sometimes it feels like that's just an easy way out since I do most of the heavy-lifting when it comes to stating expectations for living here.

R is not using, but she isn't really in recovery either. She goes to meetings, but doesn't have a sponsor and doesn't 'work' the program. I guess it's time to get busier working a program for myself. I'm going to have to decide whether I can continue to have her live at home if things don't change. I have huge anxiety about her being on her own, and I don't know how much of it is control-seeking behavior on my part, and how much is just that I really want her here. One day we'll be talking easily about life and goings-on, the next day we're at each other.

I am trying hard to believe that the day will come when she is genuinely happy to be in our lives. Right now there's no gratitude, no appreciation, no give-and-take. It's all take, take, take for her. She crosses my boundaries all the time when it comes to issues of respect. She claims I don't speak to her respectfully and I get back to her what she gets from me. I feel I've earned respect by virtue of putting a roof over head, food in the refrigerator, making a home for all of us, and working my behind off. Last night I told her I am not a friend, I am her mother, and she sneered at me. I guess it's up to me to maintain generational and parental boundaries, but in many ways we are so close that it's hard to see the line.

I don't want to get back into the cycle of blame and recrimination. I have decisions to make. I know that change will have to be on me - I can't change her. I've heard and read so much about how changing ourselves leads to change in relationships and I know intuitively that this is true, but CHANGE IS HARD! I clearly have a lot to sort out - still feeling the guilt of not being good enough, not having control of my own anger, pangs of self-pity, remorse for the past, and all that other crappy baggage. It's all too heavy to keep carrying around, must let it go.

This post has been edited by MomNMore on July 3, 2007, 10:06 AM

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Posted: July 12, 2007, 4:39 PM


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Couple of nights ago R was in her room off the computer room and L was on the computer. I was talking to L and telling her what a great kid she was, we were sharing a giggle and a moment - we do that a lot, she's so easy. I went to get ready for bed and it hit me - I sounded so different than I do when talking to R - so different. No edge in my voice, no hidden agenda or meaning in my words, no guilt being laid out, no heavy sighs, or you-shoulds, or judgments, or anything. I wondered how it sounded to R on the other side of the door. Did she hear the difference, too? Did she wonder why I can be that way one minute with her younger sister then turn around and be so different with her? I would if I were her.

Doing the hard work now to try to change that. I HATE the way I sound when I talk to her - it's all right there on display no matter what the words say. Trying to give what I want to get back. Trying so hard...

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Posted: July 21, 2007, 11:25 AM


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R's self image is still not very positive. Last night after telling me that her sister had offered her a ride to the train to go visit BF, she paused a moment then said, "L doesn't want to hang out with me, she thinks I'm a loser." Ouch, broke my heart for her. Went on to say how the saddest part for her is that she knows she did this to herself with her past behaviors while in active addiction. All the times she blew us off, tried to involve her sister in her escapades, coverups, and party scenes. Still, I felt badly for her because L is someone she really admires and now she wants that relationship she pushed away for so long. I explained that L is a high school senior, has her own thing going on and is just doing what kids her age do - though that's wildly different from what R was doing at that age. My husband thinks that R looks at L and sees what could have been for her, sees how much more L is now than she is now, how together and all, and it makes her feel inadequate.

Of course I talked to her about it and told her it simply wasn't true (though honestly I'm not sure) and that L is so big-hearted and loving that such a thought wouldn't cross her mind. Recently L had a conversation with her own BF about how lazy and unmotivated people are wasting their time and hers - very low tolerance for such things. Since R has given up physical and artistic pursuits that she used to enjoy, she has less to put into any relationship. I told her that she just needs to keep looking for opportunities to spend time with her sister and that eventually things would shift and the gap would close as they continue growing into adulthood. In many ways they are close, and R was just having a moment that required voicing on her part, and reassurance on mine. It'll all work out.

Yesterday she mentioned that her 3 months clean comes up on Monday and that it was the hardest three months of her life, even though her previous 8 months flew by. (There was just the one night's relapse.) She's not as happy and motivated as she was those first eight months - she was on her lithium during that time, and the new BF was not part of the picture...hmmmm 2+2=.... I can't figure this out for her, but I'm glad she's still talking to me about her stuff.

Same home, same parents, same opportunities - different outcomes, way different outcomes. At 20 she still has so much of life ahead of her and lots of good things still coming her way. As I keep letting go her HP picks up the slack - why did that take so long to figure out?

This post has been edited by MomNMore on July 21, 2007, 11:29 AM

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Posted: October 29, 2007, 8:35 PM


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It's been awhile - this always happens to me when school starts in the Fall - just too much focus on work and those kids and not enough on anything else.

Well, two weeks ago I went to a memorial service for my friend Lou. It was wonderful - uplifting, joyous, poignant...and all this for a man who would've said,"What?! All this for me?"

The whole thing really got me thinking about my spirituality. This church where they held the service was one of two churches Lou regularly attended, was very involved with, felt a part of, and truly loved. I wish I had that kind of faith. Lou knew to a mathematical certainty that he was promised a better place, a wonderous afterlife. His faith never wavered. At one of the many low points of my struggle with R's situation he and I were talking and I gave him an affirmation card that he felt was especially meaningful for him. In return he gave me a small book of daily devotions. Now, I'm no Catholic, not a practicing anything official - more like a seeker. But this little book caught me, and moved me. I dog-eared a bunch of pages during my dark times and then again when my sister's fiance died this past April. Since then I hadn't looked at it. I brought it with me to the service and found so much of value - couldn't stop reading it and hearing Lou's voice in my ear. I want to keep that part of him with me - his faith and joy inspire me.

I think about my friend's life and his teaching - he was an educator for years and only one year from retirement at 54. This man didn't show kindness, he WAS kindness. He touched hundreds of children, maybe thousands, and he did it one child at a time - seeing always the child, not the limitations or the behavior. So it makes think - how do I want to be remembered and how do I have to live to be remembered in that way? Gotta keep that in mind, always.

We are all teachers and we are all students...I must ask myself: what do I hope to teach today? What do I hope to learn?

This post has been edited by MomNMore on October 29, 2007, 8:36 PM
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Posted: April 17, 2008, 10:55 PM


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Six months gone by, hard to believe. The other night R was over and said, "You said I could come home if I wanted to, right?" So she's moving back in next month when her lease is up. Mixed feelings about it - things are calm and easy when she's not here, haven't been when she is. I'm counting on all of us having grown enough in the past year to make this work. Things have been very good between us since she moved out, we're closer than ever and things feel...more adult, more equal, more respectful.

She's got some plans for her future and is slowly working towards her goals - wants to go back to school, sort out her license issues, get a car, save some money - all good stuff. Laid out the boundaries - maintain a reasonably clean and tidy personal space, contribute in an adult way to maintaining the house, and no co-ed sleepovers (Hopefully she'd be seeing guys who aren't also living with parents =) Wow, even boundaries are SO different this time around, don't even have to mention that drugs and abusive behavior are deal-breakers. She agreed and we'll see how it all plays out.

Don't want to do the old dances, don't want to play the old games, don't want to backslide into controlling behaviors - don't like that person much and am trying to be done with all that.

A chance to try again...

This post has been edited by MomNMore on April 17, 2008, 10:59 PM
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Posted: June 6, 2008, 2:00 PM


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Well, she had her year clean, and if I'm honest with myself I can say I felt those relapse behaviors coming on even then. For her one year clean she went to her home group NA meeting which she hadn't attended in awhile, went in, got her key chain, spoke to no one and left early - now there's some recovery. Asked her why she went, was it just for the key chain and she said yeah, she had earned it and brought one home for me too, to thank me for my support. Stopped hanging around with her NA friends and stopped going to meetings, said she was 'done' with them for now.

Started seeing the old patterns, not eating enough (control issues, body image issues), smoking incessantly...all the same stuff. But she was working full time and saving money, not much to really complain about so I didn't, not my business that stuff. Then noticed her obsession with a new friend, staying out super late, not coming home...well, she's an adult...not my business.

She's not disrupting our lives or anything...not asking for anything...not using again that I can tell (and it's obvious when she is), but having a few beers she says. Pleasant enough around the house and the late hours don't bother us (though the staying out all night kind of does), but it's all starting to feel just wrong to me and since I don't want to be in that place again, I'll show her the door as soon at the first sign of any drama.

Don't want to jump the gun, but don't want to stick my head in the sand either. I am enjoying the calm life and want to keep it that way. I felt that old creeping anxiety starting its return, but came here to type it all out and let it go. If I can't live with it, I'll have to live without it. It'll make me sad for her sister mostly, but it's not dragging me down again.

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Posted: July 5, 2008, 2:12 PM


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Guess I've gotten good at spotting relapse...it's here. R has been using again, to what extent I'm not sure, but a lot in the past few weeks. I just looked up times for AlAnon meetings for myself for tonight and tomorrow morning and will be headed that way for my own peace of mind. She has been lying (of course) about her use, but that's nothing new and part of the package. I am hoping that we will be able to have a calm and rational discussion about it tonight or tomorrow morning, whenever she is around...sometimes it goes okay and other times not. I do know she's been unhappy and unsure of herself for awhile now, thinking she can stay in recovery mode on her own, but she can't. I don't want to 'shrink' her or browbeat her, just want to know where she's at and how/if we can help...but help of any kind starts with admitting there's a problem...I have evidence of use and cannot abide another round of dodge-and-lie.

But even in the midst of this, I have a hint of optimism, too. She CAN get past this if she wants it.

July 6th
Heroin this time around. Must get very busy working on myself or I'll run the risk of slipping back into the mire that suffocated me for so long. Just reread Diane's recovery diary...she expresses my feelings perfectly so I needn't do it myself. There's a piece of my heart that will always belong to R and right now it's an open wound where some pretty healing scars had formed. It's wide open again now...time to start healing myself all over again.

Wish I didn't have to write this...hope she finds her way out...feeling down and concerned...really sad...but not about to jump down into the abyss...can't go there again.

This post has been edited by MomNMore on July 6, 2008, 11:51 AM
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Posted: July 6, 2008, 7:44 PM


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Not doing too well in the taking care of me department...haven't eaten to speak of in two days...absolutely no appetite even after working hard in the yard. Tried to take my mind to a different place and it worked, but only to a point...it doesn't really give me any peace...still too fresh.

I'm tired, I miss my husband (he's only been gone since yesterday morning), I miss my calm and ordered life, I miss not worrying...

I want this to go away...don't want another free ride on the rollercoaster...don't want another cameo in a horror movie...don't want to be the mother of a heroin addict...don't want anything but peace and calm and some time with my husband.

I'm so sad...when will the sadness go away? Does it ever go away?

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Posted: July 8, 2008, 8:20 AM


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Sometimes the tears come...no immediatre reason...my throat catches, a low and sudden gasp escapes, and tears spill out. Not for long, and not too many, but they are there lurking just behind...

But in truth, most of the tears have been tears of gratitude for the outpouring of love and support I have found among people I have never met, a man I barely know, and the strangers at a meeting. A huge reminder that people are mostly kind and good and the world can be a beautiful place if we just look and listen and open our hearts.

This post has been edited by MomNMore on July 9, 2008, 12:41 PM

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Posted: July 9, 2008, 12:54 PM


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There's some stuff in my head that's always lurking just under the surface...I'm aware of it, and I try to smother it, to bury it, to let it go...but I can hear it calling to me. Not good stuff...mean things I say to myself, songs that replay hundreds of times in my head, feelings I tell myself are self- (and other) destructive, but there they are...

...What kind of a mother raises a heroin addict?
...lyrics to a Stevie Wonder song haunt me...can't make'em go away
...will she ever be free, really free?
...when...when...when...when
...will I say or do the wrong thing - again?
...why does she suffer so?
...can't she just get well?
...she's so hard to love sometimes
...what if it she never gets well?
...what will I say to her grandmother and the others who love her?
...I don't understand...I want to be free of this...be careful what you wish for...

Know that I have the answers, know that it's not about me, know it's not for me to know...but I want the questions and doubts to stop coming, I want them to leave me alone. Trying to stay out of the future...trying to stay in the now...trying to let whatever's out there do its work without me...it will anyway. Trying to have some faith...trying, trying, trying...and trying isn't like letting go I don't think.

Fake it till you make it...

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Posted: July 26, 2008, 12:47 PM


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I have so much resentment in me and it occupies way too mcuh space in my head and in the household atmosphere. Knowing it and stopping it are such different things. Maybe getting them out there will help me release them...I cannot continue this way and I cannot dump them on R...not hers to bear. These belong only to me...I am the one who gives them life, who cultivates them, and finds new ones springing up like weeds all the time. I try to push them down, but they bubble up and they must be evident to everyone who looks at me...I feel like they're etched on my face. So unhealthy for me. I had a moment just a few minutes ago when I felt that it was actually in my grasp...the peace I crave from all the loudness in my head...I felt I could let it go...MUST let it go...it serves no one.

I ask myself...am I motivated by love? Am I showing R the same compassion I find so easy to show others? Why do I find it so hard to feel that love right now? What do I have left for me, for my husband, for L? There's all kinds of stuff mixed up in it...envy of parents with several content and productive adult children...though do we ever really know? But mostly I recognize the resentment. Oh, and the fear...there's always that. The day before we asked her to leave she told me that we "suck at this". Suck at having a drug addict for a daughter? How do you get good at it? Do I even want to get good at it?

While I have become much better at remaining calm - the heart doesn't race, I can sleep, I can eat - I want more. I want real acceptance and I know it's in me...another thing just under the surface. Will I ever reach down and just release it? God, I hope so.

The list goes on and on, but what's the point...it's not healing unless I can let them go. That is my mission for today, for tomorrow, for everyday until I am successful.

Let the healing begin...

This post has been edited by MomNMore on July 28, 2008, 12:04 AM

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Posted: July 31, 2008, 9:38 PM


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The more I leave things alone, the better they get...so for now I'm just leaving them alone. Managing a bit of contentment and peace amid the stuff. Talking is easier, listening is easier, letting go is easier...I don't want to fight anymore. I surrender....

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Posted: December 8, 2009, 10:50 PM


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Been a long time.

A VERY LONG story :

My dad's father was a homeless alcoholic who died on the streets. His mother married a widower with two daughters for financial stability, but my grandfather turned out to be the most dreadful man - always picking at and belittling my father well on into adulthood, sometimes right in front of us. When he was 15 my dad contracted polio, which collapsed the musculature in his upper left arm and chest wall; having had his taste of mortality, my dad grew up wild…always needed to be the most, the best, the worst, the watched. He went on to college and law school and was the top student in his class, somehow managing to maintain a rigorous academic life and still party hearty. He met my mom there, she worked for the university and they married.

Five years later, my father began cheating. He stayed out nights and drank and partied, but continued his rise up through the city’s most prestigious law firm. He became locally ‘famous’ for being a rainmaker. He always needed the adulation of strangers more than he needed what a family could give him. He was sometimes verbally abusive to all of us (there are 5, I have three sisters and a brother), made fun of us, sometimes got physical, and didn’t seem to get that this was not how one raised children. He was often a threatening figure, volatile and unpredictable, we never knew which Dad was coming up next...fun, generous Dad, or mean and angry Dad… it was never good to misjudge his moods, and they could turn on a dime…really hard for a kid to figure out. I was always the mouthy one who acted out and never showed I was afraid, so he sometimes had to resort to bullying in order to cow me… often I took the heat to protect my younger sibs, I was the oldest and I wouldn’t back down even when the belt came off. I ended up being pretty tough in a lot of the wrong ways, hanging out with some seriously troubled people. My own drug use began in earnest at 16. I did everything and anything, and lots of it…sold drugs out of my family home…drank myself into a hospital one night and almost drugged myself into the psych ward…I was this close to being sectioned. Don't know how or why I made it through...I was a truly disgusting user…nothing exceeds like excess.

As a teen I started to realize our lives were not normal, dads came home sometimes…there was therapy for them and for some of us, but he wasn't “the one with the problem”. The therapist said dad was incapable of meaningful change and would just keep doing what he was doing...told mom to leave if she ever wanted to find some happiness. She chose to stay, having no means of supporting all these children, and I think, always hopeful things would be different, but they never were. He had a way of raising our hopes over and over again. Every night the call came…”I’m going to be a little late, don’t wait dinner for me…I’ll be home at ___ and then the dinner sat on the table long after we were all in bed. Mornings-after had us getting ready for school as quickly and quietly as we could. The drinking made for some interesting stuff…he drove through the garage door one night, fell off his boat and had to be pulled from the water another night, went temporarily blind on several occasions (diabetic retinopathy), and would sometimes come home with a new car if the notion took him.

At 15, drunk and stoned with my best friend, I took the train into Boston, sneaked past security, broke into my father's office and tossed the place, went through everything…discovered he had a whole other family with his favorite cocktail waitress. He was going around town with this other woman on his arm...everyone knew, including my mom. I never told her I knew. She asked for a divorce several times, he threatened to ruin her before he’d let her go...she belonged to him...she would stay as long as he said so….and yet he never wanted to be home. Eventually we all came to dread the occasions when he would be home...things were so peaceful without him, especially dinner time, which could turn ugly pretty quickly…screaming ugly, force-feeding ugly…spilled milk from trembling kids ugly.


In 1985, quite by accident, we found we had a half-brother in another state. Dad was still with his waitress (and was married to her until he died in October). Between them they snorted every last dime while my hidden brother did their drug runs, took care of the house, and was isolated from everyone so he wouldn't be discovered. None of what happened is his fault and we are very close now and have two stepsisters and two stepbrothers. My father called us all “one man’s family” and at his memorial his partner said that thing of which he was most proud was how all of us had come together and shown one another such respect.

All of five of us were substance abusers to varying degrees and of varying substances, though we all liked cocaine…me especially. Some of us were at it quite dedicatedly and for long periods…some of us are still at it…some of us are fairly self-aware about it, others not so much. A couple of the stepsibs had/have some serious addictions as well…needles, bottles, and spoons.

Dad slowly fell apart over the years, from his constant self-battering…he was an insulin dependent diabetic, had a quadruple bypass, lost the use of his legs to neuropathy, and ultimately died of congestive heart failure from his 66 year cigarette habit…smoking was like a second career at 3 packs a day. At the end he told me he had lived way too long and had he known he wouldn’t live fast, die young, and leave a good-looking corpse that he certainly would have done things differently. Yeah, right.

I made my peace with my dad long ago...life really is just too short. Near the end we had some wonderful and honest conversations. I told my girls the complete truth about him when they wanted to know why we didn't see him more...that plus they did the math and figured out the whole thing with my half-brother. It’s sad that they had very minimal relationships with their grandfather...he made big noises about how much he loved them, and I’m sure he did in his limited way. I choose now to believe that he did the best he could with what he had, just like the rest of us.

Weirdly, I still love him…he was just a man, flawed like everyone, maybe more scarred and flawed than most. I thank him for making me strong and for what he gave me...I have his drive, his intellect, his wit and his ability to make things happen...he was a brilliant man. So I took what I liked and left the rest by the time I was 23. I suppose I always hoped for something more, but I have such an incredible husband (girls do not always marry their fathers) that I found my ‘more’ with him.

Tonight I came home and found a small package from my father’s wife (never could call her my stepmother, though I’ve made my peace with her as well). She sent me my dad’s gold ring with his intials on it and enclosed a lovely note. Funny how these things that seem so monumental have a way of working themselves out.
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Posted: January 16, 2012, 11:03 PM


Posts: 8675
Joined: April 24, 2007



Looong time since I've written here....I wonder why. Sometimes I say I am going to collect all of my posts from here and lay them out chronologically and then I look and see how many posts I've made - 7,280 as of today...wow. Some were meaningless banter (though we all need a little more of that here), some I am not proud of, some I re-read now and again because it helps me.

Today I spoke to a friend who is where I was, where I have been. These are people I care deeply about...her, her son, the family. So many children struggling, so many children gone...it breaks my heart. But now I know we can get out...we get to choose the hour that our own recovery begins, when our healing starts.

My hope is that whatever I have written here has helped more than hurt...my recovery is here...every word, every thought, every deed...the good, the bad, the ugly...all of it. I am okay with who I am and how I have handled it.

We are all doing the best we can with what we have...and we all get where we are going in our time.
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