I generally don’t like to expose my soul on the chance it will be flayed by some ignorant, insensitive, asshole, but I have a need to talk tonight.  I’m feeling incredibly down and vulnerable right now.  I’ve always had trouble connecting with my emotions.  I learned to avoid them so well that I became unable to feel almost anything for a very long time.  This is something I’ve been working on in therapy for years.  Strangely, being pregnant knocks that wall down in one blow.  Suddenly I’m overcome with feelings I’ve ignored for decades, grieving people who have been gone for years, loving and hating people I never felt anything but indifference towards, more intensely loving and hating anyone I felt anything for at all, and fighting like hell not to push those people away.  It’s a frightening new place for me.

Tonight was a difficult night.  My mom was stumbling, murmuring incoherently, eyes half closed.  She fell asleep in her food.  I was torn between wanting to cry and wanting to scream at her, to tell her how pathetic she is, to ask her why her family isn’t more important than substances to her.  I don’t cry in front of anyone though, and I didn’t say anything because it would be pointless.  She wouldn’t even remember in the morning if I had.  If she did, she’d pout for weeks and heap emotional punishment on my head.  She has never been able to admit that she was ever an alcoholic, that she cannot be in control of her own pain medicine, that she ever put us in danger, that she was ever unable to care for us as a parent, that she ever made a serious mistake.  She flings her denial like acid in the face of anyone who confronts her with the reality of her problems.  She is quite literally an impassable obstacle to healing and reconciliation.

It is so beyond me how anyone can just be content to destroy their body, to hurt their family so much, to piss their life away, knowing exactly what they stand to lose.  And in the face of seeing so many lives torn apart, having lost so many loved ones to substance abuse.  Have we not all witnessed enough the wreckage, the suffering, the loss?  I will never understand how she can choose this life with such ease and then be angry at the world for taking issue with it.  She holds our hearts in her hand, crushes them, and is then outraged that we don’t accept it as okay.  How dare we call her down.

I have reconciled myself to the fact that I have to deal with this on my own, or else spend the rest of my life being angry at her.  I am trying.  But pregnancy is making it so much more difficult.  She insists on treating me like an extension of herself, invading my personal space, violating my clearly communicated boundaries.  She tries to fabricate this superficial television relationship where we hug, talk about life, and I tell her I love her all the time.  She just won’t to do the work required for us to get there.  Instead she pretends nothing is wrong, elbows in and tries to force a false friendship on me.  I don’t accept it, and she doesn’t understand why.  If I try to explain even small parts of it to her, the addict wall of denial is thrown up.  She refuses to accept that there are valid reasons why things are the way they are between us.  This leaves us at a very uncomfortable impasse.

She views me as an uncaring, mean, unreasonable person.  She thinks I hate her, and with no cause.  The truth is, I wish I did hate her.  I wish I had never loved her so that the way she is wouldn’t hurt me.  She doesn’t understand why I don’t want her to touch me, why I won’t hug her, why I don’t open up to her, why I’m so cold.  What she doesn’t know is that some days I want nothing more.  Sometimes when I’m feeling weak every fiber of me is screaming to break down, to hug her and tell her I need her to be there for me, to let flow all of my fears and anger and sadness.  I don’t let myself do it, though.  Not one time.  Not ever.  Not even if it feels like my whole world is crumbling.  I won’t let her (or anyone) get that close because I know the next time I need her she might not be there.  She might be unable to mutter even one coherent word, more or less give me the support I need, and that would make the betrayal so much greater.  It would be a kick in the face to the fact that I ever trusted her at all.  It would be one more betrayal I do not need.  I have to keep her at a distance to protect myself, and soon to protect my baby.  I refuse to expose my child to the life long heart break of being close to an addict.

Many people have said to stop caring, to stop letting it bother me, or to cut her out of my life.  Unfortunately it is only so easy in words.  This is reality.  We don’t get to choose who we love.  Maybe other people are more capable than I; I can’t [I]just[/I] let it go (as if it’s like letting a helium balloon float away).  I spent my entire life not caring and it destroyed me.  Now I have to reconcile 25 years of ignored feelings, alone and in the face of her denial.  Those pieces are so hard to pick up.  I cannot just pluck her from my life.  She won’t live forever and I won’t pretend I wouldn’t feel loss if she was gone.  Death brings up all the regrets; I don’t want more guilt and regret hanging over me.  What, then, if she dies next week and I know I spent the time I had not trying to make things better?

That leaves me here, wanting to do the impossible.  I wish there was just an easy way out of it.  I wish I could know that one day we will be more important to her than addiction.   I wish I didn’t have to ask myself how long it will be before I have to keep her from my baby because she forces the decision on me.  I wish I didn’t have to wonder if we’ll be able to be friends before she is gone.  Wishing never fucking gets me anywhere, though.

Thank goodness I don’t have a father to throw my life into turmoil, too.


~ by Ashlee on April 13, 2013.

One Response to “”

  1. You are an amazing writer. So elequent. Such pain. Such sadness. Such turmoil. I am so very sorry that this is your reality. How frustrating. Maddening. I love you. You are one of the strongest people I’ve ever known. One step at a time. One day at a time.

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