My Mother is an amazing woman. There are very few people in this world that I hold in high regard and my Mother is one of them, not because she birthed me, but because she is resilient, magnanimous and fierce. My Mom married young. While her best friends were blushing over high school crushes my Mom was walking down the aisle at the tender age of sixteen. From the time she and my Dad married they longed for a family, after years of trying they accepted the fact that they would never have children. Just when they got comfortable in their life, adjusted to childless standards, I came in like thunder accompanied with wicked morning sickness, terrifying nightmares and an odd cravings — think about crunching on sand warmed by Summer sun. Before birth I displayed my willingness to be the center of attention by making sure none would follow me. My Mother had to undergo an emergency hysterectomy three months after she gave birth to me.
I was the Golden Child, spoiled rotten by my parents and loved beyond measure. But circumstances and young love, a marriage started before two young lovers had a chance to explore, had turned into resentment. While love never really faded, it drifted apart as so many stories do. Dad left us when I was five, he started a new family, one that I was gradually accepted into and welcomed with open arms and love, but it hurt my Mom.
Looking back now I can see where Mom started to let loose as most young twenty some-things do. I was always taken care of and she was always home to tuck me in at night and sing me lullabies. We had a good life. She struggled like most single Mothers do, but she always put me first. She was amazing. She encouraged me to dance and placed me in ballet when she couldn’t afford it. I was taking three classes a week with the promise of going professional until I backed out. She never chastised me for it, even after all of the sacrifice. I was on my way to being an amazing dancer and she invested in me when she couldn’t afford to do so, but I changed my mind and she told me to follow my dreams after ten years of suffering my meltdowns, recitals, and borrowed dreams.
We lived in a very small town, my Mom had grown up there the same as me, and her teachers were my teachers. Everyone knew everyone else’s business. My Mom held a job at a bank for over twenty years until it closed down; she was also a Justice of The Peace, a very respectable citizen, although she liked to “have a good time”. In our town everyone lived in glass houses. Don’t get me wrong I loved my friends, the ones that were true and loyal, but as small towns go, gossip runs rampant and you’re only as good as your latest story.
As time went on my Mom remarried to a recovering alcoholic who was also an extreme undiagnosed bipolar, horrible to live with, he was also a corrections guard — can we say control freak. One evening (we won’t get into details) Mom found out that I was no longer a virgin. We started a big conversation. My Mom was always really cool about being open and honest; I was never uncomfortable with her. I asked her about her first time and she told me that she had been forced against her will. As the conversation carried on it was obvious that it was someone that I knew and even more so that it was someone we were close to. I tried to elaborate on the conversation but she shot me down, turns out she had been shot down herself.
The year that I graduated from high school Mom was going through a bitter divorce from the step-dad and had lost her job due to the decision from higher-ups to close the bank. We decided to move to the “big city.” We had some family there; my dad’s side, but Mom didn’t really have too many friends. She got herself a great job and was introduced to some amazing people. About fifteen years ago now, a few of those people took Mom to a party where she met some more people. That night she partied with them, getting high on cocaine just for fun. I couldn’t blame her, hell I’d done the same thing, but I didn’t know at the time that she’d done it. What was once a night of partying with new fun friends had turned into something else, she reached for a crack pipe and started to use crack cocaine on the weekends as an “escape.”
Over the past fifteen years I have watched my beautiful Mother throw her life away. I have walked into crack houses and challenged “big bosses”, threatening to blow the place to the ground. I have paid her rent money and waited for her to show up at birthday parties for my kids. I have cried myself to sleep and crawled on my knees begging The Universe to make it right again. Last summer my Mother came to me completely defeated and I was fucking terrified. I knew for certain that if I let her leave my sight that I would lose her, she would end it all and I had to give her an ultimatum. I was fierce and hard and unloving.
My Mom has not kept track of the days that she has been clean from crack cocaine, but I have. It’s been 367 days since she’s picked up a pipe and I am so proud of her yet so sad because of what she is going through with the people that are supposed to support her. YES, MY MOM HAS MESSED UP, BUT SHE IS THE FIRST ONE TO ADMIT THAT, AND IF YOU GIVE HER A CHANCE SHE’LL PAY YOU BACK IN SPADES! I was so close to giving up on my Mom, but she has proven herself this past year, and for those people who say she hasn’t, I say bring it on. She may not be strong enough yet to go toe-to-toe with you, but I sure as am, and I will stand by her, always!
TLC friends and followers, please give a warm welcome to my Mom Debbie, who has never spoken up before. In her own words, a bit of her journey:
Words From My Mom: Her Journey
A little over a year ago I didn’t care if I lived or died, I was leaning on the side of dying. I wanted to spend one last weekend with my daughter, son-in-law, and granddaughters, and then I was going to go away forever. I realized it was a coward’s way of doing things but I just didn’t care anymore. My daughter gave me a choice either I went to the hospital myself or she would call the police. Thankfully I decided to go myself because I am here to tell my tale.
I want to thank one of my best friends for taking me in and allowing me to heal. I know it wasn’t easy for her but believe me it sure in hell wasn’t easy for me. They say nothing good comes from easy, now I know what “they mean” I heard what a useless piece of crap I was and how I really fucked up. I agreed with her. I thought I was healing and then out of nowhere I was reminded how useless I was. This would depress me for days but then I would fight my way back only to have it happen again.
The really sad part was that I saw myself when she was spewing this hatred and negativity. It hurt because I was scared to tell her, knowing I would be tossed out like the garbage she thought I was. I thought I was a piece of crap as well I didn’t need it crammed down my throat every time she had a couple of beers. I know I fucked up, but hell I was trying to heal myself so I could try to make amends to the people I had hurt. Even in my lowest time I DID NOT grow or sell drugs to further my hell or to profit from it to fuel my habit. I know many people who have done worse than me and have been forgiven. I don’t beg forgiveness but if you can forgive me I will try to never disappoint you again, but no promises, I’m only human.
A person who is trying to get well can only take so much of it being thrown in their face before they reach a point of enough is enough. I reached that point, I left for a visit and the further I got away the better I felt. I cannot go back. I will not go back to that negativity and holier than thou place. We all have our demons but sometimes it takes years before we own up to them and sometimes we never do, I have and let me tell you it feels great. There is so much I can say but I am trying to be a better person so all I’m going to say is look in your own backyard and at your so called friends, the ones that say one thing to your face while you are patting yourself on your back an they say something else when you leave the room. In your heart you know who they are.
I truly hope you will move on with your life as I feel you will be so much happier and the people around you will be happier and not so affected by your negativity. I thank you for your help but this chapter of my life is now closed. I love my family but it is up to them to decide if they want to be part of my life or not. I truly hope they do, but if not that is their choice and I will cherish the time I did have with them. But, as they say, life goes on and mine is moving forward. Join me for the ride.