Sorry, excessive? It’s one of those nights- and I think it’s enough fucking around (literally and figuratively… okay not literally). I’ve written about this before– my mom. Her problems. Haven’t heard? Read aaall about it here. But I’ve never really told you how it makes me feel.
The first time I had to hold my mother’s hair back was when I was 16.
The year my mother filed for divorce– because according to her, my father was a tyrant– she lost control. And since then, it’s only spiraled from bad to worse. The wine was replaced with vodka. The vodka was accompanied by God knows what pills.
I still can’t find the stash.
Her drinking wasn’t a result of the divorce… it’s a result of a genetic malfunction and a lack of strength. My grandfather… my great grandmother… now my mother… and to some extents, even me- cigarettes and energy drinks- not as innocent as I like to make it sound.
Despite my slight cigarette addiction (<– see how I did that), I’m grateful I don’t end most of my days passed out on the floor or wake up in the morning with bruises on my face because I ran into walls the night before.
When I left California, I thought I had left my mother capable. I encouraged her to take classes at the community college, she was spending less days at home in the dark– and more time outside, living life.
I left the West Coast feeling like my mother would be strong enough to BE the parent she’s supposed to be and to take care of my younger sibling … I left thinking that I had “corrected” her behavior.
In fact, when I wrote the first post about her addiction problems– I thought all my problems were solved. Those countless nights spent dragging her body to her bed, helping her walk out of the mehmooni in front of all our family and friends — all those days I spent rummaging through her room and the refrigerator looking for her secret hiding spots and emptying my findings down the drain.
I thought it was over.
Until a few months ago, I received a phone call from my youngest sibling that my mother had been arrested for a DUI. They kept her for over 24 hours because her blood alcohol level was so high and her license has effectively been suspended for one year. I found out about it 2 months AFTER the fact because she had bribed my brother to not tell me.
Of course, I flew back to California. I’ve had numerous conversations with my mother- I’ve played the supportive role: “I’m here for you, mom… whatever you want me to do… however I can help… I’m here.”
I’ve played the tough love card, “This is fucking ridiculous and I refuse to have a relationship with you if you continue down this path.”
But no “method” works when an addict is in denial… because when you’re in denial, you start to believe the lies that come so easily to you.
And that’s what my mother is.
She is a liar.
I can’t trust a single word that comes out of her mouth ever. And no matter what options I give her: move in with me, move to Iran or let me apply to these jobs for you… none of them will mean anything if she truly believes that the rest of the world is somehow out to get her.
And the burden is put on me… I am the mother. I am the one who has to check in everyday at random hours to make sure she’s not passed out somewhere. I am the one who has to make sure my siblings don’t have to deal with it. I am the one that my mother’s friends call when they find out she’s been drinking secretly at the mehmooni and they are concerned. I am the one who has rehab centers on speed dial HOPING that she will agree to go.
I am the one who plays the role that my mother should be playing. I am the caregiver, the adult, the responsible parent.
And I hate it. I hate the fact that I continuously tell myself on a daily basis that if she doesn’t address this, she will die… and I will be “okay” with it. I hate that I have to sit my younger brother down and tell him that addiction runs in our family therefore, when he goes off to college, he needs to be careful of how he treats alcohol/drugs.
Talking to my mother on the phone for five minutes is probably the most exhausting part of my day. And it’s really sad- especially when we are raised in a community where our parents are the people that WE can always depend on.
I think the worst part about this is that I feel numb to all of it. I don’t feel the need to cry… I feel resentment and annoyance. It doesn’t upset me that my mother doesn’t remember banging her face on the wooden floor of our house because she fell when she was intoxicated… but it upsets me that my brother was there. I don’t feel sorry for her… I am annoyed.
I feel tired and I’m ready for it to be over- and that’s what probably scares me the most. Not the fact that I can’t even act happy when I talk to her on the phone, but the fact that I just stopped caring about what bruises she has tomorrow. The fact that it feels like a hassle to me– and that somehow that makes ME the bad person.
We all have our baggage- and my mother is mine. I can only hope that one day she can overcome her challenges, but I’m not optimistic.
So instead, I can only hope that my youngest brother can bounce back from it when she fails again. I can only hope that it will make me into a stronger person.
And I can only ensure that I don’t become her. I’m grateful that despite having an upbringing that forced me to play the role of my mother… I turned out okay… that my brother is genuinely one of the sweetest and smartest people I know. These “scars” shouldn’t define us, they shouldn’t keep us from achieving greatness- they should only be a reminder of how easy it is to lose control. These experiences should only play a significant role in our lives by teaching us a valuable lesson rather than destroying us.
And that’s the only light at the end of the tunnel that I can see.
#BUZZKILLOVERLOAD? sorry :-/
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