Saturday, January 17, 2009

A change would do you good...


This post has been sitting in my edits for nearly a week. Each time I'd try to work on it, my mind told me I wasn't ready. In the same way that it stops me from saying something (albeit only on very rare occasion) that might not be the most diplomatic thing to say.

Last Monday someone fairly close to me went into a rehabilitation center for substance abuse. Immediately the calls started coming in from eager, anticipatory family members. There was a pressing urgency for me to "get on board" with everyone else and their hysterical happiness. "Oh she went, that's good news, keep me posted", I said over and over again in a rote tone. Each time, hanging up the phone and feeling a burning anger, fueled by doubt and a selfishness necessary to survive a relationship with an addict. When she disappoints again, because she always does, let me know how all that happiness works out for ya, I thought as I stew in my own raging sea of painful memories and their corresponding emotions.

Today, I spoke with my mother for the first time in nearly 20 years. Of course I've spoken to her in between, but it wasn't her. You see it was...I don't know, pick a vice-[insert here]-speaking. We'd speak, she and I , a few times a month; verbal sparring, full of vitriol in a cycle of anger that's been part of our relationship for more years than not. Sometimes, I'd avoid it by not telling her who I was. "Hello may I speak with...", she couldn't recognize my voice. This became the system of bypassing her to check on my siblings without incident. But, today was different. I called, she answered and she knew my voice right away. She seemed almost happy to hear it; keeping in mind that recognizing the emotional state of a veritable stranger can be oft-times deceptive. It was odd, for so many years to change in so few days. It was a pleasant "visit", I guess.

It's going to be a long road ahead, for both of us. It's going to take equal parts strength, perseverance and patience to let go of her habits as it will mine, and I can't expect her to be anymore understanding of my defenses than I am of her dependencies. I didn't come to this hardened place easily and I don't believe the soul-kneading process of softening my heart to be a fundamental task. But, I'm here today admitting it, and as I've come to learn, "admitting is the first step". "Hi my name is Tameka and I'm the hurt, angry adult child of an addict. Deep breath.



Peace and Strength

12 comments:

Cecile/DreamCreateRepeat said...

Oh, Tameka. So much is revealed and explained. No wonder I "took" to you right away and our energy seems so similar to me. No wonder we treasure our Grandmothers so fiercely. When I called mine, "the center of sanity," it wasn't a joke or hyperbole.

Hugs.

High Desert Diva said...

Oh T.

Deep breath and many cyber hugs.

Sherry Goodloe said...

Tameka Tameka Tameka . . .my heart goes out to you and I wish I could give you a big hug today. cyber hugs will have to do *sigh*

Libby Buttons said...

UgH! The dance of the wounded souls. I hate it but I sure hear ya sweetie. Been doing it most ll my life with my own folks. Love and prayers for wholeness and healing. Youre mom has much to be proud of with you.
smiles
LiBBy

BlossomingTree said...

I have no words, just hugs and prayers for healing.

fly tie said...

just wishing you the best on your journey through it all.

peace.

shiborigirl said...

Tameka, I'm so sorry you have such a THING that hangs over you. I hope for both your sakes, that this is the rehab stint that sticks.

I think we all have someone in our lives, past or present, who has some problem like that. For me it was an ex-sister-in-law, who seemed to go out of her way to hurt us when she was high. She is out of our lives now, but the hurt is still there. My mother-in-law speaks of forgiveness, and scolds me when I tell her I can't forgive her. It's such a personal decision - one you have to come to on your own. It will take a long time, but know we are here to listen...

Great big old Cyber-hugs,

Kate

lori vliegen said...

our arms are wrapped around you. one day at a time, girl. one day at a time.

Yvonne said...

Wow, I feel for you. I feel with you. Your pain is my pain. Our history so familiar that I cringed as I read your post. I look back at my childhood and I cringe.

You are a brave woman. I admire you for sharing your struggle. Blessings.

casserole said...

Just know that you're wise, you're strong, and you've got prayers offered up on your behalf.

Ms. Bar B: said...

That you so much for sharing your story. For the trust of letting us in. I know how you feel... my mother was an alcoholic and an addict. She used them as a way of getting rid of the pain that she felt on a daily basis... as a result she was absent.

When addiction is involved, everyone hurts. Know that we are here for you.

Renée aka Mekhismom said...

Thank you for sharing. Addiction is such a terrible thing. I am glad that you connected with her. My father died an alcoholic, alone, in a makeshift room in the back of a store that he worked in. We hadn't spoken in 4 years, and I'd only seen him about three times from the time I was 10 or 11. The worse thing to live with is regret. Take your time and live with no regrets.

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