I wade through the memories of what our relationship was and the changes since. I never imagined my life distanced from my only daughter. I never imagined teetering eternal hope and hopelessness.
A year ago, we were back in the thick of the addiction cycle. As she hopped from one to the next, my heart sank once again. The weight of fear and anxiety often pulls me down.
Even though I knew what was happening, I brought the kids to enjoy Christmas Eve with you. We went out to eat and shopping to replace some of your lost clothes. It seems every time a move is made, everything is left behind.
You were so excited to hang out with us. However, the disconnect was obvious. Though you wanted to be with us in the moment, your mind was not present.
The kids put extra effort, but I’m not sure you realized it. In your agitation I tried to keep them calm. You weren’t agitated by them; it was what awaited back at the apartment you stayed at.
I was grieving a tragic loss that day but showed up. I wanted that time. I desperately wanted to see you and your eyes once again. When you gave me a hug goodbye, I believe it was you. It shouldn’t take goodbyes.
Our holiday couldn’t be normal because I knew active addiction had you. The relapse that started months earlier was going strong. I had to make the hard decision. I couldn’t trust anything, including a day of sobriety.
Just a few days before, I paid another cell phone bill after you asked me to. I sent you a picture of your brother and his pregnant girlfriend along with his message of merry Christmas. You said you loved him so much. Dad sent you a nice note with the gift card you gave him- he tried to convey he’s ready to go when you are- but once again, you misunderstood and thought he was being mean. Seems you always think that.
On Christmas day you sent me a picture of the tree your roommates brought home and decorated. I asked why did they wait when the day was over. You texted back, “Because crack mother.” They put up lights and decorations and a few gifts under the tree. On Facebook you would share they made your whole day and were the best. Nothing about the drama that night though.
It tears me apart every time I hear about the drinking, the drugs, the overdoses, and the life they all create. Why live with the abusive men on crack? Why live homeless because one can’t live without one substance or the other? I didn’t understand many years ago and I don’t understand today.
Your kids would see you one time in 2022, and I saw you twice. The phone calls ended. Everything changed. On New Years day, after getting a phone call from the police looking for you, I made the toughest decision to date- I was no longer living in your addiction.
I had reached my end. A year ago, everything changed. Not because you chose recovery, but because I did.