The disease of addiction

My mother and the pain that remains

On Saturday, I saw my mother for the first time in almost 2 years. The reasons behind the distance are too many to list in one blog post but they certainly are not petty. As a child you generally idolize your mother, she is your everything and in my case, she was.

We were best friends, in school my friends were sometimes envious cause my mom was so fun and we shared everything…. however somethings shouldn’t have been shared. In the friendship we shared, I lacked the guiding hand of a mother. I stood up for her too many times and wouldn’t listen to a single bad word spoken about her, until everything came crashing down and I forced to open my eyes…

The things I saw when I removed my “mommy blinkers”, crushed me. She wasn’t always a drug addict but I do remember her drinking in my earlier childhood memories. The tendencies were always there, though just pointed at different things over the years until she picked up that first straw (compliments of Jayde, who was my mother’s boyfriend at the time, and the reason that heroin was in my home in the first place) At first it was “controlled” and very well hidden. Until it all got too much to hide and the need to use superseded the responsibility of being a parent. She did try get clean for a little while, in fact she went through withdraws from heroin during the time I was writing my matric finals. Ain’t that just a perfect time to attempt to sort your life out…

4 Months after I finished school, I moved out and shortly after that my brothers had to leave their “home” (not that it was much of a home anymore) and went to stay with my grandparents. I was accused of stealing her children and destroying their lives, how blind she was at that stage. In the days and months that followed my mother managed to sell every single thing that was left in that house…. from the cutlery to my brothers bunk beds, Curtain rails to dining room tables. Sentiments goods meant absolutely nothing to her, the only thing that mattered was getting that next fix for her and toy boy! All this ultimately leading to her first stint in rehab which didn’t last long either. The steps that followed the rehab, eventually found her living on the street.

Back to Saturdays visit though, I have been in contact with her over text on and off the past few months, being careful not to let her in, in fear that she will use me and more so, disappoint me again. She has been begging me to bring Connor to see her. Somehow she still thinks she is worthy of the title of granny when she couldn’t even fulfill the role of Mother. However I decided to be the better person and set up a  visit with her, my aunt Kim, my baby brother and myself with Connor.

I also need to make amends in some way, Its harder with my mother though, as she was the last person in this world who should of caused us such pain! There has been so many days were I wish I was able to call her and tell her how bad my day was or run into her arms and cry because that’s were I once felt safe. There were nights where I cried myself to sleep and craved her voice, telling me everything is  going to be okay!

When I saw her my heart sank, she is just the shell of the woman I knew. She looks so fragile and at least 10 years older than she is… The effects of drugs show clear in her appearance. The look of her face, was that of relief that I had actually shown up; I could see the worry in her eyes that I might not have pitched. She squeezed me so hard that her rib cage felt like it was stabbing me in the chest… That’s all you can feel – Bones with a thin layer of heavily tanned and worn olive skin covering the skeleton, another result of living on the street and substance abuse.

The visit was brief and I’m still not sure how I feel about it as i have absolutely no trust right now. She looked neat and tidy and she is taking care of my aunt, who has Cancer. Administrating her pain meds and staying by her side. It’s nice to see them actually love each other; as the only memories I have of Kim and Tansy are screaming and fighting, dragging each other across carpets and through bottles at cars. When they were together, there was always booze and there was always a brawl.

But to take her word that she is sober for 7 months, Its very hard right now. Addicts are the best manipulators and they don’t even filter that they are doing it, truth and lies become a hazed mess. Part of me thinks she doesn’t want to be honest about her clean time because she feels I wont bring Connor around to see her. She is probably right but what she doesn’t understand as the truth her is only way I’m going to keep coming back. I have to remind myself is it her road to recovery not mine, one of the hardest parts about having an addict in your life is having to learn to detach. To love the person and not the addict. Its going to take me a long time before I can openly love my mother again, as I not only bear my pain of abandonment but the pain of my brothers as well. They went through so much heartache and deserved none of it, nobody deserves the pain that is caused when your mother deserts you to chase a high. Resentment is a cruel thing and that’s something I have to work through in time.

I could tell she was very happy to see Connor and bought him a packet of sweets, which of course made him warm up to her a whole lot quicker. She kept commenting on how much she loves his nose (Connor has my nose).

She talks like she is trying to sort her life out, only time with tell. Here’s hoping she puts her strong will to good use, in order to stay clean and sober. She is sick with the disease of addiction and I hope that she finds her feet in this world again, that little flicker of hope is there but I can not afford to invest any emotion into it at this stage. My wounds may be 6 years old but they are still very fresh. I will pray for her and hopefully if it is Gods Will, she will live a clean and sober life as a recovering addict.



Disney Mom





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