Shitty Spa Day

Woman Has Diarrhea Holding Her Butt on Isolated White Background

If I don’t die in my sleep, I will wake up tomorrow 8 days sober. I haven’t put together 8 consecutive days of sobriety in almost 10 years.

However, my pain pill addiction is a beast of its own. I am fiercley in love with opiates. I know this because pills consume my every thought, and I hate them as much as I love them. That’s what love is, right?

So after scoring Oxycodone from my crack head ex-husband who just got out of the hospital after breaking 3 ribs in a botched robbery attempt, I decided to cash in my Mother’s Day present:  I called and scheduled an appointment for an hour-long massage, followed by a body slimming mud wrap and a pedicure from a fancy hotel spa.

I had been taking enough pills to knock out small horse over the last few days. This I never intend to do, but always do.  This behavior is never intentional, but always the case. Because I am, by definition, insane. I repeat the same behavior over and over, each time expecting a different outcome. It’s always the same. As an addict, I think, “I’m gonna save them for when I need them this time.” Yeah right, I take them everyday until they are gone.

Because of the amount I had been taking, I took a few laxatives the night prior to my spa appointment.  Once again, enough to make a small horse shit out its lunch for an entire week.  Opiates halt any and all activity in the gut.  This is the down side of taking pain pills.  I have an eating disorder as well, so looking fat devastates me.  Sometimes the laxatives work, sometimes not. Even without the opiates, my system doesn’t cooperate. I am in no way regular. A can consume a can of refried beans, a handful of prunes and a cup of coffee…most would be bursting at the seams. Nope. Not this girl. Needless to say I was disappointed when I didn’t poop yesterday morning. I just wanted to make sure I wasn’t bloated for the massage. I guess I am addicted to laxatives too. Jesus.

My appointment was set for 1:15.  By 11:30 I felt the rumbling begin. “Oh thank god,” I thought at my desk. Come on, come on, come on,” as I anxiously watched the clock.” I happily pranced to the bathroom knowing my day at the spa was going to be just as I envisioned. But I should have know better.  Laxatives completely flush me out. COMPLETELY.  At least give it an hour, maybe 2 until it’s a clear liquid.  Then I know my tummy is empty and I feel thin.  I raced to the bathroom 2 more times before I left for the spa.

“Shit, I thought as I sat on the toilet with my head in hands. Why did I do that? I should have just waited until tonight to take them… Or I should have taken a couple more to make sure I was done by this time of day.” There is a fine line you must walk when taking laxatives. I didn’t want to wake up at 3 am with diarrhea.  First of all, my girlfriend would know, who’s all about letting nature perform this act as she is ‘miss normal’ in all areas. Secondly, she would shit if she knew I was taking pills again.  I had diarrhea. And it was only starting.  Fuck, there was no way I was making it to my anticipated and much needed spa day without the fear of when I was going to shit again. I needed at least 5 or 6 trips to the toilet and time was running out.

Upon my arrival, the spa staff insisted I was 15 minutes late and I insisted I was fifteen minutes early.  I was escorted to a small room to change into my hand-selected robe.  Now, feeling pressure because apparently I was making everyone wait who was scheduled to pamper me (Pampers would have been perfect), I rushed across the dimly lit hall to the bathroom.  A tiny and elegant room. I sat down and poop shot out of me at max speed. Dread hit me harder than shit hit that porcelain.  And oh my god, that smell could empty an auditorium faster than Milli Vanilli.  I felt a little relief when I spotted the purple can. You know, the lavender-scented Lysol?  Of course that’s the one they chose.  The yellow or green can doesn’t scream luxurious spa like the lavender one, those let you know you’re in gas station or an old person’s house. After leaving the bathroom, I was positive everyone would know it was me who created that god awful smell.  I walked in to meet my massage therapist.  It was a guy.  An extremely hot guy. He must have been in his late 20’s.  He had mocha skin and perfectly chiseled muscles. He spoke with a seductive voice. He had a smile that came with a flirtatious smirk and the sexiest set of dimples. I was about to get a full body massage from LL Cool J and I was clenching my ass.

This was my first full body massage.  I had never had a massage from a man (with the exception of my ex-husband, thereby making it perfectly acceptable to fart.)  No one asked me upon scheduling my appointment if I had a preference for a male or female.  I would have chosen female, but whatever. It was too late. As I sat there soaking my feet and clenching by butt cheeks together wishing I had just a little more time to shit before my massage, he explained to me what would transpire over the next hour.

“What do you mean by full body?” I blurted out.

He flashed a dimple.  I wondered if he was thinking, “Thank god I didn’t get another cow shaped house wife whose muscles I can’t even get to under all the Twinkie residue.”

“Well, I will start with you on your back. I will massage your neck and temples. Then I will turn you over and continue with your shoulders, arms, lower back. Then I’ll do each leg starting with your glutes and thighs slowly moving down to your calves and feet.”

Oh my fucking god! Did he just say glutes? This amazingly hot version of Drake is going to rub my butt. What if at that very moment I have to shit?  I’ll clench and he will know because my cellulite will pop out. Why is this happening?  I just wanted to enjoy a massage.  I am supposed to be relaxing. What a fucking idiot. Of course I screwed this up. I screw everything up. Even my own Mother’s Day present.

“Does that sound good?” Usher replied.

“Yes.” I said pensively.

“Okay, go ahead and take off your robe and get under the sheet face up.  I’ll be right back.”

Oh my god. Turn me over? There is absolutely nothing one can say in that situation that doesn’t  scream sex.

“Just relax, be listless, he whispered. Let me do all the work, when I move you, just be heavy and let it happen, don’t try to help.”  I can’t believe he can describe a massage without knowing he sounds like a steamy R&B song.

I was naked and so not fearless. Without those damn laxatives everything would be perfect right now. I could relax while LL Cool J squeezed my butt cheek and appreciated that I’m not just another white girl with a flat ass, but a rather ample ass any black man would admire. But I was so nervous.  I had to shit. Why god why?  I knew he could tell I was tense.  He’s a massage therapist for fuck sakes. “It’s ok girl, just breathe. You’ll be fine. It’ll pass,” I reassured myself.  I prayed by the time he got down there I didn’t have an urge to poop.  What if some just slipped out and I couldn’t stop it?  I wondered if that had ever happened to him before, some lady just farting in that small room.  Except for this wouldn’t be just any gas, it would be lethal and possibly visible.

Glute time had arrived. I quickly went back in my memory to anatomy 101.  My glute was in fact my buttocks, right? Why didn’t he just say buttocks? Maybe he meant upper thigh. I silently panicked, “Okay, it’s happening, there’s no getting up and running.” I suppose I could.  But I’m the type to lay quietly holding my breath, hoping nothing horrifying happens.  I’m not the type to speak up and blurt “Stop, I have use the restroom, or… Stop, I made a horrible mistake by coming here. I have to go. I forgot to pick up my kid.  Don’t worry, your tip will exceed your expectation.”

This immensely hot massage therapist who just stepped out of Playgirl magazine was ready for my ass.  He slowly rolled up the sheet all the way until I felt the entire right side of my body exposed to the warm air. I felt his hand wrap around my ankle.  He lifted up my leg ( I swear my vagina was in plain sight for him to examine while my leg was extended, thank god I had shaved). If he was my boyfriend, this is when penetration would occur. He tucked the sheet under me so it wouldn’t be in the way. He saturated his hands with oil and immersed his hands into my gluteus maximus. My eyes bounced back and forth inside that horseshoe shaped hole from wide opened to squeezed shut as my brain screamed” Please don’t have to shit, please not now. Just a few more minutes. Damn why can’t I be enjoying this like I am supposed to? God this feels good. Deep breath.  It’s all good. He’s moving down. He’s going down. It’s almost over. He’s at my calf. Okay, Breath. ” I had made it through one ass cheek.

As my perfect shade of chocolate massage therapist pursued my other side, by the time my vagina-exposing, sheet-curling moment began, so did my tummy. As the gurgling increased, I was sure he could hear it. I pictured the smirk on his face. That half smile. And oh, those dimples.  It was happening, I needed to pass some gas.  Except in this situation, the only thing passing would be liquid down my thigh, not to mention a smell reminiscent of a dead possum from the garage. I squeezed. I had to.  As I clenched my face and my ass, I hoped he wouldn’t start rubbing before it passed.  He had to have seen my butt squeezed so hard there was no doubt I was holding in a fart.  Mortified, it finally passed.  I hoped nothing had bubbled out while almost passing out from a mixture of fear and holding my breath.  He began the final stretch of my massage.  Damn it felt good.  No one ever rubs my ass. By this point, relaxing was out of the question.  I just breathed and waited.

“Okay, we’re finished. Take your time getting up. You may feel a little light-headed. Your robe is on the chair.  I’ll be waiting for you outside the door with a glass of water.”

“Jesus Christ,” I thought as I walked out of the room.  I felt it come on like someone had just turned on a water hose inside my gut.  I had to go.  For real. I was gonna blow.  I graciously took the glass of water.  I waited for him to finish his spew of directions telling me to “just relax” and wait for the next person who had apparently been tapping her nails waiting 15 minutes to pamper me.  Of course she was ready. Of course she was ready.  I, however, was not.  As he walked away, I set down my glass, clenched my butt cheeks together and tip-toed to the bathroom.   It smelled like a newborn’s diaper in there; from one hour ago when I shit the first time.  Embarrassed, because now every employee knew it was me who rancidized their entire facility, I sat down and let it out.

I was now ready for my mud wrap.  “It’s okay,” I thought, if anything leaks out,  at least I’ll be covered in mud. I’ll match.”

I made it through the rest of my appointment without incident. Well, except the part where I split my pants in the crotch while getting dressed before my pedicure. I looked in the mirror from behind. It was only visible if I bent over.  How fitting. A hole conveniently placed so I could shoot out shit while getting my toe nails painted. I hoped the manicurist wouldn’t mind.

“I’m so sorry for the mess, Miss manicurist. And about that dead possum smell.  Don’t worry, your tip will exceed your exception.”

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What Would You Do?

neurosis

What would you do if it were me face down on the sidewalk instead of you?

Ambaum Boulevard and SW 124th Street.

What if I called you on a Saturday afternoon begging for you to come to me.

An intersection, my only offering.

Would you come for me?

If my body couldn’t move because it needed a syringe, would you come?

What would you do if I were writhing in front of my dealer’s house?

Alone. In pain. In tears.

Wanting to die.

You were the only person left in the world I could call.

All other bridges I had burned.

What would you do?

I can tell by your voice you remember the pain.

But where is your compassion?

I know you remember.

The anguish of the mind.

The agony of each bone.

The ache of every muscle.

How did I get here?

How could I let this happen?

Again… and again.

Would you give me 20 bucks and watch me crawl like a beggar through my dealer’s doorway?

Maybe you would show up to scream at me for destroying our lives?

Or would you simply pick up my frail, run-down body out of the street and take me to a hospital?

Perhaps you would call the police?

At least I would have a place to go.

Three hots and a cot.

Or would you let me suffer?

Like I let you suffer.

Covering your ears praying it’s just a nightmare.

Or would you simply stop answering the phone and wait for me to stop breathing?

What would you do?

I called the police that day.

I was too far away to make it to him.

I didn’t want him to die.

He handed me the intersection.

So I turned over his life.

It’s not where he wanted to end up that day.

But he is alive.

What would you do if the father of your chiildren called you from the floor of a sidewalk…

What would you do?

man on sidewalk

Invictus

She was phenomenal in every way,

Yet unsure of how to accept a compliment.

Her beauty was captivating.

However, her shame blinded her from seeing her true reflection.

She wrestled with her obsession to scrub and organize her surroundings,

Always in an attempt to face her own neurosis.

Her thoughts are what killed her, you know.

She grappled with them through every second of daylight.

And she bantered with them not to lead her into the darkness at night when she closed her eyes.

Like a babe in the woods, she latched onto her thoughts as they became vultures with talons, not realizing their intention to ruin and deprave her soul.

With severed legs, she could not run.

With a torn and fragmented heart, she could not feel.

This extraordinary woman, lost in her own despair, sincerely could not find her way out.

She had become so addicted to wandering into the desolate closets of her mind, she knew that leaving bread crumbs would help her come back…

But the vultures pulled and tugged at the small thread of lucidity she held onto until she could not feel at all…

All of the small things mattered a bit too much.

The distractions of her worried mind.

Sadness disabled her heavy eyes from searching around to see the beauty of the world.

Just as often, she failed to look around to notice the charm of her little ones.

From time to time she caught glimpses of their joy, and at times their afflictions.

These moments were when the urgency to stay alive kicked in.

This rare and remarkable woman travailed until she grew weary.

Her body never gave up, but the venomous thoughts caused her mind to wither away.

This woman prevailed exquisite and admirable.

Yet, she did not know this to be true of herself.

This woman loved you enough to stay alive as long as she could.

She had to let go.

This phenomenal woman was your mother.

3721598-silk-flowers-on-a-cemetery-grave-headstone-mother-Stock-Photo

DRUNK

alcoholism

Let’s get really drunk.

Let’s get fucked up.

I don’t want to feel how much I hate myself.

Let’s wait until morning, shall we ?

So I can yell and scream about how fat I am because I drink too much.

About how miserable I feel because I want to write my memoir,

But I can’t because I work all the time.

And when I an not working, I am with you and the kids.

I want to drink until I can no longer feel.

I do it nearly every night.

I have to work tomorrow.

I know I will wake up a mess,

I will care when I see the bags under my eyes.

I will hate myelf.

Something I am used to though.

Right now, I have  a beer and a shot in front of me.

Been drinking since the AM,

I don’t give a fuck right now.

I am a tortured soul.

If it weren’t for my 2 children, I would die right now.

I hurt,

I will hurt tomorrow.

I was once a homeless crack addict,

This should not be as bad as it feels,

As horrible as the past,

But it is.

My name is Melisa.

I am an alchoholic.

And no one understands me..

So here’s to another day of drunkesness,gaining weight, and forgetting I am a parent of 2 beautiful children,

Fucking miserable.

I just wanna be high all the time….

Help me.

Please.

Intensive Care

sad bride

She woke up in an unfamiliar place.

She saw what resembled silhouettes.

Blurry outlines hovered over her.

There were six of them.

She closed her eyes, then quickly opened them, anticipating what stood before her would appear different.

She squinted and could only piece together parts of the whole.

Whatever that whole was, she didn’t know.

Blurry, yet serious faces and white coats hovered over her.

A man with a clipboard spoke.

She suddenly sensed she was a lab rat.

She couldn’t identify her surroundings.

She looked around in a panic.

Her eyes crazily scanning everything in their path, trying to make sense of what was happening.

She tried to listen, to make out his words, to understand why he was invading her space.

He must be in charge of something… the other five?

The leader of some purpose?

He asks her a series of questions…

She could not understand as she was occupied with her struggle to find herself.

Disoriented… drugged perhaps?

His voice was just as blurry as his face.

 

She suddenly became aware,

A hospital.

The man with the clipboard was not a nurse.

He did not resemble the doctors who had been invading her curtained cave.

He seemed out of place.

She hears the word Psychiatrist.

All of them?

Except for the man with clipboard, the others must be interns.

All five of them.

Why her?

Was she some kind of case study?

Her memory was coming back in pieces.

She remembered what she did.

 

A relapse.

His new job.

His first paycheck.

They were only married 1 month.

It was her voice this time that spoke out in the car after cashing his check.

“What if we only used a little?”

Usually it was his suggestion.

Hardly subtle… He never asked.

He just did it… made the deal… She was in the crossfire. Always.

But, occasionally it was her idea.

She romanticized the drug… the high… the ritual…. the escape.

She caused this this trip to the ICU.

She nearly died from the shame of suggesting a fifty dollar high that turned into an entire paycheck.

She had always known when to stop.

That was the difference.

She honestly only wanted fifty dollars of dope.

Just a taste.

For him, every high ended up leaving all they owned up in smoke.

She lay In a hospital room drenched with shame.

She couldn’t stop what she had started.

Would she ever learn?

ambulance

 

She was severely disappointed when she looked over at the monitor to see she had a heartbeat.

Some people attempt suicide for attention, a cry for help.

She truly wanted to leave this earth… her existence just a cloak of blackness.

She still wants to disappear at times.

Drive off the freeway.

Into a river, a ditch, oncoming Mack Trucks.

It would be so easy.

Maybe too easy.

However, this girl is a fighter.

She does not take the easy way out.

She clawed herself out of the darkest hole, the fire burned her fingers into blood… now scars.

She will never forget the pit from which she crawled.

 

The psychiatrist’s monotone voice somehow awakened her from her spiral of introspect.

“Were you trying to harm yourself?”

No, you fucking morons, I always swallow an entire bottle of Seroquel to help me sleep.

“You had cocaine in your system…did this cause your suicide attempt?”

Did medical school offer a one day lecture on addiction to lead you to this conclusion?

Yes, clipboard man and your servants, when I come down after a 3 day crack binge I always attempt to kill myself.

 

In reality, she has tried to die many times, crack binge or not.

The desperation, the doom, the depression and the shame were unbearable.

She told her first grade teacher she wanted to die.

Apparently her formative years created this longing to separate herself from the world.

As the group of psychiatrists asked her questions and diligently scribbled their interpretations of her responses on their clipboards.

She answered as she always did.…

She told them what they wanted to hear.

“No, I do not feel like harming myself at this time.”

This is the only way to walk out of a hospital without taking a trip to the psych ward.

You must convince them you are okay.

Lie, so you can leave.

Looking back on those 3 days posted up in a Motel room smoking crack followed by the 3 days hooked up to a breathing machine.

She knew the anguish, but still longed for the immunity of life.

 

She couldn’t breathe on her own for 3 days.

She almost succeeded this time.

She thought for sure this time she would fly away from her earthly body and be free.

Free from the self imposed prison of drug addiction.

Free from her mother, from him, from herself.

The doctors had just removed the tube from her throat.

It hurt to talk.

The doctors discouraged talking,

But apparently the psychiatrists insisted on questioning her.

Either she was a mystery to them or they were on a mission to gather conclusions and move on to next crazy person.

 

As the psychiatrists opened the curtain to leave her bed, she felt violated.

She had just woke up from a nightmare.

She was expected to answer generic questions from students who just wanted to hear her say she was all fixed and able to be discharged, to save them from more research and paperwork.

She wanted to scream… “No I am not fine!  I want to die!  I hate that I have failed again!”

But they were gone.

She was alone with herself,

Her worst fear,  yet her favorite place.

Nurses had been coming in out and of the room.

She was now aware of the immense pain.

Physically and emotionally.

Of course she was not going to tell them she wished she were dead.

She would have been placed in four point restraints.

A memory from her Harborview visit at 14 struck her in the brain.

The ICU was enough.

She needed to process that she had nearly died.

 

She laid there and slowly regained strength.

She struggled to breathe on her own.

People came to visit her.

Like ships passing through heavy fog, She couldn’t remember who they were.

She heard voices pray for her.

She felt her hands being grasped by the hands of others.

She slowly faded in and out of consciousness.

Shame and self loathe oozed out of her pores.

“I am so sorry,” she screamed inside her head, wanting someone to hear.

 

It was her mother who found her barely breathing.

She was laying right next to him…

They were taking a nap, coming down from the high.

He didn’t know she had taken the pills.

She knew he wouldn’t notice.

But her mother…. she came in the room.

A mother knows.

 

There she was again.

Starting over.

With him?

Should she run?

 

He was by her side when she could open her eyes.

His eyes were red and swollen from crying.

In the parking garage,

He had been screaming and begging for God to keep me alive.

At the top of his lungs, with all the strength he had left, he begged.

He didn’t care who was watching.

He swore on his life,

He promised he’d never pick up a crack pipe again.

He promised to always protect her.

She knows he meant those loud cries with every fiber of his being.

She saw it in his eyes.

He wanted God to hear him.

He knew God heard him.

 

She believed in his belief.

Just not her own.

She didn’t believe in God.

She still doesn’t.

 He hurt her…

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A Hundred Little Tragedies

bridge1

“The meeting of two personalities is like the contact of two chemical substances: if there is any reaction, both are transformed.”   – Carl Jung

This is an update on my Ex, D.    Fighting for his life.

Today I became painfully aware that I have not truly grieved the loss of my precious identity and beauty,  things I never knew were inside me to begin with. These being the innocence of my heart, the dignity of my sexuality and the tolerance for my own discomfort.  I have accepted  these losses and hurts, came to grips with them.  But to authentically grieve for myself?  Not yet. I feel I am on the verge of a breakthrough. I often feel that, but then nothing happens.

Right now, I feel the pain and tears well up in the back of my throat.  I am alone, so you would think I could let emotions burst with no inhibitions.  But, I let it out in small spurts like hiccups.  If I submit to my welled up emotions, I may end up in a heap on the floor.

It feels like a simultaneous eruption of little earthquakes in my stomach. From top to bottom, my insides shake.  Moving like a strong building floor violently rolls in an earthquake .  Somehow I must be able to stop it.  I absolutely should not, but I do. I see a single tear drop fall to my shoe through my shaky fingers.  It is unusual for me to get to even this point. It’s a start. It’s progress. Healing, it’s called?  It genuinely feels like like grief.  I am painfully aware of my heart.  I can actually feel the life pumping inside me.  I now know it is receiving life and losing it at the same time.  This is struggle in its purest form.  

I can just visualize the end of my outburst, exhausted and curiously poked at by my kids as they arrive from school.  So I better just keep it together.  For everyone’s sake.

There is an empty space inside of me.  It feels like a hundred little holes that make up a larger one.  Like a paper target at a shooting range, with the face in the middle?  The gaping holes inflicted by blunt force, shredded at the edges from trauma.   My chest actually feels hollow.  My heart hurts.  It needs to give in  to the dam I have been keeping so close to me.   I don’t know where it ends and I begin. Grief is more complex than just processing a loss.  It is not just an emotional reaction, it is physical, cognitive, behavioral and social.  My PTSD has arrested my ability to go through this process.  As badly as I want to, it is paralyzing to allow a thought or a memory run its course through my head and heart.  I guess that’s why it’s called a “process.”

I feel like I am walking in the dark, arms outstretched, searching for a door that needs to be opened, and only I can open it.  I feel terror knowing I have to open it and I have no idea what awaits me on the other side.  If and when that door opens, that’s my new life unveiled.  That is my new self, my authentic self. Someone I have never seen.  It is a being, a state of wholeness I long to discover more than anything, but I am comfortable with what I know.  Isn’t that sad? Change is frightening.  Illumination is blinding.  That’s why addictions and mind sets are so hard to break.

I found out that my Ex-husband, I refer to him as D, relapsed a few weeks ago.  I am surprised, and not surprised at the same time. He has been using drugs his entire adult life.  He has managed to string together some sobriety here and there.  We managed to get married, have 2 children, and live a somewhat normal life for 7 years.  We were married for 10 years.  Do the math… yes, there were relapses during the marriage.  All in the last 3 years.  It was an ugly time. I had to get the kids and myself out before they were removed from our home.  Every day after work walking up the stairs, hoping not to smell crack smoke, became very tiring.  Worrying the money would be gone, the car loaned out to a dealer. I was even sold when there were no inanimate objects left to sell, trade, or pawn.

The last relapse closed the deal for me.  I knew I had to leave.  A fighter rose up inside of me I did not know I possessed.  D picked me up after I worked a long night shift.   I could see in his eyes he was high.  It’s a haunting look I can never forget.  He was strangely quiet. The blue in his eyes covered in an opaque sheet of black.  When we got home, he asked  me to use with him.  I was disgusted. Even as an addict myself, I knew asking the one you’re supposed to love to join you in misery is inexcusable.  That fighter who rose up in me did something it had never done before.  I gathered my things… car keys, money, credit cards, packed a small bag, ran down the stairs and drove away.  I was able to salvage some of what usually would end up in smoke.  Including myself.

I talked to D on Thanksgiving.  He spoke with the kids briefly.  I am always happy when they get a chance to talk.  However, because of the Protection Order, there is little contact.  I decided it was time to say “fuck the protection order.”  His life is in danger.  I usually let them talk and he and I don’t speak. I wanted to hear his voice this time.  I always know when something isn’t right.  He had the chance to leave the state with his parents a few months back, which I believe would have saved his life.  He pleaded to stay here to work and better himself.  He had completed a 9 month inpatient treatment program, lived in a halfway house voluntarily, and accumulated a year clean and sober.  He even got a job. I thought he would stay clean this time.  I hoped.  But after 25 years of the overwhelming temptation and lure of Crack Cocaine, and the trigger of payday cash,  this relapse is a clear picture to me.  By staying here in this city, a using playing ground for him to run wild, he opened his own coffin.

He told me he sold his van. He was living in it. The weather has been extremely cold and I was hoping he had not sold it yet, for I knew he eventually would.  I know his addiction. He walked away from his only source of protection from the elements, leaving all its contents inside.  Everything he owned.  All that remains are the clothes on his back.

He told me he was suicidal.

 I saw a story on the news the other day.  A man had driven his car into a store, loaded his vehicle with items to sell, and was hiding when the police arrived. My heart sank and my mind raced.  I recalled a story D told me of a crime he committed 20 plus years ago…  He drove into the back of a music store in this same area, stole merchandise, and got away before the police arrived.   Up until a few hours ago, I have been checking the jail inmate registry on the hour, every hour.  I sent him a text 2 days ago with no response until a few hours ago.

I have tortured myself with obsessive worry.  Not because I have “those kind of feelings” for him anymore, but because he is the father of my children and someone I have known literally over half my life;  someone I believe to be a good man in the deepest part of his soul.  He was, at one time, a providing husband and loving father.  Some Psychologists would say this is the unhealthy “Caretaker” role emerging from me. But something just feels different this time.  More urgent. More tragic. I don’t want him to die. He has relapsed a few times since our separation.  This is different. We both have an eerie and tragic feeling in our gut… something two people who have been to hell and back, hand in hand, would only know.  In sync.  Too bad when drugs became our god, he no longer held hands with his earthly love, but with a demon…and soon could not decipher the difference.

I know first hand when death seems a sweet relief, the closest angel in your life can beg and plead, but there is a stone wall around your heart.  Hearing no life. Seeing no life. Speaking no life.  Sometimes the will to die overpowers the will to live. The pull is overwhelmingly strong.

I texted him again today and asked him to please just let me know that he was alive.  Within minutes, he called, from an unknown number, of course… the paranoia kicking in. I told him, “Fuck the protection order, your life is at stake!”  I truly exhaled for the first time in 3 days.   He may be alive, but far from well.  He is barely alive.  He is waiting to die. Those are his words.

His phone had been shut off, which is why he didn’t get my text the other day.  I sent him pictures of the kids.  He chuckled “You ruined my high.”   I said, “Good, that was my intent.”   I knew the responsive laugh was just a cover for shame. He is using drugs because he can’t handle the pain of what he did to us.  All of us.  I told him I understood.  And I do.  I am the only person who understands what he is going through. He told me I am the only person he could talk to.  He is right. The last time we spoke, I told him he could call the crisis line.  But we both know, on the other end of the line,  sits a volunteer who is looking at a script pleading with us that “it’s going to be okay.”  On that same note, he is the only person I know who really understands me in my addiction..  We went through all this together. Too many times.

I have scrolled down my phone contacts… and the green dots next to the names on my laptop, all in search of someone to talk to… I end up not able to see the screen as my eyes fill with tears. I am alone.  Addiction is powerful.  Not many understand its gravity.  I am done praying to God.  I am done with 12 step programs.   Addiction is bigger than that.   It’s a monster bigger than all of its so called “help” combined. It’s a monster that never leaves you. It can be arrested and in remission.  But it waits.  And it pounces when you’re not expecting it. Believe what you want, but this I know.  When I told him to call the crisis line, I could hear the ridiculousness in my voice.  I felt like a hypocrite. I have been in that place.  After the volunteer on the other end disappears, the hope disappears as well.

 So, today, when he said the pictures of the kids ruined his high.  To the “normal” person, that sounds horrible.  But let me translate.  He is so full of guilt and shame, he cannot bear to take another breath without needing to stop the screaming in his head.  The self condemnation that plays on a continual loop what a loser he is and how he fucked up his family.  This may, in fact, be true in some aspects.  But I hurt for him.  My heart breaks for him.  There are a few times I can recall when he sobbed on the floor in front of me after a devastating relapse.  We had lost everything.  Looking back, sometimes I don’t know how we survived.  How did we keep a roof over our heads with two kids?  That’s why I made him leave… with the help of the law.  He is a stubborn one.  Most addicts are, and master manipulators as well. We develop that as a survival technique and to support our habit.  Because at the time, nothing else matters.

He told me on the phone he could not bear the pain of what he had done to me. He was called to protect me. It was his duty as a husband.  Especially after knowing that I was sold for drugs at 16 by the infamous “Chewy” I have written about, and D did the same to me.  He is so ashamed.  Hindsight is always 20/20, and consequently, devastating. There are little words, which explains perfectly why he wants to numb himself.   What he let happen to me is the lowest of betrayals.  I heard the excruciating pain in his voice.  I told him he was forgiven. I do not hold a grudge.  And that is true.  I released him.  I told him I knew who he was when the crack was not in control of him.  That was not his true self.  He said he knew that, but even though it was his physical body, the drugs were inside him, he was my husband and should have never fed me to the lions.  I told him it was okay. In actuality, It is not okay.  But it has to be now.  I can grieve while he fights for his life.  This will not kill me;  but it is killing him.

 D told me he stood on the edge Aurora Bridge last week.  Cars were honking at him.  I know he wants to die. I know him and I believe him.  He is genuinely remorseful about what he let happen to his life and his family. The grief is destroying him. If his heart is beating, he will get high. No prayer or AA meeting can replace the pipe or the needle.  It may suffice for some. But not for all.  He can be mean and cold, but he is more sensitive than any man I have ever known, and this regret is more than he can bear. If he does not take his own life, he will overdose.  He told me he was speed balling (Cocaine and Heroin together intravenously).  He had never used a needle until a year ago.  He said he was close to giving himself a hot shot.  I asked him what that was. He said he would inject himself with air.  I am not sure what is stopping him.  But I hope there is a faint light in him or around him keeping him going.   I don’t want a phone call from a faceless man or woman informing me he is dead.  “Can you come and identify the body?”  How do I tell my kids their father is dead?   Honestly though, I want the police, paramedics, whoever… I want them to contact me, not his family, his blood, who have washed their hands of him.

When he told me when he sold his van, leaving everything he owned inside, I expressed my concern about the frigid weather.  I asked him if he had a coat, gloves, a hat?  He said he had just the clothes on his back and he is on foot or crashing in random people’s places.  His hands are numb by the end of the day. But he’s “runnin’ and gunnin’” as we called it  back in the day.  He’s Clyde now, alone without Bonnie. He sells and smokes all day and night.  Sell, inject, smoke. Repeat.  He always hated Heroin. Addiction is a progressive disease.  And for all of the people who cringe at this, the AMA recognizes addiction as a disease.  It fits the diagnoses of all the others.  It’s progressive and terminal.  Would you reject your child if they had a mental illness, a severe addiction, cancer?  Don’t hate on me.  Look it up. We don’t choose this.

Keep walking, I beg him.  I told him to please stay warm, eat and sleep.  He said he doesn’t get hungry.  Well, I know that.  I remember.  You don’t get hungry or thirsty or tired.  You have to make yourself eat and drink. I can visualize him when I close my eyes.  His face sunken in so his cheekbones are showing. Dark circles under his once bright blue eyes. Neglected facial hair. His face has aged 15 years in the past 5. The wear and tear of crack cocaine, the erosion morphed into deep wrinkles.

What a life, huh?  Get married, have a couple kids (not to mention his two grown children from other women),  fall back into old patterns, get up and fight, fall again, fight again.  Finally, he is on his own, homeless in Seattle.  Giving in to his every whim and need while I try to make sure our kids are fed and clothed.  I feel a little jealous.  That first hit is amazing.  I want to feel that feeling that removes all other feelings.  Comfortably numb….though sadly it’s temporary.  That is why addicts end up in jail or dead.  The chase of the first high is relentless and trumps all… your kids, your spouse, your parents, your belongings, and eventually your soul…. because you have sold it.  Then, like my Ex, you graduate into an empty shell, just a body.  The same body you have lived in you entire life, except it has become unrecognizable.  Your brain does not even know who you are anymore, which is frightening and unbearable, so all there is to do is what you know how to do… get high… it all goes away.

Can you imagine? Our brains and our bodies are woven together to feel and respond to the other.  You become so numb that the two become separated. It is not right.  I have been there.  I have felt this.  Most who read this won’t understand. That is why this desperation to connect with D is imperative.  I am all he has left.  I am his only friend.

Isn’t that all we want in the end?  Nothing else matters.  No material things.  Just a heart that can understand yours, no matter the history, the differences, the pain.  It no longer matters.  Fuck grudges… I will not give up on him, like everyone else.

My determination does not revolve around him being the father of my kids or my ex-husband. It comes from knowing his pain. Knowing that one human being needs another.  He needs me a source a light in his now dark world.  Those people on the street can feed his addiction and immediate needs, but not his spirit and will to live.  I will place myself aside for now to save his life.

D, I can’t rescue you.  You placed yourself in this position.  You have been given many chances. You repeatedly fail with each attempt at a new beginning.  I used to hate you for the wreckage you created, the mess you walked away from and left me to clean.  I don’t hate you anymore.  Maybe I should.  But my sick friend, you are hurting and I understand you.  I am not the one to judge you; there are enough doing that already.  I know you.  I know your heart.  I hear the real you through the wickedness in the back ground.

You are not evil.  You are kind.

Today, you say you are sick.  Dope sick from the black. Every muscle hurts. You must be desperate to get yourself hooked on heroin.  It’s okay.  Just rest. Sleep it off.  The sun will rise tomorrow and you will live another day.  I know you will.  I just know.

I could not move after our phone conversation.  Like I was saying, the grief is trying to claw its way out of me, but it stops when it reaches the apex of my jumbled mind, or heart, I am not sure which. I guess both.

I am so close to coming undone.  Another earthquake in my stomach. Only one tear after all those convulsions… so close.

Maybe next time.

 

“Say something,  I’m giving up on you…

I’m sorry that I couldn’t get to you…

And I…  will swallow my pride,

You’re the one that I loved,

and I’m saying goodbye….

…Say something.”

never give up

Tell Me I Can Stay

bipolar

Who says I can’t.

Who says I have to write “can not” instead of “can’t” to be a good writer.

I do.  I say.

I say I can write it that way and I say I can live that way.

I don’t say it as much as I think it.

I can’t do this anymore.

I just CAN’T.

 

Why did you say I don’t need to come here anymore?

What do I have to do to convince you that I really am crazy, I just hide it well.

Perhaps hiding it makes me more crazy.

If you let me go, I may just let go too.

Snap.

 

I resent that you said that.

Am I wasting your time?

Am I wasting mine?

I hate myself today just as much as I did the first day I walked in here and sat down in this chair.

If I am so much better now, why do I still self destruct?

 

Why do I eat and drink so much,

Wake up the next morning, curse myself in the mirror and do it all over again?

It’s almost 1 pm.

There’s a bottle of wine in the cupboard.

I want it.

I have to leave here in 3 ½ hours to come and see you.

I never drink first.

Not because I care about myself,

But because I care about you.

I suppose it would be disrespectful.

And I would be mortified if you smelled alcohol on me and confronted me.

Not to mention drinking and driving.

But shit like that never stops me.

It’s high risk behavior.

Isn’t that why I am here?

 

I didn’t quite make it the bathroom in time this morning.

Laxatives.

I stopped taking them for a while.

But it’s a small price to pay to feel just a little thinner.

I need to get rid of everything I ate and drank last night.

An eating disorder?

Ya.

But I don’t look like I have one.

Just like I don’t look crazy.

 

She said she loved me this morning.

I said “Thank You.”

I am not sure I am in love anymore.

I am not quite certain how to love.

 

The other one called and told me she fell last night and had to 911 for help to get back in her chair.

I felt empty.

Sad.

Disgusted.

I gave my feelings away a long time ago.

I have nothing left to give.

I have half of my life left.

Yet all of my feelings have been used.

 

Do I sympathize?

Empathize?

I can’t even remember the difference.

 

Sometimes I watch her from the chair.

My blood boils as she breathes.

She breathes heavily because she is in pain.

It irritates me.

Why so dramatic?

She’s supposed to taking care of me, god dammit.

My drama.

My pain.

This is about me.

 

I have nothing left to give.

I am numb.

She’s watching a comedian on TV.

I had to come to the bedroom to write this.

I can’t listen to a man rant about fat women, crack cocaine and blow jobs.

There is nothing funny about that.

Not to me.

Doesn’t she know that?

Most of my trauma comes from crack pipes and forced sex.

I can feel the anger well up in my throat, the tears behind my eyes.

I want to scream.

But I can’t.

I feel crazy.

But I can’t let it out.

I hate myself.

 

Who are these women I speak of?

They’ll never know.

I’ll never tell.

 

People don’t change.

So why am I sitting here?

Why am I on my bed instead of at the table?

Healthy people can laugh when they hear jokes about blow jobs and crack.

 

So then why I am I here with you?

If I am so healthy why the hell am I here?

Tell me you didn’t mean it.

Tell me I can stay.

Even though I can’t change.

I want to stay.

No one else gets me.

I have no where else to go.