“Hello,” he said as he answered the phone. “Collect call from…………….(it was a recording of her stating her name), will you accept?” He reluctantly accepted the call and heard Mother’s voice. She was drunk and her speech was slurred, “Scott, can I talk to Kandy?” He was frustrated and he was tired of me being hurt. It was late at night and I was already in bed, “no, she’s asleep” he stated. “Will you wake her up? I need her to come bail me out of jail,” she replied. Scott said “I’m not waking her up. She has to work tomorrow.” Mother asked “Will you come bail me out?” Scott replied “No.” That made her mad and she turned on her mean voice, “Now you listen here Scotty.” When she was mad at him, she called him Scotty and drug out the “s” so it sounded like….sssssssccoty. It was kind of funny the way she would say it. Sometimes out of the blue, Scott would say “Now you listen here ssssssscccoty” just to make me laugh.
Scott was frustrated. This had been going on for such a long time and he knew I was emotionally at my limit. I couldn’t handle it anymore. She was completely out of control. She drank. She got mean. She fought. Someone would call the police and she would get arrested. Hospital. Jail. Phone calls. It was emotionally exhausting. It was excruciating. I could see her path and her final destination but there wasn’t anything I could do to stop it. It was like witnessing a devastating train wreck that was happening in very slow motion.
I cried myself to sleep many nights because of these scenarios. I couldn’t go get her. What would I do with her? I couldn’t bring her to my house. I wasn’t going to subject my boys to that craziness. I couldn’t take her home. She would just be back at it. Jail was a safer place. At least she didn’t have access to the bottle or the drugs. That is such a terrible feeling and thought….jail is safer….jail is better. But it was true. At least I knew where she was and they would feed her.
Mother was a prisoner to alcohol and drugs. I know this wasn’t really my mother. My mother was buried deep down inside this crazy woman. I wanted my mother to be released. I wanted her free from the evil that controlled her and stole her from me. She wanted that too. She really did. But for reasons I don’t understand and can’t explain she wasn’t able to break free. I never walked in her shoes. I was thankful for that and so was Mother. She used to tell me so.
When you are in the middle of crazy…
Remember, you can’t fix them. Don’t rub their noses in every little thing they have done. They probably won’t remember all the things they did while they were messed up anyway. Besides what’s the point? To make them feel bad and more miserable? They feel worse than you could possibly ever imagine. Sometimes it’s easier for them to stay messed up and numb the pain than to get sober or clean and deal with all of the hurt….their hurt and everyone else’s too. The things they do to hurt others are usually only a symptom of the real problem…the addiction. They will only be more drawn to the bottle or drugs.
You can love them and help them the best you can with what you’ve got but you have to set boundaries to save yourself. When they get to the point they want help…help them. Love them unconditionally. You can love them unconditionally and still set boundaries. You can say things like…”Mother, I love you no matter what but I can’t be around you when you are drunk. It makes me sad and it makes me cry a lot. Please don’t call me when you are drunk. But when you are sober and you want to talk, call me. I love you.” To many times we make them feel worthless, unloved and judged. But the truth is…we are hurt, disappointed, scared and angry…just like them. We don’t know what to do so we lash out and try anything and everything. We start behaving in crazy ways too.
Love unconditionally. Each and every time they get clean…give them a do over. Yes they may fail and yes they may disappoint you. But what if they succeed? What if they fly? How many times have we failed or disappointed someone? Love unconditionally.
Finding the sweet side of crazy!