The Holidays - for those of us with addiction in our families, it can mean a bad four letter word. I believe this is where the AA saying "fake it til you make it" comes in. You press on. You go thru the motions.
Ever since 9-11-2001, the Holidays have lost their spark for me. I believe it is the same year my youngest child was told by his best friend there was no Santa. But the loss this country suffered that fateful day, took the spirit out of me. Or maybe it was preparing me for my future Holidays with Emily.
When we moved to Columbus, I was between all the family, so we all met here. I hosted. I am not a jolly person before hosting 20 to 30 some people. I am a Virgo, so perfection was a must and that put a lot of pressure on myself and my family. I will say though, once the day was here, the good times and memories are worth it.
I was faking it , til I made it. Holding my breath no crisis would occur 20 minutes before everyone was to arrive.
I am surprised nobody noticed , at the time, my Parma tree that one year. If you are not from Cleveland, you will know Parma from Drew Carey. My tree was a little white 25.99 tree on top of a table with the value pack of 6.99 for 30 multi- colored glass balls. If that doesn't scream crisis mode, I don't know what does. About this time of year, that year, Emily tried to commit suicide. Needless to say, I was not in the Holiday mood.
Another year, we were sitting in the therapist office 2 days before, doing some kind of intervention, for what, I am still not even clear on. Then there was the school suspension, for skipping, last thing a Mother needs before hosting a bunch of family, is a defiant teen child at home while trying to get ready. But, whatever the situation was, resulted in me learning to "fake it til I make it", which by the way, is something I am still trying to master.
Last year, there was not faking it, I could not make it. I look back and I realize how sick I was, physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. I owe a big thanks to the wonderful folks at ODR, Opiate, Detox and Recovery Board. There were quite a few others that had been where I was and so helpful in getting me thru. To the point of calling me on Christmas day and chatting with me for hours to get me thru.
Emily had stolen our credit cards and checks right before Thanksgiving. Went to jail. Then went to live with her dealer b/f and his family. Admitted she was having fun using and had no intentions of quitting. I was such a downer, my husband and son went to see the movie Avatar, who knew it was one of the longest movies in history! That left me alone on Christmas day. Not good. I called Emily to come over. She was making demands, that her dealer b/f should be able to come too. He was her protector. He didn't want her coming to her family alone. Did he think we would beat her? Abuse her? Looking back, we might have unbrainwashed her, that was his fear. After many phone calls, she decided to agree to come alone. My husband and son came home from the movie. Needless to say, not a good thing. My son went to the basement, would not even sit at the table with his sister. I, don't blame him, as I was hanging up her coat, there were needles coming out, which lead me to look in purse, more needles... last thing you want to find on Christmas day in your child's coat. They still freak me out, needles. There was no faking it, I was not making it.
I was not "making it"... so bad, that by Feb, I was physically sick. I was laid off my job, due to poor health. Go get well, I was told. I still do not have my job back, due the economy now. But, it was a slap in the face, a wake up call, it was the turning point of me saying, I can't help or support you, I have to take care of myself. But, I can't say, I am making it now either, even after learning all that. I will tell you why I feel this way. I believe I have made much progress, this all hasn't been in vain, BUT, I am still "faking it". I am going thru the motions. I could care less what I buy for my family for Christmas, I could careless what I receive.
You want to know why? Because there has been another crisis. I won't write about what it is, for 2 reasons, it really doesn't matter exactly what it is , and secondly, it is not my story, but Emily's. BUT, it is something that has put another dark cloud over the Holidays, separated my husband and I on what to support and what not to. The bottom line is, as long as he keeps supporting her financially for her mistakes or crisis's, she will not learn, she will not become an independent adult who can solve her own problems.
This comes after our Thanksgiving. Emily was 3 hours late. Turkey's don't wait. I faked it that day too. I listened to what every parent wants to hear. She told me her friends have told her all I did last year to save her. That I worked tirelessly, that I love her so much. One friend told her I was the last person he had texted with before his car accident and he remembered thinking, he only wished he had a mother that loved him like I loved her and she was so lucky. She thanked me for all I have done, she had no idea what was going on behind the scenes. And look how far she has come in a year, she was at Thanksgiving with her family.. what could be better? She said Grace at dinner, it was long, I don't remember all of it, but I remember, something is "off". That Mother's institution.. a nagging feeling in between her words of being sober for 10 months.
The 3 of them decided to go to Blockbuster for a movie. I saw her purse sitting here. I went thru it. Nothing. I didn't believe it, I went thru it again, check the lining for a hole this time, nothing. Breath. Exhale. I went to the counter and saw her phone charging. I looked at the texts. Guess what? Oh come on, you know you the answer as well as me. Texts from her dealer b/f from last year. Drama, swearing, crap. Texts about standing on the corner waiting for grams, oxy's, X. Texts on buying up all the 4 Loco's. Texts about how she thought there was arrow on the work schedule and she was really off on Thanksgiving... that she had been moved to work on Black Friday. You know the excuses.. you've heard them all, as have I.
What did I do? I wrote the names and numbers down. My son noticed I was "off". So I told him, I should have. But you know what he said to me.. you know and I know and that all that matters. Get rid of the numbers, there will always be more numbers, more dealers. Don't waste your energy. He was/is right.
So this year, the 3 of us, my husband, son and I are going on vacation for Christmas. We will be with my Mom in Palm Beach, who is so excited, surprised and happy we are coming. She has called me 3 times going over menus, gifts, schedules. I hope I don't fake this year, I hope it is sincere and just what we all need.. Mom and Grandma to brighten our day.