My mother fell off the wagon again. At first, I wasn’t going to write about it… but then I wanted to chronicle this. I wanted a worded memory to go with this moment.
I spoke to her in the morning and all was fine. When she messed up earlier in the year, she’d been drinking awhile; not the hard stuff she usually had a flavor for, but beer that her boyfriend brought into the house. I won’t even get into how I feel about that whole mess. We spoke in the morning and then my phone died and I went to work at my second job.
It was at my second job that I began to receive bizarre text messages from her. This is exactly what happened before. I felt sick. I wanted to run out of work. I wanted to curl up into a ball. I stared at my phone in disbelief. I texted my husband and let him know. I wanted to pretend it never happened. I wanted to hope that my intuition was wrong, that the sinking pit in my gut was just a trained reaction. I called her as soon as I got off work and I knew.
She was hiccuping. She sounded horrible. For the first minute or so, she tried to pass it off as an illness. I just did what I always do when she lies blatantly, I repeated, firmly, “mum.”
Eventually she broke down and confessed–she’d fallen off the wagon again. And then if that wasn’t enough to make me angry, it was for a stupid reason. The catalyst was because she’d appeared at a camp site my grandparents were supposed to be at, but had decided not to go and she arrived before they could call her. This all happened because she didn’t take her situation seriously. She didn’t go and talk to someone like I had urged her. She didn’t go back on her pills that she so desperately needs. Instead, she listened to her useless ‘doctor’ who prescribed her more Ativan (which she was addicted to coming off her detox two years ago), and simply did nothing else. I was so angry I couldn’t speak to her. I hung up and called my grandparents. I wanted to yell and scream at them for being so oblivious and stupid, but instead, I delivered the bad news and then I left them with it.
Because I’m done. I’m done. I warned her the last time, in person. I had scheduled to visit her on her birthday, in hopes of cheering her up. I suspected she had been drinking, but I didn’t want to believe it. And then the week before, she confirmed it. So I went up, I stared at the broken, weakened remnants of my mother, and I picked her back up… again. She made more promises that she never kept. She shrugged them off–she’s fine, she doesn’t need anything extra.
I’m tired of her not taking her own life seriously. I’m tired of being the one who cleans up all the messes. She spoke to me on the phone like I had to forgive her because she was my mother. She laughed. She acted like it was a joke. She tricked me into talking to her the next day and I could have screamed in rage as she pretended as if nothing had happened. My grandparents did the same thing. I wanted to fucking choke someone.
I’m done. I can’t do this anymore. I told my grandparents, point blank, that whatever she does now, she’s on her own, I won’t be there. I have endured stress beyond my years because of this situation and I’ve suffered my own mental relapses. It took me forever to accept that she was back when she had her year and a half of sobriety. I felt like finally I was going to have a mother… a real parent… but no. I should never have let myself open for that kind of disappointment.
I haven’t spoken to her since. I don’t know if I ever will. She’ll probably be dead in two months, if not sooner, should she keep drinking. She doesn’t seem to get that she physically cannot drink. Her body has lost its ability to process it. Her liver barely functions at all anymore.
Even typing this makes me angry. I didn’t let it ruin my weekend. I continued on with my life. My old life is over, the old me is gone; I won’t go back to that and I won’t let them drag me down with them. I love my parents… but it’s time they take care of themselves. It’s time that someone holds them accountable for their missteps.
I no longer feel sympathy, just disgust with a side of apathy.
There’s so many things I want to say to her, but why bother? She doesn’t care. She doesn’t even care enough to keep herself alive.