Dealing with your sallow-cheeked skeleton of a crack head mother is a challenge that no child ever wants to face, but if it’s something you must do I’ve learned a few things that can be achieved to keep yourself protected. I am not promising you that it will prevent or stop your perpetual heartache because I am not that naive to believe that it could. I would never intentionally give you the false sense of hope that she might when she gives you that pathetic excuse of how she is trying to get admitted into rehab, but her insurance is giving her problems. Through years of experience I have developed several self-defense mechanisms to guard my heart and make the situation tolerable. The next time she decides to go off on another one of her tangents of rage because she is coming down hard from her high you’ll at least be self-equipped on how to cope with her and this poisonous addiction she has inflicted on you.
(NOTE: these advisory steps may only prove helpful when used on your average crack head mommy.).
Just like the drug counselors would have told your family if you’ve ever visited her in rehab, the first step is admitting that there is a problem: your beloved mommy dearest is addicted to crack and it’s basically ruining your life. Thoughts of your crack head mom occupy your idle brain and keep you up until one o’clock in the morning crying yourself to sleep because you don’t’ know where she is or if she is even alive. It’s difficult having to be the parent when your still only a child. Her addiction doesn’t have to dictate your life though. If you can find it in yourself to muster up all the courage you have and say the words “‘ My mother is an undeniable crack addict,’” aloud, you’ll feel relieved. Even though you have probably thought it many times, saying it audibly for yourself to hear makes it a reality.
The first time I admitted the truth I stared at my ten year old self in the bathroom mirror from behind teary eyes searching for answers. Why was my mommy hurting me like this? Had she stopped loving me? What had I done wrong? I must’ve cried for at least fifteen minutes straight. Those bittersweet salty tears would not stop streaming down my face and forget about my nose, which had morphed into a high pressure faucet. After I finally calmed down enough to breathe evenly much of the stress and tension had been released. Even if in the past you haven’t been able to believe your very own mother, believe me you will feel so much better after a good therapeutic crying session. Your nose might have to suffer for a day, but if you ask me that is a bargain price to have to pay.
Next, you must realize that your mom, when using crack, is not the same mom that you admired from your youthful memories. You know, the mommy who woke you up in the early summer morning with breakfast in bed. The inviting aroma of eggs, bacon, and chocolate chip pancakes filling your nostrils with every inhale making your mouth water uncontrollably. After breakfast you would go to Bowdoin Park to absorb the sun on a gorgeous summer’s day. Then, end the day with a for-no-good-reason shopping spree. The mother who would surprise you by doing little things like that is not the same mother you see seven years later in that clustered apartment of hers at seven o’clock in the morning passed out on the couch. Her ridiculously trampy clothes still on but not quite the right way and one powder white pointed-toe high heel remains on her right foot. Her hair looks like she hasn’t brushed it for days after being stranded in a desert wind storm. Her heavy black eyeliner is smeared and crusted an inch beneath her eyes and that metallic blue eye shadow that she insists on wearing is in chunks on her restless eyelids. All the dumped out contents of her brown leather purse surrounding her on the small black couch. A bunch of singles and small bills randomly spot the living room as if she had thrown what little money she had into the air and tried swimming in it. On the mirror coffee table her license is covered in a milky white film from the tall glass of spilled milk. Next to it on one of the only dry patches of the table is her crack pipe (which, when I made it known later that same day how infuriated I was with her, she simply referred to it by asking, ‘is it [the reason I was angry] because you saw my “stem”?’ like it were an everyday thing you discuss with your fifteen year old daughter at nine thirty in the morning just an hour before she has to leave for work.).Whether your vision of her was disoriented by the illusions of childhood or because she was once sober and capable of being your mother in all aspects -remember that no longer is she physically, mentally, or emotionally that warm, loving mother that you remember and cherish so dearly.
Once upon a time my mother spent the better part of her minimum wage paycheck to throw me the best birthday party a six year-old little girl could ever dream of having. It was a Walt Disney princess party and she bought costumes so that a few of my friends and I could dress up like princesses from all the different Disney fairytale movies. Of course I was my favorite princess of all time, Princess Jasmine from Aladdin. For the past three years now my mom hasn’t even called to acknowledge my passing birthdays. It used to be excruciating for me to think how she could just forget me, her daughter, her “Midge” like I was some old doll she discarded, but realize, as you must to find peace with yourself as well as with her, that she is a slave to the drug, which she no longer does occasionally to have fun. Remember, it is her every concern, her every thought, her only true love, her last lust, and her best friend. It has made her the mindless, cold-hearted b**** she is today. It does not justify that she chose it over you, but it helps you understand her ignorant behavior towards you.
No matter what lies she spits at you through clenched teeth don’t believe her. No matter how much you want to, how much you need to, never let yourself trust her. The last time I let myself trust my mommy was when she was staying at my house with my dad, my brother, and I. She had nowhere else to go and she begged for us to help her, claiming that she wanted to change. Being the generous man he is, my dad let her stay with us even though just a few months earlier she had forged stolen checks from my grandmother, her mother. At first it seemed like she was really trying to recover and I had thought ‘maybe hitting rock bottom was what she needed all along’. I guess we caught her before she got the chance to hit that rock bottom though, because after less than a month she was staying out late with our car. One night she came back around two-thirty in the a.m. and I was still up, unable to sleep without knowing she was safe. When she finally found her way into the house and up to my bedroom she was talking to me so fast that before she could finish a full sentence she’d stat a new one. I knew right away that she had fooled us all. Aggravated, I interrupted her so I could ask her if she knew where my cell phone charger was since she had taken it upon herself to clean my room. After she searched my room she turned to me and said excitedly, “Oh I know, you probably put it in your pants pocket when you went out with Tori earlier!” I just stared at her not realizing she was serious until she repeated herself. My cell phone charger wouldn’t even fit in my pocket, not to mention I hadn’t hung out with my best friend Tori in two days. I felt my throat constricting and I swear I could hear my entire world crashing all around me. Those annoying water droplets crept into my eyes and I just slammed the door shut in her cracked out face. When I told my dad that she came home high he didn’t want to believe it, asking me how I knew she was high and saying he wasn’t going to jump to conclusions. Nine days later he discovered she had been stealing blank checks from his checkbook and was writing them out to herself, forging his name. Not only did he believe me, but he kicked her out. I guess when a conviction from your daughter isn’t enough, the missing eleven hundred dollars will do it. You cannot trust her because she is a crack head and they will lie, cheat, and steal so long as they can continue getting their fix. She’ll most definitely apologize. She’ll most definitely apologize while pretending to be sincere about it. She’ll most definitely tell you what you want to hear. She’ll most definitely feign that what you want for her is what she desires for herself. She’ll most definitely leave you to drown in your black mascara-filled tears of regret. Regret for ever letting her back into your life. Most definitely after she leaves you she’ll act as if everything is picture perfect when she next sees you. She’ll walk away with more than the eleven hundred dollars she robbed – she’ll walk away with the pieces of your broken heart.
As a method of self-preservation you should be extremely cautious of your fragile heart when in her presence both physically and spiritually. Shield your heart from her evil ways, but don’t let it keep you from loving her. Even though she has stripped you of every emotion you have ever felt in your entire life and stolen your adolescence you should try to find within yourself forgiveness. It may take a great deal of self-exploration for you to be ready and willing to forgive her, but it just might be the most critical factor in the equation to attaining peace and tranquility between yourself and your mommy. You don’t have to forget all the tragedies she has forced onto you, but you most certainly don’t have to live your life hating her either. Forgiving her does not excuse the pain she has put you through because no reasons can ever justify her actions, but at least you can sleep with a clear conscience. You can lay your head on your soft feather pillow and let yourself drift into a deep sleep without asking yourself in a hundred different ways how you can hurt her like she has hurt you. Truth is you can’t. The damage she has caused you is absolutely irreversible, but you can learn and strengthen from it.
My distress with my mother has taught me to protect myself by admitting the problem, preserving her innocence in my mind, and never trusting her until she is noticeably sober because she needs to pass the test of time before I award her my trust. To attain utter relief, forgive her, be at harmony with her. Wallowing in self-pity will not help you in fact I believe it will weaken you. The only thing that I can be positively certain of is that you need to unearth for yourself how to deal with your crack head mother because if you don’t she’ll just use you time and time again.
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