Life Lessons (con’t)

Continued from post of 2/6/14

After a month or so of this relative calm and sobriety on my part, the demons could no longer be kept at bay. I began “partying” again, and the feelings of self-loathing continued. memories of  molestation as a child, verbal abuse in the home, being raped while in a drunken stupor, a forced abortion – all these factors and more led to many suicide attempts. Finally,  in desperation, my parents had me commited to a Psychiatric Hospital for treatment, and at 17 years old, my eyes were opened to the depths of suffering mental illness causes, not just to the patients, but also to their bewildered families and loved ones.

Mom tried so hard to learn to express herself to me, and I to her. Much healing occured between us with the aid of caring professionals, such as the Director of the Hospital himself. However, my Dad smiled and seemed compassionate and understanding but inside he was very uncomfortable with the subjects discussed, and totally unable to open up. definately unable to change as passing time attested to. My mental illness, which was dignosed at that time as severe depression, was explained, and studied. The Psychiatric Ward I was in was a locked ward of adolescents. I saw children lost in the “system”, thrown away by parents and caregivers because they were too moody, to demanding. I made friends with a young schizophrenic girl, who taught me how to get” shot up” with thorazine by punching an orderly, a trick I never tried after watching her drool all over herself. They took away my Ozzy cassettes, and we had therapy sessions in front of cameras that followed the conversation around the group for later scrutiny by psychiatric students. At night the screaming from the adult insane ward was deafening and sad. I did not realize they were future me’s. And Dear God, I hope that is not true, but it sure runs in the family.

At least those 45 days taught me to hope for healing, in time. To know there are professionals who can help me navigate my life. I see a wonderful social worker now, who I feel safe sharing my inner thoughts with. She doesn’t judge, or laugh at, or scold me. She listens. Just like my mom did for all the years she was alive. Mom was my advocate, my shield, my lap to sit in, my hands to hold. She was my rock to cling to when the darkness comes.

When I finally came home I was clean and sober, full of love for my family, and life, Mom and I redecorated my little attic bedroom, painting the walls a lovely lavender shade.  Rather rebellious! We became the best of friends, she shared her unhappiness, as well as her joys with me, speaking to me as an adult. i was able to share my struggles to fit in,  to feel “part of” something.

The sobriety was very short lived. I smoked a joint the day I was released from the Hospital, and drank beer the next day. After a few months I was a full blown active addict again, but she never quit helping me, or believing in me.( it was years later when she learned about tough love and Alanon) I did not truly get clean and sober untill I was 32 years old, and one day I will tell you more about my life. But I lost my mom to colo/rectal cancer on her birthday 4 years ago: 3/21/2010.

When she died I was never so crushed, so alone, so empty. But she helped me cope before the actual time came. We faced it together, and she is just sleeping now. I sometimes imagine she is still in her room, just a whisper away, like we used to do , late at night. Our rooms shared a sliding glass door and we would talk in hushed voices well into the night.

Then she would tell me,”Get to sleep! Dream of bunny rabbits!”, just as she did when I was a frightened , beautiful child of 5. Thank you so much Mommy- I am really ok! (Thanks to you!)Picture 433

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