Friday, August 10, 2007

Junky Mom

This is something that I had started to write in May of last year but never got around to actually finishing it. At the time of this writing, I had been attending Methadone Maintenance Treatment for exactly four months and had not used any other form of opiates in close to two months - excluding my daily dose of methadone of course!

OK so today there is actually quite a bit of ground that I would like to cover. Generally I have this intention each and everyday when I sit down to update my journal. On my solitary half to hour long walks I create these brilliant entries but unfortunately they never seem to get any farther than my mind, never seeming to get thought put to paper so to speak. By the time I start typing these brilliant thoughts have vapourized and I find myself giving nothing more than an update on my oh so uneventful day. Does anyone really care if I bought a new blouse or four for that matter? Doubtful. I'm not even terribly thrilled to be honest either.

So all these great thoughts and ideas that seem to whirl around in my head when I am furthest removed from my computer or even my actual journal for that matter never seemed to get expressed - today I have every intention of changing all of this. Now with this sort of intro, you are all going to be expecting some earth shattering revelations no doubt and these I certainly do not have either.

About a week and a half ago I was having a conversation with a friend who asked if I ever hit in front of the girls. Boy, I have to admit that this question really took me aback as I've had a hard time even accepting the fact that they know that I was/am a user. As long as they were unaware, it was much easier for me to remain actively addicted with far less guilt and greater denial. Even though when Sara was much younger though I wouldn't even use in the privacy of the bathroom if she was in the house. I'd sooner say that I was going out to get coffee and doughnuts and do it at the nearest Tim Horton's than sully her safe place. Always felt that to use when she was anywhere around would ultimately be bad karma for her and me regardless of how well I happened to keep my use hidden.

I mean I was so protective of this form of lifestyle never intentionally crossing her path at any age that except for one brief bit of time which didn't end up working out anyway, no dealer has even ever set foot in my house nor any other obvious user. We always took our business far away from our home and as she got older and more aware, unless I could hook up with someone prior to her getting home from school then I would also never leave the house once she was home for the day to hook us up. My regular dealers got used to my peculiar rules after awhile and did attempt to be as accomodating as possible once they realized that this would be to their benefit considering the amount of money that Jim and I would be spending and spending consistently and on a regular basis.

The only time that I would break my rule of not using while she was in the house would be late into the night while she was fast asleep and then of course, I would lock myself safely in the bathroom but I still always felt a certain amount of discomfort. I know that the question to me wasn't meant to hurt or insult as I myself have encountered my share of junky moms who drag their kids to their dealers house with no regard to their mental health or even physical safety. Discreet these ladies are not. And yes I know that many of them will also use in front of them while they are infants and even pre-schoolers. This makes me cringe like nothing else either.

To be honest, most of my past dealers weren't even aware that I had a child and the majority of the users that I would encounter at my dealers certainly were in the dark about this part of my life. If this subject did happen to come up, generally the first question that someone would end up asking me was whether or not I got to see my kid on a regular basis. WTF? Well of course I do as she has never been away from me for so much as an evening. The majority were always stunned that after all these years I still had custody as most of them had long since lost custody of theirs due to their negligent behaviour. Colour me shocked.

This part of my addicted past has always caused me the most trouble emotionally and mentally. The one thing that I learned early into my opiate addiction was the relative ease at which a junky is able to rationalize away any type of their behaviour. This is one stereotypical characteristic that I was not immune to although prior to my addicition nothing could have caused me to act in manner that would be considered morally or ethically grey. Opiate addiction seems to strip this away from the most upstanding citizen rather quickly. I was no exception. It is shocking how easily I was able to slide into a previously unfamiliar area with no thought to any possible consequences.

In my entire life, I had never once opened my mother's purse unless she had expressly asked me to but the moment that my use moved away from recreational, searching to see if she had any spare money gave me no qualms of guilt whatsoever. I remember walking by an unlocked truck one day which just happened to have a purse sitting in view of me and without missing so much as a beat, I had that door opened and the purse in my hand and me down that street out of view in record time. Where this even came from to this day I don't even know but I can vividly remember how excited I was when I discovered that there was close to $400 in it. I am sure that I was at my dealer's front door less than fifteen minutes later.

It is only now that I am back on methadone that I am moving out of this ethically challenged underworld.

When Sara was blissfully unaware of what we did for our recreation pleasure, I was able to use with absolute abandon. I suffered no or very little guilty feelings due to my use because I was able to rationalize it away with the fact that she was looked after first and foremost before any dope was even purchased. My child would never, ever suffer because of our addictions or weaknesses. In this regard, I may have actually done more harm than good but only time will really tell. To compensate for my weakness, Sara was never without anything that her heart desired. If all of the kids had the hottest pair of bluejeans then I made sure that Sara had half a dozen of them.

My intent was to ensure that she would in no way suffer because of us. I remember when she was in Grade 8 talking to some of the part timers here at work, some of whom were still in high school themselves, and asking them if I was being fair with her giving her an allowance of only $50 a week. Each and everyone of them was stunned silent and once they had found their collective voices they wanted me to adopt them. They thought that I was insane giving a thirteen year old that kind of pocket money considering that she didn't have to even buy any of her own things out of it either. Plus they also knew that if "extra" events popped up that I would pony up money above and beyond what she already got. Talk about overcompensation. I know that I am still very much guilty of this habit to this day but this one is actually a real tough one to break.

I made sure that I never behaved in the same manner than some of the other junky moms. None of my kid's toys would ever find themselves in some pawn shop - in fact, none of our household items - nor would she have to be content with thrift store clothing or never having money for even the cheapest school outing or having to wear some cheap hand me down graduation dress. No, nothing like this would or does occur...

I stopped here for now long forgotten reasons - probably doing updates from work knowing me. In fact if I struggle really hard, I'm pretty sure I can remember the specific day that I actually wrote this. I am pretty sure that the reason I never did get a chance to finish this entry or even post it, was the fact that the day I was writing this ended up being my last day of work at that particular job. If my memory serves me correctly, I believe that I was able to hastily cut and paste this into an email that I hurriedly sent myself before I had to leave the building. Yes, it is all becoming remarkably clearer. What a day that turned out to be!

1 comment:

AintNeverScared said...

No, I remember reading this one! At first I thought I was imagining it, that maybe it sounded like something else you had written, until I got to the allowance part. You posted this on JL!! I remember. That's cool; I feel like a Sickgirl fan!!