Thursday, April 14, 2011

...you learned from their mistakes.

I stopped by my mom's place today to pick up some paperwork. I called first but there was no answer. I decided to go over and call from her parking lot - Mom has trouble getting around sometimes and she just may not have been close to the phone. When I called from outside her building, there was again no answer. At this point, I actually became a bit concerned. Mom is not the type to go out for any reason other than a medical appointment these days and she knew I was coming over. She should have been there. I thought she might have fallen or something so I went to her balcony door (thankfully, she's on the main floor...) She was there, on her couch, passed out (or something) with a burnt out cigarette in her hand. The apartment was a mess. I dialed her number again and watched her. She didn't move until the 5th ring, at which point she grabbed the phone while yelling an obscenity. I hung up and banged on the window. She turned and looked at me uncomprehendingly for a moment. When she came to the door, I could see that she was out of it and smelled mildly of booze but she didn't seem hungover. She was just really, really spaced out. She takes a lot of medication so even if she only had a drink or two, she could be affected like this...She thought I said I was coming tomorrow. It IS tomorrow, I told her. Anyhow, the whole incident made me anxious and sad and my first instinct when leaving her place was to get a bag of chips and run home to eat them.

But I didn't. I used to get angry when she was like this. Today, I felt nothing but pity. I even tried to be angry but the feeling just kept fizzling out. I just feel sorry for her. She is very, very sick both physically and emotionally and she's not likely to change at this point in her life. There was a time, when I was younger, when my biggest wish was for her to get well. Now, I wish her the absolute best, but it doesn't affect me if she continues to live her life like this. What struck me on the way home is that my life right now is so far removed from the way she lives her life that it's hard to believe she is my mother. I don't drink, I don't smoke, I have a good job, my house is reasonably clean, my husband and I have a relationship built on love and respect, my children are well-adjusted. I have broken the cycle of drug abuse and physical abuse. I have many, many issues left that I have to work on. But for today, I'm doing just fine.

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