first things first: I love you and I am grateful that you are my mom. You have brought me into this world and you have prepared me for life, shown me how to be a strong and independent woman. I think when it comes to the latter, you have done a wonderful job and were a shining example to follow; never depending on a man for financial security and always, ALWAYS providing for yourself. I think, „proud“ is one of the words that describe you best.
And, wow, it is precisely that pride about you, which makes me so mad at you right now.
I am very angry at you, in fact. So angry that it rips my heart in two. Because it is precisely this pride, or maybe just your lack of trust in yourself and others, that made you lie to us, your daughters, for years.
Whenever I watched a movie about a sick person and they don’t tell their family or friends that they’re sick, in order not to worry them or be a burden – I always thought that would be your style. Like… talk it down, brush it off, nah, I’m alright.
I just never thought that it would be that kinda disease that would strike you down.
Have I thought about the risk in the past, knowing your family history and that you’re living alone? Yes. I have and it has always worried me. But I have a tendency to be dramatic, so I ignored my impulses – after all, you were fine, we talked on the phone regularly, you did your things, met with your people… Living alone, yeah, but lonely?
Did I feel bad about not visiting you more frequently than I did in the last years? Yes, I did. Still do. But frankly, did I want to visit you at your house, where you have been chain smoking day in and day out for the last twenty years? Hell, no. I didn’t. It takes one of your cigarettes smoked in my kitchen when you visited, to stink up my entire place for days. And I’m a smoker myself. Difference is, when I buy a pack of rolling tobacco, it lasts me two weeks. You smoke a pack of Benson & Hedges every day. So, no. I didn’t visit more frequently.
Maybe I would have noticed something earlier.
Because now, it turns out you’re too broken to even go to rehab. They sent you back to detox after a day. You said it was because you’re too weak. Sounds believable, given your polymyalgia and all. But I spoke to a doctor today and she said it was more attitude-related. Like you just didn’t feel like it. And I know EXACTLY what they mean. It just doesn’t suit you.
I mean, I get that you’re afraid like you always say, and which breaks my heart every fucking time you say it, over and over, and I get how frustrating it must be for you: you can’t see – tragically due to excess alochol and nicotine abuse – and are hard of hearing (cause you’re 73), so TV is out of the question and maintaining a conversation is difficult for you. You are literally bored and scared, the entire time, every waking minute. That’s gotta be hell and I can only imagine (don’t want to, though) what that must be like for you. I do understand that you are absolutely and utterly desperate.
But you don’t understand it. You just don’t get that you’re sick and need help. Or don’t want to get it. All I know is, you’re not trying to get better. They can’t keep you at detox, cause you’re already detoxed and since you don’t want to go to a nursing home – although the doctors expressly recommended it – the only option is they send you home and have someone help you in your household.
And that makes me furious. Because you promised. You promised me, you would try. And you didn’t. I know, you have to mean it and you have to want it, but for me, for us, the least you could have done is try and hopefully realize that you don’t have to do it for us, but for your own sake. Your back hurts? Obviously, since you’re not taking the calcium they give you. You throw it down the toilet, like a renitent toddler.
What you need is therapy. Long term. You don’t need a household help. You need constant care and therapy, you need a professional you can tell all the stuff you’re telling me that I can’t even handle – like the almost-getting-raped when you were young. Which you told me and which I am still shocked about because I don’t think you have ever told that to anybody before. You put that on me when you should be talking to someone who can actually help you. Because, honestly, I don’t know how to deal with it.
As much as I want to believe that you can stay sober living alone at your place, I don’t believe you have the strength. Mentally or physically. Instead of working through your issues, you will relapse.
And we have told you what will happen when you relapse, remember?
We will cut all ties with you, break off any contact whatsoever.
Because I don’t want to find you lying on the floor face first like that one time ever again.
I don’t want to hear you ask me to buy you alcohol like that one time ever again.
You are my drug, I am addicted to helping you – but you don’t want that help, so I need to get away from you, so I can get well.
I will not watch you die.
I will remember you as the strong person that you were before you gave up on yourself.
And I will work on forgiving you. For not trusting us enough to seek help when you still had a chance.