Thanks Mom: Part II
To understand me,
You must understand her.
Two opposing paths, fatefully intertwined.
For so much of who I am,
Is based on what she wasn’t.
his baby girl.
What better way to show favor,
than teach your daughter to
shoot heroin into her veins, at 13?
Sign of love in that world, I guess.
Who am I kidding?
He sealed both our fates that day.
Sending her down a dark and dreary path to her own demise.
Leaving me, navigating life without a mother’s love and guidance...
Neglect and abandonment.
Feeling deserted, fostering inadequacy.
Exposed to ceaseless competition with drugs, accustomed to defeat.
Nurturing a soul crushing belief that ‘I am unworthy of love’.
Morphing into pillars of my identity.
Yielding a childhood of intangibly chasing perfection, straining to meet impossible expectations, petrified of failure.
Cultivating crippling insecurity, incessant need of approval, dreading disappointing others.
Self Appointed, toughest critic.
She fell victim to life’s circumstances, I refused...
Tenacious determination to forge a different path.
My adolescent rebellion? Not to be them.
Countering carelessness with extreme carefulness.
Avoiding risk, self governed by suffocating rules, obsessively demanding self-control.
Unable to control the dysfunction around me, retreating inward, avoiding influence from outside forces.
I remained guarded, finding myself most comfortable in isolation.
Maintaining physical and and emotional distance, prayerfully seeking invisibility.
Uncomfortable with affection, attention.
Pushing others away, diligently avoiding love.
Despising sympathy, appalled by pity.
Refusing to accept help, woeful of dependence on others.
Determined to prove I would rise above,
through my own volition.
Mostly driven out of core conviction that everyone leaves, eventually.
Recognizing my own contrasting dysfunction,
I sought out on a quest for deeper understanding.
Acquiring education about addiction and listening to brave warriors sharing stories of battling their own afflictions.
Understanding paved the path to forgiveness,
Allowing me to break the bonds of trauma,
Ultimately, providing freedom from my pain.
I saw the world through your eyes,
and it forever changed mine...
Knowing that, when you looked into my eyes, all you saw
...was a lifetime of regret.
Dancing inside were fragments of your pain, glimpses of failures, mistakes made, time missed, and memories lost.
Having to face that everyday was unbearable,
no amount of reassurance would ever ease your pain.
And the beast of addiction wins again.
Because the worse you felt,
the more you needed to escape.
the only constant in your life,
your only source of comfort.
A hamster wheel you would never escape...
I owe you more credit than I ever gave you.
By walking away, being content with playing a minimal role in my life,
You gave me the ultimate gift:
A lifeline out of the dysfunction.
An opportunity for a better life.
Something never given to you.
We both know your motives were selfish and fueled by crippling shame,
But I choose to believe, a part of you knew, you would never be free...
It would have been more selfish,
to hold on tightly
and drag me down with you.
So thank you for giving me life,
the greatest gift you can ever give...
not once, but twice!
Losing you was different,
You can’t lose something that was never yours to begin with.
Your belonged to the drug
And I never knew you sober.
I had mourned the loss of you my entire life.
You were my first heartbreak, long before any boy ever had a chance.
Leaving me with wounds that will invariably, still bleed.
But your legacy lives on in me.
You may have lost your battle,
But I share our story to gives those still struggling, a fighting chance.
Don’t surrender to the addiction.
Freedom is found through openness to forgiveness and self compassion.
As long as you have breathe,
You have a choice.
Choose love over drugs.