The Worst Time
When you have known pain, life is marked by traumatic injury. There was the life before and the life after. Most people have one traumatic injury in their lifetime, maybe two.
Whether by choice or karma, mine have been consistent. Injury after injury, somersaulting me into crisis after crisis , with no time to heal in between. My life is marked with these scars. My interactions with life are reactions accumulated from the damage.
It almost seems as if I’ve been riding a roller coaster of ups and downs and right side ups and backwards ..
I am a recovering heroin addict. I’ve been clean off heroin for almost 20 years.
Honestly the time on heroin is a distant memory. I think it’s probably safe to say that it’s like a dream.
Here is the thing with addicts and alcoholics they never tell you.
Being an addict is nothing. It’s nothing compared to what we did to you. We were checked the fuck out. For good reason. We didn’t want to be alive, we didn’t want to remember. We didn’t want to pay attention.
My time high, was nothing compared to my time sober. My time awake.
Being sober and living life is infinitely more painful than anything that happened while I was high.
And I was bad. I was the worst case. Well almost.
There were some lows that I refused to hit consistently.
Once you get bad on dope, it’s all the same story you know. No real surprises. An ex dope fiend can predict the neophytes journey into dope land easy. Because it doesn’t take a genius and dope gets you a ticket to only one place. There are no other options.
Sure you think there are. You convince yourself there are lots of ways to get where your going.
But you’re not the one driving. Dope is.
And after you hop on that train, full of hope and joie de vie , you forget that you were supposed to get off an hour ago.
It’s out of your hands as soon as you buy a ticket.
But your loaded on
And you don’t feel pain. You don’t feel anything after a while. You don’t even know feelings exist after a while.
So it wasn’t as bad.
Then I stayed sober. Then I found out that sober was taking no mind or mood altering substances. Then I found out that real bravery was being clean. Then I found out what pain was. Then I forget that I was a dope addict. Then I just tried to survive.
What I didn’t know then , and I know now, is that
For a dope fiend, life is much much harder sober.
That’s why I am a dope addict.
Life is hard for me.
Living. Is hard for me. Feeling is hard for me.
Some people never go crazy, and what sad, pathetic lives they lead.
So began the real ride. Into me.
You know once you lived as a dope addict, on the streets, or been a criminal, whatever, lived that underground kind of life, the one that most people watch in movies , or think doesn’t happen, it never truly leaves you. There is a part of you that will always remember , like a virus.
It happens when I get hurt.
It happens when I get scared.
You don’t know who the fuck I am.
It’s the ghetto. It’s the I can survive this . It’s the motherfucker you don’t know who you’re fucking with. It’s the war. It’s the I will kill you and I won’t blink an eye. It’s the you got no idea. It’s the thing that survived. It’s animal. It’s tougher than nails. It’s got no feelings. It’s the dark places you are to scared to go.
That all lives in me. All the time.
Its just sleeping maybe or hiding most of the time now. But it comes running out when someone fucks with my kids or I see a guy pushing on a girl, she comes
And I guess it was her that turned my heart black after so many years sober.
It was her that let me live through this
That kept going.
That went to work every day. That didn’t put a gun in my mouth. It was her that whispered
I got this . I got this
But she came back alive after a few years of crisis after crisis , injury after injury.
I won’t get into the details
Dig through my writings you will see what I mean…
Maybe you will find the one that wasn’t a story.
The one when he took my kids.
I stayed sober through that.
That was what first cracked me. What rang the bell and woke her up from her bed.
I sent her back to that place, the one where the nightmares come from . I told her I can do this without you, and go back to sleep.
I believed in the “right thing”.
Like the sun is yellow and the sky is blue.
I used to be such a good person, even with my history. The young bounce back so quick… I don’t think anything you do to yourself hurts as bad as the betrayal, the injustice , the violation of someone injuring you.
I lived in truth. I had to.
When your an ex dope fiend you have to.
You have to cease the damage. You can’t carry the wreckage sober. You have to do what you can live with.
But then the time came I was sober and my kids were gone. My kids had been taken by my abuser.
None of you know what that means
My kids had been taken and then he took my car so I couldn’t come get them. So I lost my job. So I lost my house. So I lost everything that I needed to have my children with me.
Unemployment turned into $120 every week.
I didn’t have enough food to feed my kids most weekends when he said I could see them.
I joined a nursing registry
( yes because I went to school after I got clean. I became just like you on the outside)
But I only had a bike. So I lived downtown and could only take jobs that I could ride to on my bike and the trolley.
But fate shown a light on me
Because I did the right thing
And I got a regular job at County.
I rode the bike to the trolley and the trolley to the stop and my bike to work. Every day.
One day I made a Med error. A harmless Med error. But I had made it and
Do the right thing
I told on myself . Because that’s what you’re supposed to do.
She walked in and looked at me
Because you’re a Registry Nurse , we expect you to literally be perfect and because we are County, we have to let you go because you made a Med Error.
I walked out of
And I looked at my bike, and I looked at the sky and
Fuck the right thing
She woke up. Just like that.
We gotta eat. We gotta get your kids back. We gotta pay rent in that tiny shit ass apartment in the worst part of town. We gotta do what we gotta do.
I remember calling my mom and asking her for $25, because I was on my period and I had no money for tampons.
Do you have any idea how hard this is for me to know that you don’t have enough money for tampons ?
I guess it wasn’t really that hard though
No. I’m not going to help you. You did this to yourself . You need to find a way out.
I rode home with the same thousand yard stare that I had almost my entire life. That I first had at 15. That I always had when I was done. Fucking done man.
What could I do?
If you’re a parent you know what kind of pain was driving me. It was the pain that kept me sober . It was the pain of keep walking. It was the pain that drove me to wake up every day to see them again. My babies. My children. They were the only thing that was real. They were my only life.
I know what we can do
You still got connections girl. You got mad connections and your dope dealers will give you more shit than your own mother will.
Ouch. Selling drugs sober ? That’s pretty bad.
What about that Doctor that told you he would pay your rent if you spent one night with him?
Fuck no. Can’t do that. I can’t do that. Not yet.
There is only one way out and you gotta dig with your fucking nails.
I thought of her, and I knew .
Wake up . Come alive I need you. Doing the right thing , doing the honest thing got me exactly Dick , got me more bent over and fucked .. I’m tired of always being the one playing by the rules, always me being honest , only one playing fair . I’m fucking exhausted. No one is here . No one is Here. No one is here for me.
So I made calls , so I got the pills and I knew this doctor who was strung out and she had the money that I so desperately needed just a little of and I took the money and I handed her the pills and I
That’s pure fucking greed. This is not who I am anymore.
Told myself i was on the way to my kids.
There is no other choice. You have no other choice.
I left her there with the bag of pills and I made her promise to not take them all, in her penthouse million dollar condo,
I don’t want to ride around with them
I will be back in the morning .
And I left her there with all those pills.
The next day I knocked and no answer
She told me I could move in today.
I stood in front of her door a desperate woman. My soul was shaking . I was living outside of the only thing I knew was true.
My nature .
I knocked again.
I opened the door and walked in and saw the city expanse out of the wall of windows. Sunlight and ocean.
My shoes made loud noises on the bamboo floor and I went to her bedroom and saw blue legs and white sheets
911 what’s your emergency
( I sold drugs to my addicted friend
took advantage of her )
My. Friend. Is. Overdosed. Come.
I ran through the condo and cleaned it all took everything that could have got her license pulled.
At least I did that
Fuck. Fuck. Fuck.
She lived. Coma. Brain damage. Life support. Coma.
Awake. Wheelchair. Home.
I was ready to die. I think I would’ve killed myself if I would’ve killed her.
Every cell in my body shook. Every cell in my body rejected itself .
You’re not as tough as you pretend to be you
Go back to sleep you fake CUNT. I don’t need you anymore. I got this. It’s all just me.
Black . Black like blackest night with no moon. Black like evil. Black like me.
I think because I needed to hurt , to kill myself , I think because I
I wanted my children , oh my god , I wanted my children
I called him.
I guess I still had something to sell that didn’t change. That thing that you see that makes you look right through me
She gets everything she wants
Not just the rent. But bills. But a car. But mattresses and down payments for new places. Pillows. Food. Toys.
I did it.
I told myself most women would love to date him. I told myself it was a sugar daddy. I told myself most relationships are like this anyways. I told myself that I should marry him
“I would marry you if you loved me”
This wasn’t on the corner. This was a $4000 dollar fuck.
I told myself lots of things
You should be proud.
But it ripped my soul out from under me. Six months later I was dead. Empty. A shell. I was the walking wounded. Again.
That girl she never leaves you
She is the animal that survived
She is the one that lived through this
She is the one that got my children back.
Was it worth it?
Doesn’t matter. There was no other way out. I tried them all for too many long years. Of life with my children only on weekends and holidays. Of life with them with him. At all with him . Of life with a rich family that didn’t want to share and “help” me. That didnt want to “enable” me.
Enable me to do what? Keep my soul and live?
Thanks for that “lesson”. Every girl needs to learn that one. The one about being Alone. About being one thing at the end of the day.