I hate peas. And by default, I hate pea soup. I especially hate pea soup because of the texture, it just makes my skin crawl, however, I understand that there are many who love pea soup, and to those people, I mean no offense. This is just my own personal opinion. That being said, not everything is bad. I know it sounds like it. I write about the terrible, horrible, worst moments in my family’s life so to educate those not dealing daily with an addict, themselves or in the family, for better understanding. And to show support for those that are in similar situations that we are. But it’s not always bad. There are better moments. As I read through some of the blogs posted, I’m wondering if anyone has called the suicide hotline on me or DCF to protect my children.
It’s hard to imagine that there is any sunshine in all this darkness but it happens. Especially when we are all together. A typical day that all seven of us, AC and me, my three, his two, are all at the house, usually involves OC, SC and JoDee in the basement (where all the girls bedrooms are) yelling, listening to music, picking on each other, and otherwise trashing my house, while Jared and Jay J play XBOX/PS3/some other mind numbing electronics and banging their feet on the floor in an effort to shut them up. AC dad, whom speaks not a lick of English, is trying to have a full conversation with me, in Spanish which I speak not a lick of, while AC is having a full on fight with the cat. And the dog whining with jealousy. Or tries to eat out of the kitty litter box which completely grosses me out. How is that for a run on paragraph?
The point is, we are normal. In every aspect of the word, in the world of blended families. We balance schedules, transport kids here and there, do homework, cook supper, run out of towels, forget to empty the dishwasher. Typical. Normal. It is hard to believe, when we are chasing recovery, or a high JoDee down the drive-way, but that is only a piece of our lives. The really hard part, is keeping that in check. When JoDee is high, or actively using, or newly out of detox, I become consumed with making sure she is safe, not using, doing the right thing. And in a lot of ways, I neglect the children that are doing the right thing, and going to school, and doing their homework. A long time ago, we stopped having dinner around the table. Mainly when Despair was my partner, and I didn’t give a shit. Lately, I have thought about that a lot. The important thing now is embrace the rest of the clan, and be present in my everyday life so I don’t miss out on those precious days, until my younger ones (that really aren’t that young) are gone.
It’s not always easy to see the positive side, or laugh at something when I am so worried about JoDee, but I do have 2 other biological kids and 2 other “step-ish” kids. We bake, we play in the hard, we go to movies, we watch American Horror Story (don’t judge, we watch with the lights on!), and we miss doing some of those things with JoDee. There will always be a hole where she should be when she isn’t with us, but it can’t stop us from living. It’s difficult not to isolate, I know I am doing it more and more lately. Not because I don’t want to see friends, or even because I don’t have any, on the contrary, I have some awesome friends. But because sometimes it’s easier to surround yourself with other people who know what you feel, and are feeling the same thing. Who better understands my struggle than those that struggle right along with me?
It’s not to say I don’t have my moments. This past Sunday, I didn’t get out of bed once. Ok, once I did get up to use the bathroom. Quickly. On a commercial break from Investigation Discovery Your Worst Nightmare Marathon. And believe me, that was some scary crap, but it wasn’t my worst nightmare. I think we all know what that is. In fairness, there are other days that I absolutely love that my living room has become my “father-in-law-ish’s” bedroom, and when he speaks to me in Spanish, and I don’t get it, he gets louder and louder until I have to use google translate to tell him that I can hear him just fine, it’s just I don’t understand Spanish. Something the kids find hilarious. Especially because he loves me so much he wants to talk to me all the time. Not to mention that his way of petting my poor kitty is a kin to putting his hand through his skin and manipulating his kidney. Directly. We are working on being more gentle to the animals. It’s an interesting spectacle watching us communicate but we do manage! Occasionally we have some blunders. Like when I accidentally asked him if he wanted diarrhea for dinner. He responded with a polite no thank you.
And of course, let’s not forget the normal fighting. Like when OC and SC fight over OC always wanting to monopolize the cat. Or Jared and Jay J fighting over Jared being too loud, while Jay J is trying to sleep. I should mention this is usually at about noon on Saturday, when Jay J doesn’t work until 4. And of course, Jared has to be louder, for no other reason than to be a piss-ant. Jay J of course responds responsibly by telling Jared that he makes Jay J wish he had more middle fingers. Brotherly love, I tell you. Those are the moments that make me miss JoDee the most, because she is missing out. Even now when she interacts, OC and SC respond better to her than her brothers do. But that’s a post for another day… sibling reaction.
In the meantime, I happily fight with AC, especially when he is driving me crazy, like his insane driving which entails slamming the brakes, gripping the wheel like it’s the last cookie in a swarm of preschoolers! Or, and this is my personal favorite, when he falls asleep with the tv on and I wake up turn it off and he says hey I was watching that. But that’s normal stuff. I mean normal relationships are when you love the person you are with so you can’t wait to see him at the end of the day and the way he brushes his teeth makes you want to kung-pho kick the toothbrush out of his hand. Both of those things happen at our house, daily. On a good day I do not kick the toothbrush from his hand. Recently he was filling out a form for a new doctor he was seeing and one of the questions are you afraid of your partner, to which I dutifully replied, if you say yes I will throat punch you. Its love I tell you.
The point of all this, is I know how difficult it can be to be completely wrapped up in the addiction process. Recovery, relapse, meetings, calling/texting to find out where the addict is, etc. It’s time consuming and most of the time there is always a part of me that wonders what is next, when will the next event happen and will I be prepared. There is no denying that I am stressed out, over worked, over tired and sleep deprived. I have too much laundry, forget to send my kids to school with lunch money, get the days OC and SC are coming over confused with basically every day and lose my keys, but once in a while, we still laugh. We still enjoy making fun of each other and most of all, we pretend we are normal.