The object of the game is very simple: Do not do anything to make me punch your face. There are a few do’s and don’t , which we will go over. Follow the rules, all players should be successful. Fail, punch in the face. No middle ground.
- Don’t call me during my darkest hour, while my child is running amok on the streets of who the hell knows where to let me know that you are so glad your child is not an addict. Do not follow that up by telling me that you told your child that if they ever did drugs you would never speak to them again. Do not get offend when I laugh at you and then hang up. This happened because you are either naïve or lucky or lying. No matter what, it’s in poor taste to rub it in my face. I hate you.
- Don’t stop me in the grocery store to ask me “how things are” with that faux-sympathetic voice which is hiding the glee that you might get the gossip. If I haven’t spoken to you in person or via text in the last decade, you really don’t have any right to ask me anything about my personal life. Unless you want me to ask you to share the intimate details of your recently failed marriage or how I heard your kid was kicked out of his third college because he should have majored in keg stands and trolling dorms, don’t assume you have the right to ask about my private life. I post on this blog the extent of content I would want the public to know. The rest is for those who know me privately. So pound sand.
- Don’t tell me to go to another Al-Anon, Nar-Non, or otherwise group meeting of parents of addicts. I am going to tell you what no one wants to say. They are fucking depressing. There are the before, the during and the after’s. I sit in those meetings listening to people saying in my head Jesus you don’t even know what you have gotten into yet, or shit their kid died and they still come? And then people like us whose kid is right in the middle. Been an addict for a while now with no sign of recovery in sight but not dead yet. Parents do not need another meeting like that. They need a place to go that they can talk about cooking, golf, pokemon-go if that is what lights up their boxers, anything but their addicted kid because the addicted kid takes up every other waking minute. We worry we will get a call that they are dead while at work and if it will reflect poorly on us because we have already missed enough time. We worry about how the others in the family are at home. We worry at the grocery store or at the mall or anywhere at any time when someone asks how we are if they are really asking or if they are posers. We need a safe place to go that allows us to talk about something besides are kid and their addiction without feeling guilty. So if you tell me to go to a meeting again, yes, you guessed it, punch in the face.
- Don’t reassure me that not buying JoDee a plane ticket back home is the right thing to do unless you absolutely have been in this exact place in life before. Because unless you have, there isn’t a way for you to possible imagine the feeling of this scenario. Either I buy her a plane ticket home and everything goes right back to the way it was before, and eventually she overdoses and dies because she has no health benefit left but still has coverage so is denied coverage from MassHealth so effectively has eliminated her possibility of professional help. Or I don’t buy her a ticket and the same happens but it takes weeks before anyone tracks down her family, or maybe ever. Maybe I die 40 years from now not every knowing what happened to my kid. Neither option is really optimistic.
- Don’t be afraid to tell me I am an asshole. I am a bitter, heartless, angry, raging, thoughtless, suppressed bitch. But, you better know me well. You better be pretty damn sure of our love between each other. Because once you say those words, once you poke the bear with the stick, you can’t unpoke it. Odds are good, if you are one of my people, I will know your right. But if you are not one of my people, I will enjoy punching your face.
- Do check in. I might not respond or answer the phone right away or I may respond to tell you I can’t talk because I am a bitter, heartless, angry, raging, thoughtless, suppressed bitch, but check in anyway. Just check in and then give me some space.
- Do tell me about the good stuff you have going on (provided I like you- if I don’t like you, don’t tell me. In fact refer back to the Don’t List) because even though my life is in shambles I am still happy that my friends lives aren’t. Most of the time. And in the moments that I’m totally jealous that my life sucks and your life rocks, I will do it privately and without wishing any of you dead or hurt. I wish just sink into a vat of self-pity and loathing but I will come back out so tell me about new babies, and jobs, and boyfriends, or girlfriends or whatever. I want to know.
- Do treat me like you normally would. Don’t be afraid of me. I’m not a psycho. Ok. Not anymore then I was before. Ok, you know what I mean. I am crazy, and a wingnut, and probably certifiable but so what? Doesn’t that just bring more interest to life? The little bit of a filter I used to have is gone so….. it’s really a tossup what is going to come out of my mouth. Enjoy it. Life is a mystery and so am I. Just run with it.
- Do tell me I need a shower, a breath mint, to shut up, or cry, or say something or my family’s personal favorite, get the hell out of bed. Lately, I have been told, that I spend a little too much time in my room with the door shut under the covers watching Grey’s Anatomy on my Netflix on my phone. AC finally began using the come in, sigh, walk out routine until it annoyed me enough to go to the couch. When the kids get excited that I am on the couch, we have a problem. So tell me. Even if I give you the finger behind your back, I will probably listen.
- Do keep asking me to go. To dinner, to lunch, to the mall, to hell, to beat someone up for you (that one I will probably do). 9 times out of 10 I won’t go or I will say yes and then the day of won’t want to shower so I will cancel but the one time I do go I will have fun and love it. And that day, I won’t want to punch anyone’s face. Unless I call them Hate Face or say they look like Brooke Shields if she got hit by a truck, but we can’t talk about that, it’s not in the rules.