I never sleep, which I think we have already established. That’s an exaggeration. I do sleep. In intervals. I will get tired at 8 pm and struggle to keep my eyes open until 9. I will fall asleep only to wake up at midnight or one. At that point I am up from that point until right about the time I have to wake up the kids for school. By noon I am drooling at my desk because I am exhausted and I usually get a second wind on my way home from work long enough to cook supper (sometimes by cook I do mean order take away). It’s an awesome pattern. And, a pattern that can be disrupted at any time. For example, if CNN sends me a notification to my phone, I will wake up immediately. If my phone lights up, vibrates, dings or rings, I am up for the rest of the night. This is my fault because I refuse to put it on silent at night in case someone calls me about Miss Thing. If she runs away, is sick, or otherwise makes contact, I don’t want to miss it.
Miss. That’s the theme for last evenings Late Night Wakeful Thoughts. Miss is a word that encompasses so much. Miss can be an emotion. Missing someone is a state of mind but when someone really misses another person it’s a physical pain. Some will describe in as heart ache; others describe it as a gut ache. For me missing someone feels like I swallowed a volcano that is just burst to erupt but doesn’t. It burns my guts, and makes me wish I had a virgin to sacrifice to make it go away. Ok, dramatic, but you get the point. Missing someone is painful. Sometimes we miss someone we can never see again because of geography, circumstance or death. Sometimes we have to just hold on until we can see someone again, in a matter of time. I know I will see JoDee again but that doesn’t mean I don’t miss her. At times of active addiction I have to turn my “missing” off because it’s too hard to think about. If I think about the relationship we aren’t having or the life she isn’t living it is paralyzing. As a mother it is impossible to picture her dirty and begging and desperate and treated like trash in the name of her next high. As a human it’s maddening to watch someone with the opportunity for such a beautiful life throws it away with no regard for their person.
When she is in recovery it’s hard to miss her more. The potential of having my daughter back is so close, in arms reach, that it makes the missing catalyst by a hundred percent. All of the missing I suppress while she is active using comes running back at the speed of a runaway train. Praying, hoping, wishing becomes a life line and a pull on the heart strings. It’s both releasing and imprisoning. But it also brings up another “miss”. It always brings me back to the place where I wonder did I miss something. It brings up the miss that means something wasn’t seen or forgotten or overlooked. This kind of Miss has me replaying every single minute of her childhood and teen age years wondering where it went wrong and what I overlooked. This is an exercise I do often anyway because I am terrified that I will make the same mistake twice. I don’t want to find myself in this position with the boys, and I won’t be blind enough to say it couldn’t happen. I don’t want to miss something else because I miss the days of all three of them together, happy and laughing.
Although feeling the emotion of missing her is rough, there is nothing tougher then when she is missing. The worst moments of our life, my life, are when I get that call that she has vanished from somewhere. The first seconds after I receive those calls, time freezes. I don’t hear anything, or see anything or feel anything. My mind goes blank, and I have to wait for the realization to settle in that she is once again gone. The initial shock wears off so much faster now than it used too. It really does take moments for it to sink in. It used to take days. I’m not as terrified as I used to be. At the beginning I would immediately imagine her dead on the side of the road or in a dumpster. Now I just imagine her sleeping on the side of the road or behind a dumpster. At the beginning I would call police stations, hospitals, shelters and programs hoping she got off the street. Now I know better. If she is running from one program she will not turn up in another one. And, she won’t be found until she absolutely wants too. She will stay missing until she doesn’t want to be missing anymore. How we suffer as a family while she is missing is something she will never comprehend. She will try to understanding, and she might even feel badly but she can’t feel it. She won’t be able to really fathom the extent of it. The brunt of it will completely miss her.