The Signs

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This is what I wish for Kae…always my daughter.  I love her more than I am able to express.  If you are a parent you know this feeling – well, I hope you do.  Even through all the crap with her alcohol use my love does not diminish.  Nor will it ever.

I took me a while to trust the signs that were right before me.  I didn’t want to believe.  But after repeated conversations the signs became apparent and I knew deep down that she’d been drinking.  Sometimes it was only morning – more often it was night.  Many times it was afternoon…what am I saying here? I am saying that my daughter was drinking All. The. Time.

Countless hours on the telephone – remember we don’t live close.  I’d hang up and think, whew…that was exhausting…I hope she feels better.  I hope I said something that sets off a lightbulb.  I hope she follows through.  I hope she stops drinking NOW!

Her interest in my life was there but I began to notice she’d forget something we’d just spoken of only minutes earlier or maybe the day before.  It seemed contrived…her interest in her family.  This may seem selfish but it was normal for us to talk several times a day and trade stories about our lives.  We’ve been doing this for years so it wasn’t selfish on my part to notice her lack of interest in what was happening in my world.  I was showing an overwhelming interest in her life.  I would say that I was addicted to the addict.

A fake laugh, this weird way of saying, “hmmmm”, with a blurry, slurry tone, the sound of drinking something on the other end of the line.  The lengthy discussions about her irreparable marriage, her lies about how she slipped and fell while playing with neighbor kids and the accompanying bruises, her ratty hair and dull complexion.  Her constant narrative about how much she was doing around the house or how hard she was looking for work.  Oh yes – she’d been laid off  from her last big corporate job.  In the back of my mind I questioned the validity of all this.  Wondering if the lay-off was because somehow the big wigs in that company had noticed a shift in her productivity?  If so was it due to her lack of concentration from all the bullying from W or because she was hungover or…or…or…   Wondering was she honestly playing chase and slipped or was it because she was too drunk to have balance or had W decided to smack her?  How much time exactly was she spending applying for a another job?

When I arrived to visit it became so obvious that it was all a veil.  A veil to try and detract from her drinking.  A manipulation to cause me to feel sorry for her.  Piles of laundry dirty and clean scattered about the house.  A sink full of dishes that would always get cleaned up tomorrow.  Unmade bed, smelly overflowing trash cans, weeks old left-overs in the frig.  All of this showed me that all she was capable of was getting alcohol into her body and then believing in her own foggy mind that she was actually accomplishing something every day.  What is happening?  How many times did I ask this question – the million dollar inquiry!

One thing that began to stand out was this unnatural way she had, when she was drinking, of saying this one phrase over and over.  Anytime even a hint of her alcohol use, or lack or being productive, or failure to find work was brought up in conversation it would be met with this; “ohhhhh, ohhhhh, alrighty then”.  Dismissive at best.  This is not my Kae.  She’s never spoken like that in her life.  I suppose it was her way of  banishing any inkling of the true hard facts and staying in her alcohol bubble.  Watching and listening to these signs created chaos in my heart and in my head.

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