Please click here to read Part 1
I found the number for the `PEI addiction facility` and dialed the number. I tried to be as professional as possible, mature but firm on my delivery. I explained that my mother needed to be admitted to the facility because I felt that she was a danger to herself and that she was “doped out of her mind”. I don’t remember the answer that time, but I do believe they said their beds were full and that she would have to consent. I hung up the phone. How can they say that to a KID that’s calling about the state of their mother?
I set off to try to talk to the babbling zombie on the couch. I tried to ask her if she would go to the `treatment` center. I explained that she needed help, that I needed her to go for me because I and she could not do this anymore. This was a typical `pep` talk that I have had with her on many occasions. Hoping that this time she would magically agree; that this would be the last time I would have to go through “the talk.” She continued to babble random things, nodding off in between. I just started to cry, I could not take it anymore.
I made the decision that she was going to Mt. Herbert. I convinced her to get dressed in something “presentable” saying I was taking her to the hospital. I carried her out to the car. Sure, I had my beginners at that point but my mother was NOT coming back home with me. I drove the half hour, following signs to the PEI addiction facility. I drove up to the side of the building, not the front, so no one would come out and question what I was doing.
My heart was pounding. I felt sick to my stomach. Not only will I have to drive home alone without my license, but I felt like I was betraying my mother. Why am I the one that’s outside an addiction facility forcing my mom to go inside? Why am I feeling like I can’t go in with her because they would just force me to take her home with me?
My mom had passed out, head forward. I sat there and looked at her. I started to cry. My heart was breaking into a million pieces. I took a breath and I slapped her on the arm. She came to, sitting up straight and looking at me like a deer in headlights, like she had been asleep for years.
She seemed coherent for a moment asking me what is wrong because she could see the tears that had drenched my angry face. All I said was, “You need to go in there” pointing at the door, trying to be as firm as possible. She looked confused. Again, “Mommy that’s the treatment center, you are going to get out of this car and walk in THERE.” I knew she was going to fight me on it. She still looked confused.
She then said, “Why? Why did you take me here? I’m not going to go in there. You’re taking me home.” She was starting to get angry at me. A ploy. I knew this because she thought she was going to get out of this. I was not going to be a puppet to her addict tricks. I have seen and heard them all before.
Again, anger. I jumped out of the car, ran around to the passenger side door. Opened it, grabbed her arm and dragged her out of the car. I closed the door behind her. She leaned against the car.
I jumped back into the driver’s side, locking all the doors. I put down the window a tiny bit and yelled at her that if she loved me to get the hell in there. She started to cry, and wobbled across the parking lot to the main door as I watched from the car.
I will never forget the pressure that was released when she was out of sight, and entered the door. Surprisingly, I don’t think anyone saw this happening. I sat in the parking lot and bawled. I cried all the way home, calling my dad as I got in the door explaining what I did.
Days later, my mother called me, thanking me for saving her. The nurses and counselors told her that she was very close to OD’ìng and that if she had stayed home the odds were she would have died. I had heard that one many times before, but it seemed like no one was willing to take charge to actually help. She returned home after a couple days. Again, she seemed clean for a couple weeks and fell back into the claws of her addiction.
There is no happy ending to this story. I have grown up. My mother is still living but I lost the battle to have my mom back. I have moved away to escape the heartache and struggle that still pains me every day. I had to release her from my life for my own good. She has been dead to me for many years.
I call her once in a while, checking in and telling her how much I love her. She cries and says how much she misses me, how much she loves me. But not even love for her child was strong enough to get through the addiction. I don’t blame her.
Throughout my high school upgrading at Holland College, I did research on narcotics and methadone. I tried to understand, so I could help her. Or at least release myself from the realization that love was not enough. So if I could say something to the grieving parents, sometimes not even the love you have for your own child is strong enough to overcome addiction.
I would never wish this upon anyone. Even though I do not hold it against my mom, I still am embarrassed and resentful towards not only her, but the healthcare professionals and addiction services people on PEI. There is support for the children of broken homes but no method of help or rehabilitation for the problem that is causing the home to be broken.
Even though my mom is alive, I’ve convinced myself that she will not be around for the milestones in my life, like my wedding or my children. My children will never know my mom and her big heart, and her kindness. My mom will never know them, and spoil them. I love my mom, and even though she’s still alive, I miss her every day.