Will I ever learn?

I’m at my support group meeting, Families Anonymous; created for the benefit of the families and friends of addicts, and I decide to share my triumph.

I say that I am learning to cope with my children’s addictions.

As soon as the words hit the outside world and are heard by my anonymous siblings in suffering, I know that they’re a lie. I’m not learning to let the pain pass me by, or making the most of my own life no matter what unsolved troubles surround me.

I’m feeling happier than I have for a very long time, but that’s only because my son’s ability to damage me has been limited by his lack of access while he is in prison, and my daughter’s behaviour has improved since she escaped the madness of legal highs.

As soon as he is free and she whips up another crisis my muscle will probably crumble and die.

I doubt I’ve learnt anything, and I wonder if I ever will.

Written for The Daily Post #Learning

©Jane Paterson Basil

A wisp of hope

An unsent message to my daughter, written last year.

Although I can no longer look at you, I picture the image you left the last time you came into my place, filling my formerly safe space with danger and pain. You were so thin that I swear I could see the white of those bones which threaten to crumble to dust while I still live. Your skin a strange hue that defies description. Angry sores on your face. Blank eyes swimming in madness.

What do you want from me? Could it be that you feel the need of a mother’s love? Do you wish for sympathy or are you simply driven by the desire for drug money? I cannot give you any of these things. Even my love for you is locked so deep inside that it cannot be released.

I don’t ask you to listen. I write this not for you, but for me. Wrapped in your soft, blood-stained armour of golden brown liquid, you cannot hear me now, and when your inability to score strips you naked you are in too much pain to feel anything but your need for more poison.

Heroin submerges, deep beneath her lies, what you once knew to be the truth. She tells you you need her in order to survive, and although something inside you whispers that you are going to die, it no longer seems such a high price to pay because your sight is too dimmed to see what that means.

She led you to care so little for your life that any drug would do. Now she keeps her distance as you trip through amphetamine insanity, with black, staring eyes, and limbs akimbo. She lets the leash stretch knowing you are still within her reach.

These words are bent out of shape and refuse to be a goodbye. Hard as I try I cannot make them say what I wish you to know before you go, because within me a wisp of hope still exists.

The wish that you may recover, and learn a way to live.

©Jane Paterson Basil

No longer human

you've not hurt              me  today  so  you
take  your chance            and    you    step
through the   door           with a  flickering
glance and   you're          stirring  the  air
with historic deceits        and dragging  bags
of  tatters and  tooth-      rotting treats you
drop and spill your dirt     over the floor the
pills the needles syringes   and  more  and   I
hope  that  you're  in a cognitive mood  at the
first chance I get I will offer you food but if
you don't want it I know I'm in trouble and all 
you  desire  is to burst my  bubble you  always
pretend to think   you are right as  you  shout
in my face   and      you  try for a fight  and
you always  know        how  best  to   succeed
and all you want          is  to make my  brain
bleed  so    you           shout and you scream
accusations   at            me  and  I can't be
heard as I enter            my plea of innocent
with proof in the          shape of my heart as
your screams increase     as  soon  as I  start

                      and

              I pull out all of my
        tools of prevention to persuade
    you  to  cease this  game of  contention
 but there's no comprehension and no suspension
from this seemingly endless inane invention your
angry  anarchic attack on  convention and I know
that there's  no             mis-apprehension  as
you       play                 dangerous    games
with my heart                  -rate  with   your
nickel- plate                   nonsense you love
to  mis-state                   the truth of each
story    with                   lies that inflate
as you warm at                 the sight  of  the
damage to   date              then   I    finally
 manage  to tell you to go and I see the delight
  writ clear on your face and you step up  the
    evil torture a  pace to force me to push
      you out of the door because I can't
         take it for one second more.

 

you’ve not hurt me today so you take your chance
and you step through the door with a flickering glance
you’re stirring the air with historic deceits
dragging bags of tatters and tooth-rotting treats
you drop and spill your dirt over the floor
the pills the needles syringes and more
and I hope that you’re in a cognitive mood
at the first chance I get I will offer you food
but if you don’t want it I know I’m in trouble
‘cos all you desire is to burst my bubble
you always pretend to think you are right
as you shout in my face and you try for a fight
you always know how best to succeed
and all you want is to make my brain bleed
so you shout and you scream accusations at me
and I can’t be heard as I enter my plea
of innocent with proof in the shape of my heart
as your screams increase as soon as I start
and I pull out all of my tools of prevention
to persuade you to cease this game of contention
but there’s no comprehension and no suspension
from this seemingly endless inane invention
your angry anarchic attack on convention
and I know that there’s no mis-apprehension
as you play dangerous games with my heart-rate
with your nickel-plate nonsense you love to mis-state
the truth of each story with lies that inflate
as you warm at the sight of the damage to date
then I finally manage to tell you to go
and I see the delight writ clear on your face
as you step up the evil torture a pace
to force me to push you out of the door
because I can’t take it for one second more.

Written in February 2015

© Jane Paterson Basil