When I went through treatment #1 for Hepatitis C, I discovered that there is crazy in me, lots of crazy. I get overwhelmed when I am overwhelmed. Nature/nurture who gives a shit? I have, in my life, gone through self-help jibber jabber, 12 steps, journaling (which I hate-hate), therapy,week-end retreats, working with women in jail that want to stay sober once released without becoming a Baptist, blah blah blah. I dealt with the demons of my childhood. I put all that little kid stuff in storage somewhere. Interferon drug out the box.
I read a book review that says most horrible childhood memories published today are fabricated for greed. The critic says the odds are against finding a person who has an intense childhood memory, wants to share it and is a good writer. Misery Lit, what a category. Where is Oprah when a bad critic should be exposed? BTW, I never watched Oprah. Too folksy. Makes me think of me. Does my folksy bug others? Does it seem insincere? See, we all think about ourselves.
When I was a kid, my dad regularly came home drunk after bedtime, wanting money and the car keys. Nobody slept until he got them or he passed out. If it got really bad (poorly defined), Mom would grab up my little brother in the bed sheet and tell me to get her pocketbook and run to the car. Winter or summer. Scared me to death. We got in, Mom started the car while I locked the doors. Dad came flying after us “You’re not going anywhere”. I was shaking, maybe crying. He yanked up the hood and pulled out the distributer cap. Over and over we had no choice but to return to hell. One dawn found me with a butcher knife standing over his passed out body. I was the grown up on duty (GOD). It was my job to come up with solutions. At least my mom and brother could get some peace. I said to myself “Just do it. It’s okay if you have to go to prison.” I couldn’t do it. Mom was asleep on his shoulder. We didn’t talk about it later. We never did. Dad sang Hank Williams “Hey good lookin’, what you got cookin’?” while Mom cooked breakfast, like the night before didn’t happen.
My good grades started to slip. My teacher, Mr Kitchen, asked if there were any problems at home. My skin blistered red and I muttered no, everything is fine. I still remember the moment. I stared at my white gym shoes with broken strings. I was so ashamed. He could tell my secret. (Therapy says it isn’t my shame. Damn Interferon says yes it is). I couldn’t look him in the eye ever again. After that I got pulled out of class to see a visiting somebody. I went way up the winding steps to the nurse’s office. The stone stairs had metal flicks. There were multiple visits. The kids that went up there had some kinda broken something, like a learning disability or speech impediment. They were outcasts. I don’t remember who I saw or what I said. I was about eleven.
One time when we didn’t have any money, Dad took the sewing machine my mom traded for. He was sneaky, but I saw him. The cord caught in the door as he left. I hated him. I also hated sewing. My Home Economics teacher, Mrs Lodge, said that I was the worst sewing student she had except for Alice Johnson. Alice Johnson was the retarded girl in our class (that was how we spoke then). I never finished the baby blue robe I was making in class for my mom. So Mrs Lodge took it home and finished it for herself over Christmas. I pictured her in Mom’s robe. In retrospect that was a bit shitty of her.
Dad would go out for bread and not come back for weeks. Home was quiet. I preferred that. Then Mom got a collect call from Florida or somewhere. Why am I telling these stories? Interferon drug out the box..
After my parents sobered up and became adults, it was my turn. I traveled a similar path but in a nicer neighborhood. Isn’t that incredible?? I would be visited for a decade by active alcoholism and drugism and to this day intermittent depression. Less intermittent, more depression. One doctor called me a high functioning depressive. I was so proud. It is important to me to do well in all things.
BTW my dad and I built a loving effortless bridge when he sobered up. He was the kindest most humble man. My daughter spent summers with him and Mom. They were best friends. Unconditional love. Who knew? I’m just glad we had the second life too.
Why am I telling you all this shit you either don’t care about or are horrified by? Interferon drug out the box. It is the stuff that leaked out of me during treatment. Remember my suggestion for a therapist that knows about Hepatitis C? These memories are why.