So the shrink says that I should take a moment and write down one of my childhood memories that maybe wasn't so pleasant. We are trying to clear my brain of all the crap that has it all cluttered up. So I can move on. When I think of memories that weren't so pleasant - it is really really hard for me to narrow it down to just one. It has taken a long time to come to the realization that alcoholism has been rampant in my family - always. Everyone in the family - and close to the family - have always insisted that the sperm donor that was my father was THE alcoholic and thus - all problems were his fault.
I'm not disputing that he definitely was an alcoholic. He died of complications from liver disease brought on by booze. But - he was not the only culprit. My mother was / is an alcoholic too. She adamantly denies it. Swears she gave up drinking ( which btw only means she isn't drinking GIN anymore. Just wine. And beer. Because the GIN was the problem - ).
Maybe I'll write about the Christmas morning that my Dad was passed out on the couch in his under wear and a Santa hat - snoring and drooling - screwdriver with a few melted ice cubes left floating on the top in one hand - cigarette burned to the absolute butt in the other - trash can full of vomit right next to his head...while the rest of us in our pj's and robes excitedly opened our presents. Mom was excessively sensitive to noise and light that particular Christmas morning. She claimed it was migraine - but looking back now - and remembering the empty wine bottle and the glass with a swallow left in it on the night stand - I'm pretty sure she had a good and proper hang over. All she wanted was "QUIET", Coffee and a cigarette. We didn't care. It was Christmas and Santa had come to visit. He left me clothes. And a blow dryer. And an orange in my stocking. I was excited.
I remember watching my mother open a package that was particularly beautiful. It was a very large box, with a huge bow and glittery shiny blue paper. My Dad had paid someone at the store to wrap this gift FOR him. An indulgence back then that was practically unheard of. Mom slowly pulled the ribbon - carefully took the paper off - lifted the lid of the box....pulled back the tissue paper and saw the gift. She took it out of the box and held it up for all to see. It was a dress. The most hideous dress I had ever and HAVE ever ( to this day - ever) seen. My mother took that dress , wadded it up, threw it in my passed out Dads face - and started screaming at him - he woke up and looked at her with his bloodshot eyes in total confusion. I grabbed my little brother by the hand and we hid behind the couch watching the fight unfold. She called him every name in the book - took his drink and threw it in his face. He was sputtering and spattering tyring to figure out what in the world was wrong. I remember feeling terribly sorry for him. Like - I cried for him.
See - I know he was an alcoholic. And I know he did lots of terrible things along the way. But this wasn't one of them. He was trying. He was trying to do something nice and it blew up in his face. She was nasty, and ungrateful. He couldn't understand what was wrong because he thought that dress was beautiful. The most beautiful dress he had ever seen, and he wanted her to have it because he thought SHE was beautiful. It was sort of like that clay glob of something your child gives you for Mothers day with a beaming face and huge smile and he's so proud of it and he says " Look Mommy I made it JUST FOR YOU". And you look at that glob and you think - wtf is this? - and you smile at your child and hug him tight and say " OH THANK YOU. IT"S JUST BEAUTIFUL". And it IS beautiful because he made it for you. It was the same thing in my eyes. My Dad was TRYING. He was PROUD of that dress and he was just sure she was going to love it. And he even paid to have it gift wrapped so beautifully because he thought such a beautiful gift deserved beautiful wrapping. And my Mother ruined it. As usual. And not only did she ruin it for him, she ruined Christmas for us. Sometimes to this very day - I think about that day - and I think that was the beginning of the end. That was the spark that meant there was no turning back. Things were never going to be better.
And they weren't.
Maybe I'll write about that.
After I get some tissue.