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Archive for the ‘Addiction’ Category

Time

In five weeks, I’ll celebrate the passing of another year.

I’ll be thirty-four. 

This year, my birthday is also an anniversary of sorts, and it has me struggling.

In five weeks, Jeremy will be able to say he has been clean for a full year. 

In five weeks, it will have been a year since we separated.

A year. 

And I’m not over it, yet.  I’m nowhere near over it, and some naive part of me  thought that I would be. 

Nearly a year later, I’m only just starting to come to terms with everything that happened. 

Leading up to this point, my focus has been on trying to survive and rebuild and adjust.  I’ve been so intent on moving forward that I haven’t  allowed myself to look back.

People ask me all the time how I am, and I tell them, truthfully, that I am well.  I’m happy and I’m at peace.  I no longer live in fear and I have so much hope for the future. 

I feel strong and confident and alive.  I am more myself now than I have ever been in my life.

But I struggle, too.  Life is good in so many ways, but it is also hard.

I’m happy.  And I’m sad. 

On my birthday, I’ll celebrate.  And grieve. 

The passing of a year.

The Blame Game

Thank you all so much for your support and encouragement on my last post, where I talked about learning of Blythe’s exposure to methamphetamines.

I realize that it’s not my fault for not knowing she was being exposed, but I can’t help but feel a lot of guilt, anyway.  I do feel as though I failed to protect her, but I also know that I did everything I could to keep her safe.

For the majority of Blythe’s life, the world at large has been a danger to her.  Every time we ventured out, we were taking a risk.  Everything she touched, away from home, had the potential to send her into anaphylaxis.  If she so much as leaned her cheek against the counter at the pharmacy, her face would swell within minutes.  That’s just a glimpse into what life was like for her.

I always did my best to keep my fear at bay, but I think I was able to do that, in large part, because our home was safe.  If the world was a battlefield, home was our neutral ground, where we could let down our guard and live like normal people.

I could spend hours telling you all the things I’ve done, over the years, to make sure our home was a place where Blythe could just be a kid, without worries.  All the research I’ve done, the ways we’ve altered our lives to provide the best possible environment for her to grow up in. 

So, to learn that she was being exposed to methampetamines, right here at home, the one place on this Earth that I thought was safe for her…  I can’t explain how it felt, other than to say it knocked me down in a way nothing in my life ever has before.

I worked so fucking hard, every day, to give her a place where she could be an innocent kid.  I did fail to provide that for her.  Through no fault of my own, obviously, but it’s a failure, all the same.

I was really, really angry.  My home didn’t feel like home anymore, it felt like a toxic waste dump.  And I place a lot of blame squarely on the shoulders of the person who was responsible for her exposure, where it belongs.

But I also know how much he loves our daughters, and if he had known it was his addiction that was making her sick, I like to believe he would have done something about it.  It’s hard to know, for sure, given the nature of addiction, but I have to try and believe that, for my sanity.

I’m trying to keep my focus on the now.  Since she has stopped being exposed to meth, her health has improved remarkably and dramatically.  It’s fantastic and amazing, and gives me so much hope for her future. 

For that, I am so incredibly happy.

Exposure

My girls, Alison and Blythe.  Have you met them? 

Alison & Blythe 2007

Protecting them is my job, and I am damn good at it.

But I failed them, my friends.

I failed in a very big way, and while I forgive myself for my ignorance, I will also carry the burden of that failure around for the rest of my life.

Blythe has a slight obsession with The Adventures of Shark Boy and Lava Girl, these days.  She thinks about them, and talks about them, and tells her friends about them.  Recently I asked her why she likes them so much, and she spouted off a whole list of things.  Then she said, “I like Lava Girl because she’s on fire inside.  Just like me.”

She has been on fire inside since she was two months old.  That’s when the screaming fits began, followed shortly thereafter by “pseudo seizures” where her body acted as though it was seizing, but her brain function remained normal.

She was inconsolable, for hours at a time.  Her tiny little body would stiffen, all over, and she would flinch away from my touch.  I was so afraid to hold her when she was like that, because I thought I would drop her.  So I would put her in her crib and watch her fight against herself.  Every muscle in her body would tense up, “seizing”, and then she would fling herself this way and that.  And scream.  She would scream for hours, even after her body calmed itself. 

She was on fire inside, and I couldn’t figure out why.

I can’t even count the number of pediatricians we saw, those first few months, but not a single one of them had answers. 

None of them asked if she had ever been exposed to Methamphetamines, even though I now know she was displaying signs of exposure.  As she’s gotten older, she’s shown more and more signs, and yet none of the experts assigned to her care – myself included – ever asked the question.  

The thought never even crossed our collective minds that meth exposure might have been contributing to the ever-growing list of problems with her Central Nervous System.  Even if anyone had asked, I would have told them, with complete confidence, that she had never in her life been exposed to meth.

I know differently, now…  and that knowledge changes everything.

As always, my disclaimer:

Please understand that I don’t hate him, I don’t wish him any harm, and I’m not trying to make him look like a monster.  He is getting help for his addiction and his behavior, and I hope he’s able to conquer those demons.

But this is my story.  My life.  This was my reality.  I won’t be silent.