In group last night we talked about death. I should say that other people talked about death and I was triggered. I lost both my parents when I was young. One when I was in high school and the other when I was in my 20s. They both died from alcohol abuse. Alcohol use, abuse…what’s the difference.
My mother died from cirrhosis of the liver. When we cleaned out her apartment we found so many empty vodka bottles hidden around her house. She lived alone. Why the hell did she hide her bottles. She could have thrown them away in a black trash bag and no one would have known. Instead she was so deep in her addiction that she had to hide them. Even from herself. She was only 55 when she died alone, on the floor of her apartment.
My father died while I was in high school. I knew something was wrong. We didn’t see him much those days. My parents were divorced and we were teenagers so dinner with good ole dad wasn’t high on our list of things we wanted to do. We went to dinner with him and he looked like a skeleton. He looked anorexic. We asked him what the hell was going on. We could tell that something was wrong. He blamed it on his new dentures. He should have blamed it on his drinking.
He died, alone in his apartment. He was only found when his neighbors stated to smell his rotting corpse. The idea horrifies me. How long was he lying there dead? How long does a body take to smell that badly? It was April so it wasn’t hot or cold. I can’t get it out of my head that he just died there and wasn’t found until he smelled.
My parents were not good parents. They were both very wrapped up in themselves and didn’t have a lot of time for my brother and me. It felt like we were just left to raise ourselves. There were so many times that I needed a parent and my parents were never there. Not when they were alive and obviously not when they were dead.
They divorced when I was 9. It was horrible. They used us in every way possible to get at each other. All of those rules of what you aren’t supposed to do to your kids during a divorce…my parents did just the opposite. They played us against each other. They put us in the middle of their fight. They yelled at us and blamed us if they thought we were on the wrong “side”. I got this treatment the most. My brother would just play the sides. Whomever he was with was who he agreed with. I couldn’t do that. I was so angry. I hated being used.
We used to have to spend every weekend at my father’s apartment. I hated it. My father moved every year so we never got to know any of the kids in the area. I always hated those visits. I hated being forced to be there. We were always so bored. Unless my father got really drunk. Which he did often. There were times when it was so bad that we would call our mother because we were scared. She loved that. She loved having that ammunition against him. When she picked us up he would follow us out of the apartment screaming at us and screaming at her. Calling her a whore, a cunt… It was terrifying for me.
Then he died. When I was at my father’s funeral I asked my brother how long he thought mom would live. I knew that alcohol was going to take her too. It did, ten years later she died.
My brother and I never got along. We fought constantly as kids. He was pretty violent with me when we were kids. He had such a bad temper. He punched a hole in my bedroom door once when I was a teenager. When I complained to my parents about being beat up or him attacking me I got blamed. “Why do you instigate with him?” “Just leave him alone.” As I was bleeding. They never protected me from anything.
I still react so poorly to the whole thing. I don’t know how to come to terms with it. I hurt, and I still hurt that they never loved me like they should have. I guess that’s why I got so triggered in group last night. I’m still angry about my parents. I don’t know how to let go. I don’t know how to move on.