It's ironic to me that every time I feel the urge to reach out to my mother or feel like there could be a new and different type of relationship with her, she does something completely heinous and hurtful to remind me how very lucky I am that she is no longer part of my life or my children's lives.
Last night I was with the "Pink House Club" playing bingo at the Legion in town.
The "Pink House Club" is very exclusive. There are eight permanent members and sixteen total members. Joe and I and his parents and another couple and his parents. We all stayed at the Pink House last November in Florida when Joe and his buddy were playing in the Roy Hobbs World Series. We had a better time than anyone imagined we would, so we opt to reconnect now and then. Last night was one such reconnection.
Shortly after bingo ended, my mother and her 39-year-old "friend" arrived. Yep, he's one year younger than me and one year older than Staci. And he hurts our mother. In fact, the officer that arrested them Monday night for her second DWI and his obstructing charge told me that if I can do anything to help my mother, the best thing I could do was get him out of her life. I wish I could. She calls him her Jesus on earth, and I'm not sure how to defeat Jesus.
Suffice it to say that my mother played her usual Kari game last night. This time, she played it in public. The details don't matter to anyone except me.
What matters is that I didn't have to wake up this morning wondering - was she REALLY that awful?
She really was that awful and others saw it.
Here's the basic scene: I'd gone over to greet her. (That was a bad, bad decision.) I wanted to know that she was okay after her arrest and jail stay. I was also a little shell shocked: who goes to a bar for alcohol the night after they get out of jail for alcohol-related charges? She was nasty, Friend was nasty, and I opted to walk away from both of them.
My mother was at HER best. And, like I said, others saw it. Saw her. Saw what she does and who she is.
Not only were those people witnesses, they were active participants. My friends got up and stood between my mother and I when she wanted to force me to keep listening to her. Mom couldn't get close enough to do her usual pushing and spitting (and I am SURE she was enraged!). If you've never lived with an addict, you can't imagine what I'm talking about when I say "her usual pushing and spitting." If you have, you get it.
There are so many words begging to be written about what happened last night. I shared most of those words with Joe last night when I got home and cried out my "daughter-hurt" - and let him ease the pain. All I have left to say is this: for the first time in my entire life there was a barrier between my mother and I.
I have never, ever felt so... safe.