By: Marc McMahon
I was on Facebook a few minutes ago and the first post I saw was one from my aunty it was a picture of her with her son, my cousin T and when I looked at it my damn gut dropped like when you start the descent on a massive rollercoaster that pulls four g’s you were not expecting. I sat back a minute and muttered “oh wow” because I didn’t recognize my cousin. He was with my aunty in the picture and unless I had been told about it I would not have recognized her regardless of how much time passed.
I did not recognize my cousin and my aunt at all! I said to myself what the hell! I spent as much time with those two and my uncle T as I could the first 25 years of my life and then here comes cocaine, I don’t know I guess I kind of disappeared from the family even until now and it’s been 25 years since then. How is this even possible, then I had another thought. How long has it been since I saw my son last? I’m still doing the math let me get back to you in a minute.
I did the math and then double-checked the answer because I did not like what I saw. I did not like the feeling that came over me when I realized I had not seen my son in the last eight years, ouch! I do not think I have seen my son since 2015, and I have only talked to him on the phone once and online a couple of times. It’s not acceptable to me and I want to change it but I can’t change it on my own it’s going to take both my and his efforts to resolve this.
I don’t know what the real problem is for us, I mean my addiction those twelve years were during the first 12 years of his life so I wasn’t around much you could say. I was a selfish, miserable dope-fiend who could do nothing other than feed his habit 24/7. With that being said I missed 8 of his first nine birthdays. I was a fucking puke! I really dislike the part of me that allowed that to happen.
I could be a fabulous dad and I know it and it pisses me off that I missed my opportunity to do that. But more important than that a little boy was growing up at the same time and it caused him to have to ask himself,
Does my daddy really love me?
No person regardless of age should ever have to ask themselves that question, especially a twelve-year-old little boy. My little boy, it makes me sick and I so want a relationship with him and I love him dear I always have. Not enough apparently to make me quit my addiction though and I don’t know what to say about that. I fucked up, bad, really bad and I’m so sorry I couldn’t explain it with words but no apologies now or from the past are ever going to erase this mistake. I can’t think of a worse mistake to make honestly, not many anyways.
If I was to be completely honest with you I think we could have or could now benefit greatly from some professional help with our situation but with him, in Colorado, and me in Oregon, it’s a little difficult. The last time I talked to him on the phone though after not talking to him for a year he said to me
“Dad, I grew up kind of hating you for never being around or not showing up when you were supposed to all the time. But now that I’m older and have struggled a little with my own addiction I just want you to know that you did ok dad. We made memories together.” he said.
He went on to say “dad at least we made memories together, funny ones too and we giggled. He said dad knowing what I know now about the monster we face he said you did alright dad. Because there is no way if I had a kid and had to do this, I wouldn’t be able to show up as many times as you did dad, I know that now so it’s ok.” That’s the first time any of that kind of stuff has come out of his mouth and I couldn’t help but feel relieved.
I don’t think that one spot in my stomach that always kinda aches is ever going to go away, a part of me almost died during that battle. And the little part of that part of me that survived has been wounded beyond belief. Wounded, not ruined, so it’s healing, I think or maybe that’s my problem it is not but I think it is. I don’t know maybe I need a therapist again. Should always probably have one 🙂
I not only wounded myself in this, but I wounded my son almost in as bad of a way as my real dad did to me. It makes me sick but it is what it is all I can do now is be the best version of me I can be from here on out but even at that I fall short sometimes. It’s a work in progress, and I’ll get it eventually I know that. Please don’t tell me I’m being too hard on myself or any of that please because I am definitely not I’m just keeping real like I swore to do when I started this thing six years ago.
I honestly thought I had dealt with all these feelings but apparently not. When I started writing this story I was calm, cool, and connected not sure what to write about. When two paragraphs into this I feel the dampness of tears puddling in my eye and with a couple more keystrokes here they come as tears from emotions tied to the events let loose. I’m healing from the inside out it may be slow but at least I’m healing, I love you.
“No laughter in the writer, no laughter in the reader, No tears from the writer, no tears from the reader”
About The Author: Marc is a 53-year-old Author, Speaker, and Soldier in a war to loosen the grasp that Substance Abuse has on our society. He is a Father, Son, and friend to all those seeking refuge from this incorrigible disease. Marc resides in the beautiful Pacific Northwest where he enjoys writing, hiking, and kicking the disease of addiction in the teeth every chance he gets. As Marc always likes to say, be blessed, my friends.
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