Tuesday, September 17, 2013

The Ambien Made Me Do It

Friday, September 11

On Wednesday I got a call from Parrish in jail.  He said he just got back from Georgia Regional Hospital and he said the doctor there told him he had an allergic reaction to Ambien and that’s why he was so crazy on Friday.  He said he has no memory of any of the events of Friday, doesn’t even remember coming home from the hospital.  He’s good at having selective memories, especially when he has been up to something.  But you ask him some obscure trivia question and he’ll answer without hesitating - and be right.

Apparently the people at the jail here in Brunswick could not deal with his crazy and shipped him off to the state hospital in Savannah.

Or it’s entirely possible that he made up the whole thing to try to get me to bail him out.  The call was free for one minute and I only had one chance to tell him I would pay his bond.  I meant it.

Yesterday I got a postcard from him postmarked on Tuesday and written in pencil.  Here is what he said:  

“Mama, Please activate my (SSI) card when you receive it and put some money in my (jail) account.  Leave the card in my property here @ the jail.  Write me and give me the pin #.  Make it ****.  I didn’t steal the bike.  Something else happened.”

Thursday morning, before he completely lost his ability to cerebrate, Parrish called Social Security and ordered a new debit card.  That’s how he gets his benefits.  He’s disabled by his craziness but he’s not too crazy to keep that money coming in.

When the card arrives I will keep it until he gets out of jail so he will have some money to get a room somewhere.  He doesn’t need any money in jail.  He does not deserve the means by which to purchase junk food.  He doesn’t deserve anything from me right now.

© 2013 cjschlottman

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Another Spin of the Carousel

Before I started writing on Friday, I dropped Parrish off at an 11:00 AA meeting.  I took him around 10:30 because he said he wanted to be there early and talk to some people and maybe think about someone for a sponsor.  If that sounds like a crock of horse shit, it’s because it is.

Around 11:30, he arrived back here all sweaty and out of breath, saying the meeting was cut short because there were only three people there.  No shit.  He looked me in the eye and delivered that load of crap.

I asked him how he got home and he said his daddy met him at the College Street house and brought him the bike from his house.  He said he rode the bike home.  My very well-developed bullshitometer went through the roof but I didn’t want to get into it with a drunk.  I just started writing and kept on.

I didn’t even start figuring out what I was going to do with him.  I knew he would hang himself if I just kept quiet and ignored him.  While I was writing, he occasionally came to sit by my desk and ask some inane question like this. 

“If I write something, will you edit it for me, check it for syntax and grammar?”

I mumbled that I would and kept on writing.  Marnie was wisely staying to herself and even went out to the bank to get out of here for a while.  P wanted to go with her but she refused to let him.  She has experience with his manipulative ways.  She’s taken him with her on errands too many times when he asked her to take him to the store for snuff.  When she does, he comes out of the store with beer.  It never fails.  When she wouldn’t take him with her, he went to bed for a while.

You may wonder how he has any money for beer or anything else.  The truth is that I was stupid enough to put $25.00 in his commissary account when he was in jail in Macon for being drunk while on probation.  (He blew 0.285 when he checked in with is probation officer).  He also worked in the jail laundry.  My guess is that he didn’t spend one cent so he would have some money when he got out.  I always seem to think of things too late but that’s who I am and I’m not apologizing for it.  I’m not the crazy alcoholic in this family.  I’m just crazy.

I guess it was about 4:00 or so when I finished writing and I went down stairs to check out the bike.  There was no bike parked in my parking place so I came back upstairs and asked P where it was. 

“It’s in the garage.”

“Where in the garage?”

I walked him down and pointed to the empty space in front of my car and he said he parked it in the wrong place.  He walked over to the parking places for 302 and pointed to a nice rust-colored bike.

“Why did you put it there?”

“I didn’t think it mattered.”

“It matters.  Move your bike out of their area and into mine.”

So he did and we came back upstairs.  Soon he was acting restless and he left to go ride the bike to somewhere, I don’t remember where.  I didn’t care where.  I was just glad he was leaving.

After he left, I called Lawrence, Parrish’s daddy.  He had a hernia operation a few weeks ago and is 72 years old and a scrawny little thing.  I couldn’t get my head wrapped around the image of him taking the wheel off a bike and putting it in the trunk of his car and bringing it over to Parrish.  Call me crazy. 

It didn’t happen.  Lawrence had not left his house in Brunswick all day.  We stayed on the phone for a while and commiserated about how hard it is to have P for a son.  Knowing the bike was stolen, we could only wait for him to return.

I had a drink.  Then I put on my tennis shoes and took Honey for a walk on the fitness trail.  While we were walking down the road to get there, I noticed a police car parked in up under the oaks not far from the river.  That’s not an unusual sight.  I see a car over there often and think it’s because it’s a good cool place for cops to wait for some action.

When Honey and I walked out of the gates to the fitness trail, another cop had joined the first one and his blue lights were on.  I didn’t have on real glasses but I could see from where I was that they had Parrish and the bike.  Yes, I had the privilege of once again witnessing my son being arrested. 

I marched over to where they were and said I was his mother and the bike was stolen and they should take him to jail.  I didn’t even look at P.  I couldn’t stand to look at him.

I walked Honey back home and returned in my car.  The second police car was gone and Parrish was in the back of the remaining car.  I still didn’t look at him.  I heard him call my name but I didn’t look.

The officer said the owner of the bike would probably press charges and I said I hoped he would.  I said I didn’t want Parrish back in my house and that I would consider it trespass if he came inside my door.  I said he wasn’t welcome.  The officer suggested that Parrish not be allowed to come onto the condo property at all.  I agreed and went home and locked my door.  I suppose the officer had some judge issue an order to keep P away.  I don’t know.

He’s still in jail, and in case you’re wondering, neither Lawrence nor I is going to bail him out.  I emailed his probation officer in Macon so he is aware of P’s criminal behavior.  I don’t know what he will do but I hope when P gets out of jail here, he will send someone down here to take him back to Macon and lock him up there.

As angry as I am about Parrish’s drinking and his subsequent unacceptable, even criminal, behavior, I am equally angry about the absence of any place in our society for people who are unable to function in on their own.  There is no place for these people to be kept under lock and key to protect them from themselves.  I don’t care what anyone says, there is a case for crazy people to be held in institutional settings without any hope of getting out.  Parrish will never be able to quit drinking unless he is locked up somewhere.  As it is, he will eventually get out of jail and continue to kill himself with alcohol.  He will fail to take his medicine and he will drink himself into alcohol poisoning until one day he stops breathing.  Before that happens, he will suffer and cause suffering.  I don’t believe he wants to be like he is.  I really don’t.  

Having said all that, I don’t want him around me while he finishes himself off.  No mother should have to watch that.

© 2013 cjschlottman

The Merry-Go-Round That Never Stops

Friday, September 5, 2013

I am sick and fucking tired of Parrish and his crazy.  On Wednesday I drove to Macon to get his sorry ass from the jailhouse and before he could get in the door good he took my cell phone and hid in the pantry and tried to call Marcy, his on-and-off girlfriend who lives in Florida.  The call didn’t go through, of course. My phone doesn’t work in the living room let alone the pantry.

All the way from Macon he told me how he is on Elavil now and how much better he feels and how he knows he can change his life and not drink.  I bought it.  He played me like a fiddle, and I let him.  I wanted to believe him more than I wanted to acknowledge my own gut.

When I questioned him about the call, he said he wanted his stuff back, that she had taken his watch and wallet and that she had written to him in jail and said she would throw his diploma in the trash if he didn’t send her some money for something.  I don’t quite understand what the money is for.  He said while he was in jail she wrote him an eight page letter outlining her demands.  When he said he didn’t write her back, I knew he was lying and called his ass on it.  I knew he was lying.   

That little fucker insisted that Marcy looked him up on some mugshot website and found out he was in jail and where to send him mail.  He looked at me with a straight face and insisted that she contacted him first.  Even if that were true, he should have enough sense to ignore the woman.  Hell, no.  He wants to lord it over her and act rich and get back what he thinks she took from him.  She didn’t take anything from him that he wasn’t perfectly willing to give - his self-respect, his money, his soul. 

I will not live in the same house with that woman, and she is just as surely here in Parrish as she could possibly be in person.  He can not let it go.  She has her hooks in him and he is not capable of disengaging himself from her.  Shit.  The sex must have been great.  

Yesterday afternoon, he wanted to go to The Village and walk around and see how things have changed since he was last here.  The weather was stormy and I didn’t want to go, so instead I drove him down there and let him out, agreeing to fetch him in an hour and a half.

About 45 minutes later he called me and asked me to come get him because the weather was worse.  When I picked him up at Parker’s on the corner of Ocean Boulevard and Mallory street, I didn’t immediately notice that he’d been drinking.  Why in the name of God I didn’t expect it is beyond me.  I can be such a fool.  Or maybe, I just don’t want to eat his garbage until it’s shoved down my throat.

He insisted I take him by the bike shop so he could check out the inventory.  Over the last few months we had several discussions about him and a bike.  He needs a bike to get around and go to AA, but I won’t spend the money on a fancy expensive one.  That’s the only kind he thinks is good enough for him.  He thinks he deserves the very best of everything in life.  He is in love with things and money and what it can buy.

After we got home I heard P on the phone telling someone he rode his bike across the causeway and back.  No shit.  He, who does not own a bike, was telling someone he had ridden across the causeway and back.  I wanted to throw up.

Instead, I challenged him.  That was when I knew he had been drinking.  When he drinks his personality changes and he becomes a consummate liar.  He hates himself so much, he has to build up himself with lies about how wonderful he is.  After I badgered him about it for a while, he admitted he was trying to make himself look good, but he swore he had not been drinking, said he was manic because he did’t get his Elavil last night.  Another thing I am sick of is him using his bipolar disorder as an excuse to do just about anything he wants.  

I told him he should worry about who and what he is at this moment in time.  I said that he is valuable and worthy and that if he can believe it, that’s all anyone will ever need to know about him. 

He can’t do it.  He cannot believe in himself.  I think he is one of those hopeless souls who cannot stop drinking even though it has ruined his life.  If a ruined life can get any worse, his is. 

There was an AA meeting at 7:30 and I dropped him off and went to Starbucks to try to write for an hour.  I really needed to figure out what I was going to do with him, but I wanted to write, so I tried.  My phone rang before I had written a single paragraph.  When I picked him up, Parrish said it was an NA meeting and they wouldn’t let him in.  I know better than that.  I read the schedule.  He just didn’t want to go, and even if it were a NA meeting, they would not deny him a place.  I’ve been to enough Al-Anon meetings to know that, and the thing is, he knows I know it and keeps on lying anyway. 

Once we were home he admitted to drinking a 24 ounce beer while he was in The Village.  Translate that as anywhere between one and 12 beers.  He’s like an iceberg that way.  You can take what he says about his alcohol consumption and multiply it by at least ten if you want to know how much he drank.  

The evening wore on and Parrish got worse.  I didn’t see everything he drank but then I didn’t follow him around step-for-step either.  I had no idea what he might or might not have in his room.  I have a lot of experience with him hiding alcohol.  He’s good.  He’s real good.

Marnie got home about 9:45.  She’s my roommate, a high school classmate of Parrish’s who has become my wonderful young friend who loves me like I need to be loved and I love her back.  She just got out of a bad relationship and needs to be out of Macon as bad as I do.  We are a good pair, Marnie and I.  

She walked into the snake’s nest of my “discussion” with Parrish, and she was calm and controlled in spite of the fact that she had just driven 200 miles, part of it in the driving rain, and deserved to expect a little peace and quiet when she got here.  After all, she pays me $500.00 a month.  That should buy her a little serenity.

We watched from the balcony as P wandered into my room and came out with a closed fist.  He made his way to the cabinet where I keep a limited supply of liquor and poured some scotch into the cream pitcher and then poured juice over it so he could delude himself into thinking we wouldn’t notice it was scotch.  Then he emptied his fist into his mouth and took a swallow from the pitcher and threw his head back and swallowed.  

I went to my room and started counting my Xanax.  I got a refill on Monday so I knew exactly how many pills were in the bottle.  He took about 35 of them.  Yes.  He slammed about 35 Xanies down with scotch disguised in juice.

I know what you’re thinking.  You are wondering what kind of dumbass wouldn’t lock up her pills knowing there is an addict in the house.  I have not excuse.  I was snowed under by all that horse shit he fed me when we were driving down from Macon about how he was going to turn his life around and eat right and not drink and all that.

He came out on the balcony with us and tried to talk.  His head was wobbly and his eyelids were so heavy he had to tilt his head back to see.  He tried to light a cigarette but kept missing the end of it with the flame.  I finally did it for him.

If it sounds like Marnie and I sat and watched P dig deeper and deeper into trouble, it’s true to a certain extent.  I knew I had to take him to the hospital but wouldn’t be able to get him in the car until he agreed to go.  I had to wait for all the pills and alcohol to take effect so he would think he was invisible.  A couple of times I mentioned that he needed to go to the ER but he locked his knees like a mule and said he would go to bed instead.  He never stayed there more than a few minutes at a time.

We watched him as he staggered in and out of his room and in and out of Marnie’s room.  He went back in his room and came out struggling with the top button of his oxford cloth shirt and the button on his khakis, standing with his knees splayed out to keep his pants up.  He looked as though he were dressing for a casual dinner.  He never did get the top button done and his pants kept falling down.  Next he changed into khaki shorts and a tee shirt and tennis shoes.

He wobbled around the flat like an errant and crippled pinball.  He opened the refrigerator door a few times and peered in thinking he would find some beer or wine, I guess.  He actually took down a bottle of homemade wine vinegar from the cabinet by the stove and was about to pour it into a glass.  I got it away from him before he could drink it.  All the while he was grazing on cold pizza, swallowing it in huge mouths full.  He opened and closed cabinets until he realized the scotch was gone and then he went back into my room.  I followed him in and he was rummaging in one of my hand bags, muttering that he needed his medicine.  His words were so slurred I could hardly understand him.  By that time, every pill and every ounce of alcohol I have was locked in my little safe and I was holding the key.

He said he was looking for his medicine and wanted me to help him run off all those teenagers who were trying to get in the front door.  I said we had to go to the hospital and he said he wanted to go to bed instead.  I was afraid he would vomit and aspirate and die if he went to sleep here.  He was pretty much invisible.

Marnie rode with me when I took him to the hospital.  Once they had him in a room in the ER and the doctor promised not to let him die, I came home and went to bed.  It was about two in the morning and the doctor promised to call me when I could come and get my son. 

He checked himself out of the hospital against medical advice and was back here by 8:00.  I sat here and wrote all this down while he was slinging crazy all over the house.

© 2013 cjschottman