I am blessed with 2 awesome kids, a boy who is 2 and a girl who is 8. I often refer to them as M&M (as I will when I write). They truly are the loves of my life! They are hilarious, kind, loving, smart, inquisitive, and creative (of course I’m not biased;)).
Fortunately their dad and I want what is best for them and we both love them unconditionally, even if the two of us are not married anymore. I am truly grateful and humbled that they call me mommy.
My drinking “took off” after M was born in 2006. I recently came across journal entries where I wrote that I was concerned with my drinking and that I was going to change my ways for the sake of my family. Wow! Well, that never happened and the drinking escalated. Every family event, holiday, and impromptu gathering required alcohol, wine to be specific. I recall several of my daughter’s birthday parties being wasted, and sadly and selfishly I don’t recall much else. In the evenings, when I should have been playing with my daughter I was drinking. When she asked me to read a story I told her to wait, because I was “busy”. I missed many nights tucking her in….
When M was 6, her brother was born. Her little brother idolizes his big sister, who acted as a little momma while their real mommy was drinking. Late afternoon it was time to uncork the bottle, a few hours and a couple of bottles later, M was a better mommy. In the spring of 2013 I entered rehab voluntarily. I “left” my kids, the loves of my life for 18 days… they didn’t understand why their mommy left …. nor was it fair that they even had too. It was the hardest 18 days, being away from them. Upon my return, I was told that M compared me to Miss Hannigan, Carol Burnett’s character in Annie….. whoa !!
Here I thought M didn’t know about my drinking, I didn’t think it was affecting her…… seriously??!
When I relapsed in January, M&M witnessed my behavior. I believe in my heart of hearts that God wanted me to witness what my actions had done to them, because I should of been in a blackout, but the sheer look of terror on M&M’s face is ingrained in my brain.
It took a few days for M to talk to and feel comfortable around me, and rightfully so. When she was ready, we talked (at a 7 yr old level) and I apologized. She had me pinky swear that I would never drink again. That was 10 months ago…..I pray every day that I keep that promise and I am grateful each night that I kept the promise, to her and myself.
M didn’t deserve to be forced into adult situations, she doesn’t deserved to have a mom who is an alcoholic. Neither does little M, but by the grace of God, he wont remember his mommy as a drunk, but his sister will. Fortunately, I have been, and will continue to be open and honest with both kiddos. I won’t keep this a hush-hush topic. I welcome the honest conversations as they come, age appropriate of course.
Today, I live in the present and am present for M&M. I think this is the best way to keep the pinky swear I made over 10 months ago. I continue to work on forgiving myself for being absent in M&M’s lives. I know I must keep the past in the past, but those feelings of guilt and shame creep up time to time. Fortunately I have the tools and support to process those feelings. More importantly, I have the unconditional love of M&M. I am one lucky mommy!