Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Love Abounds…

“I love you,” Charlie told me tonight. “I love you so much.  I don’t know how I will ever repay you for all you’ve done for Horsefly over the years. You will always be so special in my heart for helping him to talk and to learn to play like regular kids.”

He gave me a strong and loving embrace as we stood in my den.

“I have just been so worried about you all day.  It has made me sick with worry!  You don’t seem to be drinking even though you have some money, though.  I thought I would find you drunk tonight when you said you were mowing lawns.  I worry you are going to get in a mess with that job.  I called your father tonight and told him.  He said he is going to call you in a little bit to talk. Don’t worry. He sounded calm. I hated to call him, but he needed to know.”

My heart sunk.  I really didn’t need a talking down from dad tonight.  I was so very tired from working all day.  I’ve had a very busy day today and am exhausted.  I probably won’t answer the phone.  I want to avoid that confrontation till the last moment like a coward.  I would rather talk to him face to face, eye to eye.  I want him to see that I am okay and not in some drunken stupor as he will think the worst of me as always.

“Your mother called me five times today fretting about your groceries. She is so obsessive compulsive like us,” Charlie then said laughing jovially.  “She really loves you.  She was so afraid you were going hungry without food.  I also got those drink mixes you love.  Help me get your groceries out of the car.  She made me write down a list of all the things you like and usually get.  I got you plenty of your favorite meals.  Your father is going to kill me when he sees what I spent.”

Charlie and I gathered all my groceries inside and put them up.  Charlie then sat on my couch and watched the rest of Bones with me as he lavished Maggie with ample attention.  The show ended and he got up to leave.

“I’ll be back in a minute,” Charlie told me asking me for one of my plates from the kitchen. “Janice is cooking and I am going to bring you a plate of home cooked food tonight.  All that fast food I bring you has to get old.”

It was about thirty minutes later when Charlie arrived again.  On the plate was stewed tomatoes, chicken casserole, crinkle cut carrots, green beans, pickled zucchini, and two pieces of cornbread.  There was also a big Ziploc bag of several pieces of Janice’s chocolate cake. 

I am really blessed in having Charlie although I was miffed that he called dad and spilled the beans.  My life has been so serene while they have been gone and I have grown spoiled by the quiet.  My father makes me such a nervous wreck every night with our medication ritual.  He is always constantly watching me for signs of mental illness and substance abuse.  The scrutiny is unnerving.   I am going to fight, though.  I am not giving in.  He is not going to make me quit my job like he did the last one.  It is time for me to stand up for myself and be a man.  Courage be with me!


Anonymous said...

Good luck! I'm sure you can stand up to him if you set your mind to it... don't not answer though, he'll probably assume your drinking!

This IS The Fun Part! said...

Hang in there - do what you think is right. Things are going well so far!!!

Love ya,

Beth said...

Well, I understand why Charlie called your dad, and I also understand why your dad is always watching you. As I've told you before, he is afraid for you -- apprehensive that your hard-won semi-stability is going to go to hell in a handbasket through drinking or mental illness -- and unfortunately even since I've been a reader of your blog, that's been what has happened more than once.

And he has always been there to pick up after you: to get you help, to stay with you when you're agitated and suffering so much. He loves you dearly, deeply, and it is so terribly hard to watch your child suffer and to be so unable to make it STOP. I KNOW this. I LIVE this.

I'm supportive of your efforts to work, to go to school, to do rehabilitative things. But you are going about it in the all-or-nothing manic way that has not served you well in the past. You are an example of 'self-will run riot' that the Big Book talks about so much.

You'll probably dismiss this as one of the 'angry, vitriolic, venomous' commenters, if, indeed, you even read it.

I'm not angry. I'm rarely vitriolic or venomous, and certainly not towards someone who is seeking recovery, however misguided it might appear to be.

But one day at a time, one step at a time works. Talking to your doctor, talking to a therapist, being open and honest with your loved ones about how you feel: these work... Long term... which is your goal.

I hope the way you're doing this works for you, long term.

Your parents and Charlie have been there for you through some awful, scary episodes. They desperately want you to not have to go through that again. Please remember that.

PipeTobacco said...


Again, I offer you very sincere congradulations on your success with WalMart and lawn care. You are a strong person and you can and do have the ability to make your life into something you find grand!

As you wait to either talk to your father on the phone or in person when he returns, may I offer one suggestion that may prove helpful... think about being as moderate as you can be in your interactions with him about your efforts. Try to not holler and/or yell, but also do not withdraw. Try to speak with him in clear, concise, moderate tones. I think this may help both you and he communicate more successfully.

I know it can be ENORMOUSLY DIFFICULT to act moderately when emotions and passions may be at a peak, but I think if you strive for this moderation, it may prove useful. And, please keep in mind... even if your father may be emotional or non-moderate in his tones... YOU can still respond moderately. It is a very powerful tool.


Jopan said...

You know if you think your doing ok in your job, and you think you can cope with the money then don't let your dad stop you. Perhaps if your dad tries to stop you working you should discuss it with some sort of social service person just to see if the way your dad treats you is considered abusive. You will need to get back to work at some point after all. This sort of experience is good for a person.

TheBipolarMom said...

Hey Darling,
As I said last night on Twitter, I am just so proud of you for getting this job and giving it a chance.

As far as your dad is concerned, that is hard, but I agree with the poster that gave you good advice.

justLacey said...

Don't be angry with Charlie, he is in the middle and had no choice really. You will be fine with your dad, I think each step you take makes you more independent. Try Andrew and do the right thing as far as the drinking. There are ways to get your meds straight and part of the anxiety was probably you being home alone and depressed. That can get to anyone and often does. I think your new jobs may be a blessing.

Sharon said...

I suspected that once Charlie knew, your Dad would soon find out. I agree with your friend PipeTobacco who said to be moderate in tone when speaking with your father. Calm tones and logical statements will go much farther in proving how serious and adult you are than in screaming, tears or tantrums. If you father can see that working is having a beneficial effect, he might not be as harsh on you as we imagine. Good luck!

Lottie said...

I'm so proud of you for seeking some independence and it will go a long way in helping with your self esteem. I, too, worry about you. I am worried that you will use the money to purchase alcohol, no matter how small it may seem to you. ANY amount is BAD. I think it's awesome that you are seeking good things to improve your self esteem. Those things go a long way in keeping you stable longer. I suffer from bipolar disorder and see a bit of a manic episode happening here. When we are feeling good about life and almost "high" on life, this could be a bad sign for someone with mental disorders. Don't get me wrong; I am happy that you are feeling happy and good about your future, and if you are aware of how manic episodes compound things, then you may just be able to enjoy the ride without incidence. Awareness is key to success, Andrew... I know you know this. Don't dismiss the possibilities; be aware of them and you can be the one in control, not the illness. I love you dearly, my friend, and pray that this is a beginning to some independence. Stay aware and don't dismiss it our fears...
Lots of love...

Happyone :-) said...

Hope all goes well. I think its great that you got the job!!

Leaking Moonlight said...

Hey, Country Mouse. Mexican in town is my rare, big treat too!

Tee said...

I know Charlie is caught between you and your Dad and felt compelled to let your Dad know what was going on since he has the responsibility of helping you while your parents are out of town. I understand completely why you are upset that he spilled the beans, but in all fairness Charlie didn't want to get in trouble with your Dad.

I suspect the big problem with your Dad will be the probability of you losing your disability income. He knows very well that if you again get to the place where you can't work it will be his responsibility to provide for your financially. Andrew, your Dad wants to retire. He also wants to be assured that you will have income in the future when he is living on reduced income. He just wants to protect your ability to live in your own home. So, keep that in mind when you have your eye to eye meeting with him. I agree with Pipe, just keep calm when having your discussion with him, and ask him to help you keep up with your income so you don't exceed your limits in order to keep your disability benefits. This will be the big issue with your Dad.

You are doing so well.