One Drunken Night

One of my first memories included sex, alcohol and an emergency room…how could I possibly have a normal relationship when I kept going back to that. How can anything make sense when chaos seemed to be the norm growing up. What can I say…1996 was a tough year for me

Sex was so normal, yet so taboo that I often questioned…so is this right or is it wrong? It was never a question of love, it became obvious to me that sex was all about power and getting what you want from the opposite sex. 

I had no hope, what I was supposed to do with my sex crazed, alcoholic and selfish mother and an absentee father. What else was I supposed to become?
Now at 20 I thank God I was a single child while all this was going on…for me it would’ve meant I had one more person to take care of.

For a long time I was afraid to sleep, and it was not because of the nightmares. Mine were real, they happened too often and too close to my bed.
Around 11:30pm the moans would begin, the quiet whispers where too familiar to me at the age of 6. I guess she thought she was being quiet, or maybe the rum and coke she had earlier made her forget I was home. But how could she forget? I was always home, she had selfishly kept me to herself. No one was there other than her, which was what she wanted. But at this moment she had forgotten all about me.

“Are we fucking with your socks on?” she whispered o him.
“Yea, why not” he replied and she laughed.

Their words so close to me I could smell the rum and coke on their breath. The next 10 minutes always felt like an eternity, all I could do was pray and cry not understanding why she didn’t care about me.

It was always about her, what she wanted and how she wanted it. She had no consideration for me or my so called childhood innocence. It all went down the drain the first night I heard the moans full of rum and coke.

In the morning he was always gone, that’s what would infuriate me the most. I felt angry for her, because I knew that she meant nothing and here she was changing my life for 10 minutes she enjoyed. She gave herself so little value and whether she saw it or not she kept this going for 8 and a half years.

I would have been nice to not have to care for my mother every night, especially on Fridays. Those were always wild alcohol and sex night.

It was one of those usual booze filled nights. Like many others, my mother and her lover had started the rum and coke routine earlier in the afternoon. It was the same story, different day, I was used to it. He would bring a bottle and wouldn’t leave until it was done and he was done using her for the night. She would sit with him and drink until she would force me to go to sleep so she could enjoy her 10 minutes with him. The bad part was always feeling like I wanted to sleep and get away from them, but something in me wouldn’t let me. 

Many nights I cried myself to sleep thinking and wondering if all my friends dealt with the same things when they went home. I know she always heard me cry, but she was busy, it was easier to just ignore me.

Finally he was gone…he had left $350 on the dining room table. I guess that was our weekend allowance since he wouldn’t be around until Monday.   

Smelling like sweat, rum, and cum she laid next to me. I got up right away…I already knew the routine. Go to the laundry area, get a bucket then fill it up with some water and put it next to her side of the bed just in case she got sick. Oh, and I couldn’t forget a tall glass of ice water. This wasn’t the first time I had to take care of her, but my gut told me this time was it different.

She was up almost all night throwing up into that bucket next to her. I had to change it and clean it a couple of times. I had to clean her too. I would get so mad, mad at her for getting this way, mad at him for letting her and then leaving me to clean up after her. It wasn’t fair, I knew that but she was my mom, I had to care for her. She would always say “You have no one else other than me, and I have no one else other than you. We have to care for each other. We will be together always” and I believed her, I always believed her.

I felt like her parent and she was my child with a stomach virus. She would be better soon I kept telling myself as I helped her get in the bathroom for a cold shower. Hours passed and she didn’t get better, I was really starting to worry. Her self-induced sickness had never lasted this long, I had to do something.

I don’t even know how I managed to help her down from our apartment on the fifth floor, or how I convinced her that we had to go. I took a $20 from the table and we were out the door. I paid for the 3 minute cab ride there and it was done, luckily for us we lived right behind the hospital. A nurse helped me at the door and sat her in a wheelchair, then she disappeared behind gray doors.
As I sat in the waiting room I never felt so alone. “What if she dies?” I thought, “Who is going to care for me, where would I go? Why did she do this to me? Why does she want to leave me all alone?” You would think that at such a young age I would be crying but instead I was worried, quietly sitting there, waiting.

I managed to get some change from a couple of strangers that were in the waiting room with me. I called my grandma and in tears I said “you have to come, please come, I’m in the hospital. Mom is sick and I think she’s going to die. Please don’t leave me alone, come help me.”
Thinking about that moment always brings me to tears. I was too young to experience such grade of selfishness. I clearly remember and feel the pain I was feeling knowing my mom was going to die killed me too. She was all I had.

Hours went by but I felt better knowing that someone other than me cared about my mom. My grandma and my aunt patiently sat with me in the waiting room for the doctor. When he finally came out, he said “She’s fine, we had to pump her stomach but she can go home in a couple of hours.”
She made it, I thought as if she was battling a life threating disease. It didn’t matter, she was ok and she was coming home soon, that was all that mattered.

She came out in a wheelchair with the IV still on her arm. She looked at me and said “it’s ok, I’m ok”
She really doesn’t know how lucky she was, and even if I asked her she wouldn’t admit to what happened that night.

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