I am a 49 year old woman. I am one of five children. I am the second oldest. My older brother is a police officer and I am a flight attendant. We both left our home at the age of 18. My three other siblings stayed until their 20’s and some still lived with Mom until late in their 40’s. My mother worked for a doctor when I was a child. She became addicted to prescription drugs immediately. She was in her 30’s. Her drug addiction lasted until the time of her overdose when she was 65 years old. She started on little blue and red pills called Tuinal. She had a friend where we lived in Delaware County PA, who was also addicted to them. My mother used to wake me and my brother up from a dead sleep (sometimes as late as 3 AM) and say “Go to Aunt Beth’s and pick me up something”. I was only about 10 years old at the time and my brother was 11. I remember after going 2-3 times a week and picking up these “red and blue” capsules and bringing them back to mom.
She would get “happy”, relaxed, and sometimes go right to sleep”. Then she would be mean, nasty, and argumentative in the morning. After a couple of months of going out in the middle of the night I DECIDED to fill a baggie with flour! I would empty the 5 or 6 capsules on the 2 block walk back home and fill them with flour. I SWEAR TO GOD she still got the happy feeling after taking the emptied narcotic and refilled with flour pills! It was like she got “high” because she THOUGHT she was taking them even though I filled them with flour. After doing this 6 or 7 times I CRACKED one of the capsules. I WAS CAUGHT!! I got the beating of my life that night and realized that the drug CAN SOMETIMES be stronger than the love you have for your children. I would hate my friends if their parents were straight or they had normal lives. I felt ashamed of myself for envying the kids who had normal moms and normal lives. It really took a toll on me all the way up to high school. I would lie in bed and PRAY that mom would get straight! She always SEEMED happier if she got her fix. I would try to make her happy but I could NEVER compare to the happiness she showed when she got her “fix”. She was getting worse and it affected her second marriage. My stepfather had moved out and then the FORECLOSURE signs started showing up on our front lawn. He divorced her and she became even worse. She met a new man right away who was a MEAN alcoholic. They were made for each other. They fed each other’s dependencies. I decided to get out. So I got pregnant at 16 and moved to the Jersey Shore with my grandmother, who was also a severe alcoholic.
I kept in touch with my mother and I had a beautiful healthy baby girl. I was raising her on my own and got a job as a bartender in a go-go bar. I started drinking heavily and tried to get closer to my mom. I realized that my drinking was affecting my abilities to be a GOOD mother. My brother and two sisters who continued to live with her were now getting into the prescription drug way of life. They were arrested multiple times and she would go visit them in prison enable them. She would often say “Here, take this, it will make you feel better”. I never fell for it. I never got tied into her drug dependence way of life and my older brother also left at the age of 18 and pursued law enforcement.
I WISH I could say the 3 youngest were smart enough to get away with that life! Unfortunately they suffered even worse and mom got them hooked on the prescriptions. THEY have not fared well at all EVEN TO THIS DAY…….