I’m not sure how many times I saw my mom pass out drunk. A handful of the times, she just fell to the floor. I was so little, I didn’t understand what was going on, but I knew it wasn’t good. I’d cry and wail.
Luckily, it never happened (as far as I can remember) when I was alone with her. My old stepdad (he was her boyfriend/fiance for the majority of time that he was in our lives, this story mostly contains bits from before they were legally married, but I call him “my old stepdad”) would always be there. He’d pick her up, wake her as best he could, and move her to the bed or couch.
One time that comes flashing back to me is the time where she decided to leave him. Wasn’t the first time. This time, she’d gotten an apartment not too far from our house. My old stepdad and I went to visit her (why I was with him and not her, I’m not sure of) and they got to fighting again. I think now the reason they fought was because she was drunk, but I’m not entirely certain.
Now, she is the fighter. She screams, spews vitriol, throws things- sometimes big things. My image of a monster when I was little. So, continuing on with this memory, I go and hide in the bathroom. I’m absolutely freaking out. I always thought that she’d die when she got like this, like somehow her own monster would take her down. It gets quiet so I peer out of the door and she’s passed out face down on the carpet in the living room. That’s an image that’s branded in my mind.
I still didn’t understand what had done that to her. I associated it with alcohol, but I didn’t know what alcohol really was (I wasn’t exactly at a drinking age). I didn’t understand how it could happen and why. I just knew that she’d become a monster and she’d pass out.
All I know and remember from the rest of that night is, my old stepdad took her and me back to our house and we never saw that apartment again. And I never told a soul.
Read secrets – a foreword.