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Jett Superior laid this on you on || December 19, 2003 || 1:30 am

This one was way too heavy for your Christmas card, if you know what I mean.

Dear Ross~

It is winter, it is cold and I’m in my car listening to the stereo (the music is very acoustic and very loud); I’m waiting on a client to finish her two-hour IOP (intensive outpatient) class.

She will be kicked out tonight, as she popped a piss test on Monday. Her children, aged eighteen and two months (such pretty, pretty wee babies) were removed from her care on Tuesday, sent to live with their paternal grandfather.

Some days I wonder why I put myself through this, why I even give a fiddler’s fuck. She was one-half of a (dynamic) duo that I bring here weekly; the other graduated Monday and will get custody of her son again shortly after the new year. They both were making me so very proud of them, restoring some of the faith in humanity that has eroded due to my two-handsful of shit cases.

I was all conflicting emotion as she told me about it, sick and sorrowful and pissed. I pulled the car over, turned to face her and said, “Part of me wants to choke you; part of me wants to hug you…” and she began to cry.

All I could say was, “You’re a good woman, Lela. You can do this.

It’s such a hard thing, what she’s doing, and it breaks my heart on so many levels to watch it. It brings my own experiences acutely back, makes me feel itchy and addicted (and just a titch desperate in that ‘cornered-with-no-way-out’ manner brought on by having a monkey on your back).

Fucking crystal methamphetamine!–it’s a real problem here on this mountain, not to mention a couple of neighboring ones. I tried it a couple of times while I was wallowing in the crater that my falling off the wagon left (it was an especially hard fall, you see). I hated it, found it gross. The high was crazily uneven (especially in comparison to my beloved coke), the comedown jagged and jolting. All I can think is that people really have to have a strong dislike of self to keep putting themselves through it.

So she’ll be kicked out, and she’ll be referred to several inpatient programs to see if they have room for her in the inn (they won’t; it’s the holiday season, a time of year when a whole lot of people just give up or give over); even if by some miracle she finds a spot, she has neither the money to pay for it nor insurance to cover it. Who or what will stand the gap?

It makes me want to lower my head, press it to the steering wheel in front of me and shriek in pain and fury. I’ve got to learn how to not invest emotionally in these people.

All this is such a contrast to how I felt just last night — upon exiting my car under the hazy glow of streetlights, I paused a moment to just breathe. I turned my face up to the rain, its tiny droplets cold and soothing on my cheekbones, my forehead, and felt like a still, small part of something immense and important. I closed my eyes there in the dark and felt love; for a brief moment all the ‘busy’ flew away from me and I knew peace.

Oh, to live in the midst of that feeling all the time…

I know it seems as if I don’t have the level of Christmas Spirit this year that I usually possess, and I’m going to correct that now (better late than never). I’ve just been so busy fervently doing things that I forget to touch back on the reasons for the doing. It’s a poor trade, and I’m cheating myself (and maybe others?).

I hope you are divine and that you know happiness. I hope this letter finds you well and warm.

Blessings,
Your Pal Beth

::: :: ::: :: :::

I’m not right / And I’m not fine / I wanna be rain / That tastes like wine / I wanna be good / I wanna be great / I wanna be everything / Except for your mistake

Send me inside / Your mind / I wanna know what you’re thinking / This time / I’ll try / To be the one you always thought you knew / It’s true / I’m blue / And without you / I’m not right / I’m not fine / I wanna be rain / That tastes like wine / I wanna be good / I wanna be great / I wanna be everything / Except for your mistake

Let me into / Your view / I wanna know how you see this thing / That’s us / I must / Keep managing my madness over you / It’s true / I’m blue / And without you / I’m not right / I’m not fine / I wanna be rain / That tastes like wine / I wanna be good / I wanna be great / I wanna be everything / Except for your mistake

And I don’t want your sympathy / Just understanding / Would we be better off if I just took some time / To try to understand you?

I’m not right / I’m not fine / I wanna be rain / That tastes like wine / I wanna be good / I wanna be great / I wanna be everything / Except for your mistake

I’m not right / I’m not fine / I wanna be rain / That tastes like wine / I wanna be seen / I wanna get clean / I wanna just fall out of in between / I’m not right / And I’m not right / I don’t want to be your mistake

// Sister Hazel, ‘Your Mistake’

9 worked it out »

  1. Dear Jett,

    Go watch ‘Home Alone’ and its first sequel. Macauley will solve not much, but he’ll make pain feel less intense. I promise.

    Love,

     
  2. Gary 12.19.2003

    Jett, don’t grow weary in well doing. You may their last hope. Meth is the scourge of East Tennessee right now. We have cookers dying left and right and the foster care program is overrun with children taken from homes with meth labs. One local county has averaged one lab bust per day since summer. One can only imagine the damage their product is doing.

     
  3. unmute 12.19.2003

    man, that is one depressing-ass card. don’t you never send me one o’ those at christmastime, unless you’re aching ta give me the kiss of death. yet…we all need a release for the pain we witness in the world, and if your real-lifin’ friends can share your burden then you gots some good peeps backin’ you up.

     
  4. waistdog 12.19.2003

    Of all the drugs I’ve ever done, or heard of…..crank is the worst.

    PERIOD.

    I’d rather turn people on to sniffing glue.

    At least glue will kill you.

    Crank just destroys you.

    Now I’m mad.

    I’m gonna go track down a tweaker, and look at them until they run.

     
  5. Jett 12.19.2003

    (or until, in all their ‘my-brain-lining-has-been-eradicated’ paranoia, they shoot you)

    It makes me mad, too, waisty, but not in a disgusted-mad sort of way like The Straights That Just Fell Off The Jesus Truck And Are Here To Help The Heatherns…..more like mad in that ‘Why the fuck can’t I DO anything way.’

    Look, I can say with a certain degree of surety that all drugs should be outlawed and done away with, but that one SHOULD. It makes people mean and pitiful and desperate and crazy. And maaaan, all the low-grade bathtub shit that gets assembly-lined out of this place….well, the sheer volume just baffles me. And makes me wanna go all ‘Boondock Saints’.

    and UM….you’ll notice that it didn’t make it into the card, just here.

    Gary…I don’t have to imagine, I see. The bulk of my cases have parents that are either addicted or were running a meth lab or both.

    Daniel, sweet Daniel…eggnog today! And baking! And watching movies while wrapping presents! >:o)

     
  6. Anonymous 12.19.2003

    WHOOPSIES…I meant ‘I CAN’T say…’

    errrr…

     
  7. Jettomatika 12.19.2003

    ..and I’m fucking ‘anon’ again, damnit.

     
  8. Bakelite Lung 12.19.2003

    “I’ve got to learn how to not invest emotionally in these people.” I’m not sure you can, or even if you should. Maybe what you’ve “got to” do is learn how to cope with your emotional investment.

    You could be an uninvested person who would NOT say “Part of me wants to choke you; part of me wants to hug you…” and you would not have made her cry. But you wouldn’t have affected her at all. The wanting to choke her and hug her is something that will make her think. Maybe not now, maybe not next month. Sometime, though, I think.

    I only know you a little teensy bit but I think you are practicing a Calling. It will have its joys and sorrows, its highs and lows. I think they’re different pieces of the same thing.

    “We can’t have the happiness of yesterday without the pain of today. That’s the deal. ” (I don’t know whether Joy Gresham said this in real life, but she said it in Shadowlands.)

    Don’t let the bastages get you down.

     
  9. Ross 12.20.2003

    Read this yesterday and been thinking about it ever since. I’ve learned already that the toughest part of the job is the emotional commitment it requires. You can’t be a carer unless you care; disengagement is not an option.

    I think with something like this you can only support and encourage, the decision lies with the user. If they want to kick it badly enough they will. Not all of them do.

    I wish you & your family a Happy Christmas and A Peaceful New Year.

    Ross.

     

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