That Time My Oxygen was Stolen

I felt like an emphysema patient who had been given good lungs for just one day. I got a glimpse of everything I wanted & then it was gone in the blink of an eye.

I’ve heard people say that you can’t miss something you never had. For example, if a child born to an unwed mother who’s “Sperm Donor” took off before the baby was born, then the fatherless child doesn’t miss his dad because he never had one to miss. But for me, I did have it, and it is the only one thing I long for so badly nowadays. My 3 beautiful children, 2 boys and a girl (the way I always pictured my kids) I had them, but my selfishness, self-centeredness & my inability to quit using drugs took them from me.

After my separation from my now ex-husband, I isolated, I shut down physically, emotionally and mentally, I distanced myself from any and every one who would recognize me spiraling out of control. I couldn’t handle the judgement and I didn’t want to hear their opinions. I was happy, or so I thought, with this free, wild lifestyle I was living. As long as I was getting strung out on pills or drowning my sorrows in liquor bottles, I DID NOT care who I hurt or what people thought of me.

You can easily see how this lifestyle eventually came to a screeching halt. But not before I managed to completely destroy my relationship with my children, lose a job that meant the world to me and came WAY TOO close to ending my own life, twice.

My oldest son (12) was able to make his own decision on where he will live, and that decision was not me. My 7 year old moved out of state with his dad & my ex husband was awarded soul custody of our 2 year old baby girl while I was in a treatment center.

Today, I’ve been out of treatment for 9 months and things are improving with my kids, but at an extremely slow pace. Originally my custody orders with my daughter only allowed supervised visitation 2 Saturday’s per month at a state funded child protective facility but I refused to have her in one of those places, but with my parents help, I saw her for a few hours on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and at my nephews birthday party. In January I was awarded supervised visitation that would be held at my parents house on the 2nd & 4th Saturday for 3 hours, yes that is right, I saw her for a total of 6 hours per month.

My 7 year old was in another state, I had screwed up so bad with him that it took me about a month after rehab to even reach out to his dad. Finally, after several strongly worded emails back & forth in which they so kindly wrote a laundry list of all my flaws & happily reminded me of all the times I failed as a mother & how my son no longer trusts me or cares to even talk to me. In my normal fashion I apologized incessantly, taking the blame for any & every thing that ever went wrong between myself and them and finally we came to an agreement that I would FaceTime my son 2 nights per week until they felt like I was ready to finally be the mother he needs. This went on for 5 months and then they announced they were moving back to San Antonio.

This past weekend was my sons first weekend back and he spent it with me, in my new apartment, living my new lifestyle. His big brother stayed too & we were able to spend some time with their sister, though that meant my ex husband would be present when we wanted to see her.

And this whole situation is what lead up to me feeling like all of the air had literally been sucked out of my body.

Seeing my kids bonding, playing & of course nagging at each other, for 3 days made me realize I had missed them so badly. It was perfect & I had everything I ever wanted again, but that would be short lived. They would all return to the people who didn’t screw up so bad, the ones who were there to put the pieces back together after I shattered them so horribly, the “responsible” ones & the ones who were able to provide them the life they deserved, the ones who weren’t and never would be me, a recovering drug addict with mental instability.

It was Sunday evening around 6pm when they were all gone. I would drive home with the windows down, sunroof open, blasting my music & chain smoking cigarettes (all things I can’t do when they are in the car) trying so hard to distract myself from the breakdown I knew was coming. I managed to get all the way home before it happened, the inevitable pounding in my chest as the emptiness inside consumed me, uncontrollable tears fell from my eyes when suddenly it was as if all of the oxygen left my body and I couldn’t breathe. My heart ached as it turned black & I stopped dead in my tracks, standing there was only an empty shell of a person and once again I am reminded of all that I lost to drugs and alcohol.

The kids I brought into this world whom I had given life to no longer needed me in theirs. The only 3 things I’ve ever done right in my dysfunctional 30 years, the 3 things I was actually proud of doing, and of course, I ruined my chance of being their mommy. I successfully did everything I said I never would when I had kids. Now I remember that I ruined any chance they had at living normal lives.


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