Monthly Archives: August 2013

My Earliest Worst Memory

A while back, WordPress had a writing prompt of writing about your best or worst memory. I decided to write about the earliest worst memory I have.

My memory for my life as a child, is crap. I don’t have a lot of memories. There are a few here and there. There are some good memories, and then there are the ones that I can bring back as if it were just a few days ago.

The earliest one was waking up in the middle of the night to my mother downstairs in the kitchen wailing. I dragged my groggy body out of bed and stumbled down the stairs. All the lights were out except for the ones in the kitchen. There she was, with a bottle of Galliano or Midori, drunk and crying. I was about 12 years old.

I don’t remember what she was crying about, other than her life. I remember being upset and crying too. Finally, Dad came downstairs and joined the party. He would gather Mom up and get her back to bed.

Don’t ask me how long this went on; I have no idea. It could have been a month or a few months, or a year. I do remember getting tired of it. And telling my father to “Put your wife to bed.” I can only guess that her body finally decided to cycle out of depression, up into mania, and it stopped.

Probably within a year, one day, my Dad asked us kids to join him in the basement. That he had something he needed to tell us. As he was collecting us up, I stood in the cellar waiting. Something about the whole situation; the tone of voice, the energy in the air, I don’t know exactly what, and in a moment I knew what was happening. Dad was leaving.

He told us that he was moving out for a while, that he and Mom were separating. He said that they weren’t getting along, and that they needed to be apart (or something to that effect). I said, then Mom needed to move out. Dad said that a mother needs to be with her kids. I thought, not this one. Even though I didn’t know Mom was mentally ill, I could tell that things were not ok. She wasn’t going to be diagnosed for another year or two, when she had a complete break with reality. So, Dad left us with a woman who was severely mentally ill and was heading for psychosis. He left me with a brother who routinely molested me. Life was hard. And that was just the beginning.

Detoxing

I haven’t been around much recently, because life has been demanding of me. Just over a month ago, I had surgery on a foot that had a broken bone and a torn tendon. About 10 days later, I had post surgery splint and bandages removed from my foot and lower leg, and had a cast put on, up to my knee.

Stitches, holding together torn tendons, were still in place. Because a cast doesn’t have any give, any time my foot wasn’t propped up, it wanted to swell a bit. And pressure inside of a cast on a fairly new incision, with sutures underneath the skin, caused lots of discomfort and stinging pain. Taking narcotic pain pills on top of anti-inflammatory pills, kept things mostly tolerable in the pain department.

Just the other day, my cast was cut off, and the outer stitches were removed. The tendons below my layers of skin and what ever else was cut away to access them, are swollen and tender. But despite occasional stinging or burning, my foot is much more comfortable now, free of the cast.

With this new comfort, I stopped taking the narcotic pain pills 48 hours ago. It never occurred to me, the day I stopped taking them, that I had been on them for almost 2 months, and that my body might be addicted to them.

Then the fun began. Withdrawal. The first night without narcotics (still taking anti-inflammatories), I slept like crap. I woke up every 90 minutes and had to go to the bathroom. Very loose stools of toxicity wanted out of my body, and they wanted out right then. Eventually, by around 4am, things slowed down. But trying to get comfortable was futile.

Daytime was a bit better, only because I wasn’t trying to sleep. But the second night (last night), I probably woke up every hour beginning at midnight. Needed to use the bathroom. Was too hot. Too cold. Uncomfortable. Too hot again. Too cold. Bathroom. And the cycle finally stopped around 9:30 am when I admitted defeat and got up.

My brain struggles with whether I am hot or cold. My foot is comfortable when it’s just sitting, propped up… most of the time. Then sensations of stinging crawl under my skin, up and down inside my foot.

The scab on the wound is ugly. The skin on my foot is quite dry and tight, but up on my leg it’s flaking off. I know a nerve was cut because I have lost sensation around the wound. And the outside of my foot, from the wound on down to my pinky toe is both lacking sensation, and hypersensitive at the same time. I hope to God the nerve heals correctly, so I’ll be able to wear shoes comfortably one day.

Detoxing and going through withdrawal sucks. But I’m hoping it will only be for a few days, and then my brain (and sleep) will come back to me. Getting back to walking again will take a while.