Thursday, May 31, 2012

Back Surgery

A couple of days after the ER visit I could barely move, my wife had to help me stand and walk so I could go see my own doctor. After examining me he referred me to a back specialist and after he looked at My X-rays and CT scans he decided I needed a 3 level spinal fusion, and after a 2nd opinion I said OK.

The only problem was that it was an on the job injury paid for by the state, which means they wanted to do all other kinds o treatment before surgery. All these other things took a year to complete and the whole time I had an unending supply of Oxycoton. During this time my marriage was falling apart. I treated my wife like garbage and didn't care about anyone but me and just before my back surgery was Ok'd my wife kicked me out.

 This time I got my own apartment so I didn't have to stay with my sister and it was the only time I had ever lived alone and could do what I pleased. My wife had suggested once that I should go back to school and at least get my GED, but I blew it off. So now I figured it was time to do that, I went to the community college and found an adult continuation program where I could get my actual High school diploma, and my credits would also count for my degree as well, So I became a high school graduate.

 Right after that I had my back surgery and my wife had come to be with me. Coming out of the surgery there were some complications which caused severe pain, so that led to more pain medication. The one good thing about the pain medication was that I didn't have to smoke pot to get high and I ending up quitting.

During my recovery my wife and I talked and made some agreements on some things like quitting pot for good and treating her better and she let me come home. After six months of recovery and physical therapy I received a settlement check and was no longer taken care of by the state. My wife prayed that I would find a good job and it only took 2 weeks to get one. It was a building maintenance job working for the company that owned most of the buildings in the downtown area making pretty decent money. My wife believed it was prayer that got me that job and I laughed and said it was because of my hard work, that some God had nothing to do with (Wow was I wrong, but that comes later).

Monday, May 21, 2012

Addiction Costs

The first 7 years of my marriage were very rocky at best. All I wanted to do was hang out and smoke pot. I treated my wife like I treated every other person in my life. I loved her with all my heart, but I didn't know how to show that love. She would try to do everything she could to make me happy and make our marriage work and I just kept lying to her and smoking pot.

 I had finally got a break after a bunch of dead end jobs. I met a guy who was willing to let me be his apprentice and learn the flooring trade. It was a great opportunity for me except for the fact that I would get him pot. Even at work we would get high, after lunch before going back to work at the job we were on. I was pretty much high from the time I woke up until the time I went to bed. Now that I think back I used to cut myself a lot and have to go to the hospital to get stitches when I was a carpet installer, and it was always after lunch.

Anyway, into our 8th year she had finally had enough and we separated and I went to live with one of my sisters. After a few months of separation I developed appendicitis and had to have an appendectomy. After the surgery she let me come back home and we got back together. None of the issues we had or I had were ever settled and it was right back into the same old same old. I started my own flooring business and another 3 years went by that way,  but my addiction actually cost me that flooring business.

I went to work for this flooring company, which I thought at the time was a lucky break, but 3 months into that job I tripped going up some stairs while carrying a 10 ft roll of carpet on my back. It happened on a new construction site and I was the only one around. I felt 3 pops in my lower back and my left leg was completely numb. After what seemed like 20 or 30 minutes, but was probably 4 or 5, some of the feeling came back and I was able to drive myself to the hospital and meet my wife there. I was told that I had ruptured 3 disks in my lower back and the doctor wrote me a prescription for some Oxycontin and told me to make an appointment with my doctor. That was the start of another addiction in my life which led to other problems in my marriage.

Monday, May 14, 2012

My Mom and My Wife

As I was sitting in church on Sunday (mother's day) one of our pastors asked the congregation to think about our mothers or the motherly person in your life. He asked us to remember what it was like when they gave you a hug or comforted you or how they took care of you. So I am going to tell you about my mother.

 My mom was the nicest person in this world, she never had a bad thing to say about anybody. She would go out of her way or spend her last dollar to help someone. For the first 22 yrs of my life my mother was the only person I loved or trusted, I didn't even trust my own family.When I was at home the outside world didn't exist, the drugs, the guns, the stealing and hustling didn't exist. It was like my own safe haven, I didn't have to look over my shoulder, I didn't have to wonder if the next person I saw would try to rob me or worse even kill me.

My mother loved me and cared for me and would just sit and talk with me. I knew that when I was with my mother that I was loved. I remember my mom would call me Mikey Darlin. It would embarrass me but it also made me feel special that there was someone out there who loved me.
I can't tell you in words how much my mother meant to me, When she died it was like a part of me died with her, like there is this big hole in my life.

 I didn't realize until I got older that when my mom and dad got divorced that she dedicated her life to take care of her children. She went to work and gave up her life so she could give me the best life she could. I remember when I went to school she made sure that I had all the fashionable clothes and all the best school supplies as all the other kids. She had gotten a Lamont's credit card and only used it once a year to buy me my school clothes and then would spend the whole year to pay it off so that the next year she could do it again.

 My mother gave up her life for me and I just wish I had been a better son to her. My heart aches not knowing if she knows of the man I have become, and whether she sees her granddaughter and how beautiful she is. I wonder if she can see that I have learned to love and to care about people. I hope that I have become the man/husband/father that she would have wanted me to be. Mom , I miss you with all of my heart but I know you are in Heaven with God and that one day I will be able to hug you again.

 My wife started calling me Mikey Ray and when I hear it it reminds me of my mom, but also reminds me that there are people in this life who love me, and that there are people in this life whom I love.

 My mother and my wife were the only people back then that looked inside me and saw a good person, someone who needed love. It probably took a lot longer than my wife expected to come out but she stuck by me through thick and thin and I wouldn't be where I am at today if I didn't have her in my life.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Family

When my mother was alive we would get together every other Sunday for mom's spaghetti dinner. When we were at mom's house all differences were put aside. No matter who was arguing with who or who wasn't talking who, it didn't happen there. It was like mom's house was a safe zone or home base. That all went away when my mom died, it seemed like my family fell apart.

After my one sister took off it was left up to me and my other sister to clean out my mom's place. I really didn't like my sister's husband at the time, but for my sister I tried. I got what I could get of my mother's stuff and my sister and her husband put the rest in storage. I offered 2 or 3 times to help pay for this storage unit and was told that they had it and we didn't need to. I remember my sister saying as we were closing the door on the storage unit that if we ever decided we didn't want something of mom's to offer it to one another first before we sold it. Next thing I know everything that my sister and her husband didn't want was sold, never offered to me.

 I was told the reason it wasn't offered was because I never helped with the storage unit rent. I felt so betrayed, I know it was most likely her husband, but I remember thinking it was all her fault. I thought that even my own sister was just like everyone else I had met, out for the hustle to take advantage of anyone and everyone. So I pushed the people closest to me away, I didn't know how to let people love me. I didn't know how to love. I had this big hole in my life, something was missing and I thought pot filled that hole. For that couple of hours I was high I didn't have to worry about anything.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Another Blow

About a month after my mother had passed all the siblings got there insurance money and we were supposed to all pay for my mother's funeral and burial. One of my sisters took her share and took off and left the three others to pay for everything which was a big thorn in our relationship.

 I used part of my share to take my wife on a honey moon. We took a ferry up to Victoria and stayed three days in a bed and breakfast. It was the first time that I can remember being on a trip somewhere. we had such a great time, it was like all of our troubles had just went away.

 When we got home though they were all still there. Our marriage was rocky at best, I was in and out of employment, wanting to go back to the streets where I knew how to make money. About every six months she would catch me smoking pot and each time was the last time and I promised I would quit smoking, but I didn't.

 After our first anniversary we decided to try and get pregnant. We both made doctors appointments for physicals and to get checked out, she had her appointment first and everything was great. I went to my appointment and everything was going good, just one more test. So they gave me a little cup and sent me to the bathroom with a Playboy. I did what I was supposed to do and was told to come back tomorrow for the results.

 So the next day we go back and the doctor tells me that I can't have children, he had looked at my medical record and told me that I had mumps when I was an infant and that had made me sterile. Today I think it was from all the drugs and chemicals that I had put into my body that caused it.

When we found out the news she was devastated and our marriage suffered. Whenever we went out with friends or hung out all the moms would get together and talk about their children and my wife felt so left out and got so tired of explaining why she wasn't pregnant.

 I took it as a blow to my masculinity, I was somehow less of a man. I once again turned to my pot smoking as a way out, a fake happiness that was getting harder and harder to get. I remember once again that little church on the side of the road where those people told me that God loved me, and thinking yeah, if God loved me I would hate to see what he did to people he didn't like. Mostly though, I just felt forgotten.