So, in keeping with my almost-daily writing, which is healing and cathartic and joyous and validating my journey through recovery. For way too many years my sister, who convinced my brother and my husband that I was a liar, an exaggerator extraordinaire, if you will, no one in my family or home believed me. I was literally told what to think, how to act, what to like and dislike…….if my emotions or concerns were appropriate. I don’t know how she did it, but she insinuated her way into my husband’s experience of me….and, in doing so, convinced him that I was not to be trusted, my feelings were borne of a sense of hysteria and depression. Alcoholism, opioid addiction, CPTSD-it was all fair fodder and it was all behind my back.
It has been a week since the melt down; five days since my relapse-which consisted of a small bottle of vodka and a splash of cranberry juice. Sweet Jesus, no wonder I was hammered. Today is my sister’s birthday. It will be the first time in 50 years that I did not sing happy birthday to her. I can’t, I just can not be a hypocrite, and more than that I am in fear of her thinking this a peace offering, or that she could ruin our first, last and only family vacation my hard working husband and I had so looked forward to; made it impossible for me to see my own brother at his concert in Philadelphia last weekend-and simply wait it out until I forgave her. Not so fast, Sweet Baby Jane. Every time my brother flies in from LA, she makes good and sure she keeps him to herself. God forbid I have a relationship with my brother.
And so, it was with a freedom I haven’t felt in eons, that I went to visit my homeless friend, Marcellina. I have been bringing him food and clothing for about 2 months now. Sometimes I miss him, but when I do catch him- we pray, he tells me he loves me in broken English, and I was really hoping that if I win my disability case that I could help him get back to his home town in Puerto Rico.
I always visit him on Fridays-that’s Market day in PA Dutch country. He lives behind a phone booth ((NO I DID NOT KNOW THEY STILL MAKE PAY PHONES)) adjacent to the building that houses some of the best food and produce you can find in the tristate area. I was running late when I saw him standing by his boxes. He was talking to himself, and flinging his legs back and forth. “Hmm. He seems really, really happy. Something must have changed,” read my thought bubble. He was happy to see me, bubbly even. I brought him some bedding and asked what he was craving, as I intended to buy him lunch. “OJ, I am really dried out, man.” I proceed to order a whole chicken, a raspberry scone, and a half gallon of OJ. As I approach him, I notice a young man, thirty something, standing beside him.. Marcellina and he exchange words in their native tongue, so I am pretty much clueless as to what they are saying. And then I see it……..the small white bag. My Christian brother, my poor boobelai, my hero as of late appears to be selling drugs. I am shocked. I am disappointed. I am an idiot magnet. As I turn to go, he smiles and says,
“I can’t go back to Puerto Rico until the authorities say I am welcome back. When you come next? We talk about the Psalms.”