My Reprieve


Lost in a mire
for half their lives and more,
two children, their maturity halted by addiction…

…and I could point my finger at causes,
or take the blame upon myself.
I could break down in shame and remorse,
but the past would remain the same.

I could try to turn back time
and change the way their lives became;
as if I may find relief in the madness
of that aspect of grief.

I could do all these things and more;
these sad practices I acted out a thousand times before,
but they relieved me of my feeble susceptibility,
when they exchanged lies and deceit for honest fight.
Each day they draw clean swords, and slash at their demons,
and with each clash the demons get weaker.

They are retrieving their lives,
thereby returning mine to me,
and so I say, with gratitude and pride,
Thank you for all you have achieved.
Thank you for the reprieve.

A tribute to my two younger children, Laura and Paul.

The Daily Post #Reprieve

©Jane Paterson Basil

37 thoughts on “My Reprieve

  1. Why adopt the mantle of martyr? Young or old, we are the masters of our karma. Nothing changes. To find again our paths, is admirable. No blame.

    See I Ching. Throwing the yarrow or coins will reveal all. Place not faith in spells or portents. Om mani padmi aum Brings manifest relief.

    “When you succeed in connecting your energy with the divine realm through high awareness and the practice of undiscriminating virtue, the transmission of the ultimate subtle truths will follow.”
    “The Tao that can be told is not the eternal Tao. The name that can be named is not the eternal name. The Tao is both named and nameless. As nameless it is the origin of all things; as named it is the Mother of 10,000 things. Ever desireless, one can see the mystery; ever desiring, one sees only the manifestations. And the mystery itself is the doorway to all understanding.”

    Cheers Jamie


  2. Great ending! This is the second smashing ending I’ve seen in blogs responding to this prompt. I had trouble with it. Obviously, neither of you did. “Each day they draw clean swords.” Love it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s amazing. A boutique a week ago I bumped into an old schoolfriend of Laura’s. She was excited about Laura’s recovery – she follows her on Facebook. She also said she’d seen Paul, and he looked really well. She hugged me and said “This is your time, Jane. It’s your turn to be happy.”

      Liked by 1 person

            1. How about this – a companionable day of wild, childish laughter, woodland walking, and lashings of cheesecake, with a friend who thinks I’m insane, but likes me all the more for it… that’s what I did today 🙂
              But my Oxfam shop work makes me happy not just because I know that the result is clean water, much needed food, education, etc. for people less fortunate than me, but also because it’s creative. In addition to my regular work there, I’ve just taken over the sorting, pricing and displaying of jewellery – something I’ve longed to do for ages, but I was too depressed to find the time. To select and display second-hand jewellery beautifully, is to create art.
              Oh! and last night I went for a walk during the most wonderful, wild storm we’ve seen in years. The lightning flashes were constant, every few seconds for over two hours.
              Th only trouble was that where I live these days is so built up that I couldn’t dance in the rain.
              Right now almost everything I do seems thrilling 🙂

              Liked by 1 person

                1. When things are really bad, you learn to make the most of the tiniest joys in life – things like a friendly cat coming up to you to be stroked, or seeing a cloud that’s shaped like a chariot. Things are going well for me now, but I’m still ultra-sensitive to the good things… especially laughter, so I’m in a state of almost constant ecstasy. If anything, I probably need to calm down… 🙂

                  Liked by 1 person

                    1. I get to the point where I’m bouncing off the walls like a kid with ADHD. When that happens, you can spot it in my poetry. I can be inappropriate, and it embarrasses me. Even when I’m in a normal state people say (usually affectionately ) that I’m mad. When I get high on life I reach the point where I believe them, and then I sometimes plummet. I have to control the highs in order to minimize the lows. I have mental health issues (don’t we all?), but I think my ability to do that proves that I’m sane.
                      Sorry if this is going in too deep… 🙂

                      Liked by 1 person

                    2. not at all, I get you … ‘mad’ is too general a term. I think you are eccentric and this is your creative side mixed with your childhood stuff … I see ‘eccentric’ as a distinct quality, being comfortable being yourself! And you are right the fact that you see your fluctuations and can correct them indicated remarkable strength of character, sanity. I would be more surprised if you had no mental health issues just from what you’ve told us of your childhood .. but having a diagnosis means you can get get treatment, meds or alternatives 🙂

                      Liked by 1 person

                    3. I’m on a mild dose of something to relieve anxiety. I’ve been prescribed various meds over the years, but they all made me crazy and paranoid. Apparently counselling can’t help an intelligent, sane woman who does all she can to help herself in difficult circumstances. I’m fine with that. As long as my family are well, I’m OK. I’m in Fam. Anon. – a support group for families of addicts. Their official line is that we should learn to be well even when there are ‘unresolved issues’. In the five years I’ve attended mettings, I’ve met no-one with two addicts, and only one whose addicted child lived in the area. It’s hard when they constantly pull you into their troubles, so that you never get any peace..
                      Hopefully all that is over now…

                      Liked by 1 person

                    4. now they are truly adults and finally responsible for themselves, might be good if you can step back and focus on you? Am sure your posts are your way of dealing with things, all healthy and healing 🙂

                      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Sumyanna. At first, I believed they would recover (in spite of my knowledge of addiction, I must have been in denial), but later there were times when I thought all hope was lost, for both of them…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I hope that it means you will cherish all the more – the footsteps they have taken and the work they have struggled through. It is not easy, but perhaps the difficulties will help you to cherish each other and your own individual strengths all the more. So glad hope is not lost, but only blooming…

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I have huge admiration for anyone who recovers from addiction – they are towers of strength. My daughter’s recovery has brought us closer than ever. My son hurt me deeply, robbing, manipulating and bullying me over many years. I know what addiction can do, but his behaviour was extreme and heartless. I can’t count the number of times he tricked me into thinking he was clean, only to worm his way back in and force money out of me. I can’t risk letting him back into my life until I’m sure I can trust him.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. I think people underestimate the amount of strength and willpower it requires. It takes a lot for a person to overcome. So glad it has brought your daughter closer to you and I can only hope (when the time is right) the same can be said for your son. It is horrible to see how people can change under the influence. Just keep yourself safe and hopefully someday it will turn out the same.

            Liked by 1 person

            1. Today was the first time in months that I’ve been with Paul for more than a few minutes. He came over just after 9am and stayed til about five. My eldest Grandson showed up and was here until after 7.30 this evening – we have a very close bond. I’ve had a lovely day, and I feel that Paul and I may finally be beginning to repair the rift.
              My grandson, who’s 20, has seen far more than he should ever have had to – things which even I haven’t seen. Mark’s been angry with his uncle for years, and has never been fooled by Paul’s claims, but even he believes Paul is clean. This time, Paul isn’t making any claims; that in itself suggests everything is different.
              I’m still cautious…

              Liked by 1 person

              1. Oh so glad to hear that Jane. It is good that you are showing him trust and he is valuing his time with you. I think it has to be the most difficult thing – tough love. If not for it though, perhaps they would go further astray. I am so glad to hear that you had a wonderful time. Cheering 🙂

                Be careful, be wary, but also enjoy the little moments with him that remind you who he used to be. Nothing is ever set in stone… I just truly hope “this is it” 🙂

                Liked by 1 person

                1. Whatever happens, he wants to try and emigrate to Canada by the beginning of next year. He says that there’s nothing left for him here – he messed it all up. His partner was born and partly raised in Canada, and most of her family live there – including her mother and sister. He knows that it isn’t easy to get into Canada, but if he manages to skim through, we may only have six months left to fully make up.
                  All my life, I’ve had all of my family living within a few miles of me…

                  Liked by 1 person

                  1. Distance is hard, but perhaps it will give him a chance to grow on his own and realize how important you are to him. I sometimes think that what we think is a horrible thing, turns out to be the best for us. I guess we will have to wait and see. Canada is a beautiful country – of course, I am biased… it is my birth place. I do hope that he does well and in the little time you have together you will patch things up. I know people always say long distance relationships of any kind are difficult… but I think if you care enough for one another, you can find another way to share your love. I do certainly hope so.

                    Liked by 1 person

                    1. If he moves to Canada I don’t want him to realise how important I am to him… I want him to be well and happy, even if it means losing him.
                      But I don’t want to lose him…

                      Liked by 1 person

                    2. It’s okay… I will hope for both things 🙂 As a mom I know deep down how much it would mean to you. His safety first… then remembering how fortunate he is to have you.

                      Liked by 1 person

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