Can’t read or knit or go to buy my daily bread.

Staring at the window without focus, an inch from the jaws of paralysis.

Will it continue like this until I am laid to rest?

The principle victim might beat addiction,
and push temptation away,
But for sisters and mothers and all of the others
the danger is always in play.

Tried to hold it at bay, but last night it crept up from behind, encroaching on my peace of mind, floating just beyond my vision like a fruit fly scouting for the sweet rot to feed on, and finding it in me.

Thannie’s funeral was today, and I feared what the wake might bring.

So many premature deaths, but – apart from the worst one, so long ago, –
this is the first one that has occurred since he ripped away the chemical curtain.

Tried to sleep through it, but I woke stiff with dread of what he might do after the coffin passed through the doors. I choked down my breakfast and read for hours, struggling to stop the words from blurring, determinedly working the words into sense, my limbs heavy with the effort of pretending that I wasn’t scared.

Tried not to call him, until I could stand it no more.

His voice flowed strong across the line, and I could tell the ogres had fled at the sight of his tears. He was as safe as he could be.

Need to take some exercise, but my legs still refuse to work, and there’s a wall between me and the front door.

I knew that ringing him wouldn’t help. Someone’s trying to break in. There’s no rationality to this. My hands are shaking. It’s dangerous outside. There are people with knives. This isn’t me. None of this is real. I have to break through the wall and return to sanity.

I want to phone him again, but I mustn’t. I’m putting all kinds of imaginary dangers into my head, to avoid the fear that he’ll use. Images of knives and the smell of death on my hands are distractions, to stop me from thinking about what really frightens me.

He’s not going to use. I mustn’t ring him. I have to remember what my coping strategies are, but I can’t concentrate.

I’m afraid that if I stop writing what little courage I’m holding onto will fall apart.

To all the people who loved Thannie, I’m sorry. Today should be about him. It’s horrible that he died.

And to my son, I’m sorry that my faith weakens when I think of your grief. It’s not your fault.

©Jane Paterson Basil

21 thoughts on “Untitled

  1. Dear Jane, there’s not much I can say or do for you, and your inner fears, my heart is hurting for you, and I’m hoping you’ll find peace of soon.😆. Xxx may The Sisters Of Mercy soothe your soul and you’re able to look forward to The Future….oooox

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It got worse before it got better, thanks to a well-meaning, but not very bright neighbour and a silly misunderstanding. I was terrified my son was going to do something stupid, but it’s OK now. He’s at his father’s place, sleeping off a skinful of booze.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. It got worse after that. I got a message from him via a dumb neighbour who saw Paul in the street. For a while I was convinced that Paul was in serious danger. He’s fine, but he might have a hangover tomorrow. Oh, and he got into a fight, but knowing the background to it, and considering someone came up behind his GF and hit her across the side of the head, I don’t blame him.
      Paul is clean, and he’s going to stay that way, but the fear keeps returning.
      I’m very proud of him xxx

      Liked by 3 people

        1. They say that what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. It’s not that simple. You find coping mechanisms, but the stress wears you down, so sometimes the weight of it is too much xx


  2. I’m glad all ended well and I’m sending happy healing peaceful loving thoughts to you dear Jane, writing it out was a good thing, turning the page and moving forward with faith in your heart, hope in your soul and friends to hold your hand through the mighty web I know will help ❤ ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My life has completely changed over the past 9 months, since my daughter went into recovery and my son followed. It’s been dramatic and emotional. I’m happy for the first time in years, but am left with PTSS. I have to watch for the triggers that can set off blind panic. This post was followed by a horrible episode, triggered by a neighbour coming to see me with a garbled message from my son. I became convinced that Paul was in terrible danger, and only I could save him from death – if it wasn’t already too late. I spent an hour phoning every number I could think of, trying to find him. They all said he’d be fine, but nothing could calm me down. It turned out he was asleep, at home.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh dear Jane. This parenting thing is a double edged sword. Beautiful to watch them then dreading what they are doing without us. Of course you have PTSS, you’re a caring mom who has lived through hell exponentially. Now the kids are getting help, who’s taking care of you? I hope the new year brings continued happiness with a side of peace on the side. Love and hugs to you

        Liked by 1 person

            1. The only thing I can say which could be of any help is “this too shall pass,” which might not be much comfort. When we first met, you were able to do a dozen things at once. Is there any chance that those skills will return, or do the meds make it impossible?

              Liked by 1 person

              1. My pain makes everything seem overwhelming. I’m not sure sometimes if the pain is really real. I know it is, but I remember being more functional and feel like I should be able to do more in a day. I feel like I am trapped in a dream (a very bad one.) I think it’s just time to take care of me again. I think I forgot to keep up better self care and I have no strength left to make it through the day (Physically.)

                Maybe in the spring, things will seem more positive (All the green new growth and stuff helps my brain.) 🙂

                Liked by 1 person

                1. I think I understand what you’re saying about not always believing in the pain. I’ve had times in my life when it’s felt as if I was malingering. I don’t know what that’s about.
                  The rebirth of spring usually helps. Meanwhile, take care of you xx

                  Liked by 1 person

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