I still had mixed feelings about sitting with little man the way I did so I did my best to avoid Steve for awhile.

Eventually, Steve caught on to the fact that I was actively avoiding him and approached me about it. I told him right off that I just felt like shit about sitting with his son all fucked up and I wasn’t sure if he was angry at me so I just stayed away.

He told me how he had no ill feelings toward me about the situation and that he knew from the beginning that it would be fine and that nothing bad would or did happen and I just needed to get out of my head about it.

He pulled out some dope and we got high. We talked about life and what was good and what wasn’t. Then he did something that most people I knew at the time didn’t do. He asked about my son. How he was doing and what was new with him. How my mom and sister were the whole nine.

They were questions I didn’t have answers to. I explained how I hadn’t seen them in a while as I was on a binder and I don’t visit them when I’m all strung out. He said something I disagreed with so much that it almost exploded out of me. He looked at me and said, “having you there fucked up is better than not having you there at all”.

With a heavy shake in my voice, I told him exactly why I thought he was wrong. I made it as clear as I could without flipping out that I was not that person. Yes, it would be great if my son had a mother that was present and functioning in his life but I was not that person. I was high more often than I wasn’t and my son did not need to see that or think of me that way.

My mother did not need to see her child that way nor would she if I could help it. I had inflicted enough pain on that woman throughout the years I did not need to add more. Same for my sister.

Yes, they knew I was on drugs and that I had issues they were not blind or shielded from that but they did not need it put on display in their face when all they wanted was for me to be part of the family.

With that, the topic was changed and that was the last time anyone really asked about my family for a while.

“Families are the hidden victims of addiction, enduring enormous levels of stress and pain. They suffer sleepless nights, deep anxiety, and physical exhaustion brought on by worry and desperation. They lie awake for hours on end as fear for their loved one’s safety crowds out any possibility of sleep. They live each day with a weight inside that drags them down.” –  Beverly Conyers