“I had the dream last night…” I thought he was listening but he had already turned his back to me.
I had the dream last night. I have this reoccurring dream where I am walking in the doorway of my parents’ house. It is cold outside. It is cold enough to see my breath. I open up the door with the key that is on a chain around my neck. I am eleven years old. Old enough to be home alone. I walk into the empty house. I can hear the echoes of the constant screams. The arguments that trail from one room into the next as my mother follows my father from room to room. I KNOW YOU HAVE BEEN DRINKING. We all know. How could you miss it? This man with the large hands staggering through the door. He attempts to make himself something to eat before there is a confrontation. I sink into the couch, wondering if I can disappear into the fabric. I want to be invisible. I want to run away. He didn’t put his check in the bank again. Are we going to have money for food? I will sneak upstairs later. I will crawl across the floor, army style. I will select a crisp twenty from his wallet. He always has money for booze. He always makes her beg. The voices are ringing in the hallway yet no one is here.
I am alone. I am in my twenties now. I have one backpack full of all my belongings. The house is empty. I am strung the fuck out. Returning home with my tail tucked between my legs like the broken animal that I am. I need a place to stretch out like a cat in the window as I shiver as the fear leaves my body. Detoxing in my parents bed. Sleeping and dreaming of heroin. Sweating and freezing and praying that I emerge from this shell as a butterfly not a tick, sucking the life from anyone that gets close to me.
I had the dream again. I was strung out, searching frantically for a syringe in my blankets. This time I was in jail. I was kicking so hard. Searching frantically for that last hit. Except I am awake. This isn’t a dream, this is a memory. This is how my drug use ended. I was hallucinating that day. Day 2? Day 3? All the days blur together.
I am alive now. I am aware of all the things that have passed in my life, all my “reasons” for using. I keep having the dreams. People ask me- do you crave heroin? Do you ever think about getting high? Um yeah. Of course I do! I think about eating a whole cake, or cutting myself, or jumping in front of a train too. I just don’t do it. Not today at least. I can’t control my thoughts. I can only control my actions. Heroin saved me. It saved me from killing myself. Then, it strangled me near death. I don’t blame heroin. I don’t blame my past. Blame, shame, guilt are all useless in daily living. I just push forward. I just focus on the NEXT thing that will keep me sane. It might be my cats. It could be my work. My family helps. I made a new friend recently that actually likes to spend time with me. That certainly helps. Addiction, the feeling of missing something I never had, makes me realize I have to be okay with what I am. Someone loves me. Someone loves you, too. Believe this. Sticking needles in my neck left me with more questions than answers but I am okay with just living my life as it comes.
I roasted a chicken. Who says you can't turn a ho into a housewife?