The Bumpy Ride Begins

Early in Angie’s illness, I flailed around in denial, sometimes strong, as when I handed her logical consequences for being abusive. I felt like a moth turned into a butterfly then, but I later added, “Oh how this butterfly would flutter and die in the years that followed, as I backtracked over and over again, trading in my courage for equal does of martyrdom.”

Memoir Excerpt:

“Rehab was an old converted motel out in the middle of nowhere. Good thinking; patients could leave but there was nowhere to go. What a desolate place it looked like, with grass that hadn’t been mowed outside, crumbling asphalt walkways, peeling paint, and a screen door that was falling off its hinges. This is what I got for looking in the phone book and making a hurried decision.”

“The ride was quiet. Xavier played a lot of tapes so we wouldn’t be able to talk much. And what could we say? All I could think was that Angie would snap out of this. She would get it right away; I was sure of it. How could this be happening anyway? I was certain I had been dreaming and would wake up from this nightmare. This sort of thing happens to other people’s children, I assured myself…”

“Angie was a Foreign Service brat.  She was born in South America and moved easily from country to country, or so it seemed.  When we lived in Greece, she competed in England with the gymnastics team. When we lived in Rome, a scout picked her to be in a movie. She was a shining star, and her outward accomplishments duped me into thinking she had a bright future. Oh boy, was I ready to take the credit! Ten years later, when she was twenty-one, I was completely unprepared when she started tumbling into the hell of drug addiction. I should have, but I didn’t see it coming. Oh boy, was I ready to take the blame.”


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