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Florida Treatment Center. Part Five.

Updated: May 8

One fine day, after I stopped caring about everything in my life (apart from my children), Eric made another desperate attempt to call my parents for help. Prior to this moment, they were really emotionally exhausted from our continuous drama. Leading up to this day he had made several attempts, but nothing seemed to work. I believe it was when I became silent and stopped answering the phone or drunk calling the red flags were raised. My silence was deadly; I was giving up on life. At least when I was out-of-control I extended my voice of concern, but when I became silent, I think my Mama knew it was time to come get me. I was mentally, physically, and spiritually checked out from life.

The morning came, I will never forget I was on my period, and could not find a tampon in the house. I did not care. I was unfazed by the fact that I was bleeding through the couch cushions. Eric looked at me with disgust as I just said, "I can't find a tampon." I was not capable of going to the store to purchase one. That is how far gone my mind was. I had been on a binder for a few days. The only brief sobriety I held was when I passed out. I was not behaving "crazy" or acting irate, I simply did not care to live. I think that scared Eric more than me arguing with him. I would walk around the house like a zombie taking care of the kids the best I knew how but prior to the days leading up to this morning, Eric took them to daycare and picked them up. He was the responsible one. He cooked dinner and gave baths as I drank myself into a mute depression.

I wonder why he did not go by me some dang tampons! He wanted my family to see me exactly how I was...incoherent and batsh*t crazy. After he dropped the kids off at preschool he came back home and was acting strange. He told me, "Your parents are coming to get you. You can't stay here. You need help." I sat on the couch, comatose, randomly taking a shot of vodka and walking outside to smoke a cigarette. I asked him, "Please leave me alone." He acted like he was going to leave for work and then he awkwardly peeped in the back windows to see what I was doing. I was still sitting silently on the couch, emotionally beat down and broken. I finally got up, walked into the garage where he was and looked him straight in the eyes, "One day, you will get what you deserve."

He left.

My Mama appeared hours later.

Prior to my Mama walking in the door, I had not talk to her or my Daddy. I thought it was a good idea to hide (in my own home) so they would not take me away. When she first arrived, I was standing behind the door of our pantry. In my delirium, I thought, they would leave if they could not find me (I could stay with my babies). I am listening to her call Eric and my Daddy stating, "She is not here. I have looked everywhere. She's not here. The van is here but she is not here." She walked outside. I walked to the playroom, and I hid in the closet. If felt like forever, but I am sure it was not.

I heard the kids' voices and come out of hiding. I had to hold them. The look on Eric and my Mama's face as I walked out was priceless. Eric immediately gathered the kids to leave. (I felt I was treated like some kind of serial criminal on the lose).

Like, don't touch her...she's contaminated! In my opinion, it was cruel.

I cannot imagine the hurt it caused my Mama to see me in that state of mind. I was helpless, like a little girl. She tried her best to comfort me as I told her "I can't leave my babies. I can't live without them."

Mama: Hopie, you have to come with me. We are meeting your Daddy and will get you help. You have to get help to see them again. He and Becky will make damn sure you never see them again; they have already said it.

Me: (Crying) No one understands. How can he do this to me? He has been drinking too Mama. It's not fair. Why do I have to be punished and he gets off free. He bought and hid the vodka too. He is playing ya'll. Acting like the good guy. He's evil. A f*cking coward.

Mama: I do not know. All I care about is you baby. We have to get you well. Didn't I tell you this was going to happen. I wish you would have listened to me years ago. This is not you baby.

After a couple of hours, my Mama convinced me to leave with her. She packed my suitcase.

My Mama had asked Eric not to come back home with the kids prior to my leaving because it would make it harder for me.

As we are getting in the car he pulls up.

Mama: Dammit. I asked him not to come until after we left.

I ran to hug them. (these moments still hurt my heart)

(My heart was broken. Writing about it will hopefully heal the crevices in my heart that sometimes grieves what I have been through).

We got in the car and drove off.

Mama: Eric says the kids are scared of you.

Me: What? I have never done anything to hurt them. (physically) Obviously, not being fully present when intoxicated emotionally hurts.

It is him. He is the one who yells, "Stop Hope, you are scaring the kids."

Mama: I finally see it Hope. I see the mind games now. You are going to be okay. Me and your Daddy will make sure of it.

And now, I can remember their sweet faces very confused. I was not perfect, by no means, and argued when I should have remained silent, but Eric twisted words and played on my emotions for his own benefit to look like the "good cop" in front of our kids and family.

I had to forgive when I felt mishandled in a time in my life when I needed love and provision. Not hate and revenge. In different ways, we were both sick.

We left and met my Daddy at a nearby gas station. He was in Georgia working at the time. He would not go to the house. He could not stomach seeing a man who was supposed to be taking care of his daughter be actively engaged in my mental breakdown. He has since forgiven him. It is easy to judge the situation, and a lot harder to sympathize. We were merely surviving addiction and all the pain that inhabits.

I cannot meddle on how I think Eric should have handled the situation differently (I used to), because the reality matter how he acted he would have never got through to me even if he acted differently. I was still broken, addicted, and lost and no amount of love from him would have resuscitated me back to life.

Jesus was the only one capable of resurrecting my old life and calling my dry bones to live.

I leave with my Daddy. We arrived in Montgomery, AL at his office (he had a small room with a bed located there) to spend the night. I was up all night grieving the loss of my life and knowing I was going to be away from my children. I began to have the physical symptoms of alcohol withdrawal before we made it to Montgomery and by morning, I was in full-blown withdrawal. I remember my Daddy making a pot of coffee and me going to get a cup and my hand rigorously shaking. The look on my Daddy's face was utter shock. My dad is a "fixer", but this situation was way over his head. I could tell he did not know what to do. All he knew was he needed to get me checked-in somewhere immediately. He asked me to look up facilities In Florida, where his home was. I could be close to family and have the support I needed. I did not want to go to rehab. I wanted him to take me back home. In order to gather my thoughts and stop my tremors, I snuck shots of alcohol I found in his office. I say "snuck" but I am sure he was fully aware. After a few shots, I felt like I could concentrate on the task at hand, without it, I was sick.

I took a shower, and my Daddy asked me, "Are you going to get ready, and put on makeup."

I think it is fascinating that I remember little details such as this. I assume, in his mind, if I could "get ready and look better" I would feel better. Not the case. There was no amount of make-up in the World to fix the brokenness in my aura or light up a smile on my face. I was sad. I was depressed. I was not the same daughter who left the state five years earlier. I was angry. I was bitter. I was not loving. I was scared.

I responded, "No. I do not feel like it."

He did not understand it was a chore for me to bathe. Oh, and I guess I should add he bought me tampons at the gas station we met him at the day before In Atlanta. Can you imagine, as grown parents, and watching what once was a fully, capable responsible daughter take care of herself to having to buy her feminine products. (I always pray that my pain was not in vain, and I am breaking generational curses, and my kids will not ever suffer like this).

My Daddy is what I refer to as "old school southern." In regard to, women carry themselves and look a certain way, and men provide and take care of the family. If you get my drift. I felt the shame. I was not the daughter he wanted; I was the f*ckup he got.

After research and my Daddy working a few hours, we headed to Florida for my check-in to my second treatment facility within five months. I could not tell you the name of it because I do not recall!

I did say how I did not want to go into another facility, correct? I felt forced into it, which is never a good idea. Prior to the check-in we stopped by Walmart for my Daddy to gather what was on the list and for me to get an eye examine for contacts. I could not see. I think I may have had like one contact when I left Atlanta. My daddy was kind and very patient with me. He encouraged me and said he would visit as soon as I was cleared for visitation.

That visit would never occur. Coming up is when I completely lost touch of reality and was determined to get home at any cost.

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