I’m woefully unprepared for our annual camping trip, at times I’m pulled in uncomfortable directions emotionally… depending on what day it is.
We camp in MA, same place, same time of year, same site, a handful of acres on top of a peninsula where the North River and Atlantic Ocean meet. Mostly untouched and off limits to civilians. It is a perfect place and one place in this world that was where I always found myself settled and peaceful.
Every year, the same kids run amok being carefree and at times obnoxious little shits. Hiding or getting yelled at by ‘Dale’, -the manager for lack of a better word for doing something they ought not…like they’ve been told last year, the year before…and before that…
The kids hardly sleep and mornings always fascinate and surprise me at who is and isn’t sleeping at our site. There have been times my children are somewhere and beach kids took their place sleeping in their tent. Look, I have new kids, another tax deduction! Can I name them too?
They come and go for the week or two we are there, a quick stop to usually ask for quarters to play pool or money for ice cream. I tell them not to jump off the bridge, make sure they’ve got life jackets on when they take off on someone’s boat – and for the love of god stay away from the inlet.
This trip is a constant and always a consistent same.
This year I am not looking forward to our annual camping trip. I’m just not. Dreading the whole fucking idea of it is lingering just under the surface. I get to work through another jumble of conflicting emotions because my loser husband is a heartless drug addict who isn’t going to get clean and will be a few miles down the road from me, for 10 days.
Yay me. I picked a winner.
Like everything else that life has been since October, here is another thing altered by the curse of Kleo. He is wrapping up vacation with the unstable toddler, I don’t exist and dumb and dumber are feeding into each other’s fucked delusions.
I’m the one in the wrong here, I held him accountable for being under the influence of god knows what that day and sent his pathetic ass to jail. I made it clear to him *many* times, the dynamic and life he offered as an addicted aren’t something I can or am willing to do.
I didn’t offer a get out of jail card, or a pass on what he did. I demanded sobriety and he took that as his god given right to be the perpetual victim, passing off the illusion of ‘help’ before he would throw the next co-dependent person under the bus to maintain his addiction.
Obligations and sobriety or an unstable distraction that will maintain the fallacy his addiction isn’t a problem, that it was ok to make me the scapegoat.
Any good addict will pick the later. Why go to an NA meeting when you traipse around Disney with your princess autograph book (psst… they aren’t *really* princesses, they are in costumes).
Meanwhile, my living room is amassing the pre-camp pile of stuff to pack. This year it’s one car going, not two. My excitement of camping isn’t there and it has nothing to do with not wanting to go. I do. I just wish it wasn’t there.
I wish every fucking thing in my life wasn’t an emotional hurdle to overcome and grow from. Kleo isn’t my only hurdle, he’s one facet of work to be had in a long legacy handed to me from my childhood.
I will miss his companionship camping, but that ‘missing’ comes and goes… It’s linked to missing someone who doesn’t exist anymore. I don’t miss what this is, not at all. I’m more than happy to do the work, at times crippling work, to get past this dark chapter of life.
I’m afraid to be camp there this year, I shouldn’t have to be but I am.
If he is not using, I’m not afraid. With him, everything is an unknown, I can’t know if he is or isn’t, I only know someone a few days out of treatment took someone who is using him and that he is using to escape reality, dumping thousands of dollars to have a week of feeling important and reinforcing he’s not the problem.
This trip will be different, my feelings are not in the norm of what they’ve been. I’m more ok with that than not. I’m not dominated by fear of Kleo and his toddler in tote, I have MP’s at the gate, they will know he’s not allowed in and he will not be on the list.
There are no guarantees that any situation or place will be safe, it’s more probable than not he will use again, and nothing he’s done thus far is indicative of an addict embracing the work of clean living. Being afraid of that is always there, hiding in the shadows of everyday life.
This year my excitement isn’t what it was. Life isn’t what it was. Life is learning to life through this, and making sure this isn’t what defines me.
I have a life, in spite of everything that has been thrown at me this year.
I have moments where I whine that I am doing the work I need to for me, and for my kids. Our annual trip is big, his sober and good presences will be missed. I do have to navigate and place feelings where they go and keep going when I don’t always want to.
We are making our new normal. I have two choices, I can be lost in the fear of not knowing if Kleo is using and going to show up.
Or I can respect the fear, honor the fear and live my life.
I want to live my life.