Piss Cat Mom

Posted: September 4, 2013 in Me and alcohol, Trying to be a good parent !

rock bottom

I have been not able to get to any meetings this week because of lack of babysitting.

Teenie has been feeling very floppy and – dare I say – exhibiting signs of low grade depression. I’ve just googled “lack of energy in teenagers”. Not much info except she should get 9 hours sleep a night. Which she does. She tends to shuffle around, shoulders hunched and sparks of excitement and energy only seem to surface when around friends on the weekends. I am surmising this upturn of mood based on recollections and must make a mental note to watch her mood over this weekend when her mate comes over.

Although on the one hand I do not want to be helicopter parent, I must take into account her depression history, our past and the family history around bi-polar, addiction, depression and anxiety. She is on medication for anxiety and ADD and has been for about six years. There are some recent signs of body hate (“I have fat legs” “my feet are too big”) which concern the hell out of me.

Back to lack of babysitting – although Teenie is 14 years old and many of her peers would probably stay at home on their own for an hour or two, Teenie doesn’t. She refuses to stay even 5 minutes on her own. We live in a secure complex and have our own alarm and armed response and panic buttons and what not. Our complex has an electric fence around the perimeter and we have neighbours either side.

When Teenie was a small child, there were some instances when I would drink excessively, usually a one women party, escape the world for an evening, eventually get to bed and pass out (I am amazed always made it into bed. Kind of like the miracle of your handbag getting home with you after a big piss up out!) In the midst of a particular nervous breakdown, I was also on strong medication and sleeping pills as well. I never heeded the warnings about mixing anti-depressants, sleeping bills and what not with alcohol.

Poor little Teenie would wake up in the night and – calling me and getting no answer – and would think that she was abandoned and alone.

I cannot say how often this happened. It could have happened once, it could have happened twenty times. I’m not proud of it at all and it disgusts and shames me that I did not have the awareness not to do it. I do not know what I was thinking or – more so – what I was not thinking. Perhaps I thought she was little and it was OK.

The fact that Teenie was always a restless sleeper should have been a huge frikking hint that if I was passed out – that she would need me at some point in the night.

But no, I would chuck wine down my throat while we watched Survivor. Her Tuesday night treat. We would sometimes light a fire with the help of Hairy Hannes (who kept a cooler box of my favourite bubbly Pongraz in his car) and make hog dogs on the fire and wear silly head scarves in support of our favourite tribe.

Then after she had gone to bed and I was going through one song per CD and scattering CDs all over the place – if I had run out of wine (more often than not) – I would run up to the corner shop to get more Mommy Juice. At 10 pm at night.

One morning, a neighbour three houses down asked me what was the problem the night before. Teenie had been screaming the house down. Me in my pisscat state had not heard a thing.

Teenie remembers that night to this day, 9 or so years later. She ran around the house screaming, thinking she was alone. She tried to rouse me and thought I was dead. The poor mite went back to her room and cried until the morning. She only realised I was alive when my alarm went off the next morning and I woke up.

She could have broken her neck on my stairs.

This is the only spoken-out-loud time, but I cannot say how often it happened.

We have spoken about it over the years and I have blamed or put it down to being on sleeping pills.

The bottom line is that the effects of being a piss cat mom is that my now half adult child has an ingrown fear of being left alone in the house.

The paradox of having a teenager who doesn’t like me alot of the time – is that she is not happy with a babysitter either. She wants Mom to be home.

So home I happily stay – even though I am missing my favourite meeting tonight – because after all I am the cause.

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