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Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Lies, All Lies

I began a post on Seasonal Affect Disorder, but before I would write more than a few paragraphs, I had to stop and write this down.  What follows will surely color my post on SAD, but it is only part of a large and complex dynamic in which I am enmeshed.  
None of it was true.  It was a calculated, carefully planned series of lies that began the very day Parrish arrived in Florida. I was so desperate to believe he was finally on the way to making some sense of his life, I did not challenge him.  The lies were so good, rang so true, that I felt I had no reason to doubt what he said. I was so desperate to believe he was finally on the right track that I took him at his word.  He is a master liar, a genius at it.
It was easier, safer to think that all was well, so I chose not to question him.  It made life much less stressful for me to think he was getting help and embracing it.  I didn’t want to worry about him.  I wanted to pretend everything was fine.
Today, Angela, the administrator of the assisted living facility (ALF) where Parrish lives, phoned me.  She wanted to know if I had heard from him because he had been missing for over 24 hours.  I remember thinking to myself over the last three days that when I don’t hear from Parrish, the news is never good.  I should have listened to that voice in my head, but I chose not to deal with it. 
Angela and I talked for a while, and she told me about Parrish’s behavior of late.  All along, his story was that he needed money for transportation down to Miami so he could attend a program at Jackson Memorial Hospital where he was referred when he left the hospital in Augusta on the October 5.  Angela was shocked, saying Parrish had never been to Jackson.  He has been enrolled in a program in Broward County which provides free transportation.  Again, he has proved to me that he does not want to get better.  Again, he has taken money from me under false pretenses, and I call that stealing.  There is no telling how many other lies he told.  
There's more.  There's always more.  During his absence, Parrish was in jail, collared for disturbing the peace while out with his druggy girlfriend, a woman who had been asked to leave the ALF because of her drug use.  Angela was suspicious that he was using with the woman and there was gossip from other residents that Parrish was seeing her and that they were getting high together.  She planned to call me even before he went missing.
I felt strangely detached, shed not a tear.  I realized I didn't care where he was.  I just didn't want him around me, digging into my heart and breaking it.  I did not feel brokenhearted at all.  I felt tired, fatigued to my bones from these recurring episodes, but the last time something like this happened, I saved a corner of my heart for me, a place where he could not go.  That place began to swell, telling me that this could not hurt me unless I allowed it to.  I listened.  I gave away my unearned guilt, flung it far, relinquished all sense of responsibility for Parrish's actions and began to believe that I cannot save him.  He is a lost to me as though he were dead.  I will grieve, in fact have been grieving his loss for many years.  All I can give him is my prayers. 
December 5
Parrish called me from the ALF last evening, sounding as a drunk as a Lord, demanding that I do something because the staff wouldn’t not give him his medicine.  I assured him that he would get his medicine when the time was right.  He angrily hung up in my face.  (I learned today that when he placed the first call, his pills had already been dispensed).
Thirty minutes later, he rang me back, having no memory of the first call.  He was all “I love you” and “I can’t wait to see you.”  A total crock of horse shit.  No hint of his foray into the criminal justice system.
Last night, I took a sedative when I went to bed so I could get some quality sleep, and it worked. I woke feeling rested and a little bit more brave.
Angela said yesterday that she wanted to get Parrish in her office today so they could call me, put me on speaker and have a three way discussion about what’s been going on.  He flatly refused, saying I would abandon him emotionally and financially if I knew the truth.  He begged Angela not to tell me anything about him.
He knows of what he speaks.  I cancelled my travel plans to visit him later this month.  I have authorized Angela to give him $5 every Monday, and I am not taking his calls.
No, I’m not whining.  I am relieved.  I want all of you out there who care about me to know I am wearing my big girl panties.  Not only can I not deal with this during the “holidays,” I’m not willing to try.


Dazee Dreamer said...

You are in my thoughts and prayers.

Sue said...

You can only do what you can do, CJ, and sometimes the only thing you can do is exercise self preservation.

I'm glad you are doing that, and I am so, so sorry that it's come to this. I am keeping you in my prayers and hoping you can enjoy some peace in this holiday season and beyond.


Linda @ A La Carte said...

cj I understand more then most I guess. My poor sister in law is dealing with my brother in the last months of his life due to alcholoism and now her son (who is married with 3 kids) goes off on a bender. Sneaks into the home and steals things to pawn including a $4000 generator (they live in hurricane country). She is done. She will not think of him or deal with him now. Her Mother died a couple of months ago and she is in deep mourning. I think just letting him go is all she can do. Its the same for you. Unless someone walks in those shoes they do not know the pain and the despair you have. Hoping you will hang on and take care of yourself.
hugs, Linda

KeLLy aNN said...

You are reaching a turning point in Your healing...for the better.
Take Heart in that.

BECKY said...

Yes, CJ, you have to take care of YOU first and foremost. Big hugs to you.

deborahjbarker said...

Good for you CJ! So good to hear you are looking out for yourself. Have a lovely 'holiday'. X

Katie Gates said...

Wow, cj, it sounds like you've turned a corner here, and as painful as it must be to surrender to the reality, it also will be freeing, ultimately. Keep those big girl panties hoisted high! You deserve a peaceful holiday season.

Laoch of Chicago said...


Good wishesto you.

Judie said...

Well, I put on my "big girl panties" two days after Thanksgiving, and I, too, am not accepting any phone calls from Memphis. I cannot believe that it has been 30 years since this "dance macabre" began. Every time I think it is over, I am gravely disappointed. I have been dancing way too long. It is time to end the music, and save myself. My life is too short.

Ames said...

My husband brother is a waste of flesh. Hard thing to say, but God gave him the same free will as the rest of us and he doesn't want help, or a roof over his head, or to abide by anyones rules. All he wants is our money so he can drink and smoke, and God knows what else. So I feel your pain. Sorry this is going on for you now. I know it can really drag a person down. And good for you for wearing those big girl panties. Hugs~Ames

Athena said...

Sometimes the big girl panties are just the right fit. Take care of you and all the rest will fall into place.


Martha Mawson said...

Keep following that path to the happiness you deserve, CJ, and keep those big girl panties firmly waist-high. You are so strong! Love and hugs from across the big pond.