As a child I grew up with an alcoholic abusive father.
I grew up hating the way he treated us. Embarrassed that he would fall or fight in the street.
He constantly smelled of booze or vomit.
It was always just one more drink.
There was a tiny piece of him that I adored.
The sober piece .
The man that taught me to love animals, whispered to horses, taught me to write poetry.
But as I grew up that piece all but disappeared I’d pray for a miracle it never came.
My mother wouldn’t leave so eventually I ran away from home and never went back.
Last night made me think of the things that the universe gives us as part of our journey and learning.
I studied psychology as a mature student and eventually went into mental health a lot of the patients I’ve worked with over the years have drug and alcohol addiction.
Some addicted to class As or prescription drugs
Some to just alcohol.
Some to both.
All self medicating for one reason or another
I have tried not to take them onto my case load.
Let someone else take them
Not because I wouldn’t work well with them.
Just because some situations are so near the bone for me.
No one knows my past.
But somehow the challenging patients they always work their way to me.
I support them with medication.
Getting to appointments.
Self help groups and working towards counseling then detox it that’s what they want.
It’s emotionally challenging in many ways.
Many (not all) are following patterned behaviour.
Or are self medicating due to physical, sexual or emotional abuse in their lives.
I see them in different moods drunk, high, sober.
But always at some point I see that spark that is really them .
That tiny piece that’s visable when their guard is down.
That’s the piece that I nurture and nurse.
When they move on and are discharged or more to another service it’s so good to know you’ve played a small part.
Sometimes nothing works and it’s just not the right time for them to make a change
That really can be tough.
So for a year or so i haven’t dealt with drug or alcohol issues .
Being Christmas my dad has popped into my head it was never a great time of year as a kid just a excuse to drink even more.
Anyway last night I went over to my son’s to babysit my grand daughter.
She’s eighteen months old a fabulous age filled with curiosity and wonder.
My son was working and my daughter in law had a Christmas night out so off I went and had an evening of spoiling Emilia.
I drove home at 11pm and as you know I look be on a canal tow path so the road town past the cottages is poorly lit and full of pit holes and it’s pouring with rain.
Visibility is poor.
My car is bumping along up and down the pit holes I’m half way along and I see a small flash of white in the road.
Im going real slow there it is again I stop.
Put my lights on main beam and gasp.
There lying face down in the road is Peter the man from no 14.
He’s around 69 an alcoholic he’s lying in a water filled pot hole the white had been a reflective strip on his trainers
Thank the goddess I stopped I’d have run him over.
I jump out the car it’s lashing down.
Peter I shake him
He opens his eyes.
He’s so cold.
“Freezing” he says.
Can you get up?
Are you hurt? He smells of brandy and vomit
I’m kneeling in the rain and I feel ten years old.
His face is bruised I’m okay he says .
I manage to sit him up lean him on the wire fence.
His sister lives six doors up I’ve passed her house .
I run and bang the door
I bang harder
For f@@ks sake I think we live in a tiny street and no one is about.
I’m running back and phoning my hubby Jeff.
He’s asleep but within minutes hes with me helping Peter to his feet.
Then banging in his sister door until her husband and her come our to see what all the fuss is about.
He’s freezing I say and hurt I think you should take him to the hospital or phone an ambulance.
Jesus says Colin he left the pub at 9.15 he’s been there hours .
They get him into his house.
Thank you says Colin and and Jeff and I leave.
I deal with all sorts of situations in work but this has shaken me.
Jeff makes me tea.
If you hadn’t have been home late he would have been there all night he says.
He would have died from cold.
I know .
This morning he’s still on my mind I see Colin as I drive out of the street.
Is Peter okay I ask.
Yes he says shaking his head .
I can’t believe he lay there in the rain for more than two hours
I’m glad he’s okay I say and drive off.
Tonight Jeff got home from work.
I just seen Peter he says.
He’s limping face all bruised looks terrible.
I cringe .
He was on his way up to the pub.
Said he needed a brandy.
Universe give me a break I’m failing to see what it is that your trying to show me.