The Victims of Assault and the Supreme Court

The first time someone attempted to rape or sexually abuse me, I was, well, I don’t remember the actual age, but it was under 10. He told me he had a snake. He pulled my bathing suit to the side and told me where he wanted to put his snake. I don’t know why, but I had the, is confidence the right word?, whatever it was, to tell him I was out. And I ran out and told grownups.

For years, it was the joke, how I told Unnamed Guy that he wasn’t getting his snake anywhere near me. Yes, I said joke. If only that was the worst, and when I say worst, I mean, I don’t know how my parents addressed it. I wasn’t raised knowing that they were furious, that they tried to have him arrested, removed from the block, really anything. I was raised as if Unnamed Guy was a joke and not years older than me, a pedophile, a potential rapist, and as if it was a joke.

Let’s move on to the grooming. And I’m going to leave a lot of spaces here because almost 40 years later it is hard to imagine that people I loved, I trusted, groomed me. But. They did. I know now that what happened doesn’t fall under consent. At the time I was sure it was love. How sad!

We’ll skip that to a night in a bar where I was underage. The bouncer knew. His friends knew. I went into a bar and came out the next morning sexually assaulted. To this day, I only remember bits and pieces. To this day I feel shame despite knowing that the men involved were in their 30’s. I was 17, maybe 18.

If only that was the last time. I won’t go into it.

What I will say is thank God, or whoever or whatever you believe in, that I did not get pregnant. Whether it was that little girl under 10 or the girl who had a pregnancy scare after being groomed, or the girl who can’t remember all of the details of a definite sexual assault, I just say thank you.

Thank you that I never had to make a decision about terminating a pregnancy from a non-consensual, pedophilic situation. I know now that the way the people who should have protected and supported me, but didn’t, would not have protected or supported me had I been forced to make that decision.

I am 54. I have come so far in my life, but I will never escape the pain or trauma of my past. It is impossible to escape.

With that acknowledgment, I know that there are young girls, women, who suffer worse things than I suffered. It isn’t a competition. I don’t mean it like that. I just know that despite the trauma, I am lucky. I didn’t live my trauma when, well, I can’t imagine all of the things that women who are forced to live it now or what they will be forced to live.

I am 54 and still just dealing with some of the trauma. I cannot imagine some young girl in Texas or Missouri or anywhere else who has to deal with the repercussions of this Supreme Court decision.

No young girl, no woman, nobody should be forced to carry a child to term. Especially to give it up for adoption as if we should ever go back to the days where women were sent to homes and forced to give up babies as if there was more shame in being a single mom than giving your baby to a stranger.

But I digress. I do that a lot. We have a rape problem in this country. We need to address that. But we also need to take care of those victims, especially the ones who end up pregnant. Those victims are not adoption mills.

Those victims deserve choice. Every woman, not just rape victims, deserve choice. We need to do better.

Normalizing Poverty

I am a single mom. There is so much that goes with that sentence. Where do I start?

So, as a single mom, I was offered a scholarship to a really great school when I wanted to finish my Bachelors. I had to decline. Why? Well, at the time, I couldn’t even afford the gas to drive to campus. Also, I had young kids. I had no money to pay anyone to get them off to school or get them from school. A lot of people won’t understand that. A lot will.

I finished my BA as a single mom. Proudly. I then got a job that paid $16 an hour. Let me tell you what $16 an hour paid for. Nothing. I regularly had people at my door ready to shut utilities. As in, my electric, my gas, my cable. And when they showed up, most of those people acted like the money was coming out of their own pocket.

At one point a utility company refused to make a payment arrangement with me. They told me I had to apply for social services, and be declined, before they’d work with me. I HAD TO APPLY FOR SOCIAL SERVICES AND BE DECLINED!!!!!!

I went to Social Services, not because I wanted to, because, there was still some kind of shame, even while I was working two jobs and never sleeping. I went and a woman there scolded me for being there. She actually scolded me.

As a single mom I had lights shut off, gas shut off, phones shut off, basically everything shut off. I was working two or three jobs. I had a Bachelor’s degree.

I won’t get into the car trouble, the driving cars that were older than me, the repairs, the breaking down on the side of the road, the way people were honking as smoke poured out of my engine, as if I was just stopping to sight see.

We shame poverty. We shame people who are actually trying. We act like all you have to do is get a 9-5 and life is good. I can tell you that it is not.

My daughter said something to me recently that broke my heart. She said, “Mom, we were poor.” We were, but I had hoped she hadn’t noticed.

Why? Why was I so ashamed that we were poor? I worked. I worked my ass off. But, I was still poor, as in so poor that I had to bargain with all of the people who showed up to shut off my stuff. I was so poor that a friend had to buy my daughter’s prom dress. I was so poor that I couldn’t imagine a life outside of shut off notices and never being able to even afford anything as basic as clothing or shoes.

I was poor.

And I was working two jobs. With a Bachelor’s degree.

I’m not a socialist. I admire people who figured it out. But as someone who has worked my ass off, I know that we need to figure more out. We need to do better.

If I want healthcare, it will cost me close to $800 a month, with a $4000 deductible. So, yeah, I decided to skip healthcare and pray that I’m good.

There are millions like me. There are millions not as fortunate as me.

We need to do better. For them. For us. Because we are the richest country in the world. We have too many kids who go hungry. We have too many adults who go hungry. And outside of hunger, people need healthcare and lights and cable and basically a lot of stuff. So, not from a socialist point of view, but from a humanist point of view.

We need to do better. I have worked my ass off. I’m still poor.

2020 – The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

2020 has been horrific. I mean, it started off ok, but then…, well, do I have to say it? So I promised the good, the bad, and the ugly, but it may have been a false promise. Haven’t we had enough ugly? I could go on and on about Congress and $600 stimulus checks, but I’m feeling something else.

I’m a big proponent of the whole when life throws you lemons thing, even when I just want to throw lemons back, like really hard. So 2020, that bitch of a year! It was horrendous, but there were blessings. Like, if you think about it, what could you do when you were locked down besides drink and send texts to your poor romantic choices. Yeah, I did that, but I also had time, a lot of friggin time, to really think about life. Yeah, I’m going there.

So early on in this crap I was eating healthy, riding my bike, doing all kinds of healthy stuff. Next thing I know I was eating a bunch of shit, drinking beer, as in one of the worst things to drink, not because of taste, but because of the inevitable beer belly, and, well, I was fortunate enough to live on a beach where I could sit on a raft all day and drink that awful beer, and now its winter and, 17 1/2 pounds later, I’m feeling some of my 2020 choices. And then I thought about my choices and I said f*&k it! Well, in real life I said the actual word with no asterisks or anything. But, my point is that I hate my belly. I hate not having my eyelashes. I hate my grays. I sort of am feeling my wrinkles because they show me that I have the privilege of getting older (not that I’m not going to run for Botox or a plastic surgeon once all this shit ends), but bottom line is that I had time to think. I had time to be grateful.

It made me reflect, restock, you know, all that BS that we read about, but it’s true. Last Christmas, for the first time in years, I had all three of my kids with me. It was glorious, even if my sons were beating the crap out of each other. But I loved it. I loved every second of having my kids all in one place. They’re older now. God, I can’t believe I’m saying this, but they’re adults. When did that happen? And how old does that make me?

Old and a beer belly? Do I put that on Bumble?!!!

I’m pretty sure that I’ve digressed. Yeah. I have. But. Hmm. So, what is my point here?

I couldn’t sleep tonight, not really abnormal for this awful year. I opened a photo album and that was it. My kids. Not just my kids, but ALL of my kids. The f*&king meaning of life! How do I do this and give justice to them and how much I love them, all of them?

Not in order of importance, but my kids, the ones I work with. They have taught me things I couldn’t have imagined needing to learn. I have no words to ever express what they mean to me, the things they have taught me, or the gratitude I have for the way they, and their families, have taken me into their lives, their families. They taught me how to curse in Spanish, how to love baseball, how to dance, even if I’m a white girl, so much, so freakin much!

Then, my kids, my actual kids. I sit here tonight listening to Justin Bieber, remembering my daughter’s Bieber crush and getting her tickets to see him. I remember taking my son to see Eric Clapton, yes, ERIC CLAPTON, GOD, and then my other son, and how he was always too cool for me, but how I caught up and offered to get a VIP table to see A Boogie on New Year’s Eve. He turned me down. Yeah, he couldn’t handle his mommy being that with it!

Bottom line though, was life flies, like it really flies. My kids are grown. I don’t know how that happened. I don’t know where the time goes. But tonight, I would have given anything for one night with my kids when they were little. I would have given anything for one night of them asking me for another story, for another kiss, another glass of water. I remember needing them to go to bed. I remember looking at crushed Cheerios and Legos all over (God, how those hurt when you step on them barefoot), and all of the reasons, as moms, we wish the time away. Now I’m wishing for it back, even for one day. I’d let them stay up. I’d read another story. I’d give the tightest hugs and a million kisses. I’d let them eat in bed and have as much water as they wanted. And I’d tell them I love them. I told them, but I’d tell them again. And again. A million times again.

I hate 2020. I hate my 17 1/2 extra pounds. I hate so much. But I love the way it forced me to recognize what is important. I’m carrying extra weight that some will never have the chance to carry. I won’t have all of my kids for Christmas, but I have them, I will always have them. I am blessed. I am beyond blessed. One day 2020 will be a distant memory, but I will never forget the way that it taught me to be grateful for all of the things that I have.

My Vote

Today was the first day to vote early where I live. I stood in line. Standing in line was new to me. I’ve voted since I turned 18. I have never had to wait in line before. Some would say that shows my privilege.

Over the years I have voted both sides of the aisle. I have been a registered Democrat and a registered Republican. I have voted across both of those registrations. Today I am a registered Independent.

Why does that matter?

Hmm, well, for credibility. I have voted across any party lines. I have always voted my conscience.

But, there’s some guilt. I’m guilty of some things. From like a long time ago.

Hillary Clinton. Where do I start with her? I will never forget when she said that she wasn’t home baking cookies. Shortly after, a cookie baking contest was started in some women’s magazine. I was a housewife at the time, and remember cringing. What was so wrong with what she said? Why did she have to be reduced to domestic qualities? She was an attorney. But her comment started a cookie baking competition that continues to this day. She became a Senator, Secretary of State, a presidential candidate, but bottom line is she had to tow the line and give a cookie recipe.

Why do I feel guilty? Because I never forgave her for saying she wasn’t home standing by her man. I never forgave her for standing by her man. She was so much better that. Before, in my opinion, she became corrupt AF.

Then there was Sarah Palin. In my opinion, again, she sold her family down the river. Her daughter, her very young daughter, was pregnant. An engagement was announced, because, well, family values. I remember hating her, at the time. Her daughter was not ready for marriage. The father of her daughter’s baby was not ready for marriage. Time has proven me right, but I’m pretty sure I didn’t need time for that.

Oh, and the vice presidential candidate who campaigned on family values and would have forced a marriage between her very young daughter and her very young daughter’s baby Daddy, is now divorced, or getting a divorce.

She campaigned on family values, meaning no divorce, no pregnancy outside of marriage…

I sympathize for her, as someone who is divorced. I just wish that she wasn’t such an asshole to her kid who was pregnant, who had more kids outside of marriage, because, her kid should know that her parents love her unconditionally, like, even when she does things that don’t fit that “family values” narrative.

For me family values means that I love and accept you no matter what. I think that should be all families, but I can only speak for mine.

So the guilt? I feel guilt because maybe there was some sexism in my thoughts on Hillary and Sarah. Maybe I held them to a higher standard. But I’m a woman. I’m a mother. I expected more from them. Yes, I expected more than I expected from them than men because I believe that instinctually mothers have different instincts. Mothers protect, especially our own.

I voted early today. I had a choice between two white guys over the age of 70. I believe both are out of touch. I believe neither understands what I went through as a single mom. I believe neither understands what most of the country has gone through. Still, I voted, because it is my right. It is my duty.

One day I hope to be voting for president and having to choose between two people who understand me, who understand so many in this country.

One day I hope that my vote is for someone who has lived a life that was not privileged, or if it was privileged that he or she knows what the rest of us have lived, us single moms who have had lights shut off, struggled to feed our kids, and that they know what others who were worse off have lived.

One day I hope to vote for someone who represents the entire country, not just red, not just blue, but ALL of us. Sort of like what the Founding Fathers wrote when they wrote, “all men are created equal,” except they include women. Oh, and people of color.

With Age Comes….?

Today I ate almost an entire loaf of Italian bread. I should mention that it actually wasn’t Italian, it was a French loaf, but, it is the bread I have bought for years, and served when I make sauce. I try to make sauce every week, but life gets in the way.

So. Life.

One day I was in labor, for all of two hours. The next I was dancing with that kid at his wedding. It is still all a blur.

Labor was quick. Colic lasted for a million years. And all the stuff in between? The good, the bad, and the ugly. Yeah, it was all that, but it was beautiful and precious, and I’d give anything to go back.

I was frying up meatballs today and, even knowing it wasn’t going to happen, waited for my son to come in and grab a few. I closed my eyes and smiled at the memory, then got a little teary. He lives 1200 miles away. He’s married. He wasn’t grabbing meatballs even if he wanted to.

It goes so fast. The colic, teaching him to tie his shoes, vacuuming up the cheerios, wiping up the juice boxes, the bedtime stories, the million kisses goodnight, breaking up the fights with his brother, loving the way he always adored his sister, the phone calls from the school, the phone calls from the school, the phone calls……

A week ago I danced with my son at his wedding. He picked a song that I’d play when he was younger. We danced to it often, me, his brother, his sister. It was our song, the song of our family. We danced and then his brother came up, his father, his father’s fiancee, her daughter. And like that it was over.

Today I made sauce. I fried up meatballs and waited for my son to come grab some. I held up my wooden spoon ready to smack him away before putting it down and wishing like anything for another day for him to be here, fighting with his brother, obeying his sister, and just, well, just having one more day of him and them, being my kids, only my kids and nothing else.

I danced with my son at his wedding last week. He’s happy. That’s all a mother ever wants, but, it doesn’t mean that I don’t miss him, all of his childhood, all of the moments that led up to our dance. It came flooding back today as I cooked. And I ate a loaf of Italian, well really French bread.

There is so much to look forward to, but today I was thinking about how fast life goes by. One day they’re babies who never sleep. Then they’re toddlers who are wrecking your house. Next they’re horrendous teenagers, well, I’ll spare you, and then you’re dancing at their wedding, and they’re gone.

Enjoy every minute. Love them. Eat the bread!

L G B T Q

There are people I love who also happen to be gay. Times have changed. Unfortunately, not as much as I’d like, but, when I was growing up, being gay was a more difficult thing than it is today. I heard kids I grew up with called the “f” word. Hurling “gay” as if it was a dirty word was acceptable. It was something that could be devastating, especially for those who were not gay.

The Supreme Court is in play right now. I worry about the state of gay marriage. Honestly, it isn’t just gay marriage. I’m worried about the LGBTQ community as a whole.

I’m divorced. I can remarry. I can get divorced and remarry again. It would be completely legal. No Supreme Court justice will change that. But my friends who are gay may not have the same legal options that I have, to make poor relationship choices.

The transgender community, yeah, I’ve heard a lot about them. One of my kids had a trans friend. I worked with trans kids. You want to see heartbreak? Go talk to a trans kid who has been cast out of their family because of how they identify. You don’t have to understand transgender. You don’t have to like it. But, I promise you, they don’t face an easy road. And it isn’t just about which bathroom to use.

For those who claim religious reasons, well, I’m going to ask, first, as an American, what about the separation of Church and State. Why does your religious belief have more weight than what a person feels in their heart? Then I’m going to ask about your God. What God would have you cast out any person’s heart?

Last I checked, people in the LGBTQ community are paying the same taxes that I pay, maybe more. Unalienable rights, aren’t they for all of us, not just those who fit in some box that some consider normal?

I have so much to say about this topic, but most important is that I’m scared AF about a new Supreme Court Justice who may push the LGBTQ community back into a closet, or, God forbid, make some things illegal. Or, even worse, allow conversion camps. I don’t think anyone who thinks conversion camps are acceptable truly understands the message Christ or whatever God they claim to worship.

I have sinned. Jesus, I have sinned quite a bit. I don’t think my sins are any more holy than anyone in the LGBTQ community.

We need to figure out how to separate some of the BS. We don’t have to agree on everything, but the LGBTQ community pays taxes, just like I do. They have rights, or should. And God, the God I believe in, loves them, just like he loves me.

Let’s not let their rights get taken away. We can’t push people back into the closet or allow them to be made “illegal.”

If you love America and the freedoms that America provides, those freedoms should be for all, not just those who fit in a perfect box, because none of us fits in that box! And if you want to use religion, I’d hope you’d know that your God, no matter who He is, loves us all.

There are people I love who happen to be gay. We live in a divisive time. I want the people I love who happen to be gay, to be afforded the same rights as me. I want them to be part of the whole equality for all thing. I mean, all should mean all, right?

COVID and the Single Girl,I mean Woman

My kids have recently reminded me of my single status. It is a status that I have been very comfortable with. I mean, I haven’t been a nun, but, I haven’t really been out looking. And then my daughter decided that I should try online dating.

Please spare me the “I met the love of my life on Match” stories. I’m sure it has happened. It is just not my thing.

Still, I tried it. For less than a week.

I was asked to be part of a throuple, not that there’s anything wrong with that, but, yeah, thank you, no.

There was a man who was annoyed he had been kicked off of Tinder. He didn’t elaborate. Thankfully.

Nothing else stuck.

My friend decided that I should stick with it, but I had already closed my account.

Meeting people has never been an issue. I say that as someone who has been single for over ten years. Sure, it has been happily single, but maybe I’m reaching that point where I’m thinking it would be nice to not be single. Not in a desperate way. And, definitely not in a settling kind of way.

But COVID. It has added a new dimension. So where a responsible adult once asked a potential “partner” to be tested, now are you supposed to ask a potential date to provide a COVID test result?

I have been happily single for a long time. The quarantine hasn’t made me question it as much as it made me take stock. My kids wanting to put me “out there” has sort of been a wake-up call.

Maybe it’s time. Maybe I’m finally ready. So how do I do it in COVID? Hmmm.

Quarantines, Exes, Exes, Quarantines

This quarantine sucks. I know I’m not the only one tired of being stuck in the house. Even with phases moving us into a little foray into Home Goods, we’re still basically locked down. The hard part is, well, there are a lot of hard parts, but the part where I can’t go to work or the gym or to a restaurant, or any of the things I’d go do to not be sitting home dwelling, well those are hard parts. And obviously going without mani/pedis and hair and eyelashes, well, as superficial as it sounds, those were killer! But the real hard part, I mean, next to the hard part of being stuck at home, bored out of my mind, or AF, as the kids say, and having nothing else to do but entertain the inevitable text that comes from the ex that I had been very successful at forgetting. Even worse? Actually being the one to send the text. Yeah. That was me.

And I get it. The whole ex business is nothing new. We’ve all been through it. There are bigger things to worry about right now, but since I moved to a place that’s not in the nails  and eyelash stage, this is where I’m at.

So. I LOVE my alone time. As in LOVE. I love being home, writing, doing work, looking up stupid stuff on the internet. But I also LOVE human interaction. I don’t just mean in the romantic sense. I need to see people I care about, my kids, my friends, people I work with, acquaintances, strangers on the street, PEOPLE! Being locked down was necessary. I accepted that. Still, I was climbing walls.

I was good though. I only sent crazy emails and texts to a minimum amount of people. I did some Facetime drinkfests. I online shopped, like a pro. I made a playlist that seamlessly moves from Tom Petty to Clapton to A Boogie. Oh, and somehow in the midst of all of this, I found a really great place that I am in the process of moving into. Basically, I was taking lemons and, well, you know.

And then it happened. The outdoor dining phase and a new local dive bar that brought back some memories and there I was texting someone that, well, I never disparage exes, especially on the internet, but well, someone that I’m better off leaving in the past. And true to form, he was, well, he was him.

He was him and I wasn’t surprised, but it made me wonder about the future. I mean, how long is this going to go on? The thought of meeting someone new during COVID? Yeah, no. But how long before it is all over and I can get my groove back. (Thank you Stella!)

Where are people discussing this? Most of my friends are married so their main issue is too much time together or toilet seats being up or down, not wondering the next time someone is going to curl their toes or how long before the first kiss or, well, how many dates before you know… Btw, its been a while, so I’m cutting that number down! Like way down.

Numbers are spiking. People have died, are still dying, that’s important stuff. I get it. But I want to kiss someone. I want romance again. I want to be able to go out and have fun and laugh and flirt. Safely.

I’ll get over the stupid text I sent. I knew it was a mistake even before I hit send, which, btw, I did anyway. I just miss life pre-COVID. I, like everyone else, just want it to be over, and in the past, like the romances that just didn’t fit.

 

 

The New COVID-19 Normal

Today I put on my facemask and gloves. I hate writing that, but it is what I did before going into a store to buy things like soap, shampoo, toothpaste, food, toilet paper, oh, and a luxury item, a Kit Kat bar. Well, because sometimes when you’re locked away from everything, you could use a little wafer mixed with chocolate.

I’m not a selfie kind of person, but I took one because it felt beyond ridiculous that I had on a mask, gloves…, well,  this seems to be the new normal. I’m not sick, but I had a slight tickle and I popped mints into my mouth because the thought of coughing in a store, even into my mask, well, I would rather have run naked down the street than cough in any public place.

There are lines to get into stores. People were lined up around the block to get into a Costco. Others were lined up, down the block, for a local storefront. I felt guilty for driving away. As a pescatarian, I shop a little more frequently and felt some guilt that I was not ready to get in a line for anything.

More important than food is human contact. God, how I miss it. I miss hugging my kids, my friends, the people I work with that make up my day, that I love. I’m tired of Facetime and text messages. I want to hug people, to go out with them, to, well, I’m single, so other things too.

I’m going to bed tonight saying prayers about our future, because what else do we have? Our president is conducting press conferences based on ratings. My governor is having a pissing match with the mayor of NYC. Where does that leave the rest of us? They’re all fighting each other and their messages are mixed. So what about us, the regular people looking for guidance?

So I stay at home. I get in my car and take drives, with my windows up, because I still need to get out and see things like the ocean and trees and, well, stuff. And then I feel bad because I realize that there are so many locked in who have no place to go and see and escape.

After I masked and gloved up, I sprayed some Lysol all over my steering wheel, my seats, me, the air. And then I put wishes and love out into the Universe. I have no answers. I am only one person living this, just like the rest of you.

All I know is that I don’t want this to be the new normal. I want all of us to be able to shop for non-essential items like dresses and shoes and go get eyelashes and manicures and Kit Kat bars. I want us to be able to drink and eat with our friends in groups of 50 or 100, and go wherever the f&#k we want, because this is America and that’s what we do. And especially in New York because nobody tells us what to do. EVER!

For now, though, I’m masking up. I’m putting on gloves. And I’m loving my kids, my family, my friends, even those I don’t like so much, from a distance. And I’m saying prayers that there will be a cure, a vaccine, something because there has been too much loss, too many suffering.

We will get through this. I truly believe that. I can’t believe anything else. Stay home, but go out and look at the sky, the stars, the sunrise, the sunset. Do whatever it is that you need to do to flatten this curve so that we can go back to normal, a normal that is not this new normal.

 

COVID-19-ADDICTION-FAMILIES

Today was Easter, our first one in lockdown. I did a drive-by birthday parade for my brother with my siblings. I cooked some fish. I wished some friends a happy. I went on social media and liked a few things. And then I sent a text to a kid, well, he’s not a kid anymore, but he’ll always be a kid to me. He grew up in my house.

Not long ago I was told that he wasn’t doing so well. I was given his new number. We texted. I told him that I love him, that he will always be the kid who grew up in my house, my kid, the kid that I love. That is so true. He is beautiful. My wish is for everyone to see what I see, even knowing that many of you won’t. It hasn’t hit you, thankfully, so you may not understand, though I wish you could understand, while being thankful that it has not affected your family.

Wait. It probably has. In some way. You just don’t know it.

Anyway, this kid, who is not a kid, and I had a beautiful exchange. I cried. It was that beautiful. And then life went on. As it does.

So today was Easter. I watched a parade across the street. Well, my neighbors’ kids showed up to wish a Happy Easter while social distancing. That was actually what gave me the thought to do the birthday parade for my brother. It was also what prompted the text to the kid, not such a kid anymore, that I love.

The text came back. As in the number wasn’t working.

A million worse case scenarios filled my head. I panicked. I wondered how I could get from New York to Florida to hug him, to tell him I love him, even if I knew it wasn’t about love. I regretted never meeting his young daughter, the absolute picture of him.

This lockdown sucks. I get that it is necessary, but it sucks. Still, I have taken this time to think, not just about all of the things I’ve failed at miserably, but to think about the people I love and how maybe I need to love them more or, at least, show it better or more, even if it changes nothing.

A little girl just turned three. She is beautiful. She is innocent. She has her father’s face, a beautiful face. I have never met her, and that breaks my heart. He grew up in my house. Like one of my kids.

We’ll get through COVID-19. I just know it. When we do, I hope that we’ll start looking at addiction. It hits all of us, even those who don’t think it does.

Easter 2020 sucked, not just because we are all in lockdown. This country has ignored the opioid crisis, the way we ignored Corona, at least initially. People still argue that it is a parenting issue, a moral issue, all sorts of bullshit. I’m not even going to get into the Sackler family. That’s an issue I am still trying to wrap my head around.

I want us to get through this pandemic. But then I want us to focus on the kids, our kids, the adults, all of the people who are struggling with addiction. It isn’t just the weak or those lacking morals. You can say I was a shitty mother. I don’t care. I’ve never cared about what people think about me. This is an issue that is bigger than all of us. It isn’t just my kid or my kids’ friends.

A kid I love messaged me last week. It was beautiful. It made me cry. I couldn’t reach him tonight. That made me cry harder. You don’t have to understand that.

People are dying from COVID-19. Let’s fix that. Then let’s fix something that has been affecting us, even those who think they’ve escaped it.

People are dying. Families are being destroyed. From addiction. Let’s fix that. Let’s get through COVID-19, and then lets deal with that other pandemic that has been sweeping our nation. Let’s deal with addiction.