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Sunday, March 4, 2012

She says with no shame….

 











Below her viewing
I am feeling infantile
Small I am, lower


 





This was my impression when I walked into her cubical, lower. In front of her I felt lower then dirt. Lower then I had ever felt before. She sat behind her desk, like it separated her world from mine, a queen waiting for supplication from a lowly peasant. Her hair was meticulous, as was the rest of her appearance.
I sat and straight off she started with the questions. At first each one was different, but that soon changed. Over and over she asked the same question in a different way. I answered honestly. I answered true. The look on her face turned slowly from disdain to horror. Lower and lower I felt as the look in her eyes got more disturbed.
After what seemed like an hour of her uncomfortable questions, the look of judgment and horror and disdain growing throughout, she put down her pen and said something that crushed me in a small way, and angered me in a huge way! How dare she! I bare myself to her humiliating process and she does this to me.

“You are a garbage can user” she says with no shame….

Looking back with an older and more experienced perspective, I have a different view on this than I did at the time.
This woman was an intake counselor at a long term hardnosed drug and alcohol treatment center. “All alcoholics and drug addicts lie” a friend of mine likes to say. For all intense purposes this is true. The questions she asked me were about my drug and alcohol use. I had turned twenty about a month before and I had, three days before the interview, been released from an eleven day stay at a low, end of the road, detox center.
My first impression, the one that told me she was judging, weighing, and viewing me with disdain was probably accurate. All drug addicts lie, and she was prepared for my lies. The dawning look of horror that I misinterpreted was due to the fact that she was coming to understand that I was not lying. The things that I did to myself were horrendous, and I was a late stage drug addict at an age where most people are just beginning to cut the apron strings…

Chris McQueeney   3/4/12 12:32 PM

Last night I went to a Birthday party for my sister at my Step-mother's house. My Step-mother is more of a mother to me than my "real" mom. The conversation got arround to my writing and she started telling me that when I write about my childhood and the things that happened to me it breaks her heart, and she started crying. "We didn't know" she said. This is directed to my family, you gave me everything you could based on the information you had. You are an amazing family and I am lucky to have you...
With love, Chris




The prompt comes courtesy of Tess at The Mag  #107
The picture is by Sarolta Ban

46 comments:

Brian Miller said...

wow man...you had the rough early life...and as you know went through getting a kid i work with to the hospital this week...so i hang in that community a bit...and though i try not to judge, i def dont trust all that much...

Wander said...

Brian you are fricken quick! thanks for coming by. How is your co-worker? trusting the word of someone that has to lie to survive is nieve, and could be fatal! I am curious about what you do for work? Yes I lived an intresting life:-)

Jira said...

Your poem can have great meaning for many people in different circumstances. The added plot definitely explains how powerful it is for you (assuming of course this is a real story... I don't know you well enough to know, but it seems very personal). I always like a poem that is either very specific and gives me a specific subject or can be interpreted in different ways.

christopher said...

Well, I suspect your parents weren't Ozzie and Harriet Nelson.

The postscript about dinner speaks of love, a gift that probably none of us actually deserve, or maybe that all of us do no matter what.

If you face three hundred alcoholics and ask them personal questions, especially about using habits and you assume that they all will lie to you at some point in the process, you will get an A on that test, even though a few may not lie at all. The trouble is, if they are strangers, you will be unable to tell where the lies are and what about.

JJ Roa Rodriguez said...

The things that you've been through is what maki you a good sensitive person you are now... Keep up the good works... I have been through a lot to but who cares, it's not to late to make life beautiful...

JJRod'z

kj said...

chris, the photo with this is cool all by itself. i don't get this woman's comment to you. i deal with clients with addictions and although i tell them what i see and believe and what i don't, i can't imagine a circumstance when i would say something like this.

unless...it woke you up. but it sounds like you had started that eye opener a few days earlier.

all of your experiences will be put to good use for yourself and others. it's good to know pain and struggle, although i wish you hadn't had to go through any of it.

your message to your family is precious.

you are a writer, chris. join the club :^)

love
kj

Wander said...

Kj, she went on to explane, after me telling her that I had tried everything on her list, except one drug, that I was the type that used everything. And I guess in the treatment world that term was used to describe addicts like me.
Kinda like "open the lid and toss it in" was how she described it. I am going to wring everything I can out of the misery I endured. And thanks this is a club I have allways wanted to be in!

Susie Clevenger said...

This is so raw and powerful. You have come such a long way...I worked for years with kids and had my heart broken but could never stop loving them.

oldegg said...

I liked the gritty way this read, it was like reading the truth. Then I see that you are telling the truth and so the writing becomes immeasurably better. I got the "garbage" reference from a common phrase garbage guts being one who will eat anything.

Thanks for you visit to Ahu!

Mimi Foxmorton said...

Dude-you can WRITE!
Keep doing it!
:)

Mimi

Daydreamertoo said...

It isn't easy to trust a drug addict because yes, they do lie and they don't stop lying all the time they are addicted, so, if you got your act together and are sober then, well done.
Very emotional write, real.

kaykuala said...

It sure was rough and tough for you out there.

Hank

Don't Feed The Pixies said...

well - this is certainly great writing. Made me wonder where it was going, and then it all made sense

manicddaily said...

Wonderful, heart-felt story! Good luck with all you do! K.

Jim Swindle said...

You have powerful writing. Your pain has prepared you for it. I hope that God eventually brings you beyond the pain, to joy that will overwhelm the painful memories. Yet thanks for sharing the powerful experience of your memories.

izzy said...

Just because we have been through the wringer- doesn't mean we are not worthy of assistance. Trust is a two way street, a lot can happen in 24 hours- ;)

Kat Mortensen said...

Was it purposeful for her to make you feel lower? Did that get to you enough to make you think about what you were doing?

I hope other people in the throes of addiction can read this and find something to make them think.

I feel for your family, but I'm glad you survived to tell this story.

Jinksy said...

Isn't it true, that hitting rock bottom is the first step 'up'? :)

Wander said...

Sad to say, I had to bounce quite a few times before I started heading up...

Mara said...

What can I say? Your writing is truly powerful, but of course, I am doubly impressed, since short story writing is not my forte.

As I read your story, I felt "dumb and small" right along with this young man. Regardless of his past, I don't think she should have treated him so unkindly.

At any rate, thanks for stopping by my blog and leaving a comment. It was nice to "meet" you. :)

-Mara
http://the-poetic-madame.blogspot.com

Other Mary said...

You say all addicts lie, but this is a very hard, honest post. I admire you for this. And without the background info your poem can mean many things to different people.
You mentioned in your comments on my post that you wondered why I did so many different forms of poetry. I try to do different kinds to learn and to stretch my...what, creativity, or my thoughts I guess. I find that I use a different process to write formal poetry and free verse, and I think it's good for me to keep changing it up. I'm finally going to start following you, good entry - and I'm glad you made it thought those bad times.

Sue said...

I've been on the parent end of this with one of my kids. Well written and so very real.
=)

Neha said...

Nice write, Must be really hard to come out of such addictions. Thank you for your comment back at my page.
And your kids are lovely :)

jabblog said...

Very telling piece of writing. Congratulations on succeeding in your fight back against the demons, including, I think, the counsellors.

Little Nell said...

Powerful stuff. I think we can all equate tobeing made to feel small.

Ginny Brannan said...

We all have a past, we all come from different places to get to where we are today. I am an only child with one brother and four sisters--I've had a foster family for 40 years (lost both parents by 16). Alway held to the saying "That which doesn't kill us makes us stronger." It's so true. Here's to the strength you show in this small excerpt of your life. And here's to the people who love us unconditionally!!

Tess Kincaid said...

Powerful and therapeutic write...sounds like you're in a good place now...

Bodhirose said...

I sure wasn't expecting this when I followed your link...but what a powerful complement to that picture...wow! Thanks for sharing that and I love the kind message for your family at the end. I'm hoping this is far behind you now.

zongrik said...

that's so funny.

“You are a garbage can user” she says with no shame…. -> who would say this?

ds said...

You've certainly been through a lot. No one who claims to be a "counselor" should ever EVER demean the folks he or she works with. It's cruel, it's unfair, and it doesn't work. I am glad that you hauled yourself up from that place and into this...brave and honest post. Thank you.

Tumblewords: said...

Profound piece. Well written.

Kutamun said...

Hey Wander, if more people dived fearlessly head first into their own pools of demons, then hauled themselves agonisingly hand over hand out again , the world would be in much better shape !

Dave King said...

Wow, that's what you might call revelatory. Amazing, but to have come through it... even more amazing. I would hazard a guess - purely on the strength of this incredible post - that you have processed at least some, and probably most, of the bad stuff. Thanks for the post. I shall take a great deal away with me from it, and I'm sure many others will, also.

Berowne said...

Very moving post...

Lady In Read said...

like others said - this was an emotional read.. And I agree - tons of thanks always to amazing families just for being there..

Ben Ditty said...

Aren't we all your family too? ;-)

Chèvrefeuille said...

Great haiku and the text ... wonderful. Love the read.
You rock!

jennifaye said...

Whoa! The best writing comes from the gut. This is one of those. Well done.

chiccoreal said...

There is a gritty-truthfulness in your writing; a documentary feel to this~I could easily keep reading this...

br!nDle said...

powerfully beautiful...!!!
A true sad emotion...!

A Walk In My Heart said...

You write very well. It's moving and thank you for sharing the lessons you've learned. May others find inspiration and hope from them.

Indigo said...

Raw is an apt description. I think many times we perceive our own insecurities or rather outlook from another's eyes. Sometimes even to the point of blistering anger, because we don't like what is mirrored back in those eyes.

I'm past the point of delving into the depths of my alcoholism and the abuse I once endured...Perhaps I've gained enough distance it felt safe to finally let it go.

But I do know those moments of raw truth could/still can rip a hole through my soul at any given moment. I guess what I'm trying to say is this is part of the journey the truth telling, the mirror view from our eyes. The scars we'll always have, but there is always tomorrows promise.

Came by way of Annie's blog "Quiet Commotion". She's a wonderful friend. My curiosity was founded on the gum killer...I'm a writer, I couldn't help but be curious. (Hugs)Indigo

P.S. I'm following now. It's all about the journey.

Green Monkey said...

now......NOW.... monkey is beginning to understand how wandering man got so wise.

(want more)

xoMonkeyME

Other Mary said...

I finally got back to read comments, and you're welcome. I take it from your blog title you are a Tolkien fan?

Wander said...

thank all of you for commenting and reading my work, I am glad to have got such a strong responce.

@ Ben...yes we are fam my friend/furry brother:-)

@ Other Mary, very much so! And I am a fan of many more authors, many! I read like most people eat...too much:-)

@ Shannon, thank you so much for visiting. I don't know that I am wise, I just know how to find a wall with my head....

@ Indigo, thank you for the follow, and your comments. I wan't to write, and I am writing!

Heaven said...

A heart felt and moving write...and because its your own personal experience, the words hit me hard. I like that you are sharing your experiences...the healing will follow if you are open to it.