The Bed

Her bed was an object of degradation. It reeked of alcohol and sweat. Too drunk to make it the bathroom, the bed was stained with urine. Sometimes it smelled of sex and the repugnant odor of her boyfriend. He hated my looks of disgust and barbed comments. It was all too easy for him to look past the sad eyes of a 15 year old girl whose life was falling apart. Mental illness and self-medication had turned her home into a hovel. There was no safe haven.

She had transmogrified from a caring, beautiful, working single mother into a burden for the only person she always loved – me. We went from fairy stories about my missing Prince of a father – handsome but troubled – to the drunken ravings of a mad woman. What made it worse is the ravings were true. My father had asked her to abort the unwanted fetus, me, and if she hadn’t had me her life may have been so much better.

My heart broke into crystalline pieces like a shattered fairy castle. The truth was there and I just chose not to see it. Perhaps I never needed to know all the intimate details of how my father betrayed us. One revelation was that an American relative wanted to adopt me but my mother refused to consider such a possibility. I longed for Aunt Jackie to rescue me but by this stage we were no longer in contact.

Sometimes I reacted with kindness to my mother’s sad life but mostly I became remote with sarcastic comments. After a neighbor asked me to take her home, she was drunk and incapable of walking the few hundred yards, I shoved her into the wall of the house in frustration. She just sobbed and asked me to forgive her. I could not.

In anger I looked at the bed and tore the filthy bedding from it. I recoiled when I realized that it was soaked in urine. Lifting up the mattress to see if it was as bad on the other side, I saw that she had torn open the lining of the bottom divan and it was filled with dozens of mostly empty bottles of whisky. My temper flared and I started pouring the remaining whisky down the bathroom sink to the sound of her plaintive sobbing. She knew that I had been checking to see how many bottles she was drinking. At her worst it was a bottle of whisky a day.

32 thoughts on “The Bed

  1. She loved you dearly Kerry. You didn’t cause it. You couldn’t control it. You couldn’t cure it. You are two beautiful ladies. Hard for both of you in different ways. Huge hug. Life can be rotten and fabulous. Take care 😘💕💕💕

    Liked by 3 people

    • Well, you were my witness and I so appreciate your lovely comment. Life was hard for both of us at times. I will try to balance this with a beautiful story of my mum sometime. ❤️


  2. Wow Kerry. This is so hard to read and not become sad. What a ruff life you had growing up. But look at you now. Sometimes we learn from life’s difficult challenges and become all the better for it. I know your mother loved you despite her issues, but you did your best to try to guide her onto a more positive path in life, which I know she appreciated. Keep your head high Kerry. You are a wonderful person. Luv Gary

    Liked by 4 people

    • Thank you so much, Gary. It was tough at times but I tried my best to maintain a better life. I inherited my mum’s illness and some addiction issues so now I can be more compassionate. Love K x❤️


    • Thank you so much for your comment, Chad. Sometimes these circumstances make us more compassionate. I am half broken, half fixed. I still have many travelogues to write from recent traveling. 😎


  3. Reading this breaks my heart, Kerry. Both of you had to go through so much but I’m glad that your love for each other kept the upper hand, that’s the main thing in life, isn’t it? Sending you hugs and love all across the Atlantic Ocean dear friend! xoxo

    Liked by 4 people

  4. This vignette is a masterpiece, honestly. It’s the pain and the realism that make me want to read more, even though I know it will not end well. Whenever you are ready, I will read your memoirs. xoxox

    Liked by 1 person

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