Monday, January 14, 2013


Last night I poured myself a glass of milk. And then I spied a container of Hershey's chocolate syrup on the top shelf of the refrigerator. I remembered when I was a kid, my mom would never let me (or my other siblings) put very much syrup into our milk. And my little brother & I would even argue & fight over whose milk was a darker color. The world was not at peace until our glasses held the same shade of drink.
But I am a grown woman now. And I can put as much chocolate into my milk as I want!
So I popped open the sticky brown cap & proceeded to squeeze some genuine cocoa flavored liquid into my milk.
I squeezed & squeezed & squeezed

One of the fantastic perks, when I moved away from home, out on my own, was that there was nobody around to ration how much chocolate sauce I put in my milk. This lone fact made me feel empowered.
I was the boss of me.

My little brother was equally as rebellious: after 18+ years of mom always making us eat wheat bread, he moved out on his own & bought WHITE bread.

And my older sister? She cannot even be included in this little game. She was caught sneaking out of the house & using drugs which, I didn't realize until much later, was the reason the 10 year old me suddenly got her sweet giant room in the back of the house with the sliding door entryway to the patio. She, in turn, got my small bedroom next to our little brother, conveniently located across the hall from mom & dad. Eventually she landed in rehab, which then forced the family to endure months & months of counseling, where my poor little brother & I tolerated round table discussions with other kids who were in similar messy situations like us. Except that one kid who kept sharing his nightmares about green jello. What a weirdo.

And then my kid bro & I found ourselves in the care of a babysitter on a weekly basis while mom & dad went to meetings. Meetings upon meetings. Every Thursday the babysitter would come. She was a cousin to our neighbor. She had frizzy curly hair, & she was funny, & she had a guitar. I remember one part of a song she wrote: ♫"I once had a dog named Fred. And one day I found him dead. Buried him in a hole before he got too old..."♫  I thought she was amazing. She was this fantastic grown up person. Who was making up songs. In the living room. On our futon.
My mom always left us those cheap little pot pies to heat up in the oven for dinner. There were two choices: beef or chicken. Perfectly cubed meat mixed with veggies. We always made a game of eating the pot pies. Whoever had the most peas, lost. There were never more than 3 peas in those pies. And for dessert we'd eat Fudgesicles. Every single Thursday it was the same thing: pot pies + Fudgesicles...pot pies + Fudgesicles.

Somewhere in the mix of that horribly dysfunctional season of my kid life, I started doing things like: cleaning out the kitchen cupboards when my mom was gone during those meetings, or straightening the house on a regular basis. All to make her happy & verify that she still loved me. Of course she loved me! But, apparently, I felt like tidying shelves of Tupperware would do the trick.

If only my sister had chosen to follow the insubordinate path of  the refined white flour revolt. Or rallied in her later years against chocolate sauce portions.

Don't do drugs.


  1. I shared a room with my sister for 9 years and then one day she was gone. (She was 10 years older than me) She'd come home drunk, started doing drugs and that was that. It was a long hard road for her and my parents. Tough love had to prevail to protect us kids but I remember missing my sister terribly and we were never close again. She's better now (she's 52) but we still aren't close.
    Thanks for sharing your story. And I agree. Don't do drugs it ruins more than you know!

    1. Thanks for sharing YOUR story, Kim! My sister & I are 6 years apart & it took us becoming adults to begin building a relationship. I am sad that we are currently separated by so many miles---I miss being able to hang out with that sister of mine.

  2. Hello, I just wanted to leave a little comment to let you know that I find your honesty very brave and really enjoy reading about what you have been up too. Your story is very touching and its so inspirational to see where you are now!

    You make me smile, thank you!

    Jerra x

  3. I'm sorry to make this anonymous...but it's probably best that way. (If it helps, we are friends on Facebook. I'm not a total stranger. ;-))
    I'm the second oldest of five, and OH this speaks to me. Unfortunately, the one in my family that most resembles your oldest sister is my YOUNGEST sister. By the time her struggles came to light, I had been out of the house and married for 5 years.

    Oh, if only she had chosen to medicate her troubles with chocolate. Or white bread. Don't ever do drugs.

    1. I understand about the anonymity. Thank you for sharing, too.
      I know as a kid a lot of things were shielded from me. So, as an adult going through this with your sister, I can just imagine how much more difficult it is.
      I am grateful that my sis is going on about 24 years of being clean & sober.
      Yet my affection for the chocolate sauce has not ceased. :0)

  4. Thanks for sharing your honesty! I too have a sibling (my brother and the youngest of the three of us) who got into drugs the year my son was born. We were never super close but the drugs definitely separated us more. He is better now and has a beautiful daughter but sometimes it is hard to let go of the past...especially what he did to my parents!


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