The Daughter of Addiction | Teen Ink

The Daughter of Addiction

May 22, 2019
By Anonymous

I awoke on the morning of June 23rd, 2016 to the wide rays of yellow sunlight beaming through the window right above the mattress my sister and I shared. My body was rested but my mind was tired, which was typically my constant state when living with my parents. I made my way out of bed, and walked down the hallway, across the creaking wood floors, and made my way to the left into the kitchen. I stumbled my way toward the kitchen window over the sink, which was full of a heap of dishes, and took a deep look outside into my backyard. The grass towered wild and high, because the lawn was no concern to anyone in my family. The Earth’s hair waved as the soft summer breeze blew, and looking at this grass allowed my brain to slip into a split second of ignorant bliss. A split second of time in which I was not in panic mode. A split second of peace, yet reassurance that the circumstances had not changed, and a reminder that I had awoke in the same situation as yesterday. Seeing my two younger sisters playing harmless creative games in the midst of our life's ever churning roots and growing grasses had always brought me back to reality.

“Hey, i'm leaving baby i'll be back soon I promise.” My dad said as he rushed down the creaking hallway, and through the kitchen. The cold glance of a backstabbing sick man’s ambition had been a mask that had sunk its claws deep into my father's face, and deep into my heart which had become numb with yearning for change.  The pathetic breeze he created from his mission out of the house sweeping across my back as he left, leaving me with the sensation of icy wounds from the grasp of a ghost upon my spine as he slammed the door behind him.

His rush of course was of no surprise, I was not typically left with time to respond to these vague unnerving statements, which I had learned from seven years experience were completely false, but a kind gesture at the least. Almost like a thoughtless phrase forced into the impressionable mind of a child by a nervous parent who wants to ensure their child’s outward politeness. A kind condolence, which within the next few minutes was always forgotten. I stood motionless, staring blankly at the two glowing and soft children twirling in the cross-hatched weeds, laughing carelessly. I curled my calloused toes against the cold wood floors of my kitchen, and took a sigh of relief. They had not seen my father leave for his morning drug run.

I was then shocked to hear the sound of my mother’s footsteps creaking down the hallway. Her feet seemed to be slapping the floors with passion, which either meant she was somehow already high, or that my dad would be home “soon”, as he had actually promised he would be. I figured that catching her in her euphoric state, whether from heroin or just pure excitement from the promised arrival of it, would be my best opportunity to try and tell her how I felt again. To try and convince my mom that her two babies who were still stuck in the ignorant bliss of childhood could love her more than they loved me, if she just cared for them. To try to convince my mom that her life could flourish under endless supplies of nourishment if she made a change. To try and convince my mom to get clean, before one of her accidental overdoses actually killed her.

I looked deep into my moms eyes, her pupils were wide and black which told me that she was not high yet. I knew this was my only opportunity of the day. A cloud of heavy mixed up emotion surrounded me. I heard my sister’s light-hearted laughter from outside. My mouth began to speak all on its own.

“Mom I really….” My mother began to interrupt me.

“I'm not getting clean so you might as well save it.”

Her cold tone shot through me like an arrow, leaving me frozen faced and frozen hearted. In this moment my compassion died. I felt my cheeks get hot and red, and I turned around and walked defeatedly, like a dog who had just been scolded, through my kitchen, and out of the same door my father slammed behind him. I left the house and went into my gray garage where I sat alone. I let my emotion consume me here. The three cement walls mocked me with their echoes, bouncing back at me and reminding me of my own pain. Of my own pity. Of my own humiliation. I stared at the blue rusted back door which led to my yard overrun with dandelions and wild grasses. They were so entangled that even upon trying to mow the yard the grasses would stay weaved together, interlocking their hands and holding on so tight that even the blunt force of gas powered metal could not separate them. I heard my both of my sisters giggle from outside, mixed with the sound of untrusting truck engine coming from the driveway through the garage door. My heart began to flutter nervously.

My father was home.

This nervousness was unfounded, because my father had gone on this journey to scrounge up what he needed, however he could, every single day. Whether it was lying to his family for money, his “friend’s” family for money, stealing my money, or stealing other people’s personal items and pawning them for money, he made sure he got what he needed for the day, even if it met leaving me alone in my home with the morbid shadow that had morphed my mother into an unrecognizable version of herself. I lived with a complete stranger.

I heard my father’s muffled tone through the garage door as he said a stale goodbye to his ride, heard his footsteps up the patio, and finally I heard him pounding on the front door to be let inside. I knew my mother was practically running to the door, or was already there waiting for him. I stared down at the concrete ground and watched the sunlight beam in through the bottom of the closed blue door. If only I could open it, walk through it, and forget for a moment. Ignore reality such as a child could. I knew that being 13 did not mean I was grown up, but my mind had been continuously stretched, continuously warped to the point that I did not behave like a 13 year old. I felt as if I was crumbling of age, and chained to my home, permanently. As if these chains had been bound over me hundreds of times, allowing me to see only through small gaps naturally left between the tight restriction. I decided to go inside before my mind got the best of me.

I stood up, and made my way through the door into the kitchen.

My eyes were immediately met with the image of my pale mother chewing on something my dad was shoving in her mouth, along with her abrupt and ashamed movement to turn away from me, as if she was trying to conceal an event I had not seen before. As if she could protect her child from the reality she had single-handedly created for herself.

“What is that?” I asked sternly.

Before my mom could respond, my dad jolted his head over his shoulder and answered my question. His small hazed pupils glared through my entire existence without even meaning to.

“A nicotine patch I found, we don’t have money for cigarettes so I just gave her this to hold her over.”

Little did I know, my mom had just eaten 5,400 micrograms of fentanyl.

I did not think twice about this reply, because it made sense to me. We really did not have money to afford a pack of Marlboro Reds. I could not stand in the kitchen any longer, so I hurriedly left the room and went back into the place I woke up. I sat down on the mattress which was strewn on the floor. Hunching over I covered my tired eyes with my hands, and began to rub them so hard I fell into space for a moment. A black abyss which swallowed me whole, twisted me up like a towel being rung out, and laid me back down as if I was a child being tucked in by a parent. Upon removing my hands from my eyes I saw my youngest sister carefully opening the door, as if she was interrupting me from an important moment in my day.

Her gentle face was covered in the thin translucent cloak of darkness produced by the bedroom I was sitting numbly in. Her shocked expression paralyzed me and I could immediately sense the discomfort in her face and spirit. She wasted absolutely no time telling me what was wrong.

“Mommy is falling asleep in the bathroom again... and falling on the floor.”

I felt absolutely nothing but disappointment in myself for believing my dad’s short stolid answers, and taking a second for myself, which ultimately lead to my sister having to see my mom in this state.

“Go back outside, just go play.”

I heard her feet slap the hallway floor, and I heard the door close softly behind her as to not disturb my mother’s slumber. I was instantly filled with contempt for my mom, who had finally pushed me beyond my limit.

I stomped out of the bedroom, and walked right across the hallway into the bathroom, where I saw my mother passing out discombobulated sitting on the bathroom floor. I stomped over and began to shake her violently.

Her milky eyes meant mine, and then promptly shut again, as if she was blinking in slow motion. It was as if her eyes were the mouths of every individual who had hurt me in any way, spewing insults at me and thrashing my mind continuously. I finally shook her body hard enough to wake her mind up long enough to say one angry phrase to me.

“You better stop right now.”

My mind was on fire. I felt a hot wave crash over my entire body. My face became painfully hot, and I was no longer stopped in my tracks by my mother’s evil remarks. Her comments were like gasoline that continuously sputtered onto the sparks of my emotion. I responded with indignation.

“You’re such a piece of shit.”

But, my mom was already laying back against the bathtub with her neck bent upward as if she was studying something in heaven, unable to hear any words coming out of my mouth at all. I felt infuriated because she had not heard or felt any ounce of the overbearingly heavy weight I carried on my shoulders. However, the plunge into my pity was soon confronted with an overwhelming feeling of fear. I had never seen my mother this bad.

The cry of the devil began to seep from the mouth of my mother. Her head fell freakishly toward my direction, I watched it sag to the side and her eyes of winter met mine. Her body slouched addled on the ground and her limbs twisted around one another as if she had never had any bones. As if the entire structure of my mother’s living breathing life had been stolen as fast as the hate filled words I had said were thrown out of my mouth.

My heart froze, and I felt my mouth drop. I had absolutely no time to waste. In my panic I called 911 as fast as I could. My mom was lying dead on our bathroom floor.

My ears began to ring and everything around me blurred together. I had never experienced this state of numb panic, which sits within the human psyche like oil and water. I stumbled as if I was under the influence all the way out to my garage, and layed on the dust covered concrete. All of the energy to ever reside on Earth crowded my entire body and held my fragile frame together, however my bones still protruded out of my skin as if I was trying to escape myself, as if my skeleton was trying to flee the fragile cement skin that held its entire existence together and find another person to become. I stayed in my cocoon of astonishment and began to count. The ambulance would be here in two minutes, 120 seconds, 0.3 hours, 120,000 milliseconds. I picked out the numbers from the cascade of nothing in my head and repeated them in my mind. One. Two. I began to count to the beat of my heart. Three. Four, five, six, seven eight nine ten. Eleven. Twelve. Was I ever going to hear my mom’s voice again? Thirteen, fourteen, fifteen sixteen seventeen eighteen. Nineteen. Twenty. What did my mom overdose on? Twenty one, Twenty two, Twenty three. My ears exploded with the sound of sirens from the driveway, this was the only time in my life I was comforted by the sound of their inevitable whirring. I opened my eyes to find myself completely alone and aware of what was happening around the blue, red, and white floor I now rested on. The colors of the siren fit themselves under my garage door and lit up the entire cold surface around me. Blue. Red. White. I was bathing in the colors of my mother’s disadvantage. Blinded by the only dull source of light coming from the outside world, besides for the crack underneath the rusted blue door. I had completely forgotten about my sisters. I gathered up my jumbled body parts and ran for the back door, the echoed sound of my increased panic bouncing from every direction back toward my head. I ripped the door open and was immediately blinded by the golden light of summer. Light so golden it seemed as if God himself handed it to the Earth and placed it gently around her so as to nurture every soul. I then heard two seperate impenetrable cries of terror coming from the gentle blowing grasses that carelessly crossed over one another. My sisters realized what was happening, it was too late to talk to them or protect them in any way. They were both exposed to the rawness and traumatizing way our life functioned. They had both known something was horribly wrong this time. They were aware they may never get to hug their mom again.

I watched stunned as my sisters thrashed through the grass, screaming out for mercy. They trampled through the jungle that was our backyard and became as emotionally entangled as the long pieces of nature that shot out from the dirt. They held their hearts and wept so hard they could not breathe. They cried out in pain in the yard they once played carelessly in. In this moment I realized they played so often to mask the fact that their home was crumbling down around them. I could never convince them that everything in our home was normal. I felt my face become hot, and the taste of tears soon met my lips. My face tensed up and I went to join them in remorse and realization.

My mind was then confronted with absolute regret.

The last phrase I was ever able to say to my mom was a horrible insult.

I did not tell my mom I loved her, or ask if she was okay.

I called her a piece of shit.

My body then began convulsing violently in the verdure. I held both of my sisters as we wept in the grass.  I wished that I could take those words back and tell my mother that I missed her old self. Tell my mother that I needed her. Tell my mother that my frustration came from lack of understanding. Tell my mother that I loved her. I promised myself that I would do my best to only speak with kindness after this moment, because words can never be taken back, and I never thought that this would be the last phrase my mother would ever hear. I would speak with other people’s emotions in mind from here on out. I could never feel regret like this ever again.

The sun was beginning to set, I glanced up and watched the ambulance carrying my mother drive into the yellow and red horizon. I decided to put my sisters to sleep.

“Let’s go inside guys, we need to get some rest.”


I woke up the next morning to my mother’s swollen face hovering above mine, crying. I was absolutely bewildered. I was ecstatic, but also so bitter toward my mother. She began to speak.

“I’m so sorry. You guys need to leave now. Grammy is outside.”

My heart swelled with pain and excitement. I was finally going to get a fresh start. A new chance.

I gave my mom a hug and told her I forgave her, and that I was sorry if I had ever hurt her feelings in any way. I hurriedly stuffed my sister’s clothes, and mine, into trash bags and we made our way outside.

I was met with the smell of freshly cut grass and the forgiving face of my grandma. She spoke a singular phrase.

“Let’s go home.”

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This article has 28 comments.

on Mar. 29 at 5:05 pm
charlottekriete BRONZE, Denver, Colorado
1 article 0 photos 1 comment

Favorite Quote:
"Even the darkest night will end and the sun will rise." - Victor Hugo

That was an amazing piece, I too have been a daughter of addiction. Until my mother passed due to the addiction that took over. It is a tough spot for a child to be in, and you were much older than I was when it happened, I am so proud of you. Your piece is heartbreaking and powerful, thank you so much for sharing.

on Oct. 12 2023 at 12:55 pm
Mahathi_R BRONZE, Chennai, Other
1 article 0 photos 4 comments

Favorite Quote:
"The entropy of the Universe always increases"

"Medicine is my lawful wife and literature, my mistress. When I get fed up with one, I spend the night with the other- Anton Chekhov"

The Visual description and ending woven together with your writing made it heart-wrenchingly emotional. Such fine choice of words that hits you deep down!

on Jul. 28 2023 at 7:47 am
thecaucasuswriter BRONZE, Krasnodar, Other
3 articles 1 photo 3 comments

Favorite Quote:
'A year from now you may wish you had started today' Karen Lamb

This is very powerful

on Mar. 27 2023 at 3:37 am
Peterman24 BRONZE, Camas, Washington
4 articles 0 photos 3 comments

Favorite Quote:
'People don't slip, time catches up with them' -Nat (King) Cole

That was an incredible piece of writing. The descriptions, the wording, the feeling! Everything was able to connect and flow well in a way that made it heart wrenching and informative at the same time. Amazing job!

spicyRATTLER said...
on Jul. 16 2022 at 2:01 am
spicyRATTLER, Alamo, California
0 articles 0 photos 5 comments

Favorite Quote:

- Anna King

This writing is unbelievably amazing, in the beginning of the story it seemed ok, but then I, as the reader, quickly realize it's not. After, I continue reading, the details come at me, and the way you express the character's feelings, and thinking, MUA, I can't believe it, because I gain this instant imagination of what's going on in my head like a painting. Yet also, in the end of this story, I gain the heart stabbing reality of the children in our world who face drug - addicted parents.

Series BRONZE said...
on Oct. 27 2021 at 6:48 pm
Series BRONZE, Wailuku, Hawaii
2 articles 0 photos 5 comments
I have never known anyone personally with a drug addiction, I dont believe unless they have escaped my mind, but I know a lot about these types of experiences, I know how sick some people are, how much help is needed throughout the world. I feel your pain.

oliviav05 GOLD said...
on Apr. 20 2021 at 1:30 pm
oliviav05 GOLD, Grand Blanc, Michigan
19 articles 0 photos 25 comments

Favorite Quote:
"The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall." -Nelson Mandela

This was so heartwrenching. I loved it.

Lydiaq ELITE said...
on Apr. 16 2021 at 8:28 pm
Lydiaq ELITE, Somonauk, Illinois
172 articles 54 photos 1026 comments

Favorite Quote:
The universe must be a teenage girl. So much darkness, so many stars.

Amazing work.

on Apr. 16 2021 at 3:09 pm
Pandacorn5470, Lakewood, Colorado
0 articles 0 photos 2 comments
This is a sad story but I know how you feel my mom is an Addict as well and as well I got a fresh start.

lost-love said...
on Feb. 5 2021 at 10:40 am
lost-love, Port Byron, New York
0 articles 0 photos 1 comment

Favorite Quote:
When someone says you can't. Prove them wrong and show them you can.

I have been here

on Nov. 23 2020 at 12:04 pm
JessieisDepressed, Coffeyville, Kansas
0 articles 0 photos 1 comment

Favorite Quote:
You are unique in every way and NO ONE IN THE WORLD could EVER take that away!!!

I think you did a very good job!!! I could feel your emotion as you were writing and feeling this pain inside you just creep from underneath. You've also helped me, I feel good and confident and I feel like my Mother has goodness in her heart and I can forgive her now and I think maybe she doesn't think she deserves forgiveness, but I think I can forgive her overtime. Thank you for you experience.

AliceCullen said...
on Nov. 19 2020 at 8:38 am
AliceCullen, Sarasota, Florida
0 articles 0 photos 5 comments

Favorite Quote:
Live each day as if it were your last.

I am so happy you got a new beginning! You are really good at writing keep up the good work!

on Oct. 8 2020 at 10:02 am
A-Lonely-Girl, Wentzville, Missouri
0 articles 0 photos 3 comments
I can feel all the emotion in your writing like I'm actually the one experiencing whats going on in your life. I love how your making a really bad situation in your life a reason to be a good person for your future. This is the first article I've read on here and it's amazing!
Your article can also help people become better writers with specific details and emotion, It makes it less boring.

on Jul. 3 2020 at 2:57 pm
Emmygirl BRONZE, Niverville, Manitoba
1 article 0 photos 2 comments
This really brought me to tears. Your writing style is simply amazing as well and wonderfully conveys every emotion you felt.

leeaport said...
on Feb. 21 2020 at 6:26 pm
leeaport, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
0 articles 0 photos 2 comments

Favorite Quote:
"I would rather die of passion than boredom" -Vincent Van Gogh

The ending had a really strong effect. I could feel your mother's sincerity and genuine love for you. The freshly cut grass nearly brought me to tears. This is beautiful.

on Dec. 19 2019 at 1:46 pm
aleiyaellison BRONZE, Sacramento, California
1 article 0 photos 1 comment
I like the descriptions and the sensory details, I could picture everything you said. Great work!

on Dec. 8 2019 at 2:29 pm
SheressofPower, Arverne, New York
0 articles 0 photos 20 comments

Favorite Quote:
Progress, not perfection

You’ve written a very valuable piece of work. This has opened me to a different reality that others experience. Thank you for taking us through your experiences. Additionally, your writing was beautiful, so rich in descriptive language. I had such a clear mental image of what took place and could sympathize with your feelings. Great job!

on Nov. 19 2019 at 7:28 pm
insanefoxgurl07 BRONZE, Fountain, Colorado
2 articles 0 photos 9 comments

Favorite Quote:
"If you're always trying to be normal, you will never know how amazing you can be."
~ Maya Angelou

Wow. This story was just amazing. So raw and full of pain... I felt like I was experiencing those emotions with you. Well done!!

ndobberstein said...
on Sep. 12 2019 at 4:45 pm
ndobberstein, Hartford, Wisconsin
0 articles 0 photos 2 comments
The narrative is compelling for its language and focus. The ending is particularly compelling for its brevity, imagery, and symbolism. Thanks for sharing this.

Jaelethagoat said...
on Aug. 29 2019 at 8:42 am
Jaelethagoat, Austell, Georgia
0 articles 0 photos 2 comments
One of the most true to life stories I’ve ever heard.