J***** constantly struggled and he was in and out of rehab. He could get a job quicker than anybody I had ever seen. He was a good, hard worker and could charm everybody. He was one of those people you hear about who could “sell ice to an Eskimo.”
He managed to get into a halfway house for a while and was again, doing well. He got a job with a caterer and moved into a part of the owners’ house. She was a recovering alcoholic herself and understood the demon that J***** had. It was going okay I thought…until she called at about two o’clock in the morning. J***** had left and gotten drunk. She talked to him and he said he was worried about “his guitars” that were in a pawn shop.
I told her that he didn’t have any guitars. She said maybe she had misunderstood him or he was too drunk to know what he was saying.
The next morning after Loser went to work, I started thinking about what the woman said. J***** had a key to our house so he had access to things.
I went to the closet in our bedroom and looked for Losers’ guitars.
I had gotten him two handmade Martin guitars which were worth a lot of money and they were gone. I had gotten him a “Chuck Berry” style electric guitar and it was gone, too.
I went to my jewelry box and J***** had taken just about everything I had left. B***** had gotten me an “EMT” charm that I wore to work every day. He took it. I was sick to my stomach.
I was hesitant to tell Loser, especially when he was at work. What could he to do about it, anyway?
I called K**** and told her. She said “mom…don’t tell dad yet. Your birthdays are coming up so don’t ruin them. Wait until they’re over and then tell him.” I took her advice.
I went to the bank and got out several thousand dollars and started hitting the pawn shops. The first one had the guitars. Since J***** was now an adult, they wouldn’t confirm anything (even though I could see the guitars.) I finally told them that they could either give them to me and get money or they could give them to the police and get nothing because they had been stolen. They started handing them over.
I hit every pawn shop in the area and retrieved all of our stuff. I was able to get my beloved charm back as well as the womans’ lawn mower that J***** had pawned. She didn’t even know that he had taken it.
Our birthdays’ came and went so it was time to tell Loser what I had done. When I told him, I thought he was going to hit the ceiling. He said “I feel like I can’t trust you anymore,” walked out and slammed the door. Why would he say that to me? I didn’t steal the things and then pawn them.
I called N**** and told her that I would have rather he called me a whore than tell me he couldn’t trust me anymore. I thought I had done the right thing. I took care of it. That’s what I had always done. That’s what I was always supposed to do. That was my role in our “business.”
Later, Loser told me that I “had done the right thing” but he never did apologize for saying he felt like he couldn’t trust me anymore.
J***** kept drinking. He would get arrested for “public drunkenness” and I would go bail him out, over and over and over. He got drunk one time, drove all the way to N**** C******* and then called me because he didn’t have enough money for gas to get back. I told him I’d send him some money. His voice cracked and he asked me if I could send him enough to get something to eat. It ripped my heart out.
I discovered later that he was “loaning” his car out to drug dealers. He was coming home with the windows shot out. He would always have an excuse, of course….a stray brick or a rock but I knew what a bullet hole looked like.
He started going back to AA and met a girl. She was a drunk and I worried at first if she would be a negative influence on J*****. I had it backwards.
She was a beautiful girl and was also a “trust fund baby.” She set her sights on J***** and they had a several year relationship. They called it quits but she kept wanting to get back together with him. She would come over to the house and try to get me to get J***** to ask her to marry him. He didn’t want to get married. He wanted to work and play soccer and go to school. She wanted him to stay at home and pay attention to her.
She eventually got pregnant. I would never hold my hand to God and swear that it was J*****s’ child because she had gotten back together with her “ex” while she and J***** were split up for a few weeks.
In her defense, she gave J***** more chances than she probably should have. If she had been my daughter, I would have told her to leave him long before she did. They were going to have a little boy and the same requirements were in place for her that had been in place for me. It was a given that the little boy would be named after J*****, Loser, Losers’ daddy…..and Losers’ daddys’ daddy….and so on. Thankfully, she decided not to carry on the “great H*** name.” She actually named him after her “ex.”
That child is almost six years old now, and J***** has never seen him other than the few times he saw him right after he was born. I have never seen him but once and that was when he was about three days old.
It was another loss for J*****. He would do well, accumulate friends and “things” and then he would lose them all.
I think J***** was still silently screaming for Losers’ approval and attention. What he mostly got was yelling or the cold, unfeeling threat of “this very well may be the last time I ever see you,” when we dropped him off once again at a rehab facility.
When I found out about Losers’ infidelity, I wasn’t going to continue to be the one to tell everybody or not tell anybody, like Loser wanted. I told Loser he was going to have to tell J*****. I don’t know how the conversation went and I have always worried that when Loser told him, it contributed to another binge.
Loser had moved to A******* and I had moved to A********. I had gotten J***** into another rehab facility and he was doing well. Loser had come to see me and while he was there, we got a call from the facility. They wanted us to come get him so that they wouldn’t have to call the police. J***** had sneaked out and gotten drunk.
When we sold the house in C*********, J***** went to live with Loser for a while. I was so hoping that a strong bond would form. J***** needed it so badly. I think it went well…for a while.
Loser had his knees operated on and J***** was there to help him, which was good. I think they offered each other good company but it wasn’t going to last.
Not long after Loser was able to go back to work, J***** took Losers’ pain meds and washed them down with a pint of Vodka. Somebody found him passed out down the street. I had gone to F****** to look after our friend, S***. Loser called me late one night and told me what J***** had done and asked me what he should do. They were in the car and I told Loser to take him to the emergency room. That’s when Loser screamed at the top of his lungs that J***** was “A WORTHLESS PIECE OF SHIT.” J***** remembers it.
Loser called me a few minutes later and said that J***** had “bolted.”
I called K****. She was on shift so she made arrangements to have somebody come in and relieve her. We were going to have to drive all night to go try to find J*****. I really thought we would get there in time to identify his body from either exposure or an overdose.
Apparently, J***** walked around all night, which essentially saved his life.
It was time for another rehab try.