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The Cathy K. Files

"Addiction": A story by Cathy K.

I present this story here for the sake of its relevance of what goes on inside the mind of the fully brainwashed Buchmanite. A few weeks after she shared this story with me Cathy decided to nearly kill herself on an overdose of Klonopin and Seroquel.

I was with her during that time beginning when she picked me up at work (she was running late due to her wrecking the front end of her vehicle at the Monroeville exit of the PA Turnpike) and ending with her in the emergency room Saturday afternoon. In between those two moments I had to also deal with her mother, her Buchmanite sponsor and a know-nothing therapist (all true believers in the disease mythology, no less). In the end they had the nerve to blame me for her predicament.

Instead of choosing to escape into compassionate human companionship with me she chose to escape into the fleeting and brief act of chemical intoxication. She chose to bring the pills, to take the pills and to nearly die. I was the one who helped to get her home. I saved her life despite the fact she wanted to end it.

The biggest thing I take from the incident was how I probably looked to outsiders as I was intoxicated many years ago. I realized right there that I need not have to worry about that ever again since I never drink and enjoy a life free from self-intoxication. If she truly wanted to escape why not just choose to excape intoxication once and for all by making the decision to never engage in that activity ever again?

Alas, it is too late for her. She is now an avid A.A. cultist "in recovery", which is actually a euphemism for "in addiction". The relationship between herself and I ended when she didn't like me criticising the cult and me coldly receiving her advances as she longed to rent an apartment with me (what if she needed to go to the trouble and expense of an emergency room again for her choice to intoxicate herself).Instead of choosing to drop the stereotype of a "stupid, irresponsible addict" once and for all she chose to kill off her own humanity: A life of being subhuman with fellow subhumans.

I know that I will never associate with her and other like-minded indiduals ever again.


Incoming E-mail:

From:

"Cathy K." <email_address_withheld>

To:

thearidsite@juno.com

Date:

Wed, 02 Jun 2004 02:02:20 +0000

Subject:

Stories for you to read
Hi [dr.bomb],

Did you turn in your license today? That had to be hard. But, hopefully 
you'll get it back in 6 months.


Anyway, here is that story I wrote. Please let me know what you think of it.


Take care.


Love,


Catherine






Addiction


By [Cathy K.]


The thought of not having another baby hit me hard. I thought I could never 
stay clean enough through a second pregnancy, and that I just had been very 
lucky when Sasha turned out okay – better than okay, some would say she is 
exceptional, even though she has her mother’s temper. I wanted to think of 
the welfare of the baby growing inside me first, before I told all the 
different doctors that, no, I was not pregnant, just fat, and please give me 
drugs. But thoughts of the baby’s welfare coexisted in my head with scheming 
to get drugs, and the baby rarely won the battle. I refused to put the two 
together, to consider the cause and effect. I had begun to want another 
child, in spite of the past, as a companion for Sasha; or a fallback just in 
case of that horrible circumstance of possibly losing Sasha. Being sure she 
was not as lonely as I was growing up as an only child was another concern. 
I had mostly selfish reasons for wanting another baby, but that is what 
addiction is all about, selfishness.
	Signey opened her eyes and could not tell if she’d gotten up yet or not. 
She’d dreamt that she had done all these things, but when her eyes actually 
forced their way to slits, she realized she was still in bed, and had been 
there a while. Her husband had left for work four hours ago. David was 
always so punctual. It annoyed the hell out of her when he sat on the bed 
and put his shoes on, shaking the whole god-dammed bed. Sitting up, Signey 
looked for the pipe, and walked into the spare room – ah, there it was. She 
filled the bowl with the shitty Mexican crap she’d been getting, and sat 
back in her stool with her lighter, smoking this garbage which would only 
give her a headache. But, she knew, that if she didn’t do this she would be 
afraid of not getting any relief today, and the fear of living would 
overcome her. She wanted to be removed from the present, taken away from 
what she believed to be true about herself, and besides, she wouldn’t enjoy 
a damn thing if she were not high. She dug around in her various hiding 
places for six or seven Xanax. Her hiding places were getting so varied, and 
she usually hid pills when she was really incapacitated, so they were 
getting harder to find, and the risk of her husband finding them before she 
did loomed ever larger. She popped the pills, finished her toke, and jumped 
into the shower, feeling better that she did when she woke up. The bed was 
unmade, the kitchen dirty, and she had not paid attention to the cats for 
days, except to see that they had food and water. Signey just wanted to 
shop, and get her nails done. While in the shower, she tried to calculate 
the time she would need to sober up (or at least pretend) before David got 
home. Typically, she had no idea if any plan she made to stay vaguely 
rational would completely deteriorate by the end of the day. She was not 
really thinking of the end of the day, but rather, contemplating the same 
question she did every day: how high could she get without killing herself?
	David has a six-pack of Pilsner in the fridge. I want one so badly I think 
of just doing it and suffering the consequences. Surely three years of 
“sobriety” would prove to him that, in fact, I am not an alcoholic. I just 
have a teensy-weensy problem with drugs, and if they are not around I am 
fine. What would the consequences be if I drank a beer? If the situation was 
reversed and I caught him drinking a beer, I would have no mercy. I have no 
mercy now. Maybe that’s because I look around and see myself sitting in AA 
meetings, silently struggling to sip coffee and look happy, like I want to 
have to be there. It’s his refrigerator too. Even two and a half years after 
we are back together I still distinguish between his and mine. Most of it is 
his, unfortunately for me – the house, both cars, most of the furniture, and 
if it ever came to a choice, my daughter too. One look at my records and any 
court would tear her away from me and shove her permanently into her 
father’s arms. All the bad things we do are written down somewhere, aren’t 
they? I know I will not have one of those beers, I am too afraid of loosing 
everything that should mean so much to me. Besides, I have some Nyquil 
hidden somewhere. It’s only 10% alcohol but these days I take what I can 
get. I just can’t take too much, because that cold medicine shit in there 
will make me want to jump out of my skin. If I could just drink booze like 
everyone else, but over the years I have discovered that I am not like 
everyone else.
	Signey pulled on her uniform: leggings, sweater, socks, sneakers. She had 
the same items of clothing in a hundred different colors. She figured no 
true drug addict could look that pulled together. Hell, she even wore makeup 
sometimes. If worse came to worse and she had to show up at one of numerous 
hospital emergency rooms, claiming whatever ailment that would get her the 
drugs she had to have, this was a good outfit to be wearing. She wouldn’t 
look trashy. Never mind that she was faking serious illness for the sole 
purpose of obtaining narcotics (this had actually been written in one of 
Signey’s charts). But this day she didn’t foresee a trip to the emergency 
room. She climbed into the car, loaded her pipe again, and headed for the 
Target in San Dimas. She just wanted to spend money—money she didn’t have, 
money she didn’t make. Her stomach hurt when she saw David attempt to 
balance the checking account, wondering why his numbers were so far off. 
After a time he just sat with his head in his hands, probably wondering how 
to stop her. Signey rationalized this by telling herself that it was her 
money too, wasn’t it? Even though she had not contributed to the family in 
so long. Someone had to buy these things; they’d get used sooner or later, 
wouldn’t they? Is the liquor store open yet? The one on the corner of 
Rosewood and Foothill that has the little bottles behind the counter. She 
didn’t need much, just a little kick, in a half liter bottle of Pepsi. The 
beauty of it was that she could walk around drinking it, drive drinking it, 
and no one knew. At least it didn’t look to her like anyone knew. Ah, it was 
open. She entered, purchased Southern Comfort, poured it into her now half 
of a half liter, discarded the bottle in the trash outside the store, and 
continued on to Target, feeling better before she even put the drink to her 
lips.
	I go to work; I’m a waitress again. I’ve held a job steadily for about 
three years now, with the exception of a few months after I worked for a man 
I now refer to as Satan. I just felt totally violated. I needed time to work 
through my issues of abuse. Besides, I was getting unemployment, $80 a week. 
That’s how much I was worth, $80 a week. Anyway, I was working again in two 
months. During those two months, I’ll admit, things started to get a bit 
hairy. I wasn’t drinking, but I was calling my General Practitioner for 
everything under the sun – Darvocet, Xanax, Ambien. Of course it’s a limited 
supply, I think he’s wise to me. But I am craftier than I use to be, if 
that’s possible. It’s a practice of several different doctors, and not all 
of them know me. So during an appointment I listened hard for vacation 
plans, busy days, and the names of other doctors who collaborate. I do all 
this while I’m sure to keep up the moaning and groaning. Mostly, they just 
want me out of the office. I tell myself that I don’t care that they think 
of me as no more than a begging drug addict, not the wife of a stockbroker, 
mother of a semi-gifted child, or a homeowner. So they write the 
prescription I want, with a few refills, and assure me that I’m not going to 
die. My doctor does not yet have that look in his eye of recognition that 
tells me they know what kind of monster I really am. I am safe for now, with 
my relief stored in a small orange vial. Then the supply line goes dry. No 
more refills, the hesitant nurse tells me over the phone, sounding like she 
would rather be anywhere else. I note the same behavior in my husband – that 
stiffness, narrowing of the pupil, the slight widening of the eyelids, the 
involuntary jerk of his head – not detectable to any normal human, but I 
know it well. Like the time he showed up at my work not too long ago and 
left me a card in my car, an apology for a fight we’d had that morning. The 
economy-sized bottle of generic Nyquil was peeking out from under the 
drivers seat. I saw it immediately, and kicked myself for not putting it in 
the trunk, as my head began to throb and I suddenly had to pee. I panicked 
all the way home. Did he see it? What reaction would I get? If he saw it he 
would not have still left the card, would he? After all he’s been through, 
he probably would have marched into my work and demanded an explanation, 
right? Could I pack my things in ten minutes if David told me to get out? I 
arrived home and looked for the eyes – accusing and hurt, and the body 
language – angry
and unmerciful, all the things he normally wasn’t. Only because of me did he 
ever descend into that behavior - me and my bottles of fake booze and pills. 
Me, me, me.
	Target was big and friendly looking in Signey’s car window as she pulled 
rather slowly into the parking lot. Everything looked friendly now; her 
stomach was deep and warm, and her head high and light. She climbed out of 
the car and immediately fell down, it was happening a lot lately, between 
standing and the ground she seemed to be unconscious. She would come too 
face down usually, in some embarrassing, unnatural position, with some 
do-gooder standing over her asking if she was okay. Or worse, an off-duty 
medical professional saying in an annoyed voice, “Are you all right? Well, 
are you?” Inevitably she started crying to diffuse the situation, and get 
herself off the hook. No really, I’m just very ill, she would say in a 
shaking voice. How true. But no one had seen this little tumble. She stood 
up with her head throbbing, and weaved her way to the entrance of Target 
like it was a retail God she regularly paid homage too. She paid homage to 
so many Gods in this one day, and the day before, and tomorrow too. All of 
which wanted her life in exchange for a few dangerous hours; she gladly paid 
her dues, sacrificing everything she loved in the process. In the store 
finally, she grabbed a shopping cart and hit the first display she saw, 
sweatshirts. In the heat of Southern California, sweatshirts really come in 
handy. Signey would look at everything that store had to offer, twice, while 
winding her way down the isles, stopping to sip her “Pepsi” and take her 
“Medication”. After four hours she was sure that she had researched every 
item they had, besides, she thought the lady behind the jewelry counter was 
talking on the phone and looking at her, checking her out. Time to go. Her 
hands were tingling, and the
ground wouldn’t stay down. She paid for her last purchase, unable to count 
twenty-three cents while people behind her waited and pretended not to 
stare. Fine motherfuckers, she thought, I’ll go, but you’ll not see MY money 
again. She stumbled in front of a car in the parking lot, and heard the horn 
blow. She would have replied with the finger if her hands had any feeling 
left in them. Instead she shuffled to her car, defiant and mad. It was only 
when she opened the door that she realized her husband had flown to San 
Francisco early that morning and was returning on the afternoon flight. She 
was supposed to pick him up at the airport, a half hour ago.
	The music plays and Sasha dances around the empty living room. Compared to 
my life as a drug addict, this is sheer bliss. All my bills are paid, I live 
with my family, I have my own money, and I am finishing school. All is well. 
Except for those moments when it’s not well. Watching my baby twirl about 
and fall down laughing is beautiful, but it only covers this moment – this 
one moment. A day is made up of many moments, all of which are not covered. 
I like being awake and an active participant in my own life, but the desire 
to escape sits like a silent monster, waiting to spring forth. I don’t want 
to escape into total oblivion as I used to, I just want to relax and be 
truant from responsibility and memory. I suppose that that’s what sleep is 
for, but I’m asleep, so I can’t enjoy it. Of course I sustain through the 
difficulties much better than I used to, I wouldn’t be sober if I didn’t, I 
wouldn’t be alive if I didn’t – and I am, as AA told me I should be, 
extremely grateful for what I have today. Unfortunately, I still have 
yesterday too. Memory knocks at my side door, pleading to be let in, so that 
it can lead me to that familiar time machine that transports me back to my 
many mistakes and wasted opportunities, which, it assures me, will always be 
there in my mind, and never before me again. Sasha runs up to me, golden 
hair swirling around her pretty face, and grabs my hand so that I might 
dance with her in our special way. I willingly go and am giggling and 
laughing. Whatever I was dwelling on before has been momentarily forgotten, 
now it’s floating in space somewhere, waiting for me to return. Many bad 
things happened during the fifteen years I abused drugs and drink, most of 
them toward the end. But I’ve heard worse in AA. Like the guy who couldn’t 
bring himself to discipline his nephew because he’d given his brother, the 
boy’s father, the cocaine that killed him. If I would have kept going I’m 
sure something just as horrible would have happened to me, or worse, to some 
one I love. I came so close to unforgivable – dropping Sasha and passing out 
on top of her when she was two months old. If David had not been home to 
push me off her, I would surely be at the bottom of a bottle of Vodka today, 
or have taken my own life intentionally or unintentionally, not that it 
would have mattered. For that alone, I don’t deserve any more children. But 
the minute I am told that I can’t or shouldn’t have something, I want it so, 
so bad.
	Signey blazed out of the parking lot with one eye shut so she only saw one 
yellow line. As she approached the signal nearly nicking cars to her left 
and right, She pulled into the right hand turn lane or the left hand turn 
lane, she was really unsure which lane she was actually in, and she waited 
for the light to turn green. Her heart was pounding, she no longer felt 
connected to her arms and legs, and even with one eye shut, the view in 
front of her swam around like a psychotic fish. Finally the light turned 
green and she
dashed out into traffic. Because she went at the wrong green light, the car 
that had the right of way hit Signey broadside. She wouldn’t remember the 
impact at all.
	Illness still tends to bring out the worst in me. It doesn’t really matter 
if it’s in the body or mind. It takes me to the part of my mind where 
self-pity resides, which is a dangerous luxury condominium, perched high on 
a crumbling cliff. It is decorated with nothing but big, soft pillows, and 
full medicine cabinets. The operation that will rob me of my life-giving 
ability looms ahead like a minefield I must walk through. But really, I am 
walking through it now. The shoes I’m wearing let all the heat through. The 
shoe on my left foot is dread, and on my right is emotional instability. The 
painkillers the doctor gives me until the surgery can be performed work like 
too-dark sunglasses that keep me from dealing effectively with my fears. I 
do not badger the doctor for constant refills, or lie about the precious 
pills being stolen, or visit numerous physicians. But I do take the pills 
for any little thing, and the amount is increasing. They are hidden in my 
bathroom, in the bag within a bag within a bag. In order to achieve maximum 
effectiveness, I mix each self-prescribed dose with little jiggers of 
Bacardi, or leftovers from other medications. I know that this behavior is 
bad and dangerous, and I don’t care. I reason with myself. Don’t I get a 
break too? I am doing well in school, still working, attending to my 
families needs, and I’m not shopping. I justify the drugs and alcohol by 
telling myself that I am caring for me. And I am, the only way I know how.
	Lights were flashing above her, and she couldn’t move her head. Signey 
closed her eyes and passed out again. She awakened in a hospital emergency 
room, with a police officer standing above her asking what she remembered of 
the accident. She tried to lie,
or at least make herself sound innocent through omission. But she had a hard 
time because her left eye was throbbing as well as her left shoulder, and 
the painkillers she’d been screaming for had not arrived. The cop shook his 
head and rolled his eyes as he left the room, and she turned to see who was 
whispering behind her; she saw nothing but the wall. Her eyes darted to the 
door as David walked in, quiet and hostile. The doctor followed him and 
Signey immediately told him that her head hurt. The doctor told her that 
there was nothing he could do in a somewhat exasperated voice, and asked her 
if she’d been drinking that day. She told him no, emphatically, and 
retreated to the farthest corner of the room, behind the cabinets. Play 
mentally ill, she thought, as the voices got louder and louder.
	David shouts from the living room that our show is coming on in a minute. 
“Okay”, I say, “Be right there.” I walk into my bathroom and claw at the 
bags my comfort resides in. I count three of these, two of those, and a 
jigger of vodka to complete the effect. As I tilt my head back to let the 
liquid heat of the booze cascade down my throat, I catch sight of a figure 
in the mirror – David. Gone is the subtle recognition that usually 
accompanies the realization of my transgressions, and it is replaced by 
shock, horror, and anger – which is soon replaced by the worse realization 
of his having been fooled and mislead again. I begin to defend my actions 
while still getting up from the floor. It’s not how it looks! I yell, 
followed by, it’s for the pain! My husband takes a few
steps back, disgust creeping up his body, soon to show on his face. Suddenly 
he charges past me into the bathroom, lunging for my pills and bottles, 
intent on discovering just how far the deception goes. I say, with no 
conviction whatsoever, that’s my stuff!
David just stared at her and did not speak. Finally Signey asked him how he 
got home from the airport. He said in a cold, even tone that he took a cab 
home and broke into the house because he had no keys. She told him that she 
was sorry she was not there to pick him up, but you know, she got into a car 
accident. He told her to just shut up. She immediately wondered why he did 
not feel sorry for her, and was not concerned about her well being. It made 
her angry that he was so selfish. The doctor entered the room, and she asked 
in an annoyed voice when she could go home. He said, equally annoyed, that 
she was being transferred to the Las Encinas mental hospital immediately. 
The mumbling voices took over as she receded into herself.
	David asks me how long it has been going on. Do I say forever, or just 
resurrect the standard lies? I tell him that it is just the stress, just to 
get me through the difficult period. I know the words sound stupid before 
they even leave my mouth. He sits on the bed and puts his head down. He 
tells me that he can’t live with this any more, he is worn out, and he 
cannot trust me. I begin to tremble from the inside out as I realize what’s 
coming next. Leave, he says, pack a bag and get out of this house. I begin 
to object, but he walks away. I sit down on the toilet, my emotions like a 
tempest, swirling around uncontrollably. It’s my house too, I think. Does he 
just expect me to up and leave my daughter? I wonder where I will go. But I 
already know the answers to these questions.
The least I can do for him is what he asked. The first thing I grab is my 
drugs, then I proceed to pack mechanically and quickly, the urge to fall 
into oblivion overtakes me.
	I am sitting in my car outside of our house, unsure of my destination. I 
realize with tired, narcotic amusement that I have ended up in another 
prison of my own making, but somehow, I feel as though I never left. I have 
paralleled the past, floating just a few inches above it, afraid to give up 
my comfort so easily. Nothing, not even enduring love and an angel-faced, 
golden-haired, laughing child can stop me from seeking the relief I think I 
must have. Selfish.
	Signey started the car and drove away slowly, trying to burn into her 
memory the sight of the home she once had. Tears came as she headed out of 
her neighborhood. Her chest is caving in, racked by sobs, and her crying 
makes it hard to drive. She is thinking that she does not want anything to 
be hard anymore. It’s too hard for her to quit drugs, too hard to live a 
lie, and too hard to live without the lying and the drugs. Signey gets on 
the turnpike after stopping to buy a bottle of Vodka. As she drives, she 
takes every pill she has, drowning them with the Vodka. The big bridge is 
coming up, Signey wonders how high the barrier is and increases her speed. 
She is beyond believing that she can live through this. Finally, the bridge. 
She can’t feel her hands and feet now and has a momentary flash of the pain 
she will experience upon impact with the water below, and she swerves away 
from the bridge. She hits the barrier on the right and is flung in to the 
left barrier. NO, NO, NO! She thinks, as her car rides up and over the 
barrier.
I rise out of my seat and the car seems to float through the air. I keep 
thinking I DIDN’T LEAVE A NOTE!  I do not think about my daughter or my 
husband. I see the water rushing towards my windshield. And I close my eyes.




Word count – 4,120.

Back to the Cathy K. Files


Last updated 2005/03/05

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Quotes are attributed to their appropriate sources.
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