Thursday, March 20, 2008

Meet My Abuser

Joaquin is right. I am an ugly, ugly man (I only ask that you help me keep this from the Mrs., whom I have successfully fooled for going on 7 years now)--so here are a couple of pictures that are easier on the eyes.

Now, looking at the above photos of random sleeping and first bath, you may inclined to think "Boy, that's pretty cute."

You would be wrong.

She is a master manipulator, and seeks to hide her true self, which is that of a raging drunkard.

The cocktail of choice? Breast milk, straight up, and lots of it.

I think it would be helpful at this point to list some of the common features that can typically signal an out of control addiction, in order that I might not only be able to determine if my child has a problem, but also help others who may be in the same predicament.

1) Drinking Alone

This one just isn't possible, but it does naturally cause one's focus to shift to her mother, who, it seems, is a serial enabler.

2) Making excuses, or finding excuses to drink

Check and check. Always with the excuses, like, "I'm hungry" (communicated through the act of yelling, as being constantly milk drunk seems to render her unable and/or unwilling to simply say so in a calm and reasonable manner). I know better. She just wants to get tanked up and pass out, and then do it again ad infinitum.

3) Daily or frequent drinking needed to function

See #2. Check.

4) Inability to reduce or stop intake

Big Check. As I type, She Who is Eternally Thirsty has imbibed 7 times in the last 3 hours. "But she might not be getting enough!", you exclaim, your voice heavy with concern. Not so. There is sufficient visual evidence during pauses that all taps are in the Full On position and are flowing quite well. She's one of those. You know the type. It doesn't matter how much there is, she's going to drink until it's all gone or die trying.

5) Violent episodes associated with drinking

Check. These episodes occur at least a third of the time, to include self-abuse and verbal abuse towards her mother and I. Examples include trying to choke herself with a fist and hollering loudly during the dead of night. I'm honestly suprised that no one has called the cops yet. (Secretly, I'm thankful, because then she might think I called them, which would just make things worse.)

6) Drinking secretly

We're okay here, as this is not possible. For now. But she's smart, so I won't discount the possibility that this could be happening.

7) Becoming angry when confronted about drinking

Can I put two checks here? This is a big one (when combined with the similar #5 indicator*). Given that she's nearing one month of age, I figured Tuesday a good time to engage in the inevitable confrontation in an effort to nip this thing in the bud before the problem gets worse and it begins having an adverse effect on her potential future opportunities (see: Permanent Record, a youth coercion favorite).

Let's just say that it wasn't well received. I tried being gentle and reassuring her that we loved her no matter what. I tried for a good ten minutes as she spent the entire time squirming around and looking everywhere else but at me. I was near to giving up, when she looked me right in the eye, messed her pants, and then threw up on me. It wasn't an accident, either. How do I know? She smiled. She thought it was funny, that's how I know.

*Who comes up with these lists? This one is largely the same as #5....the author couldn't have simply substituted an "or" on #5 and shortened the list to 9 instead of ten? Whoever it was obviously wasn't concerned with how that extra digit might make my formatting look wonky, which is nearly the height of offense being that I am, after all, a professional.

8) Poor eating habits

Check. The Beast refuses to eat solid food, driving us to intra-family discussion of re-naming proposals. Nicholas Cage was an early contender, but we're slowly moving over to the Courtney Love camp.

9) Failure to care for physical appearance

Check. Does not care one whit about personal appearance. Would lay in any bodily fluid for an extended period of time if someone let her, and is not interested in hearing about it. See #7.

10) Trembling in the morning

Not exactly sure with this one, but if pressed I'd have to go with "No". After all, when is morning? Is there a morning, really, for someone who demands the sauce every one to three hours (give or take 1 hour)? For my part, I've lost any notion of mornings, other than the remnant of some vague intellectual knowledge that the rise of the sun signals its occurence. The new reality is that it's just one long, very long, day.


Uh-oh, I'd better wrap it up for now. She's stirring, and if she sees me typing and telling you all this I'm going to get some more #5 and #7 laid on me. Who am I kidding? I'm likely to get them, regardless.

I'm contemplating future essays in an effort to deal with this abuse, including, but not necessarily limited to, "Fighting Your Baby: Gloves or Bare-Knuckle, which is appropriate, and when?", and, "Mothers as Enablers: A Frank Discussion"

Stay Tuned.