I remember the feeling. It was a little foreign to me, but it also seemed as though I was built for the mental and emotional storm that was approaching. My mother and I had been outside in the streets all day. I watched her drink, talk, socialize and pretty much not do anything substantial all day. It was fine by me. I was just happy to be with my mother. It had been just her and I for a long time. She was my best friend. I was about 7 years old. My creative imagination allowed me to escape the alcoholics and dope fiends that filled my daily routine. Once the sun set and the street lights came on, we returned home. We lived with my great-grandmother. She was one of the major reasons I was not as distracted by my negative surroundings. She kept me focused and grounded. As we walked through the apartment door, which was railroad type, my mother noticed that my great grandmother was going through her incoming mail. Of course an argument ensued. The back and forth had me feeling nervous. I immediately felt compelled to side with my mother for reasons unknown at the time for a 7 year old. All I remember is a bunch of muffled yelling about nosiness , and drug use. Come to think of it, my mother was actually a few months pregnant at the time. My great grandmother ushered me to the bathroom to wash, while she helped gather my mother’s belongings in order for her to leave the apartment. I cried, I screamed. I wanted to go with my mom. I was attached to my mom as any child would be. But at that moment, it all changed. I barely slept that night. The butterflies wouldn’t allow me to relax. I kept visualizing my mother walking out of the front door in a rage. She returned about a week later. My great grandmother had a heart of gold, and couldn’t just turn her back on my mom, sometimes to a fault. For the rest of my childhood, I experienced many moments of my mother being kicked out of the apartment, and stretches of time in drug rehab programs. I was forced to get used to being without her. I vividly remember telling myself “ You can’t keep crying when your mother leaves”. “ You just have to be strong, because if you don’t , you will be hurt every time she leaves.” Mymom was the closest person to me. I still loved her, but I had to protect myself from disappointment. I became DETACHED.
My expectations for others became low. It helped me become stronger as a man, and more self-sufficient, but it also contributed to me being able to distance myself from others without guilt. DETACHED.
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