I thought I would give my dad a break from my blog and focus on another family member. I have a very small family and really only one cousin who I am close with. She is exactly 9 months older than me. She is adopted, but she may as well be blood related. Even though she has always lived halfway across the country from me, we have always had a tight bond.
She had a very rough childhood…mostly brought on by herself. I am going to refer to her as “M.” so I don’t just keep saying “she”. While growing up, M. was very rebellious. She got into drugs and alcohol at a young age, was promiscuous, cut school, etc. Basically any way that she could act out, she did. My aunt and uncle ended up divorcing and M. went to live with my uncle (my aunt, who is my mother’s sister, is also an alcoholic…run in the family much?? lol). My cousin became incorrigible and my uncle eventually gave her up as a ward of the state. M. was placed in foster care as a teenager and her bad behavior and substance abuse continued. To make a very, very long story short…my cousin got pregnant in her 20s and she finally made amends with her parents and cleaned up her act. She went to AA and threw herself into a sober lifestyle as a parent with gusto. A few years later, she had another baby (different dad) and she developed a nurturing relationship with her birth mother. It seemed like her crazy past was behind her. In her 30s, she married a very nice guy who treated her two children like his own and the two of them eventually had a baby together.
M. and I had a long-running joke that I was going to write her biography. We figured her story was crazier (and more true) than that guy James Frey’s was and could be inspiring to other young woman who are struggling to find out who they are. I was so proud of my cousin and how far she had come. She was a wife and a great mom, had a good job and owned a home. She had it all.
And then, unexpectedly, she called me a couple of months ago to tell me she was unhappy and leaving her husband. I was not entirely surprised and even though I was sad for them, I supported her decision. He is a great guy and if she didn’t love him anymore, they both deserved a chance to meet someone else. I learned the hard way how hard it is to be in an unhappy marriage and I didn’t want that for her. She seemed really okay about it and I wasn’t too worried.
But THEN, VERY unexpectedly, I stopped hearing from her. Calls went unanswered and she deleted her Facebook account. I finally reached out to her best friend who dropped a bombshell on me. Apparently, M. started having an affair several months back with a guy that has a very bad reputation in their town. He supposedly sold drugs and my cousin started getting back into doing them with him. By the time I found out all the details of what was going on, M. had left her husband and children and home, was fired from her job, was living at a hotel with this guy and was shooting meth. I have no idea how she slipped into a landslide so severe after being sober for over a decade. I am devastated to say the least. Almost all of my attempts to reach out to her have gone unanswered. It is very frustrating, considering I live over 1,100 miles away. I feel so helpless. Thank god her best friend is keeping me updated. So all I know now is that my cousin was arrested over the weekend with her boyfriend, was bailed out by a “friend” and refuses to go to rehab unless he goes with her.
I am so heartbroken. When M. was younger, she made so many bad decisions. The stakes are so much higher now- she has three children (one of whom isn’t even 2 years old yet) and she hasn’t seen them in weeks. I never, ever thought she would do this. Her two older children are staying with M.’s biological mother and the baby is still with her husband. As of right now, I don’t know where my cousin is. I am sad and angry and worried and sick over it. I know that drug addiction is an illness, but I can’t help feeling like she made a choice this time.
M. was supposed to be a success story. My biography about her was supposed to have a happy ending. Now I don’t know what is going to happen…