Friday, August 18, 2006

Where am I NOW??

Busy busy summer. Both Mr. Hammy and I have been off work (maternity leave for me, teacher's life for him), so we've been running the roads with BabyHammy practicing this "being a family" stuff. It's going to take me a while to catch up, so bear with me.

My last post had to do with the impending visit of my Mom and her sister. My Mom was estatic to see Hamlet and spend time with him. She couldn't wait until he got up in the morning and was ready there for bathtime at night. She is so proud and happy about this little guy, so could just burst. It's a lovely thing to see.

My aunt was also very excited about being here and spending time with us. This trip was the first flight she'd ever taken on her own, and she was apprehensive, but she got here. She brought a visitor with her as well; a not very welcome guest named "Alchoholism".

Now my aunt has always been a heavy drinker. Hit it hard Friday night after work and continue on until you have to go to be Sunday night. Her's is an addictive, destructive personality - various drugs while growing up, issues with eating disorders, smoking, etc. The archetypical factory-worker, barely-educated existance. I always thought that the drinking was a weekend event, until about 10 years ago.

I was still living in my hometown and my aunt showed up at my grandmother's house after work on a Friday night - as usual. She pulled a plastic baggie out of her glove compartment full of those small airline booze bottles; there were 8-10 and they were empty. I asked her what they were for and she airily explained, "They were for work today."

I lost the plot. Called her all sorts of unflattering things (she worked in a factory with heavy rollers and machinery). Told her she needed help if she thought this was okay. I was angry; she was upset. I was thoroughly scolded by my grandfather (I'm pretty sure he was pushed by my grandmother) for "making her feel bad". "Good." I said. "I'd rather she feel bad than dead." But nothing changed and I moved from the province a short time after that.

Now those people are all gone, including my aunt's husband who died earlier this year. So she's a 48 year old widow, used to making excuses for her own behaviour, who is drinking herself to death.

She was at our house for 11 days. She consumed 5.0 litres of rye in that time.

By 11am each morning her hands were shaking. The first drink of the day was always before noon. I confronted her on the second day and she pulled the whole sob story, "my husband just died" blah blah blah. Don't think me heartless, she can't convince me that this volume is recent. As I told her "You have to practice a long time to drink like that." My efforts only slowed her down...somewhat.

Scary stuff. And as you might imagine, not the most relaxing visit for my mother or myself.