She would exaggerate any Pembroke Welsh Corgi Green Bay Packers shirt, and would use the cost of medication and treatment as another way to extort money from friends and relatives, never letting me in on the severity of it. At 15 she supplied me with enough cocaine to require mitral valve surgery, and a permanent heart murmur, because she wanted always wanted to be the friendly mom. She would leave me places as a kid with people we barely knew, and wouldn’t return for weeks, leaving the financial burden of caring for me with them.
I was incapable of eating food in front of Pembroke Welsh Corgi Green Bay Packers shirt because of the shame I carried having to take resources from families who barely knew me and barely had enough themselves. She would date men without jobs or ambition, who only worked for their own addictions. She would spend days and sometimes weeks on end locked in dark smokey rooms with them, only emerging to get more of whatever kept them in there, or to take a break from the volatile fighting matches. Some of them felt like fathers, some like threats. When I was 18 she took my two nephews for a walk to the pharmacy and got arrested for falsifying a prescription for pain killers, and my nephews watched her get handcuffed and taken away to jail.