Posted by: addictionstinks | December 26, 2010

Gramma Is An Addict Too

I’ve realized that I’ve always concentrated on J on this blog, when there’s another addict in the family as well. Gramma’s addiction had a profound affect on our Christmas holiday this year, so I thought I would write about it. In fact, I’m thinking I need to write more often, as a way to “get it all out” and get rid of some of this stress. So as of right now, my goal is – starting January 1st, to write something every day, whether it be related to J, to addiction in general, to other family members – whatever is on my mind that day. My mind is being awful lately – I don’t sleep at night! I wake up at 2:00 AM most nights, and lay there with my mind rolling and rolling and not stopping! Its so frustrating! And all a big part of my stress I’m sure.

Anyways, on to Gramma’s story. This is my mother-in-law that I’m talking about here. Both my parents are dead – my mom died in 1987 – 3 months before my wedding – of breast cancer, at the age of only 46 years old. I’ve outlived her at this point (I’m 48). My father died in 2001 of  cancer as well.

So my husband’s mother, up until 2 years ago, always lived with us. When I met my husband, she lived with him. He’s always taken care of her (bless his heart). A little backstory: My husband’s mother and father divorced when my husband was about 14 years old. His father had had quite enough of her drug abuse and alcoholism at that point, and he left. After he left, he rarely had contact with the boys (my husband has one brother). He didn’t bother with the every other weekend, or the Wednesday nights. He didn’t bother with child support either. In fact, I’ve been married to my husband for 23 years, and I’ve met his father TWICE – both times because he was pretty much forced to be there. His mom had sustained a back injury at work (she was a nurse’s assitant and was lifting a patient in bed), and required back surgery twice, and was no longer able to work. This is when her addiction began – to the pain pills. To this day she is horribly addicted to Vicodin (Hydrocodone) and takes AT MINIMUM 8 to 10 a day to feed her addiction.

So hubby’s parents get divorced, and they are BROKE. I mean BROKE BROKE. Hubby is the oldest son, at 14, his brother was 11. Mom’s not working because she can’t due to her injuries and surgeries, and dad split and pays no child support. So my husband had to quit school and get a job in order for them to eat. Then, when he was 17, he went into the Navy so he could have a steady full-time paycheck to send home to take care of his family. The fact that he is a very successful business owner today, without a high school diploma or college degree is a true testament to his intelligence and motivation to overcome. He’s an amazing amazing man.

Fast forward to now. She’s still a horrible addict. Two years ago, she fell in her shower (her “apartment” was downstairs in my home). We found her the next day, lying in the shower, with THREE of her Fentanyl patches stuck to her arms. She had OD’ed on the Fentanyl and passed out in her own shower, and lay there overnight while the rest of us had no idea. At that point, hubby and I put our foot down and sent her to an assisted living facility, where she remains.

December 18 was hubby’s birthday. As is traditional in my family, the birthday person gets to pick what they want for birthday dinner. Hubby chose to go out to Olive Garden, and invited his mother along. As we were leaving to pick her up, he called her to tell her we were on our way, and she said to not come get her, because she was throwing up. This is nothing new. She’s always done this. What happens is, in anticipation of having to “go out” she gets all worked up about having to walk anywhere (she’s completely psychotic), and takes extra Vicodins to try and make it not hurt so much. And then she becomes sick. Yes, she has arthritis in her back and hips and knees. Yes, no doubt she is in pain. But, I’ve been to the doctor with her enough times to know that she also manufactures more pain in order to take more Vicodin.

Anyways, needless to say she didn’t see her son on his birthday.

Fast forward to Christmas Eve. We invited her over to have dinner with us, and then open all her gifts with us. Long story short, she ate, puked, puked some more, ruined the whole damned evening, and went home. She was so wasted I even had to pull her pants up for her after she was done going to the washroom. And we got to spend an hour cleaning the bathroom. It was covered in vomit – the floor, the toilet, the trash can, the rugs, the walls. Merry frickin’ Christmas!!

I do believe that that was the last time Gramma will be in my home. I’m done.

What makes me so incredibly sad is that this is my children’s Gramma. I have such great memories of my childhood – going to Gramma and Grandpa’s for the holidays, Gramma cooking enough to feed an army, hanging out with all the cousins. True family Christmases. My kids don’t have that. My parents are long dead, and Gramma is an addict and Grandpa is a no-show. They don’t even know him. They have ZERO warm memories of grandparents. This makes me so angry and so sad that I actually hate Christmas. Its my least favorite holiday, and I hate it more and more every year.

Truly, I’m glad its over. Bah humbug!!



  1. right there with ya sister. trust me on this. Merry Christmas is OVER Day!!

  2. What a sad story. I don’t like this holiday much anymore either, because nobody comes to see me and my husband. Maybe it’s a blessing. I have not heard from my daughter in 3 years, nothing, nada. How cool would it be to have her and her two little ones come and see us. But, oh well. My son and his family will be here next week, but not on Christmas. I guess after a while you just have to restructor the holidays to make them feel comfortable for you and noone else.
    Gald it’s over….

  3. Maybe they need to detox her at the assisted living facility. Hard to imagine having to deal with that on Christmas or at any time. Sorry that it was a bummer.

  4. WOW! I am so sorry your mother-in-law pulled all this on Christmas – that just really stinks!! I hope that you and your hubby can perhaps have a nice New Years Eve together without any drama from anyone!! Hoping that 2011 is everything we all hope it will be, whatever that may be!! Happy New Years (a few days early!) 😉

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