Guest blogger Maria: A while back, I wrote a post about Chloe, my daughter's friend whose mother has a serious pill and alcohol addiction. Now I feel like I need to go one step further -- for the little girl's protection.
I wrote about how Chloe spent a lot of time at our house, and how her mother wanted to reciprocate by having my daughter, Emily, come to her house, too. I was able to get by with excuses as to why Emily could never go, but now I think the time has come to tell Chloe's mom the truth.
First, an update: I am not the only one to have taken notice of Chloe's mother's addiction. Last month, another mother made arrangements to pick up Chloe after school to take her and her daughter to get pizza and see a movie. She picked up Chloe as planned -- but in the meantime, Chloe's mom showed up (drunk) at the school and raised HELL with the principal for "allowing" someone to "kidnap" her kid. This poor other woman had sent multiple confirmation texts and e-mail reminders -- one exchange had occurred that very morning -- that she would be picking up Chloe from school. But Chloe's mom had forgotten (you can guess why), and when she was reminded, refused to take any responsibility. After that exchange, the CPS was alerted (by the school, as legally they must). I don't know what came of it.
Then last week, I got "drunk Facebooked" by this woman. She basically told me to "stay out of her life" -- but as written, it said, "Stay ot ob mie libe." I had been "blocked" from her friend list, so I couldn't send a message to respond to her. I deleted the post, then deleted her as my "friend." That afternoon, I saw her at school when I was picking up Emily. There she was with a bloated face and lipstick smeared all over her teeth -- and she was wasted. (Honestly, I haven't seen her sober in over a year, no matter the time of day.) When I asked her WTF was up with the wall post, she acted like she knew nothing about it, then said she hadn't been on her computer in weeks. Uh huh. I'm barely in the woman's life; how much more does she want me out?! I wish she'd let me know, as I'd like nothing more.
Then she asked me, "Why doesn't Emily spend the night anymore?" As disgusted as I was, I felt sorry for her. She's so messed up she has no idea why Emily -- or any of Chloe's other friends -- don't spend the night. I can't imagine being so clueless! I decided that I needed to be honest with her, and that I needed to tell her, in the kindest way, exactly why her place was no longer the mecca of sleepover activity. I promised to call her later that night when the kids were in bed. At 8:30 PM I dialed her number, and -- surprise, surprise -- she had no recollection of me telling her I'd call. I whispered a silent prayer, then explained why I wasn't comfortable with Emily sleeping over.
She got defensive, but I tried to be compassionate and told her my experiences with my brother and his addiction. Of course she denied being an alcoholic ("I only drink socially ....") or an addict ("How can I be an addict if my doctor prescribes them ...?") like I thought she might, but at least she didn't cuss me out and threaten to keep Chloe from sleeping over.
She was so high, though, that I doubt she'll remember the conversation. I will not be surprised when she texts me next week and asks if Em can come hang out. It's so sad. Some of the comments I received the last time I wrote about Chloe advised me to call CPS. I hate to get further mixed up in this, but considering what just happened, I guess it's what I'm going to have to do. I hope everything turns out OK and that I'm making the right decision.