Mia: Shaken Not Stirred

The true life stories of a NYC female.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Rough Night

They all agreed it had been a rough night. “I’m re-living someone else’s life.” He said holding his head in his hands...

He got the call just as he was arriving home from work. His ex had tried to kill herself in front of her children. In a fit of anger and desperation after an argument with her teenaged son she had swallowed a handful of her anti-depressant pills. She was having a bad week she'd broken up with him during one of her manic swings. She regretted it the moment he left. All week long the woman had been leaving him apologetic messages on his phone. Messages that went ignored. He felt it best to wait until he cooled off before talking to her. He would not be going back. She could keep the apartment and all of his stuff as well. He tried his best but he could not live with her mental illness, he was tired. In hindsight he was grateful for the break up; he had wanted to leave a long time ago. The only reason he stuck around at all was because of his child. She used their baby as a weapon against him; he decided to let the courts sort it all out since she was impossible to reason with.

“Help, Help me!” she yelled into his phone. She instructed him to come and pick up their daughter. She had messed up and was sure the baby was going to be taken away from her. The family was called in and strategy was being discussed among the brothers as if they were going to war. Their older sister told them to let her handle it. She called the woman and as soon as the woman heard her voice she began to cry. When it was over the sister turned to her brother and said,” she and the baby will be spending the weekends with us from now on. She needs someone to take care of her.” One of the brothers objected to having her in the house because of the way she had treated their younger brother. The sister held her hand up signaling the fact that the woman’s presence in their home was not negotiable, “we’re going to do this for the baby. The woman is mentally ill we’ve got to try to help her as best we can.”

Again her brother repeated the line, “I am re- living my father’s life.” He spoke of his mother’s mental illness and how hard it was on his father when they were growing up. His sister sighed and said, “well the baby has all of us and we’ll make sure her life goes smoother than ours.” He got up and walked towards his sister, “Our life was smooth thanks to you. The sister looked at him and held her hand up hoping that the conversation would end there. She was not up to reliving her mother’s mental illness, the suicide attempts, the manic mood swings. Her teenaged self running barefoot with her 3 younger brothers across the roof tops of East Harlem trying to prevent children’s services from getting their hands on the boys after being warned by a neighbor on the 1st floor that the social worker and police were making their way to her 5th floor walk up apartment to take the kids.

“Ay ya basta nene, enough.” She sighed and suddenly found herself being bear hugged by the two boys now men old enough to remember it all. The older one spoke, “we remember you know we both do. Thank you.” “Yeah well if you boys are so grateful how about you clean up the kitchen for me tonight? ”


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