by Bly Jette
Sally faces a world of hurt in her downward spiral, as her children are by her side.
Todd has been out of the house for a couple weeks but he did talk to the kids almost every night on the phone. Sally was thrilled because finally he was forming some kind of connection with the kids, especially Jacob. Sally and Todd didn't really talk much and when they did it was just about the kids. He wanted to see the kids soon and would let Sally know when.
Jack and Sally had become inseparable, not physically but they talked every day and soaked up their moments at group, and away from group when they could. He was her best friend, Sally could tell him anything and he never judged her. In her heart though, she knew she loved him even if she didn't tell him. How could she tell him? He was married, even if it was a bad relationship... it just simply couldn't work between them. It didn't stop her from loving him though or from needing him. Jack had become her rock and she couln't imagine life without him.
"Hey" Jack half smiled as Sally walked towards the group building.
"Everything all right?"
"Do you mind if we skip group today and just go talk?"
"That's fine" Sally's heart thudded into her chest. Something wasn't right, she could feel it. They walked to the beach and sat on what they had started calling, 'their bench'. "What's going on?"
Jack sighed heavily and glanced at Sally.
"I wanted to let you know that I'm going to be away from group for awhile."
"Things at home" he scoffed. "It's not so good right now and I just need to take a step back from it."
"Will we still be able to talk?"
"I'll give you my email address, but my phone is being shut off."
"Oh..." Sally bit back tears, she didn't know what to do.
"I'm not telling very many people, just the few who are important to me" he locked eyes with Sally. She could see a deep sadness that Jack usually kept hidden.
"Is there anything I can do?" Jack placed his hand on top of Sally's and gave it a gentle sqeeze and shook his head. "Do you know how long you'll be gone?"
"No, I wish I could say when.... but email me anytime ok sweetheart?"
Sally nodded a little, she knew it wasn't going to be the same. He wrapped an arm aroun her shoulders and pulled her close. They sat like that until it was time for Sally to head home. Neither one really said anything, what else was there to say? She missed him before they even parted.
"I'm going to miss you" Sally admitted standing outside of her car.
"I'm going to miss you too Sally..."
He hugged her tightly and she didn't want him to ever let her go. When he finally did Sally couldn't help herself, a stray tear fell. She brushed it away quickly and avoided eye contact with him, she just couldn't bear it. She drove off, unsure if she would ever see him again. It felt like goodbye. Sally stopped at the store and bought some of her favorite vodka.
It quickly became a habit for Sally to drink once the kids went to bed. Sleeping rarely came to her anymore, she was in a dark whole and she saw no reason to leave it... Then the alcohol stopped working. After about a week, Sally could no longer get drunk. Nothing would numb her pain. Her mom took the kids almost every weekend and that left her with a lot of alone time. Sally stopped talking to her friends, stopped making plans, and on her days off kept looking for something to keep her comfortably numb.
She got into snorting pills, it only worked for the first ten minutes afterwards so she kept doing it. She started smoking pot, and then she had a brillant idea.... She combined all of them together. Still Sally couldn't get that high she was looking for. Instead one night she found herself passed out on the floor with a bloody nose and a fat lip. She nursed her feelings for that night, she laid awake in bed trying to remember how she had gotten so far gone.
Sally didn't go to group that week because she didn't want to have to explain what happened to her, what she had done to herself. She did stop the pills, smoking, and drinking. It didn't stop the pain so there was no point in it. She knew she needed to get herself back together she just didn't know how.
The nights were the worst, she didn't cry.... It was worse than that, she just laid there. Awake and fully aware at how lost she was. She and Jack had emailed only a handful of times, it was easier to miss him and not talk to him than to talk to him and miss him even more.
It was then that she realized even though she kept her downward spiral out of the view of her children, they still knew. They saw it and felt it and that resulted in Jacob getting into a lot of trouble at school. Sally blamed herself. It was then and only then that she started understanding what needed to be done. Who she had to become.
"Ms. Macon, thank you for coming here so quickly." Sally nodded and adjusted in her seat uncomfortably. "Jacob is having a bit of a melt down today. He's throwing a fit and being extremly violent. I'm afraid we had no choice but to call the police."
Her heart was in her throat, they had called the police on her eight year old son because he was uncontrolable. They walked her to the room where he was sitting with the principal and the police officer.
"We strongly recommend counseling for Jacob." they handed her a card.
"I've been trying to get Anne and Jacob into this counseling facility for months now" Sally said.
"Ah, well we will tell them the situation and get him in."
Once she got home and talked to Jacob about his actions, she called Todd. She gave him the run down and he listened, more than he had in years.
"So, when will you find out about counseling?"
"I was thinking, maybe you could give me the number... You know, to show him that it's a good thing?" Todd was nervous and unsure sounding.
"Yeah, I can do that. I think it would mean a lot to Jacob."
"I miss them..."
"That's good, I'm really glad to hear that Todd because they miss you too. These last few months have been hell, for all of us."
"Once we get this figured out, I want to see them... We can go to Burger King or something, anything..."
"Absolutely... I'll be sure to keep you posted."
They hung up and Sally sat back... There was hope again. If Todd missed them as much as he seemed to have, it would help the kids so much. They could get through this, together. Well, not Todd and Sally that ship had sailed for her. She started to relax, leaning back on the couch. Her phone went off and she let out a groan, praying there weren't any new issues.
"Sally!" It was from Jack.