My mother tore my purse from the underside of my arm. She ripped it from me so hard that the handles dug into my bare arm. “I know you have coke in here”, she yelled in hysterics. She dumped the contents of my purse onto the floor. I was so angry that I was shaking. “Nothing in there belongs to you”, I said.
“Everything of yours belongs to me”, she said as her eyes tried to swallow mine.
She dramatically sorted through things she didn't appear to care were in there, such as a pack of gum or my Sharpie collection, but soon her eyes lit up. Her eyes lit up in a way that would make you think she had just found the Holy Grail, there in my purse. Her jaw dropped, literally, as she pulled out a pack of menthol cigarettes and a wine opener. Of course, even that would be in my bag. I rarely had incriminating items such as these in my purse, but on the day my mother chose to scavage through my belongings, there they were. She held the wine opener in front of her. “It all makes sense now”, she exclaimed. “You are an alcoholic. My daughter is an alcoholic.” She stood up. “Jesus”, she was talking to the ceiling. “What am I going to do with her? Please tell me.”
I stood there. I wasn’t sure if I was shocked or enraged. Both of these emotions were mangling through my mind with such force that I didn’t know which one was the predominant one. I was sixteen years old. I was the smartest kid in my class. The pack of cigarettes, if this outrageous person would take the time to look, was missing just one. I tried one cigarette and realized it was disgusting.
“Where is the coke?” she yelled as she continued to ravage through the weird collection of items I had in my bag.
“You must be so out of control that you can’t keep it on you long enough for me to find anyway.” I felt lifeless. I didn’t know how to fight back, anyway. Nothing I said would satisfy this mentally disturbed woman.
“We are calling a rehab program and having you admitted.” She ran to my father’s office to get the phone book for the city of Los Angeles. She ran her fingers through the thousands of phone numbers until she found something she felt suitable.
She dialed the numbers, waited for someone to answer and then began to rattle off the tale of her troubled 16 year old’s secret coke addiction. I couldn’t believe this was happening. She was probably coked out as she was telling whoever was on the other side of the line this ludicrous story. What a fucking demented life I have, I thought.
“I am not going, you psychotic bitch”, I snapped.
“You’re going to commit yourself”, she whispered. The kind of whisper that a demon would hiss.
Years after, I cried when I thought of this. I cried because I judged her. She was just another person who thought they were doing the right thing. Don’t we all?