Leaving on a jet plane……everyone hoping won’t be back again!

12 01 2015

On the 14 April there was relief. Relief arrived in the guise of Mort’s brother from the USA who had flown over to pick up the dregs of what used to be his brother. He was on instruction to get Mort and take him back to where his dad had admitted him into a rehab centre for $60,000 a month. My relief was not that Mort might be ‘fixed’, the relief was that he would not be around.

My dad was in touch with Mort’s brother and was assisting with whatever he needed to get Mort the fuck out of Dodge. It was very touch and go with the hospital as the doctors would not sign the documentation that said he was ok for travel. He had an enlarged pancreas, low platelet count, 2 black eyes, fractured skull and his foot still in a cast. It was up to his brother to sign the waiver excusing the hospital for any liability.

His brother was in town for less than 24 hours, how on earth he managed to get that train wreck on a plane is amazing. I am sure that Mort actually did look as though he had been a victim of some sort of transport accident, though the fumes seeping from his pores would have betrayed that summation. I am also sure that given that there is free alcohol on the international flight that even years later, there are one or two air stewardesses that begin stories with, “Oh my god, I had this one horror flight, there was this guy….”



17 11 2014

The next week changed my life. I was clearly going through a lot of life altering events at that time but this was then, and has continued to be, one of the most positive ever. I got a job. Not just a job, but a role within a working culture that seemed it had been created with a magic wand and my personal wish list. Not only would I be working in a place that was filled with creative, passionate, honest and funny people, I was offered the position working school hours. This meant that I could still be there everyday for school drop-off and pick-up for my girls. I could keep that routine and stability for them. And having a regular income meant that I could also keep the routine of feeding them!

I spent the next few weeks in something akin to an intoxicated state myself, I felt light headed and giddy with a euphoric rapture as I became familiar with my sea change. Mort was still bumping around in his intoxicated state, polar ends from mine.

In this time I got a call from the hospital saying that he had fractured his skull in a drunken fall. The nurse that I spoke with relayed how they had seen people in a similar condition but these were people who had been drinking hard for many, many years. She was stunned when I shared the timeline of events, but she was not stunned to learn that I would not be there when he was discharged from hospital.

A day or so later my parents and I received a barrage of phone calls; hang-ups, heavy panting and slurred rants. Routine was obviously important to Mort as well.

More of the same

24 02 2014

A few days later I received a drunken call from Mort at three in the morning. He had been staying at some sort of a ‘half-way’ house and had sliced open his foot while climbing a fence. Apparently badly, to the bone. I didn’t care in normal hours and I cared even less at 3am.

The next day I got a call from a nurse at the public hospital asking for Mort’s whereabouts. He had gotten checked into the hospital and he was scheduled for surgery on his foot that day. He had been ranting about leaving behind his backpack at the halfway house and then disappeared. Doc did some investigating and discovered that Mort had gone AWOL for several hours and turned back up at the hospital staggeringly drunk.

Elevating the craziness to alcohol induced injuries prompted me to go and meet with a family lawyer. Given the no-fault law I would be unable to apply for a divorce for a year (dated from his last day in the house), but I wanted to check out the possibility of applying for a restraining order and custody of the girls. The lawyer sat there with mouth agape listening to the diligently documented previous months events. She said in her 30 years of family law she had never heard of such a rapid deterioration of an alcoholic. Sure she had heard of similar events but not happening with such warp speed.

Doc had organised that Mort would be admitted to a rehabilitation centre as an in-patient in 4 days time. I was encouraged to go and see Mort in hospital and tell him of the plans. It wasn’t a fun visit.

I noticed that they had him in a room that had a monitoring camera. Clearly he had caused quite a stink, literally and figuratively, when he returned drunk before his foot surgery and they were keeping an eye on things.

I informed him that he was to turn up sober at the facility on Friday at 10am for admittance. I had to repeat it several times and write it on a piece of paper because he wouldn’t shut up asking why I wouldn’t let him back to the house. As I left I picked up my heavy purse and swung it over my shoulder accidentally hitting his bandaged up foot. He let out a pathetic yelp as I left the room and then he yelled out “how about saying your sorry.”

It took all my strength not to go back in that room and beat him senselessly with the crutch leaned up against the wall.