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May 2, 2008

If Honesty Offends You...

...then I suggest you stop reading this post.
Like last time, I've held a debated with myself all day as to whether or not I should make this post public or if I should just write it and get it out, but keep it private. I decided to put it out there b/c everyone has a 'Johnna' in their family. Maybe some of you can relate, as well.
An Open Letter To Johnna:
Initially, when you asked me to meet you at the Dare County Detention Center the day you were set to be put into jail for 9 months, I hesitated. Why did you want me there? Why would I even consider going? You'd put our family through so much- why would I give you the satisfaction of having someone walk you into those doors and give a pleasant 'send off'?
I didn't do it for you. I did it for your Mother. Your Mother, who has dedicated her entire life to you and your drug addiction. At this point, she has as big of a problem as you do- because she can't stop helping you.
I promised you I would write to you, but even I wasn't sure if I was telling you the truth. I said it to make your Mother smile. The thought of you sitting in jail for selling drugs broke her heart- but I knew if she thought you were reading letters from family, she'd have some peace with it. Have you ever done or said something just to make her smile? I wrote you several times, as did you to me. You wrote many times about the worry you felt for your Mother's health...how you couldn't wait to hug her. But it didn't take you long to run back to your tried and true old friend, just when your Mother needed you most. I hope you hugged your dealer like you hugged your Mother the day you were released from jail. It seems putting money in his pocket is much more important to you than your Mother.
My daughter will never go through the pains I did when I was little. I loved you so much, Johnna. I looked up to you...you were so fun to be around- everyone loved you- your house and yard were beautiful...you seemed so perfect. I looked up to you until the day my mom told me you were a drug addict. I was too young to understand why you would promise to take me to the beach or horseback riding and would never show up. I was almost 6 years old when she broke the news to me. She compared you to the addicts that we'd talked about in school in the D.A.R.E. program- I remember thinking "But those people are only in the D.A.R.E. program? Someone like that wouldn't be in our family." But you were. And we loved you in spite of it.
Holidays were always interesting in our household. No matter where you were living, you always found a way to make the holiday about you. Whether it was coming to Christmas dinner 3 hours early to pick through the food before anyone else could, or whether it was not showing up at all..it always came back to you. When you lived in Puerto Rico, we planned a two-week vacation to see you over Christmas break. I was so excited, I'd never flown before and I had seen so many amazing pictures of the waters in PR. About a month before we were set to leave, your husband called us and let us know that you'd been back to the tried and true love, again. He promised us he'd take care of us if we still wanted to come for the holiday but- who wants to vacation with someone who's coming down off crack and God knows what else? We canceled our trip. I was disappointed, but it wasn't the first time you'd done that to me.
I knew you'd done things to other family members- ie: steal cars, steal money...but you'd never done it directly to me. Then I turned 16. You called me because you needed a ride to pick up your Jeep that you'd loaned to someone. I was heading to that area of the OBX anyway- so I said 'No problem.' But picking up your Jeep was never your intention. You took me on a drug run. I attempted to leave you at the hotel where your "Jeep" was...but you told me to wait for you. Ten minutes later, a strung out, cracked out version of you got back into my car and I was instructed to take you back home. I didn't question you- but I made damn sure I never forgot the feeling I felt in the pit of my stomach that night. Whether you thought about it or not, whether you cared or not- you put my safety in jeopardy. I was 16!!
I let myself believe that you'd changed after being in jail for 9 months. I guess I was naive by thinking that 9 months in jail meant 9 months away from drugs. You and I both know it's almost as easy to get drugs in jail as it is to get them out of jail.
Do me a favor...stop lying to everyone, including yourself. Stop hurting your Mother, with every phone call you make to her. Just leave her alone- let her heal. For once, make an attempt to think about her instead of what you can get from her.
All the repressed anger I've had bottled up inside me for all these years, is finally being let out. If I ever see you again, do not expect me to act like I know you. I can't even do it for your Mother- us closing our eyes and biting our tongues is part of why you are the way you are.
Open your eyes...
-Eden

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