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Harvester of Sorrow - Part 1 of 2

I look back to the dark days and wonder how my parents coped during the ten years of my life when I was way "off the rails".

It would have been heart breaking to watch their eldest son change so rapidly. I was only 13 when life started going crazy. I try to imagine the sleepless nights they must have had, the tensions created while trying to deal with my deteriorating behavior. They tried supporting me, reasoning with me, threatening me...nothing worked. I dropped out of school when I was fourteen and a half years old. The school counselor and family doctor could not help me because I did not tell them that I was drinking and drugging. I was already an addict.

In the end, my parents had to remove all alcohol from the house, as I would steal it whenever I could. Can you imagine the fear they must have experienced, waiting for that "phone call" to say I was in an accident, or in jail?

My younger brother saw me drugged to the eyeballs many a time. He had to keep the secret, though. He saw his older brother make an absolute idiot of himself, weekend after weekend. He never hated me, he just hated what I did. People would tell him that his older brother was crazy. He defended me. His teen years were haunted by my drug and alcohol abuse. When I left home, and I hadn't been in contact, someone told him that I had died of a heroin overdose. Can you imagine how he must have felt? 

My brother is now a drug rehabilitation officer in a jail. I have often wondered if what he experienced all those years ago has led him down this career path while he still battles with the question of "why?"

I still remember the words my father spoke to me when I left home and the small town we were living in at the time. I had just turned 16 and needed to escape (the first of my geographicals - there would be many). At least by moving away, I could continue my self-destructive tendencies without parental interference. My parents hands were tied, there was nothing they could legally do.

My father's words were, "Well son, we've done the best we could possibly do for you, the rest is up to you". And they had. What they were battling was much stronger than parental love.

My parents gave me a good education, the best health care, installed good moral values. At that time, it must have all seemed so futile.

Within 6 months of leaving home I had been admitted to hospital. My heart had stopped beating and I had stopped breathing. I was comatose. Severe alcohol poisoning. My parents did not find out about that incident until quite some time later. I had moved to a seedy part of a large Australian city and had begged the counsellors who followed my case not to contact my parents. They were overworked and I slipped through the net.

Part 1 of 2

Michael Bloch

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