Believe it or not I am at a loss for words. Haha. It is September 24, 2018 and I am standing on Liberty Avenue in downtown Pittsburgh wondering what the hell happened to my life! I am sitting on the windowsill of a store at the 900 block. I think this is where the White Tower used to be where I waited for my girlfriend to turn tricks so we could cop. I didn’t turn tricks because (are you ready for this…) because I did not think anyone would give me $20 for a blow job coz I wasn’t pretty enough. Yes, that’s what I said. Instead, I drove around with a typewriter in the trunk of my car typing bad payroll checks. She gave blowjobs and I cashed bad checks. We were a great team. (I brought in more money than her though).
We had to meet today with the US Attorney, the Trustee of Bankruptcy Court and neither Sean or I had our Social Security cards on us. They postponed the meeting and made us go to the Social Security office only to find out that we need to wait two more weeks to get our cards in the mail. In the meantime the home that we are living in could go up for sheriff sale as soon as next week and we are trying to figure out what our next move is. I am 63 years old and I died my hair blue last week. (I know I know I’m getting off track. I have a tendency to do that but don’t worry I’ll try to reel it back in!) I remember when Britney Spears shaved her head and I just knew, being the GREAT therapist that I am, that she was crying for help!!! Three days later my son Anthony shaved one side of my daughter Talia’s Head! I said “UHOH ….my kid is in trouble…..!!”
And now….SO AM I !!!!!!
So as I sit here, our attorney just contacted me and said that we can see the Trustee at 3 o’clock. We got back to bankruptcy court at 2:30 and the room was full of people. The Trustee let us be next and we sat in front of the room with our attorney while the trustee interrogated Sean in front of everyone in the room. Halfway through it dawned on me that I was sitting in bankruptcy court with blue hair. Ten minutes after that awareness the trustee questioned Sean asking him why we did not have our Social Security cards. The attorney intervened and said “over the past two years Mrs. Sugarmann was incarcerated and Mr.Sugarmann had lung cancer and their son is having brain surgery and they lost their business of 20 years and now they’re losing their home…… as a result, they must have misplaced their cards. “ The room full of people became extremely quiet and I immediately got that very dark feeling back in the pit of my gut that I lived with so many years prior to getting clean. Fear, shame, guilt, sadness, anger, inadequacy all rolled up to make a huge hole in my gut because the adjective that those feelings create is FAILURE.
I couldn’t get out of that room fast enough. Sean and I drove home in complete silence having a very loud non-verbal conversation with each other with not one spoken word. After 30 years of marriage, we are able to have a very powerful conversation with each other in total silence.
We arrived home and each retreated to our respective areas of the house. Sean in his Bedroom and me in the Family Room. I proceeded to go grocery shopping at Giant Eagle. I got there at 5:00pm and didn’t get home until 10:00pm. I walked up and down each aisle and don’t remember what I looked at. They just 100% remodeled Giant Eagle adding an ACE HARDWARE store which threw me off my square. I realized after 2.5 hours that I was totally lost in Giant Eagle and I only had 3 items in my cart. I spent the next 2.5 hours starting over and buying what felt like what was one of every item in the store. As I walked up the frozen food aisle I ran into someone in Narcotics Anonymous who I hadn’t seen in a few years. We hugged and she proceeded to tell me how bad she felt that I had the misfortune I had and said so pathetically, “ OH MY GOD HOW ARE YOU LIVING WITH NO INCOME”. My head and my gut immediately HATED HER even though I’m sure she meant no harm. Everyone who knows me knows that I made a LOT of money….and everyone who REALLY knows me knows I GAVE it away like it belonged to everyone but me. I finally got away from her because the lump in my throat felt like a KNIFE and I needed to get away from her because the only relief I was going to get was to release the 100 buckets of tears that the lump was holding back. So we said our cordial goodbyes and I turned my back to her and the DAM BROKE. I spent the next few hours sobbing in Giant Eagle. At almost 10:00 pm I went to the self checkout aisle. I stood looking at the cart wondering how much of those groceries I could steal. Yes I said “steal”. Unfortunately being the good addict that I am I revert back to old ways of thinking especially when my life is falling apart. Not only do I have real life people that need fed I also have four dogs and five cats that need to eat and the kitty litter needs changed. Yes this is ridiculous. I proceeded to self check out and fantasize about possibly stealing half of the groceries. I could tell by the way I felt that I would never make it out of the store without getting busted. So I proceeded to use my food stamp card, something that I haven’t had in 35 years. More feelings of shame, guilt, anger, low self-worth, insecurity, inadequacy, all equaling that word again ……FAILURE.
After checking out I went to the car and I opened the door of the passenger side. I quickly realized that my door accidentally “touched” and I mean “touched” the car parked next to me. I said, “oh I’m sorry excuse me.” I was not thinking for one minute that this little girl was going to try to get me for wrecking her car and for a hit and run. I proceeded to tell her to grow up, take the license plate, and call the police because I was not waiting around ……I had already been in Giant Eagle for five hours. This arrogant little girl stood with me while I loaded my car trying to get me to give her my information. As I got in the car and proceeded to drive away, she stood there with her pencil and paper writing nothing. I cried my way home and realized that I needed to get to bed because my son Nick was having brain surgery at 5 o’clock the next morning. It took an hour to put the groceries away and then I finally sat in my chair and cried myself to sleep. Don’t let me forget I did manage to pray before I went to sleep.
We spent the entire next day in Presbyterian Hospital waiting for Nick to come out of what was a seven hour brain surgery. I cannot describe the worry and anxiety that comes along with having my sons brain cut open. What else could go wrong? And I know better than to ask a question like that. I know not to test or challenge God. I know that a LOT MORE could DENIATELY go wrong!
My son Nicholas has the biggest heart of any one I have ever met in my entire life. He is genuine,sincere, loyal , loving, caring and will give you the shirt off his back. He has been struggling with epilepsy since birth. There is only ONE Nick Sugarmann. To know him is to love him.
Each day it seems as though there is more pain where that last pain came from. It feels never-ending and I can’t seem to catch a deep breath.
How do I finally put this puzzle back together again? I worked every single day of my recovery to put one foot in front of the other and “build” a new life. HOW DO I REPEAT IT AGAIN ? Stay tuned and watch it happen………..I’m bound and determined to do it again……….I’d love to have your help…….but if I don’t have any help I’m going to do it with my family and God. Stay close by and don’t bail 5 minutes before the Miracle Happens !!!!!!!