Sunday, March 1, 2009

The Monster

Do you guys remember a few days ago when I did that Message From the Universe Tag and my message came as an inconvenient truth from the novel Crank :

I told you then, the monster is a way of life, one it's difficult to leave behind no matter how hard you try.

Well the monster personifies drug addiction.

One of my students thought I might dig these books, Crank and Glass by Ellen Hopkins because the whole story is written in poems.

And dig them I did. Ellen Hopkins is so good that you will hide them in your scripture bag so you can read them during Sacrament meeting.

But you will feel dirty reading them while listening to talks about eternal families, especially when your 10 year old starts scolding you because he sees a naughty word.

Even when I wasn't reading them during Sacrament I felt like I needed to jump in the shower.

And not because I've gone to bed with the monster.

I've never even gone to first base with the monster.

I wouldn't even hold hands with the monster if you paid me a million dollars.

But I lived under the same roof with him for many years. I shared a bathroom with him.

I shared my father with him.

I used to dream about the wicked Kung Fu Chaos I would inflict on him if I was big and strong and powerful. In my dreams I would throw my dad a light saber so he could take that monster down.

But in real life the monster took him down. At only 36 years old.

I wish the monster would stop pushing crank and glass and crack and push something like cracked wheat.

Wouldn't it be awesome if cracked wheat was the drug of choice?! Especially for us Mormons. We've got the grinders and the mixers and enough wheat stored to keep the whole world high on life through any emergency or natural disaster.

I probably still wouldn't indulge because I hate cracked wheat, but I am trying hard to get hooked on cream of wheat. My husband doesn't believe I can do it and everytime he sees me eating it he says, "I know you're not enjoying that, I can tell."

It's not that hard to get hooked on cream of wheat if you add some applesauce and then some brown sugar and then some milk and then some more applesauce and then a little more milk and then don't let it touch your lips.

But back to the monster. . . I know it's not fun to talk about him, but we can't just pretend he's not there.

He's everywhere.

And even though I've never been addicted to him, he ransacked my stone cold heart anyway and left a gaping hole right through the center.

I never filled the hole with drugs, but I understand addiction. When Huey Lewis said might as well face it, you're addicted to love, he was talking right to me.

Love addiction can be an agonizing beast (especially when you have a hole in your heart). That's why I keep my heart on ice so I don't fall off the wagon. 

I can't wait until I'm rich and famous and powerful so I can become a heart surgeon. I'll use the invisible red thread to sew up all the gaping holes in everyone's heart. And then I'll iron a patch on just to make sure it holds (you never know with invisible thread).

And then I'll buy every kid battling the monster not one, but two light sabers.

And I'll buy every parent a red cape and a pair of stretchy pants so they can protect their children.

And then, just for the helk of it, I'll buy everyone who has ever suffered at the hands of the monster a Jamba Juice. A Peenya Kowlada. Go LARGE! With immunity boost.

Since I've been reading these novels I've been thinking a lot about red capes and stretchy pants. I mean what if I can't protect my kids?

The other night after New Beginnings I had my daughter to myself for 3.5 minutes on the drive home so I thought it would be a good time to address the issue.

I wanted to be subtle, yet direct. Firm, yet gentle. Discreet, yet obvious.

I wanted to speak softly, but carry a big stick.

"BTW, " I said to her, "you know how you used to be scared of monsters when you were little and I told you there was no such thing as monsters?"


"Well, I LIED! There IS a GINORMOUS SCARY monster under your bed and he'll GOBBLE YOU UP WHOLE if you look at him."

"Uhhhh . . . okay . . . " she stammered.


I think it was just what she needed to hear because she sat in stunned silence before saying, "Maybe you ought to go get yourself a van down by the river and do some motivational speeches."

I thought that was sweet.

I think if I keep screaming this message at my kids every morning when they wake up and every night before they go to sleep, they won't do drugs.

(Now I just have to think of a way to keep them from doing love.)


Sandi said...


Sandi said...

I don't know what is so gol-darned important about being first over here, but I just know that my Sabbath will be better because I was. I should be getting ready for church right now but I came to take a peek here first- and now I feel like I can go back to bed and skip church all together because I have heard a great message right here. I could let my little darlings sleep in so that they don't yell at me when I tell them to get up and get ready and then I could tell them about the big scary monster that is under their beds waiting to gobble them up if they look at them. It would be a good Sunday indeed. I don't know what it feels like to have lived with a dad who did that battle, but I know how you feel living with the fear that the monster will come calling on your children.It is my greatest fear! It's good to know that I now have a cape and stretchy pants to help keep him away! Thanks for this post- and I guess I'll go get ready for church.

Lara said...

And this is exactly why I am terrified for my kids to be teenagers. It's a frightening world.

Word Verify for this post: toxifyi. I don't know how blogger does it, but it can sure come up with some pretty darn apropo word verifiers.

Shelle-BlokThoughts said...

WOW...that was sort of deep and I got the message...but I laughed about not letting your kids do funny!

I vow also that if I get rich and famous I will purchase one of those life sabers for those kids dealing with monsters and share in your giving...that's hard.

This will be my kids bedtime story tonight! :)

Love ya



nevadanista said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
nevadanista said...

I think you're going to a fab Sab Sandi!!!

Wow Crash, excellent post! I can't imagine that everyone hasn't been touched by the monster in some way. I fear my children being gripped by the monster without strong testimonies because sometimes, even that isn't enough. Sometimes there's nothing that is enough, which I've sadly seen in my own family several times. Here here to light sabers all around! I'm going to have to check out those books because Sacrament meeting can get a little boring :)

Yay! I can't believe I won the Caramacs :) This is going to remind me of my lovely grandmother. She worked for United Airlines back in the day, and would always bring home lots of macadamia nut packages that fliers would get on their flights to Hawaii. What do I have to do to collect this delicious prize?

Thank you

Nutty Hamster Chick said...

I know it seems like I have been missing out here on all the partying going on. I have been trying to comment and my dang internet problems keep not letting me. So know that it is not that I don't LY, K.

And thanks for the red cape and stretchy pants. I so need them. And I know it can't make it better but I am sorry about the hole in your heart. I hate it when that happens.
Happy Sabbath.

Emily Anne Leyland ( Art-n-Sewl) said...

That was deep and inspiring to hear how you talked to Tatum about the monster.

I also find it so interesting to hear that you don't like cream of wheat. As it is my breakfast of choice, I am going to say we are NOT related. :)

Blogging Mama Andrea said...

I have yet to have the talk with my kids as they are so young but we have had the talk about how bad smoking is. It's hard to know when to say something without making them scared.

I like cream of wheat. A bit of brown sugar or chocolate chips, mmm!

The Crash Test Dummy said...

My verifier says womet. Cream of wheat does not make me want to womet. Are we still related Emily?

I actually do like cream of wheat so there. As long as it doesn't touch me lips. hee hee That's not true either. That's just what my husband says.

Sandi I'm so glad you're first. I hope you have a wonderful sabbath now.

YES, the fear is real.

NHC, I've MISSED you, but glad you have a good excuse. Thanks for the sympathy, you funny lady.

Lara, I can't believe my verifier says toxify. Seriously, what a chicken skin moment.

Shelle, I thought you may have been in Vegas yesterday watching the bull riders for your 30th.

Sandi and Nevada just send me your addresses and I'll send you some caramacs.

And Andrea, you are so right about wanting your kids to get the point without scaring them. That's why screaming it into their face is the best way to go.

hee hee

oooh, I feel like I'm going to womet now because it's fast sunday. I always get that way when I'm hungry. I could really use a cream of wheat hit right now.

So said...

I'm still living with the monster. It has it's claws into a brother, a sister and a niece. I hate the monster. I wish there were light sabers out there that could slay that big, ugly, terrifying thing and banish it to the nether regions of Galacton Five. *sigh*

Anjeny said...

I guess I should go saw off the legs of my kids' bed so the monster doesn't take up residence under there...LOL.

Ok, joking aside...this post is really deep. I'm sorry about your dad. Having six older brothers, alcohol was a major part of their lives, I don't know why but my mom's theory was as long as they were drinking the stuff within here eyesight, she's cool with it. It's when they did not come home at the time she expected them that she worried, and usually would stay up all night worrying.

I never liked the stuff and usually get upset with her for letting them even try it though. Fortunately the only drug that was on island was weed and drug addiction was not a big issue. Now that I'm a mom and we're living right next to a drug gathering place for the bums here, I worry a lot.

I like the way you shouted it at your daughter...I do that to my kids all the time, the teenagers. Their response is usually, mom, you need to take a chill ironic, I'm yelling at them about drugs and they're telling me to take drugs.

Thanks for the post Crash. I hope over time that hole in your heart will close up a little. I don't like cream of wheat, but I'll eat it if I don't have anything else to eat, plain or doctored up.

springrose said...

I think the Moster wants us to be afraid, that's part of his plan. And I am afraid! But I know if I do all I can as a parent the Lord will take care of the rest. I pray for this each day!

Stephen said...

Beautiful! I loved it.

I am LoW said...

Great post. Interesting, indeed, how we all have our own shtuff what we lived through and so we have our own worries b/c of it. Ya know?

Sandi said...

I am a giver. I am going to donate the caramacs (that I didn't really win but that you were going to send anyways) right back to you so that you can use them as a substitute for that nasty cream of wheat- sounds like a MUCH better breakfast to me:)
I did have a good Sunday and I even had a nap and I just went to KK's link and watched David Archuletta and it made me remember how much I liked him- what a great voice! Laughing my head off at Anjeny's kids wanting her to take drugs..hehe

Heidi Ashworth said...

Those monsters are pretty darn scary. Since alcohol addiction runs in my husband's family, I taught my Big Guy when he was a much littler guy to never smoke or drink or take drugs or "YOU WILL DIE"--before he even knew what it was. Or so I thought. When he was about four we were watching Star Trek TNG. Captain Picard had a drink and Big Guy promplty burst into tears. He was pretty sure the captain was going to drop dead in front of our eyes. Now he takes a boatload of drugs every day and we give it to him willingly. In ice cream. Life is crazy.

val of the south said...

Cream of wheat - comfort food of my childhood. A little sugar and milk...yum! And to really gross you out, when I had fevers, I'd want it chilled so it congealed in the bowl (now the thought of that makes me want to womet!)

Fear, the bonding glue of motherhood. I really worry about my middle one, who is only 11, but she is such a follower, and wants so desperately to fit in and be liked. She is showing glimpses of independence, and finding out friends aren't always what they seem, thank goodness.

So sorry about the hole. You're doing a good thing using your hole, not pushing it down and trying to pretend it's not there. It heals a lot better that way.

I don't have a big hole, just lots of little ones I sometimes try to plug up with cream of wheat!!

And by using my new Neti Pot (thanks Alyson) I found that I have holes in my head! It is a source of entertainment watching water pour in and out of mom's head. A good time was had by all!

Jami said...

Cream of wheat with salt and butter, quite thick, with a few clumps if I've got the time to make clumps. Mmmm!

Love addiction is no fun. [Love me. Love me. Please love me. Here if I do this will you love me? How about this? I know you keep saying you love me, but...I need more love. What if it runs out? What if you go away? I need back up love. You love other people more--admit it! Ad nauseum.] Of course, I don't know much about it personally. Because other than the two alcoholic fathers and the absolutely conditional love from my mother, my cup of emotionally healthy love overflowethed from birth.

I've told all my children about the addiction issues in the family. I haven't tried the monster method. I think I'll give it a try.

Ellen Hopkins said...

Glad your student recommended my books, and that they spoke to you.


The Crash Test Dummy said...


Imagine you're talking on the phone to your MIL and you're eating flaming hot crunchy cheetos so your face is already kind of on fire and then you sit down to lazy dazy check your comment box and then SUDDENLY you see that ELLEN HOPKINS, the author of the books you're reading has left you a comment.

HOLY HELK!!! Can you say fire extinguisher???? Seriously imagine your face bursting in flames.

Is that all it takes to get famous important people to notice you? Drop their name and they'll come to you Across the Universe?

Who elses name should I drop?

How many times did I drop Johnson's name? He probably doesn't google himself. He probably just surfs all day and plays with Curious George.


I never heard from Bo Bice or Jack Black! Jack BLACK JACK BLACK JACK BLACK!

Don't try this at home peeps, it's dangerous.

And yes, Jami, I can tell you don't know the first thing about Love addiction. No wonder I love you so much.

wendy said...

That's some deep stuff. Anyone who has experience "drugs" on any level, understands that devestation and being stripped of "self". My 34 year old son has battled drug and alcohol abuse since he was 18. We had family home evening, we had family prayer, he was taught--THREATENED--sometimes it happens and you wonder WHY!!!! It has been my most painful experience as a mother.You constantly wonder "where you went wrong" and "how did this happen". But he is --right now--7 months sobriety and that is a Big Deal. But, life will go on. And as for the saddness of "love" ---sheesh, makes you wonder how we make it through this life.

T said...

At dinner tonight I was asking my kids all sorts of questions... cutest kids in school (only the 4 year old would answer that), what they were planning for their birthdays, etc...

The 9 year old asked why we always had to talk at the dinner table...

My Answer:

So you don't grow up and do drugs of course!

Martha said...

Where can we get Cream of Wheat cheap around here? You know when Stephanie moved she left me with this 5 pound bag of the stuff. She kept it in the freezer so the bugs wouldn't get it. Well my kids loved it. So where can we get it in huge quantities? I think we'll have to travel to Utah to some bulk store and stock up.

I guess I know my J is not doing drugs because he can't peel his eyes from that Runescape screen. And here I am complaining that he need to get out and do something. I should just be glad he's home.

Kritta22 said...

I'm sorry about your hole. I got some extra strength thread over here that we can double over the invisible kind. You know, just in case.

Helping you carry your bucket.

Kritta22 said...

Oh my heck on all things moldy!!! Ellen H was here!! Crash, you are a superstar!!

WV-myclob--my club, that's what I'm going to give if I become a gazillionaire. Clubs make more of a satisfying thud when smacking something, don't you think? Connor is getting a club tomorrow, just in case.

Is it too early to start yelling at my kid now?

Kritta22 said...

I am sorry about your dad.

I have a post that I wrote tonight about my dad. I didn't post it cuz it's kinda touchy. I gotta think on it awhile.

You made me realize that I can store some thoughts up in "edit blogger land" and not having them swimming around in my head.

Kritta22 said...

My monster isn't drugs. It's alcohol. I try and try and try to stay away from that stuff but it finds it's way into my family. It has nicked my marriage, eating my dad's head off, shot through my parents marriage, destroyed some great friends and globbed up a bunch of respect.

I don't have much respect for that kind of behavior...drunkeness.

Kritta22 said...

By the way, I'm back.

Did you notice??

i heart you crash!

Kritta22 said...


I thought of you for a whole hour today, even before I got on the internet.

Jack Johnson's concert in Hawaii was on TV tonight. Connor and I listened and watched while he sang his little ole heart out for some kids and their schools. Love that.

Kritta22 said...

Oh and some big beautiful chick sang with him with her little guitar. Any man that isn't worried about having some skinny, blonde-hair chick up there with him is okay in my book.

I heart him now too. But my heart for you is bigger.

Kritta22 said...

I think you are going to be seeing a lot of me this week. My hubby is working 12 hour shifts all week. Poor guy

Kritta22 said...

I have only gotten Sandi's fabric. FYI. It's beautiful.

Kritta22 said...

K going to bed cuz I gotta call the gas company at 8 in the AM. Yeehaw!!

Sandi said...

Was that REALLY Ellen Hopkins? Did the universe REALLY tell her that someone was over here talking story about her? I'm impressed!
Good to see you Miss Kritta!

The Crash Test Dummy said...

my word verifier said munmeth. I decided not to comment in that box seeing as the munster meth was trying to get me to look at him.


So I changed to a new box and now the verifier say difying. I am difying gravity--the natural way--with cream of wheat and V-8 floats. That's more like it.

Kritta, I'm so happy to see you back. Now if April and Funny Farmer would come back life would be bliss.

Heart you too, Kritta. (And you too Sandi). And I have a big stack of fabric to send you. I'll post about it today. I'm going to post on all three sites today--If I can squeeze it in--my poor brain is all clogged up with too much to say.

But first I gotta go teach my class.

The Crash Test Dummy said...

That really will be difying gravity if I am able to post on all three sites today.

SWIRL said...

you know that comersial where the mom wraps her kids in bubble wrap? That's how I feel every morning..

Alyson (New England Living) said...

Loved this post, Crash! I hate that you went through that with your daddy. 36? Holy cow! How awful. I'm sorry.

I hate the monster too and have never tangled with it, but I get the whole addiction thing. Life can be painful and so many people need to numb themselves. So sad. Can't imagine being Heavenly Father (or Heavenly Mother, for that matter) watching a bunch of his children willfully submitting themselves to the monster.

All that pain people inflict to one another, He has to watch. Makes you wonder, sometimes, how becoming gods ourselves is really a reward.

By the way, did not forget about your email. Will write you back soon.

The Crash Test Dummy said...

Aly, I forgot about my email. I can't remember what it was about. Sorry. My brain does not retain!

Hey, I should write bumper stickers.

So true, Alyson. So true. I wanted to get serious for a sec and say thanks to all of you who related and shared.

Wendy I'm so sorry about your son. I can't imagine how horrible. I wish I could send you a magic quilt right now. I can't imagine the agony of watching your kid go through that. I hope I don't have to face that agony, but I know there will be others. It comes with the whole love package.

And Sandi, I AM sanding you Caramacs so send me your address.

Kritta, I love that you think of me when you watch Jack Johnson.

Mariko said...

Okay, this comment box just went gold and here I am to ruin it.

OMG, I totally thought Robert Palmer came up with that line.

I know I'm late to this post, but it's kind of amazing, and I thought you should know.
Are you saying in the future I'm only going to have my daughter to myself for 3.5 minute spurts?
This is really making me second guess having more kids.