Laura and I had let the doctor into our secret. Laura was abusing alcohol.
The doctor looked up from his desk, considered my daughter’s face. He looked straight into her distressed eyes.
He wanted to know how much alcohol she consumed, and was it all wine. He asked for the size of glass she poured wine into, and where she filled it to.
Laura was not ready to share her alcohol intake. She was not ready to stop drinking.
The Doctor looked to me, and shrugged. I said she drank more than she admitted to. ‘And, what about her raging temper? Her reluctance to let go of that awful man. Could you not give her something to help settle her?’
He wrote out a prescription, he handed it to me.
Diazepam he prescribed. Valium is what he signed his name to.
‘Only five pills, it is not a long-term solution. Take one if necessary, but, looking straight at me, he said, ‘You keep the pills, not her, you give her what she needs.’
Why did he do that? Was she at risk of suicide. I did not ask. I did not want to put the suggestion in my daughter’s head.
At my house again, I made Laura a hot drink. I offered her cozy bed to sleep in.
For half an hour I tiptoed around jobs. I heard her out of bed, ready for action again.
‘Fine,’ she answered, when I asked how she felt.