Tight Rope Walker

Tight Rope Walker

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Believe or not Believe- Christmas with Emily

Warning: This post will be long!
Our plan was to get her Sunday. Have a nice Christmas dinner with her and spend the day Monday with her, getting nails, hair done. We are leaving tonight or tomorrow for FL without her.
Her friend that Od's recently, is now in jail. Her Mom texted me telling me that the girls had seen each other recently. There were pictures of them on A's phone. In the pictures A has a nose ring and she didn't get that until after Thanksgiving. All texts had been deleted. So I thought of a plan. Because this information was timed so badly for me, as I was getting Emily for our Christmas.
I picked her up after her work. We were on the road a few minutes, I said let's get the unpleasant stuff over with and I asked when the last time she saw A. She said a long time ago, I have not seen her since I moved from Wooster. I said time to be honest. There are photos of you on her phone, recent ones, she has a nose ring, she got that after Thanksgiving. I said she is in a lot of trouble and the court order her phone to be turned over and they are getting all the texts. Emily said, A, got that nose ring a long time ago, her Mom didn't know, she took it out. I don't care about the texts or anything, I do not communicate with her and haven't for a long time.
Then she said, who are you going to believe? Me, whose almost been sober 1 year or a girl who OD and is not sitting in jail? She said I am trying so hard to show you by my actions. I got a full time job, I am getting benefits soon and paying my rent, doing the right things. So who do you believe? I thought for a second.. I said neither. She said good answer and you shouldn't believe either, but I do want to see the good things I am doing.
I said I have a real hard time believing you have been sober for year. And I wish you wouldn't say it if it wasn't true. ( pictures on Facebook w K loco in your hand)
We get home, haul in her laundry, her boyfriend appears at the door, we all have a nice dinner. I can tell you, I do believe she was not using. There are little things that lead me to this belief.
She left her purse laying around. When she is using, it's attached to her
She wore short sleeves, no marks on her arms
She took off her boots and coat, not hiding things
She was naturally funny, animated
She took the initiative
She did her own laundry
She whined , in her normal way when she didn't get what she wanted instead of blaming us
She verbalized how grateful and thankful she was
So Monday I had a 9 am physical. My Dr's step daughter went to the same charter school Emily went to. I wanted them to meet, since my Dr knows all about Emily and the "players". They met and chatted a lot. Then Emily left the room and my Dr, said hard to believe such a polite, intelligent, articulate girl choose heroin. She said that seems the new heroin type now. And she proceeded to tell me, last week one of her patients was in the waiting room and got a call her son died, OD'd. He had agreed to go on Suboxen and they were planning that treatment the next day. He thought he'd have his last party before starting and he died. I just said, thank god she was in a safe place and I just can't imagine getting that call... ever.
So we headed to get our nails done. That was pleasant. Went to lunch before her hair appointment. Our lunch conversation revolved around addiction. She said the last rehab she went to made the biggest difference. It was "gehetto". It was the bottom. She was in shock she had reached that point. It was not the 550.00 dollar a day place. She could not believe she had ended up at the end of line in her short life over a drug. She said they made her write a good bye letter to heroin. She wrote it and they said it lacked her soul. They made her do it again, and again and then yet again. They made her look in a mirror for 30 minutes without saying anything.. just her and mirror. She looked at that person and realized she wanted to live, she deserved to live, not have a drug take her life.. or leave her with no choices.
Then she told me, she found out everyone at the Beacon House wanted her out. The women, the staff.. wanted her gone. Her counselor L, fought for her to stay. They were sick of her whinny entitlement attitude. They never had anyone so young there and they said she was bringing the house down and not taking recovery seriously. L saw something in her and wanted to keep working with her. She said if it was not for L and EMDR, she is not sure she would be where she is today. She said much later , when she was living in the Salvation Army, there was a woman and baby. The baby was L's grandchild. The woman had a one night stand with L's son... resulting in a baby. This woman told Emily she was just like L's daughter. Nose piercing, guitar always in hand or writing songs and poetry. L never talked about her family or her history. She said it clicked why L fought so hard for her and she was very grateful.
She said somewhere inbetween the "ghetto" rehab and EMDR, something clicked. She said she was a very powerful relationship with God and I would be amazed at all the work she has on paper about God and her spiritual self. She still works hard on that.
And, she feels she out grew heroin. She said now that she has freedom, she is considered an adult, she can go to bars, parties, etc.. it does not have the appeal to sneak out and use. That she has allowed her brain to heal and being rebellious was stupid, but she realized it too late, addiction had taken over before she knew it. She said Mom, it sucked so bad to wake up trying to figure out how to get the next fix. It's horrible to steal and lie to people who love you. That's not me, the heroin was talking. I was a prisoner to it. It ran my life, it had the power I gave it. She said I have to watch it and never let a person, thing, drug, place, take my power. I am aware of it, because I have a healthy brain now. She said she felt drugs had stunted her growth. She said I am flat chested, I am little, like I am stunted at 14 years old. She said she hopes to fill out, physically and she knows her brain is healing. I was going to ask about cravings and such, but she beat me to the punch. She said I am not saying, I don't think about it at times. But I know 1 time will result in my death. She said, I just talk to God and ask Him to take those thoughts from me. She said how many times in her life she has "oh 1 time won't hurt" and it did. She has to always remember that.
Do I believe her? I do believe she was sober for the 2 days she was with us/me.
Someone asked me if I was walking on cloud 9. No I am wasn't, no I am not now.
I am neutral. I think I have worked hard on my emotions, boundaries. Her failures and successes are just that.. hers. I can not and will not let them rule my self.
I do know she is a wonderful actress and lier. Second nature to her.
I do know she appeared very sober while with me.
So I am choosing to believe and not to believe, neutral. I am comfortable there for now.
So now we are headed to Atlanta to see the Cavs and then Palm Beach to see my Mom for Christmas and then Orlando, just my husband and son. Stress free as I told her bluntly.
Have a wonderful Holiday! I know the Holidays are so tough for those of us with addiction in our families.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Dry by Augusten Burroughs

Dry is a memoir written by Augusten Burroughs. He also wrote Running With Scissors. I just finished reading it. I had taken a break from reading addiction books for awhile. But when I saw this book on the shelf at Goodwill for 1.99, I couldn't pass it up. I have always wondered why Emily can make it about 9 months and then relapse. Like at that 9 month mark, something goes wrong. I just couldn't understand why? From all I read and hearing Dr. Phil say it over and over, it takes about 30 to 90 days to change a habit, so by 9 months, certainly the bad habit has changed. Not so with Emily. Here is what Mr. Burroughs wrote about 9 months.

" At work the next day, I feel edgy and worried and frustrated and angry and sad and confused and relieved and every other emotion on that damn rehab feeling chart. Sometimes, a few feelings collect and have a sort of party in my head. Then it seems they all leave and I have no feelings at all. I remember in rehab someone saying that nine months was a turning point. It's like the seven-year itch. I think this must be because we have nine months programmed into us from our time in the womb. After nine months we are ready to make a dramatic change. Be born, or go get drunk."

He obviously relapses... very badly.. for quite awhile. What he learned after the relapse, as he explained to his friend going thru it, was this:

" You're suppose to go to a meeting. I mean , as much as you hate them or if they feel stupid or you just don't want to go. The thing is, if you go to a meeting, you won't drink that day. It's like a minibrainwash. It kind of fixes you for the little while. But then I say, "of course if I'm really wallowing in self-pity, then I will tell myself, ' Pighead, (his best friend who died) would give anything to feel this uncomfortable right now.' So there's always the auto-guilt trip method."

I get it. I understand what he is saying. I get he is using the tools he's been given now. His relapse taught him, meetings , meetings, meetings. How come our kids don't get it? I wish I could gift "getting it" for a Christmas gift, instead of a coat or gift card.


Thursday, December 9, 2010

Still some innocence-Take the Long Way Home

There are those times, when I just want the moment stay, not to pass so quickly. There are those moments, where my mind wanders to the worst, like I have been trained that way, like there is a hidden a meaning.. and I am luckily reminded, there is still some innocence in my life.

Tuesday night my son, Andy and I went to the Mall. He had a few things to get for Christmas. On the way there, he said he wanted to go to Victoria Secret to get his girlfriend a gift. My mind went to the stories I heard from my friends who had 17 year old boys... they found VS his/her oils, body lotions in their bedrooms. My son wanted help picking out a "Pink" hoodie or sweats. She likes the Victoria Secret Pink things. Whew!

Then he told me, he and his best friend decided it was the year to exchange gifts together. They put a 15.00 limit on it. Where does my mind go? Condoms. Cherry swizzlers to smoke. Know what he wanted to get him? A big box of Milk Duds, his friends favorite candy and some funky sweatbands and sweat wristbands. Whew!

We were driving home and there lots of Christmas lights up. This town goes all out. He asked me : Mom, do you ever take the long way home to look at the lights? I said : Do you? He said oh yes, I love them. I remember when we younger you would take us all around town to look at the lights. We remembered the night we ran into Shawn Kemp at a light display. He was, at the time a Cavs basketball player. He had, what I called a tank as a car, but actually it was the first Hummer I had ever seen. We remembered going to the "rich" area, known for their light displays.. and seeing a boy about his age now, dancing into a mirror in his underwear like Risky Business.

I said to Andy, to answer your question, I do not take the long way home to look at the lights anymore. After 40 plus years of looking at lights, I do not think about it anymore. But let's do it now! So on the record low cold night, on the way home from Mall, my son and I took the long way home to look at the lights.

I was reminded there is still some innocence. I allowed myself to stay in that moment and cherish it. I was happy it wasn't about VS lotions, potions, oils, condoms and cherry swizzlers.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The Holidays

The Holidays - for those of us with addiction in our families, it can mean a bad four letter word. I believe this is where the AA saying "fake it til you make it" comes in. You press on. You go thru the motions.

Ever since 9-11-2001, the Holidays have lost their spark for me. I believe it is the same year my youngest child was told by his best friend there was no Santa. But the loss this country suffered that fateful day, took the spirit out of me. Or maybe it was preparing me for my future Holidays with Emily.

When we moved to Columbus, I was between all the family, so we all met here. I hosted. I am not a jolly person before hosting 20 to 30 some people. I am a Virgo, so perfection was a must and that put a lot of pressure on myself and my family. I will say though, once the day was here, the good times and memories are worth it.

I was faking it , til I made it. Holding my breath no crisis would occur 20 minutes before everyone was to arrive.

I am surprised nobody noticed , at the time, my Parma tree that one year. If you are not from Cleveland, you will know Parma from Drew Carey. My tree was a little white 25.99 tree on top of a table with the value pack of 6.99 for 30 multi- colored glass balls. If that doesn't scream crisis mode, I don't know what does. About this time of year, that year, Emily tried to commit suicide. Needless to say, I was not in the Holiday mood.

Another year, we were sitting in the therapist office 2 days before, doing some kind of intervention, for what, I am still not even clear on. Then there was the school suspension, for skipping, last thing a Mother needs before hosting a bunch of family, is a defiant teen child at home while trying to get ready. But, whatever the situation was, resulted in me learning to "fake it til I make it", which by the way, is something I am still trying to master.

Last year, there was not faking it, I could not make it. I look back and I realize how sick I was, physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. I owe a big thanks to the wonderful folks at ODR, Opiate, Detox and Recovery Board. There were quite a few others that had been where I was and so helpful in getting me thru. To the point of calling me on Christmas day and chatting with me for hours to get me thru.

Emily had stolen our credit cards and checks right before Thanksgiving. Went to jail. Then went to live with her dealer b/f and his family. Admitted she was having fun using and had no intentions of quitting. I was such a downer, my husband and son went to see the movie Avatar, who knew it was one of the longest movies in history! That left me alone on Christmas day. Not good. I called Emily to come over. She was making demands, that her dealer b/f should be able to come too. He was her protector. He didn't want her coming to her family alone. Did he think we would beat her? Abuse her? Looking back, we might have unbrainwashed her, that was his fear. After many phone calls, she decided to agree to come alone. My husband and son came home from the movie. Needless to say, not a good thing. My son went to the basement, would not even sit at the table with his sister. I, don't blame him, as I was hanging up her coat, there were needles coming out, which lead me to look in purse, more needles... last thing you want to find on Christmas day in your child's coat. They still freak me out, needles. There was no faking it, I was not making it.

I was not "making it"... so bad, that by Feb, I was physically sick. I was laid off my job, due to poor health. Go get well, I was told. I still do not have my job back, due the economy now. But, it was a slap in the face, a wake up call, it was the turning point of me saying, I can't help or support you, I have to take care of myself. But, I can't say, I am making it now either, even after learning all that. I will tell you why I feel this way. I believe I have made much progress, this all hasn't been in vain, BUT, I am still "faking it". I am going thru the motions. I could care less what I buy for my family for Christmas, I could careless what I receive.

You want to know why? Because there has been another crisis. I won't write about what it is, for 2 reasons, it really doesn't matter exactly what it is , and secondly, it is not my story, but Emily's. BUT, it is something that has put another dark cloud over the Holidays, separated my husband and I on what to support and what not to. The bottom line is, as long as he keeps supporting her financially for her mistakes or crisis's, she will not learn, she will not become an independent adult who can solve her own problems.

This comes after our Thanksgiving. Emily was 3 hours late. Turkey's don't wait. I faked it that day too. I listened to what every parent wants to hear. She told me her friends have told her all I did last year to save her. That I worked tirelessly, that I love her so much. One friend told her I was the last person he had texted with before his car accident and he remembered thinking, he only wished he had a mother that loved him like I loved her and she was so lucky. She thanked me for all I have done, she had no idea what was going on behind the scenes. And look how far she has come in a year, she was at Thanksgiving with her family.. what could be better? She said Grace at dinner, it was long, I don't remember all of it, but I remember, something is "off". That Mother's institution.. a nagging feeling in between her words of being sober for 10 months.

The 3 of them decided to go to Blockbuster for a movie. I saw her purse sitting here. I went thru it. Nothing. I didn't believe it, I went thru it again, check the lining for a hole this time, nothing. Breath. Exhale. I went to the counter and saw her phone charging. I looked at the texts. Guess what? Oh come on, you know you the answer as well as me. Texts from her dealer b/f from last year. Drama, swearing, crap. Texts about standing on the corner waiting for grams, oxy's, X. Texts on buying up all the 4 Loco's. Texts about how she thought there was arrow on the work schedule and she was really off on Thanksgiving... that she had been moved to work on Black Friday. You know the excuses.. you've heard them all, as have I.

What did I do? I wrote the names and numbers down. My son noticed I was "off". So I told him, I should have. But you know what he said to me.. you know and I know and that all that matters. Get rid of the numbers, there will always be more numbers, more dealers. Don't waste your energy. He was/is right.

So this year, the 3 of us, my husband, son and I are going on vacation for Christmas. We will be with my Mom in Palm Beach, who is so excited, surprised and happy we are coming. She has called me 3 times going over menus, gifts, schedules. I hope I don't fake this year, I hope it is sincere and just what we all need.. Mom and Grandma to brighten our day.
Happy Holidays

Friday, November 12, 2010

There was an OD and the chick is dead

This was a text my husband got from Emily's old landlord.

There was on OD from Heroin in Emily's apartment and the chick is dead.

I immediately thought it was Emily's current apartment! But it was her old apartment.

My husband forwarded this to Emily and I. Emily said.. it's Aarica ( her best friend at her program, and like a 2nd daughter to me).

I speak regularly to Aariaca's Mom on the phone.. we work thru our bad days together, we share information, we pray our kids make it thru another day with their disease. It never occurred to me Emily was speculating...

I called Aarica's Mom. I asked if she had talked to Aarica that day.. I said more importantly, in the last hour.... she said no. I asked if Aarica was working.. she said no... Then, shock took over me and in most indelicate way possible.. I said... They are saying Aarica is dead... I said this 3 times to her. .

She made several calls to the police and hospital.. no one would give her any information.. thanks Hippa laws... Aarica just turned 22, she is an adult. But, don't get me started on that fact parents will get the bills and have the do not recessitate power... but not the power to find out what's going on with our child.

I spoke to Aarica's Mom most of the time she was driving to the next city where Em's apartment was.. I didn't have the address and at that very moment Emily's texts ran out.. so I was guiding them in from memory... nobody there.. they were off to the hospital. She got a text from Aarica's boyfriend.. she is dead.. DOA.

We hung up..and I sobbed.. sobbed like no tomorrow.. sobbed thinking that this could have my daughter.. sobbed that world will be missing a beautiful girl , with the biggest smile and brightest eyes when she is sober.. sobbed for a family that will never be the same...

I went into overdrive. I called Emily... her phone worked, but not the texting... I feared this would put her over the edge...and wanted her safe at home. She agreed to come home... and I would take her to work the next day at 11 and then head up to be Aarica's Mom. I am pretty good at answering my kids questions, lots of practice. I also pride myself on my talent to be able to change the subject quickly without them realizing it... but I could not do it this night. I could not answer Emily's questions, I could not comfort her in the way I should be able to, because I was hurting too. I could not switch subjects, because this one was heavy, all around us in my car.. not leaving... So I was honest... I don't know Emily.. I just don't have the answers.. we are both in shock... there is no right or wrong... this is raw pain.

Aarica's Mom told me, she would call me as soon as she knew what was going on. I knew from Emily... that there were 3 people in her old apartment. The boy shot up and OD'd, the other girl was reviving him, while Aarica shot up.. She shot up while the boy was Oding... Something went wrong.. and Aarica was Oding.. the girl called Aarica's boyfriend.. he came and held Aarica as her tongue was hanging out and blue , her eyes rolled back in her head.. she quit breathing.. He, thank god, had the sense to call 911.. because the other girl was just worried about getting in trouble.

3 and half long hours went by.. and Emily and I prayed... I said.. I gotta call.. I don't want to bug them.. but if they are at the hosp still.. maybe that means she is alive?? I called, I was transferred to the ER , good sign... ER transferred me to her area.. Aarica's Mom answered.. said she would call me soon.. but yes, Aarica was alive and getting ready to do a tox screen.

Aarica's Mom called me, we talked til 2am. Aarica arrived at the hosp as DOA.. their Minister was there reading the last rights and they were working on her... they had cut all her clothes off.. and they were reviving her... She had peed and pooped.. so I guess that does happen when you die.. they were shoving forms in Aarica's mom hands.. saying they have no idea what the brain damage will be, she had been dead for so long, quite possible she would be a vegetable. If she signed the forms, they would quit trying to resuscitate, or if they got her breathing, she could have the plug pulled. She did nothing.. shock.. and Aarica came around...

Of course Aarica doesn't remember anything... she was not in a good mood... and against Drs orders she left the hosp in the gown and went home to her boyfriends house... they were worried about broken ribs from recessiting.. and other injuries. But she is an adult and left with her boyfriend.

The story went.. Aarica and her b/f had a fight the day before. He happens to have a local 15 year old girl preg.. due any day now.. he was texting her and would not let Aarica see the texts.. so she left and knew Emily's apt was empty and stayed there for a night or two. Aarica is on probation. Her b/f is on probation and the other boy in the apt is on probation too. They were all given this program or treatment instead of jail and they all got kicked out, just as my daughter was.

The other boy was hauled off in hand cuffs from the hosp.. 5 warrants, going to prison

Aarica's b/f had a dirty test the week before and left for jail the next morning

Aarica met with her PO the next day.. told him everything.. technically she should have gone to jail.. but didn't. Which leaves her mother in a bad situation... she wanted her in jail... and only those of us with addicts know jail can mean good things for our kids.

But by the grace of God, she is still with us and has a chance to reach her potential.

I have to say.. I have heard of Od's... such a tragic loss.. but I have never actually never known the person.... my adrenalin was on overdrive for 2 days... it wiped me out...

My husband said he could not get the Neil Young song out of his head.. the needle and the damage done. I could not get the song by Billy Joel out of my head.. Only the good die young.

I woke up the next morning.. to notice a friend of mine from high school died. I read the obit.. he had been in AA for over 15 years.. he touched a lot of lives.. was a special needs teacher for middle school students. This didn't make sense to me... I found out later in the day.. it was ruled a suicide.. and his 12 year old son found him in his car in their barn. I hope he found he found the peace he was seeking and I hope even more his family and 3 kids can find peace and some sort of comfort.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Standards Vs Expectations

I am confused between standards vs expectations. The reason is because I watched Dr. Phil yesterday. Related to the Mother's statement on her daughters drug use. She said, she found a pipe in her daughters car and she expected her to experiment and try misc drugs.

Dr. Phil said... My my, how we've lowered our standards as parents.

Then went on to say, not all our kids experiment, etc.

It got me thinking... In my Polarity classes and thru therapy, I learned to get over my expectations of my daughter or other people. Because they are just that... MY Expectations. People, including my kids, husband, family, shouldn't have to try to live up my expectations. So I worked my butt of on that... let go of expecting my daughter to go to college. Let go of my expectation of my daughter staying in a program. Let it all go.. Let go that my husband will not be on the same recovery path as myself. You get the idea...


When Dr. Phil says, how we have lowed our standards, I get confused. Again. Does standard mean, within the laws of society only? So it's illegal to do drugs, per society, so if our children experiment and we are ok with it, then we have lowered our standards? Or is it an expectation of ours that our children don't experiment with drugs? Not all that "experiment", go on to be addicts. So, I guess my confusion is directly related to having an addict child.

And some of my confusion is because, again, thru therapy, I learned at a certain age, we as parents, are no longer our child's biggest influence. Having said that, whose standards are they? The parents, or biggest influence on kids, their peers?

Take away addiction. Take my son for example, who is not an addict. Make it simple. We walked into 5 Guys for dinner one night. This girl that worked there, basically yelled across the restaurant to Andy... HI ANDY!! He barely looked up, claims he nodded to her, but I didn't see it. So our dinner conversation was about his reaction or lack of. I told him, I don't care who it is, but when someone acknowledges you like that, you should be polite and say hello. I felt your behavior was rude. He had his list of excuses as to why he acted the way he did. But, my expectation or standard of him is to be polite, no matter what. You don't have go do something with them or text them, but you can lift your head and say Hi. You never know, you may need a job some day and she is the doing the hiring.

Another simple example is the simple words: THANK YOU. I was a stay at home mom for a lot of years. That meant, I was the driver of many kids for many activities. I can tell you 90% of the kids do not say those 2 little words, Thank You. After the kid would get out of my car, I would say to my kids, why do I do this, if I am not even thanked. I , there's that word again, "expect" you to say Thank You to any mother that is driving you, feeding you, letting you in their home. I expect that. That is my standard, that's how I raised my kids. And I can very assured, tell you, both my kids say it to others now. Emily explained it to me one day. She said, Mom, not all kids are raised the same way we are. They do not know to say Thank You. So those words are not a standard or is it an expectation (?), in most families. I can also tell you, my kids both thanked me for driving their friends around or after I had their friends over to play and took them home, I heard Thank You from my kids. They know I am a stickler for that.. or that I expect it.. or that it is my standard.

So are our standards or expectations different when we had a child that is addicted?

What is the difference between standard and expectation?

I welcome feedback.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

My Old Feelings are Coming Back :(

I have worked really hard to detach, let go, move on , be present, , I know I wear myself out. Willing myself not to be involved, set my boundaries, take care of me. You know the drill.

But every once in awhile, I slip back. I go to that place where I say to myself.. I wish.. I wish I could have what they have. They being a Mother and Daughter to have "normal" relationship. To laugh, to do something together, to have quality time. For me to surprise her and say, let's take a day together and get our nails done, have lunch, smile and laugh.

In the beginning, I could barely go to the grocery store or Mall without being jealous of other Mothers and their Daughters.. it was too much for me. Times I did go out with a friend, and they would get a call from their daughter.. and it wasn't a crisis or drama, it was just normal everyday life.. I didn't and don't have that and it hurts. I am not normally a jealous person, so this was a new feeling for me. I had to deal with it, work thru it. I have and I continue to.

BUT, there are days when the old feelings come back.. and I wish I could have "it". As much as I hated it when my daughter went in my closet and borrowed something or I'd find a pair of my shoes in her room, or one of my necklaces on her bathroom counter.. that is normal and I would take it now. I would welcome it.

Maybe I am feeling this way because I talked to my sister in law ( the sick one) the morning and she mentioned these cookies she saw at the cancer center and she was thinking of making them for Christmas. They are cookies I have been making for years.. the Ritz crackers, peanut butter in the middle , dipped in chocolate.. I have it down to a science. I told her I freeze them and Emily used to eat them frozen. Maybe that started my feelings..the memory.

Maybe because I logged on facebook and I saw my friend and her daughters kind and funny posts to each other... and I got sad. I am still sad.

Maybe because the Holidays are coming up and people are shopping for fun, non necessary things for their girls and I will be thinking of a grocery store gift card up until that last minute for Emily.

It scares me I have been focused on letting go, that I could slip back to wishing and being sad so easily. And what will I do today? I will stay in the house and isolate, so I don't have to see any happy normal Mother's and Daughters out and about. I will work thru it alone.

I can love my daughter and I can do something with her, that is enabling, BUT, she won't take it that way. She will see it as a window of opportunity and I have enough recovery time myself to know this is not a possibility.

So today, I am sad, I have wishes, I have shattered dreams and hopes again. But you know, I know I have to accept it and I know tomorrow is another day.

Well I have to get outside and grab our umbrella and chairs , as the wind is kicking up to 70mp and businesses are shutting down. I will go thru motions of daily life, one foot in front of the other.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

We have an unknown Grandson

Yep Yep, it's true, we have a grandson.. unknown to us. Life sure provides us with never a dull moment around here.

My husband got an email on Thursday asking he was related to Christian. The radar goes up.. he did reply and said.. who is this, why do you want to know, but yes Christian is my son.

Christian is my husbands son from a previous marriage. It is another tragic story in our lives, in which we spent many hours in therapy and many dollars in trying to be a part of his life.
We were told over and over , by the best, being attorneys, judges, Fathers for Equality, turn the other cheek, pay your outrageous child support and move on with your lives. Easier said than done.. but in the end , we had no choice. His Ex moved to Philly in the middle of night, according the neighbors, her attorney didn't even know where she was for a long time... that was the beginning of the end.. we sent airline tickets to get him for our visitation time and she wouldn't put him on the plane. We would drive the 12 hours there to spend a weekend with him, only to have a sign on the door that would read " Come back next weekend, we have decided to go to the shore this weekend".

The last time we saw him, my husband got a call from the Philadelphia Police station. They had Christian and he and his Mother were fighting, fighting a lot .. that result in destruction of property, cars, each other. Would he come get Christian. His Mother was crazy and they were sick of dealing with her. It was suggested , in order to save the boy, we should file emergency custody. I had 2 little ones by then.. taking on a 12 year boy, who, had a lot of problems would require, a big commitment, but I was up for the challenge, it was now or never I told my husband. Ednia, my husband's ex mother in law, had always been my life line to Christian. She and I talked all the time.. She always wanted him with us. She agreed to testify against her daughter.. so we proceeded. You know that saying.. blood is thicker than water? When push came to shove.. she bailed. The judge told us.. sure you can 2nd mortgage your home, fight this woman with all you have... but bottom line.. he is 12, he can pick who he wants to live with and they always pick their abuser.. they feel responsible for them. Wow, that's a hard concept to comprehend... very hard.. I knew nothing about accept the things you can not change, but, that was my first lesson in it. That also was the last time we saw Christian.

I still kept up with him thru Ednia. I would anonymously send things he need or wanted for school, like the 8th grade t-shirt, yearbooks, etc. If his mother had known it came from me, she would have refused them, and he would do without.

The story alone, the drama, the magnitude, which at one point involved me being on the local news with moving squares on my face and the President of the National Organization of Women accusing me of giving my husband, then his ex wife, VD, herpes, genital warts.. is just one little example of the stops she pulled to keep getting an outrageous amount of child support because the judge made a mistake and she lived in a different state and we would have file to get her back here and chances of her showing up.. were nill.

I had less money to raise my kids a month than she did for 1 child. But, that was ok.. I knew karma was a bitch and I could hold my head up and have comfort we did the right thing. He was turning 18 and my husband called the child support office to have that cut off. Oh no they said.. it's not until he graduates... well that's ok.. I will just tell the catholic school, I will catch up on kids tuition in 3 months, after Christian graduates high school. Apparently, my husband's ex knew the laws too, she made sure he couldn't graduate in June, but had take summer classes. So we paid thru Aug.

The last time we saw him, as I said, he was 12. The last time we heard from him, was about 6 years ago. (seems like yesterday, but I checked the calendar). He was in a bit of trouble, spent time in jail and needed help.. He need to go to trail , have a job, have a place to live and show he was paying child support.. that was grandson number 1. We knew about this one. I suggested to my husband, he get on a plane, give him the tools..being a suit for court, work boots for his construction job, etc. But, no, my husband sent a cash money order... not for a few hundred dollars.. but a few thousand. I guess that was easier...

We have not heard from Christian since. I did locate him on myspace years ago.. and he definitely looked scary, his friends list looked like guys I would not want to meet in a dark alley at night. I can't remember the slang words for jail and stuff that they used on their wall of myspace... but it lead me to look him up on the free records site... yep .. still in custody... many many charges.. acts of terrorism, deadly weapon, intent to sell contraband's, public intoxication, failed drug test for probation, not showing up for probation, etc. A mean dude.

Then Thursday, my husband gets this email. I will tell ya what.. my response was.. I am not surprised, it was only a matter of time and this probably won't be the last time some girl comes out the wood work to locate us. I took matters into my hands. I am in protect mode. Protect my husband... because of all the hurt he has been thru with his first son.. it took years of working thru. Protect my son, as he is innocent from all of this. Protect myself, I can take no more hurt, drama or crisis.

Instead of emailing, I gave her my cell number. She called. We talked. She said she wanted to go Ireland, where she is from and finish her degree. My goal was to find out her intentions, what does she want? Why did she feel the need to find and contact us? She "seems" like a nice girl. Single Mom raising a son, he is 5.5 years old... cute age. She works full time, has a 4 year degree, wants a phd, contributes to society, etc. Has never met, nor does she want to ever meet my husband's ex, has nothing to say good about Christian, except she felt deceived by him. She told me he is a crack addict and angle dust addict. He is a dealer. At one point she had hope for him, but now she realizes he is too far gone. She would like to meet and have us meet her son.

Here is what I said: We had Christian yanked from our lives, it took a lot to get over that, and you never really get over it entirely, we can't have that wound reopened. I have a daughter, I have lost and mourn daily. To meet you and your son and have you move to Ireland, is not something we can do. I am in protect mode.

Ya know what? She agreed. She said what I was thinking.. well lets all just sit on it for awhile and I will let you know my decision about Ireland soon, as I have to make that decision soon for Spring Quarter.

I said, perfect. I want you to know thou, as far health, if you son ever need bone marrow, or records.. I will gladly provide them and I know we all would contribute that way. I will be glad to give you any history of the family you want, as I know it.

Only people with an addict in their family will understand my next thoughts. People come into our lives a certain time for a certain reason.. I believe that. I have had these bad thoughts of my daughter.. we all know, drugs kill. One over dose can do it. One accident. One more theft will put her away for awhile. Maybe this boy was brought in our lives to provide joy from the hell that might be around the corner for us. I don't know.. I don't have a crystal ball.

As I said, never a dull moment here...

But for now, we are all "sitting" on it.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

I am Ok, Whatever Works for You, I am Still Here...

All recent blog titles by fellow bloggers that have children that have addiction issues. It also about sums up how I was going to title this blog entry. Because...
1. I am ok
2. I agree with whatever works for you. While it may not work for someone else, if it works for you... great.
3. I am still here

My husband had another eye retina surgery today. Seems like it went better than the ones in the past. It's still his eye, and since both eyes have detached retinas, it must be taken seriously and instructions to be followed. This does not come stress free, especially for him.

On the Emily front. I really wish I wasn't so "sensitive" , intuitive, or have the Mother 6th sense. I try to avoid it, ignore it, pretend I don't "feel" something. But, I have it and I acted on it. I called Aarica's Mom last night. Aarica was Emily's best friend in the Beacon House program. She told me she kicked Aarica out about 3 weeks ago. As she had gotten a call from Aarica's work saying she was not in any condition to be working. Due to the fact she was using.
I am not good in math.. but it doesn't take much to add 1 + 1 = 2. Emily has been hanging out with Aarica again for the last 2 weeks.

I have not, personally , talked to Emily in a long time. My husband speaks to her daily. I get messages or calls from others about her. Even thou, I say, I don't want to know... and remind them she is an adult. But, here is the way it stands, as I know it. She is moving back to Columbus. She has been down here the last 2 weekends without contacting us. She has found a place to live, some guy, who is one of her girlfriends, boyfriends, friend. Since she has no friends here, or should I say, since she only knows drug users here, you can add up to where she will be living. She does not need any money ( go figure). She does not need help moving. ( go figure).
So let me do the math 1 + 1 + 1 = 3.

I was asked, today, by a good friend, what am I going to do when I get that call she needs help, she needs a program. In the past, I have been ultimately organized, plan A, B and C. Phone numbers, contacts ready. But, I had a hard time answering that question today. I am not sure I answered the question.

Because today
1. I am ok
2. It is working for me, what I am choosing to do
3. I am still around

For today, all things are how they are suppose to be.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

My Space

Among the normal craziness of raising teens, add to it an addict teen... life as you knew it or wanted it is out the window. It's taken alot.. to find "my space". I have worked hard .. very hard.. and I can't say my work is done, I don't think it will ever be. Someone suggest I print and read my thread on ODR. ODR is the Opiate Detox Recovery board. The beginning of this blog is from there, as I was trying to transfer it all over... But, they wanted to point out to me, how far I have actually come. I am glad I spent the time rereading .. because I have found "my space".

What "My Space" is to me:

* a place where I decide what I let in and what I don't

* gives me peace, that I don't have to engage or I can engage

* doesn't judge me and tries like heck to not to judge others

* gives me comfort

* sets my boundaries

* keeps things in balance for me

* keeps me going

* keeps me safe

* calms me instantly

* is a necessary part of my recovery and health

* gives me hope

I have found that, maybe, I was given this journey to find "My Space". I am not sure I would found it otherwise.


Saturday, October 9, 2010

Help! She Is Pulling An EMILY On Me!

This is a statement from a phone call I got from a friend of mine, S, yesterday. The thought has been with me. Awhhh so there is now a name for what our addict kids do..It's called "doing an Emily". For some bizarre reason there is comfort in that. Maybe it's that I am not alone, maybe it's that someone is listening to me and recognizes the signs, maybe it's that I can lending an ear to someone else in crisis, I don't know..

S's daughter has reached rock bottom. Charges, Felonies, Detox, thin, sick, sad. After detox last week, she is waiting.. waiting for a warrant to turn herself in or a court date for a judge to decided her fate, jail or a 2 year rehab.

This is where Pulling An Emily comes in.. it's those in between days. Those days waiting for a bed or a phone call back from a program or a court date.. that limbo time. That critical time... where the blame and bargaining starts. Where the scheming, justifying, half truths, their truths, come shining thru.

This is when a parent realizes how bad really it is. Beyond logic. There is no logic with an addict in this state of mind. This is when our radar goes up, we can "babysit".. but if they want their DOC, they can get it. This is where you can not waiver.. I told her. All the begging, pleading, compromising, schemes, justifications... can not have any impact on you. Hold true to your bottom line.. This is where you will check the phone call list, do searches, watch every movement, this is exhausting.. but you can not engage or waiver.

This is where you realize just how much love you have for your child. This is where you look at your adult child and feel so terribly sorry for them, they didn't want this, they are hurting, they have a disease..and it's taking them down. This is also where, they can manage to get you angry, anger you never thought you had. This is where if they know they are leaving as soon as a bed opens up, they might as well, have that last hurrah.

Pulling An Emily is an awful place to be.

My friend said to me, Kelly, I have learned such so much from Emily and your journey, it has been invaluable to me when dealing with my own daughter. I hate to say, "well, good", I am glad our story is helping someone else... but if that's what comes out of it, and saves another, it's all good.


Friday, October 1, 2010

Does It Ever Go Away??

At this point in time, I don't think it ever goes away, even if I was on vacation, without a cell phone, I don't think it goes away. But no need to worry to about a vacation because kids cost too much money and probably soon, no need to worry about a cell phone, because kids cost a lot of money....

The worst possible out come for my son. Lost 50% of his sport. What coach wants a student only 50%?? Lost his title of Captain. Lost his dignity and respect.
Awhh but we have a friend who is a lawyer. I don't know what kind of deal he would or could give us, but he feels we have case. Kids cost a lot of money.

Spent the day touring a State College for my son ( Ohio University). Beautiful day, weather, with friends, etc. And then.. the presentation.. the clubs, the help, the dorms, the food, the games, the tuition.. 22K for year. Oh that's right... kids cost money.

On that phone I probably won't be able to afford anymore.. came a text from Emily. I got a letter today.. I don't understand it. I am being named as tenet of Apt C in a foreclosure suit. By the way, heat is included in my rent and the heat is not on. My refrigerator broke and my landlord/owner is not answer his phone. ( maybe it's turned off, like mine will be soon) The county is going after the lender, owner and tenets for tax leans.

Will this require a lawyer? Will this cost us in loss of deposit, first and last months rent? Probably.

Oh lets not even go into what to do next with her. I say she can't come home. I also say, we can't keep affording to set her up in apartments or programs. I can't even go into how I feel, because deep down, I don't know if she is been sober. My husband believes 100% she is and has been sober, but wouldn't be surprised if he is wrong.

At this point, I don't think it ever goes away, no matter how far I went or how I tried to be unreachable. And Kids Cost Money.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The System is Wrong

That's a loaded title, because I feel the "system" is wrong in many way when dealing with addiction.. brick walls everywhere and real help is missing and after care is nonexistent.

But this is not about the addiction system per se, it's about the school system and drinking, drugs.

As you know, my son was charged with having beer in his car. He blew clean. He made a mistake. Alittle background. 2 years ago in October we went to Family Day at Emily's therapy school. We found out she was emailing her old boyfriend. We were upset, all over the board. But, we were watching our friends son, while they were up in Michigan for the Mich State / OSU game. The boys said they were at a fellow swimmers house for a movie and bond fire. This was the norm for the Sophomores.

At about 11pm, my son came flying thru the garage door. I asked where his friend was. Andy said.. there is a problem, a big problem. He had drank 14 shots of vodka... wasn't breathing and was being dropped off at the Hosp. I can't tell you what that feels like.. shock, every one of my body systems went into overdrive at once. I had to make a phone to his parents, up in MI. A phone call that no parent wants to make. I was shaking.

The vodka turned out to be Everclear. I thought that was a music band. I looked it up. It's like grain alcohol and is not sold in our state, but you can buy it on the net and have it delivered to your doorstep.

They put T ( my son's friend) into a coma. They had no answers as to if he would make it and if he did make it, would there be brain damage? I had Andy tested and he tested clean. That's all I needed was 2 boys laying there. There were machines, tubes, and lifeless body laying there. I had Andy stay in the hosp room with me. I remember it was a nice new Hosp, a pull out couch, that had never been used. I remember being very cold. I couldn't warm up. I remember T coding out and having like a seizure and the nurses shouting words and putting the paddles on him. I remember praying and praying. I remember watching the clock, 2:05 am, 2:09 am, all the way to 5:38 am when T's parents arrived from MI.

I remember T's Dad telling me he was going to the swim coach. I didn't remember he was going to name my son. But he did. So we sat thru 8 weeks of Drug/Alcohol classes as parents and high school students. I remember thinking.. I could teach this class. They are not asking the right questions, they don't have a clue, etc.

I remember them telling us, if my son is named in anything else, a party, a situation, he will loose 20 to 60% of his sport. I remember telling them, then you set him/us up to do the wrong thing and tell him to run. He can't be named. Your system is not set up to help the ones that do the right thing. What about the cheerleader who broke T's entrance hall closet and threw up on the bathroom rug? Nothing happened to her, she wasn't in any trouble or situation. But my son was and he blew clean.

So now I find us in the same situation. My son blew clean. But, he will loose 20 to 60% of his sport, probably his title of Captain. Guess what? T was there too, but he is not in trouble. In fact none of the other boys are in trouble.... because they ran. Because their parents told them to run and they would take care of it.

I will be honest here, I told my son to run to the next neighborhood and I would pick him up. My husband said NO, he said, get here and talk to the police. Do the right thing. Andy did that. The police were impressed with him. He is polite, articulate, on the ball, etc. But that didn't get him anywhere fast. He is taking the fall for all of the boys.

So tomorrow we meet with the school. To decide his fate. I am going to go on record again and tell them, their system is failure and is set up to teach the kids and parents to do the wrong thing. This is an example of how doing the right thing, only hurt my son in the long run.

I will add, that I do not agree with my son's choice. We took care of it and are still taking care of it in house. He made a poor choice. I will also add, that my husband now wishes he had told my son to keep running.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

It's Just Pizza, After ALL

A friend of mine, whose daughter is an addict, called me this AM. Her daughter is getting close to admitting she has a problem and is close to considering detox and long term rehab. You know how the prospect of jail enlightens them a little more quickly...but anyway, she wanted her Mom to send her a pizza, as she had not eaten in two days.

That brought me back to my feelings exactly one year ago today, when my daughter assured me she was really considering going back to her sober living, but she was hungry and could I have a pizza delivered to her bedbug infected hotel room.

What is it with pizza. Why do they ask for that, when they are so close to doing what we want so badly?

The scene was: I was sitting at dinner with my son and then we were headed to the Mall to get his Homecoming clothes. My husband was out of town. My phone rang, it was Emily. I should not have answered it. She was chit chatting, I am impatiently waiting for the real reason for the call. I said , several times, "listen, this is not a good time right now. I am having quality time with your brother and we are at dinner and heading to get his Homecoming clothes, can I call you later?"

That sparked her response. It's always about him! He always comes first! I am down here struggling and hungry.

My son is sitting there shaking his head, saying no, don't do it Mom.

There went our quality time dinner together.

But, I listened to him, I said no Emily, I am busy right now.

I have to say, it felt good. No one wants their child to go hungry, especially me, who feels a good home cooked meal cures all. BUT, she would not have been hungry IF she had gone back to her program, IF she had made other choices. I could hear my Reiki Master in the back of mind, let those bed bugs bite, let that stomach growl with hunger.

Emily made another call after the one to me. To her Dad, who was out of town, who ordered them a pizza. "It's just a pizza" after all.

My friend ordered her daughter a pizza last night. "It's just a pizza, after all".


Thursday, September 23, 2010

No News

I don't have a lot to say , tell or report, as I have had no news from Emily. She doesn't call me. I can certainly tell you what that means from the past... she knows I know, so she doesn't call me.

I really don't want to report or give the news that my husband paid her rent.. but he did. Claiming the job she was suppose to get has not started and she will pay us back. Well since I know this company and I have placed clients there, I know how they operate and I know they don't make you wait 3 weeks after telling you , you have the job to actually starting the job.

I really don't want to tell you, people told me to check out her facebook account, because she "defriended" me... and they are worried... that she has announced she is "in a relationship" with Pete, the homeless alcoholic guy, the one that was the reason she was kicked out of her program for. That there are pictures of them, comfy and cozy with captions like "we are just sleepy heads"...

I really don't want to report that my husband doesn't want to know about it and refuses to even think he is paying for a love nest for her.

I really don't want to stress about:, no IOP + no meetings + no job = you know what.

So to sum it up, I am liking no news, no frantic calls, no crisis's, no drama. No News is not going effect me, in fact, I had a great day with a good friend of mine at the Outlets.


Saturday, September 18, 2010


I am not sure if I mentioned, but my husband goes to AA. Has for over a year. I don't know if it was incident, or a way to relate to our daughter, or feeling a need to belong somewhere. I can tell you, when he told Andy and I at dinner one night, our initial response was of laughter.. we quickly stifled those and went into our own thoughts about it. Andy and I have talked about it together, we share many of the same thoughts on it. How have I been married for 20 years and not know? How did Andy have a great father for 16 years and not have a clue? That's the biggest.
I believe AA has fueled my husbands ego vs knocked it down a few pegs. Because now, not only does he have his Phd intelligence to argue with, but his HP, so he never has to see another side of things. I have not gotten involved in his Recovery. I have not asked anything. I have enough on my plate, and this is his thing, not mine.

We went to dinner with our friends, their son is Justin, one of Emily's old best friends. Justin did wilderness, 18 month rehab in AZ. He left a week after we sent Emily to therapy school in 08. Justin happens to share the anniversary date with my husband. Justin 2 years , my husband 1 year.. The reason I just gave this background information is because they KNOW. We are each others support... and have been. Anyway, my husband met us from work. He said down visibly upset. He knew the feedback he would get from us, but he told us the situation of his AA meeting.

He is chairing his home meetings every Friday in September. He chaired the meeting that morning and only 1 person was getting a coin. A young girl 30 days free of Heroin. So there is something the chairperson has to say at the end which has the word the alcohol in it and my husband added drugs. He said alcohol and drugs. ( thinking of the young girl who just got her coin for being 30 days free of drugs) I guess this is a big No No.

His sponsor came charging at him, he still saw this visual several days later. His sponsor said "stick to the script!" "you let your ego get in the way". My husband is stammering around, saying I was including all these others that used drugs.. His sponsor said "they are guests here". Besides his sponsor... many others bombarded him about using the word "drugs" in their AA meeting. Their comments were along the lines of his sponsors. "Guests" at our AA meeting. Even though those "guests" consider that meeting their home group. Needless to say, my husband was visibly upset.

Funny thing is, he had no clue. I could have told him what was going to happen with my research and being active on the ODR board. They always seem to debate that there. In fact, I have heard of some AA talks that people have given and they will flat out tell me, when I say alcohol, I really mean heroin... but it's an AA meeting. I personally feel it goes against everything this organization is suppose to be about. You are only as well as your secrets...right? But we won't get into my feelings on this.

Next day, my husbands sponsor texts him. My husband told him it was the first time he ever left a meeting feeling worst than when he went in. His sponsors reply was, too bad, it was a good meeting.

This is one lesson, I don't have to learn. I can watch from the sidelines. I don't have to be politically correct. I don't have say each town is different, small towns vs larger cities. I don't have to justify the differences in his choice of organization for Recovery. But it is interesting.

My husband did not go back all week until Friday.. he will finish his obligations or commitment and think about it all until then.


Friday, September 10, 2010

Just Words??

While Emily was home for her short visit, we had many deep conversations.
How can you tell an addict is lying, their lips are moving
This has been ingrained into me. Do this mean when they are using? Or does this mean even when they are sober?

I had gotten a frantic call from a friend, whose daughter is reaching her bottom. I called her back on the way to the store with Emily in the car and on speaker phone. After they "met" on the call.. my friend went into the details of her current situation. Emily said, can I stop you and say something? My friend, of course wanted to hear an addicts side.

Emily with her, mature voice, and I have never heard these words from her, said: I would not be here, alive, or sober if it were not for my parents doing some very key things. Pressing charges against me, kicking me out, turning their backs on me when I was using. It saved my life. As long as you are supplying a roof over your daughters head, she will not get well, you are helping her die.

You could hear my friend inhale. That's a lot to take in, in 1 breath.

The other conversation we had, was tougher for me. Emily said, Mom, you have to realize since age 13 or 14 I have surrounded myself by addicts... either in active addiction or recovery. So all I know is this.. use, rehab, use , rehab, use, rehab... I have not been around "normal" people my age. I used because I did not feel "normal". I was so young when I started using, my ability to reason and know "normal" was not there and to some extend, it's still not there..yet.

Now this conversation was a result of my comment about meeting her new friends, who obviously had been drinking... that's the context.

She went on to say, normal young people can have drinks on the weekend. Can go play pool and drink a few beers. Normal people accept that when I say I am allergic to alcohol, they don't push it on me. Where as the old friends I had, would say.. just one.. it will make you feel better or offer to rush me to a meeting. I want to be normal... I am dying to be normal... I missed out on it.

The question in my head, is can a young person that went from alcohol to heroin ever be normal? Or can they be normal this soon in recovery...9 months? Nothing in this disease feels normal to me.

So are these just words? Are the lips moving to say what is normal for an addict?



Thursday, September 9, 2010

Drug Testing

Drug Testing: I hate it.. that's honest. I have been drug tested for jobs and it's the new normal in the work place now. Do I believe it should be done... in some cases...yes, absolutely. I do not want my child's bus driver using illegal drugs while driving my kids home from school.
It has become a staple in my home. Too bad Cosco's doesn't sell them in bulk, but I have my connection... ebay sells in bulk. It's like buying k-up anymore.
I got wind my daughter was using. This too is my new normal... getting phone calls, texts, facebook messages, instantly when something goes amiss. What to do with that information? Well given our history, her history, you do what you can as a parent.
Saturday night - big party night right? I got my friend and we drove up to test Emily. We got there at 12:30 am. Is this my new normal..?? maybe. I wanted a plan and a back up plan. What if she wasn't home? What if she was home and wouldn't answer. What if she tested clean? What if she tested that she used? My friend calmly said, we will know what to do when the situation arises.
We pulled on to her street. Up ahead , where her apartment is, were 3 to 4 Cop cars. You can imagine how I felt. There are only 2 red lights from where we were to her apt. I hit them both. As soon as I could get close enough, the cop cars with people in them, took off.
Being the stake out Mom's that we are, we parked away from her apt parking lot. Walked up the dimly lit wooden rickety steps and knocked. No answer. No one was there. Called her , no answer. Texted her , no answer. Was she in the back of one of those police cars?
Finally my husband got a hold of her. She called me, not too happy at all. Wouldn't let me pick her up from her "friend's house". Wouldn't let me meet them. Said it would take awhile for her to walk home. I don't like that.. because I know if she is given any amount of time, she will pass a drug test.. this was to be unannounced on a Saturday night. She called back. She said she had nothing to hide. Her friends have nothing to hide and they would be glad to meet me. So I went to get her. Yes, I met 3 guys. 3 guys that had been drinking. They were polite, they were respectful and they were obviously worried about her... as she had an attack the night before in her apartment from a girlfriend in her program. According to this girl, Emily was using, her kit was there. According to Emily, this girl was drunk and threw something at her.
So that is why I was standing in the middle of the street at 1:00 am on Sunday morning, in a town I do not know.
We went to her apartment. She still was vicious with her words. But, she did 2 things, she packed her stuff, laundry included to come home for the rest of the weekend.. and she took a drug test, which I produced with cup in hand. She passed.
I looked around, my friend looked around. The apartment was not clean, clean like I like clean. But, it was not trashed like her last one did when she was using. There was nothing, nothing anywhere I could see. This was an ambush, I expected to find bottles, cans, wrappers, maybe needles... but there was nothing but dirty laundry and a clean drug test.
While driving home, she apologized for her reaction. She said she has been working on her initial reaction when she hears something she doesn't like and it didn't work this time. She was sorry. She knows I have her best interests at hand and heart and if I have to do this to keep myself sane, she understands and she was very sorry her words were so hurtful and immediate.
She was not slurring her words, she was not acting like she used.
She is lazy by nature, so I figured, something would show up in her laundry. I was waiting, nothing.. nothing showed up but a lighter and some changed.
We shopped for small misc things, an interview outfit and my husband took her back on Monday early evening. He spoke with her landlord. The landlord said he got complaints about a fight between the girl that came to Emily's apt and that's girls boyfriend and he was putting a property restraining order on them.
We have randomly drug tested her 3 times, unannounced, she passed 3 times.
I won't tell you this give me a whole lot of comfort thou.
Tuesday morning I wake up, check my phone.. I have Facebook notices. Emily has taken me off as her friend, but others have sent me pictures from Monday night at her apartment. She is with Pete, who is homeless and the basic reason she got kicked out of her program. There is the other girl's boyfriend, who has a property restraining order against him and she is in the new shirt I got her, so it's recent.
Boys are another one of her addictions. There is no test for that, but is Facebook and all the many photos they think are so cool to post. Too bad it's not old days, when you had to take the film in to be developed, Cosco could be making even more money.
That was my Tuesday morning. Tuesday afternoon, she texted, she got a job. Yes a J-O-B. It's for a wonderful independently owned grocery store. I have clients that work at the one here. We are a bigger city and we only have one, Emily's town is smaller and has 2. They promote, they pay for school, give benefits, like a family.
It's all so bitter sweet, living with an addict in your life
Ok off to bid on some drug test on ebay

Tuesday, August 31, 2010


There are some really horrific diseases out there. Addiction and Cancer are daily in my life. I have to include addiction because our medical field considers it a disease. I honestly feel at, and I have said to my daughter, at one point you had a choice to sneak out of the house and look for your thrill.. you did it enough for it to not become a choice, but something your body needed, craved to keep going.
However, in my sister in laws case, Carol, there was no choice, she woke up one day and was told she has incurable, non surgical cancer. It's in her lymph nodes, breasts, and most recent PET scan showes in her bones. She has no choice but to die from this or complications of this disease.
But my daughter does a have a choice, she can choose to use or Recovery, to die or live.
Seems like a no brainer to me, but what do I know?? I do not have either disease, thankfully.
I spent 3 days with Carol last week. I saw a noticeable difference in her from the last time I saw her.. 3 weeks ago. She said it was the new chemo. She got all the symptoms and more. To see her sit in the chair and cry... no able to verbalize what hurt, or explain how she was feeling. I felt helpless.. totally completely helpless. To hear her say, I can't do this anymore. I don't want to do this anymore... was very difficult for me. One hand, I wanted to say.. fight Carol.. fight. The other side of me, the one that knows she has lived this way for 3 years now.. wanted to say.. don't.. don't put yourself thru this for your family, for us. What's right, what's wrong to say?
There again, what do I know? Do you choose the last chemo available to live or do you take what quality of life you might have and live for awhile? I just don't know.
I called Carol today. She is no longer at her "resort" home in PA, she is in Pittsburgh with her daughter and her daughters family, to be closer to the hospital. She said she would never go back to her daughter's home, they had learned the lesson that as parents, they needed their own space and her kids needed their own home. So for Carol to be sitting there now, I know it's bad. Her hair has fallen out. Her head hurts to even lean against a chair.. so she is on yet another med to treat another symptom.
Carol has amazed me with her fight. She believes in God. What I consider a strict Catholic. She has dealt with her hand with Grace, Faith and Love. She trusts God. I admire her.
Last week, as I was leaving, she asked me.. What happened to us? We used to be so close. I knew what I thought, which was complicated and I knew how to present in away.. that she would not feel it was her. I said.. my brother was extremely sick and then finally got his liver transplant, I was consumed with that. And , to be honest, I isolated with what was going on with Emily. Took on the old saying, no news is good news. So if you don't hear from me, it's all good. She said, life is too short and these are the times we need our family and friends... I am both to you, so anytime you are feeling bad, you call me or visit me. This is coming from woman who is touching her head with a handful of hair coming out as she said it.
Will I ever have a conversation like that with my daughter and her disease? Can I ever say to Emily, what happened to us? Can she ever answer honestly? I just don't know.
So when I say, I would not wish the addiction on my worst enemy, I think I better say, I don't wish any disease on my worst enemy. Disease is horrific... some can be managed or go in remission, some can not. But it all comes back to acceptance. Accept the things I can not change and take the good moments when they are here and accept the bad moments, because they are here also.
Please keep Carol in your thoughts and prayers. She is a very special lady to me.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

The shirt says: Got Serenity??

I guess this is not my idea of : Got Serenity

I am just sick of it all.. fighting with my husband, because he believes her when she says she did not relapse, it was just a joke. I sick of wondering. I am sick of worrying. I am sick of living my life dictated by her immature actions. I am sick to death of all the money, time, work put into rehabs, sober livings, schools, therapy to have it all come back to this. I am sick of my life being on hold, because I might have to bury my daughter.

Do you really want the details? Probably not. But this is my life with an addict, that I love with my entire being.

I put my foot down.. I told my husband no more money spent on her until we have a meeting with the counselor she says she has or her sponsor/ sponsors. I want to know what Step she is on. I want to know what she is doing for her Recovery... before I open my wallet when the rent is due.

I can't say I am surprised... but yet again, I can say, I am sad. I can say, again, what I will support and what I won't.

And best of all , I can GET MY SERENITY

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Emotions like a Roller Coaster

It's been just over 1 week and I can't say the roller coaster ride I've been on is over..yet. The update. My husband did rent an apt for Emily. If you remember I was not "pro" this idea. He said to me, you can support her or not. What a choice he gave me. So in the Spirit of the ride, I decided to try and support her.

I picked her up Friday night.. by the time she decided she wanted to do this, prayed on it, and by the time it was official, the apt was hers, if she wanted, it was rush hour. She told me while I was driving she would pack. I pulled into her town and called her.. she said... oh *hit, I have to pack. I asked what she had been doing?? Nothing came to her mind.

I went into Sals. I have to say.. it was very nice, clean, smelled like a good dinner. As we were checking her out, the worker on duty said, you know, if you stayed just 2 weeks longer we assist with deposit, rent, electric , etc. I just looked at her..another good opportunity gone.

The whole drive home, she was on her Boost Track phone.. which I found out includes Internet and Facebook. I asked her to put the phone down and talk with me, since I don't see her much and to get paper and pen and make a list. I included calling the Food Stamp place, to give her new address... because I do this my clients.. and I know the guidelines... but honestly, what do Mother's know?

We got home at 8 pm. 8:05 , her friend Justin was at the door. They planned on going to a party. Both my husband and I said NO. I said we are not ready for that and you have a lot to do. She claimed she needed to do laundry for interview clothes, etc. He left at 11:30pm and Emily remembered she had wet clothes in a garbage bag in my car. She wondered why I hadn't done it... I said, I told you could use my facilities, but I was not doing the work..

Woke up to Emily gone.. She and Justin went to breakfast at 8 am, as he was leaving for his sober support in Prescott. I smelled something... looked in the dog cage.. Lucy had gotten very sick. Come to find out.. Emily was searching the pantry late the night before.. dropped the Kashi chocolate covered fiber bars on the floor and too lazy to pick them up.. so Lucy had a midnight snack with wrappers included. So I made her clean that up too. Then I check Emily's room. I asked her to put it back the way she found it please.

I still wasn't sure if I was going to asst in moving day. Around noon , I decided to. I hit, ironically, a Sals. They had all their furniture 1/2 off. So I got a futon, because my husband thought he should buy her yet another bed, new. I got a chair and coffee table and a few lamps, that's all that would fit, thankfully, because I love a 1/2 sale at Sals! A huge storm came, most people were pulling over.. I kept trucking.. then I hit the orange barrels.. so it took me 5.5 hours to get there... by then I wasn't much help.. tired. We went to dinner at this cute tikki place.. I had fresh grouper, hard to find in Ohio. The waitress's were wearing different colored tye-dye t-shirts and jeans. And they said they were hiring.. we suggest she come back there and apply. No reaction.

She is on the 3rd floor with no a/c. Against our better judgement.. I was sent to Walmart to buy the last 3 fans the store had, blinds, light bulbs, sheets, oh about 200.00 worth of stuff.

That was 1 week ago. I have not heard from her. My husband has, I have not. But I guess he is paying the rent , I am not.

She did get a job, 10 am to 5:30 pm , 6 days a week, off Saturdays. There goes IOP. Guess it wasn't a priority.

Meanwhile, my husband left last Sunday for business til Thursday. He got back in time for our counseling appointment with Andy. The counselor basically told us.. Andy is formed. We are not his primary influence anymore. He is a great kid, he has had lots of opportunities, lots of potential and he made some bad choices. Due to us being hyper sensitive about the issue, we might digging in a place that will come up empty. Our job is to keep doing what we do. Give consequences and follow thru and don't dwell and don't be bullied into changing our mind about our consequences. Enjoy our time left with him and his Senior year.

I kept stressing.. I am worried about addiction. It's in our extended family, our family. The counselor explained to me, I can't stop it.. I can't control it... geesh those words that took me so long to "accept" with Emily. I don't like to accept that Andy is formed and we are not his primary influence... when did time fly and when will I get off this ride?


Thursday, August 12, 2010

Always that shade of GRAY

I don't know if it's just my children or all teens... but it seems as if nothing is black and white when it comes to their side of the story. I was certain they had learned in school and at home, that sticking to the facts helps get the crisis cleared up quicker. Instead, I become Detective Kelly, digging up the facts. Because nothing is black and white with either of them.

Emily is still at "SALS" - Salvation Army Shelter. The latest was that, all the girls have turned their back on her. That the politics of the Beacon House, are making sure everyone stays away from her. That she can't sleep there, the beds are loud when someone rolls, there is light, she had to spend some the 40.00 we gave her on an eye mask to block the light. She is so stressed out she can't eat. She is lonely and depressed. But she is sober. What's a Mother to do when she gets a phone call like that?? Go into action... that's what.

I start looking up sober living homes around the State. What's to keep her in Wooster, when the support I thought she had is gone. I am scrambling to get plan B or C. But remember I am tired, I need a break. So I make a plan.. call my husband to meet for dinner at PF Changs.. if we go there.. I know he will go for any plan I have! My plan was.. I am too tired to figure all this out, so she should come home. Just 1 or 2 weeks, then we can look online together, make calls, wash clothes, etc..

But in the back of my head.. there is tick tick tick.. shades of gray.. the sky even got gray.. So I picked up the phone and called one of the girls. We'll call her Linda.. Linda coined out.. got her own apartment. And Emily was suppose to get other 1/3 of the house. That didn't happen. Emily went Monday, after my husband had talked to the owners on Saturday.. and the place was Emily's and they would help her.. But when Emily went to confirm, they said NO WAY.. and their warm friendliness turned to stone. My husband made a call to the head of Beacon. He said.. what's up... this girl is trying, living at Sals, sober.. and for some reason every avenue she tries to take is being shut down.. and your organization seems to be the reason. What's up with your confidentiality?? The man calls back.. he said.. yes, Linda and another girls told the owners there were problems with Emily... I will however call a meeting about confidentiality.. that is not fair to her.

Another reason for one of the ticks in my head, was, on Sunday we called Emily on Sunday night.. we always try to contact her at 9:30 to 10:00 pm to make sure she is ok and her way to Sals or at Sals and she survived the day on the street. Sunday, she happened to be in a hurry, saying she was late.. because her new sponsor, B took her to a meeting in another city, because Emily felt uncomfortable with the girls at their meeting. I looked up the other city and the meetings.. and there weren't any.. But maybe I got it wrong?? Tick Tick Tick..

Oh yeah.. back to calling Linda.. I said to Linda.. I am really worried about Emily. I want to help, come up with some options for Emily... Linda told me the following: Emily has been missing meetings because of "that boy". Pete. Pete is homeless, living in the park. Pete is not allowed in any shelters in the city. She said, I could not risk having Emily live in the same building/house as me, as I am trying to get my kids back and I can't have all these youngens drinking. The girls from the house are not associating with Emily due to her choices. She said in fact, B has asked me to co sponsor Emily and we are having a "Pete Intervention" with Emily tonight after the meeting.
She also told me, Emily has the support.. me, B, many others.. she has to call each of us every day, has homework from us, she has rides for interviews and meetings.. she is welcome to eat, stay at either of our places.. and she went home with me last Sunday to my parents house.
I said ok, with Emily, there is always another side.. the gray.. thank you for telling me, makes my decisions easier. I said, my 2 things are safety and health, that includes being sober.
Linda said, she has all that and SALS is the best place for her right now.. because she has rules, curfew and chores and is being fed, she can live there and save money. She said I would hate to think of Emily having an apt right now, she is not ready.

That was Tuesday.

Wed. my husband had planned to go up and meet Emily and find another apt for her. We met for dinner at PF Changs and I relaid my conversation to him. I said now what do we do? He said, well I am still going, and I plan to have a talk with her. I said well, since I know Linda, and I know the program she has worked.. I am want to follow her lead.

My husband went up there. They looked at many apts. They narrowed it down to 2. They told each one they would make a decision and have the money by Friday.

So not only do my teens have shades of gray, I guess my husband does too.

Since she does not have a job or address or bank account. It becomes black and white as to how her new apt will be paid for.

I was then told Pete has been "cheating" on Emily with another girl and has moved in with that other girl. I didn't say what I think: which was .. wonder how long that will last?

Because apparently things to me are black and white and it's a sunny day today... not a cloud in the sky.