Tight Rope Walker

Tight Rope Walker

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