Tight Rope Walker

Tight Rope Walker

Saturday, April 9, 2011

I thought you'd be Happy I am getting my ducks in a Row

Yesterday, about 12:15 pm, Emily calls me. Said she couldn't wait to get up and call me and tell me the good news. She is taking care of herself, has a plan and getting all her ducks in a row. For a lot of us, we would immediately think, oh there just might be light at the end of the tunnel. I am not most, I take deep breath , let it out, and say calmly, ok let's hear it.

Well Mom, there is thing called HUD, have you heard of HUD? Yes, Emily, I have. Really? Wow! I didn't know about it.. anyway.. there is this girl, KD, she has a 2 year old baby and she is clean, never did drugs, really good person and she can get HUD. I can get 275.00 a month in food stamps and 750.00 in other money and we can get a 4 bedroom apt with 2 baths thru HUD. All we have to do is say we are lesbians. I will help with the baby and all.

Mom, Mom are you there?

Yes, Emily, I am here.

 Mom, aren't you happy, I am thinking for myself, have a plan, getting my ducks in row??

Emily, Hud is a federal program, you sign on a dotted line with Hud and lie, you are committing a federal crime. You can not go thru life trying to scam people and organizations. They are looking for people like you. Do you want to go to federal prison?

Well, I never thought of that. No, I don't want to go to federal prison.

 Emily, before you act, research. ( Now I get to meat of the conversation)

 Emily, they are willing to take you back at rehab. Your counselor will help, you just have to call her.

She says... well my counselor never called to tell me that! She has my number too!

Emily, counselors do not track down addicts and offer them things. They wait for the addict to show they want it. I continued to say. You have this good option. Something we will support. You and I both know, it takes a good year for your brain to heal. I saw glimpses of it at 8 or 9 months clean last summer. Not quite there, but really close. But, then you sabotaged your recovery for a guy. Like you did the summer before in FL, like you did at the therapy school, like you just did this time.

She said, that's just what I do

I said I know, and how is that working for you??

 Sigh, it's not.

 Ok then, take a year, you are bright, intelligent, get that back. Take a year, work on yourself for yourself. You are still at an age where you have the world at your feet, yours for the taking, if you just work it. You can go to school. ( She says, yes, I really really want to go to school). I said you can get your license, you can work towards a rewarding job. You also do not have do it all alone, we will support you in positive options. I can hear the wheels turning in her head.

I go for the kill. Emily, do you know who your boyfriend is? I have done some research. Yes, Mom, but let me tell you people change. You can't hold the past against someone. Do you know who is dad is? yes, mom. Well Emily, people can change, I agree, but, it has not been that long since he has been out of a federal program and already been thru 1 rehab, and you know as well as I do, that 2 addicts with no after care probably won't make it too far. And, you are in a small town, where he is a marked man and they are probably watching you now. She is about to say something, and I say, don't say it, your brain is still not healed and I am sure whatever you are going to say is going to confirm that to both of us.

 She said I understand what you are saying. Then she asks about meeting for her birthday. I say, call your Dad. She pushes and pushes. I finally say, I was willing to meet you with strong boundaries. She asks what the means. I say , do not waste my time listening to lies. No pipe dream conversations. I said and absolutely no talk about this new boyfriend.

She says I understand what you are saying... but you left me at Christmas!

I said, Emily, we celebrated with you and I spend a whole long day with you, getting hair , nails done, shopping, eating. I said where are the gifts you got? She said stolen. I said well if you had been doing the right thing, they would not have been stolen. I said, and if you really want to know.. the whole time we were together, all you talked about was your b/f at the time, what you were getting him, his family. Never once did you ask me to take you to get your brother or father a Christmas gift. You couldn't even make us a Christmas card. Or write a poem or sing a carole for us. It was all about you and your b/f at the time. Like now.. all about your birthday and the new love of your life.

She kept saying, I understand, I know where you are coming from. She said boy, this conversation turned out totally different than I thought. I woke up so excited to call you and tell you of my plans and doing it on my own.

 I said, you can't do it on your own. You have proven that. Please call your Dad and the counselor. No response. I said, I love you.. she said I know you do, I love you too.. and hung up.

I called my husband and gave him the heads up.

She did end up calling him a few hours later. He told her the same things I did. He offered to give her a ride back to rehab. He offered her support while in the program. He did say, we will not meet you for your birthday unless you choose to go back. We will send a card, maybe a grocery store gift cert.

She then asked him to call her counselor and see the offer was still good. He did. First, her counselor was out for the week, but he talked to another one, who knew Emily and the situation. He kept saying, you shouldn't be calling , she should. She has to find her way back here, not you doing it for her. No kidding we know this, but we are trying to get her to that point. They will take her back, but she will be drug tested and if she is positive, she has to start in detox and at the beginning and he said the odds are high she will test positive. He said, as she left, she said her dealer was picking her up... my husband said, yeah, she met him in your program! He asked who it was, my husband told him and there was dead silence. Then he said, well tell her to come in and we will test her and start the process.

So my husband calls her back, tells her. She doesn't say much. Then says, well thank you, I will think about it. Kept saying, I will think about it.

For now, I guess that's ok. It's about the best we are gonna get.

 Here is where I get confused. By us laying down these clear boundaries, what we will support, what we won't, it sorta feels like we are forcing her to go back and we all know , it doesn't work that way. They have to want it for themselves. I mean, yes, she has a choice, stay where she is, which I believe will have a bad ending, another rock bottom or do as we say. And, I am not sure that will work anymore. So to me, it's a catch 22. Looking around for my magic wand.


  1. oh yes,couldn't we all have and still made use of a magic wand ?? First of all,..wow,...sorry for what you're going through,of course. And what you described is just such classic addict behavior and thinking....been there, done that, so much. Our son used to call me up and say some type of thing/plan he wanted to tell me about...hoping I'd be all excited and supportive and give him positive feedback. But, so often, when he was using, the plan was so fraught with such obvious problems, that he seemed so unaware of that it was incredible. Also, the fact that it would include some type of immoral or even illegal part didn't seem to faze him one bit. That was just again, so typical of his addictive thinking. :(

    One thing I will say is that I do believe that even if you get her to rehab....through your actions to convince her to go,...that does have value, and could possibly be a positive turning point for her. I no longer believe that only the addicts that can make rehab. happen all on their own will be the ones that make it. Obviously, her making the calls and setting it up is better than you doing it,...but I think you helping it to happen is much much better than it not happening at all ! There IS always a possibility that she WILL "get it" this time, and keep recovery going and make it her priority.

    Our son is now working full force on his recovery, but I do not think it would have happened if I hadn't found the rehab., made the calls and arrangements, and bought him the plane ticket and drove him to the airport. I think enabling recovery is good, just not enabling the continuing addiction. Obviously, this is all just my opinion. And we did "lure" him with the fact that we'd help him (think $) if he then went to a sober living place vs. coming anywhere near back home. SO FAR,...it's a plan that's working for him. So, you could say that yes, we did things to manipulate his motivation for recovery...although, we'd done them before in a different way and they never lasted. This time, he came to really want his recovery to keep going. But maybe, just maybe, that can happen for Emily too. Don't give up hope, while also trying to care for yourself.

    I'm praying for you and for Emily.

  2. Thanks! I needed to hear that today! Sounds just level headed.. ya know. I think when we are "in it" knee deep, sometimes we can't see outside the box and I value those opinions of those looking in from the outside.
    I am so gald your son is doing well! I was gonna post on your post.. I am happy for all of you! Hugs, Kelly

  3. thank you Kelly,...so much. God bless you

  4. Kelly,

    This all sounds sooo familiar. Prince Charming tends to be another kind of drug. Although I do have a girlfriend who decided to give up a three year meth habit when she met her George.She said that George reminded her that she had worth. Poor George did not even know she was an addict but the story has a happy ending. They moved to another state and she left her druggy ways behind forever! A few years later she quit alcohol as well. Whe is one of the sweetest most positive people I know. She is just a good person. Transformations do happen. I keep hoping.