Tight Rope Walker

Tight Rope Walker

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The Stories

I don't know why, but sometimes the stories of addiction in families comes in floods for me. 

I have, what I consider a good friend, whom I have not met in person, but on the ODR board.  I have written about her in my Love blog.  To state the facts.  1.  She is raising her 2 grandsons.  2.  Her son in law just graduated a 2 year program in a year.  Can you say snake?  3.  He is moving in with them this week.  Let's just say this is not ideal for her, but her husband is behind it.  4.  Her daughter walked down the mountain from the program Emily is in now.  Her daughter has no teeth.  Her daughter is depressed.  Her daughter is in an extremely religious program now, as the court said she needs to complete a 2 year program.  She is on a 10 day home pass.  5.  The religious program has adopted 10 non-fixed dogs and asked for volunteers to take care of them over the break.  Her husband volunteered to take 1.  Nobody is walking the dog and it's making messes in house and she is finding she has to keep her own dog in a cage , away from the shelter dog.  6.  Her husband is leaving today until the 4th to see his kids and grand kids in FL, leaving my friend with 2 adult semi - recovering addicts, 2 grand kids, and 2 dogs.

I am in touch with a father of a girl that actually hung out with and semi lived with Emily when she was in KY.  Facts:
1.  The dad and mom are raising 2 of the girls kids from 2 different fathers.  2.  The girl had a 3 rd baby last night from yet a 3rd father.  Here is what he sent me:

 Her mother couldn't go for the same reasons. It's incredibly difficult to see her like that. She looks about 20 years older then she is, all skin and bones, teeth rotted. Kinda reminds me of the WW2 concentration camp victims. Still talking nonsense, like she can't see reality like everyone else does. It's heartbreaking

The Police called us this week.  Facts are.  1.  We will  not get our money back from the check.  2.  Ben and his parents lied to the police and told them Emily came to their house with that check, said I had written it out for "rent" for them.  Since Ben and his parents lied and they can not reach Emily , case closed.  Real facts: The check was stolen, written out by Emily , cashed by Ben and several hours later Emily over dosed.. check the date Mr and Mrs Ben's Parents.  So sad, parents stoop to that level and engage in the addict deceit.

We got a 5 minute call from Emily on Christmas.  She was shaky.  Tired not to cry.  I think they are told not to cry and they are told not to ruin the family's holiday.  She loved her 2 gifts, in fact was wearing them already.  She got tons and tons of gifts from the facility.  Not sure why or how.. except to think they are donations and they have to get them off their "books" or "shelves".  She said it's hard, very hard.  I just told her she is doing great and to keep going and we will see her sometime around Easter.  That we were proud of her and know it's hard, but the reward will be huge.  She said she is in a talent show and that was something to look forward to.  And she loved us all very much. 

Everyone with this disease has a story.  Some more tragic than others, but all have to work thru the process the best they can with the help and support they can get.  For now, our story is on an even keel, who knows about tomorrow?  Breath, just breath I keep reminding myself. 

Friday, December 23, 2011

Holiday Cards

Since my last post, we have heard nothing.  Well, no, I take that back!  We all three got seperate Christmas cards from Emily.  I have to say, from the card choices, she thought about it.  Mine was PEACE.  Every year she would ask me, what I want for Christmas.  I would say PEACE.  What kind of peace she would ask me with her big wondering eyes as a young child.  I would say, Inner Peace, Outter Peace, Family Peace, World Peace, Country Peace.  Peace between you and your brother.  There is all kinds of peace to want.  So my card had the word PEACE cut out with a nice message: Falling softly all around you...
insert the word PEACE.  Shinning gently deep within you.  So I know she thought about what card to send each person. 

There was a short , but tear jearking note.  I also took note her handwriting was clear, good and there were not any misspelled words.  It read:
I love you so much !  Thank you for ALL your love and support through this challenging part of my life!  Can't wait to be a great daughter again.  Love and Hugs, Emily

My husbands card read:
Thank you for putting music into my life!  I can't wait to hear your band, sing with you and be a great daughter again.  Hearts , Emily

My son's card read:
Andy-Baby ( our name for him)
I love and miss you.  Hope you are doing well.  Can't wait to see you and hear all about your new exciting life.  I am proud of you.  Heart ! Em

There were all post marked on the 18th.  So we know she is still there. 

Amazing how a simple little card can make my whole holiday.  Where in the past the lack of even a homemade card had the ability to ruin my holdiay. 

Friday, December 16, 2011

Thank You all for the Support! Times already Changed...

Sometimes the Universe does have a lot of pull in the timing department!  This week one of Emily's old friends stopped by.  He and she were charged together in 08.  They both "went away" right after that.  He was 3 years clean last Aug!!!  He was in from AZ, where he makes his new home now.  This is him and his new beautiful girlfriend.

My phone was ringing... and I was like the phone can wait, I want to spend a quality 30 or 60 minutes with him. 

I retrieved my message the next morning.  3 from Emily.  Crying, choking, wishing I would pick up to help her, but knowing if anyone found she used the phone , she would be in big trouble.  I am glad I did not pick up.  For many reasons.  I was just telling her friend how well she was doing and how she only asked about him and nobody else.  She said she was thinking of leaving and the sleep deprivation was too much for her and would look up on line another program near there which is also long term and free. 

Let me tell you, my heart ached for a few minutes, the Mother in me.  Then I remembered she was an addict.  Her mind works for her benefit only.  So by us having a great visit with her, it opened the door for her to call me and want to move to yet another place, thinking it will be easier and it won't and she won't do the hard work she needs to do and moving to different places over and over again, isn't working.  I remembered she is actress.  She could win awards in that area.  I remembered she is lier, manipulator.  I remembered she is newly sober and things really don't change over a short amount of time, they change by working a program long term.. in for the long haul. 

Several people asked me why I have not called the program to get details.  Several reasons, I like that I am not active in her program.. it's hers, not mine.  I need the break.  I am sure this place is used to this and can handle it.  And I don't wanna get her in more trouble... I know she will be caught and I know they will take care of it. 

The only thing is, if she did leave or leaves, I would like to know.  I know she is capable of doing it and in all honesty, more capable of doing that , than staying and doing the hard work.  I hope they would call me if she left.  Not that I could do anything, but it's not like she is around the corner and in a place she knows how to survive in. 

So please continue to keep us/ her in your prayers and thoughts this Holiday Season.  There is no gift that could ever replace the power of prayers to keep our children safe and healthy.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The Shift

Well you can see she gained weight since I dropped her off at 88 pounds! 

I titled this "The Shift", not The Change, because I am really not sure people really change THAT much.  I think they shift.  We had Family Day with Emily last Saturday.  Just got back in town last night.  All I can say is, I cried and cried and for once they were tears of joy!

When I took her down to the program, I am driving in the dark with newly detoxed girl, so I did what I could to get her there,  I promised her if she graduated we would go dance on Jim Morrison's grave, she could have my ipod, heck, she could have my car... oh and you are still unsure, we will be there for the Christmas Family Day and if you don't like it, we will figure something else out... but please just give it 50 days! 

Knowing she holds us to our word, we discussed how we would handle it if she did say, get me out of here.  We had our plan, you have to with her or probably with any other addict.  Plan A, Plan B and Plan C. 

The first thing she said to me, was remember you said we'd talk about another place if I didn't  like it here?  Ut oh..here it comes I am thinking... she said well I hate it here!  But, I need to hate it here.  I want it.  I know if I can this do , I can do anything and have a chance at a good life.  She said it's the hardest thing she or anyone she knows has done and she is sorry it has come down to this and she blew all the cushy places she went to. 

As their website says, it's the end of the road.. the only other options are death and jail.  It's true.  I would not recommend this place as a first time program.  I would not recommend this to anyone that is not serious.  I have my own believes and I do not believe sleep deprivation is beneficial to sanity, but she is doing it.  There were a lot of red flags or things I have a hard time with, but it doesn't matter what I think.  It matters that she gets clean and has a chance at life and wants this.

They do everything for a reason, but don't question their reason.  Everything is some kind of test, even for us.  Don't question it.  I quickly learned not to worry about her, they will  not let her die and they just might reach her in a way nobody else has been able to do.

The program was from noon to 5pm.  We sat with a family that flew in from NJ.  There were people from all over the country.  At 3pm they rounded up the girls to leave and go work.  Leaving their families that made a lot of arrangements and spent a lot of money to be there.  They did not ask Emily to leave to go to work.  I said, maybe you should volunteer to go?  She said, she does sometimes, now is not the time.  They came and got 2 of the 3 girls at our table and if they wanted her, they would have told her then.  The founder came up to our table and spent about 10 minutes with us and said he believes in her, believes she wants this and they help her get it.  Then they started a graduation ceremony.  There were 11 graduates.  Let's just say, I didn't think I had anymore tears left, but I did!  We got to stay until 7pm with Emily.  I don't know if it was a test, I don't know if she will "pay" for that or what.. but like I said, they do everything for a reason, so even I had to trust there was a lesson there for her... and us. 

She is in trouble for somethings, so it will be awhile before we can communicate with her.  They call it "on the move"  Meaning even less sleep and more work.  The last thing I said to her was, quit being on the move and stay still and listen for awhile so we can talk on the phone and write. 

She has been there just over 50 days and it's her 8th program and it's the biggest shift in her that I have ever seen.  My husband is hopeful.  I can't go there, as I have been burned too many times with hope that never happens.  I am more shocked... but a good shocked!

Thanks for all your prayers and thoughts.  Keep them coming because it's a life long disease.

Sunday, December 4, 2011


There is reason I didn't become an addict.    I was talking to friend I recently actually met from ODR (opiate-recovery board),  and it became clear to me.  In between my 2nd and  3rd back surgery, I was taking percocets or Oxycontin every 4 hours and actually told to enhance it with alcohol.  If that doesn't set the ground work for a pill addict, I don't what does.  She (my friend)  felt I was just one of the "lucky" ones.  I'd like think I differently.  I like to feel in control.  I couldn't wait for my 3rd my surgery to get off those meds.. sure hand me some Lexapro for awhile, because my life as I knew it changed, but get me off these pain pills.  I walked out of the hosp.  that night of my 3rd surgery and was off all pain pills within 4 days and don't remember experiencing any with drawls.  But in my mind, the pills were for pain and and I was no longer in pain and gained my control back. 

But control is a double edged sword.  When addiction hits your child or any family member or any close friend, there is nothing you can control.  It's hard to sit back and watch the addiction control your loved one.  I still struggle with it a lot!  Let go and trust.. Yea right!  If I am not proactive for my children, what kind of mother am I?  Talk about struggle... I guess luck was on my side.. I didn't reach for my old bottle of percocets to get me thru. 

We had not heard a word from the place I dropped Emily off at in mid October.  I had called, emailed, sent a letter.. and found their facebook page, where I politely asked how I could get a hold of someone with my "business" questions.. which was promptly deleted within 4 hours.  I had no control.  No way to get ahold of anyone.  We finally got a generic letter about their "family day" Dec. 12th.  They suggested we donate items to their program... that was my loop hole... I told my husband to call and find out what donations they are looking for ( since they are not responding to me).  They called him back the next day.

Sure, I will donate some shampoo, toothbrushes, toothpaste, contact solution... but I got the information I wanted too, which was my goal.

The first night Emily was there, at dinner she broke down and cried.  She was overwhelmed with the hot food , clean bed, showers.  She thought she would be in a homeless shelter or on the street.  The out of control levels a family stoops to , to get their child somewhere safe is actually uncontrollable... isn't it?

The woman my husband spoke to is 50 years old, she completed the program a year ago.  She said Emily is their most extreme case of anyone her age.  Due to her young age, she has lived the lifetime of an addict in such a short amount of time.  Their program is the end of the road, which they state on their website.. the next step is jail or death.. and that's where my daughter is... obviously I had no control. 

Besides the normal we hear about her, sweet sweet girl, bright, such potential.  We heard a new word.  Emily is grateful.  I would never put Emily and grateful in the same sentence.  If she were sober for 10 years, I still don't believe we would hear those 2 words together.  ( made me think she is faking it, playing her game)   We heard about her rebellion.  She is struggling with the rules, all addicts do, you know they above the rules.. we know this too.  But I was surprised again about what rule she was rebelling about, clothes.  The woman said this is normal.  It's a psychological thing.  The girl addict's control.  And the place's goal is to teach them, it isn't what's on the outside, it's what is on the inside.  Emily never wore tight clothes, she never wore those shirts above her pant waist.  She has no chest, so no tight shirts for her.. but that changed in the last year or so.  I suppose dancing at clubs made her see her body in a different light or she knew if she dressed a certain way, she got what she wanted or needed at that time. And now that became a habit.

We asked if it was too soon to see her.  We are afraid she will ask us to leave there.  The woman said you would not have been invited unless we didn't feel Emily was ready.  And if she asks us that, we are to find the woman and all 4 of us will work it out. 

So my husband officially RSVP'd for he and I.  She said I thought Emily's brother was invited.  We said he was, but he is unwilling to come.  She said that's ashame, but that's the consequences of our actions and we loose a lot. 

And yet again, I have not control.  I would love for our whole small family to go, as a family unit.  But, my son is 18, an adult and he has his own journey with it and I have found if I try to control that, it back fires.

I know when I see Emily, how she feels and how she is doing and all I can control is my reaction, which might just be none.  Sometimes no reaction is best, since I have no control.