Tight Rope Walker

Tight Rope Walker

Sunday, March 4, 2012

The Grass is ALWAYS Greener

Last week, I was going to post the most recent letter I got from Emily, but I ran out of time.  Funny how things work...  No sooner than I had sat down to type the letter in Word, my phone rang, it was the area code of the city Emily is in.  It was not a number I recognized.. you all know THAT feeling! 

It was Emily.  She has changed programs.  She left the other one at 8 am and was calling me at 3pm.  No one from the first program bothered to call me, even though I requested , in writing , to be notified.  At this point, still no word from them.  I was a bit put off by this.  I told her I had just gotten her letter and she said, well my letters are lies, they tell me what to write.  I said so all that nice stuff, the common sense context are lies?  She said well, not exactly, but I couldn't tell you how bad it was.  I was being yelled at ALL the time.  I said well maybe you need to be yelled at?  I was not backing down, I have learned, it's usually not the program, it's usually her or her perception of a program or person.  I stressed the grass is not always greener.  We will only support a completed long term program for you.  Yadda Yadda.

Her points were: I am an adult, I can make my own decisions  ( haven't we all heard this before too?).  I am almost 5 months clean.  This new program is 2 years also.  It will provide meetings daily and group, which I was not getting from the other program.  I am not asking you for anything.  It is run by the woman who help start the other program I was in. 

I congratulated her on the 5 months.  I said you are always looking for the easier way out.  If you had let the first program break you and rebuild you, I believe you might have a chance.  I reminded her she is still in PAWS, this is a critical time for her recovery, as she starts to get in trouble, sabotage her recovery around now.  And, at some point, she has to quit going around the programs and go directly in the middle to get to the root of the problem and recover. 

Needless to say my husband was NOT happy.  I had to call and tell him.  He had a whole list of what we were not doing for her.  Basically cutting her off til she graduates a long term program.  He has since softened abit.

I slept on it for 24 hours.  Then I called the new program.  I will tell you what.. as soon as the girl told me, " I just love little Emmy, I wanna pinch her cheeks and hug her to death", I got a red flag.  My daughter the actress is back.. she will say, act, do , whatever she has to in a situation, in this case it was to get herself in the program.  Then the girl told me, Emily's intake took so long, she decided to take Emily on her errands with her around town.  Oh great, now Em thinks she is special. 

These are my red flags, because I know my daughter like the back of my hand. 

I understand fully and gratefully, it could be worst.  That number she called from, could have been a jail, a cell phone of some loser, etc.  And each day she is clean is a blessing.. I know all this.. as I have done my work and I have walked this path before.  I am not saying I am not grateful.  I am just saying, I see red flags again.  I listen to my gut, it hasn't failed me yet. ( unfortunately).

The girl did explain the rules are basically the same, only softer.  Instead of working 12 to 20 hours a day, they work 6 to 8 hours and include meetings and group.  I asked if the meetings were "in house" or out in the town.  She said the town.  Another red flag.  Emily is known for meeting and taking off with some guy from rehabs, meetings, etc.  The girl said, well she can't even look at or talk to a guy.  I laughed... I said you have met the pro at passing notes, getting the word out if she interested.  But, here is where my work has to play into everything, I have to accept whatever she does, weather I agree with it or not and let it go.  I just told her, my daughter thrives in strict environments, as much as she rebels against them, it is where she makes the most progress. 

She said in this program if they get in trouble, they will put on "move", but there will be a beginning and an end.  So if she caught using a phone on the job, her move will be 1 week, where as at the other place, you could be on your 6th move and not even remember the first reason you got in trouble, no beginning and no end. 

I asked if she knew if Emily left because she got in trouble, or did she get kicked out, or did she leave on her own accord.  She said on her own accord.  She said she packed all her stuff up the night before.  Nobody said anything to her then.  She announced at breakfast at 7 am she was leaving, nobody said anything and by 8 am she was across the street with us. 

I had put an opened ended credit card at a Walmart for her to get glasses and or contact.  Her contacts are from 12/10 and they are 2 week disposal ones..  If you remember last year, we got her this for her birthday, but she never went back to pick up the contacts, as she was running from the law with 6 felony warrants out for her.  I was working with the other program on getting her an eye appt.  This new place has picked up the ball and will be taking her to get that. 

She will be give credit for time served at the other place.  She has to complete their 30 day , no contact and then if she isn't in trouble , we , she, can pick back up where we left off.  We can send any amount of birthday gifts and stuff to her at any time. 

There are some things that hit me.  I am not into numbers or dates too much.  But this girl, whose name is Kelly too, said, this is Emily's 9th program and she isn't 21 yet!  I said I know, and maybe the 9th will be the charm, as she has the number 9 tattooed on her hairline, for her life number.  She asked when Emily was turning 21.  I said April 12th.  She said.. oh wow, that is the anniversary date for this program, we are having a big celebration.  Maybe those things will work for us/her this time??  I know, I am reaching for straws! 

They called me with an update on Friday.  Emily is doing "ok".  Said she is stepping up and taking a big initiative in the house with work and group, showing leadership. 

So it is more contact than I had with the other place.  I am still not sure the grass is greener, at some point, it has to come down to doing the work, not avoiding it. 

But, for today, as far as I know, she is clean.


  1. Hi Kelley,

    I know it is sooo worrisome that she left. But.... this program sounds much more reasonable. It sounds strict but not punitive. I pray that she will work the program.

  2. One day at a time, even for the parents, siblings, friends.

  3. With 5 months clean I believe she has made huge progress and has some clear thinking. This program still sounds strict with rules that she may thrive on. I am very impressed that she moved by herself to another program. She didn't go get high.