Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Slap A Sticky on it Tuesday!

Only Parent Chronicles

It's Slap A Sticky Tuesday!
Aaaand here we go:

















Make your own sticky notes here and go on over here, and link up your bad self!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Slap a Stickie on it Tuesday!

Only Parent Chronicles
YAY! 
POST-IT NOTE TUESDAY IS BAAAAACK!
What's not to love about ramblings and rants on stickie notes?
Thanks to Kristin at Only Parent Chronicles for bringing it back!










Make your own Post-Its here, then go here and link up!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Why I'm the World's Worst Videographer

I'm back. I'm a loser for not blogging for 2 (and a half) months, but it is what it is. I accept that I'm a loser when it comes to blogging.

I have a few things to tell you. I have news about my younger daughter. I have a video to share with you featuring my older daughter, and I have some awesome pictures of our camping trip. Oh, and I had surgery.

Today's post is to share the video with you, but before I do, I have to give you some examples of my complete lack of videography skills. So, I give you...

5 Easy Ways To Prove Beyond a Doubt That You Are Horrible at Taking Videos:

1. When the whole family is gathered on a wooded path in a favorite campground where you have spread some of your father's ashes, hold the camera on each person as if you're capturing the touching and meaningful words and stories they are each sharing about your dad, but forget to hit the little red record button and miss the whole damn thing. Then sulk and drink heavily.

2.  While coming home from a camping trip in the RV (a different trip then the one mentioned in #1), aim the camera at your daughter and her friend as they sing along and dance to Toby Kieth's "Beer For My Horses" while wearing dorky straw hats, but once again, don't hit the little red record button.

3.  At your sister's bachelorette party, arrange for your husband and brother to do a comedic male stripper routine in front of all the guests while you aim the camera at the whole embarrassing scene, gleefully thinking that the tape will be a valuable blackmail tool should you ever need it...but FORGET TO HIT THE DAMN....LITTLE...RED...RECORD....BUTTON!
       
Are you sensing a theme here?

4. This one is actually a two-fer. Yup, you can ruin two special events with one incredibly stupid action. First, agree to tape your mom's wedding. Then, agree with your husband when he insists suggests that you not hold the camera at all and let him put it on a tripod to capture the momentous event. But then, (and this step is very important) when the wedding is over with and safely taped, don't take the tape out of the camera and slide the little anti-tape-over dohicky to protect it from ever accidentally getting taped over and leave the tape in the camera for, oh, about 5 months.

This is still part of #4 above, but I'm splitting it up so it's not one huge, rambling paragraph. You're welcome. Next, 5 months later, when your youngest sister calls you to say she's going into labor and for you to bring the video camera, don't check to see what tape is in the camera, or bring extra tapes with you. Then, at the epic video-worthy moment, when the doctor is about to pull the baby out...turn on the camera, actually remember to hit the little red record button...and feel your heart sink when the flashing message says "NOT ENOUGH TAPE TO RECORD, YOU IDIOT!" I'm paraphrasing the message, but you get the drift.

Still part of #4 - Then, because you know it would piss off your sister if you told her the truth, and because there isn't time right then for you to quickly rewind the tape and tape over whatever is on there, because you don't remember what tape was in the camera, just keep holding the camera and pretend to record the never-to-be-repeated event of your niece's coming into the world, so your sister doesn't suspect anything is wrong. To redeem yourself, while the nurses take the baby to clean her up, quickly rewind the tape to the beginning and tape your beautiful little niece while she's getting cleaned and measured and wrapped, so you at least have some record of her early moments in this world.

Later, realize that not only did you miss taping the moment that your sister wanted you to capture the most - her baby being lifted out of her body - but you also taped over your mother's wedding. Then sulk and drink heavily.

And that, my friends, is how you earn the title of the world's worst videographer.

Wait, I said 5 ways, didn't I?

5.  When at your daughter's recital, where she will perform a duet which she choreographed and dedicated to her younger sister, record all the other dances she is in, and a few she's not in, but during the duet - the one dance you wanted to tape most of all - forget to hit....yes, you guessed it....THE LITTLE RED RECORD BUTTON...again!

Fortunately, there are better videographers in the world than me. The dad of one of the other dancers taped the whole show so I was able to get a copy of my daughter's dance from him (Although he missed the first 30 seconds of it, and seems to be practicing his focusing throughout the dance, and sometimes tapes blank stage, but hey, I'm the last one who should criticize another's video taping skills. I'm grateful he taped it at all, so thank you, kind sir!). 

I had to splice in the first 30 seconds from my ex-husband's cell phone video, so they are hard to see, but get past that and the rest is very clear. She did a beautiful job, from the choreography, to the choice of song, to the dancing, of portraying a family's ups and downs when dealing with a family member whose an addict. My daughter is in the light costume and her sister is portrayed in the black costume.

I hope you like it. 

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Relapse...and other things

I'm tired of writing about addiction and rehab.

So, I'm going to just say this quick, like ripping off a band-aid.

She relapsed three days after she came home.

She had her 19th birthday out on the street. I haven't seen her since May 31st. Yesterday I got a facebook notification that she friended me and we facebook messaged each other a little. Says she's "fine".

Yada, yada.

I can't talk about it anymore.

So, I'm going camping.

It started out a getaway camping trip for just me and hubby. Normally my whole family goes camping together every year, but the last 2 years, for various reasons, we haven't and it didn't look like we would be able to this year either.

But it's just like in the movie - "Plan it and they will come." So now it's grown from just me and hubby to my sister, one of her step-kids, my brother, my older daughter, and our uncle. And for us, when it comes to camping, the more the merrier, so I'm actually very happy that it's turned into a family camping trip after all.

Planning this trip has been my saving grace these last few weeks. I was intent on going somewhere we haven't been before, so I decided on the Great Basin National Park, here in Nevada. It's known for it's fascinating Lehman Caves, and for the most beautiful views of the night sky in all of the United States. I can't wait.

Our living room contains a pile of camping gear that has grown larger with each day. I hope it will all fit in the car. Hubby said we were crazy when my brother suggested doing a "dry-pack" of the car before we leave next week.

"You do realize what "dry-packing" the car means, right? It means you're going to pack the car, then unpack the car. For absolutely no reason," he says.

My brother and I just looked at him. What do you expect from a guy whose favorite part of camping is napping in the tent?

Anyway, hopefully I'll have some entertaining camping stories to blog about when I get back. It will be more entertaining then addiction and rehab stories, that's for sure. Or maybe I won't come back. Maybe I'll just live up there in my tent. Maybe hubby will have to put me in camping rehab.

What else?

Oh, yes. Remember I said my older daughter was choreographing and performing a duet dedicated to her sister? She performed it at her dance school's recital a couple weeks ago. It was so beautiful, I bawled through the entire thing and forgot to press the "record" button on the video camera so got not one piece of it!

Fortunately, the father of one of the other performers recorded the whole recital and is making me a copy. I'll post it for you. You just have to see it.

That's all I have today. Hope everyone is having a great summer.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Coming Home

When I'm really stressed out and anxious or depressed, I do the same thing an addict does. I isolate. It's funny how that works. The enabling, co-dependent behaviors are very much like the addict's behaviors.

I couldn't bring myself to blog the past few weeks. I knew I should, because I knew there were so many parents who could relate to what I was going through. But there were just too many ups and downs to keep up and I was so exhausted I just couldn't drag myself to my keyboard and put it out there.

I'm going to give the "Glee", this-is-what-you-missed-in-last-week's-episode rundown of the events of the past few weeks:

Daughter went to rehab. Daughter loved rehab. Daughter doing well in rehab. After 9 days, Daughter called mom saying how happy she was that she was in rehab. Next day while mom relaxing at movies with ringer off, daughter left rehab. Mom, step-dad, sister, and dad went looking for daughter and couldn't find her. Mom got phone call at 5:00 AM from convenience store clerk that daughter seen in area. Mom, dad, brother, step-mom go to area and find daughter. All of the prior mentioned try to talk Daughter into going back to rehab. Daughter wouldn't go. Daughter walked away. Mom's heart broke.

Next day Daughter gets arrested. Daughter tells mom and dad she's ready to go back to rehab. After 2 days in jail, mom and dad pick daughter up when she gets let out and take her back to rehab. Daughter has lots of ups and downs and calls mom every friday, like clockwork and says she wants to leave rehab. But Daughter stays in rehab for 30 days. This week, Daughter coming home.

And that's what you missed on Glee Tiny little reveries.

She's coming home Tuesday. She's scared. I'm scared. She's scared of relapsing and I'm scared I can't prevent her from relapsing.

But the thing is, I'm learning that it's her recovery. Only she can make the choices she needs to make to stay clean. She has all the tools she needs. And we'll help her get to the tools (meetings, therapy, etc) but ultimately, it's up to her.

So, I'm trying to let go and let her recovery be her recovery and my recovery be my recovery. It's really hard to do. I want to fix it for her but I can't. I want her to climb in bed with me while I stroke her hair and tell her it's ok, it was all just a bad dream, like I used to do when she'd get scared at night.

But it's not a dream. It's all very real.

I'm learning that admitting it's real is a very big step for all of us. Also, admitting that it's an incurable, but treatable disease is critical to her recovery. It's treatable. It's manageable. She has to manage it. Like diabetes or heart disease.

I have to admit that I'm still kind of a mess. I have this lump of anxiety in me that just doesn't go away. And I cry all the time. Even on the good days when she seemed to be doing well in rehab, I would stress and worry.

It's the fear. I'm afraid of all the things that could go wrong instead of being happy, in this moment, for the things that are right. I'm trying to get past the fear. I'm trying to remember that fear is just False Expectations Appearing Real. It's being afraid of things that haven't happened. It's being afraid of what's to come.

I know she has it too. She probably fears letting us down. Letting herself down. It's a heavy load for her, I'm sure.

I'm proud of her though. She did make it through her 30 days and I've seen changes in her. Things seem to have clicked for her in her last week there.

So, now it's leg 2 of her journey. She has to use the tools she's been given to stay clean and take small steps forward everyday. One day at a time.

It's leg 2 of my journey too. I'm learning attempting to learn how to let go, admit how powerless I am in this, and focus on my recovery.

It's a very difficult thing for a co-dependent person to do, but I'm trying.

I just want to share this beautiful dance that Travis Wall choreographed in a past season of  "So You Think You Can Dance". He dedicated it to his mother, who was ill and was going through a difficult time, and it portrays how he helped her, or wished he could help her.

I think it portrays how anyone, especially a parent, feels as they watch their loved one go through a difficult time. Sometimes we can help them up, and sometimes we can only wish we can help them. But however you take it, it's just a beautiful dance. Fast forward to about the .53 mark in the video to skip the pre-talk.


On another note, my older daughter is choreographing a dance dedicated to her sister which she'll be performing in a few weeks. I hope to be able to post it if I can get good video of it.

On another 'nother note, my older daughter was in a rollover accident on her way to work, and came out of it with just stitches in her elbow. She had taken her seatbelt off for a moment to grab something from the backseat. She was so very, very lucky not to have been thrown from the car!

Life sure does have it's ups and downs, doesn't it?

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Search and Rescue

I'm finding that when it comes to a story about addiction, it really never ends. Just when you think you're about to tell the end of the story, another chapter starts. But I'm getting ahead of myself again.

When I left off last week, my daughter had gotten out of jail and I hadn't heard from her for 2 days. I had to look for her. So my brother and I set off on a search and rescue mission.

I didn't know what I was going to do when I found her, actually. Offer rehab again? And what if she turned it down again? Then what? Drive away? Enable her by giving her a bed and a meal? I honestly didn't know. But I had to go find her.

We knew the stretch of road she hung out on because the day prior, a family friend had seen her and her boyfriend walking along it. I'll keep this part of the story short, and just say that the family friend stopped her and tried to talk to her, but didn't get anywhere, then called my husband and the two of them followed my daughter for a bit to see where her stomping grounds were.

If you're a Sci-fi movie fan, you might call them the probe.

So when I got off work, my brother and I set out along that same stretch of road to try and find her. You know those Family Circle cartoons, where cute little Jeffey is supposed to go bring something back to the neighbor's house and come right back, only instead of going on a straight path next door, and right back, he goes around back and hops on and off the swing, then runs past where he's supposed to go to jump in a mud puddle, then across the street to talk to a friend, then zig-zags back to his yard to play with the dog, and so on, until when he finally goes back to his mother a half hour later, she always asks what took him so long?

Well, it was like that, only instead of cute Jeffey, hopping on swings, jumping in mud puddles, talking to friends, and playing with the dog, it was exhausted and worried me, hopping out of the car to talk to cops, jumping behind dumpsters, questioning the homeless, addicts, and convenience store clerks, and zig-zagging up and down the street and in and out of parking lots and parks trying to find her.

Our first stop was the Wal-mart parking lot, and lo and behold, you really can find everything at Wal-mart, because we spotted my daughter's boyfriend, next to a cop car, filling out a report. He said they'd had a fight and she walked off with a homeless guy who shoots up meth. He showed us a cat scratch on his arm and said my daughter had cut him with his pocket knife, so he was filing a domestic abuse report against her.

The cop doubted the story and said the scratch looked self-inflicted, but said if we find my daughter, to keep her off the streets for 24 hours or they would have to arrest her if they found her, because of the report. Her boyfriend pointed in the direction my daughter had gone with her other addict friend, and we left to try to find her.

After about two hours of searching we were about to call it quits. It's hard to search for someone who doesn't want to be found. We tried waiting until the cop left, and then following her boyfriend because he may have lied about where she was, but after 2 hours, the cop was still with him.

We were tired and discouraged and decided we would have to try this again another night. Before we left the area, my brother decided to stop for cigarettes at a convenience store that we had previously looked behind, but hadn't gone into.

I was waiting in the car, and he came out and motioned me to come inside. It turns out he mentioned to the clerk that we were looking for my daughter and the clerk knew who she was. He said her boyfriend would wait outside while she went in to steal for him. He felt sorry for her and never called the cops on her. We gave him my number and my exe's number and he said he would call if he saw her.

As we were leaving the store, a homeless man who had been sitting on a stool by the door listening, said he knew who she was too. He said sometimes she sleeps behind a nearby church. We drove to the church.

There was a little patio area in the back of the church partially secluded by a wall. As we drove up we saw a backpack leaning against the wall and my brother leaned out the window and called my daughter's name. A man came out and said, "There's no girl here."

My brother backed up a little so we could see a bit more behind the wall and we could see someone sitting there. I got out and walked over and it was my daughter.

I didn't have a speech planned. I had no idea what I was going to say to her. So the first words out of my mouth as I watched her get up from the ground, wearing clothes that were too big for her, was, "What are you doing? Is this what you want to be doing?" Yeah, I know. Brilliant. Real inspirational, right?

Then I hugged her. Then I yelled at the homeless guy to stay the hell away from my daughter and that she's only 18. I was ready for a fight, but he looked confused, hurt, and afraid, to be honest.

As I said, I had no idea what I was going to do once I found her. I just wanted to get her out of there. I said, "C'mon we're going to your dad's. Get in the car."

The homeless guy added his two cents and said she should go with us because "They've got your back." I later learned his name and that he's diabetic, homeless, and shoots up meth.

My daughter didn't argue. She said okay, and got in the car.

Her father lived just a few blocks away so we headed over there. We called a friend of hers that she's known for a long time to come over, and her brother and sister came over too. First, she sat outside and talked alone to her friend, then to her sister.

While they talked, her dad, step-mom, and I were inside, trying to figure out the best thing to do. We had her away from her boyfriend, which was a plus. We wanted to get her into treatment right away, but we didn't want to scare her off either.

We went outside and started talking about rehab, asking if she's ready for help, ready to change her life and get off the streets, and she said yes. I was waiting for the "but..." but there wasn't one this time. No person she had to find, no boyfriend goodbyes, she said she was ready.

We called the treatment center, but because it was late, the number forwarded to a cell phone and we left a message. While we waited for a call back,  the whole group of us sat around my exe's kitchen table and just talked. We talked about funny things the kids did when they were little and funny things they remembered.

Then my daughter told us that she tried to break up with her boyfriend earlier that night and he had put a knife to her back and threatened to kill her if she left him. When that didn't work, he cut himself and called the cops to file the report against her. Shortly after that was when my brother and I happened along. After the incident, she went and hid behind the church and was there the whole time we were searching, just blocks away from her.

By 11:00, the treatment center still hadn't called back, so we decided my daughter would stay the night at her dad's, and my son and daughter would stay there too. Then we would all drive to the treatment center in the morning.

It so happened that my older daughter had some bags of clothes in the truck of her car that she was supposed to drop off at Goodwill. My daughter could pack some of them to bring with her, since she didn't have anything but the clothes on her back. Any clothes she had previously at her dad's or at my house, had been in her car, which had been towed a few weeks prior, so she had nothing.

I ran to Wal-Mart to get her some shoes, underwear, and a few toiletries. When I got back to her dad's, she had showered and was sitting in the bed next to her sister, who was laying there watching TV. It reminded me of when they were little and I would go in and read a story to them before bed. I hugged and kissed both my girls and said a silent prayer of thanks that for that moment, all my kids were under one roof and were safe.

The next morning at 5:30, a counselor from the treatment center called and apologized for not returning our call earlier. The calls were forwarded to his cell phone, but he had fallen asleep and just didn't hear his phone. I told him the situation and said we would be there when they opened at 8AM. It was the same person who had talked to us the week prior, when my daughter and I had toured the place. He knew he needed to have everything lined up as quickly as possible so she wouldn't have a chance to change her mind. Also, she needed to get into detox before withdrawals set in and her addiction started to do the thinking for her.

I texted her dad at about 7:00 AM and asked how she was. He texted back "She's cranky." Uh-oh. I headed over there.

She was cranky. She was looking for excuses not to go. There's a part to the story I left out. The day before our search and rescue, a woman came to our house and dropped off my daughter's purse. She said she had found it on the sidewalk and looked on the ID to see who it belonged to and since there was no phone number anywhere, just the address on the ID, she just brought it over.

The time that she brought it over was about the time my ex and our family friend were tailing my daughter, so we knew there wasn't foul play. Our daughter hadn't been kidnapped and dropped her purse, she was alive and being followed. We later learned that the homeless guy shot my daughter with Meth and she had a bad trip and dropped her purse on the sidewalk and went running into the park. The woman had found the purse a short time after that.

Back to my cranky daughter. She asked me if I remembered to bring her purse. I hadn't. I didn't bring it on purpose because I thought if she didn't have it, it might deter her from leaving rehab again. She insisted on getting it before going to rehab. I told her no, we would bring it later. She was edgy and irritable and said if she didn't have her purse, she wasn't going. She walked out the door and began walking away down the street.

Her sister stopped her and said she would run to my house and get the purse and meet us at rehab. My daughter didn't like that idea, but her sister talked her into it. (We knew there weren't drugs in the purse, because we had already searched it) Before anything else could possibly come up that would make her change her mind, we piled in our cars and headed to the treatment center.

She calmed down a little when we got there. It took a while to get all checked in. There was paperwork, then waiting, then a detox nurse, then more waiting, then insurance phone calls, and financial paperwork, and more waiting. It seems most people make an appointment to go to rehab, I guess. I would have thought they would be a little more prepared for the unexpected, but they were doing the best they could, squeezing us between appointments and things.

Through the whole process, our daughter was very positive. At one point, she said she was excited at the prospect of making new friends, and getting back on track in her life. Finally, about noon, it was time for us to leave and her to get checked into the house where she would be staying.

I can't begin to tell you how I felt driving away. Relief, euphoria, trepidation, fear, hope, gratitude - just about every emotion was present and accounted for.

I kept thinking about the events that got us there. About how if any one thing that happened that night had happened differently, or not at all, we wouldn't be there.

If my brother hadn't wanted to stop for cigarettes, we never would have went into that convenience store. If he hadn't of thought to say something to the clerk, the homeless guy wouldn't have overheard and directed us to the church. What if we had stopped there two hours earlier, when our search had started, and the homeless guy wasn't in there then to hear us?

We would never have known to look behind the church if he hadn't said something. If it weren't for him, we wouldn't have found her that night. What would have happened when the cop had left, and her boyfriend, who had just threatened to kill her, had come looking for her? What if he found her before we did?

I truly believe there was divine intervention that night. There were just too many what-ifs, and too many coincidences. I said another prayer of thanks as I drove on to work that day. I prayed again for all the addicts out there and for their families. I prayed for that homeless man that helped us find our daughter.

A few days later, we went back and thanked him and gave him some money. I know his name now, so I can pray for him by name.

I also realized that before I started looking for a person on the street, I didn't really see all the people on the street. There are so many homeless, aimless people out there. Some are addicts, some aren't. But you don't really see them until you look for them.

So, my daughter went to rehab. This is part four of my story, but as I said in the beginning, when you think the story is over, another chapter is written.

I wish I could have written each part right after it happened, but there just wasn't time. I'll try to get you caught up so I can be in real-time, instead of past tense. Not that there's many of you reading - actually, just 3 I believe (Hi Kim and Kelly and hubby!) But nevertheless, just know, the next chapter is coming soon...

(Here are the links to part 1, part 2, and part 3 if you're interested)

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Jail

I got the call from my ex at about midnight. A police officer had called him and said he found my daughter behind a convenience store, drinking with a bum. No, not a bum as in "Lose him, he's a bum," but an actual homeless man bum. (Is that politically incorrect to call homeless men bums? Maybe. But any guy who would hide behind a convenience store and offer alcohol to a young girl in the middle of the night is a bum - and worse.)

The officer said that since she's 18 he was arresting her for underage drinking and wanted to let us know because she looked so young and he could see she didn't belong there.

So our daughter went to jail that night.

I got a call from her at 4 in the morning. She didn't sound terribly sad or sorry. Just tired. I asked her if jail was where she really wanted to be right then and reminded her that this was the consequences of her choices and it didn't have to be like this. I feel like what she hears is "Blah, blah, blah, blah..."

It was a short call.

The next morning I called the jail to see when her hearing was because I thought that maybe her dad and I could show up at the hearing and ask the judge to order her to rehab. Then she would have to go and it would be mandated for 30 days. If it was the only way to get her off the streets and clear her head of the drugs and keep her safe, then so be it.

While I sat on hold, for some reason I expected hold music. Something like "Bad Boys", or "I shot the Sheriff," or maybe "Smuggler's Blues." But I suppose they don't have a sense of humor like that. Or a budget for hold music. Or to pay a person to decide what hold music to have.

My idea of court mandated rehab was not to be. They had already ordered her release on OR. This is "Own Recognizance" for those of you unfamiliar with jail terms. I'm not sure what it means really. She said she was sorry I suppose. Honestly, I was hoping for a longer stay. I was hoping a few days of having no freedoms at all and having to poop in front of strangers might make her think about the direction her life is going and maybe it's time for a change.

After they order the release, it's anywhere from 12 to 24 hours before they actually let her go, so she still had a short stay in a cell. She called me that afternoon and there was a very different tone to the call. I guess she didn't know how short her stay was going to be. They had given her an orange jumper and soap and toothbrush and it was beginning to sink in that she was in jail.

She was crying and she said she didn't like it there and didn't want to be there. She said she knew she needed to get clean. I told her we could pick her up when she was released and we could take her straight to rehab when she got out. She said no, she could get clean on her own and didn't need rehab. She said she needed to find her boyfriend/ex-boyfriend and make sure he was okay. Always a reason or an excuse not to get help.

She was released not long after that call. I don't know how she got from downtown where the jail is to back up to her old stomping grounds where her and her boyfriend hung out, but she did somehow.

Two days went by and I didn't hear from her. I knew her situation was worse than ever. I knew her boyfriend was trouble, but if she was with him, it was less likely other guys would bother her. The thought of her alone out on the streets just fending for herself amongst junkies and thugs was terrifying.

After two days, I couldn't stand it anymore and my brother and I went looking for her. Stay tuned for my next post to see what happened. If you want to catch up on this story read part 1 and part 2.

I continue to pray for every addicted child and their family.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Disappointed...again.

I'm sorry I used the word dick-head in my last post. My husband said it was "raunchy". It was just the first word that came to mind and I didn't feel like censoring. One of the rules (are they rules? no, more like tenets, I think) of recovery is honesty and I'm embracing that right now. So if I feel like saying dick-head, I'm just going to say it.

But, once again, I'm getting ahead of myself. This is part 2 of the story I started yesterday about my daughter.

After she called to say she wasn't going to rehab, we had no choice but to continue as usual. No enabling, which means no offer of a shower or a bed or food, and a lot of worrying, stressing, and crying. I didn't hear from her again for 4 days.

I was at work when I got the call. It was a police officer and he said he found her and her boyfriend sleeping in a vacant house. He had brought her to my house, where she was outside talking to her brother. I headed home.

My daughter is a small girl and has always looked younger than her age. At almost 19, she still looks about 14. This is what tugged at the officer's heartstrings and prompted him to call instead of arresting her for trespassing or letting her just walk away back onto the street. She reminded him of his 14 year old daughter.

The officer and I spoke for a bit. He said there were 2 other men staying in the house. They were bad guys with bad records that would wind up in prison, he had no doubt. Apparently, my daughter had broken up with her boyfriend (which she's done several times in the 6 months they've been together) and one of the other men was trying to convince her to go with him. The officer, bless his heart, couldn't stand to leave her there and risk her going from the frying pan to the fire, so brought her home.

His intention was that if she came home and got cleaned up and spent time with her family, that she'd realize how much better life could be than being out on the streets. But I don't think he realized that addiction overrides comfort. If I let my daughter stay and shower and refuel, it would only be a matter of hours before she'd leave in search of her boyfriend, or ex-boyfriend, and/or her drug.

I have to say though, that I'm grateful for all the officers out there that truly do care. They see so much suffering and sadness and stupidity it's a wonder they aren't all jaded and cynical. But there are many who are still tenderhearted and care and go out of their way to try to help.

He talked a bit more to my daughter to try to reach her heart, and he did for a moment. She cried and admitted she needed help. I asked her if she would go with me to a treatment center to just check it out and see what it was like. I'd asked her this question before, and the answer was always no. But this time, she agreed. It wasn't exactly a commitment to treatment, but it was a start.

When we arrived, we talked to an intake specialist who was the perfect combination of compassion and directness. A recovering addict himself, he tried to encourage my daughter to commit to treatment on the spot, but the best she would do was to say that she would come back. She did fill out intake paperwork though, which surprised me.

We toured the center and she was quiet, but positive. When we were done, the specialist and I tried to convince her again to commit to treatment, but she said she had to go back to the area where the officer picked her up because "people" (a.k.a. other users) saw her driving away in a cop car, without handcuffs, and talking to an officer, so if she disappeared for a while, they would think she's a snitch. And bad things happen to snitches.

Of course, that was more paranoia and excuses than anything else. Maybe on the streets there's some truth to that, but I doubt any users that saw her would even remember it after their next high, so it likely wasn't a real issue.

But, once again, she couldn't be persuaded to go to treatment right then. She said she would call me later that night. She did, but still wasn't ready to go. I was disappointed, but still felt like although it wasn't a triumph, it was a small step forward. Maybe enough small steps would eventually get her there.

I next heard from her 3 days later, from jail. That's part 3 of my story. I promise to post it tomorrow.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Disappointment

It's been a month since my last post. Wow. I'm so sorry, my little blogging community, that I'm not more consistent. It's just that I get depressed and overwhelmed, and I feel so spent by the end of my workday that I just can't sit in front of my computer and type when I get home.

And to add another reason not to blog, it's been getting warmer here and my office is upstairs and at 5:30 in the afternoon, when I get home from work, even with the air conditioner on, it's just so friggin hot in my office. Oh, and my hot flashes that like to come and go without notice are back, so that's double the sweaty fun.

But I have to blog today, because I have a story to tell you. It's a bit long, so I'm telling it in two three four parts. Yes, I promise to have part 2 posted tomorrow and part 3 on Monday and part 4 on Tuesday. Really. I will.

This story took place over the last 2 weeks and it's about my daughter who we're trying to get into treatment for her drug addiction. As you know, the last time didn't go so well.

Two weeks ago, while I'm in the dressing room at the mall with my mom (new post coming about my revised view of "mom jeans" by the way), my ex-husband (a.k.a. dad) calls and says my daughter and her boyfriend (also an addict) showed up at his house and asked to stay and just sleep for a while.

Oh, I'm getting ahead of myself. They were homeless (my daughter and her boyfriend, not my ex). He lost his job because he no-called, no-showed too many times and they wore out their welcome on other addict's couches (because believe it or not, even addicts don't like other addicts sleeping on their couch) and her car which they were living in, had been towed. So they had the clothes on their backs and whatever she could fit in her purse.

So there they were, on my exes front porch. I left the mall and headed over. By the time I got there, police had been called because my ex was trying to hold my daughter there-literally-and the boyfriend didn't like it and started causing a ruckus.

So the cops, her dad, her step-mom, myself, and her brother, all try to convince my daughter that it's time to stop this craziness and get help. We told her boyfriend the same thing. He needed help too and the officers gave him a card with places he could go to get help. Her boyfriend is a dick-head, but he's a dick-head with the disease of addiction and I'm not without compassion for him, even though I'm angry at him because of the way my daughter's life has spiraled downward so fast since she met him.

I watched my exhausted daughter agree with all of us that she needed help and tell us that she would get help only if  her boyfriend agreed. I realized then what a sick hold he had on her and how much control she had lost over her life. He was her connection to her drug and so controlled her almost as much as her addiction did.

The cops could see it too. One of the cops took boyfriend outside while the other tried to talk to our daughter with us. We tried to tell her he didn't care about her and if he did, he would let her go get the help she needs. We told my daughter to ask him straight out if he would let her go to rehab and see what his answer was. If he cared, he would let her get off the streets and get help.

So we all traipse outside so she can ask him. She looked him straight in the eyes and she asked in a pleading voice that broke my heart if he would let her go get help. And that little mother-effer said, "You don't need rehab, you can get clean on your own."

Bzzzzzzzzzzz. Wrong answer dick-head. But my daughter didn't see it. She said she needed to talk to him alone.

We couldn't hold her there. The cops couldn't make her go. They couldn't haul boyfriend's sorry ass away because he hadn't committed a crime. Our daughter said she would talk to dick-head and get him to agree to rehab and she'd be ready to go to rehab the next day. She said she just needed to talk to him alone.

And so we had to watch our homeless daughter walk away. With a dick-head.

By now, you've probably figured out how this story ends. Because addicts are a predictable lot, not known for keeping their word.

My daughter had said she'd call us the next day by 10 AM and we could take her to rehab. She called at noon. She was high, talking very fast and angrily. She wasn't going to rehab. She couldn't leave dick-head alone on the streets because people were after him. There was no reasoning with her.

She slipped out of our grasp again.

Do you want to know how a parent sleeps knowing their child is out on the streets, homeless, and entrusting her life to a dick-head? They don't. They worry and they cry and they try to enjoy a thing or two here and there, but they're never truly happy because they hurt for their child and for themselves and for their family and for what is no more.

I truly pray everyday for every addict out there, including dick-head, and for every parent of an addict.

Please come back and read part 2, part 3, and part 4 of my story. It gets better.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Sunday Snippets

This really was meant to be a "Friday Fragments" post, but since I'm both a procrastinator and much to tired to come home from work and blog, it's now a "Sunday Snippets" post. You know, just snippets and fragments that, when strung together, just might qualify for a blog post. Maybe.

Snippet #1: I went shopping yesterday at Kohl's in hopes of finding some springy tops to resurrect my winter pants. Out of about 10 tops I tried on, I found only one. One. Quite disappointing. It was a cute one though:


Right? And might I just add here, that whatever Blogger did to it's "insert image" function, SUCKS!! This wasn't uploaded sideways, but no matter what I did, it would only insert sideways! Also, Giggity.

ANYhoo, I just found the one top. In my rejection of all the other tops, I realized something. You know all those cartoons and jokes about gravity affecting women's bodies, and that things hang that didn't hang before, yada, yada? They. are all. true.

Looking in the dressing room mirror, I could have sworn I shrunk 2 inches. My butt sagged, my arms looked way fatter than I remember (and it hasn't been THAT long since I've been in a dressing room. Maybe a couple months), and I had a camel toe, even though my jeans weren't tight in the least.

Which tells me even my vagina is now sagging. Just. Perfect.

I looked like an Oompa-loompa.

And it didn't help my already jangled-due--to-an-unpleasant-dose-of-reality nerves that my cousin (whom I love dearly and whom I asked to go with me shopping, but who couldn't because she was going to take a nap), kept texting, asking me to send her pictures of Jennifer Lopez's line.

Yeah, right? The nerve! While she's napping at home, I'm stuck in the Kohl's dressing room, all by myself, staring at the reflection of an Oompa-loompa and forced to deal with the trauma of realizing all those things Maxine says are true! Like this:
And this:

But instead of saying "Hell-to-the-no, Be-atch, get outa bed and get your ass over here and tell me I don't look as bad as the dressing room mirror says I do," I took pictures of JLo's cute tops and sent them and informed my cousin that yes, JLo's flowy pants are really cute, but they had no size 14's, and no, I didn't see any JLo platform shoes.

But at least I got to end my shopping with a glass of wine at Mimi's with my sister, who texted me after she woke up from a nap to see if I wanted to go to Mimi's with her so she could get away from her husband and step-kids for awhile. What the hell is up with everyone taking naps??

Snippet #2 and yes, I promise it won't be as long as snippet #1: Hubby and I are going to Zion next weekend on a little 3-day getaway, just the two of us. We haven't went away together in a while and with all the stress from my daughter, and just life, we're really looking forward to it.

Attention internet weirdos looking for houses to break into: No, our house will not be empty while we're gone!! We have kids in their 20's that still live at home, and my daughter has already asked me if she can have "a few people over." Translation: Can I have a house party and let everyone crash for the night so they don't have to drive home. So, not only will our house not be empty, but there's likely to be more people there than I care to think about at the moment. Now back to my blog post:

Room rates for the town of Springdale, right outside of Zion, start at $130 a night, which really was more than I thought. I was a bit disappointed. I even came up with the idea of pitching a tent in one of the campgrounds, just to sleep in, to save money on the room. 

Yes, I really did. I like camping, so it wasn't a bad idea to me, and surprisingly, hubby even agreed. This is the same hubby that told me once, after I told him that I could just pitch a tent on the beach in Hawaii and live there, perfectly happily, that I should make sure the tent is close enough to the hotel he would be staying in so that he could wave goodnight to me from his room. 

So I was quite surprised he agreed to this idea..

In the end, we decided to go ahead and spring for a room because we really did need a stress relieving getaway and having to traipse across a campground to the bathroom in the middle of the night wasn't really very stress-reducing. So, we found rooms for about $108 a night at the Bumbleberry Inn. No, I have no idea was a bumbleberry is, but I'll find out and let you know.

Snippet #3: The boy (that's my son), who has been going to cooking school for the past several months, got a job as a cook at a local bar and grill. We're very happy for him, because it's a start in the field he wants to be in, and it's a job after having been unemployed for close to a year.

Snippet #4: I'm also very proud of my older daughter, Sissa, for not letting anything get in the way of her goals. She continues to pursue her dancing and her associates degree, while holding down a job, and plans to get her own apartment, with a friend in the coming months. Which would be great because then she can have her "few people over" at her house.

Snippet #5: I'm still hoping and praying for my youngest child, The Girl, that she'll have a moment of clarity in her addiction and realize she needs to get help, and get it.

Snippet #6: I almost made the fatal mistake of confusing Star Wars with Star Trek while at work. This may seem like no big deal, but I work with computer geeks. And Star Wars and Star Trek are like the old and new testament to them. Seriously. I tweet to our work twitter account, and someone had tweeted that Spock was celebrating his 81st birthday. So I was about to tweet that at 81, he would  need the force to be with him to blow out all those candles.

Fortunately, I realized my faux pas before I sent it. In case you aren't a geek, the force was a Star Wars thing and Spock was from Star Trek. Anyway, I ended up saying that I hope Spock lived long and prospered, which, my husband informed me later, was lame.

Snippett #7: I bought some new spanx, and would like to say something to all spanx-makers everywhere:

BE PART OF THE SOLUTION, NOT PART OF THE PROBLEM!

By this I mean, if you make a product that is supposed to hold in a woman's gut and diminish her fat rolls, but said product simply rolls down to the waist, adding to the woman's already existing rolls, THAN YOU ARE NOT SOLVING THE PROBLEM, YOU ARE ADDING ANOTHER ROLL, WHICH IS ADDING TO THE PROBLEM! 

Not too mention making for a very uncomfortable workday as I constantly tried to unroll my spanx from my waistband. Oh, and then I remembered the security cameras. Perfect.

Oompa-loompa here, signing out.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

I'm Just Trying to Understand.

I still watch Intervention. You know, the television show. You would think I've had enough of it, since I'm living it in the real world, but I don't watch it for the drama. I watch it to help me understand. Why would anybody choose the path of addiction? Why does my daughter?

The show always hones in on the negative things that happened in the addict's life as part of the reasons why they're an addict. Their parents divorced, their mom neglected them for drugs or alcohol, their father didn't tell them he loved them. I think they do this because viewers want to see a concrete reason why. We want to be able to say, "Well I didn't do that to my kids, and I taught them drugs are bad, so they're gonna be fine. They'll never do that."

I wanted to say that. I did say that, when my kids were younger. And I'm not saying I was the perfect parent and so there is no reason why my daughter should be an addict. I'm not a perfect parent. Not at all. I was naive and trusted my kids too much. I wasn't always consistent. I did some things right. I set a good example. I practiced what I preached. I set rules and consequences. But I made mistakes too. I just loved them and did the best I could, like most parents do.

I saw an episode this week about a girl addicted to meth. She lived on the streets because she would rather be homeless and have her drug than be clean and sleep in her bed at home. She shared the same name as my daughter. She was creative and artistic, just like my daughter. She shared some personal issues similar to my daughter's. It was eerie.

She didn't want help in the beginning either, but eventually accepted it and went to rehab.  After her treatment, they interviewed her. She said no matter what happened to her in her past, what she does now is on her, and nobody else. She looked like a different person. She was content. She was hopeful. It gave me hope and made me cry.

I've been reading some books on addiction that have helped me cope with it. The first one was "Don't Let Your Kids Kill You," written by Charles Rubin. An excellent book and for any parent of an addict, it's the first book about addiction they should read, in my opinion. It immediately addresses the big question every parent of an addict asks - What did I do wrong?

The reality is, in most cases, nothing. Most normal parents, who aren't addicts themselves, and didn't abuse their kids, did nothing specific wrong. They didn't do everything right - who does? But they didn't screw up their kid either.  Sure, parenting and environment greatly affect our kid's decisions, but they're hard-coded too. This quote from the book helped me to understand that:
"What many parents fail to realize is that children come out of the womb with a complete data base that's exclusively their own and which is fully operational by the time the child is in his or her teens. It is this, not the parent, which drives the child. It's true that parents have more influence on their children than any other people on earth-and may even be able to keep a kid off drugs. But that's only if the influence is in keeping with the child's own pre-programmed agenda, and only if that influence is strong enough to withstand the temptations presented to the child by other sources such a peers, TV, and society."
This makes sense to me. How else do you explain how some kids who come from the worst of homes, turn out to be wonderful, caring human beings who contribute to society, and others who come from the best of homes, grow to be anti-social, uncaring criminals?
"Each person fulfills his or her own destiny-whether it be good or bad-in his or her own time and unique way. As in anything else, when it comes to substance abuse, children are going to do what they're going to do. If they don't do it today, they'll do it tomorrow. Whatever the situation, it's the child who says yes or no to drugs-it's a choice. And that choice is ultimately, answerable by the child and by no one else. So are the consequences."
I don't think the author is saying a person is destined to be an addict or not be an addict, and I don't believe that. What he's saying is that when a teen is at a cross-roads, that crucial point when he has the opportunity to say yes or no to drugs, there are many factors that affect his decision at that moment. His parents, his genetics, his experiences, his peers, his self-worth - they will all play into his choice. But the choice is still his to make. Not his parent's, but his. Just like it was hers.

I recommend any parent of an addict to get this book. It's about 8 bucks for the kindle. You might even be able to find it at the library.

As much as this book helped me and as much as I want to feel absolved from blame for my daughter's problem, I realize I'm not absolved. I'm too much of an introspectionist (is that a word? I'm not sure), to think that. Maybe if I had worked harder at building my daughter's self-esteem, she would have had one less factor going against her when she had to make her decision to say yes or no to drugs. Maybe I should have pushed her to stay in soccer when she hated it, or to take a dance class, or art classes. Something else that would have given her a feeling of pride and accomplishment. But I didn't and it's too late to change that.

Right now I'm reading "Addiction: Why Can't They Just Stop?" This book discusses the physical reasons for addiction, like a lack of dopamine in the body. It says addiction is a disease that needs medication and behavioral therapy to be treated successfully. There are so many why's and so many varied answers. The only power I have right now is to educate myself about what they are and try to understand which of them apply to my daughter and if any of them can help her.

But I know, none of it matters if she doesn't want help. While I was writing this, she called. Her car, which her and her boyfriend were living in, got towed. She wants money. I told her if she goes to some kind of rehab-any kind-we could help her. She said no.

It's her choice, but I don't understand it.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

A Post With Post-Its!

In my world, Tuesdays are for Post-it notes. So here we go:

















Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Postulate on a Post-It Note

I love writing a post on Post-Its, and I have no idea who is sponsoring this meme anymore, but I'm going to post it just the same. So here ya go:

Post-It Note Tuesday!











P.S. I wrote this post on Monday night which is why I refer to hating Monday's so much, even though today is Tuesday. It's ok to still hate Monday on a Tuesday. I hold a grudge.
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