Friday, March 20, 2009

An incredibly accurate (for me) comment

A quote from a comment made by someone on an Al-Anon forum I read...

I know I am emotionally involved in what happens to my loved ones, but I don't know if I am aware of how involved I am.

I believe when I try to "protect" them- I am actually more interested in protecting myself from my own emotional involvement in their decisions. It will hurt ME- possibly very much- if they choose "wrong".

I want to jump in to stop things from happening TO THEM, but most of the time I think I really do it to stop what will happen TO ME because I am afraid that it will hurt too much to watch them go through what they have to go through... I realize how afraid I am of how I will feel if something happens to them.

That one hits close to home!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

It's funny, in a dark humored sort of way...

I hesitated to post this, but it really is kind of funny. Living in "the O.C.", I'm kind of used to this stuff, but still.

(and there really is a dark humor to all this stuff surfaces in the Al-anon meetings and NA meetings. We laugh at something, and then we laugh again, at the fact that we were laughing ..... cos "normies", as they call non-addicts in NA, might have been too horrified to see the humor...)

She is in court again today on the small case. It is going to trial. They are picking the jury. The public defender says "they" have nothing, no evidence, no nothing. The DA supposedly griped out loud that the case was weak? I'm not sure what's going on, but have been trying to just do my work, run my business and stay focused. I'm hoping it all just sort of goes away and she can start the job she has landed, next Monday, right on schedule. She is sober and per the house manager, doing everything she is supposed to do.

She called me at lunch time to report with absolute glee.....

"Mom, guess who might be on my jury???????"


mind you, I'm really not sports minded, but even I recognized the next name she said....

(And I'm going to spell it wrong on purpose so that no one finds this blog by doing a search on his real name.....)


And I thought she was exaggerating, or even hallucinating, until I saw this online when I went to return a batch of work to one of my client's offices by email.

The next brilliant thing that came out of her mouth?

"Mom, its okay if HE sends me away for 120 days!"

"Mom? just kidding, Mom......Mom??? "

Sigh.... It's okay, say kid is... is.... I'm not sure there are words for it. Easily impressed? Gullible? Immature? Clueless? Whatever....I love her! Besides she's sober today....I'll take it!

(apparently, at the time (lunch break) that she called there were three seats left to fill on her jury and he (and his bodyguard) were "close", but somehow, I don't think he will have to do it - the news report said there was a big game tomorrow..... I am the least sports-oriented person I know, but somehow it seems like he would not have to do it.... but what do I know....)

Back to work for me....

Update: A friend just called and said they released the Big Star..... good.... I think his team is probably relieved!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Low expectations, and still cautiously optimistic

DD2's been out for a week. She successfully got into a different sober home. It is very structured. She spent the weekend with her friend in program, and together they found the new place, got her all settled, and she started dealing with her business this past week!

She's been to court, for the small matter (loitering? tampering?). It may be dismissed this week when she returns. Something about a hokey witness, etc. It was suggested by the public defender that the DA was pushing hard on this in order to establish her as a recently convicted person, which would make the next court case, which is a large matter (grand theft), easier to convict her for. The big case has not even been filed, supposedly because it's also lacking in evidence and may not be pursued if the little case does not result in conviction. I'm not sure I understand any of it, but again, Her Business.

According to the house manager, DD2 is doing what she's supposed to be doing. DD1 took a day last week and spent it with her, and they wallpapered the neighboring malls, shopping centers and businesses with her resume. She got several promising leads and after DD1 returned to our home that night, DD2 continued call-backs and inquiries.... Pay-0ff came today when one company called her back to set up an interview. She called me, ecstatic, and said she was leaving for the interview and would let me know.... and precisely an hour later she called to tell me she got it. Barring failing a drug test (she should be 65 days clean, so that should not be an issue, she says) she starts as a cashier at this establishment on the 23rd. That also gives her this week to hopefully get the small court case to go away, finish up, whatever.

We visited her yesterday at her new home. I met a lot of the girls and saw what a nicely maintained place it is. Everyone has chores and pride in the place is obvious. She showed me her refrigerator shelf, her kitchen shelf (peanut butter, jelly and bread is about all she's got!), and her bed in the second bedroom. She loves it. She says its the first sober home she has been in that is truly sober. We paid a week's rent for her again, and she understands that after this week, we are only able to assist in very small amounts, such as maybe a bus pass now and then, or some food we've bought in bulk at Costco and share with her, etc. She's fine with that, and stoked on getting back to work at this new job.

She calls it her "get well" job.... says that her old job as a financial counselor (pre-relapse) at the debt-consolidation company is available to her IF she stays clean for six months.... (the boss at that job is the same girlfriend who took her this past weekend for two days and helped her find this sober home). So now she has a goal!

It's been a crazy week. The reason DD1 was able to take a whole day and take DD2 around looking for a job? DD1 was laid off Monday.

It's happening everywhere, but it certainly has struck home to us now. She got a bit of a severance package and some outplacement service, so she is going to try to work with outplacement and also be as helpful as she can to her sister during this interim period. She feels it happened for a of her first comments to me was that she could help us with DD2 while she was between jobs. DD1's compassion for her sister is such a wonderful thing to see. She is helpful, involved, and yet, manages to care for herself and knows when to back away from the "tornado effect" and not get overwhelmed (if that makes sense)! She is bipolar also, and is trying hard not to slip into a depressive episode over her lost job, uncertain financial state, etc.

I'm grateful for how all of this is unfolding. I've been catching glimpses of DD2.... the confident and poised young woman I miss.... I'm a little disappointed that she is off her meds right now - the house she first wanted to get into would not take her if she was on meds - and she is not entirely sure she wants to go back on them. Her boyfriend is encouraging her in that direction however, and may be able to help her see the wisdom in resuming mental health treatment. That too, is up to her. She is exhausting to hang out with, because she is manic right now and flying a mile a minute, but again, its up to her.

I am grateful for these moments of shared laughter and happy celebration. I am mindful that she needs to take care of Her Business and that I can't do it for her. We're trying to be as supportive as we can, without smudging our boundaries and causing her any confusion.

I was reading the headlines on my internet home page tonight and saw a story about this young woman. Sadly, A was DD2's roommate a little over two years ago. They shared a condo for about a month and then my daughter moved out because they relapsed together and life with A became not only a bit crazy but also a bit dangerous. Later, A got clean and stayed clean through a pregnancy and for several months afterwards. She had already lost custody of a son years earlier. I am really saddened that she has relapsed again, and that her baby girl was endangered. It seems a bit surreal that she has stayed in my home a few times before she and my daughter roomed together, and at one time she was working with DD2, training dogs and in a good recovery program, sober, etc.

It all seems so fragile and tenuous....

But for now, I am grateful for the good visit with DD2, her happiness, her opportunity with this job, and hopeful about her continued sobriety and her court case resolution. I'm grateful for DD1's positive attitude in the face of her unemployment and her helpfulness with her sister. I'm grateful that A's baby girl is unhurt and safe tonight.

I don't recall if I have shared these two sayings on this blog, but a friend in program shared them with me and I've written them in a few prominent places to remind me to detach with love.....

What's inside my hula-hoop is my business....what's outside my hula-hoop is not!

There's three kinds of business out there: my business, your business and none-of-my-business.

P.S. I missed my Alanon meeting last week. I hope to get to it this week!

Friday, March 6, 2009

She's out

I picked her (DD2) up at 2:30AM. Thought my ribs might crack from the hug I got! :)

My living room looks like a cyclone hit. She's very manic, going through clothing, packing, calling friends in program, and eating the pancakes-from-scratch her older sister (DD1) just made her.

She went online and discovered that yesterday, shortly after she went against the advice of the judge, DA and public defender and pled not guilty, the case which could get her three years was possibly "moved up, became active", whatever. She went a little crazy with that realization but has calmed down now. I guess it goes to trial the 17th of this month...

Her logic was that it is easier to fight and win from outside, dressed in business clothes, tattoos covered, employed, in program, etc. That she stands a better chance of coming out okay. That if she was shackled, in the jumpsuit, tattoos everywhere, disheveled, unemployed, etc, that it would not be as easy to win.

I told her that I believed in her and I trusted her to do what she needed to do. And that I'd keep praying.

She found three needles this morning while going through her stuff. That was a bit rocky too. She gave them to me along with some empty bags, and told me she thought she found them all. It's garbage day - they'll be gone soon to the dump.

She's going to court this morning, because that is what the judge asked her to do (from a different case). She found one indication online that appearing before this judge this day may not be necessary, but she wants to do it and show him she is serious. Following that, she is going to probation (not without significant fear that they may cuff her at that time and take her in again, on this now active case). She feels her bail is active/in effect, but who knows.

DD1 is taking her to court to see that judge and she will let him know she was a day late getting released and is actively trying to get into residential treatment, as she had discussed with him a few weeks ago. She will make calls to the residential treatment center and she will have the phone interview.... then she will call daily, hoping to get in.

DD1 will take her to probation after court. If she gets past that without getting taken in, DD1 will bring her home. I'll have my work caught up, and my people assigned their work for the day, and I'll take over. We'll hit Mental Health, get her script/meds, make future follow up appointments, proceed to Milton (rehab counselor) for a hug, visit Rick (a lymphoma patient who is a dear friend of hers with many years clean) for a hug, and then take her and her clothing down to some friends in program who are taking her in for the weekend. She seems perfectly content in the knowledge that she can't stay here.

She will do meetings, make inquiries into sober homes in that area, and just keep putting one foot in front of the other. Hopefully she will locate a place to stay while she waits for the residential treatment facility to allocate her a bed. Job hunting begins in earnest on Monday. I'll head home after dropping her at K's house, and take a long nap.

She has a plan; she appears to have willingness. I'm praying that what is best for her, comes to pass. After recuperating from sleep deprivation, I plan to take care of me this weekend. I have a small get-together planned with quilting friends Sunday late morning.... I have a garden to continue planting. I have some work to do for the business. I have a husband and DD1 to hug and encourage through this fairly emotional time.

Right now, I smell her shampoo as I type. (The shower is right next to my home office and the scent goes out the shower window and right into my office window.... I love that!) I soaked up the sound of DD1 and DD2 laughing, talking and clanking dishes in the kitchen as they made/ate their pancake breakfast to celebrate her getting "out". I often, over the past few years, have pointed out that sound to my DH whenever she was home, and told him "remember that.... it's music we may not always be able to hear."

She sounds happy, relatively focused, and for right now, I'll take it. Saturday, she will take a 60 day chip.

Cautiously optimistic.... I will never give up hope.

P.S. for Sydney_Savage: My business is a medical transcription service. I have 8 phone lines coming into a dictation system in my office, creating voice files that are loaded to an FTP site. My independent contractors (7 ladies who also work from home, in TX, NC, CA and PA) can download the dictation voice files assigned to them, transcribe the dictation, and then it is encrypted (HIPAA complient) and emailed to me. I proof and return it to the clients. I've been at it for 30+ years, incorporated for about 16. I hope the medical transcription industry lasts long enough for me to wind down and retire.... Voice recognition software and out-sourcing to India are cutting into my business, but right now, we're a small company that wishes to stay small and provide excellent service to our doctors. All I ever wanted with this business was to be home with my girls, and provide a way for more women like myself to do the same. It's been a good job for me, though at times some aspects of it drive me batty. That's probably true with any job!

Gratitudes: hugs from DD1, happy assistance from DD2, a sense of renewed hope for DD1 (possibly unrealistic, but I'm going with it!), several hours of laughter with DD1 and DD2 today, the prospect of time gardening and quilting this weekend.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Oh for Pete's sake...

She didn't get out. I finally keeled over and tried to sleep around 2 AM, only to have our littlest puppy get sick....repeatedly and violently......

I finally took her to the vet this morning at the crack of dawn... and now we're both going to sleep! Hopefully the anti-emetic will give her some relief and she can get some rest. If not, we go back for expensive tests. Sigh.

I guess when DD2 got downstairs to be released from the jail, they must have had a warrant on the grand theft case waiting. Can't imagine why she would still be in jail otherwise. The jail website shows she will be in court again tomorrow. Maybe I'll hear from her later today when she gets time in the day room.

Right now I'm going to remind myself it's her problem to solve, and I'm going to get some rest so I can run my business the rest of this day. Seven ladies plus myself depend on me running it well.

I'm off to recharge myself a bit.... Wishing us all a day with some peace and quiet calm!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

It's tonight.....

It will be tonight (Wednesday night). Or shall I say, technically Thursday morning early.... Not Saturday night. She's getting out tonight.

They will take her downstairs right after midnight to go through the process of getting her own clothing, and getting release paperwork completed.

She called at a little after 9 pm. She said they approached the subject of her third case in court today, sort of as an afterthought after the judge applied credited time and told her she was getting out tonight. Her first two cases were possession cases. The other case,

which I have never understood,

which is being called grand theft,

which resulted in our house getting searched at 4 AM right before Christmas....

that case was mentioned and they offered her three years in return for a guilty plea, I think. The jail phones are horrid and she was unable to explain it to me, partly because all my brain heard was three years. So I guess she'll explain it after I pick her up, probably around 2 AM after all her paperwork is completed and she can get outside to the payphone.

Good times: picking up a kid from jail in the heart of gang territory at 2 AM.

The codefendant in that possible grand theft case was offered something strange, like "plead guilty and all we will do is let you go in exchange for search and seizure rights at your house." Color me confused.

I have the fear that in all likelihood she/they were trying to get into some cars to steal stuff at 1 AM. I have no doubt that she could have been doing that. Addicts steal. She stole from me. So she certainly could have stolen from others. The police say they found prints on several cars. But so far the police have not disclosed whether they ever found anything else in the way of evidence. Like stolen stuff tossed in bushes, etc. They certainly didn't find anything in our house that night, by the admission of the police who searched our house. She had not lived there or visited in several weeks and all her stuff was put away in boxes. They found nothing during their search.

Do they have to divulge to the lawyers what they have in the way of evidence? Her public defender had no information about what they have.

I don't watch enough TV to know how this stuff goes. And I certainly can't believe or put any credit in what she says. So, maybe I will never know.

Actually, when I think about it, I've learned more in the last eight years about subjects I never wanted to know anything about, than I would ever have believed possible.

Oh well. It's her problem(s). Her consequences of her poor decision-making. She says she wants to still come home, pack, find a temporary sober home and work on staying clean and get into the residential treatment program at the original sober home, just as she had planned. I hope she's able to do that.

Three years. Would all the bad checks and unpaid bills accumulate interest, due to her being away and unable to pay, and result in even more charges and proscecution? Just thinking out loud...

Stepping back and taking a deep breath and going back to cleaning out my office. I have noticed that when I'm feeling chaotic, overwhelmed, and fearful.... I clean a lot! Guess I'm trying to create order somewhere in my corner of the world!

Might be time for more coffee, too!

P.P.S. and P.P.P.S

P.P.S. The sober home called back! I just hung up... they are describing possibly placing her in the lockdown 30-day portion of their place (30 days free with three meetings daily and a lot of homework) followed by placing her in the transitional sober living which is the $160.00 a week part.... they sound extremely serious and no-nonsense.... We got interrupted by another girl entering the home and the person talking to me had to go immediately to clear her for admission.... she said she will call me back. I suddenly feel so hopeful! I pray that if this is the place God wants for her, He will bring it about! And if it's not, that we will be shown this clearly, and DD2 can then continue calling around after she is released until the right place becomes available!

Fast forward 1 hour.

P.P.P.S. They called back. She has to get out, phone in for a phone interview and then call in daily at 9 a.m. to prove willingness. And then come in if they say they have a bed.

Sigh. I guess she's back to looking for a temporary sober home in the meantime. This could take a while. One day at a time.

Today's kind of a biggie.

DD2 is in court today. She finds out if she will be released Saturday at midnight, or tonight at midnight (if the judge applies some credit days from an earlier arrest). I am working here at my home office, and anticipating a call from her once she is bussed back to the jail and gets through her evening meal and is given time in the Day Room for phone calls.

The sober home bed I thought I had arranged.... has apparently fallen through. It was the only one I could really afford, and the only one she stood a chance at.

(I don't plan to finance this after the first week, at least not completely, but I may supplement a bit if I see forward motion on her part. $160 a week is a lot to cough up in this economy. If she worked full time at minimum wage (and NO ONE is hiring full time here) it would still be difficult, and leave her only about $100 a week for food, bus passes, toiletries, and payments on her 15,000-20,000 of accumulated bad debt).

I waited for someone to call me back, trying to NOT be that pushy mom type....and finally when no one called and it was 4:45 pm, I decided to call them one more time... Only to find out the woman in charge had left three hours earlier and won't be back for three more days.


(I have been told that she may still be able to get in, if there is a bed, if she shows up with her belongings and the money.)

The night she gets out, she's being picked up (likely by me) and brought here to pack her clothing for the sober home, pat her puppy, hug her dad and sister, and the following morning, will leave with me to visit probation officer, mental health office (she did start medication in jail - and is willing to continue it, if someone will monitor her with it in the sober home), and then to the sober home to move in.

If we don't find a sober home, several friends have alluded to letting her stay on their couch, and taking her to meetings, while she continues to call and look for a bed.

Along the way some time that morning on the way to the sober home, I plan to surprise her with an inexpensive trim at the local hair academy. Seems she did a hack job, ahem... took four inches of hair off with a safety razor a couple weeks ago.

That is actually an improvement on her in-jail behaviors. Last time she shaved half her head before they caught her. I ended up taking the #7 on the hair clippers to the remainder when she was finally released. The buzz cut was actually kinda cute. This time it's all (somewhat) just below her ears, and I think a student at the academy can trim up the edges for her.

Her ex-sponsor says paying for the first week, and a hair trim, is not enabling. It's helping her feel good about herself so she can confidently go out there, rested and presentable, and get a job. Okay, I can do that.

I went to my second meeting last night. Improvement in emotional reaction.... I didn't cry all the way home. Yay! I also used the "pass" option when they asked the newbies to share..... I will be considered a "newbie" for one more week and then I can just be a "regular". I do plan to share and speak up in the future, but right now I'm too emotional and I don't want to lose it in the meetings. I think next time I will briefly summarize where I am with "her" and with "me", and ask for any suggestions/direction anyone has for me, and request that they tell me if they think I might be out of line (after the meeting, of course, as I get the impression that advice or direction is not given during the meeting? not sure. They do that (make suggestions) in the NA meetings I go to with DD2, but maybe its different in Alanon).

Will take some $$ with me next time and purchase some literature....

Okay, that's it for now. Must get my work done so that I can be prepared to stay up with/monitor my little trainwreck if she gets sprung tonight. A number of items have been locked away....

I am really looking forward to a hug, and the opportunity to encourage her..... emotionally support her.... and am cautiously optimistic (I will continue to have hope until the day she is not breathing!) and I will continue to try NOT to work her program for her. She has told everyone that all she wants to do is work, go to meetings, and maybe take one college class. Those who have visited her and called me afterwards have stated, "that's the girl I remember--she's back!" That's nice to hear. I'm still cautiously optimistic.

P.S. The same goes for this blog..... if it is your opinion that I'm getting off balance here, please speak up.... I value the input! I wish you all some moments of true peace today!