Thursday, April 23, 2009

Rockin' and Rollin'

See that blue square with the second blue square inside it, and a red one inside that?? At 4:56 pm we had a 3.8. At 8:27 pm we had a 4.0.... followed within moments by a 3.0....

That was "fun"..... But it lasted just a bit too long to suit me....

And at 9:04 pm we had a 2.5.

I like the downward trend! Smaller is good, at least on the Richter scale! (the epicenters were 2 miles from me.)

It's been a restful week. I'm gearing up for a visit with DD2 at the jail tomorrow morning, and looking forward to some renovation on my patio this weekend. I have a picnic table to sand, prime, paint, and also rig to take an umbrella.... that will require some hammering and drilling and sawing.... I happen to love playing with power tools. Home Depot is almost as much fun for me as a quilt store. I know, I'm weird.

I'm going to savor the cooler weather (102 degrees two days in a row earlier this week did not exactly make for even tempers around my place). I'm going to enjoy the outside work and enjoy creating a more comfortable place to hang out in the evenings with my family. The patio is on the shaded side of the house in the evening, and I think we'll be out there a lot this summer. AC is not going to be an affordable option.

The economy keeps sucker-punching my business (I lost a significant portion of a client's account today - several of the doctors in that particular group practice are successfully using the Dragon voice recognition program and will no longer need my transcription service - but I will simply be grateful for all the older docs who don't want to learn the new technology and keep giving them stellar service, so they don't even think about changing! :)

I'm going to take my "grateful for a earthquake-ready house" self to bed and get rested up for a good weekend! :)

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

120 days

She signed on six months, will serve 120 days likely. The obvious irony: my happiness that my daughter is going to jail for 120 days....

...of county time. Not state prison.

I'm sad that she has to experience her consequences, but I know it's a road she must walk. For my birthday today, I took her first collect call.... so that she could wish me a happy birthday, as she had told me that would be important to her. It was important to me too! It's just a day, like any other day, but hearing my girls' voices at any time, is music to me.

I have told her; however, that this time I can only afford one call a week, and I will visit on Friday mornings. Since DD1 is unemployed at present, hopefully I can steal away with her on Friday mornings to visit DD2, after assigning the morning work to my transcriptionists. This would benefit both me and inadvertently, the inmate! weekend remains intact for my chores and my quilting (which brings me peace) and her friends can visit on the two weekend days when they are not working. She ends up with more company perhaps, and I end up with my weekends.

I am going to try to work on me during this time. I will be doing a little less work, because there is no need to assist with her rent. I will put a bit aside to help her with the first month (only) when she gets out. I feel that much is appropriate and after that, my assistance will be limited to the occasional big item that she may need (not just want!), like a new pair of glasses, or sharing some food we purchase in bulk, etc. That assistance is only available if she is sober and working, etc. I really agree strongly with Annette's comments that to do what she can do for herself is to deprive her of the satisfaction and pride of having done it, and the knowledge that she CAN! (very loosely paraphrased!)

I hope to do a lot of appropriate reading, and a meeting weekly. I need to find again that balance where I take care of myself first, with daily exercise, and time for the things I find meaningful, in order to be more able to be helpful to those around me. I have no idea if that makes sense, the way I wrote it. I'm a bit foggy in the brain today. I'm still sad from losing my friend, still sad from seeing the pain my best friend is walking through as she has lost her soul mate, and just frickin' tired from the mental static while DD2 got through her court situation.

I'm going up to my sewing room. My best friend and I both share the quilting addiction, and she is finding it helpful to spend the occasional hour or two sewing with me, away from her house and the memories.... The sewing room needs a bit of straightening. Later today I will open a few presents from DH and DD1. :)

But most of all, I'm just enjoying some peace, and getting some rest! It's a GOOD DAY!! :)

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


Thank you, CW2sMom! I appreciate you sharing this award with me... I do have hope. I will always have hope. As long as she's breathing, there IS hope.

Interesting, that the picture above mentions "looking through a broken window."

I watched through the big broken living room window late last year, as the police 5150'd her and took her in. Again. She had walked right through it, loaded out of her mind and desperate for something she couldn't really even articulate. I thought she wanted drugs; she screamed she wanted to be clean and be with her family. At that point, I had hope that she'd at least be safe and alive at the psych hospital.... That didn't last long because she knew how to manipulate the system and get out. But still...

Fast forward a few months, and I still have hope. She's been in jail, gotten sober, gotten out, and stayed sober. 90+ days, 35 out here in the real world.

She's decided that she will probably just sign on her case Thursday and do whatever portion of the six months sentence they want her to do. I was hopeful she would not go to prison. Today she told me she's been told it will be regular jail time. Odd, that I find that so much better.... but y'all probably understand!

I have hope that she will continue to grow and learn, and utilize the program, and that maybe this time it will stick she will stick!

She's done it before. She can do it again. I have hope!


Monday, April 13, 2009

Going on moderated status...

My friend died Saturday morning, around 4:30 AM. This week will be packed, fitting in my work, my best friend's work while she plans funeral/grieves, the funeral, etc. He went easily, for which I am so very grateful!

Court for DD2 and the funeral are both on Thursday.

I'll be at the funeral.

Well, Thanks to Micky (whom I suspect is a.k.a. Mykel, dAve, JesusForgives, AA:SatanicCult, HeIsRisen, etc)
I will be keeping this on moderated status for the forseeable future.

I am not even going to dignify the comments (which I have deleted from April 7) with a serious response. Other than to say that THAT sort of drivel is ....

nah, never mind!

Friday, April 10, 2009

No DA?

Weird. I got a call that nothing was decided today, that the DA did not show up, and that at one point her defender told her to sign, or the next offer would not be six months, it would go back up to 16 months. She (and the codefendant) were going to sign, but then she was told she could not, because the DA was not there. She asked if her PO had called with the recommendation for treatment/sober home that she (the PO) had talked about.

The defender informed her that it wouldn't matter what the PO recommended, because she (DD2) was not worth it. Again, this was stated in front of witnesses (DD2's housemother and the codefendant's mother, among other court staff). She did request a new defender and one was assigned. Since I was not there, I don't really know exactly what went on, and of course, its not my business anyway. The only thing I'm sure of is that she is rescheduled for next Thursday. So be it.

Hopefully next week will conclude the whole mess, one way or another. Again, what will be, will be.

My best friend's husband is dying. Hospice nurse has said "he's going fast, perhaps by tonight." I have a ton of transcription work to do (hers and mine, as she has worked with me and my company for about 13 years). He has a glioblastoma multiforme grade 4, a brain cancer ( From the day he was diagnosed, we've known "only about one out of every four patients with this type of tumor survives two years." At first, they thought he'd be one of those who actually made it for two years. They found it early; they hit it hard with chemo and radiation. But he ended up getting an infection in the bone of the skull, and the osteomyelitis hit him when he was already weakened from the chemo. The surgery to clean up that up seemed to leave him with extreme deficits. He was paralyzed on most of the right side. With the resultant immobility, came further complications.

Last week, he got appendicitis. At that point, this just seemed to pass my ability to comprehend. I understand that bad things happen to good people. But appendicitis after everything else? Not even remotely called for.

He gave up after that. They brought him home after the appendectomy last week and he literally has shut down. The CT scan of his brain done while he was in for the appendectomy? No visible tumor. It has not grown back since the chemo and radiation, though it would have eventually. But its too late.

I will miss him. He was a wonderful, extremely funny, thoughtful and gentle man, who loved sports (especially his Lakers), positively adored his wife and had been married to her for 30 years. To a certain extent we feel like we lost him months ago when the infection and second brain surgery took place. He tried so hard, but he was depressed and frustrated at his lack of progress. Now, he's unresponsive except to pain (every time she has to change him, or change a dressing, etc), and she hopes he goes quickly and easily. She doesn't want to him to be in pain any more.

I'm grateful I knew him, and for the way he made me laugh, and especially for the way he loved my best friend.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

A good appointment with probation

She saw her probation officer today. The first time she met her, she didn't seem to like her much (not a surprise, but she had a really great probation officer five years ago who actually became fairly close to our whole family). This new one laid down her particular set of rules, one of which included not seeing her boyfriend, and of course, that didn't go over well.

At any rate, she has seen Le Boyfriend a few times at meetings over the past couple of weeks, and I know they met at his parents' company one Saturday to help his parents wash big rigs and basically do some work at that facility in an effort to repay the rides to court, and bail money his folks have put up. However.... they were not supposed to see each other. Their motives may have been reasonably good, but they had been told....

Apparently he went in to see his probation officer who demanded his cell phone, checked his numbers, found out he had called my daughter's sober home, and also read text messages between him and my daughter (on daughter's house-mate's cellphone, as she no longer has one). His probation officer notified her probation officer that they had had contact.....

and the nailbiting began (hers and his.... at our house, the rest of the family was thinking "duh!") A violation could mean either of them could go in.

In the meantime, at 4:30 AM a few days ago, the police banged on DD2's sober-home door, and yelled "OCPD, open up!"..... at which point all 12 sleepy-eyed women assembled in a line in the living room and the housemom opened the door....

In steps my daughter's probation officer and two policemen. One of them roars out her name and she stepped forward. In short order, she was searched, taken back to her bedroom for a search of her belongings, drug tested, and questioned. When they found no drugs/paraphernalia and she tested clean, her P.O. thanked her for cooperating and left. Needless to say, no one slept any more that night. She was told to keep her next appointment, which was today.

Today she went in with several of the girls from her house. They gave her a ride there and waited with her. When her officer came out and called her name, they all stood up and started hugging her and saying goodbye.

Her officer stood there observing this and sighed. "Girls, I'm not taking her in", she said. The other girls started high-fiving and jumping up and down.


"yes ma'am!" they chorused like 14-year-olds, giggling!

So anyway, my daughter had her appointment with this officer and told me later that it was amazing. The officer told her she had been reviewing her case and noticed she had had a long time since her last arrest. She questioned her about what went wrong. She knew about the fact that she had almost two years clean before this relapse. She knew about her mental illness. She noticed that both arrests occured very close together. She asked her if she knew what led to her relapse. At one point she told DD2 that she would make a good alcohol/drug counselor, and she grinned when DD2 told her that she had been taking classes toward that goal until she broke up with her ex, moved home, and relapsed. Apparently, she knew about this, and had even gotten information about my daughter's grades from the college. We think she may have talked with DD2's previous rehab counselor (the one I made the quilt for). At any rate, it appears she did a fair amount of digging!

Long story short.... her officer wants to recommend that she goes into a six month county residential program, and then into six months additional sober home time. She feels there is a very good chance of the DA and the judge accepting her recommendation in return for the guilty plea.

(The lawyer whose name I gave her said she felt she could get DD2 a year residential treatment instead of prison, but she wanted a flat fee of $2,500 for representing her Friday morning. Financially that was not possible. Now her probation officer is telling her she may be able to accomplish something very similar!)

So, worse case scenario, is Friday she gets six months (120 days to serve) prison time, cos the judge just doesn't buy the recommendation. But hopefully, on Friday she gets told 6 months in residential/6 months in sober home. (She would stay in her current sober home until a bed came open, and then immediately go in when called with a bed availability.) A less desirable but still preferable alternative is a 12 month manditory sober home stay. In that case, she'd stay in the current sober home, as she has a sponsor there now (the house mom) and she really is thriving there.

She was really encouraged by the probation officer's attitude. This officer told her, "once I came to your sober home, and you were there, in bed asleep, tested clean, and we found nothing when we tossed your stuff - you had me. I can be a huge and effective supporter, but I have to know you are serious."


On the other hand, she lost the job at the Lube shop. Not because of performance but because her background caught up with her. Her initial background check was clear, but the conviction last week apparently somehow came to someone's attention, and they let her go. Her boss was upset about having to let her go, and told her he was really impressed with her and he'd write a letter of recommendation to the judge and provide a reference for her, any time. I guess she did a pretty good job in the three weeks she was there! But she understands that this is a consequence, and will be, for a long, long time. It will bite her in the butt, many more times.

She is not upset about it. She has a check coming that she says she wants to give to us. She isn't going to begin looking for more work until after Friday's court session, but if she doesn't go in, she has several leads to begin working on Monday.

All in all, she seems to be holding her own. She and Le Boyfriend have stopped communicating, not only because of the risks involved, but because they agree they need to work on themselves, and they decided if one of them isn't waiting for the other when they are "reevaluated in 60-90 days" then it just wasn't a relationship that was meant to be. That's way more mature than I expected.


Tuesday, April 7, 2009


Thanks guys!....I think I understand what you are saying. I'm trying to do as Dad&Mom said in one line... I pass along advice (when asked) and drop the issue. Example: she asked us to get her a lawyer. I told her we would not, as we have said all along, we don't do bail, lawyers, etc. However, I passed along the name/website of the lawyer my husband had found five years ago who seems to have heavy recovery law experience. I did not call that lawyer myself. Is that what you meant? Please tell me if I'm misinterpreting.

(update: she called, she spoke with lawyer and she is in the process of figuring out the financial aspect for herself. Lawyer said she really does not think there is any reason she could not get a program instead of time. DD2 sounds encouraged.) :)

We're paying rent (we won't let her come home), but she knows that comes to an abrupt end when she gets that first check in two weeks. She got a job within a week of trying (in this economy), and its not a pretty job, but she's doing it. She offered to pay us back the rent we've paid. Her dad said to just assume responsibility for as much of her costs as she can. We're not giving money, but we share food and she has agreed she will be getting on food stamps if not going into prison, until she can afford things more easily. I think these are healthy boundaries... Again, I'm interested if you have a different point of view...

I agree I'm focusing on her too much.

That stems from my confusion over her mental health issues and where to draw the the state seems to expect someone who is mentally ill, to use an impaired mind to make good choices, and yet when they don't, they don't get forced treatment (treatment which could improve their decision-making), they get time.

She had four years with no arrests even while unmedicated, and she was one week shy of two years clean.... and then relapsed when she broke up with her live-in boyfriend of a year (she had been working, paying bills, and clean the whole time and was trying a relationship for the first time in about seven years!). When she and the boyfriend realized it just wasn't going to work, she moved home (clean) and then started using.

This state is so pro-treatment (for addiction) and yet, she is having difficulty getting into a program for some reason. These arrests/cases are the result of a ten day period while she was loaded and still suicidal over the break up. And yes, she did it, and I can't cure or fix it.

If she was not mentally ill, this would all be so much easier for me to just say, "live with your consequences!" But she IS mentally ill. The laws in this state (anti-enforced treatment for mental illness) will take years to change..... I am grateful she is at this time willing to go back on medication as soon as she determines if she will be going "in" on the current case, or not doing time. She actually agrees that the meds will certainly help! For a bipolar, that is huge, because it is her "norm" to prefer the manic phases where she is up, up, up, all the time. I'm thankful for her current thinking and hoping she sticks to it!

But I see what you are all focus is too much on her....I'm overwhelmed right now, with everything that is going on. I've been working hard at my business, at trying to bring in extra money. I've been working hard at worrying, too....about my best friend's husband, my husband's employment, my finances, my kid and her case, etc. I haven't been doing much to take care of me...

And I do agree, gratitudes are important. I am grateful that DD2 is sober today, and working. I'm grateful that husband is still employed part time and I have medical benefits. I'm grateful that I am still able to work and that one of my delinquent physician accounts finally paid a bit of long overdue invoicing last week. Yay for groceries! (It's always been hard to understand how some of the doctors could want their dictation transcribed within 24 hours, but can't pay me within 30 days!)

Back to work for me! :)

Monday, April 6, 2009

I wonder if we could outlaw Mondays....

Probably not. And that really wouldn't solve anything.

I've not posted recently and that's because I've had nothing really positive to report. In fact, I'm pretty much a grump. I'm sorry.... I know I sign on every day and check to see what's happening with a good 15 or so others fighting this fight, but recently I haven't been able to muster up the ability to make a comment without crying over it, or put up a post, also without crying.

Feel free to skip this one - Its whiney! And its l-o-o-o-n-g!!

I made it through a particularly crappy day today, business-wise, and (good Lord willing and the creek don't rise) I'll make it through tomorrow. But I'm the first to admit I'm a basket case. I'm sure its my own fault. I still am attending a meeting a week when I can, and I'm trying to keep to my boundaries.

I'm a nice squirmy pile of questions and I'm on my last nerve, and I'm always one breath away from blowing my stack.

Getting a cooling rack out of the cabinet (on hands and knees on a day when my back was my enemy) resulted in the usual difficulties of too many items tangling up and my oldest daughter (DD1) listened from across the kitchen as I alternatively crashed, banged and slung things on the floor to extract the rack, screeching loudly "I hate this fr*cken kitchen and these s&**y little shelves and why does everything have to be so fr*cken hard!" followed by extraction of rack, upon which I stood up and calmly and perkily said "there!" in a quiet, satisfied voice and she looked at me with her mouth hanging open and we both laughed so hard we almost wet our pants. And then I cried.


DD2 is in the sober home. She is working at a car shop (insert-name-here Lube shop) and loves/hates it. But she is working every hour she can, and with a smile. She should have her first check soon and begin paying for the majority of her rent. She is happy at the sober home, loved by the house mom, and the girls....

She is still seeing her new boyfriend (at meetings or his sober home BBQs). He is in a court ordered rehab, and both of them seem very focused on doing what they need to do.

She goes back to court Thursday this week. She was never sentenced on the previous, smaller case (vehicular tampering that was dropped to 2 counts for which she and her codefendant were convicted). After all the silliness that was involved with a certain Mr. Bryant's presence in the jury pool, it was a fairly cut and dried but oddly humorous trial, according to the girls from her house who attended.

It seems weird to me that it went from "the judge is laughing and my lawyer says we're fine" to...

"I just got convicted and now we've changed court rooms and judges! the new judge says we may not even worry about it (a sentence).....because right after the guilty verdict, the DA sent a runner downstairs with paperwork and before the judge could take a breath and reconvene everyone for sentencing, the court room and judge were changed and new judge was looking at freshly filed grand theft charges."

I'm not stupid. And she's pretty brutally honest about herself when she's sober. She admits she was up to no good, both times she was arrested. But she swears that although what she has been involved with this time has been pretty horrid.... in fact worse than what she was arrested for... she did not do what they supposedly have charged her with.


But what bothered me? She (and her codefendant) was offered 3 years, for a guilty plea on the new grand theft case.... she turned that down and was offered 16 months. She turned that down and was offered six months. None of this makes any sense to me. Naively, I don't understand how you can bargain on this stuff.

She said six months means about four months upstate in a women's prison.

Prison. (that cracking sound you just heard? yep, my heart....)

But also what bothered me was that she explained to her public defender that she wished they would order her to a program for a year. Her old rehab mentor/friend, Milton, has told her she needs a year long program. Several others in the field, including her old sponsor (who is now her current temporary sponsor while all this shakes out, and is a rehab counselor also) have said the same thing.

She said, kind of desparately, to the defender, "Would you please see if the judge would consider a program! You want to put me away for six months, and I'm begging for a recovery program for a year, or assignment to a sober home at my own expense for a year, etc - twice as much time as you are offering me in prison which will not help me, really...."

And the public defender said, "Why should we give you a program? You're never going to change. You aren't worth it."

This was witnessed by the mother of the codefendant and one other girl from her home.

Is that upsetting me because I'm her mom? or because its just wrong for her defender to have that attitude about her? or both?

Abrupt subject change:
I sat in my meeting last week and listened to people talking about the steps. I'm pretty sure, as I've said before, I have the first one nailed. I am indeed powerless over her addiction and the effect that her addiction is having on me. I am unable to be around her for extended periods of time, live with her, or be deeply involved with the minute details of her life. I get it. I'm not fighting that part of it, in fact, I insisted that she NOT come back home.

I hear people talk about let go and let God. I hear about surrender. But I wonder if it's as much surrendering to someone (that I honestly don't get the feeling really truly cares about the whole thing)..... so much as its just accepting that (surrendering to the idea of, ceasing to flail against the notion that) I can't do anything about it.

If that's the case, I guess I have that part nailed too.

God's going to do what he wants to. Whether I protest or not. So is it surrendering? Letting him? or is it acknowledging that he's going to do what he darn well pleases anyway.

Let's face it....Italy just had a hell of an earthquake and people died. There is a war against genuine evil going on and our soldiers are dying. Innocent children are starving all over the world. Cancer is wiping out not just my best friend's husband, but a whole slew of little children over at Children's Hospital of O.C....

Do I really think that it matters to anyone other than me or my immediate family, whether she stays out of prison? Nope. God made her, so he knows her brain isn't working too well, and she makes bad decisions. What will be, will be..... Still, I pray that what will be best for her comes to pass. And really my one constant prayer is that God will bring someone in her life that will lead her back to him before she dies. That's it.

I get so confused any more. One thing I heard recently that made some sense was that God says one of three things "yes", "no", and "I have something better in mind" (which is a "no" in my opinion.)

And yet another subject change.
I found a lawyer I will suggest that she call....her website implies she has extensive recovery experience. It is a lawyer my husband met on his job when he was delivering something to her office. She shared an office with her husband who was active in a recovery group on the side, and he gave my husband a business card. I've held onto it for five years. I think she needs to at least talk with this lady.

And one more subject change. See what I mean? My brain is a squirmy mess.

My husband has been so uninvolved this time. I'm sure some people in program would say "good for him". But its not just that he won't do bail, or buy a lawyer, or go to court, or visit in jail (which really frosts me and seems (Matthew 25:35-45) to be in direct opposition to the Christian tenets he touts). He has not visited her once at her sober home. We took money out of savings to pay a portion of her rent for the first few weeks (and I've worked extra), but he has appeared very begrudging about that. He has not called her, not once. She has 90 days clean on Wednesday, I think. He seems glad to see her when she comes to the house, but he leaves and goes on a walk, or sits and watches the news.... after a brief hug and a few pointed remarks about "getting it right this time", he is just very stonefaced about the whole thing.

But after I spend the time taking the check to the sober home (27 miles, but I wait til the last minute each week instead of mailing it, to make sure she's not going in jail on her current case) and dropping off a few groceries (he agrees that's smarter than giving her money and she does need to eat, and its only peanut butter, jelly, homemade granola, and salad mix)

then he's all "tell me how DD2 is doing, etc." After a while, I feel like saying, if you want to know, go see her yourself. Call her yourself, and really LISTEN to her instead of blathering on about "hey, you gotta get it right this time."

He's not in the last bit upset about what the public defender said. "Oh well, consequences"....he says.

Maybe that's how I should feel? To me, there's a difference between apathy and healthy boundaries?

A final (I think) subject change...
She's not on medication right now. She went on meds for the first time, willingly, in jail. She went off, when one sober home she was trying to get in said they wouldn't take anyone on meds. She ended up in another sober home, but since she's now possibly going to prison - she's prudently staying off meds, so that she doesn't restart them, get incarcerated, go off of them for several weeks while waiting for the system to catch up to her and get her back on them.

All the "on/off" of the meds would be harder than just staying manic until she knows for sure what's happening (per the psychiatrist). She figures if she somehow escapes going to prison, she will immediately go to O.C. Mental Health and get back in their system, on meds, and also get on food stamps so that she can pay more of her own rent, which is appropriate and a good goal, I think.

(I've continued working extra hours to help pay for her rent while she waits for her first check. She knows that after that first check, I'm done and only going to be helping in a very abbreviated fashion.... more like sharing food we buy in bulk from a warehouse store, or sharing vegetables from our garden, etc. I'm looking forward to our relationship being more appropriate - getting together to do fun things, family dinners, going to a street fair, a picnic at the park, a meeting to see her take a chip, etc....)

Right now she's working hard, frantically going to meetings and trying not to think about what may happen Thursday. She's very very manic, sleeping an hour or three nightly, no more, and bouncing off walls.

I'm not sure what that last subject even was.

Obviously, its time for bed.

So as I said, I'm a big squirmy bitchy mess. I'm pissed at everyone and everything. I'm trying to do things that are frugal for my family (but take extra time). I'm worried that husband is going to lose his job (and our medical benefits) since his company has announced 1000 more layoffs are coming. DD1 is coping with being laid off and I'm trying to let her cope and stay out of her business. I'm not liking working extra hours. Its keeping me out of my sewing room (i.e., my sanity restoring room).

Gripe, gripe, gripe.

Whine, whine, whine..... I will shut up now.

(And I'm just confused. I'm almost afraid to investigate some book titles I've seen lately (No More Letting Go?). Sheesh, I had just gotten used to the fact that I had to detach!)

Good night all! I'm taking my grumpy self to bed, and I'm going to get up tomorrow and fight another day! And I am going to eagerly anticipate that there is a 50% chance its going to be a good one! So there! :)