Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Five Days

Disclaimer: Rambling and long….and a bit “down” in spots….Sorry! Any ESH you might think applicable would be gratefully accepted!

I’m not visiting this Friday, because she gets out next Sunday night/Monday morning. So last Friday was the last visit.

Last time hustling madly to get out the door.

Last time remembering to pack toilet paper….. (hey, we are in financial distress here in California – they can’t afford to keep paper in the lobby potty, apparently.)

Last time fighting the 91West traffic at 10:40 AM. And wondering why there is such a mess at that time of morning!

Last time getting “carded” to get in….. twice….

Last time putting money on her books. We’re so tight around here with this stinking economy that I was never able to put much on her books, and I really didn’t think it was up to me/us to keep her comfy in there….

But we did keep her in lukewarm instant coffee! And she thanked us every time she saw us.

Last time showing the newbie parents where the lockers are, which way to face going up in the elevator so that they don’t get trampled when the back door opens, which way to go when getting off the elevator, etc…..

Last time fighting the tears on the ride back down to the lobby.

Last time dealing with one of my personal phobias (parking garages…. Think earthquake!) while still emotional and on edge already from the visitation process.

Last time…… I hope and pray.

She speaks to me and Sister with enthusiasm, alternating with tears. She is so full of plans and promises. She is taking direction from several counselors inside, and wants to go to a county-funded treatment center. She finally thinks she’s finding answers to her counselor/friend/mentor Milton’s eternal question: "Whatcha gonna do different this time?!" She has several answers, actually, and one of them is that she thinks she didn’t do the “God thing” right until this time. She’s “spending a lot of time praying”.

I’m making all the appropriate responses to that….. But I sometimes feel sort of hypocritical when I do. I pray for my daughter. I pray for your child too. And your husband, your wife…. I pray for the loved ones of all those I have met here in this blogging community, who are fighting addictions of any kind. I hope my prayers are heard. I hope that what I’m pleading for comes to pass. I think, every now and then, about how I was taught that if I’m asking for Him to do something that is His will, that it will come to pass…..and how could it not be His will for an addict to get clean and stay clean, find Him, find His help/love/peace…..?

so it should come to be.

Makes perfect sense.

Doesn’t always work that way.

Is it a case of “It is what it is?”

I read how some of you are so very trusting. So able to let go. So absolutely certain that God will take care of your child. And right there, where it counts, I flounder. I don’t trust that He will do that. I beg that He will.

Or, more accurately, I beg that He will not take her, or let her die, whatever…. before she finds her way back to Him. Not before she grows old, not before she gives me grandkids, not before she is happily married, employed, independent, etc. Please don’t take her before she finds her way back to You.

That’s all I can really seem to ask for, for my daughter.

I have Step One nailed. I’ve said that before. I know, without any doubt, that I AM POWERLESS in this situation.

And that what will be, will be.

But I don’t trust that He will keep her safe.

I don’t think that I can keep her safe. I don’t think that she can.

But I am not certain that He will.

When your child is found lifeless in a storage unit somewhere with a needle hanging out of her arm, like one of my daughter’s friends was two years ago, what is the answer for the brokenhearted mom who was trusting Him to keep her beloved daughter safe? I’ve watched that mom go from a strong, positive, faith-filled mom, to a shadow of herself. She goes nowhere now. She feels betrayed. She is unable to pray. She is going through the motions of living, in a minimal way, and I have no answers for her. No one does.

I’ve learned a lot in Alanon. I’ve learned a lot in books I’ve read. I’m getting the parts about boundaries, taking care of me, I deserve a life, and I deserve serenity, and she has to do this for herself, and she needs to do this for herself, and she will be better for having done this for herself….and I can’t do it for her. I get all that.

But bottom line, for now, I’m just still back here with HOPE. (and a fair amount of terror!)

I don’t have faith. But I have HOPE. And I will have HOPE until the day she breathes her last breath. I envy some of you your faith, sometimes.

Other times I just acknowledge that this just may not work out any way except excruciatingly painful for me for the rest of my life. I may lose her.

Into everyone’s life, there comes some Big Sads. I have so many Big Glads. I’ve been so fortunate. I still have both parents, have never had cancer, have been married for 30+ years (not entirely happily, but we’re a work in progress, I guess), I have pretty decent health, I have vision, I can hear….I have not lost either daughter to a car accident or illness or drowning….

Maybe I need to just accept that that gut wrenching sorrow is a normal part of life. Some of us will lose our kids before we die.

(And yes, maybe she’ll lose me. None of us are promised tomorrow.)

I think I’d throw away all I have, if I could know that by doing so, I could be certain my daughters would be sober, safe, content.

I don’t care if they are super successful in the materialistic sense of the word. But if they can live independently and with honor and integrity….and know a sense of peace? I’d say they were really successful. I’d be so grateful.

If my daughter doesn’t learn how to handle the bumps in the road of life without using, I likely will indeed lose her.

I will continue praying (begging), for your addicts and for my addict, and I HOPE my prayers are heard. It means a lot to me when others pray for my daughter….I hope their prayers are heard too. The low self-esteem part of my brain tells me “maybe He’ll listen to them, if not to you.” (Stinkin' thinkin', I know.)

But with all this top of mind, I try to savor the good moments, file away her laughter, her smile, her touch, in my heart. Because my begging and my hope may not be enough.

I’m sorry for the “down” post. This has been bothering me for so so long. I’m so tired of being terrified that my daughter will be the next one found in the storage unit. She almost died several times before (the last time, right before her most recent arrest) and had her boyfriend not realized her breathing had slowed so dramatically, and had he not thrown her bodily into a cold shower and then literally kept her awake, talking and walking the next few hours, I’m not sure she’d be with us today. That was a huge turning point for him. It’s just another good story for her.

I will forever be grateful that he was alert enough to realize what had happened, and oddly, I am not at all upset that he was using with her. She was going to use. There is no point in getting pissed that he was using with her. I’m so glad he’s sober now. I’ve told him repeatedly, and he makes promises of course, not to let her bring him down. I think he’s a bit stronger than she is. Time will tell.

They both had seven months clean, last Sunday.

Bottom line, I’m going to shut up and get back to work. Sorry for the length of this post, the disjointed nature of it, and the display of abject terror!

I’m still praying…. For my addict, for yours…. And hoping…. Thank you for your prayers!


  1. I feel your pain. I lived there. I trust God with my daughter now because nothing else worked. Prayer is the only thing I can do for her. I think it's a very powerful action to take. As you live it out, you trust more. The more you believe He's moving in her heart, the more you change. When you change, they change.

  2. I am in the exact same spot. I pray, but I do not fully have the faith that he will take care of my son, at least not in the way that "I" think he should be taken care of. I am learning that God works on his own time and in his own plan. God does have a plan and it is not usually in allignment with what we think our addicts plan would look like. I do know that my son stole morophine from my dying sister and the next day at work, in the bathroom where I have my best thoughts..ha, I asked the Lord to please step in a provide a Divine Intervention for my son. I received a call at work that he was arrested 10 minutes after that request! Powerful stuff I have to say. I also asked for another divine intervention for my Cousin's daughter who was drugged out and missing in LA. They found her within 30 minutes of that request. It doesn't always work out the way we reuest, but he is there and he does listen and take care. My terror level fluctuates, but when it is at its worst, I just pray over and over to God to give me strength to give it all to him. God Bless you and I will pray for you daughter nightly:)

  3. I agree..... prayers are not always answered in the fashion that we might like.... that's why my most constant prayer for her is that she find her way back to Him. Not even that she LIVES, although obviously, that would be my "selfish" desire, to have her in my life! I wonder, sometimes, if "surrender" isn't just another word for realizing that I can't really orchestrate any of this. I can't fix it. I have accepted that. Maybe that means I've surrendered. I dunno. But I deeply and thoroughly understand, I have no control over anything. (Except maybe my responses to all the things that happen that I have no control over!) So I'm trying to be positive, trying to continue to pray and have hope, and looking forward to a big Hug-Fest Monday at about 2 AM!

  4. I don't do the god thing but I do believe in the capability of people to accomplish amazing and impossible things. My belief in that the impossible can be accomplished includes my son. Keep believing in your daughter, I think that is the strength she needs to succeed. Seldom do you ever find anyone succeeding at anything without a strong support network that believes in that person.

    You mentioned one thing that I am going to use when the time is right with my son. Before he is released from The Center (jail) I am going to ask him to list 5 things specifically he is going to do different than he has ever tried before to stop using. I'm a believer that doing the same thing over and over expecting a different result is pure insanity. We have to try different strategies if we want different results.

  5. Although our paths are different, some aspects are the same. When I see Tim suffer with his dad's death, and the "death" of his son simultaneously, I pray for them both. I wonder if I can truly surrender to God....I pray and come so close to "whatever it takes, God, just bring him back" but I can't say it. What if it takes Libby's death....or my own? Or our precious Wiffie's death? Can I really say "whatever" to Him? I'm sad and ashamed to say, my lack of faith and trust prevents me. I don't want to be gone from here - I love my life, and I am so selfish that I don't want to give it up. I guess I have a long way to go. But I am so glad I have Him to help me! I love you, sis!

  6. OMG, you have heaped up a huge dose of "what if."

    Well, "what if"
    she doesn't die
    she grows into a beautiful woman with a husband and children
    she finds her inner beauty, and uses it to spread compassion in the world

    or "what if"
    she dies of lymphoma
    she embarks on a career as a stripper
    she decides to be a Hare Krishna

    I'm trying to say the "what ifs" are endless. Tomorrow is a vast unknown for ALL of us. I never imagine my son dying with a needle in his arm, Joy. I'll cross that bridge if and when it comes up.

    I had a hard time with praying, it was all new to me. I was not particularly religious until God gave me a sign. It was a very personal moment, but to me it was unmistakable. God said reach out, ask for help. He told me to be genuine, not to be ashamed of Andrew. He told me that by opening my heart to others, I would find peace. I hope this does not sound preachy or corny. Take some time every day to pray and meditate--to connect with God. Don't worry about doing it right. See if He doesn't give you a sign! I don't mean He tells you everything will be great. I mean He shows you how to cope with whatever happens.

    One thing I told my husband was that his life was half over. How much more of his time left was he going to spend on shoulda, woulda, coulda. He said he never thought of it that way.

  7. Good points Lou! I wish I could write as plainly as you can! I think what I was trying to convey was that, indeed, all those things (and those you listed) could happen and there is nothing I can do to make it happen or prevent it.... So maybe that was what surrender is - to realize that? And to accept that?

    You didn't sound preachy or corny and I value your input - thank you!! And I will keep on praying and meditating. :)

  8. I am sure that this was a painful post to write. I don't have children. I often wonder that if I had what would I do? I guess that I would do all that I could to love them and to keep them safe. But there does come a point when there is nothing left to do, when it's time to let go. I wish the best for you and your child.

  9. Hope Springs eternal - I hope, hope, hope for you and yours


  10. Seven months clean....? and she's had counseling. She's thinking clearly and has big plans for herself. This might be it. She might just make a change this time. Sending positive thoughts your way.

  11. Yes, seven months (of which one month was in jail before her next-to-last court case....followed by almost two months on the outside (during which her last court case took place). She stayed clean during that almost two months surrounding the last court cast, and, most importantly, she stayed clean after sentencing and turned herself in clean to serve four months. Her friends in program tell me that was a big good step, going in clean. :)

    She is also medicated right now. That also is huge and I'm grateful that she decided to go back on her bipolar medications. One of our first stops Monday will be at Mental Health so she can get her meds and make her own arrangements for follow up with them.

    That of course, is after we stop at Starbucks!