Wednesday, October 7, 2009

An email and an answer to Madison's question...

First, I got an email late last night. I had sent DD2 an email in the evening, with a verse that Debby had posted that I found encouraging... My daughter answered a bit later, reiterating her apologies and answering a question I posed, stating she wanted to go to Lifelines meeting at The Crossing if possible on Friday. :) That's been our little visit time each week, and I am encouraged she wishes to go, if she gets off work in time. I have no idea if she will really go to work today. But that is her decision to make and it will be her consequences to deal with if she does not.

Madison's question:

Is it too harsh to suggest that she should be working a minimum of full time, following the court order to not see the boyfriend and paying back the courts for the costs of her behavior?

I agree Madison…. I really do. :)

A little background. After two solid weeks of job hunting daily, she got her current part time job. $8.00/hour X 30 hours a week - $240.00 a week. After taxes, she is taking home approximately $200. Rent for sober home is $160.00 a week.

She finds out later this week if she gets any sort of commission bonus – that’s supposedly about $50-$100 if she qualifies, but she has been told that no one has qualified so far this session.

After paying rent, she has $40.00 a week to use for bus passes ($3.00 to $4.00 a day depending on whether she changes buses to get to destination), $1 every time she uses house washer or house dryer (sheets/towels weekly and at least one load of clothing weekly equals $4.00 or more weekly), etc. She’s been buying her own food (we fill in with silly stuff occasionally – last week we didn’t have anything she needed on hand, the week before I gave her a jar of peanut butter and a box of rice, a block of tofu and 2 avocados….. not impressive, but she asked for and enjoyed them).

I guess my point is, with $40.00 left each week after paying rent for the probation-approved sober home, they would have her subtract $25.00 to set aside for a $100.00 probation payment, which would leave her $15.00 for food, laundry and bus passes. I haven’t tried to eat on less than $10.00 a week in a long time. I’m not sure how healthy that would be.

I agree she should get a full time position. She wants that desperately because that would enable her to be more financially secure AND off evenings for meetings. She doesn’t feel she is getting to enough meetings. And not just to see the boyfriend, as he isn’t around for her meetings during the week because he normally drives from 1 AM to 9 or 10 AM (big trucks) and by the time he is off and available, she is working, and by the time she gets off work (1PM to 8 PM with mandatory 1 hour break) he is in bed across the county, sleeping so he can get up to drive again at 1 AM.

She has looked for a part time job to fill in on weekends, but right now, she’s been unable to find a second job for only Saturday and/or Sunday. Those darn teenagers with no felony records seem to have snatched them up. :)

She wants a full time job. One of the ways people are avoiding paying benefits around here is to only hire part timers. Finding a felony-friendly full time job is challenging, to say the least. Again, that’s her consequences rearing their heads.

She is putting her resume out there, and until this week she had been pounding the pavement. When she is on a manic “up” cycle, that pavement pounding works well for her. I hope she will resume the job hunt and continue working this job she doesn’t like, at the same time, and find something with better hours that will allow her to work and go to meetings. Right now, if she takes bus to meetings in the mornings, there’s not any time left for job hunting before she walks to work. If she tries to get a late meeting after work, she better have a private ride, because the bus may get her home after curfew. Her customary meetings start at 7 or 7:30 nightly…before she gets off at 8 and walks home.

(Rent for sober home was $175 a week, but she was able to negotiate a lower price after finding out some other girls were paying less, and the owner was charging more because “your parents were paying, you weren’t.” She got really angry about that, but waited until she was calm and then spoke with the owner and negotiated the lower price. She has been paying rent herself, and paying the lower rate, for several weeks. I cannot tell you how much that pissed me off, but I kept my mouth shut.)

I agree she should pay probation (though maybe not $100 a month right now….I at least feel she should pay something).

I think she should follow the probation officer’s ban on seeing the boyfriend other than meetings, church, and meals before or after same. If she chooses to see him more often on the weekend, that’s on her.

I am hoping and praying she finds a better job – it would help her on many levels. She is really a good worker (when clean). She worked for one fancy car company here as a temp receptionist/cashier for over a year, and then they were going to make her a full-time employee until they found out about her record. The entire company signed a petition to get the owner to lift his objection to her record, since she had a year of excellent work record with them. It didn’t work, but she kept that petition to remind herself that she can do a good job!

I will say, however, I think Probation should be setting an example. Don’t say you are going to lift the ban if she tests clean, has a job, is living in a sober home, and has her court card for meeting attendance signed appropriately, if you don’t mean it. And don’t promise that if you don’t mean it, three visits in a row.

What is Probation teaching there, other than the fact that they can break promises and she just has to take it? Is that some sort of lesson in how much authority sucks? I honestly don’t understand why boyfriend’s probation officer told his mother that my daughter’s probation officer (they work together) is "just playing games with her and on a power trip, and that in her personal opinion, they should be able to be together and support each other."

But as always, this comes back to those pesky consequences rearing their heads.

Anyway, thank you all for your comments. I started to say, you have no idea how much they help me, but then again, I bet you do know how much the support of this blogging community helps each of us!


  1. As I was reading this, I couldn't help but think about how I used to focus on what was going on in the lives of others. I spent a lot of time trying to direct what they were doing and what they were spending money on. I now focus on me and understand that the others in my life have a Higher Power and I'm not it. That has helped me to get out of their way and allow them the dignity to either succeed or fail. Take care of yourself.

  2. I have so much to learn. I don't want to know all her details. At the same time, I'd want to help her, if it was possible and not enabling, if she asked for help. In order to make that decision, shouldn't I have details? Example: If she said she was short and needed a few food items, is it appropriate to make that assistance contingent on seeing a paystub that reflects whether or not she worked all five available work days the previous week? i.e., is she short because she bailed out on work two days? or is she short because she worked but just doesn't make quite enough with her current employment situation? I don't know.

    Again, I have so much to learn.

  3. So sorry the children don't come with instruction manuals. When my daughter was in trouble due to her behavior, my huband and I prayed our asses off and when it seemed right, provided tangible things (such as auto tires, when they were slashed??!!) We had to boot her from our home, gave her advanced warning, kept to our boundary lines, and prayed, prayed, prayed. I'm sure she went hungry sometimes. But it was tough love, and trust that God would carry her, teach her, help her to survive. And she has!