Thursday, December 24, 2009

Season's Greetings to all!

Hey everyone, this brokenhearted mom visited my blog today - please take a moment to "welcome" her to our blogging community and show some support!! We all know how much it can mean!

(hoping the linkie works!)

To those who celebrate it, a blessed and Merry Christmas to you!!! To those who do not, Happy Holidays!! I wish each and every one of you dear people many moments of peace, and joy, and a sense of realization of our many blessings, over the next few days. Thanks for sharing your lives with me!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The Wait

Court websites show my daughter and the boyfriend each pled "not guilty" yesterday. It's a process I do not understand, but apparently they are given an offer (example: 2 years digging ditches) in exchange for a guilty plea, and avoidance of a trial. They don't like the offer? They plead "not guilty" and everyone goes back to their respective corners to hang around and think a bit. I'm sure it's more involved and serious than that, but I don't understand it, and it makes no sense that they can plead not guilty considering their condition when brought in for violating probation. Wouldn't a simple drug test have solved that beyond the shadow of a doubt?

Normally it's a bit of time before they meet in the center of the ring again. Then they get a slightly better offer and the opportunity to plead guilty or not guilty again. Last night, the website showed she would be in court again on 12-31, he would be there again 12-23. They call it pre-trial, but it translates to "next better offer opportunity".

This morning, for some inexplicable reason, the web site shows they are both in superior court, different court rooms. I guess "next better offer" came sooner than they thought.

The last I heard from her was Sunday night, in which she told me if going to prison meant a shorter time away, she was going to prison. She has no idea what prison is really like. She thinks it has carpeted two person cells, classes to take, television and an exercise area. She has no idea that short-term inmates never get out of the A-yard, a pit that is filthy, crowded, and where if you don't know the rules and how to survive, you can easily miss getting fed for several days, you can get hurt badly, and you can't make calls, have money posted to your books etc, for up to eight weeks.

She also mentioned several times that "they were so close to having everything they wanted, a life together, etc" and that "she should just be dead, and she wished she was dead, it would be easier on everyone." I have no idea if the death wishes are genuine or attention-seeking.

I tried to remain calm on the phone. I only really got emotional once, when I told her I really didn't want to lose her. Other than that, I tried to encourage her to marshall all the stubbornness and drive and determination I know she has, that we've seen in her all her life, that made us nick-name her Spunky, and use it to get to the life she wanted.

I told her finally, "until you want sobriety even more than I as your mother want it for you, and until you want sobriety for yourself MORE than you want Boyfriend in your life..... it's probably not going to work." I tried to explain to her again, that until they are each WHOLE persons, healthy and able to stand on their own two feet, they don't stand a chance at succeeding together.

Until she is sober and wants a sober, healthy, honorable life more than she wants to be with anyone ELSE, she's not ready to be with any one else.

I told her I adore her boyfriend. I think they have something special. But I think they went for it all too soon, before they were strong enough to be together. She seemed to understand what I was trying to convey.

I only said those things AFTER she asked for my opinion, and I told her that ultimately, it's ALL UP TO HER. My opinion doesn't mean anything. It's her opinion, her goals, her desires for her own life that matter.

All I can do is wait, pray and love her from out here.

The next visiting day is Christmas. My husband is flatly refusing to go, ever, as usual, even if she's going to be transferred to a prison and even though he only works part-time and has more free time than anyone in this house. My oldest daughter has said she will visit "some" but she doesn't have it in her to go every week this time. I understand that from her, as she has school, a nanny job, and enough homework to choke a horse... I'm not going to concern myself with his decision, just my own. I think I will go, but likely not every week. I'm working way more than full time and I'm tired. Going Christmas day will kill me. Staying at home will kill me too.

I am so tired. I'm so grateful she's alive. But I am having a hard time digging up my "hope" today.

"One day at a time", is best done "an hour at a time" today. I am setting a timer and focusing on work for an hour and then taking a few minutes break to take out dogs, watch them cavort in the backyard, cry, stomp my foot, and then it's back to the timer for another hour of work! Works for me! :)

Thursday, December 17, 2009

That was fast....

“The sword of justice is swift and sharp….”

That’s a phrase that came to mind just now as I hung up from the collect call from my daughter.

Yep. They got both of them, at Boyfriend’s place.

Both probation officers, hers and his (who are friends and well acquainted with each of the cases) apparently showed up and arrested my daughter and her boyfriend for two violations: being together and under the influence. (She had lost the right to be with her boyfriend when they tested dirty at Thanksgiving, and they were back to only being able to see each other at meetings, which they were not obeying.)

Seems she missed her appointment with her officer this past Tuesday. Seems the officer found out she was not at the sober home.

Seems like she gets a nice chance to be safe, and do some thinking. From what she said, she will be in court Friday or Monday and she’ll find out then what is going to happen to her as far as additional jail time, discharge to a program, whatever.

I’m soooooo grateful.

Edited after subsequent phone call from her probation officer: I received a call and was told that she had been arrested. Further, her officer shared that "the narcotics agents who brought them in said it was very very bad." These were seasoned officers and they told her probation officer that they did not think the two of them had another weekend in them. They were that close to killing themselves with the amounts/kinds of things that were found there at the scene.

This may have saved both their lives. I honestly hope they keep them a good long while so some lessons sink in. I am so grateful to these police officers and probation officers!!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

She's not done....

DD1 and I went out shopping tonight, to one of our favorite places: Ikea. (I’ve always said Ikea stands for I Kan Even Afford it.) We were big spenders (not!). I got a bunch of pot holders for 50 cents apiece, and dish towels for 49 cents. I even splurged and got extras to give my “adopted” son and his significant other (who also is DD1’s BFF). We wandered around in the store for almost two hours.

It’s fun to dream about how we will furnish our “someday” houses, DD1 when she moves out on her own after finishing her second degree, and me when I get to that retirement home/farmette in the mountains. It helped to take our mind off DD2 for a few hours.

We left there and grabbed some huge steaming bowls of ramen noodles and various add-ons at a little Japanese place nearby. That put us within a few blocks of DD2’s sober home.

So DD1 and I stopped by to “give her a hug and say hi.” Or that was the excuse we used, anyway. To be honest, we were simply being nosy. I wanted to know if she was living there, and if she even remotely appeared to be okay.

She was not there. She hasn’t been there since the time the rent was paid for this week, last Friday night. The girls at the home said they think she is staying with the boyfriend. Apparently her stuff is safe there, and she can come back, but I think she has to test clean to do so. I’m not sure. There were more details than I could take in, really. The reality is, she’s “out there”, and she’s “not done.”

The girls at the house voiced so much concern. It was really kind of sweet. They said they miss her and love her and wish she’d come back. They said they were “sorry I had to find out like this.” I assured them I was 98% sure what was going on, days ago. I could “hear it” in her voice.

One of the girls cried and that made me sad too. She said she has a hard time seeing the pain that other moms go through because it shows her what she did to her mom. I tried to encourage her, and actually all of them – and I reminded them I pray for everyone in the house every single day… More hugs and I was out the door and gone. It was only five quick minutes, but it confirmed what we’ve feared for days.

It hit my DH really hard. I think he’d been hoping it was all a misunderstanding, that we were interpreting things incorrectly.

DD1, my oldest daughter, seems okay. Resigned, sad, but okay. She did ask at one point, almost in a ‘thinking out loud’ manner, “Are we going to have another sad Christmas this year, like last year?” I knew exactly what she meant.

Last year, we waited around all day for DD2 to show up. She kept calling and stating she was sick but would be there soon. I told her to just rest and we'd see her another time - I'm not stupid. I knew that "sick" meant "dopesick" and "being there soon" meant "being there after she got her next fix." By the time she did arrive at 6 pm, her dad had already gotten depressed and gone to bed (he got up briefly) and DD1 had gone to her best friend’s house to get away from it all.

DD2 showed up with a using buddy, opened her few presents (we had given her a few inexpensive shirts and some socks, that sort of thing.... we didn’t want to give her any sort of gift she could have sold for drugs), watched while her friend ate some left overs that I offered both of them, and then she hugged us, and left. She was so, so loaded. I was so upset and emotionally exhausted from the whole mess that I also went straight to bed after she left.

Nope, this year will not be like that!

The three of us have vowed that if DD2 is sober enough to chose to join us, she is welcome. She only needs to let us know that she'd like to join in.

But regardless, we three who remain in this house will go to the candlelight service at church that my husband loves so much. We will relax, watch movies, eat way too many snacks and enjoy each other’s company. We will open gifts on Christmas morning and enjoy seeing the delight each of us derives from both the giving and the receiving. In the afternoon, a big group of DD1’s friends are going to see the new movie Sherlock Holmes and then spend the evening together playing board games and hanging out, etc. When she leaves to go join her friends, DH and I will settle down for an afternoon and evening of relaxation. (He gave me a list of movies he was interested in adding to his collection, and I got several of them for him for Christmas, so we will have things to watch and we will enjoy the time.)

Will it be the Christmas I had hoped for? No. But we will make it the best one we can! And we will continue to pray for our daughter and to HOPE.

It's all we can do. We've tried everything else we could possibly do, in the last decade. This is all we have left. Love, prayer and hope.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Cookie hints for any who are interested...

(Sidney asked how these are done...) The technique on the cookies which appear painted is a bit like what you will see here:

(not sure that I can get a link to work tonight....Sigh.)

Okay, in a nutshell, these are FUN. Bake your favorite cut-out sugar cookie in plain simple shapes like circle, star, bell, etc.

Make a batch of regular old generic royal icing, but, after it is properly made, dilute the batch with a tiny bit (teaspoon?) of water. Royal icing has to be able to hold a peak to be properly made, but then I dilute with that one teaspoon of water and it is a bit more runny.....

It flattens when laid on a cookie. It becomes a smooth, white base.

I get icing in colors from a craft store or Wilton store, etc, that are in squeeze tubes. (If you are really a glutton for punishment, dye a bit of the royal icing with strong food coloring, and put in a decorating bag with a tiny hole tip.... but I usually am lazy and buy the squeeze colors.)

(DD1 getting fancy!)

Ice ONE cookie, and only one cookie, at a time with the royal icing. (They get hard fast and you need it to be wet)

Click on picture - hopefully my drawings will give you an idea of what I'm talking about with the direction of the toothpicks!

Immediately pipe onto the cookie some colored lines or dots. For Example, for a round cookie, start with icing a small red circular line in the middle of the cookie, come out about 1/4-1/2 inch and place another circle, etc. Then take a clean toothpick, start in center and gently pull it through the icing to the edge of the cookie. WIPE IT OFF. Repeat in another location, like spokes on a wheel.

If you go out to the edge with one swipe and in to the center with the next, you get a more swirled look.

Pulling the toothpick through a dot creates a heart. Pulling the toothpick through a short straight line creates a pair of teardrops or leaves.

If you put a series of red dots on the white icing, in the shape of a candycane, and then take the toothpick and travel around the imaginary edge of the candycane, grazing the red dots all the way around - you get a gorgeous candycane that is swirled in the traditional way.

It's addictive, in a good way. We make these cookies every year, for the sheer fun of dragging the toothpicks through the colors and making new designs!

Stepping out of her way....

Just a quick update. She hasn't been to work yet this week. I don't know who paid rent last week. Not even sure if she's still living in the sober home.

We didn't call her all weekend. I finally called yesterday and I kept it superficial, just asking how she was, and whether she was over the "bug" she had last week. (She did not work Friday either, she said.) She says she is over the "bug" but later dropped a few bits of information that paint a less-than-optimal picture. She was in Boyfriend's car. He had not been to work either. She sounded tired, and teary.

My DH called her today. She was again, in car with Boyfriend, and they were on the way to her Probation appointment where, she informed her dad, she would test clean. Again, she sounded teary and it was obvious to him that something is wrong.

I'm going to focus on getting my work done, getting upstairs to my sewing room, and I'm going to remember to say a quick prayer each time I think of her, and then forcibly focus on something else. We've been down this road enough times to know it is useless to try to intervene and probably even delays her inevitable arrival at the consequences.

I cannot keep her alive. I cannot keep her sober. I cannot make her want sobriety for herself. And wanting it for herself is the only way she stands a chance of success at sobriety.

We're getting out of her way. We will not stand between her and whatever she must learn on this leg of her journey. It is between her, her probation officer, her sober home (if she is even living there), and God. We will, however, NEVER GIVE UP HOPE!!

And to close on a happier note, DH delivered all the cookies to my physician clients yesterday. Here are a few pictures that might make your mouth water!

The picture second from the bottom, is one of the two tables we had set up to pack plates up into bags DH would line up in the car to deliver. The bottom picture is one of the smaller sized plates we filled.


Wednesday, December 9, 2009

I knew it!

I knew it.

I knew we needed to say “no”. My husband said that you guys would reinforce that.

And you did.

Every single one of you who commented!

I’ve heard nothing since her dad told her “no”. That of course, remains a static buzz in my awareness….. just a gnawing sensation that all is not entirely well between me and my daughter.

But, I am going to walk in faith today that we’ve done the right thing. I’m not going to worry about tomorrow. Except that tomorrow, I’m going to do the same thing: walk in faith that we’ve done the right thing.

Basic “one day at a time” stuff. (and my arms are up!)

I plan to email her later in the week as usual, to see if she wants to catch the Lifelines meeting Friday night at The Crossing Church. Maybe she will respond.

And if not, I’m going to keep on walking.

This may not work out the way I would like for it to, but that's just how it goes sometimes! In the meantime, I’m going to set that example of healthy living and healthy boundaries that everyone suggests. You guys have the distance from my situation that allows you to see it clearly. So I take your input very seriously.

Thank you all for your comments and encouragement. I will keep praying for mine and yours.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Boundary enforcement sucks.

Since she relapsed, she has moved back to her previous sober home.

She had stayed out of work for a week (I’m not sure it was necessary for her to do that, but I will grant you, having seen him, that he was in no shape to work that week). They came by and I could not believe his appearance. He had a huge scab on his neck and several on the back of his hands. He looked tired. She looked perfectly normal to me, except for the tears.

He paid for this past week for her at the sober home, and she went back to work. I believe he is back to work also. He tested clean for his job, if that is the case. Otherwise, he’d have been fired by his dad. On the spot.

He has to move to a new place this weekend. He had been housesitting in a place his sponsor owned, until the short sale could take place. His time there is up and he’s looking for a sober home. Actually, they hope to talk their P.O.s into a couples sober home. The rent would be cheaper and they would like to be able to support each other in a sober environment.

More information about the relapse has surfaced. They made the mistake of having a drink. It was all down hill from there. Apparently, they were on a good one…. And it was a real mess.

An email from my daughter stated “we just built a lot of wreckage in ONE F&#KING NIGHT. So it sucks. We just cry alot. And its hard. He might have to do jail time - we don’t know yet. We are going to ask our POs if we can do a couples sober living. It is kind of a compromise. They will probably say no but we will see.”

We’ve tried to be positive and supportive emotionally. We said she could not come and stay with us at all (as we had previously stated she could, when she was sober). She says she is clean now, and I’m sure that is between she and her P.O. If she’s not, someone other than myself can be concerned about it.

Yesterday she asked if we could loan her the rent for the sober home this Friday. For seven days. The following Friday she would pay us the week we loaned her, and pay the sober home for two additional weeks, thereby putting herself one week ahead.

There is a piece of paper in her files here somewhere, that used to hang proudly on the pantry door. She paid off a car we sold her and she paid off different debts, early in this decade of addiction, by having her father pay a bill to avoid interest and then she made regular payments to him. Over the stint of sobriety last lasted almost two years, she paid off the $5,000 used car, and then started on several thousands more of debt. When she relapsed that time, probably five years ago, there was a fair amount left on that tab. She had made great strides on her debts, but we have not seen any more of that money.

From that point on, we didn’t loan. We gave. And only when she was freshly out of jail. We paid sober home fees until she could get a job and her first check, and each time, we considered it a gift.

I did recently loan her money, two months ago. I bought tickets for a concert she wanted to take him to, for his birthday, and two weeks later when she got paid, she paid me back the $40.00. However, she was 8+ months clean at that time.

At best, right now, she has about 10 days clean.

My husband and I talked about it. My heart wanted to say yes and loan her the money. I had told her I thought the answer would be “No”, but that I would talk to her dad about it, and not attempt to sway his decision.

He said “No.” I did not try to change his mind. My heart is aching. I am really having a hard time with this one. Her dad said, “it sounds like consequences to me.”

(At one point he also humorously pointed out that he thought my blogging friends would say to step back and let her find her way through this. That’ll teach me to share posts and comments from other bloggers, right!? Just kidding!)

As much as I want to loan her the money, I feel like she can at least explore other options.

An advance on her paycheck? It’s a small company and her boss is not only a former drug user, he has full knowledge of what is going on with her, and he has been giving commissions early this month, to those who want them for Christmas shopping. She is not on commission, but since this is money for work she has already done and will be on her next check, perhaps he could advance the money.

A loan from someone else?

She says she’ll have to go to a homeless shelter. I wonder why she can’t go to the sober home owner and ask for one week’s grace, and then promise to pay three weeks with her next check, just like she had planned to, if we had made her the loan. It’s a business, and I know the homeowner probably has been burned in the past.

But she could lose a week and possibly gain three?

Or she can lose a week and possibly never get my daughter back there again? If she leaves she has also voiced trying to get into a studio apartment of her own, alone. Bad idea, from previous experience. The sober home has open beds right now, so it's not like its a bad gamble. Girls are not in line at the door.


I don’t know if we are doing the right thing or not. I have no way of knowing if she is really working as much as she says she is, or if she would make good on a loan.

I just know that I’m so very very tired, and so very very sad. If I loaned her the money, I’d be doing it for me. Because for one more week, she’d be housed, and in the best possible situation to try to continue fighting for her sobriety.

I know that bottom line, if my not loaning her the money, and her having to move to a homeless shelter for a week is used as an excuse for her to relapse, then I guess she’s not “done”.

If she decides to give up and use, then she doesn’t want sobriety more than anything. She wants sobriety if it’s not too much work.

The problem I have with all of this today, is that my daughter is broken. And it's never EVER going to go away. And I’d take having her in my life, BROKEN, over not having her at all. I can still see glimpses of her in there.

The mom I know in Alanon who lost her daughter this past year? She regrets the stand she took. Yet, another mom (I have met two more in my Alanon/Naranon Parents group who lost a child in the past year or two and are now going through this again with another child) is sad but okay with the decisions she’s making. This is such a crapshoot.

Main Entry: crap·shoot
Pronunciation: \ˈkrap-ˌshüt\
Function: noun
Date: 1971
: something (as a business venture) that has an unpredictable outcome

I had to look that up to make sure I was using the word correctly! Sounds like a good description of life!

I just went and re-read Madison's post (Its-not-that-we-wont) two more times! It helps!

I will sincerely try to make a more positive post soon.... I'm pretty much a messy pile of raw emotions right now, and that's probably augmented by things like hormonal imbalances and the "joyous" holiday season.... But THIS TOO SHALL PASS!
I will work on my attitude and my gratitudes.

And as always, we have HOPE!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Color us confoozled...

She had ten months. She can get ten months (and more) again. It is up to her!!

I am obviously sad, but this time, just kind of blah. She had everything she could have wanted.

She was clean. She had probation's permission to live with Boyfriend in January. He was almost done with probation (his officer is unaware of his slip and he "hopefully will not test for him before his system clears"). Boyfriend makes extremely good money with the job he has. Buying her a new pair of jeans was not going to be an issue! She had our blessing on staying with us some this month and was looking forward to Christmas. She and her sister were talking (at Thanksgiving meal) about buying matching jammies and hanging out together Christmas Eve, like in years past.
What the heck happened? I have no clue. It's up to her to figure it out. I can't do it for her.

She did call today and she is going back to Agape House later this week, for a while. Not a free or even inexpensive place, but, normally a good house. There is one young lady I know of who may be there, who is "Trouble" (but hey, my daughter has that same middle name!) so, we'll see.

Correction: She'll see.... it is not my issue to stew over. It's truly up to her.

I'm going to go decorate some cookies and then DD2 has an NCIS disk from Netflix - we will watch one episode tonight when we are on our last bit of awareness and then turn in early!

I'm actually pretty okay right now. Teary but okay. It's weird. I'm maybe getting the "detach with love" thing. Maybe I'm just numb. I will obviously be devastated if anything goes wrong, but nothing will be gained by my handwringing in the meantime. I didn't cause, can't fix and can't cure it. So be it!

She knows she is loved. I joked a little with her about that when she called today - "Hey, you are loved and I'm not mad - here's proof - I was ordering your Christmas present when you called to tell me you relapsed, and after we hung up, I blew my nose and finished placing my order! So there, chickadee - you are loved." She laughed at that. Then she resorted to begging to come home. No dice. I stressed to her that we love her, we want her in our lives, we want to be a part of her life, but one of our boundaries is that she cannot live with us when she has been using (or using recently). I ended the call nicely and that was that.

She has to do it. No one else can.

I had a lot of people expressing caring and concern for us today, and I want to let them know we're still standing..... Well, we're wobbling a bit, but we're standing! Thanks for all the prayers and comments. I let DH read them and he seemed strengthened by them also.

"And so, as Tiny Tim observed, God Bless Us, Every One!!"

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


What was that about "no rough patches here"?

I just got off the phone with my daughter.... she relapsed Saturday. (In retrospect it may have been before then.) She says she has been clean several days now.

She was supposed to stay with us several days each week, this month, and then move into a place with her boyfriend when he got off probation later this month or early January.

Apparently he relapsed too, but says he's clean now, that it was just one slip. I hope he is telling the truth because he is risking his license and thereby, his job, if he is using.

We've told her she cannot stay here, since she relapsed. This may seem heartless to her, but as I explained to Boyfriend, we have been told on multiple occasions by multiple different advisers and counselors and program folks, NOT to provide her that kind of cushion. Helping her when she is clean is one thing. But based on having brought her home after "slips" many times in the past ten years, and having it not work out at all, we are not going to repeat that particular scenario.

A lot about her story doesn't make sense. She says she has no money for a sober home. I told her and Boyfriend that I know many sober homes will take you with nothing, and then you can pay when your next check is available. There are places, and she probably knows about them, where she can go and have shelter until she can figure out what she is going to do.

My heart wants to solve this. But I should not do so.

I will be dead and gone one day (probably sooner rather than later, at this rate!) and she will have to be able to figure these things out for herself.

I just don't get it. She was looking forward to getting a place with him, she was happy, I thought.

If she's not done, I guess she just has to go back out there and play that game some more. She's looking at prison if she doesn't get this figured out soon. For several years.

I continue to hope that it won't come to that.

Once again, I am left with not much except tears, fear that she will overdose, fear that she will die....

and hope. She is still breathing. There is still Hope.

I love her so much.