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.