Friday, October 23, 2009
Unfortunately the answers are still the same. We can not rescue her right now. We are trying not to say things that are putting her down, like the fact that we truly hold no hope that she'd be able to pay it back. Perhaps she could. The point is, we don't think we should loan the money or bring her home. Period. We couch it with sympathy and comments about my low business volume right now and DH's low number of hours at his job.... Maybe we shouldn't try to make the truth land so gently, but I'm still trying to encourage and be empathetic, while still saying "no."
To my knowledge (I was in my office working and did not follow his side of the conversation), he was able to carry out the conversation without it becoming a screaming match. I think it ended relatively calmly. He said she was still possibly coming by tomorrow to hang out with her sister and bake cookies with DH while the boyfriend and his brother do some construction work at boyfriend's sponsor's home nearby.
It was a huge help for him to take the call today. They phone-tagged back and forth a few times until they could get together on the line, but he eventually connected with her and I know it was not easy for him. I just can't do it all the time. I have a hard time thinking and answering her when my heart is breaking and sometimes he thinks I should have answered differently, etc. It was really nice today for him to just step into the midst of the fray and attempt to calmly answer her in a positive fashion while holding to what we think is best for us.
I had him read a few responses on another mom's blog later, and the comments really reinforced what we have been trying to believe and hold on to. This sucks, but it is best for us, and in the long run, best for our daughter.
May we all enjoy some peace and rest this weekend. :)
Thursday, October 22, 2009
Details are not necessary; just that I declined her request. She is not happy. She vocalized that to me and has made a note of being sad, depressed and discouraged, on her my-space, etc.
I'm not happy either. I wished her good luck and was encouraging about two job interviews she had today. (The job she thought she got last week has apparently not materialized, for whatever reason, despite supposedly being told she would start this week.) I sent an email this morning reiterating my crossed fingers, prayers and hopes for a great outcome....
Silence. On a day when normally I would get a call telling me all about the position, bubbling with excitement if she liked and wanted the position, or sharing the let-down if it didn't pan out.
I'm finding it helps me shut up the codependent yahoos in my cranium, if I remind myself that I would think that any other mom in this situation should just back off, let her be, let her do what she's going to do, trust God (which I'm not good at), and hope, hope, hope. So that's what I'm doing. But it sucks. I hate that every time things get quiet after any sort of disagreement, I agonize and think the worst. Though the vast majority of the time, it is well-founded, it's still Stinking Thinking!
I'm off to an Alanon/Naranon meeting. And I need it - because, you know, I already checked the jail site.... How sick am I??!!
Hope – noun
1. the feeling that what is wanted can be had or that events will turn out for the best
Monday, October 19, 2009
I never know when it is going to hit. None of us do. And for all my efforts to NOT focus on my addict, and to focus instead on my own life, my own growth, my own work and my own interests……
I still get sucked up into the chaos.
Things had been going fairly well. She had worked her way up to paying her own rent, and we were all rebuilding healthy relationships. I was keeping my two-cents worth of opinions out of the conversations and telling her frequently, that I had faith in both her ability to continue to do well and grow, and that I had faith that God would help her and guide her on her own journey. She moved in with the friend whose husband was supposedly off at rehab out of state and when the idea surfaced that he might not stay at rehab and might return home after detox, I shushed the codependent voices in my head, went on my merry way, and dealt with My Stuff. The front yard work that continues. My daily employment, running my company, etc.
We had an utterly peaceful weekend while she visited the boyfriend’s grandma for her 80th birthday – everyone apparently (including grandma) went to the casino and tried to see how long they could play on $20.00. She actually won some money, and called us to gleefully announce she stopped after winning and held onto the win. I thought that was prudent, since she has rent due….And her new job is …. to put it as positively as possible…. “iffy.”
Her prudence may have only lasted until she saw “some of the cutest clothes.”
Not my problem.
I was working today when she called out of the blue demanding to move home.
Seems the husband is back. And the husband is loaded (heroin). And he has told my daughter this, but not his wife.
She was frantically telling me how she can’t tell the wife, she can’t be around the husband, she can’t go back to her sober home (oh, and by the way Mom, four girls relapsed there last week), and she can’t find a new sober home with a bed. I had to ask her to repeat herself a couple times, because she was speaking so darn fast.
(The codependent yahoos in my head were laughing maniacally at me by this time.)
I don’t understand why she can’t tell the wife. I don’t understand why she can’t have someone anonymously call the sober home owner and ask that everyone be tested (so she could go back). I don’t understand anything…..but then, I’m not supposed to. It’s not my business.
For the next hour or two, we had various conversations and various periods of time between conversations, where she begged, pleaded, spewed venom, and finally informed me she was never going to ask us for anything ever again. Because all she gets for her efforts is “no”.
Let’s see, Dearest Daughter #2: In the last seven or so months, we’ve paid a month of sober home charges while you fought your case, lost and went back to jail. You did your time, and then we paid another month while you again job searched, landed a job, and waited the two weeks it takes to actually receive the first check. We’ve bought groceries, and later as you became more independent, shared the occasional treat we picked up while we were out shopping for ourselves. We’ve driven you around town on job hunts at least four separate days in the last seven months. So yeah…. Probably $1,800+ and lots of time and encouragement cheerfully given over two 4-6 week periods, on either side of a 120 day jail term. But all we ever say is “no.”
Just shoot me now. I held my ground. She is not coming home. I don’t think her boyfriend understands (though that is not his business, I guess) but he did accept what we were saying and was trying to encourage her, that “everything will be okay and everything will work out. It will just be a lot harder, is all.”
(Hearing him say THAT to her while he was also talking to me on the phone made me feel shitty.)
We’re not her answer. I know that. We are enforcing our healthy boundary. I know that. Bringing her home would only end in disaster, she would not grow, we would be enabling her to not have to learn how to do this on her own, she has stolen from us repeatedly while she relapsed repeatedly here (probably in part due to the frustration of trying to live with us)….. yeah, yeah, yeah, I get it.
It all still sucks. I miss my daughter….. the one hidden in there amongst the addiction and the bipolar mania and the struggle to stay clean. Knowing we held to our boundaries is not much of a comfort.
The storm passed as quickly as it came. The calls stopped after she called one last time to tell me she had a promising interview for yet another job, if this current one indeed is not going to work out…. She gave me her address so I can forward a few letters, and told me she loved me, and then silence. As if nothing was wrong. As if she had not shredded my heart for the past two hours. The mania had shifted… She was calmer.
The aftermath of the storm for us is deafening silence. I sat there trying to eat dinner…numb, almost shell-shocked. I had made a recipe especially for my husband…. I’m trying to work on strengthening my relationship with him too, and I had planned on spending time with him over this special dinner all day…
We ate. Silently. The spinning leaves almost a vacuum when it stops.
I am so tired. My brain hurts.
But dammit, I am going to end this day being grateful.
I’m grateful that DH and I agree on the boundary and support each other in enforcing it. That’s a huge improvement for us.
I’m grateful that the storm passed and DD2 is for the moment focused on taking a few more positive steps on her journey, under her own steam.
I’m grateful I didn’t burn the parmesan chicken in the middle of all of the chaos. (DH is grateful for that also…. He loves that recipe.)
I’m extremely grateful that, for sure and certain, I’m winning the fight on this cold/flu thing…. I should be back to “normal” in another day or two. (and under their breath my family says “whatever that is!”)
Thursday, October 15, 2009
After four years of fending off every cold germ I met, one got through my fortress of vitamins, herbal supplements and positive thinking ("I don't believe in colds, I don't believe in colds"...) but outside of that, things are calm.
Calm is good.
I'll bullet this, and keep it short, cos I've finished my work and I'm headed back to horizontal to
- DD2 moved out of her sober home last Sunday, and into an apartment with a young lady in program who is four years clean. Seems this young lady just asked her husband to leave after he relapsed for the umpteenth time, and he's out of state somewhere in a rehab, I think, and she could use help with making her rent. DD2 could use cheaper rent. Works for now, they think! Probation is cool with it (probably because it will free up some $$ for DD2 to begin making probation payments!). DD2 loves her new room.
- She immediately began pounding the pavement in the new area (over an hour by bus from her previous job) and yesterday she called me to tell me she had a great interview for a full time position in a auto body parts supply type store. She wanted it bad. Walkable distance from new apartment. Heavy on web design and computer inventory and stuff she's great at.
- Today she called to say that the interviewer did NOT call her back as he had promised he would, yesterday afternoon. She and her roommate had decided she would call him and be proactive. If she didn't get it, she was allowed to crawl back in bed and cry for five minutes and then she had to get up and go job hunt some more! However, she got it! She starts this afternoon for a few hours and full time on Monday.
- I heard that the husband may come back to the apartment at some point after rehab....but I chose not to dwell on the fact that that would put a recently relapsed close friend under the same roof with 9-months-clean DD2. I firmly told the voices of the codependant yahoos in my head that that was none of my business. Period.
- Besides, the new apartment is right across the street from a great AA/NA meeting spot. (Take that, voices! It's up to her!)
My husband just asked if there was any possibility I was going to cough up a lung.....if I hadn't already. Unbeknownst to him, I'm actually much better today.... But I sound bad enough to get some sympathy.... So I'm going to take it!! Yes dear, I'd love it if you did the dishes and fed the herd (5 dogs)!!
Off to get more tea and relax a bit, hopefully. Stay healthy!
Thursday, October 8, 2009
Anyway, I took a few minutes to just savor the quiet this morning.... I am grateful for that quiet, and also grateful that:
- My work seems to be picking up just a little. This means financial relief may be on the way!
- The weather here seems to have passed from Blast Furnace to SoCal Wonderful, and not a moment too soon, in my personal opinion! (I am NOT a fan of heat.)
- My daughter seems to have listened to the boyfriend, and is "sucking it up" (her words) and went to work yesterday.
- I am grateful for my blogging friends and the wisdom dispensed here in this community.
- I am grateful for the opportunity to be supportive to my daughter next week in her job search. A few areas she wishes to apply at are a bit scattered and we will meet for coffee and I'll be her wheels and her cheerleader for that one morning's concentrated job search efforts, and drop her at her current job afterwards.
- I am grateful that the yardwork we are having to be done, has been contracted with someone in recovery. This, to me, is a God Thing! When we first were told that the yard wasn't up to snuff by the homeowners' association (unsightly dead lawn due to large tree whose roots hit clay and came up and killed entire lawn), I was hoping to give the job to one of the boyfriend's sober friends (8 years clean). It's tough in this economy and we've made the choice several times to give home improvement jobs to some of the guys in recovery that we know and are trying to encourage. Unfortunately, the friend's current job wasn't going to be completed in time for us to satisfy the homeowners' association deadline.... This is a huge job involving removal of the big tree and complete resculpturing of the yard, a retaining wall, etc. So we took bids from other contractors. The gentleman we contracted with, has since revealed to me that he is 20 years clean (drugs and alcohol), and his crew is also in recovery. I was stunned when he told me that, and he told me he just felt led to speak to me about it. He now reminds me daily that he is praying for my daughter.
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
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!
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
Background: She has tested clean every time she’s been asked to. She has gotten her court cards signed and been to the appropriate number of meetings. She has held a job (six hours a day, minimum wage, answering inbound calls). It is a time-share company and she tries to get callers to sign up for a 90-minute presentation about a time share. If enough of those who sign up, actually show up for the time share presentation (to score their reward which is a two-night mini-vacation to the time share vacation location), she gets a $5 commission on each one. So there is the outside chance of bringing in a bit of a bonus every so often, sometimes around $100. She is paying her rent. She has been meeting the boyfriend at probation-approved circumstances: AA/NA meetings, or at church, and occasionally they have shared a meal immediately before or after the meeting or church service in the company of other meeting folks. All of those are probation-approved.
And yes, they have occasionally flung caution to the wind and seen each other on a weekend, in the company of family. This past weekend, his mom and dad picked her up and they all met at a lake for a short day of boating, three generations together, no drinking, and she was delivered by them back to her sober home afterwards.
Probation knows about all but that last part. Obviously if they knew she had done that, they would have arrested both of them. Probation told her a month ago they would lift that ban at the next probation appointment. They did not. Her pee was too clear and probation thought she was trying to dilute it. They sent the pee to the lab and it came back clean. They said they’d lift it this time.
Anyway, knowing all that probation does know, which is 100% of what probation has asked for, probation saw fit to:
a. extend the no-contact order with the boyfriend. Same rules in effect.
b. demand she start paying $100 a month towards her $9000 of probation costs or they will “violate” her.
This was with yet another clean pee test.
She went early to see probation because her officer likes to get in early and see those who work, before those who don’t. She called me from her hour-long bus ride back home, at 9 AM, and was inconsolable.
It didn’t take me long to realize she was in a world of bipolar hurt. She is in a downward cycle, and she called me repeatedly throughout the rest of the day, begging to move back home, for 60 days, so she could start paying probation, and get through the rest of the “no contact” time, or until the boyfriend is off probation (in 60 days), at which time she is under the impression probation can’t tell her not to see him, and she can move in with him and they can start sharing expenses, drive to meetings together, etc. (I'm not sure that probation couldn't still maintain the no-contact order, even after boyfriend is off probation. His probation officer wants them to be together. Her officer does not.)
I spent the day trying to get a word in edgewise. Her father came home from his shift and joined the effort, trying to tell her we don’t think we are a healthy place for her, we love her, but it never works out too well, and she has been doing so well and what the heck brought this sudden despair on, etc, etc.
At one point, I even told her, I can’t afford to pay your rent, and you’re doing an excellent job of it. But, how about if for a few months, I help you with partial probation payments. They historically will take partial payments and if you are giving them SOMETHING, they will probably back off (voice of experience from a dozen other people who are in the same situation, who told me that).
That wasn’t good enough. She was focused on wanting to come home, be with her family, get a job nearby, go to more meetings, etc. She has this idealistic dream of what it would be like…. She quickly forgets that she always ends up hating it, that she and her dad butt heads constantly, that I tend to try to stand in the middle keeping peace (which is about as effective as a rubber crutch).
She forgets that the last couple times we tried that, she ended up leaving (loaded on heroin) in disgust (helping herself to a few items on the way out the door, i.e. Ipod, camera, money, tools, and leaving behind a trail of burned spoons, cotton balls, and wads of duct-taped water bottles….not to mention the occasional carelessly discarded syringes).
I kept trying to speak calmly. She's doing a damn good job. I continued to try to complement her efforts and offer assistance we were comfortable with, but when she is like this, nothing suits. At one point, the boyfriend finished his shift and since she was not answering his calls any more, drove over to try to locate her. He was risking everything by trying to find her. I cautioned him against that, and he said “But I love her, I have to try to help her see reason.” Romantic, but unwise.
By that time she had told me that I did not love her, etc… The tone had gotten nastier and nastier and the edge in her voice was so god-awfully familiar. In my mind, she sounded like she had either used, or was on the way to doing so. She may have only been manic or severely depressed, but the voice was bothering me.
Then I didn’t hear anything for a while. Then I got a text from his phone stating “I’m not going to get high mom”. So I knew he had located her.
At one point, I completed some of my work and laid down. I fell asleep despite the jackhammer going in the yard for some yard work we’re having done to get the homeowners’ association off our backs for a less than lovely turf. I got up a half hour later to find out she had called and DH had spoken to her some more. She was still saying we did not love her. She wanted me to call her.
I poured a cup of tea and tried to collect my thoughts. When I called, she said they were grabbing some food and that she just wanted to call and apologize for being a brat. She still wanted to come home. I went over the same stuff again, stating that we love her and want to be of assistance, but that is just the one thing we do not feel we should do. She kept saying “ok, I just have to do it alone.” She told me she loved me. She said she wasn’t going to work tomorrow. She was sounding a bit final. I’m always afraid she’s cleaning up loose ends and going to try to hurt herself when she sounds like that. (Past history supports this fear.)
She really hates that job. I tried to reason that she could do almost anything for six hours, and that would give her 8-10 hours to look for a better job, we could get bus passes to help with the search, we could help with partial probation costs to take some pressure off, we could continue to share food we got in bulk that she liked, etc. She stated she doesn’t want us to spend money on her; she just wants to be with her family.
Again, sort of, her way or the highway…..
I tried to point out that I’m working a lot, dad’s working a lot and doing a lot of stuff around here to let me work more, and sister is in school AMs, babysitting friend’s kindergardeners afternoons, and in school library studying at night. It’s not the panacea she thinks it is around here. Some days I don’t see her sister for more than two sentences as she heads out in the morning and then I’m asleep before she’s home from study sessions.
She tells us constantly that she resents that her older sister has “two rooms here and she can’t even get one for a brief time”. We cleaned out DD2’s old room and her sister put an old TV in it. She occasionally watches TV there, but her main reason for cleaning out DD2’s old room was so that DD2 had a nice place to come and spend the night sometimes. Not to move into, but to occasionally visit. DD2’s done that twice so far and seemed to enjoy it. Sister had visions of DD2 spending the night before Christmas, and the occasional Friday night movie marathon with her, and such….
The conversation this afternoon ended with her telling me she just wanted to apologize again, and that she loved me, and she had to do this for herself. I had the presence of mind to tell her I loved her, and to please know that we would like to help her in other ways, and that I hoped she would keep in touch. The end.
I have no idea how she really is. If she doesn’t go to work, she eventually can’t pay the rent. She was fine a few days ago. Way too far “up”, which is a normal and recognizable part of her bipolar illness…. She’s testing clean, so she’s not back on the meth.
But about once a month when I’ve suggested that she go to Mental Health, she has told me she likes it “up there” and doesn’t want to go….. She has on occasion laughingly told me when the bottom drops out, she’ll probably be more willing to get back on medications.
It’s not so laughable now.
Now she wants to move home and start medications.
(If she moves home and stays with us, the police told us we have no way to throw her out, without getting a court order. They don’t tell the addicts that, but they said she may find that out one day, and we should really be careful about letting her stay with us…. Hence the occasional sleep-over, but no long stays.)
We countered with suggesting that we get her to the Mental Health office and she get the medications and start them on a Friday, which will give her two days to get used to the effects (it always flattens her), and that if she was too doped up to go to work Monday, surely after three days, she’d be able to function six hours at work, and we’d help just that one week, with any rent she was short. No dice.
She is really in a bad way and there is nothing I can do. I told DH at one point today, if this was me reading about or hearing about this situation from another mom on the blogs, my brain would be able to drop back and say “uh oh….maybe the kid’s not done yet….maybe she’s going to use again out of frustration, maybe it’s going to take one more experiment to get it across….to help her realize that using is just not a good option, etc, etc.”
My brain was able to say that today. But my heart is scared shitless and worried she is going to use, or worse. It would not be her first try at ending everything. At one point early in the day, she talked about going to the hospital to be 5150’d. She hasn’t mentioned that again.
We stood our ground about her not moving back home. My brain thinks it’s the right thing to do for an addict who has stolen from us and failed at that particular scenario, a number of times. My brain and my heart are not sure that it’s the right thing to do for a mentally ill person.
And there is no way her mentally ill self is ever going to understand why her sister gets to live her, and she doesn’t. I’ve felt for a number of years that her sister should get a place of her own. DH keeps telling me that one can’t really afford to live on one’s own very well in the O.C. He backs this up with tales of all the young people he works with, who move home.
So conversely, how can I expect DD2 to manage it…. On minimum wage, part time. Or even full time, if she finds a full-time felony-friendly job. I know it can be done, but not easily, and when you factor in probation debts, IRS debt, hospital debt, bank debt, it begins to look horribly unlikely.
Yes, those debts are her consequences. I get that.
But at the same time, she’s sick.
My brain hurts. My heart aches. I think we took the right stand today, but I’m just not sure….
I hate this. I am so grateful for the time she has had clean, the additional memories we’ve made. I’m so prayerful that she will get through this. But I’m so tired of the pain. And I’m just chicken shit scared right now.
Enough whining! Sorry to ramble on so long. I haven’t had a chance to check blogs today, but will check in with you guys later tonight. May God grant all of us and especially our troubled addicts, a peaceful evening…. And may they realize just how much they are loved and treasured.