Thursday, January 21, 2010

Treading water...

Here in SoCal, it's pretty soggy. I'm alternately:

1. trying to persuade DH's five rescues (dogs, 9 pounds up to about 80 pounds in size) to go outside despite the fact that they might float away, and
2. watching the branch of the Santa Ana River that has appeared in my garage, running from the back of it, out the front of it... at a fairly rapid clip.

Everything else kind of remains the same. Last I heard, there was a rumor that due to budget cuts, sentences might go to half time instead of 2/3 time.... thereby releasing DD1 a bit sooner. Time will tell.

Just checking in....

(Barbara? Tall K? Mom of Opiate Addict? Chai Latte? LisaC? Stay dry and safe!)

Thursday, January 14, 2010


Coasting, floating in the status quo...

That’s what I call the time when my daughter is incarcerated. I settle into a quiet sameness of the days, getting my work done for my doctors, cleaning the house a bit, spending some time sewing, punctuated by the occasional dog sitting job for extra money. I am sad these days, all the time. I may sleep better while she is safe inside, but I am sad. I keep trying to self-talk myself into snapping out of it, with varied and limited successes.

I’m still sort of heaving a sigh of relief that the Happy Holidays (which were neither) are over. I vented into a post about Christmas Day and then just got over posting it because, well, it’s over and it was very bad and I just don’t want to think about it any more. ‘Nuf said.

I visited my daughter. She probably has right at 30 days left to go. I don’t plan to visit again, since she has such a short time left.

Today, the Boyfriend is in court to find out if he goes to prison or back into a program. I have my fingers crossed for a program but I’m praying that what is best for him is what the judge will decree.

We (DH and I) went over to his parents’ house last Saturday. For once, when things headed south in the proverbial hand-basket, I was not on Clean Up Duty. (You know, the crew that goes in and packs up everything and cleans up and drags stuff home to the garage and holds it until the addict is out of jail/rehab/whatever and ready to pick everything up and resume their life. It has always been me in the past, though I have done less and less of it, in recent years.)

His parents got the privilege this time, and went to the condo that his sponsor was letting him use. Apparently there was one spot of wall damage and a lot of blood. The blood was from my daughter cutting herself. Oddly, she ended up in the psych section as usual in jail after they saw the cuts on “intake”, but although she had been “banded” in the past as needing isolation (2-woman cell instead of 30-woman tank), she was placed in a work tank of 30 women and loves it. Makes the time go faster, she says.

A small, very mean part of me wishes she was loving it a lot less, in a 2-woman cell...... with a room mate she didn't much care for. I’m not proud of that but it’s the truth.

Boyfriend’s parents had packed all of the items they thought were hers into boxes for us. I had met them once before when they picked up DD2 from our house for a short trip to celebrate his grandma’s 80th birthday, but not for any meaningful conversation.

This time, we got to know them a little. We got a tour of their home as they proudly showed us Boyfriend’s amazing handiwork throughout the house. Beautiful tile work in the kitchen, crown molding throughout, an awesome Hawaiian-themed patio area with hand-made teak benches and stonework that housed the grill and a hot tub and edged the perimeter, a gorgeous little fountain with lighting. It wasn’t big or Hollywoodish or garish; it was simple and beautifully executed.

Their pride in their son and love for him was so evident. We stood in the driveway after stowing her stuff in our van, and talked for 45 minutes, sharing war stories. Stories of broken dreams, near death experiences, nights of questioning in the dark…..what did we do wrong? They sadly mentioned that he will probably lose his truck because they can’t afford to make the payments, and if he goes to prison for eight months, it will be repossessed. He’s already been fired by his dad from his dad’s trucking company. All he has now is his construction skills to fall back on and he will need the truck for that.

Sigh. (I know. Consequences.)

My husband had said to me once or twice before this visit that he “didn’t think he wanted to see Boyfriend anywhere around our house ever again.” I reminded him that it was quite possible that Boyfriend might have had the idea to use first….. but that no one held a gun to our daughter’s head and insisted that she do so.

And vice versa. It just as likely could have been our little train wreck darling that slipped and then grabbed his hand on the way down, enticing him to join her. And his family might be walking around thinking they didn’t want to see her around their house ever again.

Then I let it go. There was no use arguing with DH about it, if he didn’t want Boyfriend in our house ever again. He nursed his “mad” for a few days. I figured that I could still write to Boyfriend and encourage him and when he gets out, I could still meet him and his mom for services at the Crossing Church, etc.

Interestingly, after the little visit with his parents, my husband turned to me in the car on the way home, and said….. “If he doesn’t go to prison and he gets a program that allows him to work, let’s see if Boyfriend wants to finish the fence work we need done, and paint the fence, and maybe if he hangs in there and stays clean, let’s think about getting him to bid on the other work when we get the money saved up for it.”

Sometimes he surprises me.

(I happened to think of the bathroom floor that needs replaced upstairs, too!)

And the next day, another neighbor mentioned needing some work done and DH told her about Boyfriend…. And that he currently was a “guest of the county”…. She just laughed and said “when he gets out, tell him to call me!”

If he gets a program today, instead of prison time, I will write to him and let him know there are a few jobs waiting for him.

What will be, will be, today in court. I am praying that what is best for all concerned is what takes place. In the one phone call Boyfriend made to me, he expressed so much contrition and remorse and determination to stay clean this time, even if it means walking away from my daughter. I was SO glad to hear him say that. She has said the same…. And both are finally saying that they will have to follow probation’s orders and only see each other at meetings, or AA/NA sanctioned picnics, etc…. They both have voiced the realization that they are alcoholics and addicts…. And that even one drink is not possible for them.

I have told them both that if they learned something from this episode, then it’s a part of the Sidewalk of the Past (Thanks “Dad” for the sidewalk analogy about the past!). If they learn from it, and walk on, and do better, then it’s a lesson learned and they will reap the rewards of the learning.

At this point, my husband is in favor of letting DD2 come home for ten days, and take the bus to her job (if her boss calls and tells us that she still has it, and can start one day after getting out). I’m not in favor of her coming home for ten days.

But, it is only ten days, and if I verify she is cleared to go back to her sober home after that ten days, I will stand with him on what he wants to do. She says she wants to get a week (plus) extra salary in hand to go with the paycheck I am holding for her, before going back into the sober home and being totally self sufficient from that point on. She doesn’t want us to pay for any sober home charges (which I would prefer to do for a week, as it is safer for us, and not so much “in my face” with the drama/trauma for those days).

DH loves saving money and thinks it’s a good idea, so again, I’m going to stand on the same page with him, although I think it’s not the best of ideas.

There is a lot of sadness amongst our blogging community today. I am praying for all of us and I really hope there are some much more peaceful days ahead for us!

Never give up hope!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Happy New Year!

Just checking in - I'm up to my eyeballs in packing away Christmas decorations, un-building the tree, and billing my clients for December transcription service, etc. My daughter (DD2) was seen in court again and this time, pled guilty for a 90 day sentence, of which she'll serve 45 days (15 already served waiting for court dates/plea, etc). She estimates getting out at about Valentine's Day.

Her mentor from previous rehab/program, Milton (the guy I made a quilt for, to celebrate his 20 years clean!) always asked her a question each time she got out. "What are you going to do different this time?" She has yet to come up with an answer. She gets frustrated because she is "willing" but doesn't know what to do different. And he won't tell her.

My only suggestion to her this time, is that maybe she consider getting a sponsor that is an older woman, a no-nonsense type that does not know her personally and won't be side tracked by how pretty, funny, energetic, social butterfly-ish her 27-year-old self is, and will just help her seriously work the steps. In the past she's had sponsors that were her friends, even close friends. She even took a trip to Paris with one.

I think (and its only my humble outside opinion, and really none of my business) but I think the steps should be serious undertakings with someone who is going to really help you focus, and not get side tracked with shopping for another pair of cute shoes! but hey, what do I know?

She asked me recently for my opinion, and I stated the above to her. And then I moved on to other subjects. It just isn't my business.

However, her sister asked me this time, "Mom, maybe we should be asking ourselves Milton's question: What are you going to do different this time?"

That was kind of an eye opener. Sometimes that older daughter of mine surprises me.

I'm kinda mad, sad, resigned, and hopeful this time. I'm visiting, but not as often. It really impacts me as far as my business to take the 3+ hour round trip to jail and back, and I'm writing more, visiting less. I personally feel like I should visit (again, just my opinion concerning me), but I certainly don't have to go every week, and a letter conveys love also. I'm making sure I only accept one collect call a week, now that her case is settled and she knows how long she's got.

She wrote to her boss and got her last check from her job mailed to me. I'm holding it until she gets out. If she wants to sign it over to us, we'll cash it for her. If she then uses the money for her sober home, that would be cool. If she doesn't, that's not so cool, but hey, it's her money. She has been told she cannot come here to live. That's not making her happy. Her boss told me to tell her to get in touch with him. He's a recovering addict (did 20 years in prison) and now has his own company and a lot of clean time - and he gave me the impression she could work there again. Even if she can't, she cannot come here to live.

Interestingly, all her sober friends say that we're doing the right thing by again not letting her come home.

Boyfriend got 3 years probation extension and also an extension on some sort of drug penal code thing I'm not familiar with. She seems to think that he will stay in jail until a bed is open at a court-ordered rehab? I honestly don't know. I wrote to him yesterday, so maybe will hear soon. I really hope he's able to get back on his feet - he was doing really really well before this.

She thinks she has isolated their mistake.... says they were fine until they took that a drink. Sat there staring at the liquor store asking each other if they could just have A Drink. They're okay with just ONE drink, right?

One drink led to her slamming speed and adding in methadone..... One drink led to Boyfriend crawling around in the attic looking for another guy he thought she had hidden there. Led to the narcotics agents coming to his place (sent by their respective probation officers) and ultimately, led to him having a "resisting arrest" charge in addition to "under the influence".

Seems that since they didn't answer the door, the narcs sent for a fire truck so they could climb in and get them if necessary. (They didn't answer the door, but left a window open and apparently could be heard inside..... brilliant!) So they answered the door and turned themselves in, but the "resisting" charge was added because of that. That charge was dropped later.

I think that for the moment, she understands that she is an alcoholic/addict. Problem is, she's understood that before. Later, she thinks she's not.

As one of you wise folks said, she just keeps opening the door to That Room and going in, thinking she's not going to get beat to a pulp and left to crawl out, vowing never to return. At least until the next time she wants to open the door to That Room. Sooner or later, I guess she'll equate drunk=pain, just like high=pain. Long term, incarcerated pain.

I'll catch up with you all as soon as I finish billing my clients so I can eat next month!

Happy New Year to us all! I sincerely wish each of us a year filled with learning, wisdom shared, acceptance, personal growth and serenity.

(And I am crossing my fingers for more time in my quilting studio!)