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!


  1. It looks like you're thinking everything through and making plans while you are "coasting"... this is a great thing. Everything you have been doing seems right and well thought out. I wish it could give you peace too!
    Interesting thoughts about the Boyfriend, and how DH got over his "mad". My mom always tells a story about when I was a kid the "neighbor girl" always came over and asked for milk. She one day mom finally said something to "the neighbor girl's mom" about it. And you know what she said?... "That's funny b/c your daughter does the same thing."
    I can get upset with Heather's (now ex) boyfriend - it's so much easier for me to blame him... but who really knows???
    God bless.

  2. This post made me think of Anthony and his girlfriend who is apparently clean (90 days) but I still fear them going down together. I hope Boyfriend gets another chance with a program. Its great that there is some work waiting for him, that will be an encouragement (and some $).

    I'm sorry for your sad. Its been a tough time lately. I hope things turn around for everyone.

  3. I feel there are positives there among the pain and heartache. Sending you lots of good wishes....I hope that YOU start feeling better soon.

  4. I have grown so much and changed because of heartache.

    Wishing you well this year!

  5. Dear Joy, your tears are all over this post.

    I feel like I'm the mean one in the comments, always saying to wait and see if the ACTIONS match the WORDS. I'm sure I should just keep quiet a lot of the time.

    All this time you have trudged this journey, why not try six months to see if they are really going to do something different? Make them show you. Let them find their own place to live, find their own jobs, find a way to get to the jobs, pay their own way. Treat them like adults. Maybe they will surprise you, maybe not. You can't do anything about it either way.

    I'm sorry for your heartache. I hope you can make peace with this somehow.

  6. I feel for you. I have a daughter with similar troubles. I like your last sentence. I need to remind myself that my daughter's final chapter is not yet written. I'm glad I found your blog.

  7. My heart breaks for you and this post just touched me so much. It is so hard to think of all the "cleaning Up" I have done for my son.
    I have a garage and storage with stuff of his right now and he is not even in jail or rehab, just can't manage his stuff. I quit picking it up from places the last time and he lost a lot of nice things...those darn consequences:) Sometimes the saying "if they are breathing then there is hope" makes me feel hope, other times I just get sad at all the lost time and fear for the future. I usually catch myself and get back into routine. I know what you mean about no energy/depression/sadness, as I am having a hard time pulling myself out of that spot right now. We just have to keep at it for ourselves, it is all we can do, that and pray and be here for each other. BIG HUGS to you!

  8. "The only way we coast is downhill"

    I hope and pray you will find the courage to allow them the grace and dignity to ask God for help. It seems to be the only way we recover.

    Take good care of yourself. You deserve a life of peace and serenity no matter what choices your daughter makes. Love and hugs to you.

  9. I echo what Lou said. Maybe just allowing them to be responsible will help, or as my sponsor says--allow them the dignity to fail or to succeed.