Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Input needed, please?

Edit added at bottom at 12:30pm my time....

She called last night at 11 PM several times, and her sister answered it, thinking something was wrong. She was asking for us to pick her up from a questionable area of Santa Ana. Seems Le Boyfriend had ditched her for a bit - was scaring her with some crazy behavior (he's not pretty on speed). I glanced at the local thermometer symbol on my computer (61 degrees and forcast to only drop to the 40s) and said "no." Suggested she call friends in program, or even friends out of program, for a ride and a couch. DH said the same thing. She hung up mad but not ugly about it.

This morning at 7:30, she called me. She had called everywhere on the list, to get a bed in a treatment facility. It's a process that can take a week or two, at best. She has to go to an intake interview for one, she has to do a phone interview for another. The rest she only has to call.

In the meantime, she wanted to stay with us while she got up every day and phoned. She says she hasn't used since Saturday. And that she's "so over this." And willing to leave the Boyfriend behind. He's back with her, and still using. And she said she understands they should not be together; it is a toxic relationship at this point.

I again suggested that she call friends to couch surf until she can get into a place. She mentioned perhaps getting a hotel room today but her money is running out. The shelters here are filled to capacity and the line ups start at 2:30 pm and they are full long before bedtime. She said her friends in program are over her because she's done this so many times. She swears she has no where to go.

I told her that my answer was "no". That I did not think this was healthy for her or us. That her Dad has been sick for four days, coincidentally, starting right when she didn't come back after the first night away with Boyfriend. I said I would ask him when he got home from work and let her know; and that once again, I would not stand in his way.

I don't think this is a good idea. She has lost her job. She would sit here all day. She would make the calls each day and then wait. In the meantime, we would be trying to do our jobs, our chores, our lives, and hoping she doesn't get desparate, steal something and leave?

But she'd be alive and not using, hopefully?

I need the ESH from our little community here. Am I thinking clearly?

My heart thinks it probably should listen to my brain. My brain says, "get out of her way." My heart is afraid that she will then give up and because everyone has rejected her, continue to use or worse, possibly overdose. (She has threatened suicide in the past, resulting in two 5150 admissions to the psych hospital.)

And of course, there is the memory of the lovely incident 15 months ago where she came over here in a drug-fueled rage and walked through the plate glass living room window to get into the house.

Your thoughts? (Thanks in advance for any comments!)

DH called her and told her "no." In keeping with his emotional stage in this right now (angry), he mentioned to her that we've tried having her here (several times) and this time she didn't even make it "two f#%king weeks!" (My emotional stage was "angry/scared" yesterday and "heartbroken/scared" today! I'm thinking it may be a good thing that we're not on the same emotional page!)

He asked her what her plans were, and for now they are going to live in the truck and continue calling for beds. After the conversation which ended with them both telling each other that they loved each other no matter what, he came to me and told me if I wanted to put her in a sober home to continue the calling process, if she is not arrested, or if Boyfriend gets a bed first, that he would not object to that.

So for now, the answer to staying here is "no, pretty much forever", and the answer to possibly assisting with housing until she's in treatment is "no, not yet". She is unaware of the possibility of assistance with housing - she had not even asked for it. That was one of my suggestions and he remains open to that in the future, as a possibility. We are both relatively comfortable not offering that, or giving it if asked, just yet.

Thanks for any past and future comments on this post - I am still interested in all feedback as it will assist us in clarity of thinking as this situation unfolds!

Back to work for me!


  1. Hello,

    It seems our addicts never seem to stop putting us into these situations. There is no realizing by them the turmoil and heartache that a simple phone call and plea for help can cause.

    Mom and dad have to follow their gut. It comes down to can you live with your decision, one way or another worse case. There is no way to know when an addict is lying to you, lying to themselves or believes they are being honest but has no control over the circumstances of their life and actions. That is what makes this such an impossible decision.

    You are the only one that knows what you believe, plus I'd like to remind you, this is not your decision. This is a decision that both you and hubby have to make and support, either way. My wife and I, when we had these types of decisions, we eitehr agreed totally or we put in place whatever the most conservative action so we both had to support.

    Based on what you are sharing I'll give you what I would do if it was my decision. I'd do some leg work on my own without her knowing, I am a fixer. See if I could get her into a shelter, if that's possible offer to pick her up and deliver her to a shelter. If she has to line up at 2:30 in the afternoon to get in the next night, hey, what else has she got to do? I'd consider calling her PO and have her tested, if she's dirty have her locked up and when she gets out she if she is still serious about changing her life and getting treatment. Last option is if you really beleive she has had it with this and wants to gets help. (i did this once with my son, it kept him alive but he did use more after treatment) Bring her home, take off work if possible or have someone there with her. She must be getting into a treatment, with a date. Basically 24 hour babysitter, rules of home are no phone, no leaving, no visitors, no drugs. Any violation means OUT. Any violation of drugs means I'm calling police.

    We did this, what happened? I was off work for 4 days till he could get admitted someplace. Truth is son had outstanding warrants. Day before he was to go the sheriff showed up at the front door and ask if I had seen Alex. I would not lie, I just said just a minute officer, did not let him in the house, I went to Alex and said, "Sheriff at the door to see you." Alex looked like I just socked him in the gut, he knew what for. Sheriff arrested him and took him to jail, when he got out he said he wanted to quit but after a short time he began using again.

    Sorry, I haven't given you an answer but I just wanted to share my similar experience.

    This is so damn unfair our kids put us in the position to make decisions like this. I HATE THIS! I HATE ADDICTION! I HATE DRUGS! Sorry this one is real close to the surface for me.

  2. I'm in despair just reading this, I too can't believe how the kids can put us in these situations. I am also upset how DH has been sick. Before reading your post, I just read Lou's (at Subdural Flow) post, and it is sticking in my head "to get out of the diagram". (Sorry, I'd post the link, but I don't know how in a comment - it's the post from today "A New Adventure").

    A friend of mine had a very similar experience last month with her son. (regarding timeline of getting out of jail, coming home, using, coming home, using, calling for help - all in less than a month) He is now clear across the country at a rehab doing great. AND what she did was what Dad mentioned, called around, found a Salvation Army shelter and her husband picked him up from where he was on the street and drove him there and gave him his coat. When he then said he was ready to go to treatment she bought him a plane ticket, somehow he managed to get there.

    This is one story. BUT, you and DH have to do what's right for YOU, and I think no matter what gets written in the comments, it will ultimately come from prayer and what God leads you to know is the right decision for YOUR situation.

    I'd say, be careful of letting fear guide your decision. And I too think you and DH need to stay united in whatever decision you choose.
    I'm praying for you all!!!
    Love & huggs!!!

  3. Sorry, Joy, I say no. Don't help. Just what I would do, don't take it as YOUR answer if it doesn't feel right.

  4. No need to be sorry, Lou... DH is home and leaning towards "no". Sometimes we look at stuff and say, "if you were not in the picture, I would ......".

    If I were not in the picture, he would do nothing, he says. A sound "no." He is right on schedule, by the way, with his "angry mode".

    If he were not in the picture, I would contact several sober homes, see if one would take her for a week, and see if she made the calls, updated probation as to her slip and her intentions, etc. I would pay for this week. I might pay for the second week, if the house mom told me she had been making the calls/not seeing Boyfriend, and if probation said she was in contact and she felt it was a good next step, etc.

    DH doesn't want to spend money in that fashion.

    The money thing is an issue we have never agreed on - as he sees no problem in spending a pretty bundle on his rescued dogs...his justification there is that the dogs didn't do anything to cause their needs (example, for treatment of illness, etc). Reminding him that a large percentage of addiction treatment specialists consider addiction to be an illness/disease, does not impact his viewpoint.

    I did tell him that I had handled every phone call since this episode began. I have asked him to call her back and tell her his decision. I think we should take turns being the messenger.

    Thank you Dad and Mom, and Heather's Mom, for your comments too! I will print all for him to read...

  5. Heather's Mom - on a second reading, your comment about "being careful of letting fear guide my decision" really stood out to me.

    Sigh. That's a hard one. Thank you!

  6. Yes, Heather's Mom made a wise observation about fear guiding a decision. But in your posting about DH, you cannot let anger guide a decision either. This is one of those where fear, anger and frustration are so close to the surface we must examine whatever we say think or do.

  7. I don't know if this will bring you comfort but I am in awe of you. You said no. Something I seem to be incapable of doing right now. I am following your drama and I recognize those feelings of anguish and second guessing. The decision you make will be the right decision because you can only do what you can do. If that makes any sense? Praying for you...

  8. The most important thing is you are on the same page with the decision even if not emotionally. That is very wise. At some time it must be about you two not her.

  9. *big deep sigh* I feel the pain as mother, a mother who is already having a tough time letting my 12 year old face his own consequences. I cringe at what I know was really going on in my addict mind when anyone was still helping me.

    My honest opinion is that she is nowhere near ready to be done. Once I finally realized it and meant it, the reality of everything I had done wrong, set in and actually looked wrong.

    Before that it was just a game and no matter what I had to say or how victimized I had to appear, all I really felt was like I had won one more free pass to f*ck up again.

    None of things that everyone was doing to help felt like "love." I used the guilt trips to get what I wanted because I thought I deserved it. To get high, to be pain free.

    All of her actions are screaming that she doesn't care about consequences because the consequences haven't been bad enough to scare her.

    If jail, and being separated in jail from the boyfriend wasn't bad enough to keep her from using and risking violating her legal terms, then it only seems that being comfortable enough to have the luxury of your home, food, warmth, and a phone to call for beds, will definitely enable more bad choices.

    It sounds like she has gone to very extreme lengths to get you to continue to kiss her boo boo's. If she can work THAT hard (walk through a window) to get what she wants, then she is surely capable of switching it up and using that extreme energy to fight for her life.

    What is really bad enough for her to want to do that right now?

    She is forcing you to live with the consequences of her choices. No matter how much guilt you allow yourself to feel for how bad her bottom could be and your fear of suicide is, the truth is that none of it is in your hands and never was.

    Until she is forced to look within her, she of course will pick the easier route of looking to you, Dad, or anyone that will tolerate the emotional BS that she is working so hard to escape.

    Just like you should not take responsibility for her choice to use, to violate probation, or to walk trough a window, you should not take the responsibility for her recovery.

    If her addiction is truly incompatible with life, then there really is not anything you can do to change that. It is all within her. She needs to look in the mirror and face it and although it feels like you are trying to help by making her see how really beautiful and worth it she is, you effectually are standing in the way of the mirror and keeping her from seeing herself at all.

    I hope you and DH continue to find the strength to stay unified and lovingly stay out of her way.

    big (((((((((HUGS)))))))))))

  10. I think you are doing the right thing. I hope that I can be as strong as you are if my son starts using again. I feel guilty almost that I have not had to live with those questions for son long (since he was locked up) but now he's day at a time.

    My heart hurts for you. You got great words of wisdom in the other comments.

    SANTA ANA! Did I know you lived here??? (I have such a bad memory). When I picked Kev up at Ph House today we took surface streets home due to a traffic jam on the 5. As we passed Edinger and McFadden I felt ill knowing its the hot spot for buying. Who knows maybe they know each other from up there :(

    You are utmost in my thoughts today.

  11. Whatever you decide, let peace be your guide. You can never predict the outcome of answering yes or no for her, but you know in your heart the impact on your own life. At a certain point, it's OK to think about you and DH. You can't control an addict. You can control the space you live in, what you think and consequently how you feel. This is not your problem. She will work it out. Tell her you love her and you totally trust that she will figure all this out. Pray. No micromanaging. No panic. Trust her, trust God, let go and take care of DH. If your hearts can remain peaceful with her there, open the door with the understanding that you cannot predict the outcome. If it all goes bad, well, you sort of knew that might happen. Take care. I will say a prayer for you and your family.

  12. This sounds like my house. DH is angry, you are in despair. His health is failing and your daughter the addict doesn't care.

    The salvation army takes everyone and though I am sure she knows it, he could tell her that.

    I am with you in spirit no matter what you decide. This is a hell that I know all too well.

  13. Boundaries are for you and DH, they are not actually for your daughter. At this point, based on what you've said, my boundary would be to say "no," because I don't think she sounds ready to be done, but your boundary is what works for you, none of us.

    Even though Bryan OD'd within two days when we finally told him he couldn't come home, I have not regretted that decision.

    You are stronger and braver than you even realize. Hang in there and you, DH, and addicted daughter remain in my thoughts and my prayers.

  14. Just writing another comment on the update: I feel a sense of calm in your update, and I think that comes fro you and DH standing together, and you KNOWING now what DH had in mind. As hard as it may be, it sounds like you are using sound judgement in your actions. My gosh I am praying for you guys!!!
    Also to comment: WOW - I'm printing out Midnitefyrfly's comment, she said some very important, powerful stuff.
    And, when Anna said it sounds like her house - well, you both have a "DH"... I don't know if you or Anna said this, or I made it up, but whenever I read "DH" I read it as "Dearest Husband".
    Love & huggs & prayers!

  15. Oh darlin' I'm so sorry you're going through this over and over. Addicts are so resourceful. We can live for years saying we have no place to go but we are always calling from "some place."
    My experience is that any kind of safe place is really just a resting place to gather the strength for the next "run."
    Motherhood is Highly Over-rated.
    I don't know Al Anon literature to point you to but I'm glad you have a lot of folks who do.
    Boyfriends SUCK.

  16. If I told you she was lying about the girls in recovery not wanting to help her...would you believe me?

    I know Kim. I know many of those girls she was living with. If she was really done, they would be there in a New York second for her.

    She has to be in enough pain to ask God for help. Please give her a chance. She is capable of making calls, getting into sober living, etc. Give her the dignity to fix her own messes.

    She is not helpless. She just wants you to think she is. Your help is the softer, easier way. Do what's best for you and DH...God will take care of your daughter.

    You're in my prayers. Believe in miracles!

  17. stand your ground. bring the bottom closer, maybe she will reach it faster.

    hard, but true.


  18. I have heard from alcoholics and addicts that there is nothing that anyone could say or do for them that would help them to quit. They would lie, cheat, steal and manipulate to get what they needed. I think that enabling just prolongs the pain for everyone.