Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Checking motives!

I got to see her briefly day before yesterday. She came by unexpectedly, to pick up a couple of her things. She was with Le Boyfriend. I thought he looked very skinny (his drug of choice is speed). She looked really good to me, but every inch of her was covered with clothing, so who knows. He only hung around a few moments, and then went to wait in the car. I told her that I just wanted her to know that should she ever decide to step away and take care of herself and only herself, the ride to probation was available and that I would sit and wait with her for moral support….. (and that I would not turn him in, if she made that choice.)

Their “best thinking” is that they will just try to get clean and stay out of the county. They apparently think that will help them evade arrest. Boyfriend told me he knows if he turns himself in, or if he is arrested, either way, it’s 16 months prison time for him and he just wants to delay it as long as possible.

Jello-brain. (one of my kids' favorite insults to fling around at about age five!)

DD2 admitted she was aware it could go easier on her if she turned herself in, and she would likely do a little time and then get held until a program bed was available. But she “can’t leave him.”

Jello-brain. A matched pair. (Sorry, I'm still in "cranky mode".)

Really, I raised my girls to be independent. I chanted the “say no to drugs” and the “you don’t need a Significant Other to be complete” speeches regularly. They know my speeches so well they can say them, themselves. I’ve heard them do it.

As several folks have pointed out, she is as dependent on him as she is on the heroin.

I handed over her stuff and we exchanged hugs and “I love yous”. DH and I walked out with her under the auspices of waving goodbye, commented to them on their rental car choice (a car they know I happen to like) and I noted the brand of the rental car key tag when I leaned in to wave at Le Boyfriend and told them to “take care of themselves”. Then we waved them out of sight (chanting the plate number to ourselves as we did).

I couldn’t decide whether to give that info to Probation or not. DH was afraid of repercussions from pissed-off loaded boyfriend or boyfriend’s brother…. I’m so wanting to just get this stopped before she overdoses or gets another theft charge or worse. Jail would mean no more heroin for a while.

Then I remembered reading Lisa C’s comment about “check your motives” made on another blog. And then I think I read the same viewpoint by Syd on yet another one!

Check my motives. Would I be trying to do something to FIX HER? Yep.

Thanks fellow bloggers, for that bolt of clarity!

Really, nothing changes, if nothing changes, way deep down inside. If she is stopped in some fashion, but doesn’t resolve to walk away from all of it, including him, I fear she’ll never make it. So, not sure there is any benefit to passing the rental car info along….This has to be HER shift in thinking…. Not a change in circumstances that I manipulate.

Next morning, Probation called and I answered all of her questions honestly. Yes, I’d seen her. Yep, quite unexpectedly, and right there in my living room 18 hours earlier. Gone in ten minutes. No, I don’t know exactly where she is staying. No, I don’t think she’s going to turn herself in. Yes, I’m glad there is now a warrant on all three of them. Yes, if she comes by again, I’ll try to get her to speak with Probation.

But in the meantime, I just continue to pray. And hope. And I’m going to take the Little People for a walk today. I got a new leash extension that is spliced so I can walk the littlest two together…. If we don’t tie ourselves in knots and go down in a heap, the walk with be good for all of us! And then I’m going to go sew on the quilt top for the Crisis Center. And make DH some
Piccata Chicken (a la Pioneer Woman’s site). And plants some flower seeds. Life goes on, and it’s good. Not perfect, but darn good!

Edited to add:
Here’s the first finished quilt top for the Crisis Centers my dad and mom work with. I will layer it with batting and backing tomorrow, pin it, and then start quilting it all together. I’m not entirely happy with it, but it has the colorful and scrappy look I was going for, and I think I’ll like it better when it’s quilted and has the binding on it.

I have enough scraps left over (and this was donated fabric from a friend to start with!) to make several Sunbonnet Sue blocks and I hope to do this with scraps from each quilt I make, thereby gaining a whole ‘nuther quilt at the end of this project, with bits and scraps from each quilt along the way.

The Little People took the opportunity to test the quilt top for softness and check it out as a wrestling surface.

Tuffboy goes for the throat!

And Kimi retaliates with an assault on his leg! That’s my girl!

The Chicken Piccata was great. The walk was challenging (from the "tangle up and fall" factor, not the distance or the weather!) The seeds didn’t get planted, but tomorrow is another day!

Good night!


  1. You are so much nicer than me. Any Le Boyfriend with a drug problem would fear pulling into my driveway. I would so not think twice about calling the police, the probation officers, the judge, attorneys, doctors and causing the biggest crisis Le Boyfriend has ever lived through. I pray. I trust God. But, presented with that kind of temptation in my driveway, I'd have helicopters flying overhead so fast it would make your head spin. Everybody in my family knows this. So, any Le Boyfriends don't let me see the whites of their eyes. This is not advice. But, this is for sure what would happen at my house.

  2. I wish you would turn her in. You don't have to say anything about the boyfriend. Any day in jail is better than a day spent shooting heroin.

  3. She was only here ten minutes. Response time for the cops around here is at least 20 minutes. It was 30 minutes the day she walked through the plate glass in my front window, from the time the call was made, until the time the first of several cop cars arrived and they ambled up to the house.

    My reason for telling her that if she would call me to take her in, that I would not turn in Le Boyfriend, is simply to get her to think about HERSELF and not so much about him. She simply will not consider walking away from him. (I think the 16 months in prison would help him, even though he would likely get out in 8). I turned them in once already. It was apparently a really exciting time in the neighborhood involving firetrucks dispatched to put a ladder to a window to get cops in to bring them out, since they thought not answering the door might make the cops give up. That was the most recent incarceration for each of them. This time, I do not know where they are staying. The only information I have is the lisense number/make of car. (that's if they have not changed the plates already?) And given that my daughter once lived in and daily drove a stolen rental car for three months two years ago and never was apprehended for it, I'm not sure that the police would even try. The county population was over 3 million in 2008. And if their goal is to stay outside of the county, that population expands by millions further. I think it is going to be an additional crime which stops her/them. Not someone seeing the car/plate. (While she lived in that stolen car, cops checked the park she stayed in nightly and simply passed her over as another homeless person living in a car. Never once ran the plate to see if the car was stolen. Three solid months.)

    I initially thought it would be a good idea to give probation the information. But DH is opposed to that, at this time.

    I got the impression that "checking our motives" meant that if we were trying to cause something to happen in order to fix our addict, that our motives were wrong? If we were trying to protect ourselves or innocent others (grandkids), etc, then attempting to bring about an arrest would be appropriate, but if we are just trying to manipulate our addicts into getting caught/consequences, then we were not "keeping our side of the street clean", or "dealing with what is in our own hula hoop?"

    I'm confused. Am I misunderstanding the "check our motives", etc? Any input would be appreciated.

  4. Hi! I have been so busy I am way behind on everything but stopped to read here and see the latest. I think you're doing the right thing by letting "nature take its course" so to speak. They remind me so much of Ant and his gf, who may be in the same boat soon if he doesn't contact his parole agent.

    Your little people are so cute. I can't imagine a life without pets. I give mine all the love I have stored up and baby them and it helps me!

    Your quilts are looking great. I don't have time to read the comments above but will come back after court/dmv to check it out.

  5. It always amazes me when I see something I've written referred to somewhere else! LOL So let me explain "check your motives." (Which I believe you have it right by the way). As codependents (out of love or not), a lot of our actions and decisions are driven by the motive of "If I just get X to happen, our addict will get/stay clean." "If I just do Y, then my addict will be grateful to me and therefore get clean." "If I just do Z, my addict will love me more; and because he loves me, he will stop using."

    The truth is, that doesn't work. So when I said, I'll just give you gas money to go look for work, thinking if he just gets a job his life will be better, the truth is the gas money was used to buy drugs, or drive to buy drugs. I can't will him to get a job. When I tried, "If I call your counselor/probation officer, etc., and tell what you are doing, he will step in and you will be grateful and you will get on the road to recovery." That didn't work either. He continued to do what he was doing.

    Now, if I am choosing to call probation/police, etc., because my addict has two small children living with him and I believe they are in danger, my motive is to keep the children safe, then it is the right motive and not a codependent motive.

    In a nutshell, is the motive of your actions to FIX the addict? If so, you might think about whether you already tried that and how did that work out for you? So "check your motives" just gives you something to think about. By the way, if you are attempting to stop an impending injury or death, that is the ultimate appropriate motive and you need to do whatever you can at that moment.

    I hope this helps.

  6. I'm kind of on the fence with my interpretation of "check your motive." I don't think you can fix or change anyone. You can enable recovery once they have chosen that road, but you can also passively enable addiction.

    I personally would give probation the car info. My thoughts would be that any action that brings about legal accountability and a possible "bottom" sooner than later, is an action worth taking.

    I think I would need to pass along that information for my own sanity. If in fact the authorities choose to do nothing, don't see it as a priority, and it changes nothing, at least you know it was out of your hands.

    I guess what I would be asking is, so I expect this to fix everything, or am I contributing to a possible sooner bottom.

  7. Uhg I really hate when I write a lot and slip up and delete it!

    The recap of what i wanted to say is that I am on the fence with the meaning of check your motives.

    You can actively enable recovery, but you can also passively enable addiction. I think that expediting "bottom" is a form of enabling recovery.

    For my own sanity I think I would need to give the car info to probation. Seeing as they are the one's who legally have the precedence to enforce consequences for actions already taken, I would want to aid them in that obligation. What they do with that information is out of your hands.

    Being an addict is pretty black or white. Either you are or you don't want to be and you take actions to stop. Loving an addict shades that black and white into a smeary shade of grey.

    Sorry if I only added to your confusion. (((HUGS)))

  8. weird- I somehow deleted ^ that comment, retyped a similar one, clicked publish and the old one showed up...

  9. I really agree with Midnitefyrfly on this one. Also, Lisa's last sentence is of great importance. Thinking of you, love the quilts and the doggies.

  10. I think that the Al-Anon pamphlet The Merry-Go-Round of Denial explains the motives thing well. Here are just some thoughts on my motives:
    Enabling is doing for others what they are capable of doing for themselves. When we enable addicts, we prevent them from experiencing the consequences of their own actions. When we do this, we discourage them from learning from their own mistakes. This, in turn, prevents them from realizing they have a problem.
    The addict has made drugs the focus of their daily activity, letting responsibility and common sense fall by the wayside. When we continue to do even the simple things for an addict we care about, little is left to motivate them to enter or rediscover their recovery?
    How do we enable?
    We enable addicts by doing things such as:
    Paying their bills, making car payments, covering bounced checks, paying bail, paying traffic tickets;
    Making excuses for their behavior, changing appointments, calling employers on absenteeism, writing late or absentee excuses to schools, covering up for missed family functions;
    Providing the addict with money, clothing, housing and food.
    Caring for the addict's family by allowing them to live with us, taking their children to school, babysitting, etc.
    What does enabling do for us?
    Enabling gives us a false sense of control. We do what society tells us a "good" father, mother, husband, wife, son, daughter or friend should do, but we are not getting the results we desire. We feel frustrated and resentful. Because the addict's behavior does not change, we think we have failed.
    Our actions, done with the best of intentions, have back-fired.
    What is the difference between helping and enabling?
    We need to look deep inside ourselves to determine the difference between helping and enabling. "How do I feel when I offer my help? What's in it for me?" Checking your motives will help you decide when you are truly helping or when you are enabling.
    Can you enable an addict (or anyone) who is not using?
    We can enable anyone, using or not. Our enabling behavior patterns are not directed solely toward the addict and/or the addict's sobriety. Enabling deprives anyone of experiencing the consequences of their own behavior.
    Remember, when taking responsibility for our own behavior each one of us must find our own path. Experience teaches us that it is useless to lay out a path for someone else to follow.

  11. This is one of the most complex issues I think - I can see both sides. I called the police to take my son when I found him passed out on the bedroom floor - my therapist says he OD'd - should I have taken him to the hospital instead? Should I have called his probation officer? Should I have made him leave the house again? It is what it is - I have to believe that God was leading the show! Still praying!!

  12. the pics of the dogs are too funny...sort of reminds me of my kids..About your post....stay strong....praying with you...and believing for things to turn around. Sarah

  13. My Mom struggles with this too. She just bailed my brother out last night. He has not tried to work or help himself and I am upset about it but it is not my bucket. Hugs to you I know it is hard.