Thursday, April 1, 2010

Well-mixed emotions - Mad....

"Hi, my name is Her Big Sad, and I am mad."

We used to have to introduce ourselves at family therapy sessions and state at least two feelings we were experiencing.

Today I’m writing about just one - the mad. I’ve noticed I am way more cranky these days, concerning my daughter. I went through an angry spell many years ago and really thought I had passed that point. Guess not.

I’ve reached my patience limit with so much of her situation.

For example: with my daughter’s creditors’ calls and letters. I've started calling every creditor as the bills come in, and telling them, "I know you can't talk to me about her financial issues. But let me talk to you. She's a homeless, asset-less, mentally-ill drug addict and has been incarcerated and will be incarcerated again, any day now..... Good luck, Chuck, with getting the money from her. Get the word out - she's sucking all of you dry and you haven't a prayer of collecting."

I usually try to say it a little more nicely. I don’t always succeed. It just seems like in the age of computers, they could somehow flag their internal database in some fashion and at LEAST not reissue more credit to her in the future. Some of these stupid credit cards have issued her more than one card which she has abused and discarded. Capital One did that. After losing over ten grand to her, they issued another card. WTF. ('scuze me!)

And the hospital bills? What is the point in pestering the family of an indigent adult – this is not their bill or legal responsibility (if it was, I’d go bankrupt!). Once they are told this is not her address and not our responsibility, why must they continue to call?

However, I realize right now, my anger stems mostly from the fact that I know what she is doing. She's gone on "good ones" often enough, and in the past, I've cleaned up the wreckage often enough (packing up her stuff after she's arrested and bringing it home), that I KNOW WHAT SHE'S DOING. She is breaking into cars and houses, stealing, and selling for drug money/motel money, etc. When she's sober, she expresses remorse, contrition, etc. And I think she probably means it at that time. But when she's loaded? She sees absolutely nothing wrong with her actions. "That's what insurance is for, Mom. I'm not hurting anyone." How did she miss the basic message I taught her from the cradle..... if it doesn't have your name on it, don't touch it.

I'm sick to death of throwing away glass cutters and lock picks.

I no longer pack her up. Haven't for a while. If she loses her nicer work clothing and her prized hoodies along with her glass cutters, lock picking kits, and drug paraphernalia, so be it.

She usually calls every four or five days. Oddly, I don't always want to talk with her for long, when she's running amok. I’m profoundly grateful to hear her voice. And I'm angry. What a mix! I tell her I love her and I close the conversation pretty quickly, after reminding her that today would be a great day to turn herself in..... I say it nicely. I honestly don’t dwell on that. I try to be positive. I write her an e-mail about once a week that is loving and reminds her of the good qualities and strengths hidden down inside the shell she has erected around her. She wrote me back a week ago and thanked me for the emails, stating I encourage her more than she can say. (but not quite enough to turn herself in just yet!)

She called yesterday and mentioned again that they are planning to turn themselves in after Le Boyfriend sees his daughter when she visits later this week from out of state. And across the miles, Lou’s voice is carried on the winds that are blowing today…… “show me, don’t tell me….show me!”

I miss you, Lou!! *grin!*

I don't even remind her that I had offered her a ride for turning herself in, any more. She can get there herself. She’s getting everywhere else she wants to be….. food, motel room, pawn shop, connection, his parents’ house, more connections, etc. I’d probably take her if she asked, in order to keep my promise, and actually would be glad she made that choice, but I’m not actively offering any more. I’m cranky.

I know that she will probably have to go to prison soon. And that's okay. I mean, it’s not okay. But it is what it is.

In a preverse way, I think she WANTS that. Why?

Where is this anger coming from? I've gotten so cold/numb. I don’t even check the website any more. If she's in, she'll call collect. This time, I may not take any calls after the first one. We used to take one a week. I'm even sick of that.

I know this is a disease. But I don't think my daughter is going to recover. I'm mad, sad, and numb. I'm also aggressively trying to move on. I guess ten years will do that to you. I identify strongly with what Fractal Mom has said so often. My daughter appears to be already gone.

I hope. I pray. But I temper it in reality. And the likelihood that for my daughter, it will not come to pass.

I used to tell myself that she could beat statistics, beat the disease, beat this enemy back down and walk over it to a life full of promise. Now I remind myself instead of a wise
blogger's comment: “I must learn to live in the world of what is, and not in the world of what ought to be.”

I am mad.

I love her.

I miss her so damn much.

Edited to add: Warrant for LeBoyfriend’s brother is finally in force. I do not understand why it takes so long from the time you miss a probation appointment and they report it (which happened immediately – the morning after she missed!), until the time the judge signs and warrant becomes effective. Anyway, it’s my understanding that the warrants for her and LeBoyfriend will be about 5-7 days behind the brother’s, going into effect. Hope springs. Now if we can just get them pulled over for looking suspicious…. Maybe all three of them will end up where they need to be. She said they were pulled over a couple weeks ago, and held their collective breaths while the police ran their names, but since the warrants weren’t up yet, they were free to go. The slowness of this process astounds me sometimes. And my oldest, DD1, says that its going to get worse. She’s in paralegal studies and her professors have said that the court system is laying off, in some cases, 50% of their support personnel. Lawyers are beginning to work as paralegals. Paralegals can’t get jobs. And the court system is grinding down to an even slower crawl. What a mess!

Well, my day holds other concerns than DD2 and her escapades. I’ve prayed and put her in His hands, and I have transcription work to do, a husband to get through a minor surgical procedure today, and a dog sit job to carry out, in addition to taking care of our five pups!! Life goes on!!


  1. We were being hounded to death with collection calls for our son, 5-6 each evening. The way I got them to stop was politely ask who they were, the agancy and their phone and address. I then informed them son does not live here and I do not know where he is. I then told them any further calls from them would be considered harrassment of us and the issue along with your contact information would be turned over the the state attorney general. The calls soon stopped.

    One collection agency told us that our phone number was the one listed and they every right to call until the debt was settled. I just told them if you really believe that then keep calling and I will be sending a registered letter with a summary recording of your calls to the attorney general and we will let him decide who "has the right". Calls stopped.

  2. Yes! I have a standard letter I keep on computer now - change name of agency and print! Things are finally slowing down. I also just don't answer the phone much these days. If I don't see on caller ID that it's someone I know, or one of my doctor clients, I just let it go. That's what God made answering machines for, and I can skip through messages later, when its convenient! I don't answer my door either - haven't in years.... If I don't expect anyone or recognize them or their uniform, I just turn around and go back to work.... the five barking dogs usually ends the bell-ringing very quickly! My front porch is my front porch, not a sales showroom, so I stopped answering the door long ago.... I'm such a cranky old fart!! :)

  3. As far as being mad - let it out! I think that's exactly what you did in writing this morning. Even with Al-Anon, books, blogs and all the other help - day in and day out can wear you down. I was glad when at the end of your update you wrote that you had other things to occupy your time with today (not glad that your husband was having a surgery of course!). But take care of you, your husband and DD1... I really think you're doing all you can, how you can, as far as DD2 is concerned. You love her and it shows, and she knows it.
    God bless.

  4. I read a book called The Lost Years by the now famous "interventionist" Kristina Wandzilak and her mother. It was written as their parallel journeys through Kristina's years in her addiction. Each time Kristina called home her mom would ask, "Are you ready to get help?" Sometimes Kristina would slam the phone down. Other times she wouldn't answer and the mom would quietly hang up after telling her that she loved her but couldn't be involved in her life until she was ready to help. The only opening to any kind of relationship or communication was Kristina accepting help. It was a hard line, but reading about that has helped me more times than I can count.

    As a side note....there is kind of a warped humor in this...The mom also talked about knowing what it meant to be literally "scared shitless" for her child. I went through a time of every time the phone rang, the police called or there was some drama either on the phone or in real life, I immediately had to go to the bathroom. I had an immediate physical reaction to the stress. It was awful and we could laugh about it at times... "hold the drama...I need to go the bathroom." But really, I often wondered what physical onslaught my body was going through that made it react like that. It was immediate. The minute I sensed drama, it hit. Being mad is ok. As long as it doesn't take root and poison who you are. Being mad keeps us strong at times. I think we need to be mad at times in order to survive. ((hug))

  5. I understand and feel your frustration. And I admit, when I was getting the collection calls for Bryan (they've stopped now), in a very codependent way I wanted to know because I constantly still tried to fix the situation (I blogged on that a few months ago...over the bank calling). It always starts as an automated call from the bank, so I just "click 2" if this is the wrong number or they don't live at this address." It did work and the calls finally stopped.

    I don't know if it matters how many years go by. No one wants their adult children to die on the streets; but their "disease of choice" constantly wears us down. We wish for jail, arrests, prison, etc., because in the long run, it seems less risky than running around using drugs and all the behaviors that goes with that.

    I really don't know what to say except I understand MAD, and you are in my thoughts and my prayers. And I think that overall, you do a great job of detaching and still loving.

  6. Oh boy, can I identify with you. I registered my phone number of the do not call list, and threatened with prosecution if they'd call me one more time regarding something I do not owe. The calls quit after a while. My daughter used to tell me, it's not her who steals, it's the drugs. She sees no problem collecting welfare, that's what it is for. She is entitled to it. Mother, you think it is hard for you to come visit me in jail, you ought to be in here! Sometimes I am kind of relieved not to talk to her anymore, but like you, I miss her so damn much.

  7. I made the decision when my son went to jail that I would pay his minimum credit card amounts until he got out, only this time. He is working now, so he will be paying them.

    It is good that you are expressing your emotions. Hopefully your mad is replaced with peace and love soon! Sending prayers to you and your daughter!

  8. Oh boy can I relate to MAD! That is why I did the anger list a couple of weeks ago to work on. It will take me awhile to get through that! I think it is normal to be mad with our situations, but it feels awful to be angry all the time. I know some of my anger stems from the frustration of not being able to help my son and watching him not help himself. Now, I just have to learn to let go, love and then be able to soothe myself all at once. Not a small task by any means. I think you do a great job of detaching with love and draw much strength from your blog. I will continue to send light and prayers to you and DD2.

  9. Good for you for letting the mad out. This is the perfect place for it, just read all the comments! You have every right to be mad! I bet it won't be long before the three get pulled over and locked up. I don't know about you, but knowing they are in jail vs. out on the streets doing all sorts of stuff, makes me feel better. You know where they are and what they are doing.

    I am sorry you have to go through all this.

    Ten years is a loooooong time :(

  10. Anger sometimes gives us the strength to carry on. Hold on to your own life. Hold on to what you were before her and before the addiction.

    Take care,

  11. My daughter was a meth addict for 15 years. Now sober for 14 months. Those were some long and very dark 15 years, but I lived and I lived sober.

  12. sorry. but you may have reached a plateau where you can now just get on with YOUR life.

    it's sort of freeing.

  13. Joy, you are doing everything right. Really. It's in her court (or court case..whatever). I'm so glad you have your quilts, I know they give you some peace of mind.

  14. I hope that you will take care of yourself and realize that there is nothing that you can do for her except tell her your love her. It is time to live for you.

  15. Wow - I identified with your anger and frustration so much. We have to get this out or we'll be eaten alive, from within. I've often thought that jail would be a good option for my daughter - a place to get clean and get her head cleared out a bit. It might even be a relief to have her "safely" in jail. However, I tried to get Hayley arrested several times, and couldn't!
    This was a great post. Please know you are
    not alone in these feelings - keep writing.

  16. OOPs - meant to post via my blog address. Peggy