Follow by Email


Welcome to my blog. I hope we can help each other endure the pain of the addiction of a daughter or son.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Back to the beginning

I will retire soon but at the beginning of my career, I worked with poverty stricken language minority children. I actually liked it quite a bit. There was the problem , however, of constantly fighting discrimination, lack of materials, bad facilities etc. etc.  When you work on behalf of a group which is discriminated against, you get discriminated against too.

Now, I am reassigned to work with these kids again. Little do they know that I am now much more able to stand up for their rights within the system. This was given to me as a punishment but I will make the best of it by doing my best to make sure these kids learn. I will also advocate strongly for them to get the resources that they are supposed to get. As a young girl, this was beyond me.

Your comments on my last post were very kind. I will not get anymore promotions before retirement unless there is another really big shakeup. I did do well in my job during all the stress with Beth but I was concentrating on tasks not politics. To be honest, I did not have the energy nor inclination to spend precious time on politics and it bit me in the proverbial ass.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Thinking About It

     Two more snow days here. We will be going to school in August at this rate.  I had some disturbing news at work which I have always enjoyed. Seems my supervisor who was overwhelmed before she retired blamed all her own shortcomings on me. What is it that they say? The shit flows down hill.

Soooo, this has caused unjust damage to my reputation and probably contributed to me getting passed over for promotion when she left. Sigh....... I didn't even know it. She smiled in my face, kissed my cheek, encouraged me to confide in her and stabbed me in the back! 

Incidently, I told her about Beth. She said, what a trajedy, made her own intimations about her own mentally ill family member and then proceeded to trash me. I always did my work in spite of Beth's problems. It was a refuge and a comfort to me to work hard on other things.

Oh well....... shit happens. Even at work.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Surfaced for a moment

She called to ask her father to send money he has been holding for her for her rent. He said, get the name and address of the landlord to send it directly there.

Anyhow, she sounded good. The real hard part will be when her own money is gone and she is asking for ours . Oh well, we have been through this again and again. I would be happy to pay the rent if she was making some progress. We would have to actually see proof . We believe nothing of what we hear and only hope that what we see could be true.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Haunting Dreams

In the middle of the night I heard Beth call out.........Daddy, Daddy please. I sat up in bed and realized that it was a dream. This has happened to me before when something awful has happened to her.  Of course, there were also many times when awful things happened that I did not have a clue.

I will not borrow trouble. I have plenty of trouble that I own without borrowing any. I will not be seduced by my fear. I said a prayer for God to please take care of her and release me from my obsession.

I went back to sleep. Thought about the whole thing briefly in the morning and not again till now which is after work and before dinner for me. DH just came in and he has not heard from her.

Hope you are all doing well. I am just about to visit your blogs.

Monday, February 22, 2010

moved in with 3 girls

DH got a phone call from Beth. She had moved in with 3 other girls. They are letting her stay till the end of the month for free. At that time she will owe 350.00.  The people in recovery really help each other out!  I can only hope that this is her situation. Time will tell.

I know that she might need the actual on the streets homeless experience to get free but I am still relieved to know she has a roof over her head. I also know that the actual on the streets homeless experience might kill her. At this point, the drugs are much more dangerous to her. She is pretty savvy on how to surivive. She once told me that when she was out on a mission ( multiple days of using ) she would just walk into the ymca looking like she belonged to get a shower. She has also sold her blood and promised her boyfriend's car to a drug dealer to support her habit.

The devil is in the details. It is the details that haunt me. I have seen things and heard things that no mother should. If your child is an addict I am sure that you have too. Right now, she claims to be clean and be attending and outpatient program. There is no evidence that this is true.

As time goes by in this 90 day break from talking to her personally. I find that I am less obsessive about her. I have stopped looking for treatment centers. Though I have done so much research that I can find a treatment center at any cost in any part of the country withing 24 to 48 hours. The last time I did this was on Thanksgiving day.  I am willing to share this info with any of you when and if you want it. It really did my daughter's situation no good. It might have done harm because she knows full well that I can get her in fast and comfortably. How desparate is that?

I have done this over and over thinking maybe this is real. Maybe this time she means it and the last horrible thing that happened was bottom. Every time I talk to her I hear about things that would have been bottom for me or anyone else I have ever talked to.

Thanks for being here for me. It does help to get these torments off my chest.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Birthday Party

     We had a nice birthday party. We all met up at Olive Garden. There were 5 of us. Everyone ordered what they wanted. We relaxed, enjoyed our food and laughed at this and that. There happened to be a woman there that I work with. It was the first time she met my family. She said, " How lucky you are to have a family that enjoys being together."  She, of course does not know the whole story.

   DH tried to call Beth back twice to give her the information he got from me but she did not answer. This is typical. She will let us worry a while especially if she already has another place to stay. When she has no where to go she will call incessantly. The most probable explanation is that she did find somewhere to stay or she is just binging and has sold her phone. That happens a lot too.

     Work has been tough this week. Suffice to say that I have been given a huge project with lots of responsibility with no training. I found a manual to read which contains 62 pages of single spaced instructions which read something like an income tax form. If I screw up, then I may loose my license or the people that I train may loose theirs. Did I mention that this is not fun?

After work today I went over to mom-in law's house like in the old days. I told her I needed some tea and sympathy. I took some raisin bread to make raisin toast. She was having a good day. We ate the toast and drank tea while I told her about my day. We used to do this almost every day when I first got married. In fact, we lived with her for the first 6 months of our marriage while DH and I built our house next door.

Boy was I a dumb 25 year old. I used to come home from work and she had our dinner started. We would have our tea. She would listen to all my school stories and tell me what good work I did. She used to have our laundry folded on our bed each day.  ( That part bothered me because I did not want her to poke around in our room.)  I got along well with my in laws but I was very anxious to move into my own home and do things my own way. I just did not know how good I had it.

Anyhow, I stayed with Elsie today for about 2 hours. We talked about my work, how she misses her husband and the activities that she would like to do again. She said that she started to laugh out loud today .  She was in the hallway and had to go to the bathroom. She could not decide which clean bathroom to use....... the one in the hallway, the one in the master bedroom or the one by the laundry room. She said, I grew up so poor that I never thought I would have the problem of deciding between three bathrooms. I only hoped to have an indoor bathroom!

I found that I could help her read the paper, listen to the radio and e-mail her grand kids. These are all things that she used to be able to do alone. She can not do them alone now but she still enjoys them. It was not that hard to make a few little adjustments so that she still liked these things. For example, she could read the headlines but not the small print. I said which article seems most interesting to you. Then I read her that article. She could pick radio stations that she liked so I wrote them down. She could not figure out how to use the radio so I showed her but I do not think she will remember. She did not want me to label anything that she forgot such as where she keeps her playing cards. She said that it would be like advertising that a person lives here with no brains. I said short term memory is way different than no brains. I offered to label the objects in English and Spanish so that she could inform people that she was studying a new language. She laughed but declined the offer.

I hope to relax tonight and get an early start tomorrow. I have not decided if I will attend my alanon meeting or not. I know I should. To them and you dear friends I owe my sanity or what remains of it.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Homeless Again

DH got a phone call this afternoon. Beth said that she is homeless. I know from experience that once this happens it will be life or death crisis one right after another at maximum three week intervals. DH sounded shaken as opposed to confident. He is confident that I need to be tougher when I take the crisis calls but it is harder on him when he has to take them. I worry about his health in all of this.

DH said what happened to the free programs?  She said her insurance was done, that she checked out the free program and it looked like prison. She would not go there. DH said that she had better check out the homeless centers.

He wanted my list of emergency numbers down there. Here is what I gave him.

West Palm  24 hour per day 7 days a week homeless intake and assessment and drug program: 561-844-6400

Clearwater:  Free admittance halfway house Peachfor House:  1800-448-6448

Royal recovery Resources:  halfway house she can use her own 600 for this:  561-455-2709

Boca:  In Network 30 day followed by out of pocket 60 day rehab at reasonable 3000 per month rate
Alternatives in Treatment 1-800-622-0866

Phoenix House Rhode Island:  401-441-6107  1 year program self pay till she becomes a citizen in about 3 months.

I said to DH.  Tell her she can go to the prison like program for 90 days. If she stays, and wants to continue we will talk about sending her somewhere more luxurious or somehow more to her liking.

She is still calling the shots even when facing homelessness. Probably she has a few situations lined up but they do not live up to the style to which she has become accustomed. Those Florida rehabs are beautiful!

I know that this is very serious and not funny but you either laugh or cry.

Sooo, we are off to celebrate my son's birthday at Olive Garden tonight. We do not intend to tell our other children about this incident. We will not answer our phones during dinner. DH always keeps his phone on at night so that his mom can call.

This is not how responded the first time this happened about 3 years ago. We dropped everything and ran to her aid. We waited by the phone and picked her up to take her from rehab to rehab or back to our house and then rehab again.

We are so tired. Please God  Please let her learn from this crisis without it killing or crippling her for life.


Monday, February 15, 2010

Who is in charge of your oxygen?

     We got up early today and drove to see two assisted living facilities. They were both very pretty and clean. They offered many activites as well. They were both certified for memory care patients but we are not sure that they are appropriate. You see with 24 hour personal care ,mom in law already gets more attention than they offer. I think we will try to supplement the help we have here upon occasion and get some more activities going. The socialization and mental stimulation is better at the facilities.

     Beth called her Dad while we were on the road. She talked about the pets that the people she is living with have rescued. She talked about scuba diving and looking for a job. There was no more mention of long term rehab. Why am I not surprised?

    As a final note she said that when her buddies go underwater she drives the boat and makes sure that they have enough oxygen. She is perfectly safe driving that boat sober though there was nothing to lead me to believe that she is sober.

   Her Dad just shot the breeze with her and that was that. I am glad she is alive and well. She did not ask for money. Must be one of these friends is supporting her for now. Since there was no valentine's day crisis I can only assume that there is a new boyfriend. It is De ja vu all over again. The only difference is that i am not asking her 20 questions and trying to persuade her to change. Something does not feel right about pretending to think all is well when I know that it is not.

None the less, I am still trying to get my 90 day break from obsession with her so it was good we did not talk. Beth took up about 15 minutes today.

None of my talking, begging , pleading , reasoning, bargaining or bribing has done any good so far so I might as well take a step back to get more control of my own life.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day

 This Picture is from happier days. Mom-in-law was 88. Pops was only 93! These sweethearts were married for 69 years.

It was a very nice day!  I went to church with my good friend De. We walked at the Mall afterwards. I did not say a word about Beth and actually listened to my friend talk most of the time. It occurred to me that she could use a break from the constant drama that emanates from my life.

Hubby and I exchanged our valentine gifts and spent the day out to lunch and shopping. We bought lampshades which  brought us joy as it is something that we can actually take charge of. We are not powerless over minor decor!

We stopped in to visit Elsie (mom-in-law). She said she felt 90 per cent good today. I helped her play cards on the computer. She used to spend hours with her peanochle but could not remember how to play. I could not figure out the commands that she needed for this game either but I switched her to Gin Rummy which was easy to figure out. After helping her with 4 or 5 hands, she could do it herself. She was happy!

My son made a valentine's dinner for his girlfriend at our house. He offered us some. We had a bite or two so as not to interfere but it was great. He can really cook well. Right now, I have some rice pudding in the oven. I love it and so does Elsie. I will take her some tommorrow.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Better Day

  Today was a good day. Hubby and I woke up late and went to breakfast. Then we picked up his Mom at the hospital and got her situated back home. She is a lot more normal now than before. She is mostly with us in the here and now. She said...... that's a fine how dee doo..... Alzheimers.... thank you very much ......well I am back in my right mind now so let's go home. 

We spent the afternoon getting a car for Christine. It felt like old home week. AS it turned out the car salesman was my best friend's Uncle. The woman in the office was in my class 21 years ago. She remembered when I left her class to give birth to a baby. The baby was Christine!

In the evening, I made home made spaghetti and meatballs for my husband and son. We enjoyed ourselves!

Happy Valentine's Day to all of you.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Might come home tommorrow

Mom in law is better than before but still gets fearful for no apparent reason. Her delusions make her fearful. She was never a fearful person. They say she will come home tommorrow if she has a good night. She wants to come home and I hope that we can distract her from her fears.

She is more distractable now than a few days ago. Yesterday, she seemed perfectly normal. So it looks like good days and bad days to come.

I went back to school today. We are finally getting dug out. My house is sooooooo clean. I had lots of time to devote to it. My youngest daughter looked around and said "everything is perfect....this is just not right!"

I started reading Fly Lady again. She tells you how to keep your house in great order by using multiple emails, a web site and a lot of humor. The woman is amazing as I have always hated house work but when I read her messages they really get me moving fast, organized and efficient. The best part is that it is free.

We are helping my youngest (Christine) buy a car as hers is on it's way out. We will put down the down payment and she will make the payments. She is in college and works as a waitress. She offered to quit waitressing and take care of her Nana. We said that she could help from time to time but that she still needs to go to college and have normal 21 year old activites. She said she would have time to do that later Nana needs help now.

Fortunately, money is not a big issue for mom-in-law. We will keep her in her own home for as long as possible. There are options. It is a great comfort to me to know that Christine wants to help and has a loving skillful way with ill people.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


Mother in law still in the hospital but seems a little better. At least she is not afraid. She thought that she won a tennis tournament at 102 years old.

We are told that it might be better to place her in an Alzheimers facility sooner than later as they will not take her at all if she progresses to agressive behavior. She was kicking the nurses so I don't know what is going to happen. This is brand new territory for us.

Beth called my husband. She said that she will finish there soon. She is going to stay with a friend from her current facility and wait for a long term free program there in Del Ray. Her dad sent her another cell phone. Now, I will not know where she is once again.

She has told me the same thing several times. Let me come to your house while I am waiting to get into a long term program. Then, she does not go.

I sent her email with all the options that I would pay for so she can get into a long term program right away but that is not her choice. She has not wanted to talk to me as she has not answered phone calls or email.

Here we go again! I am trying to give her over to God and feel calm in the middle of this hurricane that is Beth's life. I know now that I can not make her do anything. Her dad said to her..."Glad you are going to a long term program. Call me when you are all signed up cause we really can't have a relationship with you while these drugs are involved.

I am powerless but I do not like powerless.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

HOspice nurse snow bound too!

Our family doctor acted fast to help with my mother in laws extreme paranoia .  He knows that she has dementia and this is in no way her normal behavior. He arranged for the hospice nurse to do an evaluation today. Only problem was that the hospice nurse could not get out of her driveway!

Anyhow, she calmed down some as the day wore on and we finally got her admitted to the local hospital for an evaluation. Seems as though her mental status changed so fast they have to rule out things like stroke before they can sedate her or put her on antipsychotics.  The good thing was that Elsie was never afraid of her family. So she got some comfort from our presence. Her fears were of strangers who were in the house and the nurse's aide.

She was also happy to stay in the hospital. They kept her overnight and are running tests. We cautioned them that the morning is her worst time.

It turns out that the ER doc was a flying buddy of my Dad's and the ER nurse was a former student of mine. She said she uses a lot of the Spanish that I taught her. I was glad to see her and comfortable leaving my  baby (Hubby's mom is our baby now)  with her.

Elder Drama

In the middle of the snow bound day my dear mother in law took a turn for the worse with an extreme bout of dimentia.

She was extremely agitated. She thought that her nurse's aide was trying to kill her and that she had been raped in the middle of the night. She settles down for a few minutes at a time but then returns to yelling, anxious, fearful behavior. She said she was looking for a gun to kill herself.

We are now waiting for the hospice nurse to give her an evaluation to get her to an inpatient hospice unit. She is too much right now for the aide or for us to handle. If that does not work out we will have to call 911 and take her to the hospital. That is inferior as she will wait and wait. Our local hospital is not a big city hospital.

She tried to throw hot coffee at my husband. That really upset him as his mother is such a gentle soul.

Youngest Daughter took the day off work and is sitting with mother in law and caretaker.

Husband is clearing the snow with a couple of guys who knocked on the door. He keeps going back and forth to his mom's house.

I have called 3 doctors, the psych unit, and several friends in medicine before being able to start to get the ball rolling. If i don't hear back from hospice in half an hour I will have to call the doctor once again.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Snow Bound

We are up to our knees in snow!  The cars are totally covered. The mall was closed, the theaters were closed and church is closed tommorrow.

I made a big batch of chile, did the laundry and got into a cleaning frenzy. Bitty bundle(youngest daughter) and I just watched a  movie . We talked about it at length. Oh the glory of having a child who is majoring in English!

Hubby has a bad sinus infection. He slept most of the day. Hope he is not up all night! I always figure if someone is sick just let them sleep it out.

As Good as It Gets

Beth has not talked to me for more than a week. However, I do know that she is still at the treatment center. At least she will not overdose or get beat up there. Her father just told me that she called him earlier leaving a message that was nearly unintelligible. He tried to call back but they had taken all the addicts out to a park.

Soooo, her dad still cares enough to call  her, she is not talking to me and she is relativey safe. That is as good as it gets or as good as it has been in the last 8 years.

Today's gratitudes.

I watched the snow fall silentlly, beautifully catching a few flakes with my tongue like a child.

I am able to start my days slowly, easing into them with a cup of coffee and a review of correspondence.

Usually do not have to deal with people problems until 10 or 10 :30.

Most (not all) of my people problems at work are either easy to solve or not solvable but I know the ones that can't be solved by now and do not waste my time.

My youngest daughter enjoys my humor. She likes to spend time with her parents.

My son is realizing from being around his girlfriend's parents that we were not the strictest parents in the world. He realizes that we cut him a break or two.

My sisters and I are good friends. Had lunch with Laura today. It is a blessing to be friends with your sisters.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Marital Discord

     Hubby pisses me off. He says  he is not willing to give Beth a cent. Even if she finishes up this new stint of rehab. Even is she asks for more time in this rehab or another longer one. He is done and he thinks that I should be done too.

He believes that she is not trying at all or not trying hard enough. He wants to cut his losses and move on.

I have doubt that she is trying her best but I am not in her head and do not really know. If I start to hold her responsible for all her choices I will probably hold him responsible as well. He is a long term diabetic that only just recently started to control his sugar. He has many severe health problems now due to his refusal to help himself.

On the other hand the frustration that he has caused me is small compared to the horrors of addiction. It seems that most things in life are small compared to the horrors of addiction.

I talked to Beth's counselor today. He said he is trying to get her into a 6 month free program. Praise the lord, I hope it works. The mere point that he is willing to say that to her astounds me. He is the first.

I called because hubbys attitude has gone south. Beth has not called nor responded to my phone calls since the last time. I e-mailed her about two programs that I would be willing to support. They are both long term and cost about 3000.00 per month. She would be 100 percent inpatient and supervised in either place.

I am just so mad at him but I also know that I have been in his position before when she has done things that shocked and revulsed me. I have said in the past and meant it and followed through with it.......either get treatment or stay out of my life. Actually what I said was get long term treatment. What she did was get short term treatment. I started communicating again with her when she got the short term treatment so here we are again.

Opinions are welcomed. I know that my thinking is unclear and convoluted.

Monday, February 1, 2010


I had a boring weekend!  No crises involved.

My knees feel good again.

I hear birds singing when I wake up.

My house is cozy.

My youngest daughter transferred to a University. She is on her way to a professional carreer.