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

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Good Day!

Beth was approved for the Apartment today. She also had good news at the gynocologist. I went with her. Her biopsy showed that her cervix is curing itself. She had abnormal cells but they were not cancerous. Thank God . Praise the Lord and thank you all for your prayers! It is very important that she keep her appts. every 6 months but other than that she is fine.

She called me 30 minutes before her appointment to tell me that she was rescheduling. Her boyfriend's dog had escaped and they were chasing it. I said absolutely not. You must keep this appt. as further action in a timely fashion might be necessary.

She met me there and did not seem high or out of sorts so go figure. Probably just getting cold feet. I am the opposite. I do not want to hide or postpone. I want to hear the news so that I know what I am dealing with. Fear has always upset me worse than reality.

I am going on vacation tomorrow so I will probably not post for a couple of weeks unless they have more computer access than I anticipate in Panama. I am going with a girlfriend on a guided tour. Hubby stays here to mind his store and whatever issues may arise. We travel together in the winter but summer is his busy season so I make it a point to do my third world wanderings during the summer.

Take care,


Sunday, July 18, 2010

Question: Can We Help or Hurt Another's Illness? A: Sort of

A long time ago I had an active two year old daughter and a one year old son. I was 7 months pregnant with the third child when I got deathly ill. They think it was pneumonia. After seven days, I was worse instead of better and started to get dramatic. I had high fevers and chills so bad they made my whole body ache which scared me. I started to fear for my life. I did not have the strength to walk around. I stayed in bed except for going to the bathroom.

The doctor gave me antibiotics but did not want to send me to the hospital for fear of more infections. My husband said that we would take all measures to save me over the baby. He loved the baby but had no qualms about putting my life first. ( I was not very clear about that at the time. I was afraid I would have to make a decision and told him so.) I asked my mother to stay with me while my husband worked during the day as he was a sole practitioner and had to work or not make payroll. She said that she had to go with my father on a trip to Washington because she had to keep an eye on him so he would not philander . My father said that I was a married woman and a grown up. I had a husband to take care of me and the option to go to the hospital. He told my Mom to come with him that I was no longer a child. ( My parents were natural alanoners. They believed  in extreme self-reliance for their kids, although they have mellowed some with age.) My mother left me. I was sicker than I have ever been. I had two toddlers and was 7 months pregnant. I feared for my life and she knew it but told me to not be so dramatic.

My mother in law Elsie was 70 at that time. She came to my house and took over. She made me take cold baths when my fever got over 103. She said that would protect the baby. She made me drink juice and brought me food on trays. She had me on a schedule...... liquids every hour and some kind of snack or food every three hours. She took care of the toddlers. She fed them and my husband. She used all of her nursing skills on me and I was grateful.

One day, she came into talk to me and she said that she thought I was worrying and it was interfering with my getting better.

She said tell me what is bothering you honey. I told her that my mother abandoned me while I was sick. I said that it hurt me and that it made me mad. She hugged me and said I know, I know honey. My mom wasn't any prize either. She never cared much about me. By the time I came around she was tired. But, Anna, you have to think about who does love and care for you. You have to let this go so that you can get better. I will take care of you and my son loves you. These children need you so think about that. Have a good cry and then let it go.

I did what she told me and I started getting better. Did Elsie make me better? Sort of.  Did my mother make me worse? I think that Elsie supported my health while my mother did not.

For many years, I did not forgive my mother. Now, I do. In fact, I now see that she wanted to stay but my father wanted her to go. Why do we hold our mother's more responsible than our fathers? Well, that is a post for another day.

I think I will go and see Elsie now. I have been neglecting her lately in favor of Beth.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Working With Beth

Beth came to work with me. There was really no one there except us. She was a big help once she stopped crying which she did for the first hour. Apparently she has had a falling out with her only girlfriend. Beth was distraught as Jenna told her she does not want her to call or come over. She does not want Beth in her baby's life.

I imagine this pertains to Beth's recent relapse or some other drug related escapade. I lost it when she said she was going to move back to Florida. The idea that this girl abandons her so there is nothing else here worth staying for really hurt me and made me angry. I said and what are we just chopped liver? I did not say this at first. At first I sympathized but after about 40 minutes my patience wore thin.

Probably, I just should not have been a mother. I do not have the patience necessary to deal with Beth. She needs more patience and compassion than I have. I want to have more but there it is. At first, i did feel very sorry for her. Then, I realized that something major had to have happened and it most likely pertains to drugs. Oh maybe not crack or heroine but probably booze and marijuana.

There was some sort of altercation between the two boyfriends but that stuff is a secret. Then I offered to take her home but she said she would settle down. She settled quite well and really concentrated. Her organizational and clerical skills were very sharp. It was rather amazing to see this switch.

 Then she went out to smoke a cigarette and came back in with small pupils which is a sign of heroine and also with her eyelids sort of drooping. I mentioned what I saw and she started to cry again. I apologized as in my way of thinking if she was shooting heroine she would not have given a shit and would not be crying. She pointed out that pupils also constrict due to light and she was in the bright sunshine. I said well I can be a real bitch and she said yeah, I know.

Then we worked for three more hours at highly detailed, convoluted charts and statistics. She really helped. I said that she has a talent for this kind of work. She said she likes it more than yard work. I said, I remember how she was an amazing help at only 11 years old when she helped me with the copies and organizing charts for my thesis. I told her that I expect her to recover and that seeing that she can do real work is a step towards improvement.

I was worried about paying her. I gave the money to her boyfriend and told him that I wanted reciepts. I told her if this ended badly I would not give her cash again. I offered to make application at an apartment complex that is month to month instead of a year lease. She said no she is not going to Florida. I told her that I would hold the lump sum back in case she broke the lease because I will not personally pay for her to break it so think about doing the month to month. I also told her that I will not send her to Florida without food and shelter set up for her .

Then, I went out to dinner with my husband. I felt exhausted and kept staring into space. I know that this is overwhelming me and I need to shorten my interactions with her but there is so much to do to set this all up. No one will help but me. They say that she depletes them.

I am thinking that I will put a max of three hours of contact in a row with her in the future. Not that I will tell her that but maybe it will help. 

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Double Wammy or was it Triple?

I went in to work today to review test data , make decisions on student placement and file an appeal if necessary. The data was incredibly controverted. It was presented in numerous charts which covered my whole desk. Did I mention that my office had been cleaned but everything was out of order because the cleaning crew did not put it back the way it belonged?

I lost track of the time while trying to figure out how to condense and display so many variables in a way that made sense. My hypoglycemia kicked in because I had not eaten on time. At the same time I felt pressure in my chest from indigestion. On the way to the local convenience store, I started to think about how my Mom and sister had heart attacks before they were my age and scared myself. I was also thinking about all of Beth's medical problems and got overwhelmed. I started to cry and made the mistake of calling my husband. He got my father and came to get me so that I would not drive. They wanted me to go to the hospital. I felt pretty foolish because by then, I had eaten and felt a lot better.

Oh well, it is nice to know that they would come to the rescue. Anyway, we did go to our doctor's office. He ran an electrocardiogram and took my blood pressure. Both were fine. I did turn out to have infections in both ears and a mild case of acid reflux.  He ordered a stress test and some other tests that I should have had done anyway. I plan to take it easy tomorrow and the next day then attack those statistics again on Friday.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Yesterday was up so today had to be down.

Beth arrived at 10:00 am and we spent the day looking for a rental. She had not slept well at the boyfriends house and she was very tired. We looked at so many places including subsidized rental apartments which in reality did not exist. The waiting lists were many months long or closed. These places were very dangerous anyhow with drugs in your face all the time.

She got very stressed out thinking about how to make ends meet on her allotment. It is not really possible so the plan is to work out some sort of situation where she pays a certain amount and we supplement it. We replied to 20 adds for rooms for rent but no one replied. The sources were craig's list, roomster and They will not take her on what she recieves for SSI as it never does cover the rent. I will have to co-sign or so they say.

At the end of the day there was really only one real possibility. 640 plus utilities per month on a month to month basis. Ugh

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Perfectly Normal

When Beth and DH came home from the movies they said they had a great time. Beth was cracking jokes and ate a little dinner with us. Anyone in this world would have thought her a perfectly normal 24 year old tonight.

On the 22 we will find out if her cervical dysplasia has progressed to cervical cancer. Apparently this is a very very slow moving type........ worse case scenario hysterectomy. The fact remains that she did not do her 3 month check ups even though I asked and she told me she did.  She told me tonight that she might just have a hysterectomy instead of freezing and having it come back over and over. I encouraged her to take one day at a time. Maybe it will not show cancer. Maybe the proceedure she already have will be enough. Maybe one freeze will be enough. We just have to wait and see. Possibly get second opinion.

She is supposed to come by tomorrow at 11 so that we can look for a rental. Some sort of location stability would certainly be an improvement at this time! How can she be so crazy one day and so perfectly normal on another? I guess now that we are not living with her, we will see more of the pulled together Beth. I hope so and I sure do pray that she starts making more progress.

Visit From Beth

We had a visit from Beth. She was swimming at the neighbors and then came over here for awhile. She does not have a key so she had to knock. It seems the boyfriend's mother wants her out of the house when her son is working. Sooooo, she spent the other day at the Mall.

Her plan A for a place to stay did not work out. Her plan B which I liked a little better seems to be evaporating. It looks like she will be homeless again soon. She wanted to know if she can stay here while the boyfriend is working. I said that would be too much like living here. She needs to find a place where she can stay. There were a bunch of possibilities on Craig's list but she rejected them all as too far away.

I gave her the name and address for a drop in center run for consumers of mental health services for other consumers. She can go there during the day. She can also visit her elderly grandmother next door.

I did tell her that I would front the money from her SSI to get her started. I offered to help her look tomorrow. She said she would call me tonight. She mowed the grass for her father. He then took her to buy cigarettes and to see a science fiction movie.

I really wish that she was settled. Do you think I was right or wrong for not letting her hang out here in the daytime while John works?

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Notes on Boundaries

I just came home from what DH refers to as my druggie meetings otherwise known as alanon. The topic was boundaries. People shared about how they set boundaries. There were a few points that I want to remember so I am going to jot them down here.

1.  We always have choices. The addicts have choices but so do we.
2. When we feel resentment it is time to set a limit.
3.  When we fear for our own well being either emotionally or physically it is time to set a boundary. We are not meant to live in fear.
4.  Boundaries should also be about what we want to experience. For example: in order to have peace and serenity I need...........................

5. If we allow unacceptable behavior in a loved one it is just like setting the replay button. The behavior will happen again.

6.  We can ask ourselves if what we are be asked to do is for someone's convenience or is it actually a need.

7.  If objects or insults are being hurled I will go somewhere else. Preferably, the person hurling the insults or objects will remove themselves.

8.  Violence is unacceptable.

9.  Living in fear is unacceptable.

10. I am a complete and separate human being on my own. I am not joined at the hip with the addict.

Thanks to all my alanon friends for sharing from their strength and hope.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Miserable Morning, Nice Family Fourth

It is amazing how we could have such a miserable morning and then actually enjoy the afternoon. We decided to go to the family picnic anyhow. My sister in law has a place right on the beach and she had invited us down. It was soooo hot here that we thought oh well let's go sit on the beach. It will be a little cooler

I finished trying to make my mom's potato salad. We packed up and went to the shore. Joy came with us. She can do impressions of just about anyone famous, her customers at the restaurant, or the neighbors. Her Dad can too!  They got to doing their various accents and we all laughed. We laughed, sat on the beach, walked and then had a nice take out Greek dinner complimented by my potato salad and some snacks that Nancy made. ( It must be genetic........ even though I had to guess at the recipe the potato salad was great! It was all gone fast.)

Nancy asked if Beth was still home. I said for the time being and rapidly changed the subject. I normally tell her the truth and she will know within a few days but this was a mercy lie. I did not want to ruin her hospitality with this sad news. Joy and DH thought that was for the best.

In spite of the fact that it was 98 degrees inland, the breeze off the ocean was pleasantly cool. We were on the beach for 4 hours!

Beth just came over here to pick up a few things. She discussed her housing plans with me in a calm and polite fashion. Just like when she first came home. She said that she was sorry it ended so poorly yesterday. I said that I was too. I suggested that she give plan B consideration. It would give her enough money to maintain a car and take her out in the country far away from the drug zone. This involves renting a room instead of an entire apartment. It is in a very rural area within walking distance of the bay. She listened and talked for about  5 minutes and then she was gone.

I found it a relief to come home and be able to use my own kitchen and family room. No mess, no tip toeing around trying not to upset her. It was also good not to have to lock my purse in the car and sleep with my car keys.

Josh surprised me by not being happy that she was gone. He said, there is no way she should live in town. I agree but I can not control where she lives only that her money goes to food, and shelter. He seems to have gained a greater appreciation for her struggles . He used to be so mad at me for even talking to her. He also was very rebellious and did not want me in his business. Now, he holds my hand and tells me he loves me a few times a week.

In spite of how things have turned out, this family has been the most important thing in my life for the past 28 years. I really believed with no doubt whatsoever that if a person put this much time , work, passion and energy into something that it just had to turn out right.........  Let's not go to the pity party. There are still lots of good parts to my family and my life. It also time for me to get more of a life for myself.

Thanks to all of you. It really meant a lot to me that you were there so fast for me in the last few days.



Sunday, July 4, 2010

Lost It!

I went to church this morning and prayed for wisdom. When I came home I lost it. Beth was on the couch with dialated eyes and a little burn mark next to her mouth that I imagine came from the crack pipe. I asked her if she had thought about what she could do to help with her recovery. I reminded her of a couple of outpaitent programs in the area. She got very mean. She said that there would be no programs or drug testing. Well, Beth maybe if you would do something different I could convince your Dad to let you stay here.

She said she would buy a car and move to Florida. She said I had better turn her checks over to her or she would get a lawyer. I said something along the lines of the money is for food and shelter. I will put it out directly for food and shelter and nothing else. It is your business if you want to do drugs but you know you can not do them and live here. It just makes you too mean and we all suffer.I told her to clean up the kitchen and do one load of laundry while I was gone. She had said that she did not want to come to a picnic with us.

  She got very huffy and yelled at me that she would clean the kitchen but she was not touching any one elses laundry. I lost it. I yelled at her and said that this is the end of her bossing me around like some mean drunk. She will not act like the boss of me in my house. She can either do what I say or get out. She threw the remote down at my feet and smashed it to pieces. She ran upstairs to pack.

DH came down and said that I was acting all tough now but in a few weeks I would be a wreck looking for her. He had already told her that she had to move but that we would help her find a place.

I went upstairs and semi apologized. I said that I am just so angry because these drugs have nearly ruined my life. She acts like using is no big deal. She will also not agree to do anything any different. This pisses me off beyond reason and it scares the hell out of me too. I said please, please take care of your cervical dysplasia or it will kill you. She lied to me about taking care of it . It had been two years since she went to a Doctor and she is supposed to go every three months.She said that she hopes the cancer takes her quickly. She has no interest in living. or programs or hospitals.

Five minutes later on the porch with her bags packed. She said, " I was doing well. I was finally happy and you kicked me out for one slip."She went to stay with a girlfriend within walking distance of her drug grounds. We all think that she was using for awhile because she was so mean and surley. That is how she gets with crack.

We got the house key back. It is creepy to think that she had some guy she picked up doing drugs drop her off at my house. I do not want these people to know where I live. She has threatened me before when I was holding money that she owed a friend of mine. I am afraid that this will happen again. I told her if she starts any funny business that makes me feel fear I will turn this over to a court appointed non familial guardian who will be much less flexible than me.

She left, and i said Beth, just because I can not live with you does not mean that I don't love you. I do love you but I can not live in this chaos and constant tension.She said, "It is all your fault, Mom. This time is all your fault."

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Hostility and Arrogrance = Crack

She did not come home last night. Called me at 5 in the morning claiming to have fallen asleep. Arrived home at 10:OO am and had a fit when I gave her a couple of chores. It did not look like she had slept. She arrogant and hostile. I said we would need to start drug testing immediately. She said that she would fail. She used coke last night but it was the first time. No big deal really.

Given how she has been picking fights with me, staying up all night and sleeping all day, I do not think it is the firs time.It hit me like a brick in the head. I cried for about one and a half hours and then went to sleep for the next three with an extreme headache and acid reflux. Hope can be the enemy. Hope leads to expectations which leads to this sort of crash.

We will see what happens next. We did not really intend to live with her. We were going to set her up in an apartment and follow through on the SSI. She did well at first while she could still remember missing us. As time went on, she just used us more and more and appreciated us less and less. She is personally miserable and abusive to those around her most of the time. It is not that she hits or even name calls. She just reacts with seething hostility and disparaging looks, slammed doors and a constant black cloud. Our house is no longer a comfort zone. We are once again trying to avoid it. Not a good situation!

Friday, July 2, 2010

First Real Customer for Precious Paws !

The day started out horrible but ended up pretty well. Beth did not sleep last night and neither did I. She came into my room at about 9:00 am insisting that I take her to buy cigarettes immediately. I can't say that I reacted to this with any maturity. I told her in no uncertain terms that she is not the boss of me! I would drink my tea. Finish my breakfast and then take her.

As she got in my car she bumped her head on the visor and yelled at me for leaving it down. I escalated by saying it is not my fault that  you do not watch where you are going. She got out of the car in a huff and went inside. I drove away and she called on the cell. I said that I had more to do than cater to her all day. She called her Dad hysterical.

I told him that I was in a menopausal sleepless twit and she was just pushing me too far. He said that I had to realize I was dealing with a crazy person. (That's a swithch.)  When I got home after doing my own errands my sister had taken her to get her cigarettes in exchange for some chores. Beth and I went to Pet Smart to get some combs for her dog clippers and she assured me that she would clip the dog today.

I told her that I get overwhelmed with the responsibility of taking care of so many people. Her Dad has been unable to walk without crutches for the last two weeks. I now have 4 other adults depending on me and my nerves are frazzled. I said that things have to change and that I want her to give me 30 minutes per day in household chores. That is because  she is not working steady and I am just overwhelmed. Too my surprise she agreed and said that she got it. I apologized for escalating.

Then, she went to the shore with her father to help him work on two rental properties that we have there. He said that she slept all the way there and back but was helpful when they got there. She came home and immediately started clipping the dog. Then, strangers drove up to our house. They were actually not strangers but relatives of her girlfriend Emily. They brought a big fat bassett hound and wanted his nails clipped. Beth petted him and got him to lie down with the owner petting his head. She filed the nails in about 20 minutes with a drummel. The man paid her 10 dollars. She smiled when she realized that this was her first real customer and she had recruited him herself through a friend.

She resumed clipping our Dog but decided that she needed a muzzle. Roxie is arthritic and when you get near her back legs she does nip. None of the local groomers want her anymore. Beth came in and asked permission to take a break, buy a muzzle tommorrow and start again. Her back was hurting. We do not have a grooming table so she was all huntched over for a couple of hours. I said of course. What a change from this morning!

I said Beth, when words gets around that you can do those nails that fast and only charge 10 bucks you will have customers lined up around the block!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

She Came Home in Good Shape

She came home and just seemed the same. I am not entirely sure if I can tell when she is using now or not. She always used to dissapear and stay away for days. She got in soooo much trouble that there was no doubt.Yesterday was a 2- and today was a 2+ for her. Yesterday, she did nothing and was hostile. Today, she did nothing and was neutral.

I go to alanon tonight. I hope the meeting helps. This is wearing me down.