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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.

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. 


  1. There are both positives and negatives here. I admit I smiled when you said "you shouldn't be a mother" because I have said that myself. The truth is none of us has the patience and compassion it takes to parent an addict (unless maybe if the parent were an addict too?). It just not the way nature intended it to be.

    My son won't even look at me these days and part of me likes it that way, but most of me is pissed off and hurt.

    I hope you have a relaxing and "uneventful" weekend.

  2. It sounds like she is depleting you too. As much as you want to help...can you help her to make the calls and handle the business end of her life herself? Teach her how to take these steps on her own? I don't know of course.....I am just saying...the more she becomes capable of on her own, the less load for you to carry.

  3. Limiting your time with Beth is a good start, but if the situation is anything like that with my daughter, my best laid plans go out the window when her needs escalate. Comments like you "shouldn't be a mother" are better translated - it is hard, maybe even impossible, to be a consistently good mother to someone struggling with mental illness AND addiction.
    You are a great mother, Anna! You have tried your mightiest to guide Beth and be patient. Everyone has a threshold and Beth constantly crashes yours. Regroup and don't get into the day to day squabbles between Beth and her friends if you can help it. Her life will be full of high drama and it will drain you.
    You daughter sounds like mine. Smart and capable when on a task they like doing. If only..
    I hope that you can relax and let some peace flow in this weekend.
    xx kris

  4. Thanks friends,

    You made me cry again. I am still not used to being understood,

  5. Oh, I have said "I shouldn't be a mother" too!!! And oh I know how Heather can exhaust me. I like the idea of a time limit with her. Ha! However, I am still in a place where I sap up any time she will give me in person... thankfully she has treated me well during those times so far (probably b/c they are few and far between maybe... cynical I know.)... You have a lot having her with you full time, any mental distance you can give yourself would help - but I know how it is - you make it for so long and then... Oh, Anna, you are such a great mother. I hope that this morning brought you new energy and you get to relax a bit this weekend.
    God bless.

  6. Oh that sounded familiar! I have said those very words. Not only that "I shouldn't have been a mother", but also, my husband and I have said that having children was the most selfish thing we've ever done. We did it for US. We wanted to do it. We wanted to have children (plus it had been drilled into me that it was my God-given responsibility)... We didn't give a thought to whether or not this was such a great world to bring kids into. We did it for us. But in the last decade, we've thought, look at the pain we caused her. So unintentionally. Just by having her and bringing her into this life on earth. And that was after she shouted in a drugged and/or manic state, "I didn't ask to be born" for about the umpteenth time. Still, I absolutely treasure all the beautiful moments I have shared with my kids, all the fun memories, and I look forward to more. I hope for LOTS more. I have a feeling the last paragraph made no sense at all!

    Anna, you are an amazing mom. I have learned so much from you. It's hard to articulate, but you have made me think of new and different ideas, methods, outcomes, and I pray for you and Beth. I hope you get some much needed rest this weekend and I think your proposed time limits are a good goal to help take care of YOU, while you lovingly help Beth.

  7. You talked about her great organizational skills and you are not kicking her out. So if she really wants to move to Florida, you need to let her take the lead on setting up her life. She needs to prove to herself that she can manage and you need to prove to yourself that you can let her be an adult and in charge of her life. If she is not ready to move away (and it appears you don't think so) then you will only worry and try to control the situation.

    I so understand the money thing...but if you are willing to pay her for work, you have to pay her and then let go. If she is going to do drugs, she is going to do them whether you pay her or not. I'm sorry I don't mean to be harsh, but I've done EVERY SINGLE THING you've mentioned and the results were terrible for both my son and for me.

    Finally, I've accused Bryan 100 times of using when he wasn't and he has told me, "Mom, I understand it will take you a long time to trust me again; so don't worry about it. I get it. It's okay." Don't ever ever apologize for worrying about her and sharing that worry with her. It is also part of her consequences. If she stays clean you will worry less (very small steps here) and eventually you won't always assume the worst.

    Hugs and prayers to you and please understand I felt your exact pain which is what triggered my response. Please take care of you.

  8. Anna, you are a great mom, in very difficult, if not impossible circumstances. I do understand the feeling though. I often feel like a failure as a mom, especially when I lose it at them and says things I know shouldn't be said. I think limiting your time with her is good. No one can take that kind of verbal abuse for long. I know that I need major breaks from Caroline, which I don't get enough.

  9. I like your boundary of having some short time interval with her. Alcoholics/addicts can be energy vampires if I let it happen. I keep reminding myself that I have choices. Letting Beth take care of some things helps her to grow up. Take care of you.