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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.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Back to Boundaries

     My sister-in-law had another Christmas dinner last night. I told Beth about it at the last minute because she had done so well at the last one and her Aunt was asking about her. The evening started out great. A few missing relatives were at this one who did not make it to the first dinner. Beth looked good but she sat alone with a far away look in her eyes.

      After awhile I noticed that she had served herself a glass of wine. I have never seen my daughter anywhere near drunk and disorderly which is quite amazing given all that has happened in the course of her multiple drug addictions. She got a little more talkative and relaxed but that was all. She helped entertain my nephews baby for a long time which was greatly appreciated by his parents and grandmother.

 As the evening proceeded there were some red flags like when she talked a little too loud and started using profanity with her teenaged cousins. Her uncle admonished her to watch her language and she quickly excused herself. My other daughter was visibly uncomfortable and irritated but I did not know until later that it was because Beth was trying to get her and her boyfriend to bring her refills so it would be less noticeable how much she was drinking.

Beth planned to spend the night at my house because she had a dentist appointment in the morning. She asked her father how he thought the evening went and he said he was pleased to see her spend so much time for the second night in a week involved positively with the family. She got all emotional saying that she was really trying. Then she spent the next 3 hours crying over her dead grandmother and expressing great remorse and shame for the life she has been leading.

It took me quite awhile to realize that she was pretty much enebriated. She talked about how hard it was for her and that it would be so much easier to die but no amount of using seemed to kill her. I said I appreciated that she expressed remorse and the way to make up for it was to step over the line and live a good life from here on in. That was then but this is now should be her motto. She went on and on. At first, it seemed like she was finally seeing the light but then it all changed.  I went from feeling a deep sense of compassion to a desire to escape the misery she was wallowing in. She kept eating and telling me how she was practically anorexic. She looks good not anorexic though she has lost weight. She also let it drop that she left her meds in her apartment. I offered to drive her out there and back but she said no, it would be fine to just do it first thing in the morning.

I did not want to wake up early and drive out to get her meds but I did not want to rock the boat. In the morning she said that she could not get up so I took my walk first with the plan of then taking her to her apt and bringing her back. When the time came, she refused to go and got quite hostile. She said that she had no intention of going back to her place, she just wanted to be left alone or she would just walk to her friends in town. I stated that our agreement was that I would take her in the morning because she needed her meds. In any event it was time for her to go. She screamed at me and stomped around but she went. I dropped her at her friend's house. About one hour later she called like nothing had happened wanting me to drive her to the dentist. I said that it was not ok for her to abuse me in the morning and then ask for favors an hour or so later.

It felt to me like all that drama was designed to make me feel pity for her but as soon as she realized that in spite of all that she could not spend the day on my couch she became hostile. She had left a big mess strewn all around her and a pile of the pajamas I had lent her thrown on top of her Dad's exercise bike. She had urinated on my pajamas, not cleaned it up and not mentioned it. Gross!

Soooo, the Christmas truce is over. I will confine my communications with her to Tuesdays as much as that is possible. The next time she comes to a family affair, I will ask her not to use alcohol at all. If she does, then I will leave quickly. We do not have alcohol at my house when she is there.

It just saddened and amazed me to see how she went from remorse for all the pain she has caused to demanding and surley the next morning then back to sweet and solicitous when she wanted a ride. I did not accomplish much for the rest of the day. I did refrain from discussing it with my husband as I felt that it had dominated my own thoughts for long enough by the time he got home this evening.


Sunday, December 25, 2011

Peaceful Christmas

     Life goes on weather the addict is using or not. Life goes on even if it is the first Christmas without our mothers or friends lost to cancer. Sooooo, my youngest and sober daughter decorated the house for the holidays and baked cookies while singing with her boyfriend. I could hear them laughing and singing downstairs while the smell of peanutbutter cookies permeated the upstairs and downstairs of our entire home.

     I put together a Christmas Brunch for both sides of the family. It did not really get started until about 11:30 this year as the oldest ones who always got here super early have passed on or moved to Florida as is the case with my Dad. We had quiche, tropical fruit salad, assorted bagels with cream cheeses and jelleys along with meatball sandwhiches, boiled shrimp, pepperoni and cheese. There were also fancy cookies, doughnuts that looked like jewelery they were so pretty, chocolate eclairs and homemade fudge.

   Our minature spanielle looked adorable with his tiny red Santa Clause Suit. Beth called to ask if she could attend. She said that she was taking suboxone again and trying to make a new start. She arrived with a big gift bag full of individually wrapped presents for her sister, father, aunts and me. She had taken a shower and her hair was clean and newly cut. She also had it dyed a natural color. The last time I had seen her it was a clownish orange. This time it was a deep auborn. Her clothes were cute but not trashy.

     Beth stayed for most of the day and then came back in the evening to my sister-in-laws house for dinner. I could tell that it was true that she had started suboxone again. In the beginning, she acts a certain more docile way that I now recognize. This was the first time in years and years that she has stayed with us for most of a day.

We did not discuss her recovery in terms of her new resolve, lack therof or in any way. We were too busy with the holiday. I was careful that there were no valuables left around and everyone there knew the score. Thank God for this family of mine that treated her very well. They were happy to see her in spite of it all. She thanked me several times for letting her come. I am sure she felt the love these people still have for her. My sisters, my husband's sister and our parents have never blamed us. They do not use or approve of drugs or the lifestyle that comes with them. They remember Beth when she was the shining star, the most sought after babysitter, the honor student and the star athlete.  They want her back and wish her the best. They treated her with dignity and respect yet kept their valuables in plane sight.

There was a prayer said in remebrance of my mother in law and my mother who both passed this year. It made Beth sad and she left shortly after that. She cried on the way home about her Nana. I hugged her and said that I knew she could stay strong. I told her that eventhough I know that my Mom and Nana have passed that I still talk to them. I know that they can hear me and often I know what they would tell me so that gives me comfort. I said that I was telling her this because it helps me cope and so maybe it will help her too. She said that she thought it would.

So, we forged ahead and made the best we could out of this first holday without our Moms. I am sure it is how they would have wanted it. We put aside our differences for the day and came together as a family who still loves deeply in spite of the ravages of death and addiction. We laughed, we cried, we ate and we sang. We shared our joys and sorrows. This was our Christmas. I am grateful to have had this day.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Happy Birthday 26 years old

Beth is 26 years old today. The day she was born was the happiest day of my life. She had to go to court today and I had no desire to see her after her latest attempt to tug at my heart and then shake me down for money.

I sent her this text

I remember you. I wait for you to be done with your evil lovers (crack and heroine) and come back home where you belong. Happy Birthday,  I love you.

She replied:  Thanks Mom I love you too.

I was actually relieved that she did not ask to come over or tell me how she is not using.

I cried a lot today. We had 16 good years. She had a happy childhood.

I will follow Lou's advice and post occasionally when the mood hits me. Thanks for letting me share.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Drug Court Not An Option

I talked to a Judge today about drug court for Beth. She could be sentenced to attend but that would not be backed up by the threat of imprisonment because her crimes do not merit prison time. So, that was just another false hope.

We say that we must have hope but when there really is no hope the false hope just seems to add to the pain. I am happy for all of you that have seen progress or at least a break from the addictive behaviors. My girl has not had a week off drugs in several years.The only time I recognize her is when she impersonates her old self for a few minutes because she is trying to get my sympathy which quickly leads to a plea for money.

I have an affection for all of you and I wish you the best regardless of what happens with your children. Thanks for sharing your heartaches and hopes with me. I will continue to read but do not plan to add to my own blog for awhile.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

I Wish You Didn't Adopt Me

That is what Beth said when I would not drop everything and gather papers from her accident that she needs for court tommorrow morning. She also wanted a check for a hundred dollars to pay the public defender. I said no more checks. I will mail it in. If they put you in jail then so be it. I am done going to court and stopping my life to run around for you.

That is when she said, " I wish you did not adopt me."  I replied that  " I wish  you had never become an addict or better yet never touched drugs."

This was the first time I had talked to her in a week. It felt better to get a little distance. She does not want to go to jail. Amazingly, she was able to get her own accident report within an hour from the police. She also found a trustworthy relative to walk her check to the courthouse in the morning.

Her public defender tells her that she will get off from the parafanalia charges she got on a technicality. That is too bad as there is a possibility that she would try to comply with the court. Any tips on getting the court to send her to mandated drug program? She had another paraphanalia charge (needles) previously but it was dropped after she completed a 30 day rehab. She missed her last court day because of the car crash where she broke 6 vertabrae.

The local police know her but keep giving her a lot of chances. She was a pathetic figure in her body cast the last time she was in court. Anyone would have assumed that such a serious accident would wake her up.Soooo, ther is a previous charge of shop lifting a candy bar, wandering in a drug zone and possession of paraphanalia. Then, a new charge for paraphanalia in the car while being pulled over and asleep at the wheel, followed by this terrible accident. At what point do they serve time or make them do probation with drug testing. Is this a possibility at this point?

Thursday, November 24, 2011

The New Thanksgiving

What a lovely(for the most part) Thanksgiving we had. Last night I made 3 pumpkin pies. They made the house smell heavenly. This morning we washed both dogs and spent some time playing with them. It was bright and sunny outside which we have not seen for one whole week.

My youngest daughter's boyfriend came over in the afternoon. He and S are working on a Xmas CD and they were practicing. They sound beautiful together. I am always grateful when the house is filled with music. Then we drove to my sister's house for dinner.

My brother in law loves to cook so the feast was amazing. There were literally three tables full of beautifully presented, lovingly prepared and delicious food. It was fun and heartwarming to spend time with my sisters and their children. We laughed, we ate, we remembered the ones who were not with us in fondness. I am grateful to have my sisters so close by.

Beth had told me that she did not want to come today. Normally, I would have asked her a couple of times but I didn't. My sister did include her in the invitation and I did tell Beth but she said no because she was mad that I am not buying her a car. I told her we would leave at 2 eventhough I knew we would not leave until 3. It was 4 oclock before she texted me. She texted to say that I had left her alone on Thanksgiving. I reminded her that she knew about the invitation and declined it. She thought that I should have tried to get her to change her mind. I texted back that I was going to turn off my phone.

My sisters say that I am not aloud to win. Beth manipulates and it has to be my fault. Sooooo, that part was sad and distracting but we did not dwell on it. God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference. Often, when she gets me feeling guilty like this, I will find out that she was not alone but had her own invitations. She has learned to play me like a fiddle. I am learning to at least turn the volume down on that shrieking fiddle!

Monday, November 21, 2011

The Voice of Experience and Compassion

Here is an answer to a question written by Her Big Sad. She understands addiction and she understands how to protect herself from addiction while still being a mother. I learned so much from her response to Barbara who could not understand why her son called her to say that he was going to use. I hope Her Big Sad does not mind me copying this here.

Oh Barbara, this is where it gets so so hard.... everyone's thoughts here match my own experience exactly.

(in my opinion)...This is an attempt to scare you into continuing to place the long arm of Mom in between him and his consequences. He is at a fork in the road. He can continue to use til he's done. Or he can start the hard work now. But there is nothing more that you can do.

I had to tell DD2, "let me know when you are done. Until then, I can't have frequent contact with you." And I made it clear that "done" meant done and detoxed (in order to set foot in the house). Otherwise, I could do nothing for her. We worked out a system that she would check in once a week by phone, just to let me know she was still alive. Literally. But it was a brief conversation about inane things like taking her dog to the vet for her shots (since she wasn't here to do it), and I steered the conversations away from her glorifying of what she was doing (she liked to sensationalize her adventures and I would change the subject each time - she finally got it and stopped telling me about what they were doing).

No matter how angry those conversations made me, I ended each one by telling her how very much I loved her, and that I would be waiting, when she was done. I'd hang up and then again have to work my way through the emotions and reminding myself the last thing she heard from me was that I love her and that now I was putting her back in God's lap again.... and letting go.

This is hard, hard, hard Barbara. I've been there - where you get up and check the "who's in jail" and the "J.Doe list" at the morgue online and then go on with your day. Eventually I stopped that - if she was in, I knew I'd get the collect call. And they have her DNA, so if anything worse happens, they'll let me know. Worrying before that time (which certainly might never come!) was a waste of time/energy.

Everything within me wanted to tell her to come home and even her Dad at one point was giving me the line about "using here is safer than using out there" - Wrong! Safer for her maybe, but it totally removed our safety (dealers delivering here?!) and it would have forced us to give up our right to a safe home where we can still find all our belongings!

There is really nothing else you can do. You won't live with drugs. He isn't done with them.

I am praying for you and Keven and your family. Stand strong and give Keven that statement verbally and by your actions - you won't live with drugs.

Keep writing, keep listening to a lot of different voices here.... We're thinking of you and literally walking this with you.

Obviously this is all just my two cents worth. WhatEVER you do, please know I care and I'm here for you!! BIG HUGS!

New Day and New Life

Beth started calling me early in the morning or late last night. I am not sure which because I turned the phone off. I had already told her that I would talk to her on Tuesday. I did call the Social Security Department after all.

Get this one.  She has the right to request a different rep payee. Anyone can serve in this capacity as long as they do not have a felony arrest on their record. This person must report in person to the nearest social security office and the process takes about 60 days. There is no process for social security to assign someone else. My local office might give me a list of organizations that volunteer to do this or they might not. I will then have to get a particular organization to agree.

My husband says that he thinks I could just freeze her assets and let her handle the rest of the process. The important thing is that the assetts are frozen if I am no longer taking responsibility for them.  We have added a couple of items to the list.

1. No checks and she must submit bills and addresses to us from her creditors.
2.  We will only discuss discretionary funds (there are precious little of those) on the 30th of each month. These discussions are to go through the Dad.
3. Allowance for food and transportation is given once a week. It is her job to get a ride there.
4.  She can make her own arrangements for the disabled bus to take her places as I will not be in a confined space alone with her while she is still using even if she happens to be drug free on that particular day. (Her withdrawals make her meaner than a hornet.)

I felt decent today. I could concentrate and enjoy my students.

I am taking Annette's advice and doing my best to be a good wife to my husband, a good mother to my other children. I also want to spend more fun time with my friends. This is what I got from Lou. I do need my virtual friends. These people are dear to me but they do not have a clue about the world of addiction. They do assure me however, that they saw how these children were raised and it was good.
Bless their hearts because they say that it could have happened to them as they raised their kids the same as I raised mine. Thanks also to Barbara who is always there for me and so many others.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Making More Distance Between Us

I have decided to hang on to my rep payee status for a little while longer. There is one big reason for this. When I see the withdrawals being made I know that Beth is still alive. This will be particularly important if she goes to Florida. As bad as I have been feeling lately it is not so bad as when she was gone for 6 weeks without a word and I thought she was dead. I was looking for her at various morgues throughout South Florida at the time. It was the hardest thing my husband and I have ever been through. Especially knowing at the time that we would not let her stay with us, she had no money and no where to live.

In case some of you think that we are enablers, you should know that we tried the whole tough love thing and kept it up for 4 long years. She was homeless a lot during those years. She also went to about 7 rehabs during those times. Our position was that it is rehab or the street. We will only pay for rehab and nothing else.

She only has enough money to barely cover the necessities in life so she may be spending her food money on drugs but then there is no food money. We do not give her money. She was able to doctor up two checks that I gave her to pay legal fines so that she cashed them at the food market. This means that those fines are now not paid. I will not pay them from my money. If she goes to jail than so be it.

There will be no more checks given to her under any circumstances from now on. This will mean that she has to wait on many items because I will not go running around paying things at her convenience. I am giving the check book to her Dad. He will pay legitamate bills by mail twice a month.

I am no longer going to take calls from Beth regarding giving her allowance to her a day early because she has a ride to the bank on that day. No more of that, her food allowance will be in her spending account once a week on Friday by 4 pm.

Other than that, she will have to talk to her Dad and getting money from him is like getting money from a stone.

I am not telling her that my intention is to talk to her as little as possible but that is my intention. She will dissapear just to punish me if I tell her so she will not be told. She does just about everything in dramatic contrast to what we have ever taught her or how the rest of us behave. This is what I think they call oppositional defiant behavior.

To summarize:

1 no more checks
2. less contact
3.less communication
4. no more discussions about money as it is all systematized.
5. Anything that does not fit in the system must go through the Dad.

There are no good choices here. It is contantly a trial and error process searching for the lesser of the evils.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Beth Plans to Get Out Of Dodge

I got a few texts today from Beth. She tells me she is going to settle her legal matters and fly to Florida to move in with an old boyfriend that she met in rehab. She wants me to make his mother her rep payee. This guy supposedly has rented a studio apartment for them. He will let her borrow his scooter. He has a car and a fat settlement that he got from a terrible accident. He is about 40 years old while she is 25.

The last time they saw each other they were both a lot healthier prior to both of their car accidents. Well. the less I think of it the healthier I am. My other daughter told me today that I need to see a shrink. She says that I have too much anxiety and have a lot of physical symptoms related to the anxiety.

She has a point there. However, I know that the treatment for anxiety is xanax and I do not want to start taking that again. I did it before until I could not sleep with or without it. At that point I tapered down and quit. It took about 3 weeks and it was hard. I do sleep now but I have spasms in my esophogus, and extreme acid reflux. I sleep sitting up.

I got dizzy tonight which I think was low blood sugar not anxiety. I felt much better once I ate some bread with peanut butter and jelley. I have been trying to loose weight and ate a little bit less than I actually needed today.

My youngest daughter is usually sympathetic but today she thought I was dramatic. She wants me to get fixed. She only knows what it feels like to be young and strong. She has never heard a doctor say that this is not curable just something you have to live with and manage.

I feel sort of bad about it. DD2 always admired my strength. Now she sees me weak and weary.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Crack Inspired Chaos

I had a very emotional 24 hours. The police were knocking on my door at 1 in the morning. Of course, I thought that Beth had died when I saw two policemen at my door at that hour. Turns out they were investigating a reported gunshot and wanted to know if we had heard anything.

All of us had heard some rattling around but none of us thought that it was gunfire. The police also told us to close the garage door which my son had left open. After that little adreniline rush none of us could get back to sleep for awhile.

I woke up crying convinced that Beth had killed herself and was in the neighbor's shed or our addition which is accessable from inside the garage. My husband said that it was going to happen one day but that it had not happened yet. He said that we have enough to cope with without conjuring up or giving in
to any morbid fantasies.

I dragged myself through the morning unable to really maintain a good focus on any given task. The sun was bright and the sky was clear but I was slushing through my own mental fog. Depression was pulling me down as I tried to stay a couple of steps ahead of it all day.

By the afternoon, my errands were accomplished, the house was organized and I actually started to feel like a person again. Then I checked the rep payee bank account. The first thing that struck me was relief that Beth had withdrawn her allowance today. She can't be dead somewhere if she is withdrawing money. The next thing I noticed was that about 400 dollars had been withdrawn last week.

Beth does not have access to checks unless I give them to her so this really confused me. It took a couple of hours to figure out what had happened and it is not good. To make a long story short, she found a way to erase who the checks were made out to. Instead of paying her court fees, she cashed the checks at a Mom and Pop supermarket near her home.

When I asked her about this she claimed to have purchased groceries with the money. When I asked how it was even possible to erase ink she said triumphantly without any hint of regret...."Well I found a way to do it!". 

Without going into all the little details, it is unnervingly clear to me that she pulled this little caper with a clear, premeditated plan. She started with a small amount to see if it would be noticed, then took the larger amounts while I was away. The last time I saw her she wanted me to go with her to the court house to pay some more fees. I was too exhausted by the end of that day which probably kept the rest of her account from being depleted.

Beth, I said evenly, "I just want you to know that on Monday I will call social security and request that they appoint a new representative payee. I will not put up with you jerking me around like this."

Her body is rapidly deteriorating as are her looks and her memory. In spite of this, she can orchestrate elaborate deceptions and schemes. She seems to be a little proud of this not a bit regretful.

So, the roller coaster of my life goes on. I doubt that I will hear much from her when her money is handled from someone else. She does not feel much for me anymore and perhaps never did. She once told me that one of her counselors did not like her anymore since she admitted that she had never felt close to her family eventhough they were always good to her. It hurt me when she said that as I thought we gave her a good childhood. We did give her a good childhood.

She tortures me. I have just about burned out with her. We are about to get even farther apart.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Good News Bad News

I took Beth to the orthopedist today. He said that she could quit wearing her body brace and go to physical therapy. She threw the perscription in the trash and stormed out because she did not get pain meds. I do not understand or necessarily believe that her bones have healed correctly. She was frequently taking the brace off and walking around without it.

She spent the entire 4 hours we were together insisting that I let her buy a car. When I left her off she said F--- You and gave my car a pretty hard kick. Then she called me on the phone threatening to kill herself. After that came a texted apology for kicking the car.

I basically let her abuse me for FOUR  hours just to get her to the doctor to see if those bones were healing. I should be happy that they are because if not she would have needed a spinal fusion. At the very end I sort of lost it . She wanted me to take her back into the drug area. I told her that I was not anxious to take her back down there to her moral and physical distruction. I even offered to buy her the damn car if she would go to rehab for 90 days. NO GO  She claims to be stuck out in the country with no transportation but that is not true. She refuses to take the bus for disabled people which is available for her. She just has to call ahead.

I have never in my life seen someone as miserable and unwilling as she is to do anything to help herself.   I know this is emotional blackmail. I fear this is damaging my own health. I have an appointment to get an endoscope to check for an ulcer. How much more do I owe her?   I am depleted and defeated.  She is sick but she is also emotionally abusive.                     God Help HER and God Help ME TOO! 

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Mania or Drug Induced Mania is Still Mania

Well. Beth is cranking up the guilt. She texted me several times today until I said that I was exhuasted and had to sleep. I would be turning off the phone for a few hours. She now says that since I do not trust her and she is going stark raving mad from being so isolated that she will enroll in the damn free outpatient drug patient program to provide me with testing.

She feels quite put upon that no one trusts her. She is in a deep deep depression like she was in high school when she was cutting herself. She has been breaking things in her apartment and throwning glass bottles against the floor.

I replied that trust is earned. I love her because she is in my heart and soul. Trust, on the other hand is earned. I also told her about my premonition that she would be a student at my University. I really did have that premonition on Monday. I could just feel her excitement at being there. I shared that with her and she got really pissed. All she wants is a car. She does not want a drug program, she will do it if she can get ahold of them but she does not want to.

I ignored that tirade via text and reminded her that she can call 911 if she feels worse. I said that a few days in the hospital might get her more stable and they could help her set up the other program.

DD2 will be in charge of whatever issues come up with Beth in my absence. There are two people who are willing to help her. I will be available by phone. I have not told Beth that I am going away because she ALWAYS has a crisis when I am away. Hopefully, she will not fine out as I think we can communicate well by text from PR.

Hubby is up and getting around pretty well. He almost went back to his office today. I really really want him to retire! Money would be tight but we could do it. I am glad I retired eventhough I cried when the first pension check came in. There is such a big difference between that gross and net especially when you retire. I always counted on a pension that goes up with the cost of living. Our governor took that away since I retired. This does not seem legal but it is true.

Anyhow, I am very appreciative of my new life. I have more time to take care of my family and do the things I want like teaching at the University.

 My job was very high stress. I supervised over 200 teachers in 4 different departments spread out between 6 different schools grades k-12. I never forgot that school was about learning. The most important players are the students and teachers. My new boss said that I thought like a teacher. That was supposed to be bad. I could not please him even when he gave me the worst assignments and I did them well. Funny thing is that there are a lot of other middle aged women and some middle aged men experiencing the same dilema.

We went out for a nice dinner tonight to celebrate DD2's birthday. She is 23 and a sweetheart.
If I had only had this one child, I would have thought that child rearing was easy and that I had a real knack for it. Anyway, we followed a family tradition and she went out to eat with just my husband and I. We will have more of a group celebration after the trip. DD2 loves her speach therapy classes. She feels called to do this work. I am so glad that she has found something that she likes.

We are keeping our fingers crossed for PR!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Let IT Flow

We are celebrating my husband's restored ability to pee. He can now walk, sit and bend over much more freely. He went to the urologist and they removed his catheter, pumped him up with water and he was back in business again! FYI ....... this post surgical complication is more common now that hospitals are ordering non latex catheters. They just hurt more to make a bad situation worse.

I spoke to soon about Beth getting to the Suboxone Dr. It seems that she and her ride were late. She called in but the Dr. could not see her. She wanted me to take her tomorrow. She also went on an on some more about a car and told me that she had talked to her neighbors and she is well old enough to handle her own SSI.

I told her that I am swamped right now with her Dad but that I also do not want to cart her back and forth to this particular Dr. because I believe that she is selling the suboxone instead of using it. I asked her not to dispute this with me it is really her business and words will not convince me just a series of clean drug tests. I just want to stay out of this affair. I also explained to her that her age is not why she has a rep payee. She has a rep payee because her mental illness can cause poor judgement and she has both a history of not complying with her pscyh medications and also a history of drug addiction punctuated by periods of short remission. I said, that a judge might change the order if she could establish more extensive sober time. Now I wonder if she told the neighbors that I am mishandling her money.

It is interesting how this drug stuff is supposed to be just her business (alanon) but it has had a tremendous impact on my reputation and standing in this community. Actually, my community seems to be a lot more forgiving than my bad old job was.

We were supposed to leave on vacation on Saturday. That may still happen if DH continues to recover. That is what DH and the urologist say. He is getting stronger each day but I just do not know how he will manage the airplane ride. We will see what he decides and how his recovery proceeds. If he could stand the travel itself then one might as well convaless in Puerto Rico at a seaside resort than here in Cold Cold NJ! Also, praise the Lord that his bathroom skills are pretty much normal today.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Good Day By The Grace of God

Thank you for your kind support and comments on my last post. In spite of the fact that I was having a hard time sleeping last night, today was a good day. My son stayed with my husband all morning while I went to the university to teach my classes. The students and the atmosphere at the university just make me happy. It is a fantasy world of hope and youthful enthusiasms. I am so fortunate to have students that share my interests. I get a vicarious thrill by hearing about their adventures learning Spanish. One student is going to El Salvador with the engineering department to act as a translator in January. Another, spent the summer in Alicante Spain and yet another biked through Europe staying at youth hostels.

These kids are such a miracle of health, hard work and wonder. They are learning so much so quickly that it amazes me. I should have done this for my entire career but taught high school and then went into administration instead. The teaching part was very enjoyable but the administration part was shall we say anticlimactic.............

My son stayed with my husband all morning. DH said that DS was very kind and thoughtful. He has promised to look for another job after the xmas rush. He also insists that he will donate a kidney to his Dad. He says that he is better suited than me as he is younger and stronger. So..... one day we despair of him every taking any real responsibility in life and then he turns around to offer his kidney, take good nitty gritty personal hygiene  type care of his father. He also told me that he keeps throwing away offers for credit cards because he knows that he can not handle them.

This evening when DD2 came in she sat down to chat with her Dad and hold his hand for awhile. Then, she asked me to come and sing with her. I mostly listened. She has a beautiful alto voice. This is what I thought my life would be like..... filled with music, laughter, love and work that I enjoy. Well there are moments. Thank God for the moments. In Spanish they say that many people miss the moments of happiness in life while waiting for a state of complete contentment to arrive. (It sounds more poetic in Spanish but you get the point.)

Beth found her ride to the suboxone Dr. today. Imagine that! She acted like we had never had any words yesterday. I have every confidence in her being able to find transportation anyplace she wants to go.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Post Operative Blues

DH went in for an emergency hemoroidectomy on Tuesday. We thought that it would be a minor procedure. As it turned out he had to go back to the hospital several times as he was unable to urinate or have bowel movements. Eventhough he is very close to dialysis and has both high blood pressure and diabetes they just sent him home. I had to pick up some practical nursing skills fast!  He was not steady on his feet, hooked up to a catheter and in severe pain. His blood pressure went up and his sugar went down, he dehydrated in spite of all the fluids he was drinking. All in all it has been a miserable 6 days. At last, he seems to be getting some of his strength back and can get himself in and out of bed, to the bathroom etc. etc.

They sent him home before he had been able to urinate. Why are hospitals suddenly refusing to let very sick people stay? My sister got the same treatment recently. She is a heart patient that presented with severe angina caused from a misfiring thyroid. They sent her home and it took another two and a half months to deal with all of her problems on an outpatient basis. We all supposedly have good insurance!

Beth has declared herself clean for two months. I see no evidence of any truth to this story. She is pressuring me to use her money to buy her another car. This is a no win situation. When I think about releasing the money for that car, I see the mangled wreck she made of the last one. I do not want to put her in a death trap. I told her that she would have to be in a program and provide proof of sobriety for 90 days in order for me to release the money. I also told her to get a different rep payee as I do not want to do it anymore with her badgering me. She just sent me a text saying that she is loosing her mental stability from so much isolation. ( The large quantities of crack and heroine that she still injests have nothing to do with this mental instability.)

I really am very tired from caregiving 24/7 for the last week. My own acid reflux is making it hard to sleep. The neighbors have told me that they saw Beth walking in the worst drug area of our city. I have been literally cleaning up shit all week. Beth knows this but continues to badger. I turned off the phone for my own sanity but that makes me feel a different sort of anxiousness. I must toughen up and remember to see the good in the rest of my life.

My other two children have helped me a lot doing errands and cleaning up the kitchen. My sister and father have visited and lent a hand. I am greatful for them. In spite of all this misery, my husband and I have had some very sweet moments. He has an amazing ability to make me laugh even in such dire circumstances. Thank God for that.

We were supposed to go on a trip to PR this Saturday. We might still go if he gets the catheter out and is able to uriniate on Tuesday. It all depends on how he feels. We do not have to tour around. We could just lie in the sun and relax at the resort if he feels a little better.

On a more positive note when I was cleaning shit, I asked myself if I would rather do this or go back to work in the den of vipers. The answer is that I would much rather help my husband even if that means cleaning shit. As my Dad says about plumbing work........."there is shit work in every job but with plumbing you always know where the shit is coming from."

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Texts, Lies and Family Drama

Many times she has lied to my face. Now she is putting it in writing. Beth texted me that she has been clean for two weeks now. She wanted to know if I was proud of her because it was hard. I said that I was proud and that anything worthwhile was bound to be very hard.

I did not tell her that I do not believe her. I also tried not to discourage her. I have been trying to mind my own business. In the past, I would usually list the evidence of her lack of sobriety. I did not want her to think that she was fooling me. It makes no difference.

Dear son is supposed to move out tommorrow. He is upset because his father and I want him to look for full time work. Mind you I said look not an ultimatum to find work,  just an ulimatum to look. He figures that since we still love Beth in spite of all her issues that we should see his situation as negligable.

His addiction is video games. That is all he wants to do. He is 23 years old soon to turn 24. He has a certificate in plumbing, heating and air conditioning. He will not use that certificate. He works part time in retail. He recently had an absessed tooth as he refulsed to see a dentist for a root canal. We would have paid but he simply refused to go. It makes no sense. Is he just misbehaving or is something more serious going on with him as well?          

                                                                                                                                                     He was the one I worried about as a child. He had attention deficit disorder and a lot of trouble in school. He totally rejects Beth and wants nothing to do with her. He says that he will move out tomorrow because he will not comply with our wishes for him to make a plan and look for full time work.

Since he refuses to talk to his father or me I wrote him a letter. I told him that I want him to sit down and talk these things out with us. I need him to make a plan and carry it out. I offered to help him with deposits for an apartment if he decides to go. I said that my love is unconditional and I still want him to come around and be part of the family. I said that when he does want to talk I will make it my first priority and that we only want what we think is best for him. We sometimes make mistakes but the mistakes are out of love.

We will see what happens tomorrow with dear husband and dear son. Dear husband says look for a job full time, talk to us and make a plan or move. I see my husband's point. I know my son has struggles, real struggles with his ADHD but he does waste 5 or 6 hours per day playing video games. A change needs to be made. Dear son does pay rent and his car insurance. We did that to motivate him but it did not work.  Why is change always so hard?

The youngest of my children is doing well in college and holding down a waitressing job at the same time. She sometimes makes herself sick by working too much. Each child is so different. One is very responsible and hard working. One is more than a little too laid back and then of course there is Beth. She was the shining star but now she is a five star addict.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Very Little Sleep

I have full productive days. I am able to live my life and be happy most of the time. Oh but the nights are so different. That is when I think of my Mom and my addicted daughter and m  son who only works part time and plays video games non stop. . I also think about my friends who died and my mother and father in law.

I lived for 55 years with only a few deaths here and there. This year I got smacked with so many losses and they all haunt me when I try to sleep .  Two very close friends, two mothers and my father in law all died in the past year and one half.

I was very very fortunate to actually love all these people and have them with me for so long. I know that in the daytime but the nights are so much harder.

I was closer to my mother in law for the last 30 years. She lived right next door and was so good to me. My mom was a new age mom in Florida with her friends. She was not that interested in all the drama at my house. She had enough on her plate with her own health. But yet, she always called me and encouraged me and wanted to talk. She told me I was a better mother than her. She told me that Beth was not my fault and I should not ruin my life over it.

There must truly be a biological bond that i so much more powerful than we think. I should miss my mother in law more. She was better to me and we did love each other. Never the less, it is my mother that grieves me the most. I miss them both but the depths of my pain are for my mother.

I wish that I did not have to sleep.

Saturday, September 17, 2011


Thank you all for helping me compartmentalize the horror that is living with addiction. I try to  tell you what is happening in this viper pit and leave all the angst and pain on these pages. I try to lock away the vile contamination so that it can not effect the rest of my life.

I saw Beth today after picking up some groceries for her. this is not my habit but she does have pneumonia. She told me that she was in town and wanted to ride back out to her apt. in the country with me. When I got to where she was staying she had changed her mind and wanted to stay there. I convinced her to come with me to put the groceries away. There was no refrigerator where she was staying and there was no room in mine. Anyhow, she met me outside looking very very bad. Her pupils were small and there were tell talke small spots of blood on her pants. She was carrying her body cast which she is supposed to wear at all times. The Dr. told her if it heals wrong she will have pain and need a spinal fusion. This does not impress her.

We drove out there with her coughing up a storm. I asked her if she was urinating. She said yes. Previously she told me that she drinks and drinks but hardly pees. I told her that this could signal that her kidneys are shutting down. She said that she pees just fine now.

When we got to the apartment she was quite impatient with me. She did not like various items that I purchased. She complained about several things and did not say thank you for anything. I was surprised to see her medications all lined up, her flute on the table with some music nearby and signs of furthur decorating in the apartment. My assumption was that she had sold the persecriptions for drugs but there they were. Of course her clothes were also full of little blood droplets which means heroine. She was very surly and impatient which means crack. She was determined not to wear the brace which looks like mental illness to me or crack.  What a world of contradictions.

Only a miracle can save her. Only the grace of God so I pray for the Grace of God. I thank Syd for saying once again to turn her over to God. I had not slept in weeks without tossing and turning for hours. In the midst of all these current crisis I prayed for God to take care of her because she is way way beyond my capabilities. I also texted her that I was giving her over to God as I was unable to save her. For the first time in weeks I went right to sleep.

Lou says she should go to Jail. That could help but so far she gets away with her legal transgressions. She has done some bad things and even been charged. We did not pay for an attorney but she got off lightly. No jail and no substantial charges to date. It looks to me like it would be safer for her and give me more peace of mind.

I wish that I could have her committed for a long long time but she knows that game. As soon as she says, she understands and she no longer wants to hurt herself, she learned her lesson...... they let her go.

On a more positive note, I spent some good quality time with my Dad today. He came over this morning and helped us pick out some new windows. Then, we went grocery shopping for him, me and Beth. Later in the evening we picked him up to go get Pizza. His prostate cancer biopsy came back good, normal, no signs of cancer. I am so greatful for that. I wish I spent more time with my Mom before she died. I call him to go to breakfast or dinner and think Why didn't I do that when Mom was living?  Well, I know that I was busy with Beth. They did not want to have much to do with that scene. Also, I knew they had each other and their friends. I do miss my Mom though...... much more than I thought I would.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Yesterday for me and today for the addict......

Yesterday was a great day. I woke up at 6:30 am looking forward to teaching my classes at the University. The classes went well and the students were awesome. They were polite, ethusiastic and hard working. One girl left class telling me that she was changing her minor to Spanish. Several others lingered to share their travel experiences and tell me how they were useing the language in their lives. It was great to see all these lucky, healthy normal young people all in one place.

Today I woke up at 7:00 am and prayed for the strength to get through the day with Beth. I wanted to take her to the gynocologist for a proceedure she has been putting off. The procedure was to freeze out and scrape off precancerous cells. She has to do this periodically to avoid getting full blown cervical cancer.

She came out with the good news that the nurse said her cervix looked better than expected. Then she got in the car coughing up a storm. I felt her head. It felt cold and clammy though she was complaining of feeling hot. Her arms and legs felt the same way. She had me pull over so she could throw up and mentioned that she had been throwing up about once a day for the last three days. She wanted to cancel her next apt. with the suboxone Dr.

I protested saying that she seemed to have bronchitis. I urged her to see the nuerodevelopmental specialist i'f not for her suboxone then to get a script for the bronchitis. Dr. C really cares about Beth. She keeps trying to keep her alive long enough to get better. I stayed in the waiting room because even though the Dr. is good I doubt Beth's motives. Somehow the suboxone gets lost or stolen etc. etc. The Dr. knows that I quit paying for this treatment long ago because of this behavior. She continues to treat Beth when she begs to come back even without the copayments. Beth once attained almost three months clean with this Dr. It was the best she ever did in or out of rehab.

Anyhow, the Dr. came out to get me. She sat me down and told me that Beth was using again which was because the addiction was stirred up by the pain pills, morphine etc. She said that she was putting Beth back on suboxone and glad to do it. She also told me that Beth has Pneumonia. I left there believing that Beth was going to give the suboxone another try and make an affort to take care of herself to get over this pneumonia.

We dropped off the perscriptions and I left her at her friend Mike's house. I was supposed to take her back out to her apt. after getting the perscriptions. I voluntered to get her some food and even stay with her if she needed help. She did not need food. She already had food. I asked about water, she already had that too. There was some talk of me holding the suboxone and giving her a day or two dosage at a time to keep temptation low. She asked me what I wanted to do. The Dr. had not asked me to monitor the meds though I know it is a good idea.

Hubby and I just sat down to eat at Bob Evans when the phone rang. It was Beth. She said that John ( remember him from the hospital.....the sugar daddy who took her right from her hospital bed to get drugs and then left her alone unable to get out of bed alone with 6 broken vertabrae) was going to take her home but we could meet them at the drug store. I said, "why do you want me to meet you at the drug store I already gave you 50 dollars of your weekly allowance." She said she was going to use that money on groceries........... At that moment the waitress came and I said I would have to get back to Beth.

Hubby said she was perfectly consistent...... broken back but wanted to go use crack.......pneumonia but wanted to go use crack or heroine with John. She gets a little money or other drugs to trade and John appears. He buys some beer for himself and gets her the drugs she wants.  We decided to tell her she would have to spend her own money on the perscriptions.

A text arrived from her saying that she would buy her own perscriptions with John. I will check on her tomorrow to see if her fever went up. The Dr. said it might. I wonder if she will sell her antibiotics as well or just the narcotics. Once again, when faced with dire medical consequences she goes for the highest high she get. The suboxone and clonoprin would have calmed her and helped her get by. Getting by and or regaining her health is not her priority.

It is so hard to watch her kill herself. These are the sordid details of a grown child lost in the terrible world of addiction.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Art Still There

We took Beth some of her things from the trunk of her wrecked car. She was happy to see us and the apartment was clean. The dishes were clean, the floor was swept and she had decorated one large wall with a combination of stencils, jewlery and art work. It was actually quite attractive.

She looked very thin but she was walking pretty well. She said that she had enough food but that she was going stir crazy staying in the apartment so much.We had to go to a Dr. appt. for my husband so the conversation was very brief.

I texted her later that maybe it was a good time to take a course since she could not move around much etc. I made some suggestions including the clay college art or music lessons. She said that she would look into it. I would help her with this as I want to encourage any efforts she makes to join the living. I told her the wall looked great and had reminded me of the artist that is still in her.

I started teaching Spanish courses at a University near hear on Wed. It was fun to be called professor and see the students so willing to please and learn. It was a joy and a comfort to see so many healthy young people doing the right things to advance themselves.  Why have I always been able to inspire my students but not Beth? It is a sad irony that I would gladly switch to have inspired just my own loved ones.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Dazed and Confused

I started the day dazed and confused with very painful thoughts running around my head from yesterday. I forced myself up and went for the usual three mile walk with my friend. At that point I felt like I entered the world of the living once again. I bought a new pair of running shoes with a gift card that the same friend gave me for retirement.

An alanon friend called just to say hi and another e-mailed. That was good because it got me to our meeting tonight. The meeting was very calming. It ocurred to me that God does not require or want me to give up my own serenity to love my daughter. I can love her without giving up my serenity which happened yesterday. When I start to feel it go that means I have put her above all else and let myself get sucked in.

My husband thinks that Beth pushes my buttons on purpose to bring forth my guilt and is then better able to use me. That is  true. I think that it is also true that she feels guilt and remorse briefly then quickly stamps it down my using some more.

My plan is to limit my time with her while she is in this state. I went with her yesterday because of her  back. I really do not wish to socialize with her at this point. I sometimes envy the people who are so angry at their addicts. Anger makes me feel strong at least temporarily. This pity and fear just drains my spirit. That being said, I did make some progress at restoring it today and I have a pleasant day planned for tomorrow.

Hope you all have a boring weekend. I love boring!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

I"ll Give You My Kidney IF YOU NEED IT DAD

      I took Beth to the Spine specialist today. He told us that three vertabrae were cracked. He showed us the xrays and cautioned her to keep the brace on and quit smoking. Not healing correctly would result in the need for a spinal fusion.

     She told me in the car that we would all be better of if she had died in the accident. She is remorseful for the pain she has caused us but needs her heroine and crack to cope with the emotional and physical pain that she feels.

     She also offered to give her Dad one of her kidneys and revealed her plans to move to Florida with a former boyfriend who is buying her a car and an apartment. She gets irritated that he calls her so much but thinks they will be happy together in Florida where she will be able to kick her drug habit.

     It seems she dissapreared last night along with her care givers money.She had no idea what happened to his money except that he lost it as he is so disorganized.  She looked like death warmed over and frequently cried in pain. The friend/caregiver was upset that she stole his money and told me he would never come back to that house. By the end of the day he was calling her asking to come back. It looked to me like she was going to let him eventhough she was well pissed that he had told me she was out using last night.

   It was a very draining day for me. I felt so much pity for her on the one hand and revulsion for her actions on the other. I told her that all of this could be so much better without the drugs. I pointed out how she has helped a number of her friends at death's door when no one else would. I said that there is no wrong that can not be attoned for by living an honorable Ipurposeful life from now on. She seemed to think about it with interest and then just let the idea go.

I took her because I do not want her to be permanently disabled with this terrible back injury. There is not much hope that she will recover from this addiction but if she does and even if she does not I do not want her to be disabled in yet another way.I had to listen to about an hours worth of guided meditations and calming music to sleep last night. It is just very painful for me to see her like this.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Storm Was Gentle on Us

We were prepared for a hard time but have come through the tempest unscathed. All we experienced was a lot of rain and some high winds. Just north of us there was a lot of flooding. South of us and west there were tornados. We were told twice to seek shelter from tornados but none appeared on land just some swirling in the sky.

My husband and I were home alone with the two dogs. I think the newscasters went a little overboard telling us to get in the basement when there were no actual tornados on the ground but better safe than sorry. This was one time when I noticed that our kids were more alarmed than we were. They had never been thrugh a hurricane watch that they could remember. They were not at home but attending a family wedding in Connecticut. They kept calling to see how we were.

Beth went through the storm about 6 blocks from the river. She had a friend stay with her and did not want to come home. Yes, I said she could come home during a hurricane! Nothing scares her except nothing. By that I mean that she does sometimes get panic attacks out of the blue but dangerous situations seem to leave her unperturbed.

Anyhow, she had gathered supplies as directed by our emergency management people. She knew she could call if things got worse. Thankfully, they did not get worse and all is well on the otherside of the storm. Thanks for your concern.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Hurricane Watch, Flood Watch, Tornado Watch

We are hunkered down waiting for the weather to come. All the coastal areas have been evacuated but we are far enough inland not to be under that edict. The storm is not supposed to hit until the middle of the night. We are most concerned about flooding as we have already taken a lot of rain lately.

Candles, water, meds and food are ready. We have lots of flashlights. We put the lawn furniture in the shed so now we wait.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

My Crack Addicted Daughter and the Earth Quake

I broke down and texted Beth after the Earth Quake. She texted back that she got shook up pretty good but that it did not scare her. Nothing does scare her which is a big big problem.

She has been getting to Dr. Appointments and to the grocery store on her own. She gets rides. She can now walk without a walker.

None of the social service people that I called got back to me. That includes a medicaid case worker, PACT coordinator, the coordinator's supervisor and adult protective services.....????????????

I liked what a blogger wrote saying that we love who we love but sometimes we need some distance.
I have not been able to sleep since taking this position with Beth. I know I can not save her that is up to  Beth and her own higher power. On the other hand, I do not want to add to her pain. Nor do I want her to add to mine. So, for now, I answer her texts but not so rapidly as to encourage 86 per day nor an overdependence on me which leads to my exhaustion and brittle nerves.

I will continue to try to find a case manager to work with her and someone else to be rep payee.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Moving On From Crack

DH wrote a letter to Beth today. It gave her many resources of community organizations that would help her. He told her that she can text but not call him. We will not make her phone calls and live our lives consumed with hers. We have not found another rep payee yet. Any sugestions there?

However, we did agree to put her money in her account bi-weekly. The rent and utilities are withdrawn from her ssi account automatically.

I did make a phone call today to find out how to refer her to the local PACT team. This is a special team for severely mentally ill clients who are resistent to treatment and at risk for homelessness. The director was out of town but I left a message. Her medicaid paperwork came in today and I will do that tommorrow.

For the rest of the day, I took a nice walk in the neighborhood and then started to catch up on paperwork. I took out a pretty large term life insurance policy on myself. In the event that I predecease DH he will not have medical insurance so this protects him. It was necessary as I took the maximum benefit on my pension which means the pension will die with me.

My other daughter who is studying speech and language pathology and audiology brought home a new suitor. He was a very personable and humorous physics major. They hung around our house cooking and laughing. They made me a healthy and beautiful home made pizza for lunch.

DH and I bought two new beautiful comforters for about 60 dollars. They will do a lot to brighten up the bedrooms. We both stuck to our diets and exercise today. The local sweet corn and tomatoes are fabulous right now. So were the peaches for dessert.

I cried for my mother and I cried for Beth early in the afternoon but most of this good day was spent with the living going on  with an otherwise reasonably good life.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Crack Chaos

I turned off my phone today and started deleting the texts before I read them after the first five texts from Beth. She had a ride to the Dr. but did not have gas money. She wanted me to wake her up so she could make the appointment on time. Later she made her way to her Dad's office. The secretary let her use the phone and she got me on the line as I thought it was DH. I hung up when I heard her voice. All of this is nonsense.

So, she did not hang herself last night. She has attempted suicide four times. Those times there was no warning. She has threatened me with suicide for not doing her bidding many many times. Last night was the only time I felt angry. My reply was that she is killing herself anyway with crack, heroine and her lifestyle. I left and called 911. I am glad that I did not lash out at her. I actually know a woman who told her son to go ahead and do it under similar circumstances. He whipped out a stupid little pocket knife and jammed it into his body. He actually died right in front of her.

There was also a nice boy in the school where I taught. He was addicted to crack and had a hidden gun. His mother stood in front of the door and said he would have to go through her to get the crack. He shot her dead. Oh my, he was so remorseful afterwards but she was dead.

I do not know how other addicts are but my daughter scares the hell out of me on crack. All day long today I was jumpy thinking she might try to break into our house. I will give her one warning if she shows up here and then call the police for a restraining order.

There was so much good advice on my last post. I really liked the quote that Syd gave about how it does not matter and Fractal  Mom's advice on grief counselling. I am going to sign up for that, exercise every day and stick to my diet. I will get well weather or not she does. I might not ever get over this but I am confident that I can do a whole lot better than I have been lately.

My son sat with me today and told me about a girl he really likes. ( He cleaned his room, his car, cut the grass and contemplated cutting his hair!) Is that what women do for men?

My husband needs to get on a list for a kidney transplant. I am going to see if I am a match. My sister is waiting the results of her thyroid byopsy but the heart and esophogus spams have stopped. Dad never did get his prostrate biopsy. He took the meds wrong and had to reschedule.

Wow......... we were a completely normal even boring family for about 20 years then all hell broke out about 10 years ago as you know. At 55 I really do not know how many more good years I will have with all of my loved ones. Of course, we never know that but circumstances have made me think about this long and hard.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Shocked Again by Crack

Many unspeakable things have happened and I am burned out. To make a long and excrutiating story short Beth has been using crack since the very first day she got out of the hospital. She has been leaving the apartment for hours at a time in her body cast .  She threw me and her caretaker out because we would not give her money for the crack. She refused to see a Dr. and threatened to hang herself. I called 911. They came and found her walking the streets in her body cast. She refused to go with them and they let her refuse.  I knew that would happen but I had to try. (All they have to say is ...."I don't feel that way anymore."

I do not want her to die but she is definately killing herself with these drugs.She had plenty enough morphine and percoset and clonoprin to just sleep but that was not enough she wanted crack. She is wild abusive and down right dangerous to herself and others when she is on crack.

I had pains in my chest after my latest tour of the bowels of hell. I am so sorry but I have come to the point where I have to save myself. I fear for my sanity and my health. There is more to this than I can bring myself to write. I am fearful, disgusted but more than that just burned out.

There comes a point in all illness where there is no more quality of life. She is there. I want her to live so much but everything I do only prolongs her suffering. I can not make her change or even slow her down one iota. She was able to get crack in her body cast without any cash. She clearly wants crack more than life, more than pain relief, more than anything. YEars ago, her sister asked her how could you destroy our familly. We were happy. We had love and fun and all the good things in life. Beth said, " that is true but none of that comes even close to what I get from crack.

I did not believe her then but I believe it now. I am going to save myself if I still can.

I told her to stop calling me. I gave her numbers for social services, etc. If she can arrange for rides, clients and try to black mail her cargiver into letting her sell her perscription opiates for crack then I do believe she can get herself to the Dr. or arrange for rehab. I have been through rehab with her 8 times already. I have no intention of participating again. I told her that she needs 90 days clean with tests to document before I will take a call from her. I called the crisis center. I called 911.

She will have to find someone else to be her rep payee for SSI. I am done. This was my bottom. When I get near her I get beat up emotionally and it does her no good. I could take the abuse if it did some good for her but it does not.

This is where my thousand and one ideas on how to help her have led. I said I would tell you the truth and there it is.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Progress Not Perfection

Beth did not leave the hospital against medical advice. The nurses had told her to get dressed to leave. A friend of hers helped her get dressed. She waited for two hours but then left feeling not too much pain because of the intervenous delautid.

Anyhow, I got a real friend to stay with her. We cleaned the apartment and got a referral from the hospital social worker for some in home care. My GP wrote a script for her meds in the meantime which I dole out one day at a time. I got her an appointment with a spinal specialist from the Rothman clinic and gave my number to the neighbors. I go out every day to make sure that her needs are met. She is cooperating with the pscyh meds and let me make a key to her apartment.

I talked to the hospital social worker, administrator and head nurse. No one said she left ama which is kind of a surprise. I was also surprised that there weree no drugs or alcohol in her blood. She was detoxing for a suboxone induction.

I thought she left with the sugar daddy to get her own drugs but I am not sure of that either as she was in screaming pain during the night. Why didn't the neighbors call 911?  Why dIidn't she call me?  I asked her and she said it only hurt that bad when she tried to get up so she did not try to get up more than a couple of times.

She is mentally ill but not legally insane which I think makes the system pretty crazy but there you have it. There are very few beds for the mentally ill. If the person is not a clear and present danger to others even if they were 5 minutes ago they are usually not allowed inpatient. She actually had a pscyh eval at my request as the hospital she was in had a mica ward. The shrink said that she had to want to help herself and did not meet criteria for involuntary commitment.

This would not have happened pre Ronald Reagan. We used to have psychiatric facilities in each county. Now we do not. Most of the mentally ill only do physical harm  to themselves. That is the only reason we do not have more virginia tech type trajedies. I know that there were abuses in mental hospitals but they have not been replaced with other community supports. The families do what they can until they burn out.

Thanks for all your help on my last post.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Pain Returns Full Force

I drove out to Beth's apartment this morning where her sugar daddy was supposed to be taking care of her. The neighbors ran out to greet me saying that they heard her screaming in pain. They wanted to know why she was there without a nurse.

She had no perscriptions and no dischcarge papers. Only the preliminary reports that I fought so hard to get 2 days earlier. The apartment was in such squalor that it is hard to describe. There was a crack pipe and heroin needles along with lots of blood spots in the bathroom. She got out of bed to answer the door. She had the neck brace off but the body cast on. She was gasping for breath and throwing up. She had tried to use the walker to help her get up out of bed but the wheels rolled and she fell down.

Is this the part where I was supposed to let her deal with the consequences of her own actions?

 In a way I wanted to but I was afraid it could result in paralysis. I had to get the place clean enough for a health care worker to take the case. I knew that the addiction had her by the throat and that the mental illness was not being treated for months.

 Would you have left any human being much less a child of your own in these conditions to fend for herself? She lost 10 % of her height due to the crushing down of her vertabrae.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Rock Bottom or.........

Tuesday Morning:  Beth is helicoptered to the trauma center. She has crushed down they call them compression fractures 6 thorasic vertabrae. I missed the part about her splitting the pole in two, rolling over the car and climbing out the window because it was on fire. ( I guess she said that when I was throwing up and crying.) She was flat on her back, writhing in pain and having difficulty breathing but still talking and crying. " I am so sorry. Thank you for coming. I am so so sorry." she kept saying.

Tuesday night:  We went home and tried to figure out how to make our house handicapped accessable, how to get a hospital bed and what other equipment we would need for her recovery. My husband, daughter and I were by her side most of the day. When we left, her friend Mike got there by bus. He had to borrow the money for bus fare and had none left over to eat but he was there.

Wed:  My sister and I arrive at the hospital in the morning to find that Beth has given the nurses a hard time during the night. She could not urinate and they would not bring her a catheter so she screamed and threw the bed pan. Finally a nurse brought a temporary catheter and helped her urinate. The next time she had to go no one came and she got out of bed on her own. They were very upset that she had done that and they told me she would be discharged in a few minutes. They also told me she was a heroine addict.

I asked to see the social worker and the patient advocate. I also asked for a psych eval for Beth. The pshychiatrist told me that she had offered Beth 3 to 5 days in the psychiatric drug rehab and Beth refused. The social worker never came and we were denied access to Beth's records. She could not walk safely on her own so I did not see how I could take her home. I wanted a few more days in the hospital or a physical rehab. The nurses thought that she would be fine once they snapped on her body cast but it looked gruesome to me. They threatened that if I did not take her home, they would discharge her to the homeless shelter.

I told Beth, that I did not believe they would really do such a thing but that if they did I would come and get her. I left to get away from the badgering.

Thursday:  I stayed away from the hospital all morning and went to see about the wrecked car. It looked apalling. The roof was caved in. The engine was in the passenger seat and the front hood was basically gone.

The social worker talked to me on the phone and said that yesterday should not have happened. She would arrange for whatever physical therapy thought was appropriate including rehab or home health care and durable equipmnent.

My husband and I went to see her at about 6:30 pm.  Just before we got there we got a phone call from Mike. He said she had been to physical therapy once and was able to take baby steps with a body cast and a walker. He said they were going to discharge her now. He had helped her dress. The nurses had told her to be ready. What?

When we entered the room, Beth was sitting up on the side of the bed with the walker in front of her. She had a glint in her eye and looked exited. She said she was ready to go home to her apartment. She wanted to try it on her own and she was going to ride there with her friend John. ( older, polite man who works as a janitor and lives in his daughter's basement.} I looked at Mike who had been with her the whole time and promised to help take care of her. He was visibly shaken and saying but you need help.

Beth said, " I am going hom with John. Then, John walked in and I left with my husband and Mike. My head was spinning and I was astounded. Mike said as we got in the elevator.....I know that old guy. She wants to go with him cause he will buy her drugs. He won't stay to help her. I will help her anyway when he is gone.

Rock Bottom for the whole family. We thought this was a terrible accident but a golden opportunity to nurse her back to life and keep her away from drugs. She had other plans. Amazing, sad and true.

Wednesday morning: 

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

6 fractured vertabrae

Beth was in a bad accident. Only she was hurt. She split a pole in half and rolled the car. She is in a lot of pain in spite of all the drugs the hospital is giving her. She kept thanking us for coming to the hospital.
I cried and threw up when I saw her. I was actually grateful for her pain. It meant that she was not paralyzed. I got a phone call from a fireman this morning that she was helicoptered to the trauma unit. He did not know her status and had the wrong hospital. Fractures are from L6 to L12. I am so glad that she lived through this and did not kill anyone else.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Tennis Anyone?

Beth was a very talented tennis player.  She was the number 1 varsity player for a very large high school starting in th 9th grade. She started too late to be World Class but she was well on her way to a college scholarship when the bipolar disorder kicked hr to the curb.

Tonight my phone rang and it was Beth. Apparently she had gone to the public courts and was volleying with a 9 year old girl.
The girl's father who plays tennis noticed her form and explanations of stance, how to hold the racket, etc. He wants Beth to teach his daughter three times a week. Beth was very excited and talked to her Dad for
advice. My husband was a former USTA ranked player and instructor.

I congratulated her and said that good things come from being in good places with good people.

Isn't it odd how all these things are happening at once? I believe that some of your prayers are getting through. Beth wanted to teach and coach tennis. She wanted to compete. She used her physical activity to combat her depression but then she wrecked her knee which ended the competition.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011


I texted Beth last night to please answer if she was alive. No answer. She texted me this morning wanting to withdraw her normal allowance at 8 in the morning. Huh? An addict awake at 8 in the morning.

I said I was afraid she was dead last night. HOw about coming with me to check out the methadone clinic this morning? I told her that she has asked me to stay available for her call about 3 times in the last week and then did not call back for days. I told her that I thought she was near death.  She took about 15 minutes to answer but she said that yes she would come with me to see the methadone clinic.

I let her withdraw her 20 bucks to put enough gas in her tank to get over here and never heard from her again today. There was a man with her. She called me so I knew that it was her and not just someone she gave the phone to.

She was supposed to come to my house by 9 am. At 9:15 I texted her again. No answer. At 10 am I went for a walk with my friend who knows the whole sad story but never mentioned any of this to her. I need to vent. I vent with you because you know this life. I trust my friend but I do not want to contaminate every aspect of the life I have left with this sad business.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

No Answer

The last phone call I got for money was on Sunday. She called on Monday to say that she was going to get her brakes fixed. I said that would be fine as I was just hanging out at home. She would need me to write a check from her account to cover the brakes. She never called but I did see that she withdrew her normal amount from her savings only account.

I texted her this morning to see if she would drive down to the methodone clinic just to look around and find out how it works. There has been no answer. Her phone goes directly to voice mail.

I appreciated your concern and prayers pertaining to my last text. I have done all of those things that you suggested whith much hope but no good results. My daughter could be in rehab by tommorrow morning and she knows it. She hates they way she feels when she is sober.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Will You Find a Good Home For Max IF I DIE?

A friend of Beth told me today that she asked him to find her cat a good home if she dies. She keeps calling me to say that she is going to do one thing or the other and will call me right back. Then I hear nothing for a few days.

She always needs money and I do not give it to her. She is in very bad shape now. Her arms and neck look good but her legs and feet are full of needle marks. It also looks like her car has been loaned out to drug dealers. It is falling apart.

God, please give us the strength to bear what we must.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Puppy Patrol

We have a beautiful, affectionate, sweet sweet puppy that is on my last nerve!  We bought him as we should not have done just after the death of my mother in law. He is a cavalier spaniel that loves to nestle in with us. He is very lovable but he can not hold his business for very long to make it through the night.

This job has somehow inordinately landed on me. Everyone was willing to help and they do help but I am the one constantly spending the majority of time around his pee and poop schedule. There has been trouble in our wigwam over this. Wouldn't it be ironic if we all forgave each other and learned to live a pretty good life in spite of Beth's addiction but split up over a puppy? I would feel perfectly justified in taking him back or finding him a new home but i do love him and he gives me many hours of pleasure just being in the moment watching him. That said, I guess I will set up another schedule and have a family meeting realizing that I am the primary caretaker because I love him now.

Beth called today to get money for the beach. I ignored the call and text. I put her agreed upon amount in the bank on Mon. Wed and Friday. However she has gotten into the habbit of wanting advances on Sun, Tues and Thursday. Tonight I told her no. Mon. Wed and Friday. That is enough of me dealing with her money. I started putting into her savings only account because I did not like her showing up at my house with various and sundry shady characters.

I will go to the Dr. with my 76 year old recently widowed Dad tommorrow. He has some sort of procedure that preceeds a biopsy of the prostrate. He had a high reading. He keeps busy and has always had good health so I hope this is just on of our modern medical scares.

I am so glad to have the time to devote to my Dad and sister. I only wish that I could have retired sooner to be there more for my mom and grandmother. I was just not old enough to start collecting my pension until this summer.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Life Goes ON

I have not posted since my mother in law's funeral. Beth attended the services. She wore a black suit with a long sleeved white collared shirt. Her hair was in an up-sweep and she conducted herself very well. It was a glimpse of her normal side.

She has been on and off of heroine several times since then. She helped a dying woman get into hospice and continued to visit her at the nursing home till the end. She took in another man who was on his last legs. He became psychotic and threatened to kill her. Actually, he cried and said that he loved her but that he was thinking , obsessing about killing her. She took him to the psych ward. They told her the cancer probably took over his brain.

We are invited to a big family wedding at the end of the month. I told Beth that I did not want to exclude her but I can not take the chance of getting picked up with heroine in my car. (It is a 6 hour trip to the wedding.) She said that she will just stay home so as not to be a burden. I said that she could detox once again and I would hold her suboxone for the course of the weekend. She said she would think about it.

The conversation went well but I do dread her reaction to th event. She usually gts involved in some huge self destructive event when left out of something. In any event I can not risk my pension and the legal remifications of her getting caught with the big H on this trip. Of course, this is not to mntion th bizarre behavior that could and probably would happen as well.

My sister has been very ill, almost died but is on th mend now. I did retire from my job and do not intend to pursue other paid employment until the winter. I want to devote time to my father, sister and myself for awhile.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Today is Elsie's Funeral

My dear sweet mother in law died peacefully a week ago today. My husband and I had just been to see her. She had not been feeling well that day. She was in her bed and said..... I have been going through something today. We asked what was wrong. Was her back hurting again? She said no, my back is good but I just don't feel as wonderful as I usually do. My husband said he was glad that at 93 she felt wonderful on most days.

We told her about the puppy that we were planning on buying and she seemed to pep up. She was looking forward to her daughter coming home from Arizona in a few days and her other son coming to visit the next morning. We laughed when hubby told her that the undertaker's wife Jane had asked about her. Elsie said,  she probably wants me to hurry up!.  Jane is a wonderful person and she is not like that. Elsie said oh i know she is, I was just kidding. Sure she hears that a lot.

Before we left she hugged us both and told us how greatful she was that we come to see her. She always tell us before we leave how happy she is to have us right next door. I kissed her and told her she was the best. My husband told her she was the sweetest sweetest thing. We felt her head which was a little damp but not warm. We asked Evelyne to take her temperature and tell us right away if it went up. We planned to check on her in the morning.

According to Evelyne , she had more energy after our visit. They planned to wake up early and watch the royal wedding. Elsie got up to cross the hallway and Evelynd heard her. Elsie closed her eyes and stepped over to the other side. Evelyne caught her and laid her down gently. She was gone just like that. Christine said  " Leave it to Nana to die a happy death!"

I know she was old and I know it was a good way to die but oh I just want her back. I would have told her more than just you are the best. I would have told her that she was a joy and a comfort to me since I met her when I was 16 years old. I would have told her that I am greatful that she raised a son who is my love. A man who has always been faithful, kind and true. I would have thanked her for seeing my children every day of their lives while they were growing up. She loved them like a rock.  I would tell her that she was my mother, my neighbor and my friend. I wish I would have asked her more questions. I just want to still know that she is there. She will always be a big part of me and I miss her so.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Why didn't you tell me?

I have often regretted that my daughter kept the rape a secret. Imagine a 16 year old girl from a sheltered life suffering a gang rape and keeping it to herself for years. It tormented me that it happened. It also tormented me that I was not the type of mother that she could tell this secret to. Today she told me why.

She said the rape was the worst thing that ever happened to her. She said she was lucky to get out with her life but she did not really survive it mentally. She did not tell anyone because the perpetrators told her that if she told anyone they would kill her. She feared for her life during and after this rape.

She stated flat out that it was the worst thing that ever happened to her and it led directly to her addiction.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Call From My Dad

My Dad called me last night. He is still in Florida at the over 55 RV resort. He was so worried about me because he could not get me on the phone. Apparently my sister could not get me either. He said he is keeping busy and doing ok most of the time. Then he broke down and cried about my mother's passing. We both said that we go along ok and then some little thing just triggers the grief.

Anyhow, he has a lot of activities and a lot of friends down there. I worry about him more when he comes home. He and my Mom were so social and Florida and not social at all here in Jersey.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

One Hundred Percent Normal Today

Beth stopped by today. She had on a low cut t-shirt. She had make up on her face and neck but her neck did not look all puntured and torn up. It has done a good deal of healing since the last time I saw her. She was reasonable, affectionate and kind. She told us why she likes the new boyfriend and her reasons all made good sense. They are planning to attend church together and instead of rejecting his beliefs, she says she understands how he feels. I said , "God loves you and Jesus died for all of our sins." Going to church is a good thing. It can bring you Joy and Comfort.

She was moved to tears at the food stamp office. Everyone had their food stamps reduced by 15 dollars. Upon hearing this, an elderly woman in a wheel chair had an asthma attack. Beth said, " I felt so bad because these elderly disabled people can not do a single thing. I can do something sometimes but they can not even walk!" Her Dad said there are many people worse off in this world. You do not have to look far.

She said she was happy staying in her apartment. She said that the boyfriend visits each evening. They eat dinner, take a long walk by the water and then watch some movies.

Dear God in heaven please let some of this be true!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Trying to Mind My Own Business

Not the boyfriend tells me that Beth has not taken her cat home. She tells me that she is back in her apartment but that is probably not true if she does not have the cat. I keep putting her suboxone in the mailbox but I am not comfortable with this. I think I will give the meds to hubby to dole out Mon-Friday. Also all of this may change with the drug test on Wed.

Every time she comes off a big bender like this she is skinny and proud of it. She is remorseful and sick of the drug life but proud to be thin. I wonder if some of this is fueled by her desire to be thin. (I will just use for a little while and then loose some weight fast!)

Who knows? I had a nice breakfast with my husband and brother in law. He just faced life and death with severe angina followed by several stents. I was going to go to the movies with them but petered out in the last few minutes because I just felt so sad. I went home, took a nap, read a book, cleaned up some and started to research retirement options. Would the reduction in stress help me? Or is it possible that the lack of structure would encourage me to dwell even more on Beth's problems?

Surely I must develop a plan to put structure but no undue stress on myself during retirement. I could teach a few college classes or be a literacy volunteer plus a regular exercise class and a breakfast or lunch meeting with the girls once a week seems in order.

What are your plans for occupying yourselves in retirement?

Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Relief OF Tears

I woke up at five this morning crying and crying. My daughter's situation seems to be mixed in with the emotions that keep washing over me regarding the death of my mother and two dear friends in the last three months.You might think this would be negative but I actually felt a lot better today. It seems it was good for me to cry intensely and then get on with the business of living for the day. It is sort of like the difference between feeling nautious all day or just throwing up and feeling better.

I went on to spend the day visiting a number of very talented teachers. The first class was a guitar ensemble. They were playing some very complex but soothing pieces from Mozart and Bach. It was really beautiful and serene. It occured to me that I could listen to this type of music everday for some interludes of comfort.

Next, I visited two art teachers that were so talented. Their students were doing self-portraits. The likenesses were incredible. They invited me back at the end of the day to create a hand painted silk scarf with some other faculty members. All in all it was a good day. It was a bit of calm amidst the storm.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Beth Cancelled Dr. Appointment

She cancelled her appointment and rescheduled for next Wed. She is back in her apartment and taking her psych meds. She called me over and over again wanting to know why I think she is doing poorly. I was like...... well it is your business but I do not want to watch you kill yourself. You were living with a heavy user, you have needle marks in your neck so that is what leads me to think you are doing poorly.

I said that I would only believe a urine test that was observed by a nurse or Dr. If she wants me to hold the suboxone for her then I need to know that she is taking it. I need to know that she is not bringing in someone else's urine. She called me a bitch and hung up. Then she called back several more times but I did not answer. Then, she texted that she would consent to such a test at her next appointment. She feels bad that I do not believe her. She is a different person. She did not have to tell me she was living in a drug house but she did.

OK we will see how it works out that way. One in a million chance that she is telling the truth or will at least try to get a grip on herself between now and next week. The suboxone does help but she has to still live without the high and take it.