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

Friday, October 12, 2012

Staying In the Moment

     I am trying to stay in the moment and be the best wife I can be. Beth called her father crying because she ran into someone who was aquainted with one of our local people that just died. He died as a result of fungal meningitis that he got from tainted medicine in a steroid shot.

    My husband had a steroid shot for his bad back during the same period of time. I thank God every day that he is still well. The department of health has called several times to see if he has any symptoms.

My sister says keep the faith and do not make predictions. Don't they say something like that in Alanon? Apparently, many hundreds of people got these contaminated shots. Only some are getting sick and a few have died. It reminds us all to live in the moment .

We decided to spend this Spring following the sunshine. It is good to make plans for better days.


Monday, September 3, 2012

No Comment but still thinking of you.

I am having a hard time making comments lately. I especially wanted to tell Barbara that I am with her. I also wanted to comment on Annettes blog and others. The problem is that when they ask me for the letters at the end of the comment I always get them wrong. Sometimes I try 3 or 4 times but no go. I tried using the sound too but it is also garbled.

I just wanted you to know that I still read and wish you well. Does anyone know how to fix this issue?

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

No to rehab. Yes to skin Dr.

The answer I got to my desparate text asking her to go to rehab was no. Today, she was ready early to go to the skin Dr. Her bruises were covered up and she had on black leggings which covered a lot of her rash. She seemed perfectly, normal which was of course somewhat startling given her demeanor lately.

The dermatologist said it was probably a kind of psoriasis brought on by strep. She gave her a blood test, and 2 biopsies for skin cancer. She wrote a perscription for two steriod creams. Beth has to and wants to go back there in two weeks to get the stitches out.

She showed me the clothes that she bought yesterday minus the shoes. Sooo, she did not return the clothes for drug money as there they were.

She claims (I have heard this 20 times already) that she is getting a car tonight. The  boyfriend owes her a car for taking care of his dyeing mother.

I got a good look at the bruises and they were pretty extensive. She said that she fell of her bike from stopping too fast to avoid a car. They look like they could have been caused this way.

So round and round we go.

Thanks you so much for your support yesterday. I was at a very weak point and it meant a lot to me.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Fast and Furious Addiction Crisis

We are in the soup again. Younger daughter to Beth shopping today for a pant suit. She actually behaved pretty well but was all bruised up. Younger daughter assumed it was from the boyfriend. Eventhough Beth told me she and the boyfriend broke up, that is where she wanted to be dropped off.

I asked Beth about the bruises and she claims to have been hit by a car while riding her bike. WOW  Hit by a car....... covered in a terrible rash.........looks like she was beaten  up.

Oh, and did I mention that she also got her younger sister to return the reciepts to her because the shoes she bought were too high? Looks like she scammed me out of money by faking a shopping trip.

I rescheduled my husband's spine Dr. for tommorow so that I can go with Beth to the dermitologist. I am pulled between all these needy people and do not take care of myself well enough either.

I am worried about her. She is apparently at one of her lower points now...... constantly scamming, in very poor health, beat up and spiraling on down.

God grant me the serenity to find the eye of this hurricane. Thank you God for keeping her alive so far. Please, please let her live to see another day. Please show her the way now as I fear there is not much more time.

I just texted her the following:  I feel that you are very near death my love. I pray that you have a moments clarity. Remember Straight and Narrow?( a long term rehab).

Sunday, August 26, 2012


Today was better than yesterday. I got several texts from Beth of a more positive nature. She wants to buy a pant suit for a big race coming up. She made plans to go to Florida. She intends to go to the Dr. appointment to see about the rash.

I texted her ok to all of the above and said that I am pleased that she sounds better and now has a few things to look forward to. I am not up to spending more time with her than the appt. so I said I would transfer the money to her acct and she can provide the reciept. Her boss will take her to the store. She will bring me the reciepts. If she does not or if she ends up without the proper clothes then there will be no furthur purchases. I tell you this but I did not tell her. She already knows.

Sometimes it is better to text as it removes some of the emotion. I need to remember that she can be and often is very very miserable one minute and happy the next. This exists because of her rapid cycling bipolar disorder even without the drugs.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Emotional Wreck Today

     Beth called to say she is back at her apartment after a breakup with the boyfriend who did not buy her a car after all. Her rash, which she told me was better when she broke the dermatologist apointment is much worse. It now covers her entire body except the face.

    She refused to see anymore doctors unless I would release the money to buy her a car. She was lonely, desperate and manipulative. She pushed all of my guilt buttons while claiming to be clean. I hung up and then made her an appointment with the dermatologist. I texted her that I would be available to take her there on Tuesday.

I spent about 5 hours just spinning round and round emotionally actually contemplating spending her last dollar to buy her a car so that she could get her ownself to appts etc.

When she has a car she hangs out with a worse crowd that is the crowd that are on foot willing to pay or exchange drugs for a ride. When she had a car she still rarely went to her own apartment. When she had a car it started out beautiful but had multiple big huge dents way before she wrecked it.

She claimed that I had renigged on my offer to buy her a car if she was 90 days clean. She claims to have done 90 days on suboxone. She was doing one drug test per week. I know that she can cheat on one per week. I did think she cut down but I do not think she was clean. I said start right now and do 2 tests a week and lets see how you do. She said no transportation and I said I would pay for that as long as the tests were clean. She told me to ------ myself up the -----.

She said no more doctors for her. It is not worth living without a car.  It is always the same. She threatens to hurt herself or not take care of herself in some way to get me to give her what she wants. She has indeed attempted suicide three times in the past but always due to men .

 I said I had to go and hung up. I texted her to say I would take her to Dr. eventhough she can ride the senior bus but she will not. She texted back ok a few hours later. Here we go again. Is it a full moon?

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Coffee Shop

DH and I went to a coffee shop/book store in town tonight. A local musician sang her heart out all night with nothing but her guitar and a small amplifier that was barely on. We knew and loved every single song. Everyone told a story and had a great melody.

She was playing for tips. There were a couple of rough looking street people outside who wondered in an out getting books but everyone behaved. The concert was well attended by a number of people who remembered Woodstock and a few including the singer who had been there.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Family Photos

The last time I started looking at pictures from when the kids were little it put me in a tail spin of depression that took several days before I could quit being weepy.

Today I started to organize them again but just for 30 minutes. I cried a little but then I could see that we were really a happy family pre addiction. Oh no they can't take that away from me.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Cataract Success

I am pleased to report that it looks like the cataract surgery was a big success. What a relief. My husband had his worst eye operated on first. That eye had some damage of the retina from retinopathy. He was legally blind in that eye so they removed the cataract from that one first. We knew that his vision would not be normal.

Well, the first thing I noticed was that he could not understand why I was cautioning him not to trip over various objects when it was not dark. (He could tell that it was not dark! Big improvement.)

Next, he told me how pleased he was that he could read the baseball scores on TV and he could see the actor's faces. Yikes,  I didn't know that he could not see the faces before but I sure am glad that he can see them now.

Thank God and thank the doctors. We are happy with this news today.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Hidden Drugs

Actually, I never found drugs in my house. I think that Beth was so far gone that every ounce available was consumed. Once, however, I did find a crack pipe. It was not in a place that we were likely to search for drugs. It was right underneath my own bed!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Cataract Surgery

Hubby had cataract surgery this morning. He has been sleeping for most of the day and I have been puttering around the house to keep an eye on him.

Beth called yesterday say that she had cancelled the Dr. appt. and that the rash had gone away. A little later she was collecting metal which she does once a week. We had gone to the Mall with my youngest daughter in her car. Beth apparently thought we were home but not answering the door. She texted and called frantically on the cell phone. (We have never refused to answer the door to her.)

I have been watching the new show Political Animals with interest. The son is addicted and he is an expert at iliciting guilt and sympathy from his parents. Someone who wrote that had to know a real life addict. I would be interested to hear your thoughts on the way this show deals with addiction. It is on demand and also on USA on Sunday evenings.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Barb B Q and Angst

We went to a nice barb b que today. The weather broke and it was great to sit outdoors without the sweltering heat.

Tommorrow morning I will take Beth to the skin specialist. She has an alarming looking rash all over her arms, legs, stomach and back. Her face is pretty clear. She has been to two doctors already that did not know what it is. One told her to come back in a week after giving her a steroid cream. The other gave her a steriod shot and told her to go to a dermitologist.

You can just imagine all the things that I could let myself imagine but I am using all of my compartmentalizing skills to just wait to see what the Dr. says and deal with it from there.

In the afternoon, I am taking my niece who is in Law school out to lunch. Then we will go to see her new apartment which is right across from Rutgers in Camden. She wanted me to meet her there but I said that I would not go there without an escort. She laughed and plans to escort me after lunch.

I will take Ron's advice and tell Beth that I love her and believe in her. Bye for now.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Fifty-Six and Counting

     My birthday came and went. I am now 56. It has been 6 years now that my daughter's addiction has been a part of our lives. We have learned to cope, establish boundaries but still see her from time to time.

She is interested in the horse races now. It seems to give her a reason to get up. She exercises regularly and does not look to bad. She has been on suboxone for a few months now. She gets tested once a week which has seemed to do her a world of good.

Odd, erratic things still happen. I think she still uses other drugs but has quit doing heroine on a regular basis. She seems emotionally much more stable so I believe she is taking he psych meds.

She no longer dominates my life with all her troubles but oh I do miss the old Beth. She was the best at everything and not too sweet. I thought she would be the next Martha Stewart or a young olympian but bipolar disorder, a sexual attack,  debilitating knee injury and subsequent addiction exploded those dreams into little bits.

My birthday was sweet. My sister and my youngest daughter threw a surprise party for me. My Dad was there with his new girlfriend. He seemed healthy and strong which delighted me as we almost lost him recently. I liked the new girlfriend as a person. I will do my best to make her feel welcome in spite of the queasy feeling it gives me to see some other woman in my Mom's house.

My sister's prodigal son was there but not my Beth. They did not invite her. They thought that it would be hard enough to deal with my nephew's antics. They were probably right and it was somewhat of a relief not to worry about how Beth would look, smell, act etc. None the less I missed the concept of my first baby being with me on my birthday.

I do make sure to invite her to all the major holidays when I am involved in the planning and no one tells me otherwise. The family is decent to her at these affairs and she is usually decent to them.

My husband retired sort of. As he worked for himself he really did not make moves to settle things until after his retirement date. He now works seven days a week trying to tie up loose ends on a thirty-five year career. He has some health issues to manage before we can decide where to go from here geografically.

I will be teaching 2 courses at a local university in the fall. Another University asked me to teach two more courses for them at their satelite center but I am not sure yet if those courses will fly. So...... I am sort of retired too. If al 4 courses go then I will be working full time but most of that time will be spent in my own home with about 15 hours on campus. It sounds like a pretty good gig to me.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Fleeting Glory

The day after my last post Beth got kicked out of her not the boyfriend's house for smoking crack. She said that everyone was making too much of a big deal about a little slip up. I have only texted a few words with her since that time.

My father became the main focus of our concerns as he spent the last 6 days in the hospital. Five of those days were in the ICU. I knew he wasn't right because he was sitting in his chair for the past few weeks with no desire to eat or participate in any activities. I took him to my house and the Dr. when he told me that he tried to call me during the night as he felt so sick but could not figure out how to use the phone. (It was a new smart phone and he is 77.) The Dr. gave him an antidepressant but he kept getting worse.

My husband started to complain that I should put my foot down and take him to the emergency room against his will if necessary because his change in mental status was sudden and alarming. The man who could fix everything including the equipment that keeps aircraft apart in the sky could not figure out how to make a call on a new cell phone though I explained it over 20 times.

We were on our way to the ER when our Dr. called. She said his blood work had come back very low in sodium. It was a life threatening reaction that could cause seasure, brain damage or death. He felt better almost imediately but the confusion lasted until the last day in the hospital. FYI :  He was on Benacar with a diuretic added right to the pill. The kidney Dr. at the hospital said it was not advisable for older patients.

Thank God that he seems pretty normal now. My sister who lives right next door will keep a good eye on him while I go on vacation starting Wed. My Dad was supposed to come along but he does not feel confident to go to a third world country right now. Can't say I blame him.

I will be off to Colombia SA on Wed by way of Panama. Looking forward to 15 days of total imersion in Spanish and renewal of friendships which are over 40 years old.

Monday, June 11, 2012

A Glimpse of What Might Have Been

Beth came over tonight. She missed the Barb B Q yesterday as she was working at the horse races. She is assisting a handicapper. It seems they research and publish information about the horses establishing what they think are the odds for each horse to win based upon past history and current conditions.

We were of course concerned with her being in an atmosphere of gambling and drinking but it was obvious that she was excited about this. For the last 6 years she has not been excited about anything really. She has mostly been bored, or listless. Laying on her couch and not finding a reasons to get up.

Lately she has been giving some tennis lessons, doing this work at the race track, collecting scrap metal for resale and doing some home health care work here and there. She also goes to the Dr. once a week for blood tests to show that she is taking her suboxone and clean from other drugs.

After dinner tonight she sang with her Dad. She picked the hardest songs to sing with the keroke machine. Phantom of the opera was one of her first selections. It was amazing to hear her sing loud and clear in her soprano voice. Then, the Dad put on Yesterday and we all sang together. This is how I imagined our lives would be. It made me cry.

She looked very good tonight inspite of just breaking up with her latest boyfriend. Her arms and legs were bear. Her hair was fixed nice and she was neatly groomed. She looked cute and preppy in spite of her tatoos.

Hope is fleeting. Hope is the enemy and yet hope is what I felt. I am afraid of hope and her inconsitencies were still glaringly apparent and all too familiar. And yet, something is very different. There is a spark of her humanity long absent which now smolders amidst the ashes here and there.

Sunday, April 22, 2012


Beth came over to help with yard work and clip the dogs. I agreed to pay her which is always a source of doubt. I would pay someone else so why not her?  It goes without saying that an addict uses  any money they get on drugs but she does that in any event. Isn't it better for her to earn her money through honest labor?  I have this powerful fantasy that gardening, sunshine and honest work are curative.

She was pleasant and energetic. She told me how she gave two tennis lessons this week and asked me to split her allowance into to separate parts when she gets her car so that she will have gas money. She wore short sleeves and did not have any needle marks. She did not seem high or in any way out of touch with reality. Then she got a phone call from a friend. I heard  her say "I am at my mom's." I reminded her that none of her friends are to pick her up at my house. She was fine with that.

Then she got to be in a hurry. She finished clipping the dogs but planned to come back the next day to bathe them. It seemed strange but I did not argue. I paid for the clipping but not the bathing. I gave her 20 dollars per dog which is far less than Petsmart. I dropped her off at her current residence. She has seemed more stable lately. I am not saying clean but somehow more stable. She seems to have a real affection for her boyfriend. She has been working more at legitimate work.

Am I really off the mark for thinking that it is progress for her to get off the couch and do some work? She did very little but lie on the couch for the last year. She would watch tv, get drugs and then watch more tv. She did not get the drugs by working any kind of legal job. Often her friends would give her drugs. I think that any connection with the world that is not drugs and not watching tv is good. I have seen her lately express compassion and concern for others.

Anyhow, it rained today and it was cold. I did not hear from her till late in the day and thought that she just did not want to finish the dogs as it was too cold to have them outside wet. She texted me a little while ago and indicated that she wanted to come over and wash the dogs. Someone would drop her off. When I said it was too cold she pressed the issue saying she was counting on the money.

I texted back that 40 dollars yesterday and now she is totally out of money makes me feel like I am part of her drug life. My answer was no but now I feel guilty. The guilt did not make me change my mind. I want to encourage her to do any legitimate work that she can but I do not want to be in the position that I was in today. I do not know how to do one and not the other. Any suggestions? I will put on my helmut.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Learning to Drive at 55

     I am officially taking driving lessons. My husband can't see as well as he used to but we have to take more trips into the city than before. These trips are mostly for Dr. visits but there is a whole world of entertainment there as well that we do not tap into very often.

I gave up driving in the city years ago because it makes me nervous. I have poor depth perception and that has certainly added to the angst. When people ask me what I mean by poor depth perception, I say that it looks like the oncoming cars are going to hit me. LOL, I almost did not learn how to drive. At one point my Dad refused to drive me anymore. I think I was actually 18 at the time. He said that no matter what the problem I either had to learn or move to the city as public transportation was nonexistent. That is when I called and paid for action driving school. It worked to the extent that for the last 37 years my record has been unmarred.

So, now I want to regain my ability to drive on major highways. No matter what happens I know that I can get better and it will earn me a discount on my car insurance. Wish me luck on this. I am feeling the fear but doing it anyway.

Thanks for all of your encouragement lately. That old saying that you are only as happy as your least happy child can really haunt me. Beth is always just a sigh away but it would be a shame to ruin the rest of my life by only dwelling on her situation. She and her life will always be a part of mine and yet I do not want misfortune to define me. I am grateful that you encourage me to take whatever happiness I can still find.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Not Quite Empty Nest

We are not quite empty nesters yet. Our youngest daughter is still home but the older two are on their own.

The youngest, Christine, is finishing up her bachelor's degree in Speech Pathology and Audiology. She is 23 years old.  She works as a waitress and commutes to both college and her internship site which are in opposite directions.

Her boyfriend comes over here several times a week but her schedule is so variable that we do not count on seeing her for dinner. Both Christine and her boyfriend are very musically inclined. They often play music or sing while they are here which is very enjoyable. My husband and I both enjoy music. In fact, that is how we met.

I am Beth's power of attorney and representative payee. If anything were to happen to me that responsibility would go to Christine. Upon occasion she has taken care of Beth's finances for a period of time to give me a break. Beth does not usually torture them to the same extent as she  would persist with me. They do listen for a little while but they quickly state their boundaries and move on. I am trying to learn the same from Christine, my husband, all of you, and alanon. I am trying to detach with love.

Not Quite Empty Nest

We are not quite empty nesters yet. Our youngest daughter is still home but the older two are on their own.

The youngest, Christine, is finishing up her bachelor's degree in Speech Pathology and Audiology. She is 23 years old.  She works as a waitress and commutes to both college and her internship site which are in opposite directions.

Her boyfriend comes over here several times a week but her schedule is so variable that we do not count on seeing her for dinner. Both Christine and her boyfriend are very musically inclined. They often play music or sing while they are here which is very enjoyable. My husband and I both enjoy music. In fact, that is how we met.

I am Beth's power of attorney and representative payee. If anything were to happen to me that responsibility would go to Christine. Upon occasion she has taken care of Beth's finances for a period of time to give me a break. Beth does not usually torture them to the same extent as she  would persist with me. They do listen for a little while but they quickly state their boundaries and move on. I am trying to learn the same from Christine, my husband, all of you, and alanon. I am trying to detach with love.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Son Moved Out

My son moved out yesterday. I miss him already but it was time for life to teach him what I could not.

He left under very good terms all things considered. We did have some words last week over the fact that he will not make an effort to find a full time job. He works quite a few hours at the local Best Buy but they have not made him full time though he does good work for them.

He has problems with Attention Deficit Disorder and an inability to understand abstract reasoning. He sees the world as Black and White. Eventhough we know he has challenges, it becomes an issue when he is now 25 years old without health insurance. He says it is his right to live the way he wants.

Basically, I said that yes he does have that right but that it seems to me I am somehow failing him by letting him stay here and not see how life really works. I told him I did not want hard feelings and was willing to subsidize the remainder of his car insurance for this year. We also offered to pay his upfront costs for moving in with some roomates but not to put the lease in our name.

I told him that I love him and we are family and I want him to come for Easter and stay in touch. He said that he was cool with it. He is going to a friend's house that looks reasonably healthy to me. The Mom was recently divorced and is holding on by a thread to her home so she needs a border. My son sees this as an opportunity to have more independence and help out his friends.

He took his bedroom furniture with him. I also mentioned that I can think of at least 20 jobs he could apply for that would give him a better living and feel pretty agreeable to him so if someday he wants my help with that or managing his money we can talk about. In the meantime, I am going to butt out of his business.

Wow, there are some big changes going on around here.

Sunday, April 1, 2012


I made no attempt to contact Beth. Her old not the boyfriend called me to tell me that she was in jail last night. At about 1 in the afternoon today I got several texts from Beth asking me to release money to her for a car from her SSI money which is practically all gone at this point.

I texted back the following: Heard you were in jail. I would like to know why before reading it in the newspaper.

She texted back that it never happened and wanted to know who said that it did. I did not respond.

A few more unsavory tidbits have come to my attention over the past week. The man who was paying her to watch his Mom while he worked in exchange for buying her a car has not worked a steady job in many years. He was living off his Mom's social security. It is doubtful that he ever bought Beth a car though she still seems to believe that he did.

First, Beth told me that the woman died and she needed to buy her own car so this Man could use the money from the car he bought her to pay his bills. A few days later she told me that the woman had not died.

Beth may actually have been in Jail. She also might have been trying to extort money out of M because he has always loved her. I did not spend much effort this time trying to find out the truth. The more I know the more it seems to hurt me.

So, now what looked like her taking care of a needy old woman currently looks like she just moved in with this guy who lived with his Mom. I still think she did the old woman some good but it remains highly questionable how much these two addicts were giving and how much they were taking from the elderly woman.

On the positive side, after 10 years of this happy horse sht, I did not spend the entire weekend thinking about it. Hubby and I went to a great play at the college on Saturday. These young and healthy, vibrant and talented students gave us a great lift. Today we went to a movie club that I found on We had a lovely evening watching the movie and then talking about it at a casual restaurant. This social group meets about 30 minutes from my home. That was a plus as no one knew us to ask unwanted questions about the stellar success of my children. In fact, we just talked about movies. That was awesome!

Saturday, March 31, 2012

My Daughter is in Jail

DH just got a phone call from an x boyfriend of Beth. He said that his neighbor came over to tell him that Beth had called from a county jail which is two counties away from here.

That is all I know. She has not called me nor her father. No one in my family nor my husband's family has ever been in jail. This is where drugs lead.

Monday, March 26, 2012

" I do this to make up for some of the wrong I have done in my life."

Beth was feeling guilty for saving her elderly patient. The poor woman is still on a respirator. My husband talked to Beth and said that she could not just let the woman die without a will that stated she did not want to be resusitated.

I told her that she did right by the woman and now the situation has to play itself out. The woman's son will have to make the decision of what to do next. She gave the woman a chance and that was right eventhough at some point we do not want to let people suffer either. I also said that caring for the weak and sick is noble work that I admire.

Beth said, "Thanks Mom, I do this to try and make up for some of the wrong that Ihave done in my life."

Lou said that at 26 years of age eventhough her son was not done with drugs at that point he started to feel remorseful for his misdeeds. It appears that this is where Beth is right now. I pray that God protects her and your loved ones as well, while they go through this darkness. 

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Nurse Jackie

Beth saved an old woman's life last night. She heard the woman get up several times and did not like the way she looked. Beth checked her sugar which was high and her temperature which was normal. Beth woke up G (her patient's son). They continued to keep an eye on Mrs. L. She got agitated and confused with some difficulty in breathing. Beth called 911. The EMT's told them that Mrs. L would not have made it through the night without this intervention.

I think that an important part of recovery is the self worth that comes from helping others. The EMT's and G acknowledged Beth for saving a life. The Dad and I both told her that she had done an amazing and good deed.

Both my mother in law and my mother who recently passed away were nurses. Maybe they are helping Beth channel some of their healing powers. God Bless the nurses and even the nurse Jackies of this world.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Lunch With Beth

Beth had lunch with her Dad today. She showed up at his office. They went to lunch and he took her to the mall to pick up her glasses. She has agreed to stay with a woman during the day who has alzheimers. In exchange for this caregiving, the woman's son who is my age is giving her an old car. It will be in her name next week.

There were no requests for money and no erratic behaviour this time.

I am making a short trip to Florida to see my fairy- God- mother aunt. She is my mother's sister. She always flew in and treated us like magic so we called her the fairy- God- mother aunt. It is just for a long weekend.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Mom Died on This Day One Year Ago

     This was the day one year ago that I got word of my mother's death. I am glad I went to see her 3 times during her last illness. She was in Florida and I was in NJ working full time. We knew it was serious but we thought she would live longer than she did. She had end stage heart disease.

  It seems as though all of the sudden, we are so much more alone. We always lived near and were involved with our families. Although my parents wintered in Florida, they spent the rest of the year within walking distance of us. My husband's parents lived right next to us as did his sister. My mother died and both of my in-laws died in the last two years. My sister- in - law has her house for sale and spends the winter in Arizona. She had also lived on the same block.

Actually, I am relieved that this is the end of the day on Feb 26th. Ever since I got the hospice card at the beginning of the month marking this milestone in my life I have been uneasy about this day.

I will start over again tomorrow and try to pull myself up. Today I gave in to the wallowing. I remember my mother saying.....let the dead bury the dead and move on with your life. Tomorrow I will try.


Thursday, February 23, 2012

And So It Goes

Well, it took me about three days to get back to normal after my last visit with Beth.

 Apparently she was a little shook up by the entire affair as she has texted various times to apologize and to say she is working on getting into an outpatient program. On the other hand she is still not willing to attend AA or NA meetings unless they are part of the outpatient program and at the same time. She will not waste any of her other time on that. By the way, one of her friends has promised to buy her a car.

DH says that she is stringing me along by making statements that she knows are not true to give me hope. That sounds about right to me.

Anyhow, we are painting the family room and kitchen so we are living in a huge mess. My classes are doing well. The students are learning a lot and I enjoy being with them. It is my great fortune to have a professional interest which is also a hobby and gives me a little extra spending money.

 My youngest is thinking about applying to graduate school in Tampa. My husband is talking about retirement. And so it goes, life goes on.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Cried Too Many Tears

I took Beth to social services on Friday. We had a confrontation over the same old things but it set me into a crying jag that lasted for most of the weekend. I thought I was past that kind of behavior but I guess you might call it a codependent relapse.

For some strange reason I thought that she could just act normal for an hour or so but that was not to be. She got into my car with a young man in tow. He was very polite had a handsome face, multiple tatoos and blown off front teeth. So many crack addicts look that way but not usually polite in my experience.  Beth smelled bad and started needling me about how she needs a car about three minutes into the encounter.

At some point, after being bossed around and then having them tell me how they were not using drugs I just lost it. I said that the constricted pupils, bad smells and the terrible rush to be left off in a drug zone were pretty good clues and that I resented being treated like a stupid idiot. I am not 10 minutes but more like 10 years into this hell hole of a life and I am not good at pretending I do not see what I see. I told Beth that she had ruined my life. Then I cried to the point that I should not have been driving and then the guilt set in. I told her the only thing more painful than seeing her this way would be to have her dead. She said but dead would only hurt for a little while. I said, and that is where you are wrong. My whole life is ruined one way or the other unless you stop.

I know that I am supposed to rise above this and that many times I have but this weekend I could not.

Via e mail I found out that Beth has been talking to the married son of one of my best friends. He wrote to tell me that she seems clean but is sad as she does not have a car or money. She is manipulating him and he is getting sucked in. He used to care for her back when she was beautiful and accomplished. I had to tell him  the truth which deeply humiliated me. Why am I humiliated by her disease or her choices? What is he doing trying to rescue her and tell me what she needs when he has not seen her in over 6 years?

It is also very near the anniversary of my Mother's death. My grief has increased this month instead of decreasing. Maybe that is just an anniversary thing.

On Saturday Beth texted me that she would do a 90 day outpatient program but she is just talking not doing anything at this point.

I think that next time she needs to go somewhere I will send a cab or have her take the senior and disabled bus though she refuses. Sorry to be such a downer. So much for my so called strength.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Ripped Off By Dollar Rent A Car of Tuscon

    The car was advertised at 140 per week. We added an additional driver and two more days. The two additional days were only 47 dollars.  My credit card bill just came in with the total charges for the rental car at 1029.00.

My husband and I were completely exhausted and in pain when we got off the flight. Some how we agreed to all of these charges. That is what the customer service woman said but it still amazes me. There were items on that bill that I never would have agreed to like road side safety. I have AAA so why would I?

Lesson learned just never do this stuff when you are tired and then check over and over again. I am sure that I bear some responsibility here but I am also sure that all was not made perfectly clear. Yikes!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Addict Wants A Vacation

     Beth left a message on my cell phone today. She heard I was going to go to Florida and wanted me to know that she would sure like to come with me. She even offered to pay her own way.

     My response was, " Someday we will travel together when you get  a little more clean time.  I would love, love, love to travel together. The first step would be for you to provide twice weekly drug tests to document your progress."  There was no response from her which I take as positive as she has an amazing capacity for negative persistence.

     As far as I know, she is still using crack. There is some possibility that she is not using heroine. I found her message quite disturbing. After giving it some thought, I think my response set boundaries without being cruel. I answered her via text which seems to deflect some of the begging and pleading which tend to occur on a phone call.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Shifting My Focus to Recovery

     Today was as pleasant as could be given there is an addict in our family although not living in our house. I spent the morning huggle buggling with my husband of 30 years. It was soooo cozy under those covers and so brisk upstairs that we lolled around in bed till almost 10. Then my best friend came to pick me up to do our 3 mile Sunday morning walk around the inside of the mall.

     I was telling her about the dinner that I enjoyed on Friday night with a girfriend from my old school district. Much to my surprise Flo and I talked for about 2 hours during dinner and before our movie mostly about her work situation. It was fun catching up with her and it did not occur to me right away that I did not learn a thing about my old responsibilities in that district. Flo did not tell me a thing about what has happened and who has taken charge of my numerous responsibilities. She did not tell me because I did not ask. I did not ask because I did not care. Wow, I am very grateful for that. How soon we forget the work world!

After the walk in the mall my husband and I were looking for something to do. We decided to go to a free jazz concert at our local community college. The musicians and vocalists were wonderful. None of them were paid but they love to play together. They practiced for over a year and then put on a free show. That is what community is all about.

Our expectations were not high but they were greately exceeded. Every single musician was proficient and a number of the soloists just blew us away. After that, we came home. I made a simple dinner of boiled shrimp with cocktail sauce, tossed salad and a tortellini soup. So that was a concert and a pretty good dinner with no cash put out today!

The rest of the evening was spent watching the superbowl with my youngest daughter, her boyfriend, and my husband and son. It was a good day and a good weekend.

Beth called me 3 times during the last week. I was not able to pick up the phone immediately but I called her back and texted her back to which she did not reply. You know the old phone tag thing. She talked to my husband once and told him something about a check which he just referred her to me. It is tempting to worry about her. OMG if I checked on her every time I got worried that is all that I would do. She made the calls so she was ok at those times and did not indicate any emergency. Notice how I still must justify living my own life to myself.

A therapist I once saw told me that healing from the trauma of her addiction would be directly proportional to how well I could shift the focus of my attention to something else. That really shocked me. I remember saying "IS THAT ALL THERE IS TO IT?" I thought that there would be some kind of deep meaning or majic involved in working through my issues. Well, don't think that it was easy because it is now about 5 years after talking with that therapist and I am just now starting to do what she said. LOL  When you think about it, maybe shifting their attention to something else is also what the addicts have to do to stay clean. They have to keep substituting other actions, activities, prayers, meetings etc. for their addiction. They have to learn how to enjoy other things in life. Hmmmm, the addicts are addicted to their drugs so they have to always resist the pull. We get pulled toward an obsession with them which we also have to move beyond.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Birthday Lunch hosted by The Son

     We just got back from celebrating my husband's birthday. He asked our son to take him to his favorite seafood restaurant. DH drove hubby, myself and my youngest daughter down by the Greater Egg Harbor Bay. We sat by a big fireplace at a wooden table that was dimly lit with a ship's lantern.

     All of the food was fresh and just wonderful but the best part was just being together as a happy family. We used to spend most weekends together on a boat in this area when the kids were little before the toubles began. They had a lot of good memories from thier childhoods which they shared. We laughed and talked the whole time.

    At the end of the meal, I pulled out my wallet to pay for myself and my daughter who had already taken Daddy to lunch on another day. My son insisted that he would pay for the entire bill and he did.
At lunch he told us about his serious attempts to look for a full time job. He currently works full time hours but is only considered seasonal so he does not get benefits.  He also told me that he realizes that he must protect himself from the big medical expenses that will come his way on his next birthday when he will no longer be on my insurance. Today it seemed like he is finally maturing. I remembered how sweet it is to be a normal family. We had a great time. Addiction only came up  once when we all chimed in at once......'let's change that subject right now" and then proceeded to focus our attention on the good times.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Much Needed Vacation

DH and I are on a much needed vacation. We are spending time in Tuscon with his sister and brother in law. We have been having a great time and they have been very kind to us. This is my husband's older sister. She has always done so much to keep the family together.

It occurs to me  now that these people are a little like parents to us. We go to them for advice and comfort. In fact, at one point when Beth was younger and the troubles had just started they took her in for awhile. This was before the drugs but just after the mental illness had reared its head.They were not able to cure her but it did give us a break. It also helped her see that we were not the enemy. Nancy and Bill live right next to us in Jersey but spend the winters in Tucson.

I am grateful that we enjoy being with them and that they enjoy us too. They want us to move out here when we retire. I don't know that we will but it is sure nice to be wanted. The weather here is awesome for about 9 months a year. We wake up every day to sunny skies and a crisp cool temperature that requires a light jacket. By the mid-afternoon it is almost t-shirt weather.

Today we went to the University of Arizona during the day. We walked around campus and visited the museum and book store. After that, we came back to their place and sat in front of the outdoor fireplace while listening to jazz and watching the sunset. Then, we made burgers on the grill with some portobello mushrooms , salad and asparagus. It was a great day.

Thank you all for your comments on my last post. Lou hit the nail on the head when she said that I was not asking about enabling really. I was asking if I could force Beth to stop doing drugs by cutting her off. I am not planning on doing that. The only way I could rationalize it would be if I thought it would cure her or if I thought that she was a danger to me. At this point, I do not believe any of those two criteria fit.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

No Contact with Addict

Have any of you ever gone no contact with your addicted loved one?  I have read about it but I do not actually know anyone who has done it for any length of time. Right now I talk to my daughter when she calls me to handle her financial matters. She tells me she is doing fine on suboxone for heroine but is considering aversion therapy for cocaine.

I love her and encourage her when she seems to be seeking encouragement. I pray for her every day but it looks to me like her diseases are way ahead in this struggle to the death.

Once......... when she shocked me beyond my capacity to endure I told her I could forgive her actions if they were in the past but I could not live with them in my life at present. I would not talk to her at that time but my husband did answer when she called. Neither of us gave money or shelter. She got beat up and entered rehab. She stayed as long as the insurance would allow which was 6 weeks and then it all started up again. That was at the same time that my father in law died.

I wonder would it make any difference to her meaning would she actually try to get better if we totally cut her off. My husband who is usually much tougher than me thinks that this would be cruel as she is severely mentally ill and her capacity to judge is diminished. He thinks we should keep her at arms length but do nothing to add to her pain which is real and palpable. I agree that she is mentally ill as well as addicted. It was evident way before she started doing drugs but the drugs make it soooooo much worse.

I do not need to cut her off to control my own suffering.

 I can usually maintain enough distance to manage a fairly normal life. I would only ever consider this in order to help her. Besides, I know that a cut off creates a different type of suffering.  Did I mention that the last time I took a break from talking to her she disappeared for 6 weeks and we were calling morgues looking for her?

Tell me about how close you have come to cutting off the addict completely and how it turned out.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Seven Things About Me

1.  I have been married to the same man for thirty years. Although we did not date until 5 years later, I obsessed about him since the first time we me in high school. He sat in front of me in Spanish class. My nerdy friends did not like him or me associating with him because he was a jock. He was a jock that wrote poetry, had a beautiful voice, wrote songs for me  and became an attorney.

2.  We still love each other.

3.  I treat my dog like a baby and he likes it. He must be wrapped in a blanket and held when he comes in from the cold. His name is Joey.

4. I always loved school.  That includes both being a student or being a teacher. I think that I might have been a teacher in a one room school house in some other life. This explains my collection of books about pioneers and pioneer teachers. When I feel sorry for myself, it is easy to read about their lives and see that mine is much easier.

5.  I usually read 2 or three books at a time. Some are scholarly, some are best sellers and one is always in Spanish.

6.  I have traveled and lived extensively in South America. I love the land, the music, the language and the people. One of my fantasies is to go there again as a peace corp retired worker.

7. I have several good friends both locally and from far far away that have been in my life for more than 20 years. I do not see them constantly but we can count on each other just like family. It takes me awhile to make new friends but it seems like I do a pretty good job at keeping them.


Tuesday, January 3, 2012

What if the addict never gets better?

Is there anyone out there who can share what you do to cope if your loved ones situation does not get better?  Is there anyone who has learned to build a decent life for themselves in spite of the suffering caused by long term severe addiction and mental illness?

A long time ago, I spoke to a woman at a mental institution that had rejected my daughter because she was an addict. This woman was not the one who rejected her and she shared information with me that could have caused her to loose her job. After about 20 minutes she shared that her son was an alcoholic and had been for 20 years. He was in just about as bad a shape as my daughter.

This woman told me to toughen up. She said that most of the 5 star addicts do not get better and that I would go grey still obsessed with finding a solution to a problem with no solution. She told me to go on with my life and I now believe her but I still need to know just how people do it.

I know that there are millions out there doing it. I also know that even if your loved one has recovered, if they were in desparate straights for a long time you somehow learned how to enjoy some other part of your life or you would not be here now.

One thing that does help me is making a list every day of about 5 things to accomplish. I force myself to get started crossing things off the list and as simple as that seems it helps me tremendously. Hours go by that I do not think about the addiction.

Please share your coping strategies.