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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.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Guilt

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

All IS NOT WHAT IT SEEMED TO BE

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 meetup.com. 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!