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

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Call From Oh So Distant Son

My son called about 5 pm on Christmas. It was good to hear his voice and wish him Merry Christmas. He is finally working full time in security! It seems that when his parents moved to FL the  employer finally took him seriously as a young man paying his own way.

We said we loved each other and he started backing away from the stance that he will never ever visit Fl. He said that he will visit in the summer when he can put some vacation time together. Baby steps to an adult relationship is what we hope for. DS has severe learning disabilities. He thinks in black and white and has no recollection of his childhood due to a brain injury incurred in the 7th grade.

I think it must be harder for him to feel close to us when he can not remember the sweeter times of his younger years.  I plan to start sending him some cards with pictures from those times. maybe one picture with a paragraph attached at a time.

I hope to take it easy till New Years. I am on antibiotics with a serious sinus infection. Thank God and science for antibiotics.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Christmas Day 2013

Not your Hallmark Christmas!  We celebrated Xmas eve with the new neighbors, my daughter and her fiancĂ©, my father and his girlfriend and my recently divorced brother in law. It was almost 80 degrees here but I had the air on freezing to counteract the brownies and lasagna that were in the oven. The food was delicious and the conversation flowed smoothly. We focused on the good although each one at the table could have shared their own heartache or two. After dinner, we sang and people lingered for about 5 hours.

This morning before opening gifts Our addicted daughter called on the phone she said was stolen. She was not asking for money. She just cried and cried and said she missed us. My husband and I said the same to her. We know and she knows that we know that she is using because she has been attempting to scam the NJ relatives for money.

I called my son who sometimes returns my calls with texts promising to call me later. After 8 years of no progress with her addiction or his job prospects we moved to Fl to the active living community's that we always planned for. For better or worse, we stopped trying to change the young ones and went on with our lives. We are very active, much healthier than before but still ache for what could have,should have would have been. My son is 27 and very angry. My daughter Beth regrets her addictive choices but continues to make them. My son  claims to love me but he just does not want to talk to me. He only came around once a month for 5 minutes to collect the mail so how could we build a life around that? We offer to,fly him in to visit but he keeps his distance. I do not know how many more times I will call the answering machine.

Most days I keep busy and surround myself with the family that is still I'm tact. I am greatful for them. My younger daughter just got into grad school, got engaged and has a full time job. I have sisters and friendships that have lasted over 40 years. I have new friends and new activities plus the warm warm sunshine that eases our physical pain.

This morning was rough as I hears the raw anguish in Beth's voice. She misses us and we both wish that would be enough to change the un changeable.  Only a miracle could change that which our best efforts have only made worse. So I pray that God forgives our parental sins and heals our broken family. I need a miracle here so that is what I ask for.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Still in Methadone Program

I heard from Beth today.  Apparentlynshe kept trying to leave messages on my phone and it would not let her. She was worried that she did not hear from us. My sister also called to tell me that she took Beth to the methadone clinic At 5 in the morning on Saturday.

Methadone, like suboxone has high success rates. The  rates are much higher than abstinence based programs. Do I like the idea of her being addicted to methadone?  At this point I would welcome any progress.

I plan to call her on Thursday.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Methadone Clinic

Beth started at a methadone clinic on Monday. I pray that she will find some stabelization. At this point if she could just stay out of legal and moral trouble it woud be a tremendouns victory.
They are charging 50 dollars per week and do not accept any insurance. Tomorrow, I will find out how to make arrangements to pay them by talking to the folks at the clinic myself.

I moved out of state on Thursday and the following Monday she began at the new clinic. She told me that it really scared her that  I would not be nearby in case of an emergency. Beth being afraid of anything is a major step forward. Even right after being dragged into  a vacant lot where she fought off her attacker with a rock, she was not afraid.

. Tomorrow I will call them to work out the details and check on the accuracy of what Beth told me.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

She Has Some Goals

Beth and I almost had a normal afternoon. Then on the way back from her Ob appointment she announced that she and G. have some goals. They want to rent a house,buy a car, get jobs and have a baby.

My first inclination was to scream but I said what do you think you would need to do to make that happen?  She said, I would need to be clean and that is why I am looking for a methadone clinic. My response was that a baby needs a drug free home and that the state would take away the baby if she was using. She said they knew that and were giving themselves a year to stabelize.

You do not have to tell me that this is a terrible idea.   It is not something that I would encourage yet it does seem like a normal desire. I hope that she will actually make some progress getting clean if she starts to value a normal life as opposed to the party lifestyle. She has reconnected with a childhood friend that managed to get clean and has a family now so maybe that is where this comes from.

Beth assured me that she would never get pregnant while using. Up to the present she has taken extraordinary. Precautions including an IUD. I was actually relieved that she did not want to bring children into her sad life. I was afraid to push her into defying me by objecting strenuously to her idea of having a baby 2 years from now.  Basically I just said that she had identified the steps to work towards her goal. Now is the time to concentrate on getting clean so that she can have a normal life. I hope I did the right thing. It is hard to know as I am not sure she will ever be stable enough.

Dear God, please help her lift herself out of the prison she is in.  Let her be happy with the life she can manage and please do not let her bring more harm to an innocent child.  

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Supermarket Trip and Missing Money

I took Beth to the supermarket today. She looked almost normal. She has gained a little weight and her rash is about 90 per cent better. She was calm without being lethargic and she felt like my daughter for a few good minutes.

We shopped at the local Aldi's but we were not together. She took her own cart and stayed way ahead of me. I had my purse with me the entire time and most especially while I was near Beth. When we got a little way down the road I realized that 200 dollars had gone missing.

The most logical explanation when your with an addict and money disappears is to assume they stole it. I did not blame her or search her as I am so  hypervigilant with her that I do not see how she could have taken it. I think that when I took out the 100 to pay my bill, the other two must have stuck to it. We went back to the store to no avail.

I also have a couple of bad memories associated with stealing. There are the times when I knew for a fact that Beth stole from me or someone else. Then there are the three notable times that she was accused of stealing but was later exonerated. The first time, I was missing money and I made her empty her pockets and purse. She screamed and cried, threw herself all over the place and then I found my money elsewhere.

The next, was the time when my sister in law called to say that the home health aid was missing a very valuable ring just after Beth's visit. That ring turned up in the health care provider's bathroom on the counter near the sink. The worst time was when the people that she had been living with for 3 months who were bound and determined to help her get sober found out that their stereo equipment was gone. They blamed Beth and kicked her out but in the end it was there own son who took it.

Well, if you do bad things then when bad things happen you get blamed. Sometimes you get blamed for stuff you did not do. That being said, I did not want one of her last memories of me before moving to Florida to be of me falsely accusing her.

Peace and Love


Monday, July 29, 2013

Suboxone Request

I got a call from Beth today looking for a ride and help paying for a new suboxone Dr. I had high hopes for her 2 or three years ago when she started on suboxone. I paid the very high office visits for over a year. I had heard of a number of people who kicked the heroine habit with suboxone.

No, I would not be heart broken if she had to take suboxone forever. Many people can hold down jobs and be responsible family members while taking suboxone. It would be a far far better life for her. Beth was clean for six weeks when she started the suboxone. In fact, to a large extent it seemed to help her stay away from heroine. But then she started selling the suboxone to get more crack. At some point I stopped paying the suboxone Dr. because I did not want to be a party to Beth selling it etc etc.

From time to time Beth goes back to the suboxone Dr. and seems to better for a month or two before she starts to miss appointments. I know that she has been upset several times when Dr. E has cancelled on her but she is not good now. I can tell that she is strung out on some kind of major simulant maybe crack or meth. My guess is that the good Dr. E can not bring herself to see Beth and face the confrontation so she cancels.

Anyhow, the bottom line was that Beth wanted me to take her today or tomorrow to a new Dr. that would charge 205 for the visit and 105 for the subsequent visits. Beth does not have that kind of money and the other Dr. would treat her for just her insurance if Beth would only comply.

I told Beth that she would have to go to a clinic and arrange her own transportation. She has amazing transportation benefits so this part is really not too dificult for her. I told her where a clinic is that I think would treat her. My reply seems logical to me as I do think that she is into abusing this now, not really using the suboxone but abusing it and the Dr. God help me if I am wrong as I want to be part of the solution, not part of the problem.

I fear what comes next because without the suboxone her behavior will get more desperate. I have discussed this with my husband and sister. They think that my response was right. I have the strength to put up these boundaries but I do not have the strength not to second guess myself.

I would pay for the suboxone treatment if Beth was giving clean urine samples twice a week. She knows that I can be persuaded by that but that has not yet been suggested.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Descended to Begging and Pleading

I texted Beth the truth and I ended up begging and pleading with her to stop the drugs and or be truthful with me. I told her that she will die soon if she does not quit and it will ruin my life. I need her to help me not drain me. I asked if she was on Meth cause she supposedly was admitted to psych ward for panic attacks. She said no to meth and ok to quitting drugs .......... Just ok.  I guess she got tired of my drama. I told her I cry every damn day and it is true.

Oh, I forgot to say that she said the boyfriend did not put her out in the rain. She just had to go to her apt. and it happened to be raining. Her crazy making worked and I acted like a sniveling idiot. Throwing myself at her mercy is not likely to be productive. She does not show much by way of mercy.

Sorry for the self pity. It has been a tough day.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Inpatient Mental Health

while I was going through the mail today an authorization for inpatient psychiatric care cropped up. Beth was   AuthorizeD foR inpatient psychiatric care from June 24 to 26. That was the first I knew of it. Beth says she is going to miss us horribly. I do feel guilty for leavings her but I have made her the absolute center of my life for the last ten years with the result that she is still flamingly addicted and floridly mentally ill. I swear both my husband and I would continue with a close relationship if it were not so excaserbated by the drug use. We are weary and burned out. He has serious health problems which make a long retirement unlikely. We always planned to retire to Florida, it is not just to distance ourselves from her but a little distance would help us after so many years of emotionally getting beat up and consistently ending up on the loosing side. It has been 10 years. We may not live another 10. She may well not make it that long either.


The emotional storm has passed but the ripples still remain.  My husband and I drove to Beth's boyfriend's house to pay him for yard work he completed while we were away. G took the money and told me that Beth was back. I gave him a piece of my mind. The words were mild but the tone was arctic.

" I don't take kindly to you throwing my daughter out in the street in the middle of the night during a torrential rain and lightening storm." He looked at me dumbfounded and then denied it. I drove away.
He may have been trying to stop her from leaving and said something like if you leave then you can not come back. It has happened before and he does try to help her stop or make her stop neither of which works.

Beth is a great liar and manipulator. She can even fool the rehab counselors that hear this stuff constantly. She also routinely gets involved with other drug users but at some point they get fearful for her. This may be what is happening with the boyfriend. He is a very kindly gentlemanly sort usually. He is very greatful to Beth for taking care of his mother when she was near the end of her life. He tells me that his mother loved Beth. That gets to me because in her current state she does not get too much admiration.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

More Drama

The boyfriend wanted to tell his side but Christine was not interested. Beth had not been in the car for  2 minutes when she started begging for money then insisting that they pick up one of her friends from the barrio. Christine's boyfriend said no to that. They had no intention of picking up an unknown addict in the middle of the night. Beth started to scream and cry which she kept up for the next 20 minutes until they got to her apt. At that point she apologized but was simultaneously  texting for someone else to pick her up.

Today I got the first text from Beth acting all cool saying hey are you guys home.  I ignored it. Then she called my husband saying she wanted to go back to the boyfriend and that she did not have any food etc etc.  Right now I hear the bleep bleep of my text messages. I just said a prayer for her but I am so tired of the drama and lies. When I am not available she targets my younger daughter or my sister. Last night she did have a big fight with the boyfriend but then she used that as an angle to get her sister to take her to drugs. I do not want to talk with her now and not sure when I will. My inclination is to let her find one of her so called many friends to give her a ride. God help her and God help me. We need a miracle and that is what I pray for.

Drama of Addiction

We got in last night at 1:15 in the morning. Our flight hit bad weather and we were almost two hours late. Christine and her boyfriend picked us up. They were visibly shaken and had arrived at the airport just minutes before we did. Beth had sucked them into her chaos.

Christine usually try's to keep a safe distance from Beth. She has been burned several times because of her sister and came close to getting arrested herself when Beth left drug parafanalia I the  crack of the back seat of Cristine's car.  Last night at about 11:30 in the middle of a bad  storm Beth called her sister pleading for help. Her boyfriend had put her out of the house and she was standing in the rain. Christine agreed to pick her up and take her back to Beth's apartment but made it very clear that there would be no stops along the way.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Addict Needs Money

Beth has sent several texts and phone calls pleading for more money. I held the line on releasing 100 dollars each week from her ssi money. I am the rep payee. She gets 80 per month in food stamps plus the 100 per week which must cover food, transportation, cigarettes and 12 dollars per month in copays for her psychiatric drugs. She finally got to me when she said she was out of toilet paper and had been for 3 days not able to pay for psychiatric meds.

I texted her to get her Aunt to buy the actual objects and give me the receipts and I will reimburse next week when I return North.  She said ok and that is the last I heard.

The cost of food has gone up tremendously but of course if I really thought this was going to food there would not be a problem.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

What Boundaries?

As you may remember from the last post, I was just starting to feel guilty for putting some space between me and the addict in my life when she called to shake me down for 10 dollars.  It turns out that she also asked my sister for 5 for cat food. My sister was to sick to go out for cat food so she said no. She knows better than to give money.

My sister is having trouble her son who is a functioning addict on alcohol,marijuana and Percocet.  He was sick with diarrhea and got excrement all over the bathroom. Then he halfway cleaned it up with dish towels that he threw in the yard. When my sisters boyfriend told him to clean it up or say that he was to sick and then the boyfriend would clean it up S proceeded to smear the mess onto the windows and try to get it on the boyfriend.

I was so shocked by this story that I could hardly respond. I did say that it was worse than the stuff that he did before when she had to get a restraining order against him. They did not speak for A year previously when he was throwing things at her and physically holding her back from leaving the house.  He also had wild part.ies in her house,sex in her bed and left dirty condoms on the floor.

My sister is a good hardworking and compassionate woman. Where are her boundaries? I fear for her physical and mental safety. She is 50 years old and has a bad heart. Her boy is 26 years old. He has a car and a job .

Tommorrow I will call and give my opinion. This is abuse. He must leave the house or she must accept being his slave. She has given him many chances. He does not have a drug problem according to him.

I feel particularly unqualified to give advice but whatever my nephews reasons for acting this way it is intolerable and creates a health hazard for my sister who has a bad heart.

Would you still love your son if he tried to smear Shit on you?    I think it is time for creating distance.      

Could you do me a favor?

Beth texted her father and then me. I heard the phone ring next and saw her boyfriend's name. Since she had not left me a message I did not answer my husband's phone.  Later when he called her back she wanted to talk to me.  She wanted me to send her 10 bucks to get some tampax cause she needs them.

I told her that was not possible cause my Internet banking is down. I would not have done it anyway as I never give her money off schedule. Since I never give her money off schedule why does she keep asking?  Of course it is drug money or she does not have money left from allowance due to drugs. She frequently asks me for money and my usual response is just no. Allowance is Tuesday and that is all there is.

Another strategy is to offer to give her the object she claims to want. Then she has to go right away with an important phone call or something.

The pattern is to create pity for herself or guilt and then follow up with a plea for money.  It took me a long time to catch on. It is the old 1,2, punch. After all.  These years I do not confront her or plead. I just say no and hang up after a quick good bye.  

Sunday, July 7, 2013

A Distant Addiction

My sister in law called to say she had a problem. She would talk to my husband about the problem and he would relay it to me. The problem was that Beth wanted to spend three days with her at her beach house.

Sister in law was not comfortable with this as the last time they were together Beth stole money from her car and looked very strung out. My husband told his sister that she did not have to explain it to us nor did she have to entertain Beth. This made me very very sad.

I saw it as reaching out for some semblance of normalcy. How can she get better if no one wants to see her? Yet, she does look strung out and I have no doubt that she did steal the money so why should the relatives have to entertain her?

My own sister told me that she thought that Beth was trying to get her to give her a ride to engage in questionable activities. It sounded to me like she was correct.

I am a thousand miles away from her and yet wherever I go she is still in my head. She is still in my head but not as often and not nearly as loud.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Hello from Sunny Sunny Florida

Hello my friends. We are here in Florida waiting to settle on our retirement home in a 55+ very active community. The settlement will be tomorrow. This is fun. This is definately helping me let go more. Distance lends itself to distancing. Why is that a surprise?

I was proud of myself today for hooking up the wireless printer and connecting to two separate PC's and an I Pad. Hah...... at first it did not work but then I looked it up on youtube and found a video tutortial. Five minutes later we were online. I highly recomend these youtube tutorials!

What do you say about your addict adult/child when you meet new people?
It would be easier to just not talk about her but we can't seem to do that. We also do not want to lie nor lay all those ugly details out there. We lived in a very small town up North. My husband was a local attorney and I was a high school teacher. Beth's escapades hit the newspapers several times so we have been there and done that as far as having the details out there.

So far, we have said that we have three children. We also say, if asked, that Beth has used her artistic talent to work with pets in her own grooming and pet care business. (She really does a lot of babysitting and grooming of dogs.) Then we say that our boy works in computers and our youngest girl is back in graduate school for speech therapy.

I do not feel particularly comfortable fielding these questions but these early retirees are not nearly as hard to deal with as the parents of kids just going off to college. In fact, many of them really have very little to day about their kids. They are much more interested in their grandkids and the latest activity at the club house!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

How do I detach with love?

1. I do not ask too many questions.

2. I do not call more than once a week unless I have business with her.

3. I try really try to tell her things only once and not nag.

4. If I am with her and she starts getting demanding, manipulative, accusative etc I just change the subject or go home.

5. I do not pay for her mistakes with money or emotion. Emotion is a lot harder to control.

6.  I ask her friends not to tell me about her exploits unless they think I could actually influence her when they have more influence than me.

 7.  I do not stop what I am doing to go to her assistance unless it is a life threatening situation.

8. I turn my phone off at night.

9. I only invite her to my house on high holidays. I invite her about an hour late and she comes two hours late. By then, we are about an hour from being done. I have already locked up all the valuables and the relatives that do not want to be with her can make a quick exit.

10. I pray for her and miss her every day. When I go crazy thinking how good our lives used to be I think but that was then and this is now. Maybe someday, if she and I both live through this she will get better.

11. I remain willing to help with attempts at recovery but will no longer believe that she is clean without proof from medical tests done by a clinic.

12.  When she tells me she is clean I do not know what to say so I usually say good for you. Keep it up and all good things will come of it.

13. I take her phone call but I do not talk long or believe much of what she says.

14.  I tell her I love her because I do

15. I try to remember better days with her.

She asked me if I never really wanted to see her anymore. I said,  " I really do want to see you but the addiction gets in the way. Also, the lies get in the way. You can try and fail or refuse to try and I can live with it. But, when you lie about trying and try to make it my fault then ..... well it creates a distance."   

So, my friends, I share this list with you not because I think I am right or have found the way. These are just some of the things that I have learned to do to help me detach and survive. Sometimes I feel like a cold bitch for being able to implement these rules but oh have I paid a price when I let my vulnerability be exposed to her.

 How about you?  What specifically have you learned to do to detach with love?

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Respite From Addiction

We had a nice weekend here. My youngest healthy daughter was home for the weekend. She works with severely handicapped children and really has a heart for it.

We hung out on Friday night when her cousins and aunts and uncles came to my house to see her. I did feel a little guilty not incuding Beth. Lately, I have only been asking her on high holidays. Also, I had spent a good part of Friday grocery shopping with Beth and emotionally it was all I could take. If she had called or someone had asked for her it might have been different.

On Sat DD2 had a wedding to attend so I surprised her by doing all of her laundry. She was delighted to see it and exclaimed that she had been doing it on her own since the age of 10. This is true but I was so greatful for the domestic tranquility that I actually enjoyed it.

Thank you readers for letting me know that many of you mothers of addicts still cry every day even after many many years. It made me feel less out of control to know that other mothers with productive lives also react this way so frequently.

One strategy I picked up in an Alanon book to help ground yourself in the present is to  describe what you are doing while you are doing it in your own head. Ex:  I am writing in my blog. I am doing the dishes. Next, I will start the laundry. etc. etc.

I know this sounds strange but it has really helped me when I start worrying about what will happen or replaying sad scenes from the past. That is why I am sharing it now. I hope it will help some of you when you get pulled in different directions. The concerns of one day are more than enough for that day!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

The Peace of Alanon

I went to an Alanon meeting tonight. I had not been there in more than a year. The old timers welcomed me back so sweetly without a word or even a glance of reproach for not having been there in so long. They really do know how to mind their own business.

It was an hour of decompressing for me. They speak the truth in those meetings. I do accept that my daughter will never have a normal life. I accept that because of her mental illness but I keep trying to change her choices. Only alanon seems to know that I am indeed powerless over her decisions.

I keep going over and over how I raised her to find the flaw that led to this behavior. I was not perfect but she grew up with lots of love, activities and family values. How can I know this yet still hold myself responsible?

I feel judged and humiliated because of her behavior. Children grow up to reflect the values and the homelife they were raised in. But not always. It is just not always true. When mental illness and or addiction is part of the picture the normal rules do not apply. I am sure there are children who go astray even without these huge challenges.

Alanon says...... I did not create the addiction. I can not cure the addiction and I can not control the addiction. I have to act like I believe this even if the general public does not.

Then, on some level I think that if she loved me enough she would stop. I worked with a teacher who had an alcoholic mother.  That mother left her sitting with a broken foot for three hours until her Dad got home. That teacher told me that whether or not her mother had a disease, she had a broken foot and needed to go to the hospital. Her mother chose to protect her addiction above her helpless child with a broken foot.

Our addicted loved ones see our pain. They are too wrapped up in their own issues to respond to our pain. Our pain means nothing to them.

A girlfriend of mine had surgery and therfore had pain pills for the post surgical pain. Her addict daughter stole her pain medication from the sick bed and left her mother to suffer acute post surgical pain as a result. (That particular addict is now  7 years clean. She was with my daughter at her third rehab.)

Oh well, I used to be better at detaching with love and still having a worthwhile life. Alanon helped with that so I will continue to read the literature daily and go back to meetings. I am also starting to treat my own anxiety and depression with some nutritional supplements, sleep and exercise. I just know that I can get a better handle on my life than I have had recently. I am perfectly capable of fighting for myself and that it what it has come down to. It is time to put myself first because I have been nearly drowning.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

I CRY Every Day

I cry every day or almost every day eventhough it has been 2 years since it really sank in to me that she will probably not ever break this addiction. My mother and my mother in law also died two years ago. I loved them dearly. I think of them often but usually with pleasure not pain. I am sad they are gone but grief is mostly spent and I mostly think of them in fondness.

Beth said that I would have been better off if she had died in that car accident where she broke 6 vertabrae and was back to using 2 days later on her way home from the hospital. I told her to never believe that her dying would be better for me. Her death would be a lot worse for me. As long as there is life there is hope. That is what I told her.

That is what I told her but I wonder why I can not accept this and quit crying so much. I guess I will go back to Alanon tomorrow. It helps me to see other mothers deal with their pain and still have some semblance of joy in their lives.
I read Annettes words on her blog and they really help. I need to hear from people who have been dealing with this for years but have found some peace, some balance in their own lives.

How do you make the rest of your own life more normal when you have a loved one who seems like they will never see the light?

Don't get me wrong. I do not cry all day. It is usually just for a few minutes. I let the emotion come in and go out like a wave. Most of my days are productive in some way and all of my days contain some beauty, some humor, some pleasure. Maybe it is the best that I can do. I just do not know.

Friday, May 31, 2013

Where the Hell is Bottom?

My sweet friend who never touches alcohol and has been dealing with a schizophrenic crack addicted daughter for 25 years asked, "Where the hell is bottom?"  She told me that her 40 something adult child had been thrown out of a speeding car because she could not pay a drug debt and it was not bottom. Neither was living in a rat infested apartment, prostitution, nor seeing multiple friends die.

That was about 7years ago right after Beth's first rehab attempt. Here is a list of some of the situation that were not bottom for Beth.

1.  Loosing her car.
2. Loosing her ability to work.
3. Loosing her fiance.
4. Seeing many of her friends die from overdose, suicide, car accidents all related to drugs.
5. Breaking her back in her own one person car accident while tring to detox at home alone from heroine. (She did not tell anyone she was doing this.)
6. Being gang raped.
7. Being homeless for one year while the family said it is either rehab or the streets. She chose the streets.
8. Mulitiple suicide attempts.
9. Multiple stays in mental institutions.

The family has tried unconditional love, bribery, begging, alanon, paying for rehabs and half way houses, tough love, no contact, very little contact, anger, depression, desparate pleading, detachment, semi detachment and a few more I do not remember.

It has been 11 years since this started when she was 16 with bizarre behavior. Her addiction started the next year but she was able to hide it and appear to be a super star until her second year in college when all hell broke loose.

Our other children have scattered. The family we put above all else is mostly gone. We face the empty nest. In the past 2 years I have lost 10 people that I loved and saw each week to death, or relocation or addiction. Thank God my other two children are ok and keep in touch.

So, we decided to follow the sun last winter and ended up buying a new home in Florida. We will spend most of our time there. The two healthy grown children are pretty happy about it. They wil visit, call and they know we are only a 2 hour plane ride away. Beth cries, and says how can you leave me. I do feel guilty but the fact is that being so far away feels just a little bit better regarding her situation. It takes the edge off the pain like when you get nitrous at the dentists office. The pain is still there, but you just feel more detached from it.

Beth has her own little place and a boyfriend now who does his level best to keep her sober with varying degrees of success. I pay her bills from disbility which she recieves as her bipolar disorder makes her unable to work. Yes, they are sure she really has it because it started before the drugs and she had some severe episodes while she was in patient rehab being drug tested twice a day. She was clean but still manic. Anyhow that little bit of money that she gets just pays for necessities. It never goes to drugs or frivolities. So, she has a roof over her head, a boyfriend that loves her and a family that loves her eventhough there is a lot of angst involved. She punishes herself more than she punishes us and we try to live in the light in spite of all.

This pain is like someone has ripped off my leg. So, I have had to look at this mangled body that is my life and decide to learn to get along and even be happy with one leg. Some days I really can do it. Other days I still wonder.........Where the hell is bottom?


Thursday, May 30, 2013

Was that a ghost or just the smallest glimmer of maturity or was it just a good day in a bad disease?

Today I saw Beth for the first time in about a month. I have kept my distance since she dropped out of her intensive outpatient program. She did not attempt to decieve me about dropping out eventhough I was giving her 15 dollars a week extra to pay her sliding scale fees. That was quite surprising as  was the reports I have heard from others in recovery that she is attending NA meetings even after leaving the outpatient program.

Beth had called my sister in law expressing an interest in her Nana's paintings. Her Nana died two years ago but my sister in law is just now looking at the paintings and deciding what to do with them. My dear mother in law painted astonishingly large subjects in vibrant colors that just shouted life, color, boldness. Many of her paintings are a little too bold for our living rooms but Beth had no such qualms. She went home with a trunk load of paintings and sculptures which we did not understand but that delighted her. She and her Nana used to spend hours and hours in the art studio. They and they alone shared this passion for art. It was a special bond between them.

Today, anyone who did not know that Beth has been devasted by her mental illness, addictions, bad luck and bad decisions would have thought that she was a lovely young woman. She was polite and well spoken. Her attire was neat and appropriate.

When we were driving to McDonald's after her haircut she admonished me for talking on the cell phone while driving. First she said that it was against the law. Then, she stated oh so quietly that a big fine was attached to that behavior. Last, she noted that it made her nervous as it was a dangerous thing to do. She, of course was right but I had to laugh at the role reversal. My thrill seeking, anything goes, you can't scare me cause I want to die daughter wanted me to be careful!

It gave me hope and I thought that I might be being a little to rough on her. Then, she started collecting all the change from my car for the laundry mat. As she reached across the car to get the last quarter her swollen bruised vein at the top of her hand caught my eye. She must have noticed a change in my expression as she said " I see you are in a hurry but I am almost done."

" Yep, I have to get back home now, got some more work to do there that needs doing."  Off I drove pondering how she looked so good. How her rash was gone. How she seemed so perfect for about an hour.