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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, 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.