Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The parental guilt comes creeping back....

I have not had much to update here on M. Since it is not right in my face every day it is a little easier. But of course, that doesn't last forever, now does it?

So, DH and I are working from home last Thursday and I am on a business call. M is blowing up my phone on the other line. I get off my call and see a text from M saying she is about to be dropped off at our house. So I ask if she is picking up some more things and she calls and says, no, that is not why I am coming over. She says she has no where else to go. I told her that was not my problem and she tells me it is my problem. I told her she can stop by but she cannot stay. I am standing firm that she needs to attend rehab before she so much as spends the night in my home. She tells me she will need a ride back to where she was staying. I told her we are working and then we had plans - she never even asked for anything, just assumed I would do what ever it was she needed. She tried challenging me asking what those plans were..

She never showed. Instead, a couple of hours later she sends me a text saying how sad it is that the one time she is in the area, I wouldn't even let her come by the house. I explained to her that it was how she handled it. She is welcome to come visit or stop by but ask me ahead of time. Do not just tell me you are about to be dropped off at my house because you have nowhere else to go. You have places to go, you don't want to go there. She then texts, "whatever you wouldn't even let me eat and I haven't eaten in days".

I have to admit, this killed me. The thought of my daughter starving and homeless was enough to have me an emotional wreck. My instinct was to run and bring her food. Give her a grocery store gift card. Anything to help. But where would that get her? She would be satisfied for the moment but then what? I have tried helping soooo many times and it got us nowhere. I know I have to let her hit bottom. If I bring her food, that prevents her from hitting bottom. If I save her, I am preventing her from hitting bottom. But this is SO hard. By far the hardest thing I have ever done. The last time she brought the hunger pains, I ran to rescue her on the promise that she would enter rehab the next morning. She lasted two days in rehab.

Now that I am thinking a bit more clearly....I have to admit I think I fed into this. When I talked to her not too long ago, I asked if she was eating. I told her as a mom, I worry all the time. I gave her the name and number of a women's homeless shelter, a food bank in the town she is staying and the phone number to call for food stamps. She must have saw that as a way to pull my heart strings knowing hunger would get to me. But I have been told many, many times that the right thing to do is always the hardest. Well this was HARD, so I pray it was RIGHT.

BUT, life cannot be too hard for her. I did let her know that her grandmother and cousin are looking for a roomate and she could always go back if she needed to. She never responded....

Thursday, March 10, 2011

The ease of her lying astounds me....

M texted and told me last week that she was leaving to go stay with a friend in California for a while. She said she needed a change of scenery and to get away from the dope scene. I told her she could do that here, in rehab. She tells me rehab won't do a thing until she is ready to quit. (Okay, and you wanting to get away from the dope scene doesn't mean you want to quit?) Of course, I'm not dumb, I didn't believe her. How can I tell when M is lying? Her lips are moving. But, then I am thinking I had seen some calls back and forth to Beverly Hills, so I am thinking it may be a possibility. She does know people everywhere. Then it hits me how far she would be if she went to California. It was a sense of panic, sadness. 
The next day she calls and tells me she is in Texas. I cannot believe she left with out saying goodbye, getting to see her and hug her. I cry and she seems to feel bad saying "Awww, Mommy....", I tell her I will call her back and have my mini meltdown in the car.
And she is letting me know where they are during the course of her "journey". They were in Colorado, Nevada, (oh, but they planned on staying away from the Vegas scene). Also told me that her friend set her up with a job interview at a magazine company the following week. Yet, during this time I wasn't seeing any other calls to California. Strange, huh? I mean, if you were travelling across the country to go stay with some one, wouldn't you be letting them know where you are intermittantly? Especially when you arrived? So, I started thinking something was up....
Late one night, M sends me a text asking if I have spoken with ex-boyfriend. Um, I don't even know ex-boyfriend, much less have an opportunity to speak with him. She then tells me ex-boyfriend is freaking out because some one told him she was 15. This is not true, of course. But she begs me to send her a text or voicemail mentioning that she is 19. No, I will not lie. I silence my phone and go to sleep.
So, the next morning I see that she had sent a text back, pleading with me and saying she will go drown herself if I don't, and she will never ask me for another thing, and that she loves this man. (Let me add that this man is 26!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! and she is 17.5!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!). I text her back asking if she is really in California because I am thinking, if you are across the state, why do you care what ex-boyfriend thinks?? She says yes, but if he asks her to come back, she might. I ask her what she is still doing awake at 3:30 in the morning?? She says it is 6:30. Busted. It would have been 3:30 over there. I then call my cell phone carrier and they confirm that the calls have been made from our service area. She is not in California.
Can you imagine how pissed I am at myself? She has done it again. Made me an idiot. I had told people she was in California. Ha. Should have known my original gut instincts were right. I tell her that I know the truth and ask why in the world she would make up such a lie?? She says she has been waiting for ex-boyfriend to ask her to stay and that she may be pregnant. OMG. She tells me if she is, she will get it taken care of. She has not had money to buy a test. I remind her that having abused meth as much as she has, she will not have a healthy baby. My best friend's neice and nephew are deformed and riddled with health problems because their parents used crystal meth. Of course, I do not believe she would be pregnant, either. This is all a very obvious ploy to get this man to stay with her.
I tell her my advice to her is to turn herself in to her probation officer, deal with her problems, get the help she needs and start to build a life for herself. I also told her to get to Planned Parenthood for a pregnancy test as well as an HIV test since she stupidly had unprotected sex. I have not heard from her since Monday.

During all of this, the tv show Intervention contacted me about M. I submitted her a little over a month ago desperate for help. They want to do an episode on younger addicts. They want us to sit down and create a video together and submit ASAP. M won't do it. She watches the show all the time and was very suspicious when I told her a documentary wanted us to do this....

So, that is our update. I am wondering how long to wait before I pack up her old room. It is going to be a bright, sunny office for my husband and I. I want to replace the memories of the drug paraphenalia I have found up there, the meth pipes, the butane lighters, the little baggies and crumpled bits of foil everywhere...my nightmare.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

He is waiting for me....

My husband and I love to walk in the warm weather and it has been absolutely beautiful here!! So after dinner last night, I grabbed T and we went to the park. As we were walking and discussing M as we do often, he made a very interesting analogy. I told him how much I admire that he seems to have this built in un-enabler. He seems to know exactly how to handle the situation we are dealing with. He says it is because he was her many, many years ago. And he was. It is completely amazing to me that he is not her biological father - the two couldn't be more alike. I had my issue, too, but while mine only lasted about six months, his lasted about four years.
So he tells me how he rode the roller coaster ride with M for a while and he knew he had to get off. So, he got off and said he has been waiting by the exit for me to get off ever since. He says he sees me go by and he waives to me to let me know he is there but I just keep going around...

I think I am actually doing very well. I do not feel guilty about not taking her on vacation with us this year and I am really looking forward to a drama free week. :)

I did talk to her yesterday. She called me and the phone conversation was very strange to me. It was really like talking to another adult. She sounded more mature. She sounded happy. Dare I say it? She sounded sober. She claims she is getting chubby and is "getting better". She asked how I was doing and actually seemed genuinely concerned for me. She said she understands her problems affect more people than just herself and that she is very sorry for that. That actually impressed me. We talked about the warrant she has out for her and she said she has been staying out of trouble, but may end up turning herself in to get it over with. She seems to think if she does some time in lock up she will be off probation when she gets out. I don't know about that, but I will sit back and let her deal with her own problem. For too long now, I have been the only one inconvenienced by her probation.
She tells me her boyfriend and her are leaving on Thursday to go to the neighboring state to visit his family for a week and she asked if we would dog-sit for them while they are away. Normal people probably wouldn't find this weird, but after everything we have been through lately, it struck me as funny to be asked to dog sit while they go on vacation.
I do know that she has been with her old, old sober friends. That is a good sign. Unfortunately, what brought them all back together was one of their friends tried taking his life and lived. He shot himself in the temple and is fighting for his life in the hospital. Heartbreaking. But he is alive, so there is hope. And he is in one of the best hospitals for gunshot wounds. So, please keep him in your prayers...

I hope she is maturing. I hope she is sober and happy, but as parents of addicts, we all know the ball will most likely drop at any time. And so I keep myself guarded. I have hope, but not unrealistic expectations. I know there is nothing I can do to change any outcome. I have no control over her - never have, never will. So, I will continue to sit back and just let her know that I love her. I tell her I believe in her and I know she can do anything she set her mind to. I also know that she is SO defiant, if I tell her to be sober she will purposely not be. So, all I can do is pray and live MY life. And I will.

A saying I read the other day that made me think of her - it is not about how hard you fall, but how gracefully you get back up.

Thursday, February 17, 2011


The last time we took a "real" vacation was a cruise during Thanksgiving of 2009. It was hell. M was vicious, miserable and just a plain b*tch. She really did ruin the vacation for all of us and my husband and I had the worst vacation because of it. I swore I wouldn't pay to have a miserable time again. The trip wasn't cheap. One of the lovely effects of meth - a rotten personality on top of an already not so nice personality. We didn't know at this time that she was using meth - never even fathomed my child would use that junk.

Thanksgiving of 2010, we decided to spend a week up north visiting family. M was already up there staying with my mom again after being kicked out of her cousins apartment. As horrible as it is to say, we had a great time when we weren't with M. We laughed and had fun. We would pick M and take her with us most days and for the most part, she was okay. Overstepping her boundaries a little considering everything she had put us through, but it was okay and we weren't miserable. Sometimes we even had a good time together. Of course this was after M was sober for over a month (starting to see a pattern?). 

So, this year we have decided we are taking another "real" vacation. No, we don't consider going to visit family a vacation...lol....especially when it is Massachusetts. But this year we decided we are going to rent a beach house in Hilton Head for a week this summer.

Here is the very weird part, we have never taken a vacation without one of our children. Ever. I hate to admit it, but I don't want M to go. I don't want to be locked up with some one making every one miserable for the week. She doesn't live here and so she has no idea we are even planning this vacation. I don't really want her to know because I don't want her making me feel more guilty about not including her and I don't want her knowing we will not be home for a week (don't want anything happening to our home!). If she goes, not only will we have to deal with her moodiness, mouthiness and blatant disrespect but we would constantly be worried about her leaving and doing heaven knows what with heaven knows who. I just don't want that stress.

But I feel guilty that I do not plan on inviting her. I know I shouldn't. But, I do.

I think it would be different if husband and I were taking a vacation alone, with out either of our children. But of course we are taking our youngest and I guess that is why I feel guilty. But he is a completely different child and does not add stress, is not disrespectful in any type of way and doesn't take off to do anything he isn't supposed to do.

Has any one else been in this position? Did you feel guilty, too?

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day

First of all, I want to thank you all so much for your comments and support!! It honestly means the world to me to know that I am not alone, and that this really does happen to people from all walks of life...

I did text her this morning to wish her a Happy Valentine's Day and told her that I love her. I want her to know that - always. Well, she took that opportunity to try and make me feel guilty about blocking her cell phone. Says if I love her, I will turn her phone back on so she can get calls for job interviews. Says that I am putting a burden on her because she cannot find places to stay, or rides to places, etc. I explained that her life as it is right now is a result of her actions and choices, not mine. I certainly did not want this life for my daughter.

And then there is the other side of me that thinks maybe shutting her cell down leaves her with no opportunity to get a real job. That maybe it forces her to the criminal lifestyle. I certainly don't want to do that, either.

She asked if I would turn it back on if she paid the bill every month.....and so I sit debating.....what do I do? I certainly don't want to enable her but I also don't want her to not be able to get a legitimate job. So....what do I do?  Advice?

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Every waking moment...

That is how often I think about her. From the moment I open my eyes to the moment I close them. What can I do? Surely there is something I can say to get through to her. I just haven't found it yet. Everyone tells me there isn't. I am having a hard time grasping that.

I haven't heard from her since Tuesday. I have lost some weight due to stress. I don't eat when I am stressed. I made a joke about it to my husband this morning and he had the balls to ask me what stress?? Um, hello?? Have you been in a cave?? He tells me that stress will be with me the rest of my life if I let it bother me. I have to be honest when I say this comment really pissed me off. My daughter is addicted to meth. How in the world can that not bother me???? He is a different animal than I am. He is not codependent. He can accept that it is her problem and her journey and only she can change anything. I am on a completely different end of the spectrum. Sometimes he says things that are just completely insensitive. I know he is fed up. He has had enough. She really has put us through hell. But she is a part of me. She is my first born. My baby. No matter what. He is still angry. I get that. I am too. But he didn't birth her. It's different for me.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Recipe for disaster...

I have never blogged. But as I have been sitting here in these recent dark hours reading other people's blogs dealing with the same hell that I am, I am thinking that this could either be cathartic for me or hopefully I can help some one feel just a smidge better knowing they are not alone.

Now to really tell M's story, I need to give some background...

I came from the cliche "broken" home. Even when my parents were together, they were too busy being at the bar drinking, fighting and carrying on affairs to really care where we kids were and what we were doing. I was the oldest of three and was responsible for taking care of my younger siblings as my parents did their thing at the bar. They would buy cigarettes and alcohol for us and our friends to enjoy. We came and went as we pleased. I was never spanked and never grounded. I really had no structure at all. I was not a "good" kid. I got in trouble a lot for stupid things. Mostly cigarettes and skipping class. I was the kid that no parent wanted their child hanging out with. I ended up dropping out of school and going to cosmetology school instead. I ended up graduating and working in a salon by the time I was 17. Being young and dumb, I screwed that up and ended up waitressing at a "men's" establishment. Yeah, strip club.

That is when I started developing some drug issues of my own and spent my down time "partying". Which is how I met M's biological donor. I call him a donor because he never had anything else to do with either of us. When I got pregnant, he made it known he wished for me to have an abortion. It was never a second thought for me that I was not going to keep this precious child growing inside me. And so, I started my life as a single mom. I moved back in with my mother as a room mate situation and continued working. M made me straighten my act out. I knew I was responsible for this little one and I swore I would not raise her as my parents did me.

I met my husband at the club and we have been together ever since - 14 years now. He adopted M and we had a son. I finally had my little family.

Ah, but M was not meant to be an easy child. No. The easiest thing about my child was her delivery. When she was a toddler, she was the type of child that would just do those annoying things that grated on every one's nerves. She was kicked out of daycares!! Seriously! Who gets kicked out of daycare?? She once set fire in a bathroom in the classroom of her second grade class! She would steal everything. Always came home from school and/or daycare with things that were taken from other children. We received constant calls from the school and we decided to have her evaluated. ADHD was her diagnosis and they gave her Adderall for it. To this day, I believe Adderall was her gateway....

Now you should also know that M is beautiful. Drop dead gorgeous. Blonde hair, green eyes, a beautiful smile with cute little dimples. She is extremely intelligent - honor roll student while not even studying or exuding much if any any effort. She was so athletic! She played baseball on an all boy's team and made All Stars!!

Now she could still grate on your nerves and any parents out there with ADHD kids, you know exactly what I mean. Lying, stealing, lying about stealing. Doing things to purposely annoy people. Endless calls from school. Suspensions from school. I could go on and on. But I could just envision her future and it was bright!!

At first she got caught getting into our alcohol. Grounded - definitely. Were we concerned? No. We knew it was a pretty normal thing for young teens to do. Then she had told me she tried pot. Okay, illegal but really - what teen hasn't tried that?? I should have known it would only get worse. If there was a recipe for distaster, my child had every ingredient. During her 7th grade year in middle school she was suspended and sent to alternative school for selling her Adderall pills. Denial. That is all I can attribute to my not getting her the help she needed a long time ago - denial. Figured she would be fine. She would grow out of it as I did. As my husband did.

She did her three months at the alternative school and went back to regular school and was doing great!! No calls. No trouble. Honor roll. Every parent's dream. I should have known not to get too comfortable....as everything would come crashing down her sophomore year of high school. Right before Christmas (and I should add that M would manage to either get in trouble before every holiday, or have a rotten attitiude and cause every one to be miserable. One Thanksgiving while I was camped outside overnight to get her a Zune for Christmas my husband called to tell me she had taken off down the street and neither of us could get a hod of her. She didn't return until the next day.), I received a phone call from her school telling me I should come to the school immediately. M had sent out a text message to students trying to sell pills, supposedly from some one else. One of these students showed the principal. She was suspended and was sentenced to a year at the alternative school. I was devastated. A year??? The last time she went, she told me all they did was worksheets and she didn't learn anything. By the time she went to regular school again, she had to work extremely hard to get caught up. I couldn't imagine a year. What a waste! We were arguing in the car on the way home and she suddenly told me she had ben using meth. I was shocked. Devastated. What did I just hear?? Is she just saying this to hurt me? To shock me? Surely she is way too smart to even try that stuff!! She always tries to devert the situation when she is in trouble - maybe that is what she was trying to do. All I wanted was to get her help. Get her into treatment. I started making calls and she ran out the back door and ran away. I called the police and filed a runaway report. And then I started researching online about this meth stuff, as I had no clue what it was and then I knew. I knew the depths of horrors we were looking at.

During the time she was gone, I took the time to clean out her room. Um, yeah, I used to be that liberal parent that gave their children "privacy". I say to hell with that parents!!! Snoop and snoop often! Had I done that, I could have known much earlier what my child was involved in. I learned. As I opened every note laying around her room, I learned that my child had been using all sorts of drugs as well as selling pills and really, heaven knows what else. I found drawings in her notebooks of mushrooms and pipes. I found a burnt and broken lightbulb and found online it is used for smoking. I even found her meth pipe. I was losing my baby to poison right under my own roof.

She was gone for two weeks before she called crying for me to come get her on Christmas Eve. I picked her up and she looked like death. She was grey. Thin. Sores all over her face. I couldn't believe what I was looking at. My once beautiful baby girl now looked like a junkie. I brought her home and started making the calls again. I found a dual diagnosis facility not too far from us and had plans to bring her there after the holidays. But, the day after Christmas she sends me a text from her bedroom saying she wanted to die. It was then that I had her involuntarily committed to the facility.

Lot of good that did. After lots of doping up and "group" sessions, she was released after nine days. Oh, because it is an acute facility. Yeah, they didn't tell me that when I called to discuss my daughter's situation. I was looking for a rehab and they claimed to be it. Once she was let out of there, I figured the best thing to do was send her to stay with my mother up north. That way she was far away from anyone she knew using drugs. My mom was more than happy to have her up there and so I shipped her off. And she was doing okay. She got her color back, gained weight, was happy again - for the most part. She was awfully bored. The only times she went anywhere was on the weekends with her nana. And after a few months I missed her terribly. She wanted to come home and selfishly, I wanted her home. I should have known that was the worst thing I could do.

M agreed to see a doctor for medication. I had recently started taking Prozac and was amazed at how much better I felt! Surely it could help her irritability as well. And I was right. She started taking Prozac and we saw a child we never knew existed. She was sweet. Nice. Helpful. An absolute joy to be around!! This was my daughter. This was my baby. Even her brother thought some one had taken the old M and replaced her with this fabulous new version! In his words, a gift from God. But it wouldn't be long before the disease would take back over and drugs were more important than prescribed medicine.

My husband came home early from work one day and saw two pairs of tennis shoes hanging from our porch. When he came in, he found our daughter upstairs and a man walking around with out his shirt on. Needless to say he freaked and I am shocked the man didn't have a bullet hole in his head. Of course, she ran, again. We found after that they had broken into our bedroom and stolen some winning scratch tickets we had on our desk. Weeks go by and she texts me begging me to pick her up. I refuse unless she agrees to go to treatment. Reluctantly she finally agrees because she is strung out, hungry and tired. She was to go to rehab two days before her 17th birthday. And so I got there and she is sitting outside with a backpack in her lap. It's a pretty big Victorian looking house and I see teens and young adults everywhere. Apparently, it was a communal home for drugged out, homeless teens. She, again, looked like death. This is truly a parent's nightmare. I can't even begin to describe how horrifying it is to see your child this way. Why?? Why would they want this?? And so she eats and eats and crashes half on the bed/half off. I wake her in the morning and we pack a bag and I bring her to another facility that touted itself as a "rehab". She was released two days later. Kicked out for not participating.

I picked her up and drove straight to the airport. Put her back on a plane back to my mom's where I knew she would be safe. That was the day of her 17th birthday. Nice, huh? I had my brother, who is an ex-addict clean for several years now, pick her up from the airport. He called later to tell me she isn't ready. Come on, I am a fixer. Don't tell me I cannot fix her because she isn't ready. I'm still coping with this. Instead of getting better as she did last time, she decided she was going to make life a living hell for my mother. Oh, wonderful, that is just why I sent her up there! Not. So my mom finally has enough and M's cousin takes her in. It isn't long before she steals from her cousin and wears out her welcome there, too. I had no choice to but to fly her back south. What else was I going to do?

And again, things were fine. She claimed she was able to quit on her own and it appeared she did. We required her to take her prescribed medication and get a job. Everything was going fine except the laziness. She just didn't have any motivation to get off her butt and get a job. She started taking off with her friends again and the pattern started again...take off for a week, come home and sleep and eat. I started getting suspicious. I brought her by her probation officer's office twice for pop drug tests just sure I had caught her. And she passed. Both. I thought maybe I am just being paranoid. And then last Thursday, while she was finally finishing her community service hours (it has taken almost a year to do 20 hours and don't even get me started on the complete joke that juvenile probation has been!), I had gotten her a job interview. 48 hours a week being a sign spinner in the neighboring town. I was overjoyed and texted her letting her know I would bring a change of clothes for when she was done. I went up to her bedroom and opened a drawer. In between two shirts was a black bag with a drawstring. I picked it up and every ounce of blood drained from my face. I knew what it was. I could feel the shape and I knew. I opened the bag and pulled out a glass meth pipe laden with all sorts of white powder and off white chunks inside. There was also q-tips she had just taken from my bathroom. I was right. Mother's intuition. I told her I found it and she was mad I went through her things. She took off again.

And so I am told there is nothing I can do other then offer help when she wants it. Oh, and yes, even though she is still considered a minor, rehabs will not accept them involuntarily. Do you have any idea how hard that is?? To not run out and grab my child and fix her?? Every expert I talk to tells me the best thning I can do is not enable her to live this life. I cannot make life easy for my child and I know now that I was. She was able to go do her drugs with her friends and then come home and eat and crash until she would get uo and do it all over again. I was paying her cellphone every month that she was using to score drugs and I believe sell drugs. No more. I need to help her hit bottom. So, I have blocked her cell from being able to call anyone but family and her probation officer. I have told her repeatedly I love her, I believe in her, she can turn this around if she wants to. She just has to want to. Right now, she doesn't want to. There was a warrant issued for her arrest this morning for failing to show up for her meeting with her probation officer. How weird is it to pray that my daughter does something stupid so she will be arrested? At least then I know she will be alive.

If you have made it through, wow. It was really long. But I wanted to start this off right. I promise my future postings will not be a book. I'm on my way to a meeting for families of drug addicts. I am told this is the best thing I can do to aid my daughter's recovery is to start on my own. Anything I can do. I think I am done crying for today. I think I have cried more tears this year than I have my entire life. A song will get the tears flowing - I have to choose very carefully the songs I listen to. Or I will come across a trinket - the other day I was cleaning out a drawer in my room and came across her first tooth. Tears. Pain. Parental hell.