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.