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 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?


  1. My husband and I are considering a cruise with our two other children while our oldest in in rehab. I think we deserve it. He does not.

  2. I don't have an answer for you but I'll relate our experience.

    We have taken 3 trips to all-inclusive resorts on the Mayan Riviera in Mexico.

    First trip we took our son and he was 18 years old and actively using. Before we left for the airport we practically strip searched him and dumped his bag in the living room floor and we re-packed it. Told him if he got busted at an airport or in Mexico for smuggling we would simply wave bye and leave him wherever he got nabbed. We found nothing in his luggage or on his person.

    We made it to Mexico. It was not a pleasant vacation. His mother and I were on edge every minute. He substituted alcohol for his drugs and he actually is not a fan of alcohol. I spent many evenings at the request of his mother searching for him into to the early morning hours within the resort and up to one mile down the beach in each direction. It was not a restfull trip for either of us.

    Second trip, we went without him. Before we even got out of the country our phones were ringing. Our brother in law who stayed in KC was calling to say Alex was stopped and taken in and he had to go pick up his vehicle on the side of the road or it was to be towed. In short that is the story of the whole trip. Constant calls, during the week we were gone he was arrested 4 times in 4 different jurisdictions. Each time he was eventually able to get a personal recognizance bond and released with no cash outlay, although we got collect calls while we were 1500 miles away in Mexico asking for bail money. By the time we got back many items in our home were missing such as tools and electronics, never to be seen again. Truthfully we could have paid $1200 for another ticket and came out ahead because to replace the stuff it cost more than $1200.

    Trip #3 was for our daughters wedding. Still smarting from out previous experience we decided to take him with us using three pieces of logic. (1) It is his sisters wedding and if he ever does clean up it would be nice for him to have experienced this major family event and we would look back with joy to have had him with us. (2) $1400 was cheaper than replacing and fixing the damage of another one of his binges. (3) Having him with us was more comforting to mom than the 2-3 calls a day from him and others still in KC with updates of the disasters.

    It was not much better at the resort. Once again he substituted alcohol but we did less chasing and he happened to hook up with a 30 year old widow whose husband had been killed in an accident. Bet she had no idea she was with a felon, IV drug user but it wasn't my business. I did remind him of the consequences of getting busted on our layover in Houston on the way down. We did check his luggage before leaving but not his person. I didn't see it but I was told by someone else in our party that he ditched something in the trash can at Houston airport. Trust me if he had been busted we'd have left him.

    It's a hard decision and it is one only you guys can make and feel comfortable with making. I guess comfortable is really relative because there really is no comfort in either decision.