Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Losing My Funny

I've lost my funny these days. It's hard to smile. It will come back. I just need to process what's been happening with my daughter and figure out how to deal with it. If you need to catch up, you can read this and this and you're pretty much up to speed.

In the meantime, go on over to Anna's blog, My Life and Kids, and read some of the posts that are linked up to her Finding the Funny meme. (Is it a meme? Or a link up? Not sure what you call it, but it's hilarious) Or you can link up one of your own, past or present. I linked up an oldie but a goodie, "Honey Don't like Honey Dos".

Hopefully I'll find my funny again soon.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Still Hoping.

Yesterday, my daughter was in a homeless shelter in another state.

She wasn't volunteering there. She was there because she chose to leave the rehab center where she had started getting treatment for her drug addiction.

Two days prior, she showed up at her dad's house and admitted she needed help. Her boyfriend was in jail, she had no where else to go, and she couldn't fight her addiction alone. We thought it was finally a triumphant conclusion to the intervention story.

In reality, it was the beginning of yet another heartbreak.

The interventionist drove her the 6 hours to the treatment center we had selected for her. A beautiful place in the mountains, all girls. A place where we thought she could soul search and find out why there is an emptiness in her that can only be filled with a lethal substance. A place to heal and to get strong. A place where maybe, she could learn to love herself like we all love her.

Less than 24 hours of being there, she was calling saying she was walking out. I was at my cousin's house telling them the happy story of my daughter finally getting help, while my phone was ringing away in my purse, like a fire alarm.

I had missed a few calls, but when I called back, she said she wanted me or her dad to come get her. We said no. In the end, it was my cousin's son, a recovering addict himself, who was able to talk her into staying there that night. Well, him, and the fact that it was snowing outside and we hadn't packed a jacket for her. We heard later that she walked out with the intention of leaving, but got about 30 feet and turned around and went back in.

The next morning, the counselor called and said my daughter had tore up the discharge paper she had signed the night before and was going into group therapy. It looked like she had decided to stay after all. I felt like I could breathe again. I cried with relief and hope.

Then, yesterday happened. Another call. She was leaving. She didn't want to stop using. She didn't want to be away from her boyfriend. She didn't want to change. The counselor tried to talk her into staying, I tried, her dad tried, my sister tried. She didn't want it.

The counselor gave her a ride to a homeless shelter in a nearby city. After she dropped my daughter off, the counselor called me, and cried as she told me that she had been right where I was. Her own two children had struggled with addiction and she had ridden the sickening roller coaster I was on, with it's moments of elation followed by heartwrenching sadness.

She told me this was the time that I needed to be strong. This was the time for tough love. I think it's called tough love because it's tough on the parent. The one who has to let go, and stand back, and watch their child flail and suffer the consequences of their actions. My daughter had a beautiful place to get better and instead choose a homeless shelter because she couldn't give up her drug. Her addiction put her in the position she was in, not I, and not her dad, and not the counselor, or the interventionist.

My daughter had no phone, no money, no ID because she had forgotten her purse at home. Just her huge flowered suitcase on wheels. She must have been an odd sight at a homeless shelter, lugging around that thing. Or maybe not. Maybe she fit right in.

She borrowed someone's cell phone and called both me and her dad, from the bus station, and asked for money for a bus ticket home. Not asked. Demanded. I told her no. I told her she could go back to rehab. She said I didn't love her. I told her I loved her very much. She said no, I didn't, and hung up.

The few hours that passed after that phone call were the hardest few hours I've ever spent, and that included the time I had to wait for my father to come out of open heart surgery. I didn't know what she would do, or where she would go. I guess I hoped that she would go back to the shelter, rethink the whole thing, and agree to go back to rehab. But hope has not been kind to me these days.

My daughter is strong willed and independent, and couple that with a substance craving does not give room for clear thought. She called a few hours later from a different cell phone number and said she had gotten some money and was on a bus on her way home. I had to be strong. I didn't ask how she got the money. I just said, "Ok."  She paused, then told me she loved me. I said I loved her too and goodbye.

That was yesterday. I haven't heard from her since.

I'm trying to do normal things and not let my daughter's problem consume me. I have 2 other kids, and a husband, and a job. I made breakfast for the rest of my family this morning. I cleaned, I grocery shopped, I did laundry. I'm trying to be normal.

But I can't smile. I can't sleep. My heart hurts.

I learned something though. Something I hope I remember in the future.

I shouldn't have packed her bag.

I had it packed and ready from the day of the intervention. It was ready so that the moment she said, "Ok I'll go," we could grab the bag and go. No time to change her mind. No time to think. No time to look back. It seemed like the right way to do it. Even the interventionist said to do it that way.

But now I disagree. Because isn't packing the bag how we prepare for the trip? We think about the things we'll be doing, the places we'll be going, what we may need and what we don't need. We're gathering the things we need physically, but we're mentally preparing too. We anticipate the fun, and maybe we're anxious about how the trip will go, but it's all part of the preparation for our journey.

My daughter wasn't ready for her journey. Had she physically started packing, she would have thought about the steps she was taking, and what she was doing, and what it meant, and she would have known-we all would have known-that she wasn't ready for her journey yet.

I still hold out hope that one day my daughter will be ready. I just have to remember that she needs to pack her own bag.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Not So Wordless Wednesday

Let's play a game. It's called "What the hell is that??"

Now you have to guess. It's multiple choice.

A.  My date for Valentine's Day.

B.  Hubby's date for Valentine's Day. 

C.  A pagan deity to which we sacrifice the thing that is currently causing us the most irritation, namely grown kids that don't do dishes, or noisy, barking dogs. 

D.  Target practice dummy to be fired on by $50 paintball guns which hubby insisted on buying for him and the boy at Christmas and with which he's played with a grand total of one time.

E. All of the above. Provided a bi-sexual pagan masochist deity is possible. Which I'm pretty sure it is.

Now, let's play another game called "What more productive thing could hubby have done with his time, instead of building a target practice dummy out of empty 12 pack soda cartons, a pole, a bucket, and an old Jason mask?"

A. He could have pulled these:
B. Or picked up these:
Yes, those are what they look like. Please don't make me say it.

C.  Or cleaned this:

D. Or, he could have done the unthinkable. He could have done all three. *Gasp*.

But I'm being a bit hard on my resourceful hubby. After all, he did put away all the laundry that I left stacked in our bedroom while I blogged the other day. Dammit. Now I feel guilty for writing this. And on Valentine's day eve, too.

Maybe I should grab that paintball gun and take out my frustration on the bi-sexual, masochist deity. After all, if you can't beat 'em, join 'em.

This is a Wordless Wednesday bloghop sponsored by Danielle from Go pay a visit to her blog and link up!

Slap a Stickie on it Tuesday!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Blog Makeover

Well. Got quite a lot accomplished this weekend. Blog-wise, that is. Got nada done around the house.

Na. Da.

That's Spanish for nuthin.

Anyhoo, I took Melissa's advice from about giving your blog a makeover and adding social media buttons, and taking away the dark background, and all the fluff in the sidebars (or some of it, anyway), and putting blogs you follow on a separate page, and lots of other stuff. Mind you, she didn't give this advice to me directly, but it was on twitter. So I did it. I like it better. Do you?

Also, I took Gigi's advie at about spicing up blog posts and doing list posts instead of boring, yada, yada posts. So that's what this is. A list post. So I guess I better get to the list then, eh?

A List Post About What I Did This Weekend

  1. Gave my blog a makeover.
  2. Discovered Pinterest
That's it. That's all I did. 

And while we're on the topic - Pinterest? Oh. My. God. 

Can you say TIME TAKER???  

Such a fun site. We're such a visual species and pictures are so...soul stirring. Really, aren't they? Even the materialistic ones showing cute outfits you wish you looked good in, and gorgeous jewelry you wished you owned, and rooms you wished you had to dust. It's not that we feel bad that we don't have them, it's just that we appreciate that they're out there for the taking.

So, that's my post for the weekend. And now, it's back to work tomorrow. Bugger.

P.S. So, I checked my blog stats - all 5 of them. And somebody found me by keying "adult comic online blogspot" into google search. Also, somebody keyed "Viagra Valentine's Day" and got my blog. I have no idea why, but they must have been terribly disappointed. Adult comics? Really? And anyone who thinks Viagra should be reserved only for Vaentine's Day deserves to be single.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Not So Wordless Wednesday

Yes, that's a squirt bottle.

Yes, it's hanging on my headboard. Of my bed.

And now, for a multiple choice quiz.

Q: Why is a squirt bottle hanging on the headboard of my bed?

A. I don't work very hard during sex so I sneak a couple sprays during the throes of passion to make me look hot, sweaty and sexy.

B. Hubby works too hard during sex and gets hot and sweaty (and a little asthmatic) so I spray him down.

C. I read that aliens don't like water so I keep it handy in case I'm abducted. Again.

D. Our neurotic dogs erupt in a symphony of barks in the middle of the night for absolutely no reason at all and a couple squirts simmers the little mofos down for a hot second..

E. All of the above.

Did you guess correctly? Congratulations. You've won some dogs.

This is a Wordless Wednesday blog hop sponsored by Stacey Uncorked. I was too sleep deprived to figure out how to add the linky widget thingie, so visit Stacey's blog and take a look at the other entries and link up!

Saturday, February 4, 2012


It's not always how they show it on T.V.

T.V. shows have a beginning, a middle, and an end. Usually, a happy end. In life...real-life addiction...there's a beginning, but you can't see it. You have no idea where the beginning started for the addict you love. I look at pictures of her when she was young and try to see a sign of it, but I don't see it.

I look at her pictures often. Baby pictures, elementary school pictures, junior high pictures - was there something there I didn't see? She looks happy in most of them. But that sad smile in that one 6th grade school picture - did that mean something or was it just a bad day? I drive myself crazy trying to figure it out. Trying to find the beginning.

Her father and I divorced when she was 7. That was hard on her - it was hard on all three of my kids. Is that where it started?

There were things that happened in her early teens that were tell tale signs that she didn't like herself. We put her in counseling. She would be counseled for 3 years. Almost every week for 3 years. Sometimes there was progress, sometimes not.

I  tried to keep this from happening. This. This addiction and this lifestyle. But it turns out my efforts were just hurdles for her on the path she was determined to take.

In June she turned 18. She started hanging around the kinds of people I tried for 3 years to keep her from. By Christmas she had lost weight, quit two jobs, dropped out of her community college class, and was living with a guy who looked as bad as she did.

We knew something was wrong. We knew she had to be addicted to something. She wouldn't admit to using anything besides pot. It's a helpless feeling to see your child, who is not a child, spiraling down.  It's a helpless, guilt-ridden, sad and lonely feeling.

I thought a person has to want help before they can change. They have to "hit bottom". But the interventionists say no, you can't wait until a person hits bottom to get them help. An intervention raises the bottom. You gather all the people that love and care for them and together you all show the person that they are at bottom. You show them how their addiction is hurting the people they love, and themselves.

On T.V., you get to read them a letter. Paragraph 1: You tell them all the things you love about them. Paragraph 2: You tell them how their addiction has changed them. Paragraph 3: You tell them how you can't watch them do that to themselves anymore, and you ask them to go to treatment today. You must end with, "Will you go to treatment today?" Today. It's urgent. You can't watch them kill themselves anymore. It has to end today.

We didn't get to read our letters. Maybe had she seen all 13 of us in that room, and heard our letters, maybe she would have gone to treatment. I like to think that. But part of me still believes she has to want to change. She has to be tired of the life she's living and want something more. She has to at least admit she's using.

We tried to trick her into coming over. We told her I was sick and needed help. I had a recent trip to the emergency room, so it was plausible. She wouldn't come. So, the men in the group got in the car and went to her. Her boyfriend owns a gun which he carries around with him, and we weren't sure how he would take to the idea of her family taking her to an intervention she didn't want to go to. So the men went to get her and the women stayed behind. It sounds very cave-man like, but that's how it happened.

The atmosphere at our house, while we waited for the men to come back with her, reminded me of how it is at a funeral. Not the funeral, really, but after the funeral, when everyone gathers at someone's house and they eat, and talk, and reminisce, and cry, and laugh together. It's very bittersweet.

It was like that, only minus the death. (for now at least. And only in the literal sense, for I believe some intangible parts of my daughter have died.)

It was a bit odd for me to sit chatting with my ex-husband's girlfriend of 11 years, and my former mother-in-law, sister-in-law, and one of his cousins. But there were no hard feelings or resentments that day. Just shared pain for a lost child and shared hope that she'll come back to us. I've had inklings over the years that my ex-husband's girlfriend and I could have been friends had circumstances been different. I actually think we really could now. On my side, I had my sister, my sister-in-law, my cousin, and my other daughter there. Other than my daughter, my family had never really spent time with my ex-husband's family, not even when we were married. But that day, we were all there to support one another.

Despite the efforts of the interventionist, my ex-husband, my ex-father-in-law, my brother, and my son - my daughter would not come back to the house to talk to us. As a matter of fact, she drove away and would only speak to the interventionist and her father over the phone. Had he had the opportunity, I know her dad would have picked her up and put her in the car and drove her to us. But he didn't have the chance.

What could we do? She didn't want help. The men came back to the house and all that was left to do was hug, cry, and say goodbye.

She didn't want help. She still doesn't want help. The intervention, or wanna-be intervention, happened a week ago and I haven't heard from her since. This is the longest time she's gone without talking to me. It's painful and it's difficult.

When we were planning this, the interventionist told us our daughter would go through 4 stages at the intervention. 1. Anger. 2. Denial. 3. Deflection 4. Bargaining.

It occurred to me that parents of addicts go through these same stages, although we go through them over a much longer period of time. Years, actually.

When my daughter was almost 15, and showing signs of a problem, I was angry at her for the choices she was making. I taught her better than that. The anger stage was on and off for 3 years.

After the anger started, then denial kicked in. She experimented with pot, and various pills, and cocaine, but we had her in counseling, and we were drug testing her and she was passing, so she must be fine. She must have kicked it.

Then deflection. This is the worst one. When addicts deflect, they point out the shortcomings of those around them to take the pressure off themselves and their using. Sister smokes pot. Mom drinks.

When parents deflect, it's the opposite. We turn the finger on ourselves. What did I do wrong? Why is there a hole inside my child's soul that only a fatal substance can fill? What kind of parent am I? The questions leave you awake and wide-eyed in the middle of the night and bring you sobbing to your knees when you're alone in the shower.

Then bargaining. We offer to pay for treatment if they will just go. We offer to help them get their own place after treatment, if they stay clean. We tell them we'll pay for school if they stay clean. We'll get them a car if they stay clean. We'll help them with anything they need. Just don't use.

These 4 stages drag out over years, and overlap. And right now, for me, they are my life.

On T.V. the addict agrees to get help. But it doesn't always happen like it does on T.V.