Cape-ability

Posted on January 6, 2010. Filed under: addiction, Parent of an Addict | Tags: |

I’m trying not to panic, but having trouble keeping things in perspective.  My intuition tells me that I need to intervene.  This comes in direct response to Brian’s inability to reach Hayley. I wonder if it’s time to don my cape and whirl in to action? Is it time for  desperate measures?

Brian, my 25 yo son, was home for 2 ½ weeks over the holidays.  During that time, he tried texting his sister, but received no response.  He sent the text to the 3 different #s we have for her.  We’re pretty sure that she’s lost her phone – or, at least, it’s not working.  She had given us her ‘roomies’ phone #s, to which he also sent the text.  On his last night home, Brian decided to try to call Hayley.  He was convinced that she needed to know that we/he had not given up on her, so that she would not give up on herself.  He tried the first 2 phone #s with no success.  The last # he tried was answered by a guy that sounded strange and ‘out of it’.  Brian asked if he could speak to Hayley, and the guy said she was “unavailable”, then hung up.  This was very upsetting.

It just occurred to me, in a very real way, that I may never see my daughter again. A deep ache welled up in the bottom of my throat and chest at this revelation.  I’m not as detached as I thought I was.  Even though I haven’t heard from Hayley since November 26th, I’ve always believed that I could get in touch with her if I wanted/needed to.  Now, I’m not so sure.  I know that Christmas must have been very difficult for her.  Does that mean that she used more to numb herself – – – and is now so juiced up that she can’t even function?  And, of course, I go crazy contemplating how Hayley is ‘earning her keep’ and getting her drugs.  Truly, I can make myself sick to my stomach ruminating about her sordid lifestyle.

I’m seriously considering a few possibilities:

  1. calling the phone # that I know works, and demand to speak to my daughter.  I need to know if she’s alive – and can talk.
  2. Write/send a letter to Hayley, telling her that I have not given up on her and not to give up on herself – that I want her to love herself enough to imagine a different life for herself – – – and that she is of value to the world. (I do now have an address of where Hayley is purportedly living)
  3. Go to the house where she’s living, and try to see Hayley.
  4. Call the police and have Hayley arrested.
  5. Hire 2 “goons” to storm the house where Hayley is and ‘kidnap’ her.

Each of these options has serious drawbacks and risks.  And almost all of them end with the phrase, “And then what?”  I know I can’t bring her here to my house.  And orchestrating a detox and treatment program didn’t work in August, so I’m pretty sure it wouldn’t work now.  Or would it?  Is Hayley so incapacitated that she simply can’t take any steps herself towards changing her situation?  Or, does she just not want to?  Do I/we need to remind her that we love her and she has a life worth living outside of the drug world?  Right now, I’m feeling that she has given up and thinks that we have given up on her.  Guilt and anxiety, once again, are moving me towards some kind of action.

I guess that writing a letter to Hayley would be the safest option right now, although there is the possibility that she won’t actually receive or read it.  But, I’ve got to do something.  So, a short, simple letter is what it will be.

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13 Responses to “Cape-ability”

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I hate thinking what you’re going through and wish I was there to give you a hug! I think you had it exactly right when you asked, “and then what?” That question always thwarts any “great plan” I’ve come up with.
I hope sending the letter relieved a bit of your pain, at least for today. It seems the best of the options.
You’ve gotten great insights in the comments already posted, so I’m going to offer you ((((HUGGS))))!!!!

Thanks for your hugs. I feel them and need them. I sent the letter to Hayley today. I guess I’ll post it. Hope I didn’t overstep my boundaries. (something I always have difficulty with) Should I get the police involved if I don’t hear from Hayley? Of course, that step would involve huge consequences.

Taking care of yourself is the primary thing to think of. If telling Haley by letter that you love and miss her helps you inside, then do it. But having any other expectation is a setup for disappointment.

There is always hope. I like the idea of hope because it is so positive. Even the tiniest flicker of hope. In the meantime, life is happening. Peg, you are capable, resourceful and full of compassion. The tiny zing of hope you allow yourself can remain in the background, while meanwhile you carry on with energy and enthusiasm. As you do this, you are passing hope on to others, even though you may not feel it in the forefront of your life.

Chris – thanks so much for your words. I especially liked and need to be reminded of, ” . . . in the meantime, life is happening.” I can become so consumed with the tragedy of Hayley’s situation that it becomes an excuse not to do things in my own life. I seem to be good at that – – – deflecting my focus to other areas (my elderly parents, for example) and thereby having a so-called legitimate excuse to not accomplish some goals that I’ve set for myself. It’s difficult, however, to just ‘carry-on’. It feels so cold, and that I’m almost condoning Hayley’s lifestyle by not doing anything. There is no handbook for this kind of stuff, although, maybe I should write one?

I believe, with pain in my heart, that at this point there really is not much you can do. Writing her a letter may help you to feel better, but you have to accept that you may never know if she receives it or actually reads it. Pray and surround yourself with loving family and friends to provide you the support you need.

Unfortunately, you cannot rescue her if she does not want to be rescued. I am still working on comprehending this myself. I have not seen or talked to my daughter in almost 2 years. I have taken the tough love, nothing I can do approach. When I still tried to find her and contact her, it always left me feeling worse than before. I am trying to stay busy and surround myself with people who appreciate my love and attention. I also worry about not seeing her ever again. But I cannot let that thought dominate my life. My daughter is married to a thug and has 2 little children with him and my best friend ran into them just before Christmas. It almost tore my heart out when she told me about the encounter, describing how my precious beautiful daughter looked so skinny and spaced out. I was all to pieces for a few days until I could calm myself down and go on with my life.
Love the ones you are with, Haley will always have a place in your heart.

You’re right, Helga. I don’t really want to see my daughter – it scares me too much. I’m afraid of what she looks like now. No contact with Hayley comes from a self-protection mode. But it worries me that it also is resulting in removing all hope from Hayley’s perspective. I know there is no ‘right’ answer. And that’s the problem. What to do. It changes daily – even by the hour.

PS – your words were of great comfort to me. Love the ones you’re with is a great piece of advice, and one that I will hold on to for the moment. Thank you.

You are so welcome. Taking care of yourself is the best thing that you can do for yourself and your daughter.

well, the goon thing is considered kidnapping and is a federal crime. so that’s out.

intervention is a possibility, the whole family and an interventionist..HOWEVER, the interventionist will tell you that if your daughter decides to NOT take the intervention, then you may have NO CONTACT whatsoever with her. This is to show her that what she is doing is unacceptable.

siblings often are the last ones to realize the futility. they tend to remember all the good times growing up and cannot accept that heroin has stolen their sister and turned her into a monster.

the phone call might help, if you hear her voice at all, however, it too will bring up a host of issues. if she is stoned, you will feel like crap, and the person who answered the phone and said she was “unavailable” – that translates to “i have stolen her phone” or “she is to messed up to talk” neither of which you want to know about.

visiting could bring a small modicum of comfort, to at least know she is alive. again though, if she is messed up, it will tear you up. be prepared for that.

a letter will let your feelings out, but I would limit it to

I love you. I miss you. I would like to see you can we meet for lunch somewhere? I wouldn’t even MENTION her drug habit. It is futile to do so, and creates barriers between you automatically. Junkies don’t WANT to talk about being junkies. So to bring it up will only alienate her, unless SHE brings it up in the luncheon meeting if it happens.

I seriously think just the Love, and Miss you thing is the safest and most probable success outcome.

only my opinion though 🙂

I just wrote a letter to Hayley and will put it in the mail today. I may post a copy of it. Thanks for your input, Dawn – you always bring me back to basics and right smack dab down to the reality of this dance. I decided not to put my return address on the envelope. I don’t want Hayley’s ‘friends’ to know where I live, although they probably already do know. A friend of mine just asked me if I had gotten rid of my land line phone and switched entirely over to my cell phone service. I answered “No – because then I couldn’t receive collect calls from the jail.” I started laughing. It felt good. My friend suggested I include that in my ‘Tips for 2010’ annual letter. I’ve got a bunch of them.

I can’t imagine what it feels like to NOT KNOW and I would want to go see her or call or write. Has she been to jail? That’s sometimes a good place to start when all else fails (it seems). I don’t know what you should do, or what I would do. Its just so frustrating and heartbreaking to do nothing. Keep us posted.

Yes, she has been to jail. Last April, she spent 4 days in jail for a previous shoplifting offense (less than $20 – beer switching). At that time, I thought THAT was her ‘bottom’. She swore that that would never happen again (being in jail, or shoplifting? I’m not sure) Most recently, I learned that she had spent a brief time in jail but was bailed out. By whom, I don’t know. She had been riding with someone who was stopped for a minor traffic violation and when they checked her ID, saw that there was a warrant out for her arrest (probation violation). Did she show up for her court appearance? Probably not. I think she has such a fear of going to jail, that she won’t make any moves towards recovery, even though she would probably qualify for a diversion treatment program vs jail time. She also told a ‘friend’ of hers that I’m in contact with that as of now, she would prefer going to jail than to treatment – that she’s just not ‘ready’ for treatment. Discouraging words for me.


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