Archive for February, 2010

Square One Plus A Millimeter

Posted on February 26, 2010. Filed under: Parent of an Addict | Tags: , , , , , |

Tuesday afternoon I was shocked to receive a phone call from Hayley.  I was driving at the time, and couldn’t see from what number she was calling.  It was ~ 1:30 pm, and she sounded a bit groggy.  She said that she had just read the newspaper, and saw that there was a home intrusion and assault incident right next door to me.  She was concerned, and wanted to ‘check in’.

I was initially confused when I heard Hayley’s voice.  The last I had heard, she had been kicked out of her most recent living situation by the older man she was living with, and was back at the crack house.  (see post “Back to Square One”. )  When Eric and I tried to deliver a Valentine’s bag to her a couple of weeks ago, the ‘old guy’ Hayley had been living with said she wasn’t there, that he had kicked her out, and that she had ‘trashed’ his house.  He said she was back at the crack house (Bill’s, her drug dealer)  We then went to the crack house and Eric gave Hayley the Valentine’s bag.  At that point, I felt very foolish – jeez – – – delivering a Valentine’s bag to my heroin addict daughter at the crack house?  How pitiful.  Plus, it occurred to me, after the fact, that she could get beat up for such a gesture.

When Hayley called me on Tuesday, I asked her if she had her cell phone back.  She said no, that she was calling from the land line.  Oh, I said – you mean you’re back at Washington and 16th?  She said yes.  I responded with, “The old guy said he had kicked you out because you had ‘trashed’ his place.”  Her response was somewhat vague – but the essence was that she had just been over at Bill’s ‘visiting’ when Eric and I had stopped at the ‘old guy’s’ house with the Valentine’s bag.

So – one millimeter forward in that she’s not living at the crack house.

However – – – on Monday, when my neighbor was assaulted by some Hispanic guy that had kicked in her door and then assaulted her when she confronted him – – – I was questioned by the police as to whether or not I had noticed/heard anything.  There were 5 cop cars, an ambulance, and a fire truck at my neighbor’s house – at 10:15 in the morning.  I must admit, it did occur to me that perhaps, one of Hayley’s druggie ‘friends’ had kicked in the wrong door.

I recognized one of the policemen, who had been the kids’ high school campus police officer for several years.  “Joe” recognized me, as well.  When I mentioned that my daughter was a drug addict, he asked what her name was.  I was hesitant to tell him – but he said, “I know your daughter.”  Because Hayley and I look so much alike, he had put it all together.  I asked him about Hayley’s arrest last fall, and he told me that she had been arrested on an assault charge.  I was shocked at this news – I had assumed that she had been arrested in some type of minor traffic stop while she was riding with someone.  (since there’s a warrant out for her arrest for violating probation, the police would have run a search on their computer and discovered this info)  I didn’t quite follow the entire story, but the essence is that last fall, someone had filed an assault charge against Hayley, and she was arrested.  Then, Bill, her drug dealer (and paramour?) had gotten pissed at the person who filed the charge, and had threatened that person for filing the charge against Hayley, with loaded guns in tow. The police were called and they ultimately raided Bill’s house and removed all the guns. SHIT – this is big time stuff.  Hayley was quickly bailed out of jail by someone – most likely Bill.

“Joe”, the police officer, knew all about the crack house and the Zero brothers, whom Hayley lived with prior to moving to the ‘old guy’s’ house (yes, the 2 guys Hayley lived with prior to the ‘old guy’ were cocaine dealers name, “Zero”.  How appropro.) Joe said that the crack house is a filthy, miserable scene, with porno on the TV 24/7, lots of drug traffic in and out, etc.  When I reported the news to Eric, my ‘mole’ in the drug world, that Hayley was not, in fact, living at the crack house, he said that most likely Bill is ‘paying’ for Hayley to live at the ‘old guy’s’ house – and, of course, it’s not in dollars.

Great – – – she’s not living at the crack house – is living at the ‘old guys’ house – but, at what ‘cost’?  It’s a knife in my heart.

At least Hayley is reading the newspaper – that’s something, isn’t it? This is tough stuff, and Hayley’s situation feels so hopeless.  How could she possibly ever care enough about herself to change her life?  I just can’t imagine it.  However – I do believe in some kind of random ‘cosmic convergence’, which I have personally experienced, and can only hope and pray and believe that the same sort of miracle is possible for Hayley.

She read the newspaper, was concerned about me, is living at a better, safer place than the crack house – – – I’ll hold on to those things for now.

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Compassion When The Shoe Drops

Posted on February 20, 2010. Filed under: addiction, Addiction Resources/Support, Parent of an Addict, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

compassionearthBelow is an email that was forwarded to me.  It’s important enough to share here, because after going to the site referenced, I realized that this message is one I need to remember right now.  Even though I seem to have no trouble feeling compassion for many people in my life and in the world, I often have trouble feeling compassion for my own daughter, the heroin addict.  Again, I get tripped up by the “She’s brought this misery on to herself” voice.  Here’s the email – be sure to go to the website for the entire message.

Karen Armstrong is an amazing woman/scholar, who has written extensively on the 3 monotheistic religions (Islam, Judaism and Christianity). Her latest book is “The Case For God”, which is not really what this email is about.

In 2008, Karen was one of the recipients of the TED Prize which along with the $100,000 check includes a wish. Her wish was to form an international group of religious leaders from all different faiths to write a “Charter for Compassion”. It is based on the “Golden Rule”. She says, “The core of every single one of the world religions is the virtue of compassion, which does not mean pity. Its Latin root means to feel with the other. Each one of the world religions has developed its own version of the Golden Rule…”  I encourage you to go to http://charterforcompassion.org and watch the short video, and read what the world is saying.

Back to home. Once again, I’m waiting for the proverbial “other shoe” to drop.  I’ve been here before.

Now that Hayley is back at the crack house, I’m anticipating a phone call from her asking for help.  She only lasted at this same crack house a couple of months last summer.  It’s a miserable place, with lots of drug user traffic in and out.  Porno is constantly on the TV; the woman in charge is a tough ‘bitch’, who has physically threatened and assaulted Hayley before and, I think, feels threatened herself by Hayley’s intelligence, education, attractiveness, and manipulation skills.

When Hayley made that call-for-help to me from the crack house last August, she asked me to arrange for a bed at a medical detox facility for her. For almost 72 hours, I called, researched, harangued, and pleaded to try to reserve a bed for Hayley at a medical detox facility ( there are none in our own community) 150 miles away in the Seattle/Tacoma area. Since Hayley was going through withdrawal, I even ‘scored’ some hydrocodone for her from a friend who had just had shoulder surgery, with the hope that Hayley could keep herself from using heroin.  Her dad, from California, prescribed antibiotics for her abscesses and sleeping pills until I could get her in to the detox facility, and then in to treatment.  None of it worked.  I later learned that Hayley had used twice during that long weekend of hell.   And when I finally delivered her at midnight to the medical detox unit of the inner city hospital 175 miles away, the admitting nurse looked at Hayley’s chart and said, “Oh, this is private pay?”  When I said yes, he responded with, “That’s too bad.  Is usually doesn’t work.”  Hours later, after arriving back home, bleary eyed and numb, I discovered an empty beer bottle in the cargo area of the car and an unopened bottle, stashed under the seat.  Apparently Hayley had downed one bottle on the trip, and was hoping to drink the other.  This was on top of sleeping pills, hydrocodone, and heroin.  Desperate.  As some of you may remember, Hayley walked out of that medical detox hospital after 4 days, AMA (against medical advice), and talked a cab driver in to driving her the 175 miles back ‘home’.  ‘Home’ was the crack house – who wouldn’t take her back, a tragic commentary on so many levels.

So now, I am writing a short script of what I will say to my daughter when she calls me from the crack house, wanting help.  I’ll speak to her with compassion, and tell her I love her and want what’s best for her – that she’s amazingly resourceful, and I know she knows what it is she needs to do to begin the journey towards recovery.  I’ll remind her that she can always contact her probation officer and/or Dependency Health Services for confidential evaluation and assistance.  That’s it, I guess – what I’ll say to her  – we’ll see.

And blog friend, Madyson, asked the million dollar question:  How do we get our son/daughter to care enough about themselves to change their life? I know that this is not necessarily our job, or within our “hula hoop”.  I now know that probably I can’t make my daughter care enough about herself to change her life.  But, what do we do in the mean time? Do we just have to leave it to chance and/or time that our addict will have an epiphany or seize an opportunity to get help?  I’m not sure Hayley will survive long enough to experience either of these two options.

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“My Baby Needs A Shepherd”

Posted on February 19, 2010. Filed under: Parent of an Addict, Uncategorized | Tags: , , |

I’m posting this touching comment to my post, Beautiful Child, from a dear friend of mine, Donna.  It made me weep (in a good way) and reminds me of how lost my “little girl” is.

I’ve been thinking about posting this for awhile, Peggy. When I heard it again recently, I decided that I wanted to share it. I am a longtime fan of Emmylou Harris. This is a song she wrote and performed on her album “Red Dirt Girl”. I don’t know what she had in mind, but I think of my daughter every time I hear it. First, a quick disclaimer: I’m not suggesting that all of the lyrics apply to our situations or our daughters. In fact, I feel that some don’t apply at all, but they sure touch a nerve for me. Emmylou sings it beautifully and, if you haven’t heard it, you might want to listen on Pandora or Emmylou’s website. The song is rather long, but here are most of the lyrics to “My Baby Needs a Shepherd”.

My baby needs a shepherd

She’s lost out on the hill
Too late I tried to call her
When the night was cold and still
And I tell myself I’ll find her
But I know I never will
My baby needs a shepherd
She’s lost out on the hill

My baby needs an angel
She never learned to fly
She’ll not reach sanctuary
Just by looking to the sky
I guess I could have carried her
But I didn’t even try
My baby needs an angel
She never learned to fly

My baby needs a pilot
She has no magic wand
To help her part the troubled waters
Of the Rubicon
But in my soul I know she’ll
Have to go this one alone
After all that is the only way she’s ever known

But there is no lamp in all this dark
That could chase away her shadow
From the corners of my heart

I pray she rides a dolphin
But she’s swimming with the shark
Out where none can save her
Not even Noah and his ark

My baby needs a mother
To love her til the end
Up every rugged mountain
And down every road that bends
Sometimes I hear her crying
But I guess it’s just the wind
My baby needs a mother
To love her til the end

With thoughts of our babies.
Love, Donna

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Back to Square One

Posted on February 15, 2010. Filed under: addiction, Parent of an Addict | Tags: , , , , , |

She’s moved back to the crack house.

Last night, I called Eric to see if he would go with me to deliver a Valentine bag to Hayley.  I was thinking that my recent contact with Hayley, and her new, safer place to live, meant that maybe she was taking her own version of small steps towards – – – well, something.  I knew where her new place was (see “Contact”), but didn’t feel strong enough to actually see her myself.  I just couldn’t do it. Last week, I had my two grandchildren, Lucy and Luke, make Valentines for their beloved “Aunty”, which I put in to the bag – along with a poem I wrote in September about Hayley living in another world (Traveling Abroad). I also stuck in some lip gloss and lotion – just simple things to say, “we love you”.  Eric said he would go to the door and give Hayley the bag.

I waited for Eric in the parking lot of the gas station near Hayley’s house.  When I saw him return to the car with the bag in his hand, I knew it wasn’t good news.  “She’s back at the crack house”, he said. This was the very same crack house that wouldn’t take her back in August after she walked out of medical detox AMA (against medical advice) The ‘old man’ she had been living with for a few weeks, said that Hayley had ‘trashed’ his house and he kicked her out.

And so, our next stop was the crack house.  There were lots of cars parked in the dirt outside the trailer/prefab house.  Eric knows this house well – he not only went to school with the ‘boss’ drug dealer there, Bill, but also used to go there to get his drugs.  That’s where he met Hayley.

Eric delivered the Valentine bag to Hayley.  It’s not a good scene there – – – lots of drug users inside, many in very bad shape.  Eric said Hayely looked “ok”.

It’s back to square one – – – or maybe, even less. Hayley is running out of options.  I know for a fact that she doesn’t like it at the crack house..  It’s a miserable, sordid place.  And, the ‘head’ woman there, Paula, is very tough.  She’s threatened Hayley several times and beat her up once.

I can’t help but think that the chaos in which Hayley has lived over the past 8 years, no matter how much she has or doesn’t have, is a sign of some kind of mental illness.  She’s lived in total filth and disarray since 2002.  She’s easily overwhelmed with the basic details of life.  I can’t imagine her ever being able to get herself out of the drug world and face what it is she needs to face.  It seems overwhelming to me – and I’m sure it must be to her.

For me, it would be a relief for Hayley to get a mental illness diagnosis.  It would help make sense of things.  But this can’t happen until Hayley is clean and sober.  It’s a Catch-22.  I’m feeling a lot more compassion for drug addicts and their conundrum – and, of course, the craving and need for their drug that becomes necessary for them to not get violently ill.  I don’t think getting high is in the mix any more.

Here are some photos of Hayley’s apartment  last June.  This is how she has lived for most of her adult life, whether or not she was using ‘hard’ drugs.  Surely this is an indication of some kind of mental illness/personality disorder? 

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Supportive Friends?

Posted on February 12, 2010. Filed under: Addiction Resources/Support, Parent of an Addict |

An author friend of mine, Letty, was recently diagnosed with breast cancer.  Aside from the initial shock of such frightening news and then somehow processing it, over the past few months she has been bombarded with a plethora of medical information in order to make important treatment decisions for herself.  It’s a lot to suddenly integrate in to a vital, busy life.

Letty just learned of my daughter’s heroin addiction and I’m including the last portion of her recent email to me, below:

I’ve started writing a book entitled “How To Be a Friend to a Friend Who’s Sick.”  In that category, I’m including people whose loved ones are sick and whose friends therefore are meaningful in helping them through the ordeal.  Anything you might have to offer would be so appreciated.

And so, dear blogger friends, I am asking YOU to respond to Letty’s questions below.  I’m interested in your answers, as well.  If it’s ok, I’ll send your responses off to Letty.  I’m not sure she ever considered including information about the illness of drug addiction and how friends can be supportive to family members, but I think it’s important that she does.  Here are her questions:

•Tell me what words or deeds in particular you’ve found helpful.

• Which friends have been most comforting, and why?

•What friends’ behaviors have been distressing or unhelpful?

Here’s part of my response to Letty:

Letty – go to my post on October 5th:  “Unlikely Friends and Neighbors” to see some examples of both old and new friends truly stepping up to the plate.

Also, go to November 3rd’s post, “Comfort”.  My friend, Donna, regularly sends me poetry, song titles/lyrics and pearls from the Dalai Lama that she comes across and that she thinks might buoy my spirit or give me hope.  My December 7th post, Never Give Up lists a couple more of Donna’s gems. Just knowing that I have become a part of her daily mindfulness, is such comfort, let alone the tidbits of wisdom she sends me.  The regularity of her checking in with me is what feels so reassuring – like being wrapped in a warm, soft blanket.  It’s often just an email, once a week or so – but, it’s enough – and means alot.  She also reads my blog and comments regularly.  I met Donna in Al-Anon almost 8 years ago.  We both were there to learn how to deal with our daughters’ eating disorders.  Since then, we have become very close friends, outside of Al-Anon.

Here are a couple of other relevant posts, if you’re interested.

“Detach or Hang On?” gives a glimpse of the ambivalence I feel in regards to “experts’”/professionals’ and friends’ advice – most are conflicting and I guess, in the end, you have to go with your gut.
“Things I’ve Learned But Would Rather Not Know” and the blog readers’ comments.  Sharing relevant experiences and information is very helpful.
“Puss-y” Stuff”, about the stigma of drug addiction and subsequent mistreatment of drug addicts in medical care facilities.
“Safety First” – viewing drug addiction from a different perspective and giving addicts the dignity and real help they need and deserve.

You know – truly – – it has turned out that the news of my daughter’s heroin addiction is so shocking, devastating, and terrifying, that many of my (so-called) “good” friends don’t feel comfortable talking about it with me – or discussing it at length.  Or if they do mention it, they share a moment or two of condolence, but then that’s it.  I think a lot of it has to do with their lack of knowledge about the disease of addiction, no experience in talking about this subject with anyone and their inability to show some vulnerability themselves.  There’s such stigma associated with hard drug addiction, that I don’t always bring it up when I run in to a friend – and yet, I know that most of them have heard about it in one way or another.  It’s been my experience that it’s ‘easier’ talking to friends about breast cancer, or some other serious illness – and I think it has to do with certain myths and biases. One assumption is that the cancer/serious illness patient didn’t knowingly do anything to ‘invite’ the diagnosis.  However, with heroin addiction, there is the supposition that the addict is ‘at fault’, weak in character, brought it on herself, and, consequently, deserves to suffer.  I also feel some sensitivity, (which is my hang-up, I know) to friends thinking, “What the hell must have gone on in that family for that beautiful girl to have become a heroin addict”?  I don’t really blame some one for thinking that – I often wonder myself.  Yes, I’m a bit self-conscious about my (failed) parenting skills being so miserably measured and judged.  (don’t bother with the “you didn’t cause it” slogan – – – I don’t buy in to it entirely.)

In this post, I talk about the most hurtful question insensitive friends ask me:

Very good friends, and even more casual friends, always ask me this question: “How does she get her drugs?”  It’s a very insensitive question – and somewhat naïve – – – and, hurtful.  I mean – – – duh?  What do they think – that I’m sending her checks to buy her drugs?  That she has some kind of trust fund?  My daughter is somehow ‘earning her keep’ – and, it’s a knife in my heart.  The logical answer doesn’t occur to the questioner until after the ‘thud’, followed by my long pause. Hayley has most likely resorted to the oldest and most common means women have used to support themselves since the beginning of time – – – prostitution. Webster’s defines prostitution as:  “the misuse of talent for gains; to sell the services of oneself for low or unworthy purposes.”  I don’t totally agree with this definition, since many women have had no other choice to support themselves.  And, in some cases, marriage can be a legal form of prostitution – with women financially dependent on their husbands but trapped in an emotionally unhappy or even abusive marriage. OK – this whole topic could be another post of its own.

I’d like to see how you answer Letty’s questions.

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Contact

Posted on February 8, 2010. Filed under: Parent of an Addict, poems | Tags: , , , , , |

I spoke with Hayley last night.  I had decided to try to contact her, and was going to just text her.  However, I really wanted to hear her voice.  As I mentioned in my previous post, my intent was to “break the ice” by actually speaking to Hayley so that she might feel more inclined to communicate periodically.  So, through a series of contacts and relayed phone calls, I finally reached her – or, I should say, she called me.  News travels fast in the drug world.  I had called the most recent phone # from which she texted Jill a couple of weeks ago, which I knew belonged to “Bill”, Hayley’s drug dealer/provider.  I was very nervous – and had gone to my dear friend’s house, Cathy, to make the phone call.  When Bill answered the phone, I said I was Hayley’s mother and asked to speak to her.  He was very cordial and said Hayley wasn’t there, but he’d give me a land line phone # where I could reach her.  Apparently, Bill feels some sense of obligation and/or compassion towards Hayley since he’s the one that strung her out and got her hooked on heroin.  Yes, even drug dealers are human and try to be decent, I guess.

When I tried the land line phone #, it was busy.  As soon as I hung up, my cell phone rang, and it was Hayley.  Bill had apparently called her immediately after my call to him.  Hayley had panicked, thinking there was a family emergency or death (both her grandmothers are in their 90s), so she called my cell phone.

The moment I said “Hello”, she started sobbing.  I broke down a bit, too, but rallied and carried on with the conversation. I told Hayley I loved her and just wanted to hear her voice.  She was emotional and tearful – but sounded grateful and relieved to talk to me.  I think that hearing my voice reminded her of us – her family – and that there might be a reason to re-enter the ‘real’ world.  She said she feels like she’s in a foreign country.  I told her that she was – and a little bit about the poem I had written a few months ago entitled, Traveling Abroad.

My intent is not to have a phone relationship with my heroin addicted daughter.  I told her that I needed to hear from her periodically to know she was alive and safe.  She said that her current living situation is very safe and quiet, better than where she was before.  (Eric recently told me that the 2 houses where Hayley had lived were feeling the ‘heat’ from the police – that most everyone had scattered after police began arresting buyers as they left. ) Now, she lives with an older man (65 – 70 yo) and said that the jacuzzi bath tub there is better than any drug she’s ever taken. (:-!  This comment landed with a thud – it sounded so awkward and inappropriate.  And then, she went on about her new puppy.  After several minutes, I cut that portion of the conversation off.  I’ve heard that story before.  Hayley has had three dogs and lost them all due to negligence and not being able to afford their medical care.  She referred to these dogs as her “rescue” dogs in that they saved her life, which is true, I think.  In her isolation from friends and family over the last 7 – 8 years, her dogs gave her unconditional love, acceptance, a reason to finally get up at ~ 2:00 pm.  She treated them as if they were her children. However, in the end, she was irresponsible with their care and safety.  After a while, I just couldn’t listen to her gush about her new puppy, Kali.  It sounded so childish – and somewhat of a diversion.  When Hayley said she wanted to see me, I told her that I wasn’t sure I was up to it, which is true.  I really don’t want to see her.  It would just be too painful – and, for me, what’s the point?  We left it at that – – – and that future phone communication was possible, but not expected.  Again, I’m not interested in “chatting” on the phone with my heroin addict daughter – but, I do need to know that she’s relatively “ok”, and alive.  I also told her that all of us in the family were in communication with each other – that we let each other know when one of us heard from her – that we were suffering with concern and fear for her health and well-being, and were always comforted when there was some kind of contact with her.

My friend, Cathy, listened to my conversation with Hayley.  I wanted and needed the support – as well as someone to objectively witness my tone and content.  I wanted to make sure I set some boundaries with Hayley, in a loving and compassionate way, and Cathy said I did.  So – I feel very good about how things went.

I feel stronger right now, and very relieved to have talked to Hayley.  For me, it feels like a step towards something, I’m not sure what.  

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Beautiful Child

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

David Sheff and his son, Nic, will be speaking in Seattle on March 4th at Town Hall.  I’ve got a ticket to attend this talk – and am excited to see David and Nic in person.  I have been a fan of David Sheff and his book, beautiful boy, since reading it last summer.

beautiful boy: a father’s journey through his son’s addiction, by David Sheff

David Sheff is a writer whose books include Game Over, China Dawn, and All We Are Saying. His many articles and interviews have appeared in the New York Times, Rolling Stone, Playboy, Wired, Fortune and elsewhere.  His piece for the New York Times Magazine, “”My Addicted Son,” won many awards and led to the writing of this book.

This book is a fiercely candid memoir that brings immediacy to the emotional roller-coaster of loving a child who seems beyond help. It contains a lot of good information about meth addiction and brain chemistry, treatment programs, and the parent/addicted child relationship.  The personal story of David Sheff and his son, Nic, is touching and heartbreaking.  Nic has ultimately written a book of his own, Tweak.  I also heard that he has relapsed multiple times, even after the success of his book.  This, the sad reality of drug addiction’s powerful pull.  However,  Nic’s story is also one of hope, in that I’ve come to realize that relapse is actually a part of recovery, and does not have to be considered a failure in the addict’s journey towards long term sobriety.

Here are some excerpts from that book regarding addiction:

•”There’s evidence that people who become addicted, once they begin using, have a type of compulsion that cannot be easily stopped or controlled.  They cannot just stop on their own or they would.  No one wants to be an addict.  The drug takes a person over.  The drug, not a person’s rational mind, is in control”.  p. 150

•”with practice, addicts become flawlessly gifted liars, and this coincides with parents’ increasing susceptibility to their lies”.

•”A using addict cannot trust his own brain – it lies, it says, ‘You can have one drink, a joint, a single line, just one.’” p.261

•”Only Satan himself could have deigned a disease that has self-deception as a symptom, so that its victims deny they are afflicted, and will not seek treatment, and will vilify those on the outside who see what’s happening.” p.263

•” . . . thankful that of all the fatal disease my (son) might have gotten, he got one for which there is this little sliver of hope that if he surrenders, he’ll survive.”  Thomas Lynch  p.272

•” . . . in mortal combat with addiction, a parent wishes for a catastrophe to befall his (child).  I wish for a catastrophe, but one that is contained.  It must be harsh enough to bring him to his knees, to humble him, but mild enough so that he can, with heroic effort and the good that I know is inside him, recover, because anything short of that will not be enough for him to save himself.”  P.274

•(Nic):”I had to hit bottom when there was no one and nothing and I had lost everything and everyone.  That’s what it takes.  You have to be alone, broke, desolate, and desperate.” P.279

•” . . . recovery, like addiction itself, is a long and complex process. Families should never give up hope for recovery – for recovery can and does happen every day.  Nor should they stop living their own lives while they wait for that miracle of recovery to occur.”

Here are 8 pages of pearls from that book that spoke to me in some way.  They are categorized under:  Parents of Addicts, Addiction, Recovery, Treatment Programs/info.   There’s a good list of  addiction resources referenced in this book and detailed by David Sheff on his website.

In re-reading my notes from beautiful boy, I was inspired to try to call my daughter and “break the ice” of her shame/guilt-driven “ice-olation”.  I haven’t seen or spoken to her since last August.  We’ve texted just twice since then.  And, even though a professional drug counselor advised me to cut off all contact with Hayley, so she could feel the full consequences of her choices, I’ve reached my saturation point.  I need to hear my daughter’s voice.  My “ex-druggie” contact, Eric, advised that I call her from a phone # she won’t recognize, and maybe she would answer. She seems to just have access to a certain cell phone # once in a while. If I speak to her, I’m merely going to tell her I love her and  . . . and, what?  That’s the big question.  I need a script to keep my boundaries in tact. I know I can’t slip in any kind of directive or ultimatum in to the conversation.  Essentially, I want to connect with Hayley, in a non-judgmental way, to remind her of us – her family – and that we are missing her and waiting for her to once again be part of our lives.  She needs to have a reason to even want to try to re-enter society, our lives, the real world.

I’m internally hounded by the fact that shame is a huge barrier that can keep addicts using and isolated in their own world.  So, I want to try to diffuse that impediment, as best I can.  I know that by calling Hayley,  I’m opening the door for communication that I may not even want. I’m trying to sort out what I want to do vs what I feel I should do.  It’s not all that simple.  Yes, I want to hear from my daughter periodically, that she’s alive.  No, I don’t want her in my life until she takes some steps, on her own, towards help and recovery.  Is that conditional love, or just taking care of myself and protecting myself from Hayley’s manipulation and “I’m gonna” talk?  In the end, however, Hayley will  always be my beautiful child.  And so, I will never give up.

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Chicken/Egg

Posted on February 2, 2010. Filed under: Parent of an Addict | Tags: , , , |

This is a response to a recent text from my ex-husband’s wife, Jill, to my daughter, Hayley, asking the question, “What can I do for you?”

I don’t know.  What I do know is that this has to end soon.  I can’t be a junkie forever. have to legally as well.  Good excuse to go to treatment. It’s hard to remember what life was like without having to do a drug in order to not be deathly ill, which happens a lot. And I have it relitively easy, I’m “taken care of” regardless if I have the money or not. Anyways, I miss my family and friends so much.  It’s almost too painful to bare, thus the drugs.  One big cycle.  Also funny just how many people you and I know secretly exist in this world too.  Some things I want to talk to you privately about sometime too.  I live in a nice house, big jacuzzi, been cooking a lot.  Gotta run, bf needs phone.  Love you guys. HHH

Huh?  She uses drugs because she misses her family and friends so much?  I thought it was the other way around.  I can testify that Hayley, over time, isolated herself from family and friends through her drug use.  So, what comes first – the chicken or the egg?  Hayley’s reality is totally distorted.  Here’s a tip:  get clean and sober, Hayley, so you can reconnect with your family and friends.

Very good friends, and even more casual friends, always ask me this question:  “How does she get her drugs?”  It’s a very insensitive question, in my opinion, somewhat naïve, and hurtful.  I mean – – – duh?  What do they think – that I’m sending her checks to buy her drugs?  That she has some kind of trust fund?  My daughter is somehow earning her ‘keep’ – and, it’s a knife in my heart.  She most likely has resorted to the oldest and most common means women have used to support themselves, prostitution.  Webster’s defines prostitution as:  the misuse of talent for gains;  to sell the services of oneself for low or unworthy purposes. My daughter and her 60 yo ‘boyfriend’, are ‘taking care’ of each other.  This is nothing new.  In some cases, marriage can be a legal form of prostitution – with women financially dependent on their husbands but trapped in an emotionally unhappy or even abusive marriage. 

My good friend, Cathy, remarked – “Well – at least you know she’s alive, has a roof over her head, and feels some kind of connection with someone.”  Yeah – but, this scenario is not very comforting – and is so disgusting to me.

I’ve been told by professionals, that any kind of texting chat with family members is enabling Hayley.  She is able to keep doing what she’s doing, but still hanging on to family – with a toe in the ‘real’ world.  What do you think?

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