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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13 Responses to “Contact”

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Peggy, This sounds very good to me. I’m so glad you had some satisfaction in your reaching out. Just the beginning part, hearing each other’s voices and feeling moved seems good for each of you. Sometimes words aren’t needed. Love, Nan

I think your boundaries and your tone as you describe it wwere perfect; and how wonderful that you have a friend that will venture into this world with you and provide you the support you need. You and Hayley are in my prayers.

Oh Peggy….I am very relieved that you reached Hayley and very proud of your strong heart and compassionate soul. You put a lot of effort and energy into exploring your own motivation and knowing what you needed, and you followed through. You avoided having an agenda, but you had a plan and a script. Wise woman. I hope this contact has given you some peace of mind, although I expect that it has also opened wounds and created a lot of questions and concerns. Please let me know how you are and how I can help.

I am glad she is still alive and that you have talked. Thanks for sharing this. I plan to use your idea of a script next time I talk to my daughter. You see, we do help each other.


WOW! You did great! I’m so glad you heard from her 🙂 I have a migraine, but when I saw “Contact” in your title, I just had to log on and see about you!
I know what it is like waiting to hear from your daughter – I remember when I heard from Heather after 3 months!
Anyway, wanted to tell you how happy I was you talked to her, and it sounds like you did a great job of “breaking the ice” but still keeping your boundaries (which, again, is very impressive!). God bless.

Hope you’re feeling better – and what a wonderful compliment to know that you care enough and are interested enough to check in with me, even when feeling under the weather. It means a lot. Thanks.

I’m very very glad you got to talk with her. Hopefully it will lead to more. Maybe it will make her reexamine her current path, etc. At any rate, I am glad you had a conversation that helped you and made you feel stronger! It really means a lot sometimes to just hear our child’s voice.

Hearing Hayley’s voice was a bit surreal. She sounded as if she was calling me from her ‘former’ life, in her apartment, chit chatting away about some TV show or something. It actually broke my heart, however, to visualize her reality, and the deep hole she’s dug for herself. I still can’t quite imagine what would entice her out of her current situation and back in to the ‘real world’ to face all that confronts her. It’s overwhelming to me, let alone to her. How could she ever summon the strength to slog through all the legal hoops, debt reduction, recovery work, re-establishing trust and personal image/reputation, etc.? There’s not a lot of evidence in her personal history of perseverance, sacrifice, or hard work. I know I’m sounding pessimistic, but it’s based on keen observation of and experience with my daughter.

I’m glad you got to talk to her and am very impressed with the way you handled the conversation, good for you!~!

Barbara – I’m keeping my fingers crossed that I will have the discipline, strength, and knowledge to handle what comes. I seem to need a script to keep my emotions in control and not allow myself to be manipulated. We’ll see what unfolds.

sounds to me like the phone call was a positive thing. you stood your ground psychologically and let her know the issues YOU were concerned with, her health, her safety etc.

and you stayed away from her lifestyle.

excellent communication with boundaries.

i’m glad you got to talk to her.

Thanks, Dawn. I’ve never had a good internal barometer when dealing with my daughter. My own issues, anger, resentment, fear, guilt, ‘shouldas’ always tangled things up. I felt some clarity in this conversation – and strength, and a lot of compassion. We’ll see what unfolds. (I do still have a lot of anger and resentment towards my daughter that I’m not quite sure what to do with it.)

OM Gosh!! I still have all those too and it’s been 11 years. Sometimes I wonder if I want her to succeed? or if I am so invested now in her continual failure that I wouldn’t even know how to feel if she EVER did go straight. Of course, it doesn’t look like that’s ever going to happen. We learn and pattern our behaviors, and anymore, the older I get, the more I raise her kids, I just don’t know if it is possible for me to accept or believe that she will ever change. That sounds so horrible, but it’s true nonetheless. I had a gut feeling that while on methadone and allegedly clean of heroin, she was cross-addicting with alcohol which apparently (see my latest blog) she is. I don’t know if I will ever have a gut feeling that she is clean. I just hate the whole thing.

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