Back to Square One
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?