“Getting well” can be an ironic term, I just learned. And, in today’s case, it’s a euphemism of sorts. “Euphemism”, according to Webster’s New World Dictionary is: “the use of a word or phrase that is less expressive or direct but considered less distasteful, less offensive, etc. than another.” Bingo. Read on.
We’ve been frantically trying to put together all the pieces necessary to get Hayley in to treatment – soon. Time is of the essence before she ODs or does something even more dangerous/foolish to get her next fix. She is desperate, with no money for food or drugs. She’s living in the raided crack house with Paula, the woman who regularly beats her up, and who shares the ‘services’ of drug dealer, Bill. Bill, however, has recently moved out of his crack house since he can no longer sell drugs from there, after being arrested in the recent drug raid. (he was bailed out of jail by his parents) Bill moved in with the Zero brothers, where Hayley used to live, ‘abandoning’ Hayley and Paula. Waaaahhhhh 😦
Over this past week, Hayley announced she was ready for treatment. She said she is tired of being ‘sick’ – as in ‘dope sick’, which translates to: “I can’t easily get my drugs any more and don’t want to go through withdrawal every day.”
Friday, Hayley called me and asked if I would take her to DSHS (state welfare office), to apply for food stamps and the state-funded drug treatment program. (I hadn’t seen or talked to her since her birthday, on April 6th. And, as you may recall, I hadn’t seen her, prior to that meeting, since last August.) I told her I would, fixed a peanut butter sandwich for her, and picked her up at the crack house. She looked terrible – over-sized men’s slippers on her feet, dirty clothes, thin, pale, hat pulled down over ½ her face. It was difficult to just look at her, let alone, be with her. “I should be a phlebotomist”, she quipped. “I’m really good at finding veins, especially on other people.” She then showed me her foot, where she had not had any luck that morning. And the irony here is, that professionally, I was well known for my phlebotomy skills. She added, “Yeah, I’ve often said that I wish my mom were here.” Some type of weird chortle/sound bubbled up and out of my throat.
She started chatting about treatment – and had somehow gotten wind of the place we were considering for her. “Do they allow suboxone/methadone there”, she asked? “ I don’t think so”, I responded. She then launched in to a discourse about wanting to be part of the treatment center selection process – that she knows what she needs to increase her chances for success. I tried to stay as neutral as I could, but felt bullied a bit, and intimidated.
On the way to DSHS, Hayley mentioned she needed to call her probation officer, so I handed her my phone. Of course, she didn’t have the phone number – or even know her PO’s name – – – but I did. She left a message on the PO’s voice mail. This was the first time she had called her PO since she first moved in to the crack house a year ago. Consequently, there has been an arrest warrant out for Hayley for violating probation. I believe that this issue has been a huge barrier to Hayley, regarding registering with the state welfare system – she was afraid of going to jail. So, this phone call was a very big deal, in my opinion. (Apparently the arrest warrant has been dropped, and Hayley has a court date on May 14th, information I found out about a couple of weeks ago from the hospital ER when I spoke to a social worker there.)
I dropped Hayley off at DSHS with the plan I’d return in a couple of hours – I had a scheduled physical therapy appointment, etc. And when I returned to pick her up, she was there – waiting! Yay! Again, progress, though a baby step, I know. She was ‘bummed’ that she only received $16 in food stamps. She said she applied for the drug treatment program and had a follow-up appointment next Tuesday. “Do you need a ride?”, I asked. She didn’t know.
While we were together, Hayley was able to speak briefly to her PO and told her she was going to treatment. Again – Hayley was now assuming, I guess, that we, her family, were indeed going to get her to and pay for treatment. And, again, she let me know that she wanted to help decide where. Hmmmm.
I was then able to talk Hayley in to visiting with the drug counselor at Dependency Health Services I’ve been in touch with over the past year. He was miraculously available when I called. I could tell she was embarrassed at how she looked, and asked for some lipstick. She’s so damn beautiful, it’s amazing what a little lip gloss can do. She spoke to Mike for about 20 minutes. I felt like another small step had been made, and that now Hayley knows about this resource and could possibly find her own way there if she wanted/needed to.
Hayley asked if I would take her grocery shopping, which I did. THAT was a tension-filled, awkward and very unpleasant experience. I realized that I can hardly be around my drug addict daughter – I’m not only so saddened by her condition – I’m also disgusted, angry, and feel intimidated by her. I never really know what to say to her – and often can’t keep myself from saying the ‘wrong’ thing. Yeah, yeah, yeah – I know I just need to show her love – but, it’s damn hard. In a way, I think I’m protecting myself from really losing her.
When I dropped her off at the crack house, I met ‘tough’ Paula, who actually came up to my car window and thanked me for the groceries. I was speechless, and didn’t know what to say. This woman is a professional criminal and drug addict, who has been mentoring and bullying my daughter for the last year. When I got a look at her, however, I thought to myself: Ya know – I bet I could take that bitch on.
I am trying to stay connected to my daughter during this time we’re attempting to set up an intervention and treatment program. So, I called her this morning to see if I could take her to lunch. She sounded horrible – and said she was ‘sick’. She said that she needed to find a way to ‘get well’ today which, of course, means that she needs to find some heroin. Will she do something even more desperate or foolish than she’s done in the past? And – while we’re trying to put together a plan, should I ‘help’ her in any way? I guess it’s absolutely ridiculous for me to give her money for heroin while we’re making the drug treatment arrangements – – – or, is it? Help!