Cleaning Up Her Messes

Posted on May 14, 2010. Filed under: Intervention, Parent of an Addict | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Even though Hayley left for treatment on Saturday, things haven’t slowed down.  I returned from Seattle  around 5:30 pm on Saturday and proceeded to dispose of everything Hayley had brought with her at 5:30 am Saturday morning to my house, from her life at the crack house.  I dumped all of her clothes, which I had never seen before, in to my garbage can, stacked the mystery paperback books into the Goodwill bag, and knocked on my neighbor’s door, a retired surgeon and long time friend, to deliver the pouch of dirty needles for proper disposal.  There – one major mess taken care of. 

On Sunday morning, I got back in my car to drive two hours to visit my 92 yo mother for Mother’s Day.  We had a nice family brunch with my brother, his wife, and  a couple of close family friends, I planted my mom’s planters on her deck, then jumped back in the car to head back home.  WHEW!  At this point, I was still operating on an adrenalin high.

At home, now, I’m beginning to dare to contemplate my life without visualizing my daughter’s bare, perverse, life-threatening existence at the crack house, whose metal roof I can see from my kitchen window.  I’m forcing myself to not react to the sirens I hear at night – – – and think the worst. For right now – just for today – I don’t need to agonize over whether or not my daughter will be headed to jail, the ER, or, the morgue.

However – because we took Hayley out of state, and she had a scheduled court date for violating probation on Friday, May 14th, I’m in ‘deep shit’.  Or, in reality, Hayley is in deep shit.  Last Saturday, when I was trying to get Hayley to SeaTac airport to fly to the treatment center in California, I signed a $3,000 Promissory Note in order to prevent Hayley from being taken to jail.  Un-beknownst to me, Hayley had a bail bond posted from a previous arrest last fall for violating probation.

Monday,  I typed up a letter explaining why we, our family, conducted an “emergency intervention” with Hayley – that we were afraid for her personal safety and decided to quickly remove her from our small city and get her to a treatment center that could address her multiple issues of:  poly-substance abuse, a serious eating disorder, ‘trauma’ issues, and a possible underlying mental illness diagnosis.  I also requested and received a letter from the treatment center documenting that Hayley was an enrolled patient there, and that they would not recommend Hayley traveling for up to a year.

On Tuesday and Wednesday, I delivered these letters to Hayley’s court-appointed defense attorney (who is overworked, back-logged, and could care less), her probation officer, and the prosecuting attorney.  I also visited Hayley’s bail bondsmen, Javier, who told me that he knew and liked Hayley, that she was a unique case,  and . . . he would go to court with me on Friday to advocate for her.  Holy Cow. This bail bondsman does not fit my stereo type and has turned out to be a good resource for me.

I received this recent mini-report from a staff member at the treatment center, on Hayley’s progress at the detox facility:

I went to see Hayley today in detox.  She is doing pretty well – sick, obviously, as you know from the detox. But her spirits are quite high – grateful to be here and can’t wait to get to the treatment center house.  I told her I would bring her some healthier snacks later this week.  Apparently, they only have things to nibble on that are unhealthy and she is afraid of her eating disorder getting the best of her.  Beautiful daughter you have.  I very much look forward to working with you all.

I called the detox facility today, to check on Hayley’s progress.  It’s day # 5 for her.  Last August, while in a medical detox facility in an inner-urban hospital in the Seattle area, Hayley walked out after 41/2 days, AMA (against medical advice).  So – – – I’m nervous. Hayley could walk out of the detox facility where she is, right now, at any time.  Today, Edie, a staff member at the detox facility, reported to me that Hayley was doing ‘ok’, that she was currently outside, in the sun, braiding another patient’s hair.  She said that Hayley was experiencing a lot of deep muscle and bone pain, typical of heroin withdrawal – and that she was scheduled for release to the Safe Harbor treatment center on May 20th or 21st.

My daughter has a low pain threshold.  She’s always whining that something hurts.  A drug counselor recently told me that heroin addicts are known for their whining about their physical ailments.  Who knows how much physical  pain Hayley is truly experiencing – or how much is being ‘used’ to manipulate the situation.

I heard this on NPR today: ‘Stupid’ has a gravitational force that will pull you right in. This comment was in reference to the Greek economy, and the lack of discipline required for long-term change.  It prompted me to think about Hayley, and my hope that she not take the path of least resistance; however, I also realize that she will most likely take the easiest path.  This is scary, because the ’easiest’ path, is not necessarily the ‘best’ path.

When my older son, Jake, remarked that Hayley’s basic personality was difficult and annoying, prior to her heroin addiction, I agreed – and immediately felt so overwhelmed.  A long time friend of Hayley’s sent me this message:

Peggy, Your strength is amazing!  Having grown up knowing Hayley and your family, and being her friend, closer at times than others, these stories seems surreal to me.  I did send her a text prior to her going and she replied as well, sounding positive and admitting that she missed her family so much and “couldn’t live this way anymore…”  All good signs of getting on her way.

One thing stood out to me about your conversation with Jake, and how she had those behaviors even before she was on heroin…something to think about – – – before she was on heroin she was still an addict and chemically dependent to some sort of drug.  (Alcohol, marijuana, cigarettes, prescription meds, etc. etc.)  I’m not sure that she has not lived a lengthy period of time as an adult without being influenced by some sort of drug.  She has yet to develop the personality and coping skills that “typically” take place as an adult, whatever’ typical’ means, right?  She is probably stuck in her adolescent/addict mind frame…

As Jake said, your work is done.  The rest is up to her.  All we can do is love her.  You’ve given her the roots, Peggy, and have dried her wings, now she has to be the one to allow herself to soar.  I hope you find peace.  I hope and pray that Hayley does too.

Thanks, dear sweet Anna, who courageously reached out to both me, and my heroin addict daughter. Anna texted Hayley right before she left for treatment – and I know it helped nudge Hayley forward.

I  also want to acknowledge a friend of Hayley’s, whom I really don’t know, personally.  Apparently, Todd has known Hayley over the last 8 years, through a variety of friends/connections. Recently, Todd discovered my blog, and was shocked to learn of Hayley’s heroin/serious drug addiction.  Two weeks ago, Todd decided to call Hayley and talk to her.  For some miraculous reason, Hayley’s phone was “on”, and she picked up Todd’s phone call.  Hayley told me on our drive to SeaTac Airport last Saturday, that Todd’s phone call to her a couple of weeks ago, meant a great deal – and contributed to her shift towards getting help for herself. Thanks, Todd – for your determination to reach out to Hayley.  Your words to her, that she had traveled down the road as far as she could go, had an impact.

Tomorrow, on Friday, I will go to court, on behalf of my daughter.  The judge could decide to show no mercy, and require me to pay the $3,000 bond, extradite my daughter from California, and put her in jail. Surely, the intent of the court is to get this client the help that she needs – – – and deserves?  Hayley is in treatment right now;  however, I am not assuming that the court, whose job seems to be punitively based, will show us any compassion or give us a break.

Just for today, when I hear sirens at night, I don’t immediately go in to  cold sweats and nightmarish images. I know that my daughter is currently safe and scheduled to enter treatment where she will have the opportunity to re-invent herself.

Cleaning up our children’s messes – isn’t that what mothers do?


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12 Responses to “Cleaning Up Her Messes”

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So glad Hayley is in treatment where she has not only a choice, but a chance for her mind to clear to make that choice. I only know you via blogging, but what comes out from your writing is that you are a strong, resilient, capable, and loving mom. Thoughts and hope being sent to you!

I am so “out of touch” was the Friday court day yesterday or next week? I can’t imagine they would make her come back here. Let’s hope not.

I liked what Hayleys friend wrote, very insightful and true. They say an addict stops maturing at the age they start using.

I’ve been thinking of you, and her. Sending good thoughts.

I am so glad you finally get to have the restful peace you deserve not constantly worrying about sirens or where she is living.
You gave me so much information in this post I actually took notes with regards to my daughter (even Jake’s observation!).
Thank you for giving us the details like you do, it truly is a journal of your journey.
Todd – has to be an angel sent from God! I speak for myself, but I bet a lot of other parents too would agree, that we all hope God sends someone of a positive influence into the paths of our children. And what a great letter from your friend!
Oh, I hope it went well in court yesterday!
Love & hugs!
God bless.

All I can say, Peggy, is that you are such a wonderful mother. Your post brought tears to my eyes; and I can only continue to pray for Hayley, for you and for the family. I will pray/hope that this is her time.

As far as cleaning up after our children…parents do it all the time, for non addicted children as well (credit card messes, boyfriend/girlfriend messes, vehicle messes, and job messes) and somehow it seems okay when drugs are not involved. Yes, we probably over helped our addicts and didn’t let them fall; but I am a true believer that when their life in on the line, the rules of the game change and we have to do whatever we can to help them.

I know you still have pieces to pick up and that you will continue to worry but I’m just happy for you that “for today” all is well. She’s in a safe place at the moment and the road to recovery is accessible if she wants it.
It’s so hard to now how much to do, how many messes to clean up and how many to leave. Trust yourself.

cleaning up our childrens messes is what got us into this mess. LOL. lack of personal responsibility and lack of consequences is what got THEM into this mess.

but i am glad she is in treatment and i pray it works.

I do think the court’s main objective for Hayley will be to let her continue to get the help she needs. I am trying to learn not to clean up my sons messes. I get a little stronger every day but continue to make mistakes all the time.

Peg, I need to add that I struggle every minute NOT to clean up his messes!

Dearest Peg….Once again words fail me. It is all such an incredible struggle. I’m sending prayers and strength to you and Hayley. Here is a piece from the
12-Step prayer book:


I have the right:
-to be treated with respect
-to experience and express my feelings
-to take time for myself
-to ask for what I want
-to ask for information
-to make mistakes
-to do less than I am humanly capable of
-to feel good about myself
-to act only in ways that promote my dignity and self-respect as long as others are not violated in the process

Wow…. you are so correct. Just because they are in a safe place, hopefully accepting and soaking in all they can to beat their addiction, there is so much left to do on the outside. I admire your strength. And yet, I am on the other side of the coin. I have done both- cleaned up his messes, and left them for him to deal with when he was able. I am not sure if this is true for all ‘anon’ members, but I found I required more strength NOT to fix and clean up his messes. At this point, they are no longer messes- they are life choice consequences. Very grave, very real consequences. It isn’t mud footprints on my white carpet, or spilled milk on the tile floor anymore. It is petty theft, possession, transportation and sale of a controlled substance. It is the 4th set of complete outfits that smell AND look like rotting flesh. I do not know if I am right, or you are. Who can say? We, unfortunately, and through no other circumstance but love, are addicted to our children’s lifestyle. What I do know, is I am starting a new job on Monday. Stevie has court on Tuesday. I wrote a letter to his judge, but I will not be there. I may wash his clothes this time- right now, they are in a pile under a sheet on my porch.He will be in treatment for six months. Not a nice and comfortable one like Hayley. But, still a rehab, ( And your son is right, Stevie is stuck at 13….. sad and annoying, but true.) I am praying for you! Heroin just rots!

Hayley is where she can get help at last. This time is going to be really hard for her and for you. Even though she is away, you still worry and wonder what she is doing and if she is really working to get better.
I have been there so I know. My heart goes out to you and you know I am there for you if you need me. I have been saying prayers for her that she stays and works this out and you will see the real Hayley.
I am seeing the daughter I don’t even remember. She has used something starting with alcohol since she was 13 so I am now seeing the light shining from her as it did when she was a little girl. I hope it will be same for Hayley one day. Just take one day at a time as that is all she can do. HUGS

My son also started taking some type of mood altering substance at the age of 15 years old…so he is learning now as an adult to function without them. It does take time…I’ve read at least a year… for them to adjust.

I was going to say a prayer that Hayley not be put in jail…but instead thanked God for healing her, giving her peace and guidance so that she can live the life that she is meant to live and for her safety.

I believe that if I leave the outcome in God’s hands, he will handle the journey there. God bless you!

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