Archive for September, 2010
Trying to figure out why Monday, April 26, 2010, was my’ busiest’ blog view day – 565 views. I had just posted “Take A Seat”, referencing Kristina Wandzilak‘s blog, The Kristina Chronicles, and the support that Al-Anon and AA provide. And during that time, I was at my most frantic – desperately trying to save my daughter’s life by orchestrating what seemed like an impossible intervention plan to get her into rehab. I’m just curious – why so many hits that day? Were other people as hopeless as I was then? Or, was it simply cosmic convergence? There is no answer, of course. I’m just wondering.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 6 so far )
I’ve been MIA from the blogging world for the last few weeks – busy with finishing up my house remodeling project, other necessary house repairs/expenses that sprang up as a result, spending time with my grandchildren and 93 yo mother, community projects (author Patti Digh, of 37days blog and Life is a Verb fame, is coming here in November for a Hospice fundraiser, and I’m in charge!), trying to find a home for my beloved golden retriever, Abby (due to a dog-biting incident with my neighbor’s dog), dealing with constant problems with my new car that appears to be a “lemon”, yadyadayada. My plate is full. I’m barely able to keep up with my own life, let alone worry about/monitor my daughter in recovery. I guess that’s good. But if she lets things “fall through the cracks”, she’ll go to jail.
As most of you know, my heroin addict daughter, Hayley, has been in California since May 8th: in medical detox for 12 days, then a patient at a 90 day residential treatment center for women (Safe Harbor). For the first couple of months, she didn’t have a phone or computer and wrote a lot of letters and notes – to me, other family members, and any one who wrote her. She received a ton of mail from all sorts of people, cheering her on. It really made her feel loved and supported. But now, most communication has dropped off. Hayley has now been sober now for 135 days – that’s 4 ½ months. However, she doesn’t call or write much anymore, and I find myself reverting back to my familiar ‘expect-the-worst’ mode. It’s a bad habit, but is what I know, and has been authentically built on hard evidence from the past. Hayley may just be busy working her program, making friends, going to meetings, going to the beach, and is snipping the tether. (Well – certainly NOT the financial tether. She still doesn’t have a job, and is being completely supported by her father. He is paying for her after-care treatment program, sober living rent and fees, and monthly expenses. Why should she get a job?) I really don’t know what’s up.
Sarcasm and cynicism aside: of course, Hayley still needs help – probably more than ever. I do think that her “post-treatment” out patient program is essential. She’s never learned or developed the skills necessary to live as an independent, productive adult. However, after getting sober and being the stellar student in her rehab program, I thought for sure she’d move on to the next logical step of getting a part time job and begin to manage her own life. I’m realizing, and trying to accept, that she is not doing that. My fear is that she’s depressed, overwhelmed, and/or somewhat aimless. She has never been willing to just “sing in the chorus” and gradually work her way up to the solo. She’s always wanted to start at the top, whether or not she had the experience or deserved it. “Entitlement” is the working term here. She appears to want a ‘career-building’ job with a good salary and benefits, or none at all. Both her sponsor and I feel that right now, she needs a ‘get well’, part time job with a low stress level, within walking/biking distance of her sober living house, and the flexibility to enable her to stay active in recovery as well as the time to gradually learn and practice time/money management skills. She’s posting her puffed up resume on Monster.com, and waiting for potential employers to call her. This just won’t work in this economy – – – and, the reality is, Hayley has no car or driver’s license, and really needs a job within her neighborhood or on the bus route.
Hayley has now been living in a sober living house for a month. She says she likes it and is getting along well with the 6 other women. However, the fact that she hasn’t found a job yet, makes me a bit suspicious. Is she ardently pounding the pavement to find employment? Will she be capable of holding a job as well as working her recovery program, at the same time?
I appeared in court for Hayley on August 27th to address her probation violation and failure-to-appear charges. I had spent way too much time making sure Hayley’s treatment center in California sent an official progress report to her Probation Officer and court-appointed attorney. I drafted a letter for Hayley to sign and send to her court-appointed attorney with important questions about and details of her case. AND, I told Hayley that I was now officially handing over the responsibility of her legal issues – – – that she was in charge of making all the phone calls and correspondence necessary to keep herself out of jail.
When I did go to court in August, neither the judge nor the prosecuting attorney had the letters in hand. Luckily, I had brought copies of the letters, but the judge was annoyed. He was ready to issue a warrant for Hayley’s arrest, when the Prosecuting Attorney piped up to say that that wasn’t really what they wanted – that they just wanted better communication. The PA said that Hayley’s Probation Officer was supposed to forward any treatment program reports to their office, which the PO, when questioned later, said that that wasn’t her responsibility. What’s the deal? What is the procedure? Please, just tell us, what goes to whom and when, and we’ll do it.
I’m realizing that Hayley still does not feel she has a personal stake in these legal proceedings, that she doesn’t have a good organizational system, and is not being as proactive as she needs to be – that if I had not appeared in court for her with copies of the treatment program’s progress report, the judge would have issued a warrant for Hayley’s arrest. I just recently acquired a sponsor in Al-Anon to help me work the 12 steps myself. She said, “Well – maybe Hayley needs to learn that lesson herself.” Really? Have her go to jail to learn that she needs to pay closer attention to the obscure details of how the convoluted court system works? And risk relapse? I’m not sure that I can let that happen. But then again, maybe I need to.
I’m flying Hayley up to Washington State on October 2nd. We’ll spend two nights with my son and his family, then go visit my mother for her 93rd birthday, about 3 hours away. My plan was to NOT go to our home town, at all. So now, here are the concerns that I need to try to let go of: Hayley does not have any current, government-issued photo ID. Will she even be able to pass security and get on the plane? I, of course, advised her to get a California photo ID card months ago. She didn’t do it, and has assured me that she can get on the plane with her xeroxed copy of her expired/suspended Washington Driver’s License. Huh! Are you kidding me? My Al-Anon sponsor also told me that maybe this is a lesson I need to learn – that I can’t make some one do anything. And so, if that worst-case scenario plays out, I’ll be the one to pay the consequences – I’ll be out $300, and my 93 yo mother may never get a chance to see her granddaughter again. (it’s been 1 ½ years since their last visit) That hardly seems fair.
OK, I know I’m a bit on a rant – so, I’ll let it all out. Why can’t my sober daughter give me a call once in a while, just to find out how I’m doing, and coping, or not? In the meantime, please pass the mashed potatoes – – – AND, gravy.
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