September 30, 2009

Lock Down at Jail

I've been wondering why I haven't heard from K (I do allow him to call home and he usually does every other day).  He hasn't called because the jail is on lock-down because one of the inmates jumped off the roof (suicide).

They get a few minutes on the roof each day, it bothers me to know its possible to jump off.  I hope K was not there when this happened, or worse yet that he knew the guy.  Sad.

September 29, 2009

A former spy with permission

I admit I used to spy on my son's myspace page to find out what he was up to concerning drugs and its how I found out he was dealing (before he was an addict).  Well now he has ASKED me to go on there for him and read his messages and respond to them and give people his address in jail.

The sad thing is, no one is writing him.  His friends dumped him long ago (except the ones that already know).

I feel weird going on there, but its nice to connect with his friends that know me and the ones that seem safe. I chatted with a few that thought I was him but told them up front it was me and they still wanted to talk.

I don't know if this is enabling or not.

Frankly with the other issue going on in my life, this seems minor.  I don't know how much more I can take but the breaking point is not far.

September 28, 2009

What Advice Would You Give?

I've learned a lot from other parents of addicts.  I've had a few friends with younger children ask me how they can prevent their children from getting involved in drugs.

I'd like to hear from other parents:

1)  what do you wish you would have known sooner?
2)  what would you have done different?
3)  anything else you want to add

I guess my main piece of advise would be that this happens in all types of families.  Loving your child and being the best parent you know how to be is not a guarantee that things won't go wrong.  Be alert, be aware and be IN CHARGE.  I made the mistake of thinking my son would never try serious drugs, and then when I found out he did I went into denial instead of taking serious, tough love, action.

UPDATEMom of Opiate Addict left me a comment reminding me that Dad and Mom recently posed this question on their blog and got a great response, so please check it out here.

Hurting Parents

There are so many hurting parents of addicts.
We are all different, but the same.
I've seen healing, recovery and miracles - it can happen for our children too.

September 27, 2009

"Mom, Please Search My Room"

On my last visit with K he told me there was "stuff" in his room and asked me if I would get rid of it for him.  He wants the house completely drug and paraphernalia free for when his probation officer searches our home.

He told me where to look (jacket pockets, way under his dresser, hidden in back of closet).  I asked if I would find any actual drugs, he said "you might".

Here's what I found.  I was surprised.  I honestly thought he was using once in a while, I didn't know it was EVERY DAY.  I didn't know he had a $50.00  a day habit.  How did I not know that?  I will never let this slide by me again, EVER.  I saw the signs, but I believed him when he said he was just tired and depressed because that is not unusual for him (duh!).  I know, I know....I was blinded by my own denial.

Here is the nice neat pile I made.  He's been injecting and smoking it.

September 25, 2009

What I Want for My Birthday:

Ok, there are only a few hours left of my birthday and here I am making a "gift list" of what I want.  But you don't even have to move from where you are sitting to do this, I just want everyone to read today's post by Dad and Mom over at "An Addict in Our Son's Bedroom".  Its important stuff.

If you don't know someone who's been directly affected by drug addiction, you are very fortunate and becoming part of a minority.  Its spreading fast and wide and SOMETHING must be done.  We can take some action.

"It has come to be my belief that drug usage needs a more personal face. Parents, brothers, sisters, friends and everyone connected needs to stand up and demand more accountability from our governments for drug addiction. Politicians find it easy to pound their fist about drug addiction and it is easy to brag about how many addicts and dealers they have put in prison on their watch. Addiction is a disease. We need our leaders look for new answers, our current methodologies of dealing with addicts once they are in the system are only marginally effective. The power of every person touched by drug addiction is to big for our leaders to ignore. This affects us all.

I am asking everyone that reads this blog, when you are done here go to your U.S. Representatives website and e-mail them, ask what they are doing about drug addiction. For those from other countries, do the same with your government, if you are allowed to do this. I do see there are visitors to our blogs from some very repressed countries, do what is safe for you in your place. We all need to be heard more loudly and with a larger voice to get something done."
Read the entire blog post HERE.

Find your State Rep. HERE.

September 24, 2009

Grateful - Hopefull - THANK YOU!

I am in the process of responding to all your individual comments.  Thanks to each and every one of you - all of you said basically the same thing:  This is GOOD.  And I agree wholeheartedly.

I wanted this, and its the best thing possible for K.  I hope it "breaks" him of some of the arrogance and blaming that he still clings to regarding his addiction, I think that is what he needs.  I feel much better today, in fact I feel pretty damn good!

I grieved last night, got it out of my system and am ready for the next phase of day by day and staying strong and taking care of ME.

AND as icing on the cake, last night I got to say some things to K's father that I had held in for the last 7 years or so.  I got it ALL out.  He (bio dad) actually laughed at me several times while I was explaining to him how hurt K was when, at age 12, Thom stopped visiting him to punish me for asking for child support (I should have filed for back support).  He tried to BLAME K for not calling HIM.  Um...hello?  This is so lame I don't even have to explain it to all of you, but he didn't get it.  He didn't get that he's the ADULT, the FATHER.  He could not come out and say "yes, I agree, I let my son down" and he never will.  But he took plenty of time to brag about his son that lives with him (age 13).  What a __________.

Hope you are all having a good day.  Thanks for listening.  Getting all this out feels very cathartic this week and I need to purge all this junk now so I can start my 50th year feeling good.  I can not believe I am turning 50 TOMORROW!

FIFTY!  It sounds old but its not.  The number doesn't even bother me.  Much.

September 23, 2009

Outcome of Court Today

As I sit here fighting back tears, I know in my mind that the outcome of today's court appearance is the right one.  I am grateful for the awesome judge and public defender and others that met about K and discussed his case and determined the best route would be a 90 day in-patient treatment center (PH).  My logic, my sensibilities, my knowledge of drug addiction - all of those things are in complete agreement that this is exactly what my son needs.

My heart, on the other hand, is breaking.

The look on his face, the fear in his eyes, the realization that he was not going to be home for a long time...hurt me deeply.

He will be gone for my birthday, his birthday, Thanksgiving, Christmas and possible even Valentine's Day.  What really hurts is that he won't get to see D and Wyatt* when they are here to visit from Germany for Christmas.

I won't be able to see or TALK to him for his first thirty days there.

They currently have no openings so the judge sentenced him to 107 days in jail but said he would be transferred to PH at the first available opening (which typically takes 6 - 8 weeks).

I know some of you have been through this with your kids - what was it like for you?  For them?  Did it help?  Were you able to enjoy holidays without your child home?  Please let me know.
I have heard of PH  both good and bad) but don't even have the desire to research it right now.  I just want to hug my son.  That's all I want to do right now.

Thanks for caring.

Why does this hurt so bad?  Its what I wanted - court ordered drug treatment.  I just can't get that look on his face out of my mind....

*D is K's cousin who has been in Germany for the last year (her husband is stationed there in the Army) and Wyatt is her son (age 7).  We are a small and close family.  Its going to be hard on all three of them if they can't see each other.

Running out the Door to Court:

Here are my thoughts for the day on my other blog:

Writing from the Inside Out

September 22, 2009

The $20 Question

Its sad that there's such a negative stereotype out there of what a "drug addict" is like, and its even sadder that so much of it is accurate. 

We love our children, we just hate their actions.  I love my son's friends too.  I am having one of those heartbreaking moments of "knowing" I was just lied to but I was really more of a bystander so I just listened, hugged her and told her I loved her and to "keep being good" (I have no idea if she's using or not, I always say that to her).

Here's the situation, tell me what you think:

Yesterday I was not home.  "Kelly" called my house and asked my mom if she could borrow $20 for one day and pay it back the next day when her pay check went through.  My mom, knows Kelly's history.....we've known her a long time and I won't go into details but I BELIEVE she is no longer using, but that she is very co-dependent with her boyfriend (also K's friend) who may or may not be using.

So shock - she just came over and paid my mom back!!!  I am very happy about that quick turnaround but I felt like she was lying to us.  She had a story of why she needed the money (the truth usually doesn't make you think you need to go into a long explanation).  Also, it was only $20, why didn't she ask her mom?  And what was so critical that she had to have $20 right away (possibly gas for her car...that's legit).

I don't know, its just feels funny to me.  Perhaps I 'm jaded.  Perhaps I'm wise to this kind of behavior.  Either way, I am glad she paid the money back and I wanted to hug her forever (she is so thin I wanted to feed her too).  I know her mom, she's a great mom.  I should invite her to read our blogs - she's definitely a candidate for this club none of us want to belong to).

September 19, 2009

Thinking of you....

I am thinking of all of you who read my blog.  I am reading through your recent blog posts and wanting to sit and write long comments to each of you.  I will, soon.  I just don't have the time right now.  I feel pulled in several directions.  Do you know that feeling when everyone once a piece of you and they are all pushing and pulling and you and you just need some time but don't know when you are going to get it?  That's how I feel.

My boyfriend is in town which is great.  I need to find time later to write here and comment.

Thinking of you.

PS  Saw K today, he's hating jail life, which is how it should be.  I thought it was a good sign when he said that even if he had to stay in there for another two months on a waiting list for the recovery program he would choose that over getting out of jail and not getting in the program.

September 18, 2009

Working on Overwhelming Project

I had no idea how taxing both emotionally and physically this project would be.  I am tired and feel sick and I am only half done.  I am creating a document for the judge that will evaluate K's case next week.  Its a summary of his mental health history.  Its making me realize that I knew something was wrong, I took action, but I did not push hard enough for results and/or he seemed better.  Wish me luck.

I need to feel better, my boyfriend arrives tomorrow for a week long stay to celebrate my birthday.

I wonder if K will be out for my big day?  (50!)  I kind of hope so, but I kind of hope not.  Sigh.  Its never easy having a concrete describable thought when it relates to loving a heroin addict!

September 17, 2009

What are you in the mood for?

I've been sitting here reading poetry I've written over the years.  Some of it I haven't read in a long time and it almost shocked me because it was not that long ago that my life was so different.  So empty.  So full of depression and despair.

So if you are in the mood for something heavy, I am going to share a poem here that is no longer me, and I am thankful for that.

If you are in the mood for something light, I shared a very cool story about how K's friends took him to the Smashing Pumpkins concert the other day.  How could that be you ask, he's still in jail!  Well you'll have to check out my music blog to find out.  I'm still grinning thinking about it :)  Its at Layla's Classic Rock.

Totally and completely alone. Not one shoulder to cry on. Can I turn to the One who claims to comfort? Why is He not enough? I've alienated everyone from my life. Hurt them, angered them, used up their patience. 

I've done this to myself like the slow drag of the blade across my wrist. Very carefully monitoring how deep it will go - will I let it injure, or kill? I was never meant for this world. Born defective, too many raw emotions like ruptured nerve endings. Pain. Sharp, excruciatingly, indeterminable and unstoppable. 

Others shake their heads and don't understand. Heroin owns its victims as loneliness owns me. I can be in a room full of people or in the back alley - I'm still alone. 

They pay for head I pay for hugs, I'm still alone. 

Words mean nothing. They lead you along but you know they are empty and fake. 

You choose to keep walking the plank till you get to the end and plunge. The sharks have been circling. Let them devour me - at least it’s not obvious, did I slip or did I jump? Blood in the water, shreds of flesh and bone. What's left of a sensitive soul. They laugh at the red stained spot where the sharks have fed. She asked for it. She always was a bit off, a bit too needy, a bit too sensitive and way too willing to give herself away. 

Hundreds of times over an over again begging for love exchanging the tangible for nothing more than whispers in the dark. Waking to cold damp sheets. Never giving up. Using her only commodity till the well ran dry. Looking for the living water. Why wasn't it enough? Change was suppose to happen. A new creation - what about the butterfly emerging from the caterpillar? What about the cross and the forgiveness of sin? What about that One Man who was suppose to save them all?

If only this were a dream with an end. If only tomorrow would never come. To wake up in peace. Feel hope warm me like a blanket right out of the dryer. Clean and soft. Nurturing. 

Ripped, oily rags covered with dirt. Cardboard boxes for shelter. Empty syringe, broken glass, trash. Just let me go back to where I belong. I understand the vacant stares of empty minds. Pain is mingled with survival but no one feels a thing. It all just drifts away. The cold hard cement. The urine scented hallway. The whimpering cries of the slaves. It's all the same. A lonely cold existence in a falsely warm world.

I feel stupid

Its not the first time, nor will it be the last.

Earlier I had posted some lyrics that I thought my son had sent me.  He told me the name of the song, "Mama" and the band, My Chemical Romance.  But somehow when I pulled up the lyrics to read I got a song by the same name by The Spice Girls.  It should have been clear to me that my son would NOT send a song with those Spice Girl lyrics.  I guess it was wishful thinking.  A friend pointed out my mistake and I read the words to the song my son was really referring to and thought to myself "duh."

Oh well.

In other news:  I am up to late scared to try to sleep.  I did not hear from K today.  He's got at least another week in there and maybe more.

September 16, 2009

He sent a letter and asked me to look up the lyrics to this song:

Mama, by My Chemical Romance

She Used to be my enemy and never letting me be free,
catching me in places that I know I shouldn't be,
Every other day I crossed the line
I didn't mean to be so bad,
I never thought you would become a friend I never had

Back then I didn't know why,
Why you were misunderstood (mama),
So now I see through your eyes,
all that you did was love

Mama I love you, Mama I care,
Mama I love you, Mama my friend,
You're my friend

I didn't want to hear it then but
I'm not ashamed to say it now,
Every little thing you said and did was right for me,
I had a lot of time to think about,
about the way I used to be,
Never had a sense of my responsibility.

Back then I didn't know why,
why you were misunderstood,
So now I see through your eyes,
all that you did was love,

Mama I love you, Mama I care,
Mama I love you, Mama my friend,
You're my friend ,you're my friend

But now I'm sure I know why (I know why),
why you were misunderstood,
So now I see through your eyes,
all I can give you is love (all I can give you is love),

Mama I love you, Mama I care,
Mama I love you, Mama my friend,
Mama I love you, Mama I care,
Mama I love you, Mama my friend,
You're my friend, you're my friend

Ohh, my mama my love
Ohh, my mama my love

In love in you, in love in me
And love is true and guaranteed

  I'mloving you,you loving me
our love that's true so true
painting by Jennifer Winship Mark

September 15, 2009

Things That Happen at the Hair Salon

I've been having the same wonderful woman doing my hair forever (16 years?) and I know lots of her clients.  Today I was there and saw a woman that I have always admired from afar and watched with awe.  This woman is so beautiful (on the outside and the inside).  She appeared to have an ideal life with a loving husband, two sons.  We went to church together for years.  I didn't know her well but when K started talking about suicide at age 11 my pastor got me in contact with "T".

I had no idea that "T's" son suffered from depression and on and again off again suicide talk or attempts.  "T" and I shared a few emails.  It seemed that her son, a teen at the time, was getting better so I was shocked to hear that he followed through and took his own life.


Its been quite a few years since it happened.  I actually got to know "T" a little better since then but never mentioned her son to her.  I always wanted to.  I have a million questions.  But she is a quiet person and and I just don't know her all that well.

Today we were both having our hair done and I noticed her son's name tattooed on her ankle.  I have K's name on my ankle too.   I don't know what the point of his post is, but seeing her made my heart ache and fill with fear.

At the moment I am literally surrounded by piles of paperwork from the last 8 years trying to find "evidence" that K's depression/anxiety has been "chronic and persistent".  Ugh.  I don't have too much to prove that but I am trying.

I hope all of you are doing well.  I can't wait to kick back in my recliner later and READ YOUR BLOGS.


Ok, I am crying.  This is just too "coincidental".  You know how I just told you about "T" and her son?  You know how I am surrounded by piles of papers digging through to find medical stuff on K?  Well, after hitting publish on this post I picked up a piece of paper and unfolded it.  It was a poem written by her son and included in his memorial.
I can't stop crying looking at his face.  I didnt' go to the memorial.  I didn't even know I had this piece of paper, its a photocopy.  I must have asked someone if I could take a copy of it.  I don't know if I should share the poem here or not, I should probably respect their privacy but somehow I think "T" would say it would be okay, I may ask her.
Oh my God....Dear Jesus - why?  Why do you let people "end their pain" instead of taking it away?  How can you take this family through such agony?  This is why I walked away from God for a year....I was (and still am) so pissed off at how much pain is in this life.  I believe again, I guess.  I don't even know sometimes.  I am tired of the simple answers "his ways are beyond ours".  This boy was 17 years old.  17.  With loving parents and brother, and friends and a bright future (with proper medical care for depression).  He could not bear life.  I am going to ask "T" if I can post his poem here.  It says so much.
Wow.  I am just blown away that out of hundreds of pieces of paper here on my bed I picked that one up....

September 14, 2009

Do You Watch Intervention?

I can't watch it often.  Its just too painful.  This guy on


What would I do without this blog? A place to write out what I am thinking and feeling related to the most horrible thing in my life. I am a survivor of some very heavy stuff. I am strong. I have overcome a lot and continually work on improving myself in my areas of weakness (which I am well aware of, trust me on that one - smile).

BUT, the one area that I have been weak, and continue to struggle and suffer through is being a mother. I have heard for years from people in my son's life and my life what a "good mom" I am. I love hearing that, what parent doesn't want to hear that?

I also know what it means: It means that they see how much I love my son. They see that the mistakes I make are out of love, not neglect or uncaring. I LOVE my son as most parents love their children. If only "bad parents" had kids in jail, addicted to drugs or committing crimes, our jail system would be UNDER crowded.

And I know what it doesn't mean: It does not mean I have done a good job. I have screwed up royally and in hindsight I clearly see it.

Most parents love their kids and do their best, our mistakes are made with good intentions.

So its not easy to accept that this Good Mom has produced such a messed up kid. Its not easy to have every area of my life affected by his drug addiction. Sometimes the pain feels similar to my sciatic nerve the other day - unbearable, and I want to do something to make it go away. But trips to the ER, Al-Anon, Prayer, Support Groups, etc. etc. don't make it go away. I think it will always be there.

Yet, I am learning to ACCEPT and in acceptance a bit of the pain eases up. Not much, but a bit. I imagine it gets easier with time, but I hope to not find out. I hope to have a miracle like my friend Suzie had with her daughter, Angel.

  • I accept that I did not cause my son's drug addiction and can't fix it
  • I accept that he may very well follow this lifestyle for years to come
  • I accept that he may never have a career, let alone a decent job
  • I accept he may never marry and give me a grandchild
  • I accept he may give me tons of grandchildren all from different moms that I wont' be able to be close to :(
  • I accept that he has been convicted of a felony
  • I accept that he doesn't have control over his actions right now
  • I accept that I can't trust him, that he will lie to me, steal from me and take advantage of me whenever possible
  • I accept that this is not hopeless, that he may get better
  • I accept that its not up to me, its entirely up to him
(This post was prompted when I got off the phone with a dear woman I have known since K was in the third grade. It was at that time that I first took him to a psychiatrist, all those years ago I knew something was wrong but for some reason he was never helped by meds or counseling or both. Anyhow, this woman just shared with me that her son started using drugs when he was 19. I never knew that about her before. She also shared that he is now 36 and in Chino (toughest prison in our state). It was another reminder that life does not always go as planned. This may be his life forever. Or, I may not see my son live to see his 21st birthday - or maybe 19th for that matter! Although it was depressing to hear her share about her son, it also was a good reminder to me to "accept the things I can not change....")

September 13, 2009

Bad Jail Visit

Today I decided to surprise him since no one else was going to visit him. Bad idea. That ear to ear grin from last time was MIA and the first words out of his mouth were "will you please stop sending me letters that say the same thing over and over, I get it, okay?"

I was hurt, he saw the hurt and then was upset that I was upset. I'll spare you the details but most of the conversation was all about him, his needs, his wants. I don't think he's ready. I fear that he's going to get out and use again. Don't they usually?

What will it take? I don't know. I just feel hurt, angry and very tired from lack of sleep last night. I slept from 7:30 am - 9:45 am. No kidding, that was it. I tossed and turned from 2-3, got up till 4, tossed and turned till 5 got up till 7 and finally fell asleep. I don't think Ambien works on me anymore :(

Also - I am very worried about Ant. I mentioned to K what he said to me on the phone the other night and K said "I hope he's not thinking of offing himself, he talks about it sometimes". Holy Father God - WHY? Why is there so much pain in the lives of these young people????

On the other hand, I talked about offing myself throughout my entire comes from a sense of deep despair and hopelessness that feels like it will never end. But it does if you wait it out. I guess some of us are just wired to be depressed. If I could do one thing with the rest of my life it would be to reach out to these hurting young people.

Good Jail Visit

My mom went with me to visit K yesterday. It was a new experience for her, she handled it well. She's 85 and I was sitting on the little metal stool (cause of my back issue) and all these nice people tried to offer her a seat cause she was standing. She said "I'm fine, I'm in better shape than she is". I said "Yeah, she looks old but she's strong as an ox". It was a WEIRD mother daughter thing but very cool. THEN she actually rubbed my shoulders as I sat there. I almost cried, I can't remember the last time my mom touched me or showed me affection. The lesson: Often times people grow closer through difficult times. Tragedies can cancel out old hurts and bring people together.

So the visit was good. K  was smiling ear to ear the whole time. He loved seeing his grandma there! They have a special bond since she helped raise him. I really need to post my fave pic of them. She used to dress them both up on Halloween every year and as he got older the costumes got weirder (you know how boys are) and a few of them shocked me that my mom would make herself so ghoulish and have such a good time doing it.

I keep getting off topic. I guess there really is no topic other than my mom and I went to visit K. He was happy. It was good. He's excited about the possibility of "Recovery Court" rather than "Drug Court" and is hoping to be out by Bruce Springsteen's 60th birthday (aka Sept. 23).

So all is looking hopeful.

I am not fooling myself - it won't be "easy", he's still an addict. We will have to be stricter and more careful than ever. All our spare keys are locked away and the keys we use will be kept under our mattresses at night as we sleep. NO CASH will be kept in the house. NO Friends over unless I know them, their parents and feel they are safe.

The list goes on. But still, it was great to see him smiling. He has this funky beard thing going on that makes him look about 30 but he doesn't like shaving in jail, last time he got staph infection in there and is not taking chances this time.

Thanks for caring!

September 11, 2009

Good Friends, Bad Friends

UPDATE: this is sad, he (Ant) called me tonight with one of those "favors" addicts ask and they honestly think it sounds legitimate and that you won't see through it. It was a very bold favor which tells me he's in a bad place. I said no, and my heart sunk. I hate this shit (heroin) so much I can't even find words vile enough to describe my hate for it.

If your a Zeppelin fan you may recall the first verse of their song, "Good Times, Bad Times". It reminds me a lot of my son and his friends:

In the days of my youth I was told what it was to be a man, Now I've reached the age I've tried to do all those things the best I can. No matter how I try, I find my way to do the same old jam.

I've known most of K's friends for years, some for most of his lifetime. There's several of them that I have gown to love. Sadly I have to categorize them in my mind as "good friends" and "bad friends". I am sure you can figure out why someone would fall into the bad friend category, but that doesn't mean I love those guys any less than the good ones.

Because of his drug use K lost all but one good friend during this last year. I watched as they stood by him during the beginning but each one faded away as they saw that he was not changing his way - he was still using. (Except good old Andrew who lives two doors away and still hangs out with K).

I got to see two of the good friends yesterday and got big hugs from both of them. One is heading off for one of the best 4 year colleges in our state the other is enrolled in the local community college. I was so happy for them. We didn't really say much about K - they know where he is, what more can they say? They were there at the hospital with me when he OD's, they were at my house talking and letting him cry and on their shoulders into the wee hours of morning many times. They included him, they tried to steer him away from drugs. I am touched by their efforts.

Then there are his bad friends. Only one of his bad friends still matters to me. His name is Ant and he calls himself "my second son". He lost his mother several years ago, she was killed when a meth lab exploded. His dad has been in and out of prison most of his life, he doesn't really know him. His brother is a tough guy that I would not want to mess with, just looking at him scares me.

Ant is an addict too. So I love him, but with that caution you have to use around addicts "is he bullshitting me or are these tears real?" He called today to see what the outcome of K's court appearance was yesterday. Then we talked about him. I could tell by his voice it was not good.

He left the sober living home he was in, has been using and has a warrant out for his arrest (he was in hardcore prison - Chino, for those familiar with the CA State Penitentiary system) and has been out for about 5 months. He started crying telling me he did not want to go back there and that his only hope was to get into a rehab "out of county" (meaning not here in OC). He has one in mind and is trying to get in. He asked me if I had any suboxone left, I said no. I wanted desperately to offer to take him to the doctor and get some, but I can NOT do that. It kills me, but I just can't spend money on him, the risk is too high.

Ant borrowed $60 from my mom when I was in Wisconsin. We'll never see it again. He asked me to lend him some money when he got out of prison so he could start his tattoo business (he is very, very talented but was using prison made equipment!). I said no, I would not lend him money but I would invest in his business by buying him the equipment (obviously this was when I had a job!). He was ecstatic and has been doing really well building up a bunch of clients and getting a portfolio of his work together. I am proud of him.

So today when we were talking he said, "tell K I love him but that there is no way we can see each other for a long time. We can't get clean together. We are a bad influence on each other. We have to do it separately then we can be bros again". He also gave me a list of five guys (new friends that I don't know well) that I should forbid K to see. One was someone K SWORE was not a druggie. I am glad Ant is committed to getting clean and I just pray to God that he can do it. He also has a son, about 2 years old, that he needs to be there for and I think that is part of his motivation. The little boy knows his Daddy, but not that well. I hope by the time the little guy is three, his dad is clean and sober and visiting him often. Boys need dads.

September 10, 2009

New Development in My Son's Case

Sat in court all day expecting one of two outcomes: Drug Court program OR 6 months jail time. While interviewing him for the Drug Court program the health dept. determined that its highly possible that K is suffering from an undiagnosed mental illness which is why he uses drugs (to self medicate), (aka dual diagnosis).

This doesn't surprise me at all. I've been trying to convince psychiatrists since he was 8 that there was something wrong with my son, that he was not like other kids. They always diagnosed depression and gave him meds for that and I told myself they knew more than I did and always hoped for the best. But who knows a child better than his own mother?

When he took an overdose of pills (intentionally) and was placed in a psychiatric unit for 72 hours I thought that finally someone would diagnose him properly. Since he was an "adult" (he'd been 18 for only 2 friggin weeks at the time!) I never got to talk to the doctor's. But the report didn't say anything new, just that he needed to get into counseling. So, I got him into counseling and got no where with that. The counselor had K convinced that I was responsible for all his anger, hate etc.

So I don't know....Maybe he's bi-polar. His main symptoms have always been s anxiety, fear and paranoia with bouts of depression and childhood migraines which are now gone.

So....I guess in some ways this is good news? That he will get the help he needs. I am going to go visit him tomorrow.

Here is what the program they want to put him into is all about (and this sounds like it will help him more than jail time!)

Recovery (MIOCR) Court

Funded by a grant obtained by the Orange County Sheriff’s Department through the Mentally Ill Offenders Crime Reduction Act (MIOCR), the Recovery Court is a voluntary program for misdemeanor offenders suffering from chronic and persistent mental illness. The participants must have a diagnosis of schizophrenia, bi-polar disorder, or major depressive disorder. The program provides participants with psychiatric services which may be initiated in the jail. Once the offender is released from custody they are provided with on-going psychiatric services and mental health counseling, drug and alcohol abuse counseling, residential treatment, and assistance in accessing medical services, employment counseling, job training and placement, government benefits, and housing. The program involves frequent court appearances, regular drug and alcohol testing, meetings with the Recovery Court support team, and direct access to specialized services.

September 8, 2009

to my son:

I love you. I believe in you. I will support your efforts to get clean by driving you to meetings, etc. and by listening and caring. I will not tolerate any more of your lies, stealing, manipulations or coercion. I know you can do it, when you are ready. I hope you are ready. You are the world to me...that song I made up for you when you a baby, I know you till remember it and I still mean every word of it. It won't be easy, but its not impossible. I will miss you if you are stuck in jail. Let me know what books you want, I love it that you're reading so much.  I know what I've done wrong in the past and I am not going to repeat those mistakes. I never want to send you back to jail, but I will if you break the law in my home. I love you more than words can say. You will only understand when you have a child of your own. Please look at your future possibilities - you are just 18, your future is a blank slate and you can create it to be whatever you want. I will help you, I won't enable you. I've been sleeping in your bed cause of my back injury, but I have to admit, I like it in there, I feel close to you, I smell your cologne and smile. You can do this, K. One day at a time.

Love, Mom

Whatever - I am done

I did my part as a parent.
I tried to help him.
It appears that he will be staying in jail for 6 months, we'll know for sure Thursday.

I just don't care anymore.  I am so sick of this. 

Every part of my life is complicated or painful right now.

September 7, 2009

An Important Week for my Son's Court Case

I was on the phone with attorneys off and on all day trying to find an affordable one that seemed to understand our complicated issue. It was sort of an out-of-body experience listening to myself speak all these legal terms and knowing things that a few months ago was completely foreign to me. You learn fast when you are forced to!

The problem is, our Public Defender is not very helpful. He doesn't like my son or me. He will not return my calls or answer my questions in person either. I just have ONE question I need answered: Is my son eligible for Prop 36?

I decided to hire an attorney (my mom and sis are paying) but DO I EVEN NEED ONE? If K is NOT elgible for Prop 36 then why waste $2,500 trying to get it for him? If his PD would just tell us the truth we'd know what to do.

Why won't the PD just TELL us if there is some legal reason K is not eligible for it??? I have researched it to death and can't find a reason he shouldn't be but the PD said its not an option - was he just saying that to scare him? I hate the games he plays.

The attorney I may hire said it may possibly irritate the judge if I switch from a PD to an attorney at the last minute. He knows the judge and the PD and things the judge is great. He said the PD is a nice person but that he is known for being difficult (I researched him and he filed a law suit a few years ago against his own dept. and lost).

So I have made a few last hope phone calls in hopes that I can find out in the morning whether or not to hire the attorney in the afternoon. Time is of the essence since the court date for sentencing is Thursday.

Its nerve wracking. I want my son to get HELP, to SUCCEED, to have the BEST CHANCE to get better. He will choose jail time over Drug Court but I don't want him in there, he's already been offered drugs and phone numbers of dealers to use when he's out. He's turned them all down.

I am finally seeing the humility in him that was lacking. He's scared. He hates it in there. He even understands why we are selling his truck.

Please pray and/or wish us luck this week, we need it!

Money Talks - So What if You Don't Have Any?

After much discussion with my family and some friends we decided to hire an attorney for Keven's next court appearance since his Public Defender has demonstrated time and time again that he does not like Keven or me and treats us both very rudely.

It appears that Keven has two options:

a drug program that is designed for older addicts/alcoholics who have tried every other method of rehab possible and has a very low success rate for anyone, especially for anyone under 25 years old


six months in jail

Keven has already decided to choose the six months.

BUT I want to know why he was not offered the intermediate program, Prop 36, which would hopefully benefit Keven and lead him to the road of recvoery.

Since our PD was not cooperating I called an attorney and my mom and sister agreed to split the cost.  I assumed it would be around $3,000 since this is what I was quoted before.  No - he wanted $7,500!  That's just too much money for them so we are back to relying on our PD to get Keven the most suitable option.

I don't know if this will do any good or if anyone will even read it, but I plan to try and get it to the PD, and possibly the judge, so that they understand what Keven would like.  The PD refuses to sit down and talk to me face to face so this seems like my only option to communicate.

Please tell me what you think, and please note:  I am not trying to get the easy way out for my son.  I want the BEST for him, not the easiest.  I don't want to set him up for failure (Drug Court) or keep him in jail where he has already been offered drugs and phone numbers or dealers to call when he gets out.  (He has refused both).

I wrote:

The attorney I had hoped would represent Keven called me.  We went over the case and all sounded great till he mentioned his fee:  $7,500 !!!!

There is no way we can afford that.  He also told me that he thinks Rich Carmona and Judge Jones (the PD and judge on Keven's case) are really good people that are fair.  I told him that Rich Carmona seemed to have a dislike for my son and for me but he said that many PDs have been burned by their clients for talking to their parents.   That's NOT the case because Keven signed something allowing me to discuss the case with Carmona...he just does NOT like us.

So, I typed this up and am going to fax it or email it tomorrow in hopes that it can make a difference.  I will also mail a copy to Keven but I doubt he'll get it in time so I will read it to him on the phone.

I am so pissed off and stressed out.  The attorney could make this happen (see the memo I wrote) but I don't know if Carmona will be willing or able to.

Here is what I wrote:

September 7, 2009

To: XXXX, Public Defender   
From: Barbara XXXX (mother of defendant), on behalf of Keven XXXX
cc: XXXX
cc: Judge XXXX       
Regarding: Keven David XXXX

    Case Numbers:       

I am writing on behalf of my son who is currently in custody.  He signed a document stating that he gave me permission to talk to the public defender and others involved in his case.

He goes to Court H4 on Thursday, 9/10/09 for sentencing and a Drug Court hearing.  Keven does not feel that he Drug Court would be beneficial to him because we have heard from many sources that its designed for a addicts who are typically older (he’s 18) and have no other options.  We feel that Keven would be more successful in a different type of program such as Prop 36 or Hope House.   


1.  Is Keven Legere eligible for Prop 36?  If so, that is what he would like to do.  He recognizes his drug problem and wants to recover from it.

2.  If Keven is not eligible for Prop 36, can you please tell me why? 

3.  If he is not eligible for Prop 36 what are his options besides Drug Court or 6 months jail time?

4.  Can Keven be court ordered to the Hope House program in lieu of Drug Court or jail time?

5.  Also, Keven’s license was revoked for one year which is going to make it nearly impossible for him to get to meetings and make appointments for either Prop 36 or Drug Court.  This is another good reason for him to be in Hope House.  OR, can his license be re-instated?  I am currently unemployed and able to drive him around but hopefully will have a job soon.  Public transportation here in XXXX is not very good so he can’t rely on it.

I am aware and agree that Keven needs to experience the consequences of his actions, but being so young  with a serious drug problem, I think jail time would not be as helpful to him as a recovery program.  Keven is a bright young man who has made some terrible decisions that have led to heroin addiction.  As his mother I see this as a turning point in his life.  The outcome of his sentencing can lead down a road of recovery or possibly down the road of life in and out of jail.  My son is not a criminal, he’s a drug addict.  Please try to send him down the road that will help him, not harm him further.  He’s already been offered drugs in jail and turned them down.  Its not a good environment for him but if faced with a choice between drug court and incarceration, he will choose the latter.  He sincerely wants and needs recovery program to allow him the opportunity to get his life back on the right track. 

Thank you,

Barbara XXXX

September 6, 2009

Introducing Carrie

I'd like to share you with you a brand new blog. It's written by a young woman that I've had the privilege (and fun) of getting to know recently, its not your average "what's going on in my life" blog. Carrie courageously shares her story about something that is both personal and painful. I will let you read it for yourself rather than try to explain it but I will say that we "met" via my blog, "A Place to Talk About Rape" when she found the newspaper article there about the man who has turned her world into a nightmare (at times).

Over the years I have met several young women that have overcome huge challenges, addictions, situations, etc. and have used the negatives in their lives to make them stronger. I always prayed that my past and the things that happened to me (or by me) would someday be used for good to help others. I can see that happening with Carrie, she's gusty, smart, determined and compassionate. As I get to know her I have to keep reminding myself how young she actually is because she is very wise for a teenager and already has some great goals and plans for her future (which there is no doubt in my mind she will accomplish).

I respect her for stepping out and writing a blog. I hope you will visit her:

September 4, 2009

I Hate Taking Drugs

For the last 24 hours I have been taking an opiate for back pain, Vicoden

I am thankful for it, but I don't like taking it knowing how easy it is to get addicted to this stuff, but I need it. I have a herniated disc (or something like that) and it allows me to get some relief from excruciating pain. But...taking it under the circumstances of my son being in jail for opiates....feels weird.

Drug Court Vs. Jail

I had promised Kev that I would come visit him today but I had to break that promise due to a herniated disc/pinched nerve.  My sister went to see him, he understood.

He told his aunt that he would rather stay in jail for 6 months than try to get through drug court, and I understand why.  Drug court can take YEARS to go through and is designed for long-time addicts that need drastic measures.  I think he will be offered Prop 36.

Tell me if this makes sense:

September 3, 2009

Outcome of Court Today

For those of you who like the bottom line and want to skip the details, skip to the red font below :)

Just got back from court. It was good to see him in the little cage, but he didn't look as good as he did last time, I think he's growing some weird type of beard or else he just hasn't shaved. We are not suppose to communicate with the inmates but I said "I love you" and "Hang in there" with my eyes. He said "I love you" and "This is not the way I thought it would go...." to me.

I had asked the PD what he thought the outcome would be and he said it was a very delicate situation since he's been before this court so many times in the last few months. When it was Keven's turn the PD and DA approached the bench and had a rather lengthy conversation with the judge (the longest one I have ever seen). I tried to read facial expressions and eavesdrop but it was hard to tell what was going on.

Bottom line: Keven remains in jail till next Thursday, at that time we will go before a different judge to be evaluated for drug court. If he is not accepted to drug court (i.e. for whatever reason the judge decides it would not be appropriate for him) then he gets 180 days in jail. No bargaining, that 's the MINIMUM.

No matter what happens he is now on formal probation for the next three years.

As we walked out of court I saw the PD and he said to me, "He's got a serious drug problem and a bad attitude and nothing is going to help his drug problem till his attitude changes". Yeah, see ya, have a nice day....

Sadly, the PD is right. He DOES have both of those things. He told me on the phone last night that he doesn't like the 12 Steps or AA cause he doesn't think its for him, he does not believe in their philosophy. I can tell you what he doesn't like: humility, powerlessness, admitting his life is unmanageable....basically every thing the program stands for. I pointed out that MILLIONS of people ALL OVER THE WORLD in ALL WALKS of LIFE have benefited from the Program, but my son is different (yeah right....according to him he is).

So I feel really numb right now. I don't want to think or feel. I am disappointed in my son. I feel bad for him cause I know he did not choose to be an addict. I feel scared because at this point if I had to wager a bet on his future - it would not look too good.

I am going to do some research on "Drug Court". I am fairly familiar with it and know one thing for sure: ITS A TOUGH PROGRAM and adults rarely make it through in one year, teens have a very low success rate in it. So there is a good chance the judge will deem that Keven may be better off in jail for a 6 month attitude adjustment rather than the intense Drug Court program.

One more week of peace for my household and he will either be back...or not. I love my son so much, I just want him to be BETTER whatever that takes.

September 2, 2009

Court in the Morning

Two weeks ago tomorrow I was standing in line to board a plane for Wisconsin.  My cell phone rang.  It was Keven.  He was calling from the holding cell of the court where he appeared that morning to turn in some paperwork.  They had arrested him for falling asleep in the courtroom and they decided he was under the influence.  He's been in jail ever since.

Tomorrow he goes before the judge for sentencing.

I don't know what to expect but my educated guess is that they will "Prop him out" (put him in the Proposition 36 drug program).

I hope he gets out, but to be totally honest, part of me dreads it.  I don't like him in there but I really don't like dealing with the stress and tension that comes along with him being home.

We'll see what happens.

In other news:  I am in extreme pain in my right sciatic nerve and can barely move without wincing.  Ugh.  It makes me mad cause its so hard to do the simplest task like - get up out of a chair, sit down, or do just about anything that requires my right leg to move.

Anybody got fun plans for Labor Day weekend?

September 1, 2009

K Is Worried about Relapse

commonly known as "footballs" or "bars" in drug slang

He called again today and we had a bit of an argument over the phone. I brought up what changes will be made when he gets home and he got mad that I was talking about unpleasant things - he said his aunt never does that to him when she talks to him in jail. I said....I'm your MOTHER and this stuff needs to be discussed.

We also talked about his fears. He said he wants to get back on Suboxone and stay on it. He said he never realized how hard it would be to quit heroin or he never would have started. He said he was nervous because he used just three days after getting out last time (a 22 day stay).

He said, "Mom, if you catch me using I want you to send me to rehab."

I said, sure, but I would have to kick him out first because the only rehab i can afford is the cheap one for homeless people. He agreed to be homeless because he doesn't want to live this life.

What scares me is that I see how easily this COULD become his and out of jail, on and off drugs....for years. I don't want that for my son. And I don't want it for me either.

So, he's already nervous that he will use. I told him the no friends rule, the no doorknob rule, etc. He was pissed off.

He also told me the reason he started using drugs was because of his life-long paranoia and anxiety, and no, he's not playing me when he says that. From a very early age (5) he has suffered from depression and anxiety. I waited till he was 8 to take him to a psychiatrist because I refused to believe there could be something mentally wrong with him. He went on and off anti-depressants and it helped (I take them daily).

But he's always been very anxious and had lots of unwarranted fears. He said that the drugs helped him with that, except for weed and coke which made it worse. But he loved Xanax and opiates for the relief it gave him. (yeah, it knocks you out so your not even aware of life, can't feel anxious if your not even able to stay awake...)

So I don't know if he has something wrong that needs to be addressed. I have spent thousands of dollars over the years for different doctors trying to find help for him (counseling and meds). I will take him back to our WONDERFUL doctor, Dr. Yang, for advice and Suboxone. Dr. Yang specializes in addiction but is a general MD as well as having a background in counseling. K loves him and so do I.

Ok. I just had to get this out. Now, I need to go to bed.
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