October 31, 2009

Halloween 2008

Um, I don't think he's having too much fun this year.
His current costume:  gold jumpsuit with "OCJ" printed on it.
Who would have guessed?
A lot can change in a year.

October 30, 2009

Hiding Places

Thanks for the great response to my last post!  And thanks for all the additions to the list.  It prompted me to start a new list, so please help add to this one too!

Places I have found things hidden in my son's room (some obvious some not)

- under the mattress (how silly, that's the first place everyone looks!)
- in a throw pillow that had been cut open and the stuff stashed inside
- inside socks in the sock drawer
- pockets of jackets in the closet
- under a piece of carpet in the corner of the room
- inside model cars on the top shelf
- behind a heavy rock on the top shelf of the closet
- hidden in with some old toys in the back of the closet
- inside books and magazines
- in a shoebox
- in the garage in a toolbox
- in the garage in a drawer

I think that's it unless you count under the front seat of the car which is just plain crazy and asking to be caught.

Missing Spoons - and other signs your child may be using heroin

Spoons that have been burned
Pens, straws or any type of tube used for smoking
soda cans cut off at the bottom
tin foil cut in small squares with a black line on it
lighters (for a non-smoker)
empty balloons

Sleeping a lot
Grades suffering
Sick often
Poor Hygeine

Stealing money
Selling valuables from the house
Receiving valuables from others

Lots and lots of phone calls with coming and goings

Stories about why they need a few extra dollars to spend

All pretty obvious signs but if you don't KNOW your kid is on drugs, you may not know what to look for.

October 29, 2009

I Went

I went to a meeting this morning.  I had been to a few other Al-Anon meetings and various other 12 Step groups and everyone is right when they say each group has its own personality.  I felt very much at home at this one.  I think it was about 40 women and 2 men, and most of the people were of retirement age (I felt so young!).  I felt warmly welcomed.  I even TALKED for a minute (have no idea what I said).

I will go back but also want to check out some other meetings too cause there is one right by my house.  AND I am going to meet K (Ant's girlfriend) at an NA meeting once a week starting next week.

ALSO:  K'sdad just called wanting to go see K tomorrow.  I updated him that K has been moved to Lacy (he didn't know that) and gave him directions then I realized K had said he did NOT want to see his dad from jail again.  Ooops.  Oh well, too bad.  I think its great that his dad is finally stepping up and I don't want to discourage that.  K will just have to deal with it, the fact is - he's in jail.  If he's embarrassed about that, well, that's one of the many consequences.

Hopefully he won't be too shocked since he's expecting ME to show up tomorrow.  I'll go Saturday.

I Am Going to a Meeting

I read all the Al-Anon material.
I listen to other paretns who attend.
But I don't go to meetings.

I could explain why, but I am not really sure the entire reason.

Tomorrow, I am going to one.  You can hold me accountable.

Its at 10:00 am about 15 minutes from my house.

October 28, 2009

Institutionalized Cruelty and other Unfairness in Our "Justice" System

(warning - I'm ranting today!)

I am watching Jane Valez Mitchell on CNN.  She's a bit dramatic but I almost always agree with her viewpoints and appreciate her bringing attention to issues other people won't touch.  Like today, here are some things she and her panel are saying about our prison system:

Jails and prisons are full of non-violent drug offenders that are treated the same as criminals which does NOTHING to solve the problem, it creates MORE of a problem by CREATING HARD CRIMINALS.

They said that three types of these inmates should be evaluated and treated rather than thrown into the system where, depending on their "class", size, and personality - will end up being the ones most abused in jail.  The three types are:

  • ADHD
  • Bi-polar
  • Learning disability
(my son has two of these)
These are the types that USUALLY go in because of mistakes/drugs and come out as hardened criminals. 

Even if we don't care about the "criminals" we should be concerned about helping rehabilitation to keep ourselves safe because when they get our they are more likely to commit violent crimes.   

It costs $30,000 A YEAR TO HOUSE ONE PRISONER!  Why can't we use some of that money to REHABILITATE drug addicts??? 

78,000 people were arrested and prosecuted for marijuana in CA alone last year!  Why are we focusing on that when thereare child molesters and rapists running around? 

Addiction does not go away with incarceration.

They are saying all this starts in the home - that's not true, if that were true most of us would not have kids on drugs/in jail because we did our best....and those of you with more than one child, wouldn't ALL your kids be in jail if it were your lack of parenting skills or concern that influenced their drug addiction???? 

For every 100 Americans there is one person in prison.  WHAT? 

There are more people in the US prison system than any other country even though many countries have a much larger population.

We are so focused on crime and punishment we have dropped the ball of prevention.  I AGREE! 

There is no rehabilitation offered in most jails/prisons.

When young people (like my son) are prosecuted and found guilty for drug charges, they are at a huge disadvantage for getting a good job because they already have a felony on their record.  Yes CELEBRITIES can get away with MURDER.

Ok.  I am going to settle down now.  Yes, our justice system is messed up.  It has a lot to do with MONEY.  If you have money you hire an attorney and get off for the same crimes that send our kids to jail for minor drug offenses due to the disease of ADDICTION.  

It just makes me so mad that we (the US) recongnizes addiction as a disease but treats addicts like criminals (unless you have money).

Oh, one last thing...speaking of money:  

It also costs the family of the person in jail.  Yes, I put money on my son's books so he can buy things like:  soap, stamps, paper, envelopes, shampoo, a pillow, Top Ramen (his main food staple because they don't feed him enough).  Yes, I also pay about $50 a month or more on receiving phone calls from him because I WANT to talk to him.

Some prisoners don't have ANY of these things and they are treated poorly - can you imagine being in jail with no soap or shampoo or not able to write a letter?  I think that's a bit extreme.  But not all families can afford to keep money on their loved one's books all the time.  

How come a young man born in a poor area can be put in jail for years for domestic violence but Chris Brown got community service?  MONEY.

How come when Lindsay Lohan got arrested for DUI and had more drugs on her than my son had on him when he was arrested (and he was not DUI) she got 84 MINUTES in jail and my son is on day 67?

Ok, I really am off my soapbox now...

October 27, 2009

Prodigal Daughter

For years I had a blog called "Prodigal Daughter" where I talked about my spiritual journey as a Christian, and my ever growing doubts about the validity of The Bible.  I worked for one of the largest Christian ministries in the world for over 16 years.  It was a very conservative, evangelical organization and I fit right in for the first ten years but then slowly started questioning everything.  I got so discouraged seeing so much judgmentalism, racism, homophobia, hyper-critical attitudes, cheating, lying and stealing, etc.  I had to remind myself that Christians are just humans, God was not like that, etc. etc.  But I also started to get upset at God's choice to not answer any of my life long prayers.  I began to question all the contradictions in the Bible, the violence, the hate, the war, the icnest and rape and murder.  It made me sick.

October 26, 2009

Denial in Action

I have a private blog that I rarely write on anymore, but I was looking back on posts from last December and found this about K:

Last night was another bad night at home, he also bent the rim on his car wheel which was just replaced weeks ago at the tune of $1,500 paid by me, my sis and my mom. I am going to resort to very tough love with him. I feel like I'm losing him - he's very depressed. Hasn't shaved in days. Hasn't taken care of anything he should be doing. Is getting all D's in school. Has missed a ton of school due to being unable to force himself out of bed. Drugs? Depression? Both? Something is wrong. This is not normal. If this was normal all the kids would be going through something similar.
Its so glaringly obvious to me now, but at the time I did not want to believe he had a drug problem.  I think in my case denial was a form of self-preservation.  It sounds selfish but I knew that if I acknowledged how serious his problem was my life as I knew it would be over (which is how I felt when I found out I was pregnant in 1990 - I'll save that for another day).  I also see the enabling that my family did over and over and over.

But to not recognize it would be to let my son die.  I have learned so much since the day I wrote that.  I was right - my life has never been the same, and never will be again.  But my son is still alive so far and is getting help.

IF YOU SUSPECT YOUR CHILD IS USING DRUGS - THEY MOST LIKELY ARE!  Of course when you confront them they will lie so you need to drug test them and take immediate action.  By action I mean stop giving them money, stop doing anything that will allow them to continue down that path.  Unfortunately sending an unwilling child to rehab rarely works, save your thousands of dollars until he/she asks (if they do).

I wish I would have know many of you back t hen.  Its been one year since I first realized K had used heroin and/or cocaine intravenously and I went into THREE MONTHS of denial!

I have some other posts from that time period to share later this week.

Here he is a few months before he started using.  Look how HAPPY he was!!!  The smile is fake but you can see it in his eyes.  His girlfriend was with him for a year, but she left him 4 months into his addiction.  I was so proud of her, and so sad that he lost such a nice girl.

Yep, he's on drugs. Addicted to shooting coke. Just got back from picking him up at school. He was suspended with recommendation for expulsion.

Not sure what I am going to do because there is nothing I can do other than:

1) Love him
2) Encourage him
3) be tough on him (no money, no car, no nothin)
4) pray

He has to want help. He feels like his life is messed up beyond repair. Of course its not, but I understand that feeling. I just want him to get better.

PS His girlfriend LOVES him. She reminds me so much of me when I was the same age and in love with a guy addicted to drugs. I eventually left him because me loving him wasn't enough. He ended up going to prison and having a totally messed up life. Lets hope that doesn't happen with Keven.

I think I am in a nightmare and keep waiting to wake up - will someone throw some cold water in my face or something???? I'm ready to wake up now....

October 24, 2009

Our Children Are Alive...

I just woke from a terrible nightmare, I literally woke myself by yelling "what are you doing!"  It was a dream about finding a message on K's cell phone from his dealer saying to come and pick up some drugs.  It was only a dream...

Then I checked my email and received one from a mother who lives near me who lost her 24 year old daughter to heroin three  years ago.  Lost...gone forever...

I'm not sure what to do, but I have to do something.  Something has to change.  Since finding out about K's drug use a year ago I've met so many of "us", parents that live in fear of what this dear woman who wrote me is living.

Obviously our government does not give a damn that tons of this crap (90% is coming from Afghanistan, the rest is from either Mexico, South America or Southeast Asia) coming into our country.  If it was not HERE they could not get addicted.  Sure, they could still find another drug of choice but none of them are as dangerous as heroin.

Teaching our kids not to use drugs obviously does not work.  Raising them right and loving them doesn't make a difference, at least not for all children.  How many of us have thought "it will never happen to my kid" or "My son/daughter knows the dangers of drugs and would never try them", etc. etc.  I THOUGHT THAT TOO.

I'm sorry.  I am just so upset about all this right now.  I want to DO SOMETHING.  I am tired of hearing heartbreaking stories as I helplessly sit by and watch more lives ruined and destroyed.

I think my nightmare was so upsetting because I know that there is a very strong chance K will go back to using eventually.  It just seems to be the way most heroin users finally stop....jail or death.   I will not give up hope that our kids can beat the odds, but the reality of the statistics are frightening.

October 23, 2009

What a Nice Jail!

photo of the Jail taken from OC Register

That statement seems a bit oxymoronic, but it was very nice compared to OCJ.  Visiting there was a pleasant experience, worth the extra drive.

The differences:

1)  It was CLEAN!  Even the bathrooms were clean.  Nothing smelled bad and I didn't feel like there were germs on every surface I came in contact with.

2) The guards/cops/employees were friendly, helpful and one even had a great sense of humor.  Didn't come in contact with anyone rude or snotty which is the norm at OCJ.

3) The visiting area was roomier and more private, each visiting booth really was like a booth not just one long row of metal stools.  OCJ you sit crammed in a small aisle with up to 40 other people.  The stools are so close together that you usually get accidentally elbowed or kicked by the person next to you as they get on or off  their stool.  Its very, very loud and stuffy.

4) As for the inmates - they actually get to walk outside in the SUNSHINE every time they go from one building to another,  There were plants and grass vs. only gray concrete!  The room K's in is big and spacious and has a WINDOW.  He now has the option of watching TV.  If  a deck of cards is worn to the point of being unable to shuffle - they give you a new deck.  They don't make you eat breakfast at 4:30 am (the food is still bad but they let you sleep till 6:00).

These are things we may take for granted, but for someone whose literally been behind bars  for over 60 days in a cramped cell,  rarely experiencing fresh air and warm sun, with two murders, a rapist and two gangbangers as cellmates,  this is a very welcome change.

As for K himself, he didn't smile at all today.  He said he was just tired but I sensed his anxiousness and also felt like something was bothering him.  He is already starting to worry that he will have another panic attack and pass out on his next court date.  This bothers me - what if he hit his head on the concrete floor?  He needs to be assessed by a doctor and have his meds checked, its not normal to pass out from panic.  The closer it gets to his transfer to PH, the longer the days are for him.  I am praying its in the next week or two.

In other news - got a letter from Ant today.  He is the "designated CD player" in his cell block.  They aren't allowed to have music so he sings to everyone and it cheers people up.  That's my boy - spreading joy wherever he goes  :)
P.S.  even though its a "nice" jail, its not as nice as FREEDOM and even though its safe, there was an inmate killed there (beaten to death) in July.  

October 21, 2009

Missing Him Really Bad Tonight - AND - a scary report on the jail he's at

Sometimes I enjoy the peace of my house so much with K gone.  Other times the silence makes me feel empty, like something is missing.  Something is missing...my boy.  I need a hug really bad and he gives the best ones.

READING THIS A MINUTE AGO DIDN'T HELP!  Its from an article in the LA Times in August 2009 about a US Gov. investigation of TL (that's where he is).  I don't think addicts deserve to be treated like the other criminals.  If the US Gov. has AGREED that addiction/alcoholism is a disease then why do they treat people who have only been arrested for minor drug possession like murders and rapists???

The Justice Department is examining various cases to determine whether there is a pattern of Orange County violating the civil rights of inmates. Among the more recent cases, an inmate was stomped to death by fellow prisoners after a deputy allegedly and erroneously told them he was child molester. A county grand jury later criticized the Sheriff's Department for trying to impede the investigation and concluded that there was evidence of rampant abuse at the TL Jail in Orange.

Dad on Fire

Have you all seen this blog, lots of helpful and interesting info:

Dad on Fire

October 20, 2009

More News on K, Ant and Jail

This is a good news possible bad news but maybe great news report:

Got a letter from Ant today.  I could see him in my mind's eye as I read the words.  He was smiling ear to ear, full of energy and totally excited.  He is getting A PROGRAM instead of hard jail time in prison.  This is great news.  He wants it, he says he's ready...time will tell.

The TWIST to this is that he has no idea K got transferred to TL jail....and guess where Ant will be transferred to soon?  Yep.  And guess what rehab he will be send to?  Yep, PH where K will be living.

Hmmm....the timing will either be so that they just miss each other or could possibly have up to a month or more together with the ability to socialize and hang out (minimum security area).

I think they would encourage each other and help each other - but you know how it is!  I can't even "go on a diet" as the same time as my sister because after a few days of cheering each other on we both decide that a Blizzard from DQ is a must have.

We'll see what happens.  I love my boys.  I just don't want them near each other yet.  Yep, they remind me a little of Tom Sawyer (K) and Huck Finn (Ant) but there's nothing cute about that when you throw heroin in the mix.

Jail Transfer

K called this morning with some good news - yesterday they transferred him out of OCJ and into TL jail  I think its a much better place for him.  He is in minimum security in a large barrack with lots of other people and work duties.  I have a feeling he will be moved to PH soon.

He sounded very anxious on the phone, but that's K.

I am a bit ticked off that they would not let him keep the majority of the books I sent him.  Books are one thing I invest my money in because a) they last forever and b) reading, to me, is the gateway to learning so much about life, the world, etc.   Apparently you are only allowed 5 books but we never knew this till they made him take five and they took the rest and TOSSED them.

They also tossed all his stuff that he had bought, toothpaste, pillow, soap, etc.  So he's back to having nothing (except five books that he already read - he kept the most expensive ones).

I know this is not that big of a deal but I wanted to read those books and feel its money down the drain.

Oh groovy - I was just looking for pic of  "TL" to post here and found an article about how an inmate was beat to death in the day room....in the minimum security area!  Oh well.  I am not going to think about it.

October 19, 2009

Question about Probation Costs....

The other day K got a letter from the probation dept.  He's given me permission to open any mail he gets so I did.  It was an invoice for "Probation Services" totally over $4,900.00 !!!!!!!

I was shocked.  I was not expecting to see anything like that.  He has other court costs to pay as well. 

Obviously this is his bill to pay, not mine, but of course, I am concerned.  Its one of those times when I ask if it would be enabling of me to call the probation office and ask them how long he has to pay this?  I mean it could take years, he has no job and probably won't for a long time.  What are the consequences of him not paying for a long time?

Have any of you ever dealt with this issue?  I simply can't fork out another dime on his problem.  I have spent over $4,000 this year my mom has spent 10,000 this year and my sister 5,000.  All of those costs were either for hospital, medical or rehab and repairs to his truck (which sold last week for less than the amount of repairs they paid for it...but at least it went to a good home and we got some of the money back).

Having an addict is more expensive than sending your kid to college :(

I have learned and will not be spending any more money on him other than buying him books, food and his meds.

October 14, 2009

Ant Update

For those following along on the story of my "second son", Ant, I got a letter from him today.  He's in Chino Prison for six months.  He's in a two man cell which is only 10" x 8" and is not allowed out for anything...not even meals.  They must let him out sometimes, right???

I feel bad for him.  I know he got himself their by the choices he made but I can't help but feel very sad when I think of him in such a horrible place (Chino is not someplace you want to be no matter how "tough" you are).

The good news is:  This could very well be his "bottom".  He says he never, ever wants to be there again.  We can only hope he means it this time.

October 12, 2009

Intervention on A&E

Do any of you watch this show?  Its kind of depressing but I watch it every week.  It seems like most people that go into treatment eventually relapse.  The odds just don't look good.  But I refuse to give up hope and I will believe the best until proven otherwise.  So far K's already relapsed three times, his longest time clean was only 30 days.   But this time...maybe its going to be forever.

THANK YOU FOR THE COMMENTS!  There are some great comments to this post.  Bottom line:  Addiction is a family disease and if the whole family does not get help (Recovery) the addicts chances of getting and remaining clean are slim. 

October 11, 2009

Today's Jail Visit

I was going to skip my visit to K today for the first time in 8 weeks.  I just didn't have anything to say and was not really in the mood.  But my mom wanted to see him (she's only seen him once) so I drove her up there.

He was very down today.  He put effort into smiling and being cheerful for Grandma, but she knows him too well.  It was hard to see him like that.  I wanted to take him in my arms, hold him and them make him take a shower and shave.  But, instead we had the usual small talk on the phones through a thick fiberglass window.  Yuk, and I forgot my disinfectant for the phone and no one near me had any today. 

Its weird being an "old timer" there.  People must be able to tell because almost every time I go a new person approaches me with questions about what to do or what its like, etc.  Had a nice woman sit next to me today who was full of questions, not long ago I would not have had any answers for her but now I "know the ropes".  Not something to be proud of.

One thing K told me today is what the judge did after I left the courtroom.  She told him that the reason she was keeping him in to wait for PH is because two weeks ago she let a girl out of custody to wait for an opening, within hours of being released she OD'd on heroin and died.  Knowing Judge L, this must have been heart breaking for her.  I am glad she kept K in there.

October 9, 2009

What is "Recovery Court"?

The program K is involved in is very specialized.  Because he is dual diagnosis with a mental illness and a drug addiction, he qualified.  They provide some great services plus the judge is incredible - her courtroom is more like a safe haven for all the people in her program.  They show up every week, or two or at the end every month, and give a progress report in front of her then we all clap and cheer for the person.  Lives are being changed.  People are being given a second chance.

Plus, now that we know K has bi-polar and some other issues, we can treat that.  I sometimes look back at his childhood and wonder if some of his behaviors were actually an attempt to self medicate.  I just hope he doesn't have to take any meds that mess up his personality or mind, just that stabilize his issues. 

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.

Best Phone Call Ever

I wasn't going to share this because it falls under the category of "Hopeful" and I've learned that getting my hopes up about how well K seems to be doing often (always?) ends in disappointment.

But, it was such a great conversation!  I listened to a bright young man speaking about his plans for the future, thanking me for all the love, support, time and energy I've given lately, and best of all, the things he's learning about himself.

I can tell he's going to NA meetings because he seems to be grasping a lot of the concepts of that program.  He used to say NA was stupid and just made him want to use.

He sounded so clear, so sure of himself.  It was the voice of confidence and determination but with a lot of realistic observations thrown in.  He said he knows people usually "switch addictions" in recovery and his new addiction is going to BE recovery.  He said he's dedicating the next year of his life to this program (Recovery Court and all it includes) and is going to take advantage of everything it offers.  He knows sobriety is a lifelong pursuit.

He talked about the classes he wants to take, some ideas he has for a project he wants to do with ME, and of how he needs to make all new friends.

He had high praises for the Judge and how he could tell she genuinely cares about him and the others in the program.  He noticed that some of the participants that spoke yesterday were genuinely excited about their lives and he wanted the same for himself.

He told me that one thing I said in a letter really got to him.  It had to do with how I missed out on knowing his 18 year old self because he was either high or incarcerated.  He realized that half of his 18th year of life has been spent in jail or rehab (by the time he is done).  He said the other half was spent high or trying to figure out a way to get high.  He said a year is a small price to pay considering he has his whole life to live.

I had to wonder....is this just talk?  Does he want something?  Is he playing me again?  Will he keep this attitude and commitment to recovery, or will it fade? 

Then I realized something - this is the first time in years he's had a clear head.  He's got 40 days clean and sober.  That's a record.  He stopped using heroin for 30 days once but was still smoking weed and drinking and doing who knows what else.

We laughed, we talked, we CONNECTED.  It was awesome.  I had a glimpse of what it would be like to have my son back, as a young adult, as a functioning human being.  And I loved it.

I am very proud of my son.  Not for all of the above, but just because of who he is as a person.  I always have been.  Even when he's led into the courtroom shackled and handcuffed in the attractive orange jumpsuit - I smile and hope everyone there knows that he's my kid.  

Of course I am ashamed of many of the things he's done, disappointed in his decisions, disgusted by his behaviors...but I am still proud of him.  Weird, huh?

...and a true miracle - he didn't ask for a dang thing the whole call.  That's a first!

October 8, 2009

Ant in C Prison :(

Well, my "other son" has been transferred from the OCJ (where K is) to CP which is considered the most dangerous prison in CA.  I am trying not to worry.  I got a great letter from him today, and he sounded really positive.  But of course that was prior to being shipped off.

I am trying to do what people keep reminding me to do "take care of myself".  I am trying.

Thinking of all of you and going to go visit your blogs now....

October 7, 2009

He's Staying in Custody and I AM SO GLAD!

Someone told me my posts were "lengthy" so I am highlighting in red the most important things for people who aren't into details.  I understand!

Whew, court was emotional today, not just about K but seeing all the changed lives.  I saw about 25 different people go before the judge (who is an amazing woman, encouraging, compassionate and positive yet firm) and share their progress in the program.  All but one did well and the one who did not, well she was handcuffed right then and there for an overnight in jail.  They don't mess around.  She started crying cause she had her dog in the car but they made sure it was taken care of by calling her mom.

They reviewed's case after all the program attendees were dismissed.  He was the only one in the cage today.  I am impressed at how they care about each person.  The judge had six people at her bench discussing K.  I could read the faces and knew they were not going to let him out.

Then she called ME up there.  She is very down to earth and caring.  She took about five minutes to explain to me why they felt K needed to stay in custody (doesn't that sound nicer than "in jail"?) and wait for the program.  I was in full agreement.

Her bottom line to me was, "I am afraid if I let him out, he'll die, and he's too good a person to let that happen to."  She said he is one of the most serious heroin users she's seen (of his age group) in her 15 years and that they found scars, bruises and fresh needle marks all over him when he was arrested.  I wanted to throw up when she said that, and I must have looked it because some woman kind of took my elbow and gave me one of those "it's going to be okay" looks.

I stayed to listen to her tell K the news.  She said she understands and agrees that being in jail is not where he needs to be right now, he needs to be in a recovery home, "PH", but that waiting in jail is the safest option for him.  He didn't argue but he did ask a ton of questions about how long it would be.  When she heard that they had not even been to visit him yet (they were suppose to do it within two weeks and its been three) she immediately told someone to call  them and get things moving that it this was top priority.  That mad(and me) feel good.

Her courtroom is a fascinating place to be.  There is so much hope and encouragement in that room.  You can feel it.  But you also see what happens if you test dirty or lie.  One kid lied (he forged his AA attendance card) and she knew it at a glance!  She said "I am giving you an opportunity to tell me the truth.  If you admit you forged this you are forgiven if you lie about it and it turns out you forged it, you go to jail"  The kid admitted it and got a lecture and a second chance.

I am glad K is part of this Recovery Court program.  Its actually twofold - addressing addiction and mental health.  After court adjourned K's Probation Officer followed me out, introduced himself to me and talked to me at length about K, his plan for K and how he needs me to cooperate by distancing myself from K from this point on and letting him, the PO, be the main person in Ks life right now.  I agreed to that.

Then Mr. O (the PO) introduced me to someone from the NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) program and said that he thinks it would be helpful for me to be involved in their family program to better understand what K is going through with his mental health problems (I can't even remember if I told you what he was diagnosed with, but there were four things, two I knew about, one I expected and the other was a surprise but in hindsight its very evident).

So, I feel good.  I feel that the right decision was made and I feel a HUGE relief that he is not going to be under my roof yet.  Yes, he's scared.  Yes, there is some danger in being there.  BUT, its far safer than him being home and anywhere near someone who can get hi m heroin.

How did I not know how bad his using had gotten?  I am not going to waste my emotional energy trying to figure that out....it doesn't matter what I did or did not do right in the past, it only matters what I do from this point on.

Anyhow, thanks to one and all for caring.

October 6, 2009

Big Day at Court Tomorrow (Wed. 10/7)

Tomorrow will be an interesting day.  The judge will determine if my son should stay in jail waiting for an opening to the rehab she ordered him to, let him come home and wait, or find a different plan for him.

I just want what's best for him....but I sure hope it involves a 90 day in-patient recovery.

October 5, 2009

Selling the Monster

This is amazing to me - everything is going better than I hoped with the sale of this thing.  It feels too good to be true.  Not much has worked well in my life lately so its hard to be hopeful but I really think something might work out well for once!  I'll keep you posted.

I know some of you pray...so please pray for things to go well with all the stuff related to this BEAST of a truck this week.  Long story short:  I need the DMV to approve the modified engine, then I need it to pass a smog, then I need to register it, then I need to hopefully sell it to an interested person.

This truck and all the problems and money it cost my family is the direct result of drug addiction...I may have shared the story here, if not:  son traded nice car while high.  End of story.

Today I had to get in and out of it over ten times (I have to use a step stool) and pulled a muscle in my chest.  Tomorrow, I have to drive it again.

October 4, 2009

Jail Was Depressing Today

During K's first jail stay (22 days) he was always up and happy knowing he didn't have to be there long and he was in a 20 man dorm room with a TV.

This time he's looking at up to 6 months in a six man cell with 4 gang members who like him as a person but are required by the law of their gang to not like him and possibly hurt him.  There was fear in his eyes today and he told me that no matter what they started something he'd go down fighting.

This is NOT what a mother needs to hear on top of all the other worries.

On the bright side he articulated his plans, his thoughts and what he's learning very well in a mature way.  I looked straight in his eyes wondering if he meant it or prepared it to say because it was all the right words.

Saw Ant too and where the police dog bit his arm and dragged him, also got his leg thus messing up a very cool tattoo.  He was in good spirits and again saying "this is it".  They always say that...but it never is.

Also found out the guy that OD's recently, the one that K resuscitated, is in a 6 month program.  I am glad to hear that for his sake but mostly to keep him the hell away from my son.

My heart is heavy tonight.  This is a big week for us at court.  We will find out if K waits in Jail for the Program or if he waits at home.  I want him home, but is it really the best? 


Visit from His Bio-Dad

  • I was never married to my son's father.  We dated two years, broke up, a year later got together one night and I got pregnant.
  • For the first two years of his life, bio dad pretended his son did not exist (until his sister ran into me with K one day and shouted "OMG!  That's T's kid isn't it, it looks just like him").  His family embraced K so Thom was forced to acknowledge his son.
  • From age 2 - 12 T would see K once a month for a few hours.  A strong bond never formed but it was better than nothing.
  • I asked for child support and to punish me for that, T stopped seeing K from age 12 - 18 except for his birthday (December 7) and Christmas.  Twice in one month, nothing the rest of the year.
Needless to say they are not close.  I do not respect T but I KNOW how important it is to K that his father be in his life.  Ksays he doesn't care anymore, etc. but the rejection factor is undeniable, Thom's actions hurt K deeply.

In April I called T and told him what had been going on in the last 4 months and asked him to PLEASE talk with his wife and think of a way that they could include K in their family (K has a 1/2 brother, age 13 he has not seen in years).

Nothing.  Never heard from him again.

Last week I called him again and kind of let him have it...getting out my anger that I had held in for years.  I ended by saying, "Look, the bottom line is your son needs you to be involved in  his life so step up to the plate."

And shockingly - he DID.

He went to see him IN JAIL (of course I asked K if he wanted to see his dad first - he said yes).

K said it was a bit awkward "like always" but that his dad said he could get him a job where he works when he gets out.  THAT would be AWESOME.

I hate calling Thom K's "Dad".  He's his biological father but that's too hard to say and type.  "Bio-Dad" sounds weird like K was grown in a lab or something.  "Dad" seems like too noble of a title for him. but just maybe he will finally earn that title.  Its never too late and like it or not my son needs and wants him in his life.

October 3, 2009


Got a call from Ant in jail.  (see recent post).  He was so worried that his gf, Kay, was in jail too so I assured him she was safe at home under the watchful eyes of her parents.  He told me he was dope sick, scared and looking at long time prison.  He did NOT tell me that he was attacked by the police dog and required hospitalization prior to being booked into jail.  No, I found that out in a newpaper article that makes him sound like the most horrible criminal you can imagine.  :(

I considered linking the article from my local paper since they have no problem splashing his name all over, but its too depressing.

My brother's dog has been visiting all day and she is the coolest dog ever.  She was a three time loser with one more chance for adoption before being euthanized when my bro got her.  Yes, she's a little bit wild but super smart, super sweet, loyal and loving.

So I can't help but think of kids like Ant with no family (outside of prison), no money, no place to live, no  nothing.  How do they get that last chance?  Do they just get shuffled through the prison system all their life, having a kid or two here and there and leaving behind the next generation of hopelessness?  Ant already has a 2 year old son :(

I know I can't fix him or save him, but I can love him can't I?  Its so hard to NOT take this kid under my wing even more than he already is.  I will visit with him tomorrow when I go to see K.  It would be wild if they got to see each other - but they can get in huge trouble for talking to each other so it would be better not to.  K wrote him a letter today!  Weird.

By the way, this is Jade and Ant with K:

(click to enlarge)

Dogs have more chances than people sometimes.

October 2, 2009

Heroin is so evil

Random thoughts that need to come out:

1.  I can't express how grateful I am for the comments I receive here, and for the openness of other parents on their blogs.  No one can understand what this is like unless they lived it so your words are like water for my thirst in this desert of death (sorry, just in one of those moods).

2.  Then there is my sweet young friend, Angel, who was an addict and gives me perspective from that side and tells me what her parents did right and wrong to help her (basically - to NOT help her).

3.  I have mentioned before how much I love some of K's friends.  One in particular named Ant.  Hearing his story you would not be at all surprised that his life involves drugs and crimes, he was raised in that lifestyle.  Lost his mom to drugs and his father to prison.  Ant's gf is "Kay" who happens to be the first person K did heroin with.  She comes from the "perfect family" so it once again reminds us that IT DOESN'T MATTER WHAT KIND OF PARENT YOU ARE, ITS NOT OUR FAULT.

4.  Kay called today to see if I'd heard from Ant.  I had just been talking to my boyfriend and mentioned that I had NOT heard from either of them lately and my gut feeling was that they were using.  I was right (don't you hate that?).  Kay was distraught because she and Ant got pulled over and had weed and syringes in the car.  Ant ran.  Not a smart move.  I assumed he was in jail so got on line and was able to tell her all the details.  What bothers me the most is that SHE is using again after doing so good for so long.  I HATE THAT STUFF!  So I will not allow either of them in my home unless K is not here.

5.  Things that are good about K being in jail:

- I dont' have to wonder where he is
- I dont' have to wonder if he's going to OD
- I don't have to worry all night because of the above two
- I don't have to hide my car keys, money and valuable
- I save money buy not having to feed him or drive him places
- He is clean!
- He is safe!
- He is learning from this (hopefully)
- He has lots of time to read, go to meetings and think about life

6.  Ant and K are now in the same jail together - part of me hopes they run into each other because it would cool for him to see a friendly face in there and A is only serving a THREE DAY term.  Most of me hopes they are no where near each other.  

7.  A three day term for breaking parole AND running from the cops?  Kay took the heat for the needles and weed and got a ticket.  I wish they would have taken her to jail too, maybe it would push her a bit closer to getting (and staying) clean.  Our justice system is very weird - don't even get me started on that today.

8.  I can honestly say that this has been one of the worst weeks of my entire life.  It has nothing to do with K.  Its something on top of all that.  Its something personal and ugly and sad.  I have drugs in the house (from a back injury) and had a fleeting thought of taking enough to ease my emotional pain.  No Way.  It may hurt more than a knife in the back but not worth the risk of getting addicted (they are opiates...how ironic that i have OPIATES in my HOUSE!)  They were not here before and will be tossed before  comes home.

9. My dear sweet aunt (she's a nun) just called and reminded me she prays for K every day and that God loves him, and loves me.  I have been a Christian most of my life and never felt God's love but I know people who do.  I feel cheated, I wish I could feel it if its true, it would be nice.

10. I have a list of  people from all the blogs I read by hurting parents/addicts and think/pray for you all each day.

"An Addict In Our Son's Bedroom"

I am pretty sure most of you already read the above mentioned blog.  If not it needs to be required reading for all parents of addicts.  Its written by parents (mostly "Dad") that have an excellent understanding of all the multi-faceted issues that come along with parenting an addict.

I hope if "Mom" reads this she takes it the right way:  I often wish "Dad" were my husband.  I think most mothers are naturally more nurturing, protective and sensitive to their children and therefore have a much harder time switching gears to be logical, firm and unwavering in their quest to help their child. 

So I rely on this blog, and the comments "Dad" leaves me, to be that masculine voice of reason I admit I lack.  I have learned a lot, I have all the head knowledge to do this job right, but I never signed up to parent an addict - I am a loving, supportive, encouraging mother.  Its way more fun than being tough, strong and firm.

Please, I'm not saying all men are one way and all women are another, I'm just saying for me personally, I am well aware of my areas of weakness in parenting and its clear why children are designed to have two parents that compliment each other and support each other in balancing all the things it requires to raise a child.

This is the perfect time to say:  My son's "father" is visiting him in jail today.  If you know our story this is a HUGE ORDEAL and I would love to be a fly on the wall for that conversation!  I'll let you know how it goes, hopefully K will dish out details instead of just responding "yeah, it was cool" or "no, it sucked".

This is the fuzzy pink robe belt I refer to in my comment on one of their posts today.

They have TWO good ones over there!  Read them both!

"An Addict In Our Son's Bedroom"

I am pretty sure most of you already read the above mentioned blog.  If not it needs to be required reading for all parents of addicts.  Its written by a couple (mostly "Dad") that have an excellent understanding of all the multi-faceted issues that come along with parenting an addict.

I hope if "Mom" reads this she takes it the right way:  I often wish "Dad" were my husband.  I think most mothers are naturally more nurturing, protective and sensitive to their children and therefore have a much harder time switching gears to be the type of parent an addict needs to survii

So I rely on this blog, and the comments "Dad" leaves me, to be that masculine voice of reason I admit I lack.  I have learned a lot, I have all the head knowledge to do this job right, but I never signed up to parent an addict - I am a loving, supportive, encouraging mother.  Its way more fun than being tough, strong and firm.

Please, I'm not saying all men are one way and all women are antoher, I'm just saying for me persoanlly, I am well aware of my areas of weakness in parenting and its clear why children are designed to have one of each sex raising them.  That's just my personal belief.

This is the perfect time to say:  My son's "father" is visiting him in jail today.  If you know our story this is a HUGE ORDEAL and I would clean out my bank abount (only have 25.79 in there) to be a fly on the wall of for that conversation!  I'll let you know how it goes.

October 1, 2009

It hurts so much tonight

Its a hard night emotionally.  I miss him, I want to see him and hold him.  I am worried about him on so many levels.  I fear for him.  I just need to talk about all this.

I feel very alone, but I know I am not.  I know other parents hurt like this too.

I can't distinguish where the hurt is coming from because so many areas of my life are aching right now.

I am trying to keep busy with a mindless projects but I have too many negative images in my head.

Damn it.  Why does life have to hurt so much.  I want to turn back time and change so many things that have happened recently. 

I have something important to do tomorrow, thank goodness it will keep my mind occupied.

10 - 12 Weeks More

Talked to the PH today (where he is going to do his rehab) and they said the wait it 10 - 12 weeks for "county people", meaning if we were paying we could get in way sooner.  I know that's just the way it works but that's an awful long time for him to sit in jail and ironically MORE time than he would have done if he chose jail time over rehab.

But thankfully he chose the right thing.  He needs the rehab and even though its not a fun place to be, at least he's staying clean.

His parole officer said he can write the judge to see if she could send him home to wait, so we will try that but on one hand, it scares me.  I do want him out of there though, even though he is "safe" its not the best environment for him.  I think house arrest would work.

Also, he's been diagnosed with bi-polar, anxiety, depression and compulsive disorder (that one was a shock to me till he explained some of his rituals that I didn't even know he had, mostly re-checking things a million times, like if he packs his backpack he would recheck it ten times before leaving the house).

So hopefully the right meds will help him cope with life and recovery better.

As for me....for once K is the least of my worries.  I am not doing too well and am very sad about my life circumstances.
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