November 30, 2009

I Get to Spend Time with Him Tomorrow

== Summary == Photo of a fourth-generation App...Image via Wikipedia
Its been recommended that K have a visit with his personal doctor for a med check, no big deal, that's standard.

But - what it means to me is that I will be picking him up, driving him down here, possibly waiting for a new RX to be filled, then driving him back.  I don't think he's allowed to "hang out" or stop by home or go shopping or whatever, I am assuming this is being allowed strictly to get him to and from the Dr.

I'm trying to find out for sure, maybe it would be okay to stop at home for a few minutes....we'll drive right by it twice.  UPDATE:  that would be a "NO" for sure on stopping home.  Oh good, my "no" hasn't been tested in awhile this will be good practice.  Of course he may not even ask to stop at home, in which case I will be very impressed and totally shocked.

This will be the first one on one alone time we've had (other than jail visits) for a long time.  I am putting some of his fave songs on my iPod since he hasn't listened to music for months (hey, doesn't that violate our "no cruel or unusual punishment law?).

Some parents may be offended or hurt if their kid wanted to listen to music in this situation rather than carry on a conversation, but I have to say:  That's my boy!!!!  
Plus, we can talk when he has his my earbuds in :)


(for those who don't know me well, music is my passion.  I have a blog about classic rock which has taken the back burner but is slowly sparking back to life....)

Remind me to do a post on drug addiction/rock and roll one of these days.  Sigh.

Peace, Hope and Love,
Barbara
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November 29, 2009

....side note about this great room

As I posted the pics below I cringed inside knowing that some of you were probably thinking the same thing I am thinking:

"Does he deserve this????"

"Is this the right thing to do, its like we're rewarding his bad behavior?"

I'm not sure what "deserving" has to do with it.  No, he did nothing to deserve or earn such a nice room.  But we love him, and we want him to feel good about himself again.  We want to give him something that says "I am not a drug addict loser".

K has lost a lot.  What you see in those photos is all he owns.  A sample of things he's lost to drug use:

His car (then his truck)
His girlfriend
Four months of freedom (combined jail time)
His senior year of high school
His iPod
His cell phone
Countless pairs of nice jeans, sunglasses and several nice jackets
His X-Box
His Playstation
99% of his friends
His driver's license
His diploma from HS
His self respect
His innocence (the kind of innocence I mean is....he's seen things in the last few years that most of us will never see in "real life"; he's done things that an average person living on this planet will never do; its taken something from him and left a cold hard place in his heart that will hopefully warm up again soon).

So, that's my justification for allwoing him to come home to such a nice room.  He will not be handed all the things he either sold or had stolen from during his drug days.  If he wants an iPod, etc. he will have to find a way to earn it.  He will have to get used to having what he can afford on a normal salary - not on the kind of money he was used to having in his pocket.

I want my son to come home and feel like he has a fresh start.  I just hope with all my heart that he can STAY in this nice room.  I won't tolerate any drugs, alcohol or bad behavior (the bad behavior comes along with the drugs and alcohol so I'm thinking...this could be good....) 

Anyhow, I know I don't owe anyone an explanation, but I needed to get this out for my own benefit.  Thanks :)

And yeah, my sis rocks.


Peace, Hope and Love,
Barbara

One Lucky S.O.B. (son of Barbara)




When K comes home from being gone for six months, he will return to a brand new bedroom.  I wish I had before pics to show you what a wreck his old room was.  Holes in the walls, writing on the furniture (in black Sharpie), a 30 year old dresser that was falling apart, stains all over the carpet, posters of unsavory looking characters on the wall.  It was just gross.

So my generous and talented sister did a total make-over on his room.  He is going to die when he sees it!  His favorite colors are
gray, black and red.  She painted, bought some new furniture, a new ceiling fan, artwork (the gun is a famous Andy Warhol print),  and she even painted the inside of his closet and made sure all his hangers were color coordinated (she's a bit obsessive :).

Her final touches will be an aquarium and a Jade Plant.  I think he is spoiled rotten to get this great room but I know how good it will feel to him (she re-did my room for me years ago as a birthday gift and I still love it).

They say its best for an addict to give up his old friends, old place he used to go to use, etc.  K would use in this room with his friends.  There was evidence of that everywhere.  This new room looks NOTHING like the drug den it once once.

She even made a shelf for his "sphere" collection and put his rock collection on his new bookshelf and hung his medals and trophies (he was MVP on his wrestling team - ironically most of the team was on drugs and he wasn't at that time).

Thank you, T!  We love you for all you've done for us!  This room is so cool looking, I think K will even keep his clothes and trash off the floor (okay, maybe I'm dreaming....)





















November 28, 2009

Words

Lou made a comment after my last post that was a very helpful reminder to me.  One of those things you "know" about your child but forget in times of concern.  I'm sharing it because I've noticed several our sons seem to have very similar personalities (harder to say about the daughters) so this may be something you deal with too.

She said "I tried analyzing..what does he mean by THAT..? Not everything my son says makes sense. Sometimes he just "talks" to hear himself talk. Sorting out his thoughts, I guess."

This is very true of K as well.  The fact is, K is a "talker" and also has a habit of trying to purposely "get my goat".  He takes great pleasure when he can shock or upset his aunt and/or me.  I am much more calm (usually) and remind myself that this is just K talking and thinking he's funny and clever.  So I am glad Lou reminded me to remind myself of that!

I have tried to break him of this habit, but he still does it.  Just the other day he called from PH and said "mom, I got busted they're kicking me out".  My response was a very calm "you did not".

Of course there is a part of me holding my breath waiting to hear him laugh because there was the time when I was standing in line to board a plane and he called and said "I got arrested again" and I said "you did not" because I KNEW he was in court that day.  Well he did get arrested....ugh.

He has a very charming, charismatic personality and part of that includes a lot of TALK that I need to remind myself is nothing more than him thinking out loud or playing the "watch mom get all upset and then I say "not really!" game - which I hope he outgrows soon.

Song of the day:


Peace, Hope and Love,
Barbara

P.S.  Have you ever noticed that goat's pupils are slanted, not round like most animals?  What's that all about?

November 27, 2009

Thanksgiving Visit

Had a really nice visit with K last night.  It was so warm we sat outside on some benches and talked from 8 - 10 pm (I thought of some of you who live in cold weather, I really am spoiled with this climate).

For the most part we talked about all the things he wants to do when he gets home, the kind of car he wants to buy someday, etc.  He LOVES cars.  But a few things he said scared me.  For example:  he wants to work out and "get buff" again so he's really big if he goes to prison.

WHAT?  Why would he even think that.  :( 

He said "Mom, there's only two ways it can go, I'll stay clean or go to prison, I just want to be prepared in case that happens".  

I reminded him that he has the choice - its not one way or the other, its up to him.

I will just end here.  I know he wants to stay clean, he's being "realistic".  I just want to hear "I'm never using again, I learned my lesson, this is it".

I shared with him something someone said to me recently about powerlessness:

You are powerless over your addiction WHEN YOU ARE USING.
You have power to choose when you aren't.

So is everyone out there shopping today?  I am going to one bookstore but that's it!  Have fun today whatever you're doing and STAY HOPEFUL.  I will be catching up on your blogs later today.

Peace, Hope and Love,
Barbara

November 25, 2009

Celebrating 65 days with Kay

K's friend "Kay" (she's Ant's girlfriend)  just stopped by to show me her new car.  She was thrilled.  Its a cute little car, brand new and the best thing about it:  she put the down payment on it and will make her own car payments.  She is very proud and she should be. 

I've known her for a little over a year, she was one of K's using buddies.  She is also clean now with 65 days!!!!  I have high hopes for her to stay that way.  She goes to meetings almost every day, works full time and goes to college four nights a week.

Worry Doesn't Work & Al-Anon Mtg. Update

 We all know this, but its so hard not to worry.

Yesterday as I went back through each of my posts to change K's name to K instead of K_____, I saw for myself all the worrying I have done in the past few months.

It didn't change anything to fret and worry, it just took away from that moment.  And really each moment is all we have.

Putting things into practice takes time and effort but its worth it.  I worry a lot less these days.  On the other hand...I have a lot less to worry about when he's locked up or in rehab!  So please refer me back to this post next time I am worried to pieces.


~~~~


Went to an Al-Anon mtg. last night.  I have yet to find one that is "friendly".  I always read about how friendly everyone at Al-Anon is but once again I felt like an outsider and no one approached me or said hello to me.  I am very shy in groups but didn't let it show and smiled and tried to look approachable praying that someone would say hi to me first, once that happens, I am fine.  I just panic if I have to approach a stranger in a group (I can walk up to anyone one on one, something about groups causes me to have major anxiety).


The woman who sat next to me all night turned her back and started talking to someone else the second the meeting was over.  I hung around for a moment watching everyone ignore me but then started to have a panic attack and left.  The meeting itself was very depressing, story after story of kids living on the street, in and out of rehab, etc.  Needless to say, I didn't like it.  I like the tools and the concept but I've tired 4 meetings in different locations and with the exception of one I felt like I was intruding in a club that didn't really want new members.  Of course I leave thinking "it must be me" and it takes weeks to get the courage to go to another one so I may just give up on the whole concept.  I get more out of  reading "Courage to Change" and your blogs.

Peace, Hope and Love,
Barbara

November 24, 2009

GEEZ LOUISE!


Well, here I am at my new blog home.  The last 24 hours brought a big surprise to me - I was informed that a certain group of people have been following my blog and they had concerns.  Rather than going into the details, I OFFERED to take my blog down and not refer to them by name in the future.

So I have a new blog, a new name and a new look...but all the old posts and comments are still here!

I think most of you know my son's name, he will hereby be referred to as "K" (except on the posts I have not got to yet, its taking forever to find them all and change them).

My "other son" will be referred to from now on as "Ant" cause I think that's a cute nickname and a lot less letters to type.

Tonight I am going to an Al-Anon meeting that I have never attended before and am nervous, more about driving in the dark than the actual meeting.  I will report back.

I am praying for all of you, and being VERY thankful for you this Thanksgiving week (and the other 364 days of the year too).

Oh - feel free to link this blog, follow it, add it to your reader.  I'm not trying to hide it or anything.

Barbara

November 23, 2009

Its Not Goodbye...

I will still be reading your blogs and commenting, but need to take this blog offline - at least until I can remove my son's name (and A's) from all the posts.  That may take a while. Or I may not come back or I may start over...I am very upset and confused at the moment :(

If you would like to know why send me an email at bll127925@yahoo.com

UPDATE!  Please, please email me so I can explain to each of you privately.

I have received several emails already from people wondering if they said something to upset me.  NO WAY!  Each and ever comment here, no matter what it says, has HELPED me. 

I am very sad to leave this blog.  Its not really by choice and I may be back under a different name sometime once I regroup.  I think I am in a bit of a state of shock at this new development in my life...its not something I planned on doing.

I was so happy to put up my new, positive sunflower banner....I guess I need to find a new home for it, but that's so much work and I feel kind of defeated at the moment.  I really don't know what I am going to do but I can't continue on this blog using my son's name.

FYI - nothing has happened to my son, he's doing really well where he is.

Love to all of you....

Barbara

November 22, 2009

Visit With Ant



I haven't mentioned my "other son" lately but have visited him the last few Sundays at OCJ.  Today I couldn't help but notice the difference between visits with him and my actual son.  The actual always has a list of things for me to do, we often get in some sort of disagreement and usually run out of things to say since we would talk several times via the phone between weekly visits.

But when you take away all emotions that are involved with parenting an addict, its completely different.  I love Ant but because he's not my child there is no history, not as much worry, no guilt, no anger, no arguing, etc.  He is just thankful someone cares about him.

He's doing well but admitted to worrying about using again.  I think this is actually a positive because all the other times he said "I am never using again, this is it, I'm done with this".  This time he knows what it will be like to step out into freedom.  And ironically the jail is only blocks away from the streets where they buy drugs (if I know this I am sure the cops know this - why do they let it continue?).

It was good to see his smile, hear his voice.  He has a lot more maturity than K, but he's also 4 years older and has had a difficult life (losing a mom, dad in and out of prison, no stable home or guidance growing up).

He said he's been mentoring a few of the guys in the program (he's in a drug program inside the jail) and that its weird cause they are older than him but this is their first time and he's lost count of how many times he's been down this road.


I HATE THE DISEASE OF ADDICTION!

I hate it with a passion.  I sat there and looked at him, thought of K, and felt anger welling up inside me.  When you walk out of jail labeled a "felon" and "an addict" people look at you different.  You feel inferior.  Its ten times harder to find employment or rent an apartment or even make friends.  These men and women - no matter what their age - deserve a CHANCE to get better. 

It breaks my heart that addiction is still looked upon as a weakness or a choice, or blamed on bad parenting or bad friends.  None of that is true.  But once you succumb to the disease its like it owns you, there isn't an injection you can take like for diabetes.  There's no chemo or radiation like for cancer.  And few people have compassion for addicts compared to those afflicted with "acceptable" diseases.  When's the last time you saw a "walk for addiction" fund raiser?

I know I'm preaching to the choir here.  I will probably write more about addiction as a disease later this week.  It seems to be a theme in my mind lately and I saw a great video on it the other night.

Bottom line:  Ant is doing well and wants to do well but knows how damn hard it is once he's out.  He's going to write K another letter reminding him to take advantage of all the great opportunities (group meetings, counseling, etc) he's going to receive at PH.  I love it that he can tell K the things I want to say - but you know coming from a friend you look up to its carries a ton of weight, whereas coming from mom it often goes in one ear and out the other :)

Thinking of and praying for all of you who read here.

Song of the day, for Ant.


November 21, 2009

Time for Hope

I decided to put something more cheerful, hopeful as my blog banner.  A sunflower symbolizes:
"happiness, strength, a love of the sun & sunlight,  and because it is said to always turn its face to the sun it is considered by some to be a symbol of faith"

Honest Scrap

I have another award to add, this one requires ten things about me but since I just did seven, I will only add three :)   Thanks, Sherry!

Also, there was a lot of award swapping going on this week.  I pass this one on to anyone who reads here who did not get one yet!  I tried to figure it out but got a headache trying!



8.  Since the person who gave me this award admitting to skinny dipping....I will about my skinny dipping experiences (all many years ago):  Once in a pool at my office at night, once in the Pacific in broad daylight (thank you God that I did not get arrested for that....) and once in Hawaii at night in the Pacific and a few other random times in pools that are foggy memories....

9.  My secret wish is to someday write a book, but I have no idea what it would be about.

10.In relation to #8 I will admit to being quite a party girl back in my teens/early 20's.  I drank too much and experimented with most drugs.  I am not proud of that or of many of the stupid things I did while under the influence, but I must admit I also had a lot of fun and never got in any serious trouble.  Luckily I "grew up" at age 25 and settled down quite a bit.  By 30 I was a stick in the mud and didn't go out for 12 years....


November 20, 2009

Thanks, Ladies!

I got two blog awards this week! I feel very thankful for both of them! 

This one is from Renee at Mom of Opiate Addicted Son. Thinking about her, and so many of you, brings a tear to my eye. I don't know how I'd get through this journey without the support of my blog friends!




I will pass this one along to:








This one is from Shawna at My Sacred Insanity. She's a kindred spirit and someone I have a ton of admiration for! I thank her for including me in this:




The rules are as follows:
1. Thank whoever gave this to you
2. Copy award
3. Post it in your blog
4. Tell us 7 things that your readers don’t know about you
5. Link 7 new bloggers
6. Notify winners of the award with a comment on their blog
7. Keep being awesome!

I will pass this one along to:









Okay, now for the hard part.  7 things no one knows about me...my life is such an open book.  I will try to think of positive and or "fun" things:

1.  I play a mean tambourine and was once in a rock band
2.  When I was in high school I was "the girl with the long hair" (it was just above my knees! I know - how embarrassing!)
3.   I got to meet Stevie Ray Vaughan after a concert once and of all the musicians I've met over the years, it was the most meaningful, I knew I was in the presence of greatness (not to mention he was a recovered addict!)
4.  I've been doing both yoga and tai chi but can't decide which I like better
5.  For K's 18th birthday last year I got his name tattooed on my ankle - he said it was the best present I ever got him :)
6.  When I was a kid, I wanted to be a librarian when I grew up.
7.  I'm single and open to meeting nice men if you know any that live in CA.  Age range:  40 - 55
1. Thank whoever gave this to you
2. Copy award
3. Post it in your blog
4. Tell us 7 things that your readers don’t know
5. Link 7 new bloggers
6. Notify winners of the award with a comment on their blog
7. Keep being awesome!

Cigarettes?


Here is a question:

Do you smoke?
Have you ever?
If so, how long ago?
If you are the parent of an addict - does your child smoke?

I have lots of stuff to share but it will have to wait till later.

Today was pretty dang amazing.  I got to kiss and hug my boy and see his SMILE.

UPDATE:  Thanks for answering my smoking questions and sorry if it caused anyone to want to light up (I hope not).

My answers are:  Yes, I smoked for 15 years (age 15 - 30).  I started smoking when my dad died of lung cancer from being a SMOKER.  I know...there are some real obvious psychological things to be said about that!  I quit the day I found out I was pregnant.  I didtn't touch a cigarette for 12 years then for some reason had a craving and now am in the habit of smoking one Nat Sherman (a weird brand of cig that is kind of like a cigar) per day in the evening out on my balcony.  I have very weird smoking habits.

I asked the question because its so common for addicts to smoke.  Its one of the only drugs my son doesn't like and I am grateful for that, but if he did I would see it as a "minor issue" in light of everything else.

I remember when my young friend (former meth addict) had been clean for about a year or so and her mom kept complaining about her smoking.  This was long before K had started drugs.  I tried to get the mom to be ecstatic that she had her daughter back - so what if she smokes!!!   Eventually this young lady chose to quit smoking too - when she was ready.  

I guess seeing 90% of the people smoking last night made me ask this question.   

OH - and one other thought, its SO HARD TO QUIT.  I was a very light smoker and it was still hard for me to quit, I tried so many times and never could until the shock of hearing "you're pregnant".  I had one more cig as I sat and cried at the horrible news (it was a shock and I admit I was NOT happy at first).  
 



November 19, 2009

He's Out and He's In !!! :)


After 89 days in jail, K is now at P. H.  He was happy to see us and I got about four warm hugs!  It felt SO GOOD.

He seemed upbeat and glad to be there.


Its a very positive environment and I will see him again TONIGHT for the family group meeting.  I am cautiously optimistic!!!!

Thanks for all of your encouragement and comments, I appreciate each and every one!

Song of the day:

YES!

Got a call from PH.  She's on her way to pick K up at Lacy AND she invited me and my sis to meet them back at PH for the intake so we can see him for the first time in 89 days!  Hug him, touch him!  I had no idea parents were invited to this.  His PO told me to distance myself so I actually told her that I might not come up there --- but I can't miss this opportunity!

Then tonight Family Group happens so I will see him again.

I am a nervous - how will he react?  He better be happy to see me!!!

November 18, 2009

I am not stressed out, worried or uptight


Using the power of positive thinking and not allowing my mind to accept anything negative.  I refuse to be a wreck - even though I feel on the verge of a breakdown.  Tomorrow is it...the day we have been waiting for and praying for.  Why am I so uptight?  Well, lots of reasons but to summarize:

I want this to be it.  I want him to succeed.  I want him to do well.

I know we all want that.  I also know the risks, etc.  I just can't let myself worry.

~~~~~

We dropped off a small duffel bag of his stuff up there this afternoon (my sis went with me).  We had to sit and wait in the hallway because they had an "incident" while we were there, a woman was handcuffed and escorted our by two females officers (I think one was probation the other was some sort of cop but not in a uniform).  It was a bit disturbing, just because it was a reminder of what can happen.

There is a very small chance that something will go wrong tomorrow and he won't be allowed in.  It has to do with his meds, long story short:  if they changed is RX in any way while he was in there and it does not match what I dropped off today, he will be turned away.  CRAP!  I wish someone would have told me that before so I could make sure.  Oh well.  Its in the hands of God, not mine.

I forgot to ask them about the 30 day lockdown period.  I wanted to know when we can start going to family group night.  I think we have to wait two weeks, maybe four, maybe none?  I will call tomorrow.

Some weird stuff going on in my personal life.  I won't even go there.  Just please pray for me.  I've been pretty strong up till now but this is a whole new chapter and a very serious one.

November 17, 2009

November 16, 2009

Two More Days Till He's Here:



K's Parole Officer called me tonight, I really like him.  At first he started to say "you'll need to pick him up at 6:30 am get him to his doctors then bring him to PH."

WHOA!  I did NOT want to pick him up.  I reminded him that K had 30 day supply of his meds with refills so it was not necessary to take him to his doctor.

Thank goodness...cause that would have been a nightmare.  I can see it now...me picking him up and him refusing to go and that would be the end of that.  Luckily he is arranging for someone else to transfer K straight from jail to PH.

Its a lovely old house isn't it?  He's so fortunate to be able to go there.  His PO is also going to remind him that this is a privilage to be able to be in this program and that he has to focus on himself...This is a very strict but GOOD program.  I am so grateful he was court ordered to go, there is no way I could afford even a week there let alone 90 days!

I'll be honest.  I am scared.  I am really scared.  K is used to having his own way (I can see how I went wrong in not allowing him to experience more consequences and making life "too easy" for him).  He will try every possibly way to make this experiences as "easy" as possible.  Its going to be HARD.  Way harder than jail.

Two more days.  This is what I've been waiting for, but I'm so nervous.


The Fine Print:

I knew I should not have tried to make a list of people yesterday!

Just to clarify, that list was of parents of addicts and addicts who regularly read my blog.  I included in red "and all my long time blog friends, you know who you are".

Well, it was dumb of me to even make a list!!!    In the list of "blog friends who know who they are" would be...well you know - YOU.  Everyone from A - Z (Aphra to Zoe).  and all the people in between.

Sorry if I hurt any feelings - now I will sing a song for you to prove it.  I recorded it for you and I think I sound pretty damn good!




November 15, 2009

Good Jail Visit (yes there is such a thing)

The other day i wrote about my "bad jail visit" and someone on Facebook commented "is there such a thing as a good one?"


I understand where he's coming from, it does sound a bit like an oxymoron, how can any jail visit be a good thing?  But when you accept reality, sometimes jail is a good thing.

So...my good visit today was not with Kev, it was with ANTHONY.  What a difference.

God / Caring About Each Other


It pretty dang awesome when connections are made through blogging.  It means a lot to me knowing that people out there care about my son and me.  I care about you too.  And your kids, your families, your journey through recovery if you are an addict or co-dependent or whatever.  We all have "issues" don't we?  :)

My own journey through recovery is very intermingled with my spiritual beliefs and/or lack thereof.  I have explored so many avenues to "spirituality".  In my 20's you could say I was New Age, then for the next 15 years I was a very conservative "born again Christian".  That all came crashing down and  I spent a few years being agnostic.  Now I have come to a very simple place where I do believe in God, but not the God of rules and regulations and judgments - the God that is Love.

I always thought that the concept in the 12 Steps of having a higher power of your own understanding was bizarre - in the Christian world I was in there was only one God and if you didn't follow him you were going to hell.  Now I am grateful that I can trust my own beliefs even though no one else may share exactly what my concept of God is. 

What really hurt and angered me when I was walking the Christian path was that God just didn't seem to answer prayer, or he'd answer with "nope, sorry, you can't have peace, joy, a husband, a drug free child..."

If someone had cancer and we prayed for that person to be healed, if they died it was "God's will".  I prayed for my son to avoid drugs from the day he was born...I guess it was God's will for K to be a heroin addict.

I know all the pat answers:  God gives us free will to choose, but then you're suppose to pray for His will in everything and then when the answer is "no, I will not keep your kid from making this huge mistake, he is choosing to do it and I'm just going to let him", it kind of pissed me off and hurt me, ya know?

I'm much more at peace not worrying that half the people I know are going to hell because they don't believe a certain way.  I'm not knocking what the Bible says, I'm just glad we can each have our own personal beliefs.  If I am wrong and end up in hell, I guess that's God's will.  But as many of you know, being the parent of an addict can feel hellish.  So its all a matter of perspective I guess.

Anyhow...I care about all of you and am praying daily for...

Madison and her family, Kay, Debby and "B", Sherry and "J", Lou and Andrew, Mom, Dad and Alex, Renee and Zac, Lisa and Bryan, Shawna and her family, Big Sad and her daughters, Chai Latte and her son, Syd and his wife, Annette and "H", Athena and her daughter, Mom of a Drug Addict and Kelly, Lynn and Ryan, Susan, other Susan, Dream Dancer, Cheri, Heather's Mom and Heather, and Josh. 

And of course I care and love all my long time blog friends who are reading here now....you know who you are and you've made my life better by listening and caring.

I would feel HORRIBLE if I left your name off this list and you are someone that reads here so PLEASE let me know, okay?

November 13, 2009

Flaws in Our Justice System...from my limited but personal perspective

I am disappointed in the way things work in our courts and jails.  I'm not an expert, but I have spent about 96 hours in courtrooms over the last year (just did the math!). 

Here is what I see:

1.  Its all about the money.  If you have money to pay an attorney you get treated like your important and are given special consideration.  If you are assigned a public defender you are treated like you are "less than".  AND if you have a public defender and are in custody - forget about it, you are the lowest level possible.

Today I sat in on come court proceedings that have nothing to do with my son.  I was there being "ears" for someone else.  The case has been dragging on for about two years. 

Another Bad Jail Visit

Had a bad day.  Don't even feel like talking about it.  I'll just say this:

Statistically speaking K will relapse and this is just the beginning of many years in the cylce of drugs/jail.

Spiritually speaking, anything can happen, he may choose to work hard on recovery and never use again.

Only time will tell.  I am just sick of it all.

November 12, 2009

A Former Addict's Thoughts on: the "E" Word



 
These words come from a former addict:

"Just as little comforts in jail (a letter, a snack, a visit) make something rather unbearable tolerable, little comforts in life can make addiction tolerable. I can see (cause the lights are now ON and I am not in a dark place) how an addict needs total isolation and despair to find their inner fight."

Here is the link to her wonderful blog: 




When I found her blog I stayed up for hours reading every single post.  Her life story is full of tragedy, drama and heartache - but she has overcome every obstacle and still growing steadily on her journey. 

In today's post she talks about how it felt to look back on using meth, and how easily the good memories of using can pop up.  I think its so helpful to hear things from the standpoint of an addict or former addict.

The message she has for parents of addicts is one I hear over and over....but can never hear often enough.  A lesson I am STILL struggling to learn.
Yep, the dreaded "E" word.  

As I visit blogs lately I see a theme....some of us do things we know are enabling our children/family member.  Or we just slip and then realize "OMG I just enabled!"  Sometimes its a matter of not truly understanding the difference between Loving and Enabling.

Its something we all agree is NOT HEALTHY but so many of us fall back into that pattern and then have to live with all the negative consequences of how horrible it feels to want so badly to do the right thing, yet fail.

We feel guilty, embarrassed, angry at ourselves, worried what damage we've caused, concerned of the what others will think of us, self-critical, ashamed....the list goes on.

Its like enabling to the loved one of an addict is our form of RELAPSE.  We're  compelled to help because we LOVE our addict so much!  Its hard for the heart to agree with the mind when it comes to "help" vs. "harm".

So, all this to say, read Midnitefyrfly's blog.  She's a gem, a beautiful soul with a lot to say.

UPDATE!!!  Also another must read today is Lisa C's blog, Loving and Parenting an Addict, which is also on the "E" word.  I just read her post out loud to my sister and we both just nodded our heads in agreement through the whole things.  Sigh.  Can someone please hit rewind on my life and let me redo the last few years???? 

November 11, 2009

The Day the Nightmare Began:

Last year, Dec. 18 to be exact, was the beginning of the realization that my son had a serious drug problem.  I think its a good thing that we can't foresee our future because if I would have known then what this year would be like...I don't think I could have handled it.  One day at a time is more than just a "slogan" its a survival mechanism.  Here is what I wrote that day.

Today was just horrible.



Getting the call from the school, sitting there with the cop hearing about my son's drug problem, telling my MOTHER and BROTHER about it (something I thought I'd never do), now I am just sitting.


He's crashed, been crashed for several hours. Do I let him sleep or wake him up?  Where the heck did he get heroin?  HEROIN?  my boy?  MY BOY?


What if he wakes up in the middle of the night and freaks out?


I hid all the car keys in the house so he can't leave....unless he calls one of his "bad" friends to come and get him.


I can't read, write or watch tv. I am all wound up. I guess I am writing...


I took tomorrow off so I could sit here all day and watch him but he will HATE that. Tough.


I don't know what to do .....


I am afraid to ever sleep again, that's when he does all this shit - when I am sound asleep.  I KNEW, I just didn't know what or how bad....oh my God.  Who is that kid in there sleeping?



THIS TOTALLY SUCKS.

The Beginning of the Nightmare

Last December I got the phone call that changed my life as I knew it.  I didn't realize at that time how much it would change, I think its best we can't see the future - one day at a time is enough for me.

Here is the post I wrote on the day my son's high school principal called and told me to come to the school immediately, that Keven had been escorted out of class by a police officer for being under the influence. 

Today was horrible.  Getting the call from the school, sitting there with the cop hearing about my son's drug problem, that he's been shooting coke and heroin.  Then...telling my MOTHER and BROTHER about it (something I thought I'd never do), now I am just sitting.  \\crashed, been crashed for several hours. Do I let him sleep or wake him up?

What if he wakes up in the middle of the night and freaks out?

I hid all the car keys in the house so he can't leave....unless he calls one of his "bad" friends to come and get him.

I can't read, write or watch tv. I am all wound up. I guess I am writing...

I took tomorrow off so I could sit here all day and watch him but he will HATE that. Tough.

I don't know what to do .....

I am afraid to ever sleep again, that's when he does all this shit - when I am sound asleep.

I miss Dougie, he would be such a comfort right now...but I have Sherry and I have all of you who read here.

THIS TOTALLY SUCKS

WE HAVE A DATE!

I just talked to P. H. they are placing K on November 19th!!  Its still over a week away and he's getting very anxious/upset again, so hopefully it will help him to have a firm date.  It means he won't be able to come home for his birthday, but maybe for Christmas :)

November 10, 2009

What About Friends?


Its been interesting watching K's social life over the last year.  Before his addiction he was very popular, had a wonderful girlfriend, was constantly invited to the movies, parties, whatever.

The girlfriend dumped him a few months into the addiction (I was proud of her for doing it).  His childhood friends stuck by him for the most part, but all of his other "good" (good as in non-drug users) stopped associating with him.

I just got an email from one of his close friends saying that "everybody is telling me NOT to write K, but I know what's its like in rehab so I am writing him".

It just made me sad.  I can't blame these kids, I am not upset with them.  I'm just sad that his life so drastically changed and he lost the good friends and was left with only his junkie friends.  Some of his friends that have turned away from him have known his since elementary school.

He thinks he's getting his old phone number back when he gets out.  THAT is funny.  I got rid of that phone account months ago.  He has not friends to call, the numbers in that phone were all drug connections.

I am glad he still have two "good friends" left plus two "recovering friends" that he just CAN NOT hang around.

Not sure why this makes me sad tonight, but reading those words in that email kind of hurt....I guess they are doing the right thing, it just hurt to read that email :(

November 9, 2009

82 Days Clean


K's been incarcerated for 82 days.  I like to look at it as "82 days clean and sober".  I wonder if he would have got this far if he weren't in jail.  I honestly doubt it.  The longest he'd gone before was 30 days.

The last time he was in jail (22 days) he used three days after getting out.

And the wonderful thing is...he goes straight into court ordered rehab.  That means if he messes up (tests dirty or violates probation in any way) he goes straight back to jail.

Never in a million years could you have convinced me that I would find such a sense of relief for my only child to be in jail, but I am grateful.  The way he was living, the alternative would have been the cemetery.

Of course that cycle could easily start again, but I am celebrating the positive until I have a reason not to.

November 6, 2009

7 Truths About My Addict That Took 5 Years To Learn

MUST READ article by our fellow blogger, Ron Grover aka as "Dad" from "An Addict in Our Son's Bedroom". In fact the entire blog is important to read, and a few other friends have articles there too.  Check it out:  Intervene

Here's the first part, click link above for the rest:

7 Truths About My Addict That Took 5 Years To Learn

Friday, November 6th, 2009 Ron Grover

I feel deep empathy toward parents just beginning the terrible journey of their child’s drug addiction — and those facing the turmoil of a next step: rehab, incarceration, dislodging the addict from the family home. These are still open and fresh wounds for my wife and me.
Following are seven hard lessons we’ve learned in our journey, all of which we denied in the beginning. We fought with ourselves and with each other about these things. It didn’t matter who was telling us the truth, we knew better, after all he was our son. We have come to accept these truths and now it is much easier to deal with the heartache and we’ve become more effective helpers for our son/addict.

November 5, 2009

I FOUND A WAY TO KEEP MY OTHER BLOG!

Ok, I had to change the URL and re-add some stuff and re-do the template but it "SAFE" from Google and doesn't show up if someone searches my name.  I lost all my "followers" so if you were a follower, please check me out again under the new URL:

http://barbaralayla.blogspot.com/

I am glad to have a place to write about more lighthearted things  (thanks, Syd, you inspired me)

Jailhouse Haircut

UPDATE!  Ant called tonight and I told him about the haircut and my concerns about the razor blade.  He assured me that the blades are not the normal kind, they are very flimsy and have holes in them....but still they were sharp enough to cut hair...I feel a bit better, but not much.  Just don't want other mom's to worry about this (we have enough to worry about!)


Talked to K today, he was doing much better, I need to remember to take whatever he says with a grain of salt...positive or negative.  Actions speak louder than words.


BUT THIS IS WILD:

I asked him how he managed to get a haircut in there and he said "my cellie took apart a disposable razor and used it to give me a haircut".


What?  It seems a bit scary to me that prisoners have such easy access to what could be used at a deadly weapon.

But also - my son has very thick long hair - I can't imagine the amount of work it took to cut it with a little razor blade!  He said it took two hours!!  It looked choppy, but not bad, considering.

November 4, 2009

Losing Part of Me

This week I shut down a blog I've had for about five years.  Its changed names a few times, but believe it or not some of the original readers were still there, people that have become like family.  My son was only 13 when I started blogging!  (do all mom's gauge things by the age their kids were?  I do).

It was hard to shut it down and let it go because it was my place to talk about anything:  humor, my thoughts, controversial topics, news, whatever.  I will miss that.  My reason for letting it go was because it was connected to my full name.  If you put Barbara L_____ in Google there was my blog.  I want to protect my son's anonymity and I don't want any perspective employers reading my blog before they even meet me, you know how people can pre-judge you.

I also have (had?:) one of the top classic rock blogs on the entire Internet - and I have basically ignored it.  Between my son and my recent relationship break up I just can't get in the mood to write about music, that scares me because its always been my passion.  

I'm really going to miss having a blog to talk and share but I guess there's always Facebook.  This blog has a purpose so I don't want to turn it into something its not.  Its not really about me.  Its about Keven and what its like to parent an addict.

I am going to be sharing a lot more of his story in the days to come.  How he got where he is today, all the things I ignored and should not have.  I will share posts I wrote last year at this time that, in hindsight, were cries for help from him and big time denial from me.

Thankful and Hopeful !!!


Whew, today went the way we had hoped and prayed - thanks for the extra support over the last two days.

We got there and the judge was late.  I had a very strong feeling that she and K's PO, PD and HCW (health care worker) were in her chambers discussing his case.  I was right.  Tears came to my eyes when she told K that they had spent significant time talking about him this morning and they had all got ON THE PHONE together WITH PH and stressed to them that K was told he'd be in the program weeks ago.  So I guess her influence helped because she said he would be in by mid-November!!!

She didn't even really give K a chance to speak, she just told him this news and he SMILED and said THANK YOU.  Then she said "Is K's mother here today?" (of course I was).  She then spoke to me for a few minutes and I am sure it was partly for the benefit of everyone else in the room.  She talked about how what I am going through as a parent is the most difficult challenge one can face....and that I needed to seek help for myself through Al-Anon and N.A.M.I. and she was happy to know that I had hooked up with N.A.M.I. already and had started attending Al-Anon meetings.  She is an amazing person.  She treats every person in her courtroom with respect, but she's also very tough when she needs to be.

For example, every time I've been there so far (4 times) one person in the program gets sent straight to jail.  Today it was a woman who tested dirty at PH.  She had to get handcuffed and will spend a day or two behind bars.  They are good to people in this program - they don't let them get away with anything, as it should be.  The woman was begging, crying and swearing that she did not use, but the judge said she had to go by the test.  It was sad to see but good to see.

My sister went with me today and was blown away by the whole process, we are so fortunate that he's getting all this help, its not just PH, that's just Phase One.  One person graduated from the program (which takes anywhere from 1 - 2 years depending on how many setbacks you have) and it was a huge celebration for him.  A lot of people were crying.  I am glad K got to see that.

Also, K had a haircut!!!  I don't know who cut his hair or how, but it looked better.  Another positive - he was not alone in the cage or holding cell today so hopefully he did'nt have his typical court day panic attack from being left alone in a tiny room for hours.

There were three other men with him, all older.  One stared at me the whole time which gave me the creeps because it was one of those stares, if you ladies know what I mean.  I think its good for K to be around the old dudes to remind him of how he does NOT want his life to turn out (they looked like they were in their 60's I have no idea how old they really were).

Thanks again.  I am hopeful once again, at least for today.

November 3, 2009

WHY IS HE DOING THIS?!?

I am so distressed today.  K called to tell me he has not changed his mind, he plans to "opt out of the program" tomorrow at court and take prison time instead.

WHY THE HELL WOULD HE DO THAT????   WHY?

This program is a privilege, a great opportunity.  I told him I will not even VISIT him in prison if he chooses that route.

I don't know what (or who) had got to him the last week or so but he was so excited a few weeks ago and now he's acting like some monster....he reminds me of who he is when he's high, totally irrational and mean.

I know some of you have really big issues today as well.  God have mercy on us all.  I can't do this.  I give up.

From an Addict to Moms:

Debby over at Oxycontin and Opiate Addiction - A Mother's Story has an excellent post today.  She received a comment from a young man who is an addict.  He reads her blog to gain perspective on what it must be like for his mother and also shares what its like for him.

Check it out:
The Blog Fairy

November 2, 2009

A Very Cool Parole Officer, Plus Ant Update

This morning I got a call from K.  It was very unpleasant, not unlike the unpleasant visit I had with him on Saturday morning.  He is angry, he is discouraged, he feels like he's been told "any day now" for weeks (well, that's true, he has been told that for weeks).  He said he rather stay in jail or go to prison and get out faster than going through PH.  It was an upsetting conversation.

So I decided to call his Parole Officer.  When Mr. O (the PO) first introduced himself to me he said up front "being the single mother of a young male addict is the hardest job on the planet, but I am here to partner with you and will take on the role that a father would play if I have to".  I didn't know PO's were so caring and concerned, but this one seems to want to help not only K, but me.

I got a hold of him and I told him about the conversation with K.  He said he'd spend some time with K on Wednesday afternoon after court (we will all be there) and that if they sent him back to Lacy before he got a chance to talk to him, he'd drive over there to see him.  He said he'd give him a serious talk to get him back on track and said it sounds like someone at Lacy is talking negatively about PH.

I felt better after our conversation.  I'm not going to make a habit of calling him but today I am glad I did.

~~~~~

Ant Update:  He called today!  He's finally out of Chino and back at OCJ.  He was so excited about it, which says a lot about how horrible Chino Prison is.  They have put him in an 8 hour a day drug program there at the jail and when that is done he will go to PH for a month.  Chances are that his time will overlap with K's but maybe this is a good thing...maybe it will be better for them to re-unite under supervision.

I told him I'd visit him this weekend.  I suppose I can visit both boys in one day, I really have nothing else to do with my Saturday.  It was great to hear his voice and hear his smile through the phone.  I really believe Ant has hit his bottom, but I am not so sure about K :(

To Anyone Who Read My Other Blog:

I just sent this email out but know I don't have everyone's email address:


Hi Friends and Blog Readers,

I just wanted to let you know that I am closing down my main blog "Writing from the Inside Out".  The reasons are:

1.  I am looking for a job and if any perspective employers do a search for me, it comes up.  I don't like that.

2.  The blog that is my main focus right now is not about me, its about my son and his addiction to heroin (link below).  Although I am very open about this and all our families and friends know about it, I want it to protect his privacy and people can figure out who he is if I leave up the WFIO blog.  My last name is not associated with any of my other blogs.

3.  Its time to stop sharing my personal thoughts so publicly.  This has been the most difficult year of my entire life (mostly because of Keven) and I need to heal and regroup and write in my private journal more and online less.  I may or may not keep the blog and open it by invite only, but for now, I just need to focus on other things. 

So if you want to keep track of me you can read one of my other blogs.  I will still be following yours!!

Thanks for caring!

Barbara

The Needle and the Damage Done


Layla's Classic Rock

November 1, 2009

Checklist for Enabling Behavior

Like so many of you, I am thrilled that Lou (Subdural Flow) is blogging again!  She is kind of a mentor to some of us and I need her wisdom and experience and strength!!!

Today she has a great post that lists enabling behavior.  I am not sure if I can agree with not giving my son a place to live when he gets out, but I have made it clear that "one strike and you're out".

Orientation...

I feel kind of blah and sick right now...is it the swine flu?  am I tired?  do I feel hopeless and helpless after attending the orientation meeting for PH?  It seems like a great program...but is he ready?  Will this be it?  Or like so many others are we just at the beginning of this journey?
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