The purpose of this blog, hopefully, is frank/open discussions about parenting an addicted child.
My husband and I have 6 beautiful children between us. All of our children are GOOD people. Every one of them. We raised them all with abundant love and care, equally.
This blog is something about me as a parent and my youngest daughter, who I love dearly. Dearly. You might be shocked. I am. But I don't mean it to be all about me, of course... Hopefully this will open a dialogue for us all to share virtual hugs, support, ideas - and yes, smiles and laughter, because those are also intergal parts of parenting... Thank Goodness. When my children were little I remember thinking "Aha! THIS is why children get sent to their room - so that we can laugh."
Oh, I wish right now I had concerns about childish behavior... I've gotten good at dealing with that. No, this is something I never, ever, EVER even considered that I would have to deal with. My 18 year old daughter is addicted to heroin. Mine. My. Child.
I am frightened, embarrassed, angry ... but after doing some research, I think I am not alone. If your child is addicted, YOU are not alone.
I'm not going to hide - I'm going to fight. I'm going to share my experience in the off chance it will help my child - anyone's child. I have already learned that until my daughter is ready to fight, too, there may be little else I can do but write about it.
If you are a frightened parent like me, rest assured that even my biggest worry will never mean that your own are trivial... It's something I taught my children early about compassion, in terms they could grasp: If one person breaks their leg, and another person breaks their finger - they are both in pain. Whatever pain a person has, if it's the thing that hurts them most, it is important... It is never acceptable to discount as trivial what hurts or worries another person.
It's been a rough year ... Yes, I've been on the dreaded teenage "Roller Coaster" before, but was thinking that I was at it's end. I also thought that my youngest daughter and I had been through the worst - and we have certainly been through a lot in the "teenage rebellion" stage.
It seems that what was happening in August of 2006 was a truce of sorts - I was facing the possibility of a serious illness and she rallied in a way to relieve me from worrying about her. I know now that she wasn't actually staying out of trouble because she had turned over a new leaf, just being more cautious not to make waves... and, due to the overwhelming health concerns, Dr. appointments, work, etc, etc - she was flying under the radar quite easily.
In many ways she is a sensitive compassionate person, and that gives me strength.
Gradually, things got back to "normal" here... In November 2006 my daughter turned 17 and made the decision to go live with her father, rather than follow the very basic rules that we had for her here... Basically the Who, Where, What questions about her activities were the rules that she couldn't abide - a reasonable curfew, simple household chores, do well in school. She also was "dating" a totally inappropriate 19 year old that I overheard making a phone call to have someone deliver drugs to my house (!!) - An absolute rule was that he was not to come to my house nor was she to see him. Alas...
After the move, she seemed to be doing well living with her Dad in the small town she grew up in, about a 45 minute drive away. She was doing well in school, eventually dropped the above mentioned "boy" and she got her driver's license and her father got her a car. She got a job, she sounded happy. Unfortunately, I learned that she had also taken up with a 28 year old man, her new "boyfriend".
She quit her job on the last day of school. She drove in to see me a couple of times a month, mainly for money to go to the mall or out to eat... I was happy to see her and held my tongue about the boyfriend, hoping she would make the right decision. She is in many many ways a very bright girl.
The first part of June, I got a call from her one evening... she was in jail! I really had thought that she was doing ok, but she and her 28 year old "boyfriend" had been arrested shoplifting right around the corner from my house... I was mortified, and confused. I would have given her money if she needed it. I always had. She knew that.
Based on her history, the "roller coaster ride" that over the past few years has included counseling, rehab, truancy court, etc... her father and I, step-father, her brothers and sisters - we all decided NOT to bail her out this time... we felt it was important for her to understand that being the "adult" she wanted everyone to treat her as came with heavy responsibilities and consequences beyond our rules.
She was transferred to the county jail, which is not a nice place. We learned that she was in the jail infirmary... Oh - I worried! She is my baby, after all. Her father paid to get her car out of impound, and disabled it.
After 3 days she was able to arrange her own personal release bond - and I went with a family friend to pick her up... at 4 in the morning she was finally released, defiant. She looked like hell.
The family friend had already discussed with me his desire to try to help her. He & his wife were going to offer her a job, a place to live and a very rigid schedule to help her get back on track. This is someone that she loves and trusts very much. She turned him down... I hugged her and put her to bed. She looked so ill...
In the morning, her "boyfriend", also released from jail, called. I told her again that she had a choice to make - Her family's love, help, RULES, or to leave my house. She chose to go with the loser boyfriend... the 28 year old... And, I let her go.
Between the time she made the decision and actually left with him, I learned that the reason she had been in the infirmary is that she has been doing heroin and was going through withdrawal. I had no idea. I thought nothing could shock me, but this had the same effect as if I had learned that my daughter had a terminal illness. And, I let her go. I knew from experience she would have gone anyway... and her associates where people that I felt put my entire family's safety at risk. OMG - I let her go. I told her I loved her. I told her as soon as she wanted help, I would help her, but that meant rehab. I asked her to call me regularly and let me know she is alive.
During the next few weeks she called a couple of times. She said she was "safe", but I had no idea what "safe" meant to her anymore... Actually, I guess I did - I could hear in her voice that she was not well, strung out.
There is an "epidemic" in Dallas right now, called "cheese." I can't believe it has touched my family. "It could never happen to my child" I'm sure I would have thought if I had even bothered to think about it at all... Deadly $2 heroin aimed at young teens.
Read More http://athenarising.blogspot.com/2007/12/my-daughter-is-heroin-addict.html