Thursday, December 27, 2007

A New Year Awaits

It was an interesting Christmas - A good one, actually, in that I had the whole family here. Including my addicted one.

She called me on the 23rd, sick - she is 8 weeks pregnant and knows that she must quit using, and decided to quit. I have been very firm in the "tough love" department so far, and talked to her about getting treatment. She told me she just wanted to get off of it and then "get on with her life" - Typical addict logic, at least with her. Basically, she was starting to feel the withdrawal effects and wanted her mom. I repeated to her my stance, that I would get her to treatment - she turned that down and hung up.

After thinking about it, my husband and I decided that this might be an opportunity to get through to her that we didn't want to miss, so I called her back and she agreed to give me 7 days, without contact with her "boyfriend" who was supposedly also going through withdrawal. She agreed and we went to get her.

She was very sick -
I guess the best way to describe her symptoms is to comapre them with a severe stomach flu. Yeah. Not pleasant at all. At about midnight on Christmas eve she asked me to take her to the emergency room... she's been to the ER several times since she became addicted, and I now know that she was going through withdrawal then, too. I told her no, that she could do it - and reminded her that I had offered to get her medical help when she originally called and she turned that down. I had some prescription sedatives, and told her I would give her one to help her sleep IF she agreed to enter treatment first thing the day after Christmas ... and this time she agreed.

Maybe bribery seems wrong, but what isn't wrong about heroin?

She slept all through the night and into Christmas morning. We got her through the hard part and she was surrounded by family on Christmas day. She didn't interact too much, but I think she was glad to be here.

Yesterday morning I woke up early and made arrangements for her to enter a treatment facility that has a residential program for pregnant women, spoke with insurance company about out of network benefits, etc, etc, etc...

No suprise, but at the last minute, she balked and refused to go. She is gone now - the "boyfriend's" father came to get her, even though I called and asked him not to... I gave her and him the phone numbers of the treatment facility, where they assured me they had all of the info they'll need if she calls them. I have to say I was angry more than disappointed or hurt. I told her that I will not help her again unless she calls me FROM a treatment facility. I talked to her briefly tonight and she says she's still clean. Says she's bored, but proud of herself.

I wish I believed that it was that easy. I hope that her stubborn "independence" and desire to prove me wrong and her desire to have a healthy baby is stronger than the desire to please her "boyfriend" who has already lost children to CPS due to his addiction. I hate him, and I just don't get why she is where she is.

How does a beautiful, intelligent girl have absolutely zero self-esteem? What could I have done different?

She's my baby. Tough love, as far as not supporting her unless she is willing to get counseling/rehab is all I know to do NOW.


erinsav said...

I am so sorry. In my family I am the addict...recovering now, but active at one point.

I just feel so horrible when I think now about all I did to keep getting high.

One day your daughter will too.

Athena said...

Erin - how did you reach a recovering point? I wish I knew a magic word or action that would make her WANT to recover enough to actually try...

Thank you for your comment. Hug your supporters.


pat said...

I wanted to tell you I was very touched by this post and while I read it, I could feel your pain because I also have a child addicted to heroin. It is a terrible road to travel and an even worse one to witness. Thanks for telling your story.

Sarah said...

Your daughter is pregnant?

Just to let you know, heroin withdrawals are actually more dangerous to the fetus than doing the heroin itself and many women lose their children when trying to quit cold turkey while pregnant. So, hoping this doesn't happen and all, but if she winds up relapsing, you should take her to the emergency room when she says she wants to go to it, because it is very dangerous for the fetus to go through that.

Not that I expect her to wind up relapsing. From what I hear she is doing very well and you are doing a great job at helping her, I just felt that I should give you that information, just in case, you know.

But, otherwise. You are an amazing mother for doing these things. Many members of my family were nonfunctional drug addicts, including my mother, and when I was younger I went to alateen meetings for it. And when I became and adult I made the switch to alanon. It took one meeting there for me to never return. Many of the women there were parents of addicts, but most of them had made no progress in their codependency. They still hated the drug addicts and blamed them for all of their problems and thought the only way they could detach was to completely shut their children out of their lives and to not be parents to them. And I just couldn't listen to that, because it was wrong.

There is a difference between being healthy and not getting too wrapped up in it and completely disowning a child and there is a difference between being unhealthily involved in their addiction and helping out your child. And I am glad you are one of the parents who has figured out how to actually help their children in a good way, without A. making it easier for them to use drugs and just depend on you to bail them out on the time and B. getting yourself all bent out of shape.

I keep wanting to make this comment longer, because I feel like the things I am trying to say to you aren't really getting communicated as well as I'd like to, but I realize that just adding more text to an already huge comment would only make it worse if I actually am losing my meaning in there. So, pretty much: you are an awesome mother, you seem to have this thing under control, you are doing something that many people refuse to handle or try and doing it right, and good job.

Athena said...


Thank you for your comment - and what you are communicating. I appreciate morethan I can say your unique insight, and hope that you will stay in touch... write as much as you want to, please

So far, the heroin seems to not have resurfaced with my daughter - we are getting along, and I am supporting her with her pregnancy, making sure she gets good medical care, etc... She knows that she can come home and eat right and be nurtured and go to school and prepare for being a mom. Unfortunately, The lack of heroin and the pregnancy are the only tangible changes in her lifestyle - Not that they aren't HUGE, it's just that she is still hanging out with the group, and the "boyfriend", that got her involved in it to begin with... she spent a week wit hme recently because her "boyfriend" was in jail again.

I was so disappointed to learn that she somehow raised $300 to get him out of jail while I have been scrambling to come up with the $500 she has to have paid to her OB/GYN by May. He hasn't helped her in any way with medical or living expenses.

It's just so frustrating, and I wish I knew how to get her to understand what her life will be like once the baby is born if she continues to make this man's issues her priority...

Thank you so much for reading my ramblings - All we can do is our best so that we can help others do the same.