Saturday, March 21, 2009

Patty-Cake on Glass

Last Saturday, I did take the baby to visit with my daughter, his mother, in jail... And, I believe it was the right thing to do, for the right reasons...

It was surreal, with the glass partition and trying to hold the phone to his ear ... and making sure he didn't get it in his mouth or touch anything! LOL... (She is a trustee and cleans the lobby and visitation area, and told me she went xtra heavy on the Lysol in case I brought Baby.) He sat in front of his mom and smiled the winning smile - they played peek-a-boo, they made each other laugh - they made me laugh, too. She looked healthy for the first time in a long time... every time she put her hand up on the glass, he put his up to "touch" it. She got teary a few times, but said she had resolved not to cry because she didn't want to "scare" him... It was a nice visit. She was my daughter, not the hollow shell I've grown to dread seeing. And, she saw, really SAW him - for the first time without heroin clouding her vision. She has court next week on her possession charge, and it is actually the same judge who handled the custody case - this is what she wrote to me after the visit:

"I'm so happy I got to see you and [Baby], thank you so much. The guard on shift... told me when you were leaving that my son is gorgeous. All the officers I work w/ here were very happy I got to see him. That night when I was cleaning the lobby and visit area I showed the woman and officer I work with his hand print on the glass. lol! I got a little sad when I came back, but I just read your poem and I was ok...

I thought about what you said about rehab and I'm gonna ask Judge ---- if she will court appoint me to one. That really is the best thing for me. I thought maybe I should just do time or probabtion but, just leaving here the way I came in doesn't look promising, I can't lie to myself anymore. I still want heroin on a daily basis. I need help learning how to live w/ that. Also, if I did take probation I'm not sure that would work. I don't have a car or a job -I need my diloma or GED and I can't expect anyone to bend over backwards even more, so that I can pay my PO and get to and from the office. It's my responsibility. The only downside to rehab (Besides not going straight home, lol) is that I will have to stay in jail most likely until a bed is available. I will admit I am not very fond of going to rehab but, I need it for myself, my family, and my son. I need to prove to myself to my famiily also, I know it will be very hard for anyone to trust me w/out outside help w/ my addiction. I really don't want to use anymore but, I don't know how to fight it alone. ... Oh yeah, I accidently broke a picture of the old jail in the lobby! Oops! I knocked it off the wall with my broomstick. I miss you, I miss [Baby]... He took my breath away. That's the only reason I have to go to rehab. But after I'm there I'll know I did it for myself too."

Hope Springs Eternal. I am not a religious person in the way I see a lot of my fellows here are, I am also not an "Al-anon person" .... but I do believe that the world would be a mighty frightening place without faith in a higher power. The poem my daughter referred to isn't something I wrote, it's more of a prayer that I ran across a few years ago - in one of my last letters I wrote it out for her, and it seems to have struck a chord and she refers to it often:

Rescue This Child - by Marjorie Holmes

Oh, God, please help my child. She has no direction, no goal. She's wandered away from so much that she used to be, or that you, her creator, would have her be.

And I am not only worried sick about this, God, I feel guilty. I search my own behavior asking, "Why? Why? What have we done to bring this about? Where have we, her family, failed? That she, with all her goodness and beauty, her brains, her tremendous potential, should be so lost. Right now it's as if she's nobody going nowhere, at a time when the rest of the world is on its way.

Dear God, please find and restore my wandering child. Arouse in her a sense of purpose, steady her, set her upon her rightful path, and walk with her.

We who love her can't do it. Only you who love her even more can do it.

I offer her to you now, whole and beautiful and filled with promise, the way you sent her to us.


Annette said...

Oh my gosh...I am sobbing. I am SO happy that you brought baby Landon to see his mom. I am happy to read her words to you. I can only imagine how seeing that beautiful baby affected her.

You, Landon and your daughter are in my God box. I hope all works out. I hope she turns the corner.

And the poem....THE POEM!!

Athena said...

Ahh - you are such a crybaby Annette, and I love your sensitive soul :-)

I do feel she has turned a corner - It's all the corners yet ahead I hope she will stay strong for... She can do it, and I so hope she will


Annette said...

Maybe I am PMSing or something lol. Or having a nervous breakdown! Just the title, the thought of that baby sitting there and that momma on the other side, I can just imagine how she must feel.

((HUGS)) to you Athena

Cat said...

Oh now there is hope - and happiness and healing.

Lou said...

Love it, it was beautiful.
Those court ordered rehabs are full of the usual suspects. If there is any way you can persuade the judge to send her to a rehab out of her using's just a thought. Usually those are in another county, and they balk at that. But if you write a letter, or ask to to speak before the judge..tell him the long history of use, the baby, etc. She has a better shot if she is not around people she used with.
If you feel that is enabling or helping just ignore me. I know the court system will rubber stamp her, that's just how it works.
Prayers your way.

Fractalmom said...


Mary (MPJ) said...

That sounds like such a good visit for all of you. Yay!

Athena said...

Lou -

Your suggestions are very valid and I know you know what you are speaking of - I appreciate all of your input, always

This county uses a private residential treatment for people under 21, and because of her young age she wouldn't be with most people she used with there - especially "Boyfriend" - so that is what we are hoping for. I don't know that I have time to write the judge - I know I can't go, but I have counseled daughter to speak frankly and honestly with her defender and the judge.

She has issues with 3 different courts in 3 different counties at the moment - such a mess - but the one upcoming is the most serious, and the judge the one most likely not to "rubber stamp"

Hope, Hope, Hope


Annette said...

How old is your daughter Athena?

Athena said...

She's 19... started using heroin (as far as I know) at 17... Had Landon at 18. The boyfriend is 27, and most of her "heroin crowd" is older also

Kat said...

I am so happy for you! I have kept up with your blog for awhile now, and it seems like your daughter is actually taking time to think about her life and her son's! This is a crucial moment!! I am so grateful for you - I actually am holding back tears and fighting chill bumps. lol

Keep us all updated. You and yours will be in my prayers.

pat said...

I am hoping and praying for all of you.

AllisonRhodes said...

Although my daughter is only 9 years old, she has two dry alcoholic parents...alcoholism on my side of the family and alcoholism and substance abuse on the other. I'm already worried about her.

Thank you for being courageous enough to blog about this. Allison

Laura said...

Hi Athena,

What a hopeful post. So beautiful..I can just see her looking at the glass for Landon's handprint to blazen into her memory.

Prayers for this whole situation. I'm the first to tell you that after 14 years of addiction struggles and 12 of them to be heroin, that God works and changes the hearts of those who ask. Your daughter's honesty about wanting to stop but still feeling the urges for heroin is an important factor. I will pray specifically for that to be taken from her. It can happen. Someday maybe Cliff will write his story of his simple, heartfelt prayer alone in his cell..and I can post it.

Thank you too, for sharing that well written poem..who among us couldn't have written those words?

I'm printing and saving it.

Hope and prayers for you and yours.


cornbread hell said...


kristi said...

Oh God...this really made me cry. Not only is my nephew in prison, so is my brother. And my brother, he is so lost. It breaks my heart.