Sunday, February 18, 2018

Too Much - Where's MY LIFE?

I spent most of the day either wandering around the house, sitting in the back yard or lying under the covers in my bed (with my sweet little girl, Sugar, next to me).  I am immobilized by all the sh*t that is going on around me, but effects me.  So I thought it might help to write some of it down:

1.  My Aunt

I've been her caretaker for over a month now and the first two weeks were fine (other than having to be in 2nd hand smoke all day).  Then she had a fall.  Since then she has gone.   downhill fast and doesn't even like to be out of bed except to eat and smoke and (when I'm lucky) use the bathroom.  She can walk, but it hurts her and she's scared.  I don't know if she's going to come back from this or if this
is the beginning of the end.  She's 92 and has been smoking for 70 years but other than that is in good health.   Its a huge strain on me, and my family.

2.  My Bro

Love my brother, a lot.  But he can be controlling and down right mean about it.  He questions how I take care of my aunt which hurts and makes me mad - who on earth could or would take better care of her?  I'm the only one in the family willing to do things related to going to the bathroom....etc.  So I am annoyed by him and can't talk to him because my family doesn't do that.  I don't want to get him mad, its not worth it because its an ugly thing.  BUT what my real concern is, is that he probably has cancer,.  We'll find out this week.

3.  My Son

Same old stuff.  He's not using heroin but he's medicating himself and rarely leaves his room unless he has to.  He's got an ankle monitoring bracelet on now.  He lent his car AND my gas card to someone and my gas bill is going to be in the hundreds.  He stays in his room almost all the time.  He's needs to see a doctor but expects me to make the appointment for him, he's 27 years old.  I'm tired of it all.  He lost another friend yesterday, a lovely young woman that I also knew.  He doesn't bat an eye when I tell him about stuff like this.  He's so hardened.

4)  My Fiance

I am having second thoughts about marrying Peter.  I'm not sure if its because of him or me.  I hate myself right now because if finally got all the extra weight I was carrying for years OFF (60 lbs!) and then in less than for months gained 50 of it back.  I have been suffering physically and emotionally ever since.  I feel terrible.  I look terrible.  I am unhealthy.  So of course the thought of putting on a wedding dress disgusts me, but it goes deeper.  I tried to imagine us eloping so no one would have to see me in a dress, but that didn't cause any sparks either. I need to figure out if its him or if its me going through a lot of crap.  Our circumstances are not ideal, that's for sure.  We would have to live here in my house in my bedroom for a year (knowing him that would be more like two years) because we don't have money to get a place.  At our ages we should be financially stable but he lives off a pension and disability and I am supporting my son and myself on a small salary.  At age 58 and 66 its pretty pathetic that we would have to live here with my sister and son, don't you think????????????????????  There are other more personal reasons too.  I just don't know if I could be alone with the same person all the time for the rest of my life.

5) Everything else, death, murder, shootings, politics, our suffering environment and wildlife, racism, and all the other bullshit you hear about when you turn on the news or scroll through FB.  I try not to let it get to me so much - but it does.  I'm an empathetic person so that's what I do, I FEEL.

Peace, Hope and Love, Barbara

Friday, October 27, 2017

I'm Getting Married for the first time at age 58!

For once I have some great news to share here.  I know not a lot of people read here these days, and I already shared on FB, but wanted to share my joy.

Peter and I met because both of our children are heroin addicts.  A mutual friend introduced us (over the phone - he lives 7 hours north of me) because she thought it would help him to have someone to talk to about his daughter.  We hit it off.

After 3 months we met in person and from there things just blossomed.  On August 15th, as we were walking on the beach, he found a rock for me to sit on then dropped to one knee and proposed.  It wasn't my first proposal but it was the only one that I felt 100% sure about!

We celebrated one year of knowing each other on October 11.  We plan to marry in May/June 2018 and he will move here for a year then we will move out of state after that.

I've never been happier and have never known true love until now!  Sadly, we still have our children to deal with and that is the one dark cloud hanging over with, but we will make it work.

Right after he asked me he looked down and found a heart shaped rock!  This is extra significant because we find heart-shaped rocks for each other all the time.

Peace, Hope and Love, Barbara

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Lost Faith, Losing Hope

I don't cry much anymore, I ran out of tears after Anthony died. But yesterday I couldn't seem to get through an hour without at least one cry. I'm very lucky to have Peter, he's very understanding and supportive, but like all men - he hates to see (hear) his woman cry.

I cried because I don't think the Keven I once knew still exists. He's a shell of who he once was. He lives in his head - which is a dark and scary place. He uses Klonopin (prescribed) and/or heroin to feel normal for as long as the high lasts, then he plummets back to the depths of his despair in the form of self-hatred, depression, fear and debilitating anxiety.

He was bad off before he went to prison, and ten times worse than that when he came home. He was made to do things in there that he doesn't want to talk about (and this kid tells me everything - he always has since a child - I know things I wish I didn't know but it helps him to talk to me so I listen).

Is another rehab the answer? He's been to at least ten (not counting detoxes and sober livings, hospital stays and jail/prison time).

I am enabling him to keep using by letting him stay here with a roof over his head, all his needs met, and no consequences for his drug use (other than what he inflicts upon himself).

In the past I've found him places to live (sober living, hotels, an apartment in another county). A few times I had him arrested. A few times I just kicked him to curb with all his stuff packed in trash bags. Once I even stopped my car on the way to a detox (in Garden Grove) and kicked him out right then and there because he said "I'm not sure I want to do this" and pushed me over the edge.

I've sold his stuff to pay for his drug debts. I've paid to get back items he pawned. I've depleted my savings more than once. I wracked up my credit cards more than once. I am once again broke and in debt.

He's been to psychiatrists (mostly that give him whatever he wants and don't bother to try and diagnose him) and therapists and tried different modalities of treatment.

He's seen friends die, one died in bed next to him and he woke up to find her. He's almost died three times (officially) and who knows how many times I don't know about. He's had sepsis, MRSA, sever abscesses. He had a positive HIV test and refused to be treated. I lived thinking he was dying for two years until he was retested and it was negative. He has Hep C. 

So here we are 10 years in as of this month.  I will never forget the night he woke me around 2 am.  He and his girlfriend at the time (who is now a nurse, we are still in touch) sat on my bed and told me he'd been using heroin but was going to stop because if not, she would leave him.  He was 17, she was 16.  She hung around for several more months and was with him when he attempted suicide (cry for help) and I'd take her to the mental hospital to visit him.  She finally gave up on him as did all future girlfriends, and guy friends.

I'll never give up on him.  But I don't have much hope left.  I just can't seem to muster it.  I lost my faith in "God" a long time ago after being a faithful and committed Christian for about 18 years.  But that's another story for another time.

I desperately tried to save Anthony, but couldn't.  I've been desperately trying to save Keven - will I be able to?  No.  I can't, it doesn't work like that.  Somewhere deep inside himself he has to find the will to live and to stop using, but can he?  I don't think he can.  I think I may lose him one way or another.

Peace, Hope and Love, Barbara

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Prison Changed My Son

Keven has been out for four months.  He is not the same person who was arrested that awful day in June 2015.  He's bitter, angry, depressed and it kills me to say this - but says he's a National Socialist.  His ideology is so warped.  This is coming from a person who grew up being so loving and open toward everyone, kind, thoughtful, generous, funny, smart.  Now he's a shell of that person and has accomplished nothing since coming home except relapsing and hiding in the house because he's so paranoid and full of anxiety.

Thanks a lot California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation - you really need to remove that "R" word from your title, or change it to "Ruining".

Peace, Hope and Love, Barbara

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Staying Positive While Surrounded by Negativity

Life has its ups and downs but lately I refuse to say things like "Life is hard" or "I hate my job" or "I'm broke".  I'm staying positive most of the time and catching myself when I'm not.

With that said, I need to get some stuff out.

I noticed that several FB friends have left FB because of the negativity related to the Presidential Election and the Pres. Elect.  And then there are all the other things on there that are sad - I am totally guilty of sharing articles about addiction and have decided to be very picky about which ones I share because frankly - does anyone read them anyhow?  I don't want to give up FB - NO WAY.  I've got several cute babies (and one on the way) that make my day on a daily basis, plus grandkids and pets of friends.  I LIKE BABY, CAT AND DOG POSTS ~ I'm one of those people, LOL (did you know LOL is out and hahaha is in, only old folks use LOL now, so I've been told).

Anyhow I scroll on by the Trump Bashers and Hilary Haters (I did not vote Trump, just for the record) and I scroll by things that won't have any positive affect in my life.  But I CARE about my FB friends and hope they keep writing.

I know a lot of people still blog.  I simply don't have the time to read blog posts like I used to.  I had a job in 2012 where that's all I did all day!  I opened the mail, answered the phone and blogged!  Loved it!  But didn't love the low pay.

So here is my sad stuff of late:

1.  Anthony's grandma, who is one of my closest friends, Dottie, has cancer.  Its ab aggressive form and there are complications.  She has a heart condition so that can't risk the type of surgery that would probably save her life.  She's kind of like a surrogate mom to me and I'm that for her as a daughter.  I love her so much, we've been through so much together.  I think if she were to die her husband Nick would not be long behind her.

2.  In the last five months 2 people I know (they go to a weekly group I go to) have both lost their ONLY CHILD to heroin OD.  Each son had long term sobriety, one was working in recovery, the other had just gotten out of a long jail term.  One was just this week and next week we will see this precious mom at our group.  I am grateful Keven is still alive and doing well.

3.  My nature is to care, to be compassionate, to nurture and encourage and seek solutions and look for answers.  Working at a drug rehab hasn't changed that, but it makes me sad/mad that so many of the addicts that work in my office have so little patience or empathy toward our clients.  I hear shit they say and then think "that kid's parents are paying big bucks to send their kid here...if they only knew".    I've noticed that a lot of alcoholics think they are superior to drug addicts.  And I've noticed that its all about the money.  I get that, I really do, its a business and has to be run like one, but they are so closed minded to any new research findings on different approaches to recovery.  Its 12 Steps and Tough Love all the way because that's how they all did it.  Its fantastic that it worked for them - but how many of their peers ended up dead because that approach did NOT work?  We all know you can't love someone into recovery, but there has to be a balance (IMO).

4.  There is no four.  I think I'm done.

On a happy note - after being single for my entire life because I never met "The Right Guy" I may have met him.  I'll keep you posted, its way too new to know for sure but it feels like nothing either of us have experienced before and have always wanted.

My biggest concern in life is Keven finding a J O B.  Someone out there needs to give him a chance, but the facts are he has things going against him, some are not his fault, some are.  Prison changed him.  The sweetness that hid beneath his surface is gone.  There's an angry bitterness in its place along with more paranoia and anxiety than he had before he went in.  He's not like some meanie - he's helfpul around the house, he loves playing with his little cousin (age 2) when we see her, he babies all our pets...but he's different.  Last night we watched a movie together and I saw him smile and heard him laugh a few times, it melted my heart...and now I have a tear in my eye thinking of it.  Those moments shouldn't be so rare that they cause me tremendous joy.  But they are.

Thanks to whoever reads this.

Peace, Hope and Love, Barbara

Saturday, November 12, 2016

He Gets Out Tomorrow

This has been a stressful week because of the elections, whichever way you voted seeing what's happening now (riots, hate, etc.) is so discouraging.  I want to yell "Why can't we all just get along"? even though that's way too simplistic for division of our country.

So I pick Keven up tomorrow.  I am elated, thrilled, excited because he's getting out of the rat hole filled with corrupt guards, drug dealers, deplorable conditions and disgusting food.  Did he deserve this?  No, not for being a drug addict.  But that's how we treat them.

Yes, I am bitter and so is he.  I think the worse part of this is how much he's changed for the worse.  He's aged, which sounds weird when talking about someone who is about to turn 26.  He's full of hate, anger....but towards me he is full of love and gratitude that I stuck by him.  I know a lot of moms do, I see it every visiting day, but a lot of parents don't.  I get that too, if he goes back, I won't visit as often.

IF he goes back.  I doubt that he will, in fact I would be shocked.  My concern is that he will die out here.  He's got a plan for himself that he thinks will work.  If it doesn't, he will go back to the traditional plan of rehab which has never worked.  He will be taking Suboxone which isn't allowed in treatment but has helped thousands.  He may be on it for the rest of his life and I don't care.  I just hope Trump doesn't make it unavaialbe to those with "Obama Care" because that's all the insurance he has.

I love my son so much, but I miss Anthony so much.  Keven is not a happy person and rarely smiles, he told me to please not expect him to be cheerful, he just can't do it.  I told him I don't expect anything of him other than honesty, following the "rules",  and helping around the house till he finds a job. Its sad.  I hope he can find some joy somewhere.  I wish Anthony could sprinkle some magic happy dust down on him.  That sounded so dumb, good thing not many people read here.

Bottom line:  Prison has taken a broken addict and made him worse.  It should be illegal to call it the Dept. of Corrections and Rehabilitation.  Its punishment.  I do know two other people in prison and one actually can take classes in parenting and anger management, but he waited over a year on a waiting list for them.  Its just messed up.

I met a guy...sort of.  A mutual friend introduced us but he lives outside San Fransisco which is 6-7 hours away.  We think we may be in love which is weird since we've never met.  He's a bit older than me(65), not very attractive and the most wonderful guy ever, so respectful, positive, caring, fun, we are so much alike its crazy.  I don't want to hurt him which is my usual ending to every relationship I've had.  I told myself I was fine being single but if God wanted me to have a man in my life he'd have to drop him into my lap because I wasn't going tooking - and here he is.  We will meet next month.

Peace, Hope and Love, Barbara

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Airing Out My Thoughts

Its pretty obvious that I write mostly when I am upset or depressed.  On my good days I don't have a need to air out my thoughts, but on days like today I do.

Someone I love very much, Kelsey, relapsed after over a year off heroin.  She was over here the day of her last Vivitrol shot (she was on it for a year) feeling like she was strong enough to stop relying on it to stay clean.  She relapsed and almost died.  IF SHE WOULD HAVE DIED I would have freaked out, lost it.  I'm not as close to her as Anthony (she was his girlfriend and one of Keven's best friends) but we are pretty damn close and it would be devastating to her family.

One of the groups I belong to that is local to where I live reported FIVE deaths in the last two weeks.  FIVE.  Four males, one female.  The oldest one was 27 (which seems to be some sort of bad luck number for death).  And like the young man who passed away about a month ago, several of these "kids" had been clean for a long time then used a couple of times and were GONE.

Keven gets out in 40 days (aprox).  I'm trying to think positive and not worry.  I can tell he's scared of relapse and told me, that if he goes out again - he will probably make it the last time (meaning if he uses again he will purposely OD and die to end the cycle).

I just hope he can make it.   I don't know what I'll do if he dies.  I've had visions of it for years.

I am also torn about whether or not to let him move home after he completes drug treatment via the treatment center I work for.  I'd say the majority of people I know think its a bad idea.  So then if I do let him move home and he dies - will they blame me?  Will it be my fault?  I've heard some very critical and mean things (said by strangers, no one I personally know) casting blame on the mother of a child who died of an OD.  Yet, I come form the school of thought that I much rather have him die at home and find him myself than get the damn phone call and never be able to touch him again.  I need to touch him if he dies, I need to!  One of the hardest parts of losing Anthony was never seeing his body, that one last look, touch, kiss.

Yesterday I had coffee (water actually) with a friend who I've been close with for 26 years.  It was glorious!  We laughed, we talked....there's something to be said about long term friendships where you know the whole history of the other person.   For 17 years I saw her 5 days a week at work, but since then its maybe once every year or two.  It made me realize how much I miss having a close friend.  She's got tons of friends and is one of those super busy people.  My other two closest friends moved far do you make new friends as an adult?  I've met most of my closest friends at work but that ain't happening at this job!  We barely know each other.

Ok so now I am going to watch a Ducks pre-season game against the Queens (what we call the LA Kings).  Last pre-season game we lost to them.  BUT, pre-season means a lot of young players are out there for the first time, being tested to see if they stay in the NHL or go back down to the AHL to get more experience. DEAR GOD PLEASE DON'T LET THE DUCKS TRADE HAMPUS, RICKARD OR CAM!

Lastly, my Macbook Pro which is 8 years old, has pretty much taken a dive.  I'm using it right now but its got major issues.  So I got a Chromebook which is basically a table combined with a laptop.  I like it.  It was under $500 so that was the selling point for me.

Peace, Hope and Love, Barbara