Three Years

On a warm September morning, the Monday after my first 50-mile MS walk, I hobbled on swollen and blistered feet into the office of my daughter’s therapist. I thought I was coming to this appointment for the obligatory “your mother is the root of all your problems” visit that was so common in those days. While I sat in a flowered wing-backed chair that, in my memory, still looks like something that would be found in a common room of a nursing home, I listened to the therapist and my daughter hem and haw, dancing with words, neither wanting to tell me the crux of my visit. When the words, the unfamiliar, foreign, and unbelievable truth was spoken, I was speechless. Speechless. Not speechless like when someone tells you that their neighbor is sleeping with their spouse, or your kid is caught passing a vodka bottle around on a school trip, or even when your partner says something hurtful in a fight. I mean, actual speechlessness. Unable to form a word. I was unable to do anything other than open my mouth to say something but simple move my mouth and jaw in a fashion very similar to a fish gulping for air. Air only. No words. Speechless, people. Me. And if you know anything about me, that alone should render fright from deep in your bones, yo.

She did not say I am a heroin addict. She said she was shooting up heroin. Shooting up. That was her words. What she said first was, I don’t want to tell you. So, I said, are you pregnant? In my naiveite, I thought that was the worst that could happen. Her boyfriend at the time, and it is kind of me to call him anything other than fuckstick or dickwad or some other pejorative, was something short of great. I’m sure you can tell. I did not love him. I truly thought that was going to be the worst thing she could say. I was so fucking wrong. So, I was the dickwad in this story. At any rate, she laughed and said no, not pregnant. I believe I said something like than how bad can it be, or whatever it is we can deal with it. I am shooting up heroin. Ya…. no. I was not prepared for that. In typical Melanie fashion I went into fix-it mode which also means feel-nothing mode. I had zero reaction. I didn’t yell, or scream, or scold, or cry, or fall to the ground to curl into fetal position and beg for a Xanax drip (p.s. knowing what I know now, I def should have done that) but instead said so what do we do now? That’s what I said. For real. I looked at the therapist and simply asked where do we go from here? If you have been following this blog for any amount of time, you know what happened here. If not, go back to the beginning and have yourself a good read.

For those that have been reading this blog, for those that have suffered with me, and beside me and with their own loved one, I am not going to drag us back into the quagmire. Today is not about the past. Today is about celebration. The last moments of active addiction were three years ago. Three years ago, JoDee realized she was a reason to live. She had enough. She wanted to join her family and her friends in life, and she did it.  It was not an easy transition. For me or her. She was learning to know her place at home, with brothers that were, well if I am being kind, reluctant to trust anything she said or did. To have a mother that literally watched her every movement as though she was made of dynamite and may explode killing everything in her path at any moment. To have very few clean and sober friends that she hadn’t fucked over, or stole from, or blew off so many times they were not going to talk to her ever again. To not having a job. To have to sleep in a guest room in my house on an air mattress that had a hole in it so she was on the floor by sunrise, and whose mother kept saying she wouldn’t buy a bed until I knew she was staying. But she stayed. I mean, eventually she moved out, and then moved with her boyfriend, and then back home, but we will get to that. Relax, let’s enjoy this timeline.

The timeline. The last three years have been very, very interesting. It has been a roller coaster of moments and feelings. The first six months were particularly hard for me. I wanted to trust her, but I also wanted to punch her face in until it looked like something in a Tarantino movie.  Sometimes I wanted to spend all my time with her, other times I felt if I saw her face one more time, I would vomit battery acid on it. I wish I could say I was exaggerating. I am not.  Eventually things became regular and normal, but life is tricky. It doesn’t play by the rules.  Let us review:

About three months after JoDee came home, Voldemort the II (VII going forward) and I had a planned trip to Punta Canna with some friends. Things happened right before, during and after that should have let me know my marriage was over but I did not see it. I think that had I not felt so grateful to VII for helping me during the most difficult part of my life to that point, I probably would have seen it. But loyalty is blind, people. Less than a year from that, and thanks to the insistence by my middle child, I decided to hire a professional to help me see what I couldn’t. The details are not even worth the time it would take to type them, but it became clear that VII was not at all who I thought he was, and the divorce began.  During this time, JoDee became pregnant. To say I was not pleased about this would be an understatement of the year. Only Steen, aka Melanie’s biggest confidant, could tell you the level of that displeasure. Over time, I came to realize that this was a blessing and not a curse.

Meanwhile, my faith in life was restored. I was at this point where I felt as though every time things were going well; something shits on it. JoDee clean, VII dirty. But so many things happened at the same time. My granddaughter is literally the best thing that every happened to me. If you aren’t a grandparent yet, listen up. You think you love your kids, until you have grandkids and then you realize your kids are dead to you. I have enjoyed having her live with me every day. She has peed on my bed, thrown up on my face, colored on my wall behind my work desk, and jumped on my lap in the middle of client video calls, but I do not care. Hearing her feet pound down the hall from her room to my room is priceless. I am in love! In many ways.

I was distraught at the idea that I was getting divorced. Again. I mean, this is humiliating. I remember when my Dad retired, I gave a speech, more of a roast, that poked fun at the number of ex-wives he had and now, I have exceeded him in ex-husbands. That’s awesome. I was fully prepared to write off relationships for the near future, happily, and just be me. I have no problem being single. I was looking forward to it. And then something happened. Something that was supposed to be just a fling, turned into a thing. I was separated, he is good company, similar sense of humor, very patient and kind, and good, you know, connection, if catch my meaning.  But the worse the divorce got, and it was very contentious, the more supportive he was, and the more I saw him for something other than a fling. He will tell you from the rip he knew we were meant to be together, and he will also tell you that I fought that tooth and nail, and basically told him to scram more than once. However, I couldn’t deny the puzzle piece. He fit in the puzzle of our family. The kids liked him. A lot. Even my very hard to please middle child, Jay J. He doesn’t like anybody! Brynnlee LOVES him, refers to him as Sweets (as in Sweet T, T for Tony) which is adorable. And I learned that relationships are not supposed to be so much work. Yes, they are hard, and yes both parties must put energy into them. But all my previous relationships were work, right from the start. Communication, patience, and loyalty on both sides is something that was missing previously. I didn’t realize relationships do not need to have screaming fights, or days of silent treatment, or well he did this, so I am doing that behavior. It has been truly a breath of fresh air. And you know you are meant to be with someone when you can quarantine with them for 6 months and not kill each other dead.  In all truthfulness, it took me a long time to see what he saw and believe what he believed. It didn’t happen overnight. It was a process. It was vacations in the mountains where we both were afraid of black bears killing us because we bought fried chicken. Keep in mind it was 4 steps from car to door. It was heated debates about who was right or wrong on 90-Day fiancé, and finally when I lost my job. I thought that was a nightmare. I was freaking out because I support a lot of people. And I was in the middle of a divorce that was proving to be extremely costly and making most of resources frozen. My thoughts were the following:

  1. Great. I am too old to sell my ass for pennies on the street, so that’s out.
  2. It is the middle of a pandemic, so I am going to have to live on unemployment.
  3. I hate eating box mac and cheese but that is what we will be living on again. Fan-fucking-tastic.

I will not go into the specifics, but I was also very angry because I felt that someone, I was very loyalty too, threw me under the bus to save themself. I felt played. I kept thinking; I really do not want to go work for another corporation. I loved the company I worked for, until I didn’t. It was like having the best sex of your life and finding out later the person gave you the clap. I kept going over and over my next move, aloud and frequently to T. During one of my very relentless musing sessions (I would call them, he would probably say whining), I pounder why I did not just go out on my own to see what happened. He simply told me to think it out, put it to paper, see if it makes sense. I never imagined how much sense it would make! So, on this day, May 1st, I am celebrating 3 years of JoDee’s sobriety, and T’s best friend’s wedding, in Cape Coral on a beautiful beach with so much to be thankful for. A very successful business, more successful than I ever could have imagined, a true, faithful, loyal, and hot AF partner, and a daughter who fought her way from hell into a world with friends, and babies, and friend groups.  Sometimes walking through the fire leads to utopia.

Addicts Can Recover. Can I?

Addicts can recover. Women can recover. Not all addicts do. Not all women do. Not all addicts are able to stay alive long enough to realize their life is worth something. If I am being honest, there were times when I couldn’t realize my life was worth something, especially when JoDee was in a tent in a snowstorm. I can’t speak to what recovery is like for the addict…. (light bulb goes on overhead- maybe I will help JoDee draft her own post from her perspective), but I can tell you what it was like for me. From the family of the loved one’s perspective. I have spoken about the transition to active addiction to recover for me in other posts. It’s no secret I was doubtful, resentful, angry that I was completely mistrusting of JoDee. I did not think I would ever look at her without punching her straight in the face. And then clean her up with love, of course. The back and forth. Punch her, love her. Strangle her, love her. Throttle her about the body and head, love her. It was an exhausting game. Certainly, there is a normal part of parenting that renders the punch in face feeling. I have often said I would absolutely throw myself in front a train for them, but sometimes, I would absolutely throw myself in front of a train because of them. You can relate, right? I mean, I hope so. They are adults now, so no need to ring anyone!

The desire to punch an addict in the face is much different, however.  It is much less metaphorical and more shit just got real. There were times that I would beg for some higher power to help her get clean, or to help her find her way home or to a hospital, or for her to die so she would be in peace. If I am being honest, I think I believed there would be peace for me too, but the truth is that her death would only bring a new rein of suffrage. One would think that there would be a limit, nay an apex of pain, and sorrow a person can suffer, but have a child addict and you will learn it is boundless. My heart was hardened, to coal. My feelings dried up like a desert and my tears were nothing, but remanence of time gone by. When I would see JoDee I would vacillate between broken-hearted and breaking her legs. So, after two paragraphs of violence, I think you are picking up what I am dropping here.

The point is that there is no switch to turn that off.  Before active addiction hit my life, I was not exactly a crier or a warm and fuzzy person, but I had more empathy for the plight of others. After almost 8 long years, I had two feelings. Anger and fatigue. By the end of this rein of terror, I had thrown myself into work. Working 10-12-hour days. Sometimes coming home from work, to work more. It was easier to sleep and work. Eat occasional. I was super-ass-and-awesomely-skinny. Can’t say I hated that, tbh people.  But digression aside, it was not a life. It was merely existing.  I want to say that it is not sustainable, but it is. I could live the rest of my life that way if I wanted too.  I’m not sure I would have begun the metamorphosis that is/was required to come back to life without JoDee being pregnant. I was hard on her. I didn’t trust her. I was still in active addiction mode. I questioned everything she did. I wouldn’t let her move home. I wouldn’t leave my purse unsupervised. I mean, if you are a parent of a shady ass kid, you know what I’m talking about.

I have talked about how feeling the feels came sort of all at once. And that was difficult too. If you are not a person who was a really a feeler to being with, that sort of emotional tornado is diabolical. It took a while for me to stop being agitated and I should probably admit, more than a little volatile. But watching JoDee’s belly grow with baby inside and doing all the super fun things like throw an awesome baby shower helped me along. And then the fore mentioned uncoupling happened, and everything came to a head.  That was a big breakthrough for me. For my whole family. When all signs of that relationship were gone, out of the house, and realized to not be as traumatic as I thought, I realized, I was happy. Not overjoyed, not elated or jubilant but comfortably happy. Happy and guilty. And I do have to tell you that the happiness grew, probably into jubilance, but the guilt came at the same pace. Guilt about how I raised the kids, questioning if I was a terrible young mother, survivors’ guilt that she lived. I was so convinced that she would kill herself someday, I was more surprised that it didn’t happen than if it had. It was and still is hard to think about the mothers I know that lost children, and not just that the children are gone, but they won’t experience the future of those kids either. Here is the conundrum- I feel terribly that children, husbands, wives, siblings are gone, and have feelings of incredible luck that mine didn’t, which makes me feel guilty for feeling luck. Make sense? No, I didn’t think so. It’s another level of the suffering of addiction life. And I know, woe is me about my poor alive kid, right? I know so the guilt spirals again. It’s a ridiculous cycle.

And, I would be remiss if I didn’t talk about JoDee. Her recovery was coming along splendidly. Ugh, I have been watching to many English movies, splendidly? Who says that? But in honesty, it was. She was mothering like a boss. She is such a good mommy. And Brynnlee is surrounded by people who love her! She is dedicated to being a good mother, and it shows. It shows in the 1 million bows and shoes we now have strewn around the house! Baby Daddy is a loving daddy, who was calling her baldy locks because she was so bald. I thought that was hilarious! So, after nearly 8 years of my life being on a string waiting for the piano to drop out of the sky on my head, she just turns it around. Sometimes, that made me a wee-bit, just a tad, we are talking about miniscule amounts of resentment. I hate even admitting it. I kept thinking she is young and made mistakes, but she has plenty of time to make them right. She can be a good mom, and a good partner, and a good sister or daughter. Meanwhile, my marriage broke up, grossly I might add, my job took a very demanding turn, and the divorce was out-of-control ridiculous. I was happy, though, right? So why was I resentful? Isn’t this what I wanted? Wasn’t her recovery what I wanted? Yes, to all of that. But somehow it seemed anticlimactic then the addiction itself. I felt like there would have been this end-of-the-movie moment where she would realize how wrong she had been and would declare herself worthy. At sunset. On a beach. And we would run to each other, hugging and laughing, and all would wonderful. Hmmm…. that actually sounded like the end of a romantic movie, so, nasty. But you catch my drift.  Living with the addiction was so traumatic, and it seemed like coming back to life would be more…. More. I guess just more. The strangest part, the part that I think most parents don’t talk about, not the parents with surviving kids, is that I almost had no purpose. I was only living to keep her alive. Now she is alive and thriving…so what’s my purpose? That’s rhetorical, but you get the thought train, and the ways it wreaks havoc on a girl’s mind. Fun times, people. Fun. Times.

Bargain’s Cashing In?

It has been a while since I posted an update, and I’m sorry for that. It’s funny the way life turns, sharply, sometimes. Things have not gone the way I thought they would, or the way I wanted them too, but destiny is strange, and is unapologetic for forcing itself on us with no remorse. I am happy to say that JoDee is doing amazing. Our beautiful baby, her daughter, my granddaughter, Brynnlee Melanie (last name omitted for her privacy) was born on July 31, 2019 after 3 days of labor. She came into the world weighing in at 6lbs 8oz, perfectly healthy, and a waiting room full of people who love her, such as her Uncle Jared, and Auntie Kat, her Auntie Steen, and her Grammy F, and someone who she will grow to call Sweet T, or Sweets for short. It was such an honor and a privilege to be able to watch her come into the world. Don’t worry, I will show pictures below!
I have discovered recently that traumatic events absolutely change the way a person sees life moving forward. I always thought that I would follow in the steps of the great Meredith Grey after her near-drowning incident and go back to taking life for granted after the trauma of active addiction seemed further in our past. But that is not what has happened. I am still very much grateful for the turn in circumstance for us. Let me explain.

  1. I believe I have forced the hand of fate. While JoDee was on the edge of life and the trail of death I made a lot of deals with higher powers. Examples: Take my life for hers. Take my pets life for hers. Take Diego’s life for hers. Take all my money if she can get better. Take anything that I hold dear and near if she can get better.

The reason this is interesting is because I have noticed the very things I have promised to trade in for her success and life, and ability to live, is my pets. Diego. Bud. Blu. Anyone who knows me knows that there is nothing I love more than my children, except my kitties and my dogs. In May of 2018, JoDee began her road to recover. By July, we lost Diego- something I didn’t think I would ever recover from (ironically, Brynnlee was born 1 year to the day we lost him). In January it was Bud’s turn to cross the rainbow bridge. Recently, Blu left us. Has the higher power started taking me up on my offer? Will all the bargains I made begin to come to fruition to keep her alive? Let us continue before we decide.

  1. In June of 2019, my relationship of nearly 10 years, my marriage of almost 4 years, suddenly and shockingly came to an end. Is this part of the “anything I hold dear” portion of my bargaining? Who knows? What I do know is that I will survive. While it is heart breaking and devastating for a multitude of reasons I won’t get into here (I won’t put anyone on blast, but I will say you just never know someone or what they are capable of) I realized that it wasn’t the worst thing that could happen to me. It is sad, and mind-blowing how the whole thing went down but the truth is it won’t keep from getting up in the morning. First of all, I was a single mother with three kids when they were a few months old, 4 and 7. THAT was horrendous. I am in my forties and well financed. I can absolutely maintain my life with out AC. As sad as it was, that didn’t keep me in bed like JoDee’s addiction did. When you have seen your child on the brink of death, very little is earth-shattering anymore.
  2. Divorce is hella expensive. And for a plethora of reasons this one was costly. Is this the part of my bargaining that involved “leave me broke if you must, but let her live”? Could be. Might be. I guess it depends on how one looks at these things.

I spent the first few weeks after the shocking uncoupling to have the obligatory drunk and reckless few weeks with the support of my amaze-balls kids, friends and Sweets, but it didn’t take me long to stand up and dust myself off. Not because I am strong, or because I had no choice, but because I wanted too. I know what the worst of life can bring, and this isn’t it. This is a painful inconvenience, but if I am going to honor my word to said high power, I cannot take for granted the blessings we have and continue to have. I look at it this way, while my, uh.. ahem ..number marriage has now failed, it didn’t bankrupt me,  I have the most beautiful granddaughter EVER, my daughter is healthy and happy, and for the first time in many years, all of my children are living under the same roof with me. Even as I write this, I am sitting at my desk, taking time away from a small business I started to write this post, while Brynnlee pulls my arm. I love it!  I am sad to see that a part of my life is over, that I spent a lot of time and energy and love and money into making the best I could, but as a whole, my life is close to perfect.
Over this past summer, Covidly safe with mask, I got in an Uber with a woman that had an advertisement for her own blog on the back of the drivers seat. She writes blogs about the things she hears while driving for Uber: super interesting and when I find her card, I will post the link. But we got to talking about blogs and my blog specifically, and I said my daughter is doing well, what is there to talk about? She reminded me that someone out there is in the place I was several years ago and wondering can girls recover? Do heroin addicts recover? Does the anger pass? Yes. Yes. Yes. I no longer sit in traffic thinking about ways to kill people (ok, maybe I do but merely because that is in my DNA!) or find that all things in the world, all people in the world, and all others happiness is a reason to throw a grenade into a crowd of happy people. The PTSD does not go away easily, however. The desire to question every good thing, or be skeptical that recovery will stick around, or anxiety that something will go wrong, does not go away overnight. I am still looking at the world through Ya, Right eyes, but I’m better. I want people, mothers and fathers, to know that some do recover. I still grieve for the loved ones lost to addiction, many mothers I know is son or daughterless as a result of a disease that does not get enough attention, or funding, or research, or support that it needs. And that brings me to the muse to start this blog again.

When I first started this blog, I met two women. All three of us had daughters in throws of addiction. All three of us are bad-ass, sassy, women that would have done anything to keep our daughters alive. All these years later, JoDee is the only one left. The first glorious soul was lost in Dec of 2016. It was horrific, and Jill is simply amazing in the way she stayed so strong.  She is raising her grandson as a result. In Nov of 2019, the second beautiful soul was lost. That was tragic, and traumatic (due to other coupling circumstances, like losing your kid isn’t enough) and she is also raising her grandson as a result. She is brilliant, and strong, and is embracing this in a way, I don’t think I could. It saddens me that these mothers worked so hard and lost their daughters anyway. I think about them all the time. Daily. And I also can’t figure out how it works? Why their two and not mine? Why wasn’t one of their daughters the sole survivor? It something I will always wonder.

At any rate, here is what our last year and a half looked like, I will update  about JoDee and the Oregon decriminalization, another time.

It’s good to be back!

All The Feels

All The Feels
This is long over due. It has been way to long since I last posted. I don’t even know how that happened. So, so much has transpired in those months. I don’t even know where to start. Life is so different now then it was a year ago. Yes, almost one year ago we drove out to North Hampton to say a final good-bye to JoDee only to end up bringing her home. She is nearly 11 months clean. At the end of April, she will be clean for a year. One. Whole. Year. Take a moment to appreciate the gravity of that. It’s hard to believe.
The first months that she was home was not easy. I didn’t realize how closed off I had become until she was home, and that was forcing me to feel something. I know that day we drove home from North Hampton I was crying but that was not my norm. My norm was basically flat. I didn’t really get mad, or happy, or really anything anymore. I didn’t even notice that shift. I think at some point the body shuts off those emotions as a way to protect itself, just like shivering is the bodies way of trying to keep itself warm. The lack of feeling was probably the thing that kept me upright and functional after all the insanity that had transpired but it comes at a cost. It was like being on a specific diet for a long, long time. No meat, or no dairy for months or years and then sitting down to eat a giant steak, or an ice cream. It feels amazing in the moment but later on it will be misery when your gut is torturing you. I had that, but in an emotional sense. I felt nothing, but then when I started to feel something, I felt everything. And one of the most tangible emotions was anger. I was so pissed off I could almost taste it. That seems contradictory, right? I mean she is alive and healthy and living at home and I’m mad? I’m insanely mad? Makes no sense, right? Wrong.
I was bitter, and resentful, and terrified. Most of fear stems from anxiety or anticipation of the unknown. I was so afraid that we would get used to her being home, and she would be gone, leaving us broken hearted again. And, the longer she stayed, the more I realized how much time we had lost, and how much time I lost with friends, and how much my life had changed, and how shut down I was which made me angrier. I’m sure you can see where this is going. Anyway, JoDee worked hard, and worked with AC and did the things she was suppose too. She followed all the rules, and took shit when we gave it, and slept on an air mattress for months, even after it had a hole in it and would half deflate during the night. She had some issues sort of reacclimating to normal civilized life, and not life with the homeless.
We are almost a year to that day, now. A year has passed. In a few short weeks she will celebrate a year of clean time. And a almost a year later and I feel like I am emerging from a fog. As I reflect back on the last year, and the last seven years, I realize how absent I have been in most everything else. I have not been a good friend, or a good listener, or a good feeler. I have the feels now, though. I can tell you that. One of the biggest things that has changed is that JoDee is pregnant. And she is having a daughter of her own. The “finding out” story is one for another day, but to say I was not exactly thrilled at first would be an understatement. Part of the reason I wasn’t thrilled was because I was sure she would be gone, and I would be raising a grandchild! That is not the case. She is doing all the right things. She is healthy, and happy, and excited about life. And I am excited for her. I am excited for me. I am excited that our family finally has something to celebrate, and a future to look forward too. Most of all, I am excited that I willing to allow myself the possibility of having hope again.
Recently, someone told me I have walls up that are 10 feet tall. That is probably true. No, it’s definitely true, but when I look at the things we have gone through as a family, and as individuals, it’s not really a wonder why that is. Seven years ago I walked into the first detox, months later she was missing in the first state she ran away from. Six years ago I sectioned her for the very first time. Five years ago I sectioned her for the second time, and four years ago I sectioned her three times in one year. A year and a half ago I sectioned her for what I hope was the last time. I have banged on the door of drug dealers, I have chased her into places that I can’t imagine anyone being in, I have watched her life be saved enough times that I am scared she has worn out all her luck. By the time we went out to Northhampton last year to say good-bye to her, I had stopped feeling anything. I didn’t feel happy, or sad, or mad, or sick, or really even scared. I felt nothing. Feeling now is very weird. It is like learning to appreciate the human experience all over again. I have really enjoyed seeing friends again, and spending time with them, and not worrying if someone will ask me how JoDee is. I have realized how absent I have been, so I have a lot of ground to cover. Thank god I have good friends that have been patient and understanding and forgiving of my shortfalls. More to come on Baby Girl Ferreras. And on how we manage to live post active addiction. I have heard from many people that addicts can recover. I am working on feeling the feels….. some of those feels suck, but some of them have been awesome.


As an update:
In January our beloved 15-year old black lab named Bud crossed the rainbow bridge:

Georgi misses him terribly, as do we all.
I got to be the “know-er” of the gender by going to the ultrasound appointment, and then throwing the gender reveal party- which was a lot of fun.


This was the cake I got her…….



Just kidding!

Jared turned 18 and got what I can only assume is the first of many tattoos… since that’s how we roll:



Steen, JoDee, AC and I completed our annual New Year’s Day egg throwing- which was amazeballs, and we (Steen and I) started training for the 3-day 50 mile MS Walk:




And most recently, Jared was a big jerk to me, and because he is my kid….. got me this cake to say sorry!


I look forward to sharing the positive changes, after so many years of negativity. Thank you for all the support, and all the love.



The Cat Is Out of The Bag Part 3

Part 3- I’m sorry it’s been three months!!! This is long over due.

No phone. No meetings. No social media. No friends. No going out. No was the word at the beginning of each thing on his list. She yessed him over and over, while I sat there smirking thinking they were both delusional. She told us she was in a day program and had been for two weeks. She was hoping that at some point we would see she was clean and help her get back on her feet. No pun intended but the irony is not lost. She was going to a clinic every day and would have to continue that for the unforeseeable future which meant that she either had to get into another program or she was going to have to stay put, her words not mine. AC and she worked hard to get in touch with someone at the current clinic she was in to see what we could do about moving her. I don’t want to get into all specifics, but it was a rough several hours. We could take her with us, no we couldn’t. She got into another program, no she didn’t. This went on for most of the afternoon. Finally, it was clear that the social worker was working on it but there was no guarantee. Our choices were as follows:
1. Take her home with us and hope that she is allowed into a program by the next day.
2. Leave her there and hope she didn’t relapse while we wait for her to get into a program.
3. Curse the day I was born and start a media campaign warning everyone that having children sucked and was akin to having your butthole electrocuted. Every 6 seconds.
She wouldn’t leave without being in a clinic. She said it was the thing keeping her clean, and alive so we would have to leave without her. Once that became clear it was difficult for me to stay with her. As I mentioned previously, I don’t do well with the sad/crying type emotions. I don’t DO touchy feely, I do kicky screamy. The overwhelming emotional rollercoaster was making me feel trapped in my skin, in our car, and in the moment. I kept taking off my sweater (ok kids, keep it clean, I had a t shirt underneath) and blasting the air conditioner to telling AC to stop the car so we could walk around. I physically could not stay still. I also wanted to go to sleep. It was such a weird out of body experience. I don’t remember a single time in my life I was ever that conflicted, physically and psychologically. Meanstwhile, back on the farm, aka the time and present, AC was taking JoDee for ice cream, and talking about the things she would do when she got home. He had the foresight to ask her what she would need for the next week or so (possibly how long it would be before we could get her in a program) taking her to a store to buy those items. I walked around the store like the big, dumb Planet Fitness guy picking things up and putting them down. It was really embarrassing now that I think of it. I have no idea how much money he spent on her that day between Walmart and some dollar store, and cigarettes. Eventually it was really time for us to leave unless we wanted to double the two-hour ride home with the evening traffic commute. Again, words are a paltry thing. How can I describe to someone reading this the emotion of leaving your child on the side walk in a downtown area knowing full well, they would be sleeping on a porch in an abandon building with 8 other people? A place, B T Dubs, that I could not go see. We went to pick up a few of her personal items to bring home and I just knew that I would be doubly traumatized if I actually saw this place, so AC went up with her. Later, when we were driving home, he said he was very glad I didn’t come up. I can’t even imagine what that means, but this heaux is not asking! Instead, I spent the next two and a half hours crying, and I do mean c-r-y-i-n-g, and yelling at AC. He kept saying she has been outside for almost a year, and that a couple of days would be okay especially since we bought her some supplies. I can’t remember my exact words but I believe they were things like I am having you deported (I can’t, he is legal so slow your role calling the prez), I will punch you (I could, but didn’t) and shut up right now or I will jump (I could, and wanted too, but didn’t). The next few days were some of the longest I have had in my life. I have learned that anticipation is much more painful than any possible truth. Anticipation is an absolute asshole, thank Jesus almighty that I am a bigger one.
I knew that one of the things that was going to be difficult, was telling the sibs that their sister was coming home. I know that probably seems like a weird thing to say but keep in mind they have put through the ringer. And, believe me, I understand that JoDee has too, but these kids have had attention taken away from them, time taken from them, and I’m sure they feel like their mother was taken from them. I mean, this is a blog for another day but the PTSD I suffer because of her addiction trickles down to affect everyone. I think they probably are angrier at the way it affects me more then they suffer their own feelings. I asked AC if he thought we should tell them right away. After a lot of back forth I decided not to say anything because we were waiting to see if she got into a clinic somewhere around us, and if she didn’t she couldn’t come home. Not to mention who knew if she was going to follow through. It’s not like she hasn’t runaway before and this time she wouldn’t have to run away, she would just have to ignore my calls or turn her phone off. Instead we came home, I took a shower to wash the smell of parental failure, depression and exhaustion off my body, and crawled in bed.
Much to my surprise, she called me early the next morning to tell me that she got a spot in a clinic in Peabody (the next town over for those not in the know) but it was a “guest spot” and it might only be for a month. Essentially, she could come home, and be a member of their program for a month. We would have to hope someone graduated or relapsed, so a spot opened for her for long term. So, imagine this decision. She could come home to go to that clinic to wait to find out if she was accepted full time which meant if she wasn’t, at the end of the month I would have to bring her back to where she was to be homeless again. Or, we wait to see if a spot opened which means that we hoped someone graduated the program, or someone relapsed. The social worker did recommend that she come home to take the guest spot because it was more likely she would be able to stay full time if she was already there, and that made sense. So, okay. I agreed. She should come home. This was both a giant relief and a giant nightmare. I had no idea what was going to happen. I had absolutely no idea how the kids were going to take it: hey kiddo’s your sister is coming home and by the way, she is coming tomorrow.
From work I sent a text asking everyone to be home when I got home from work, so we could have a family meeting. The usual family meeting involves me berating all the kids about how they don’t do chores and are lazy bastards that need to shape up or live somewhere else, so no one was happy about receiving that text. Everyone was standing in the front living room by our stairs, and I asked how they would all feel if JoDee were to come home. I won’t put the kids on blast but some of them said nothing, some expressed feelings of protest. In the end, I told them all the truth, this was all about me and not really about her. Because, that is the truth. I could not stand another night of laying in my bed, in my house, with all my belongings within desired reach around me while my child lived out of a backpack and looked like a street rat. I had spent so, so many nights awake listening to the wind howling or watching the snow falling and questioning how this was right. I could not allow her to do drugs in the house. I couldn’t risk the chance that she would overdose and one of her siblings would find her. Or, that she would become truly desperate and steal from them. So, it was decided, she was coming home. I was picking her up the next day. I drove the two hours out to pick her up having this ridiculous debate with myself and my other self. This is going to work, this is going to be a disaster. Being homeless on the North Shore is not like being homeless in the town she was currently in. So, did that mean she would be more likely to stay this time, or was she just tricking me, so she can get home, a place she had more drug contacts. I picked her up in her favorite downtown spot, and we drove to a plethora of places picking up her remaining items. These things were left at the many possible places she might stay. It was heartbreaking and gut wrenching, but it was also the end of a chapter. No matter what happened next, it would be something else. I don’t know how I knew this, but I just knew that it was going to be different. And, different it was, but that is a story for another day.

The Cat Is Out of The Bag- Part Two

Part 2:


Hello. It is the thing people say when they answer the phone. It is a greeting when a person walks in a house, or in a room. I can’t imagine how many times in my life I have said hello, as a greeting and as a what the hell are you thinking attitude-y way. For some reason, the hello she said that morning made me sick to my stomach. It made me mad at myself that I hadn’t seen her since I sectioned her (for what? Number 102?) right after Christmas. And, if I am being completely honest, I still hadn’t recovered from that- the guilt was killing me. I can still hear her in my head asking me to get her Eggnog because she hadn’t had any all season, something that was usually a tradition for us. She was wearing these dingy clothes that I didn’t recognize, with a winter hat and these manly looking black winter gloves that were too big for her and she was high. I was driving her to a police station under the guise of one thing, knowing I was flat-out, full on, no arguing about it, lying to her about why we were going so I knew she wasn’t getting any Eggnog, or going to make it home to open Christmas presents, something else she asked about. On the way home from that episode, I saw one of her black gloves on the floor of the front passenger side. For some reason that glove still haunts me. Such a strange thing to think about it, but it feels like it’s a symbol of her life: half of it just discarded and left behind.

I made small talk for about a minute or two and then made an excuse to hang up. Once I pulled into the parking garage at work, I put the car in park, putting my head on the steering wheel to cry. I called AC. He reassured me that I would do the right thing. He told me that we would get through this. I don’t know what he thought the “right thing” was because I didn’t ask. I still don’t, if I am being truthful. I have never asked him. After a pep talk I walked into work. I couldn’t have been there for more than an hour before I decided, I couldn’t be there. I had to go to see her. Before I could call her to tell her she was no longer, what? My daughter? Part of our family? I had to see her. I had too. So, I left work, got in my car, and called AC. I must go to see her. He agreed and asked when, I told him I was going right that minute, but he said no, come pick me up first. It’s funny because I work 12 minutes from home, but I was annoyed I had to go back to get him, and in the end, I don’t know what would have happened if I went alone.

He drove. Smart thing number two he did that day. By the end of the day, the list was much, much longer. I sat in the car, a car that was driving in complete silence, immersed in thought. For days I had wanted to call my friends, any friend, to ask if I was doing the right thing but I just don’t do that. I don’t know why but I don’t. I almost called EJ but then I realized she was away for her wife’s birthday, and I almost called Lorrey but she was enjoying her grandkids and it felt like I would put a damper on her otherwise happy life. It feels like talking about this to anyone would be a burden. I could have called CA but then I fear that she worries about me, and Pam was traveling. You see how I can make excuses to just keep it to myself? To just carry it around like a suitcase full of bricks? So, that car ride was no different. Occasionally, AC would reach over to squeeze my hand, or rub my leg. He would throw out a few words of encouragement and say how great it is going to be to see her while I sat there wondering if I opened the door to jump while he was going 75 miles an hour, would I make it out the door to bounce along the highway to my death before he could grab me. That man has cat-like reflexes so the over/under was 50/50.

I waited until we were halfway there before I called her to let her know we were coming. I mean, I couldn’t just show up on her doorstep unannounced because she didn’t have one! To my supreme surprise she was excited we were coming. She started rambling about all the things we could do, and this place we could have lunch, and she had a doctor appointment so didn’t want to miss us so would we wait. I reassured her we still had over an hour before we would arrive, so she had plenty of time. She called three more times before we got into town to see if we wanted to go to this place, or if we could get her that, and of course, would I buy her cigarettes. As we got closer I started to brace myself for what I was going to see. She had been homeless for a long time now, so I had no idea what she would look like, or be like, or how I would react to either of those things. This is where the hard to describe thing begins. One might think it was the whole blog post worth of horribleness in the part one, but the truth is, that was nothing compared to what happened the rest of that day, and in the days to come.

As much as I am sure people would love the gory details, there are somethings I just can’t post publicly. Her entire addiction has been put on blast for all to read in the name of cathartics and education and she is fine with that. But, this was different. This is different. For me, it was shocking. It was alarming. My eyes saw someone who was in deplorable condition. The atrocity of her person frightened me, and saddened me, and made me morbidly curious. The sight of her was truly agnostically emotional, which seems impossible to achieve. Now, there may be people she was with in that time that thinks she looked fine, or didn’t see anything wrong with her, but those people didn’t know her before. Before addiction, before a long winter on the street, or before the last seven years. Those that met her that way was probably assuming she looked good for a drifter, but I felt differently.

We met her in a downtown area that was popular with homeless folks. There were several people hanging around with panhandling signs with various pleas for money and thanks for providing. One thing I learned about this area of Massachusetts is that they treat their homeless well. Now, well is sort of objective. They are still homeless but there are places a person can shower or cleanup and a homeless person will find a free meal every day of the week. In some cases, more than one. There is a restaurant that has two different counters for ordering. One is for regular paying customers with a full menu and one is for those with little to no money who can order a limited number of items including grilled cheese or other hot choices and pay what they can afford or nothing. And that was not uncommon there. In that way, I was sort of grateful she was out there. I could understand why she never made her way back this way. Being homeless on the North Shore would be nothing like being homeless out there, but that doesn’t mean it was a walk in the park. I mean…. Homeless is exactly that- without a home.

She wanted pizza or sandwiches at a specific restaurant so in we went. It was a quaint place and I would love to describe it more but I this post is getting long. Anyway, after we ordered the owner came over to our table, and without saying anything placed a handful of large band aids, some medical tape and a tube of bacitracin on the table top before walking away. Apparently JoDee had large open sores on the bottom of her feet that were making it very difficult for her to walk. The man knew this, and it wasn’t until later, much later, that I could even ask why, so he had been giving her some supplies. I asked to see them, my first mistake, and then I asked how she got them (when you have no home it is common to just walk around from spot to spot which causes feet to sweat and her shoes were too small hence large open sours that started out as blisters but kept growing), my second mistake, and I spent the rest of the meal watching her eat and listening to her and AC talk while I used every ounce of willpower I had not to run away or have a nervous breakdown. After they were done eating (I don’t think I even touched my pizza) I looked at her, really looked at her, and said how can we bring you home? It never works. But, and to this I should not have been surprised, AC had a plan.

The Cat Is Out Of The Bag- Part 1

The cat is out of the bag. The. Cat. Is. Out. Of. The. Bag. I wasn’t saying anything to anyone, or posted publicly because, well, you know, superstitious. But, someone, Ms. Fancy Pants, has been posting on Facebook abut 5 seconds after she turned her phone on, so I guess, I owe everyone an explanation.

JoDee is home. She is clean. She is doing well. Much, much better then I have seen in many years. Instead of addictionish asshole-ness, now she is just normal millennial asshole-ness. It’s a welcome change.

How that happened is a story that will be hard to tell. To put certain emotions into words is so, so hard sometimes. Describing the chain of events that lead up to her homecoming involves an article on Facebook, a nightmare and a gut feeling. Buckle in because this is going to be an interesting ride. And it won’t be a quick one. This will not be a fast read, they will be long, and emotional, and probably several entries long but that’s because there will be no way for me to explain it without a lot of the detail. So, sit down and catch up, or ask someone who does for the cliff notes version.

We have been doing this dance with JoDee where I am the only one who talks to her, and even talking to her is probably a stretch, but never tell anyone that I do. She would call me for an Uber ride because she was late for an appointment, or someone was chasing her, or mean to her, or otherwise in need of a ride immediately, and I would use my Uber app to send it to her. This usually involved the driver not being able to find her, so they are calling me, while she is texting me saying she doesn’t see them. It almost always encompassed a stressful, anxiety-provoking chain of calls, and yelling, and my being upset, all while I am at work. Couple that with the calls for a toothbrush, a jacket which can double as a blanket and a winter that proved to be hard on both of us: emotionally and environmentally and it spells enough. I was at my end. I was at my rock bottom. My rock bottom is probably different from most peoples because the average person processes emotions on a regular basis. Emotions other than anger, irritation, or rage. Those three emotions I have down but crying? Sobbing? Defeat? Me? Defeat? I mean, come on, who is going to believe that? Believe it. I was swinging between no sleep and sleep like Rip Van Winkle. I vacillated between I am not getting out of bed and I can’t lay down for one more minute. I either didn’t shower for days, or I stood in the shower every day until the water was so cold I saw penguins run by me. It was so taxing. And I’m sure you can imagine how taxing this was to my family.

The truth is I’m a fraud. I write these blogs about cutting off your addict even though they are your child or your husband or your sister. I preach that tough love is the way it must be because otherwise we are enabling them. But suddenly I was faced with the absolute realization that I was the enabler. I was the life line she would always have. She would be able to call me to get an Uber ride, or money for toiletries and no matter how nasty she was to me, or the fact that she shut her phone off for days at a time wouldn’t matter because I would still do what ever she needed. Now, don’t misunderstand me, she was homeless. Not the kind of homeless like she was staying at a friend’s house because I kicked her out homeless but HOMELESS. No home. Natta. Zippo. Tent city. Squatting on a porch. Shelters and soup kitchens. Finding places to shower. And by the time I saw her, it was clear that wasn’t all that often. So, my enabling her didn’t feel like I was enabling her because she was fucking homeless. I mean, how can I enable someone I won’t even give a roof over her head too? But, alas, it was happening. Around the same time that I was reaching this peak of lowness, I saw an article on Facebook, probably in one of the many addiction groups I am part of, that said He is an Addict and an Asshole. The point of the article was that this girls father was an addict. He spent her entire childhood couch jumping, getting arrested and dodging all responsibilities as a father. And, she spent her childhood blaming everything on his addiction. Having spent enough time around Al-Anon, Learn to Cope, NA, AA, and any other acronym you can think of I knew that she was supposed to say that it wasn’t his fault. And then. There is always an aha moment. The girl meant up with her father years into her adulthood and years into his sobriety to discover, he was an asshole. Addiction or not, he was a dick. Entitled, nasty, lazy. A general jackwagon that no one would want to be around. For her, that closed the book on that chapter. She could walk away knowing it wasn’t because she was a bad girl, or a shitty person, but because he just sucked. For her it was a relief. For me, it was the anchor I needed to finally hit the bottom.

An idea is such a little thing sometimes. It starts small. And then the more I pontificate on it, it grows, sometimes into something way out of line. In this case, I started to think that JoDee was becoming an asshole. I started believing that even if she were clean she wouldn’t be a good person. I can’t tell you how that feels. I cannot describe the absolute gut-wrenching, violating, vulnerable, magnificently disillusioned feeling that was. For days I kept going back to read the article. And, I would bring it up to AC without ever really telling him I read it, in ways that must have seemed innocuous to him. At dinner I would ask if he thought if JoDee found recovery we would like her. Or while doing errands I would ask him if he thought people who met JoDee now but didn’t know her before would think she was a bad person. I have heard so many stories of people having an existential crisis, but I can only tell you that whatever you think it is, is a million and fifty times worse when it happens to you.

Around this time AC and I were shopping for plants (because you know, retail therapy) in Home Depot and we ran into two of my favorite people in the world. While we were catching up, of course, the subject turned to JoDee. I said it for the first time out loud that day, surprising myself when it came out of my mouth, that I was going to have to cut her off soon because she wasn’t the person I thought she was. I said I was going to have to cut her off, like your dead to me, cut her off. The words felt like balls of cotton in my throat, and the voice that said them didn’t even sound like mine. I believe my next words were, I can’t talk about it anymore because there is no crying in Home Depot. Humor. That is another emotion I can contend with. That night I woke up at 2 in the morning crying. That might not seem so unusual given the state of my life for the last 7 years, but this was not like cute little tears running down my cheeks. This was ugly, sub-sub, can’t catch my breath sobbing. I can only think of about 5 times in the last 5 years that has happened. And none of them were good situations.

I didn’t want to wake up AC so I laid there biting my blanket, crying, and sobbing, and feeling the complete defeat that had become all of us for hours. When AC finally woke up he knew something was very wrong as soon as he saw me. He tried to talk to me, to comfort me, but I cannot handle these types of things. I would rather ass punch you with a meat cleaver then feel these things. So, needless to say I wasn’t really receptive to his loving embrace. I believe I yelled some profanity and took a shower where I stood crying and cursing whatever spiritual beings there are for an hour. The next 24 hours were something out of The Walking Dead for me. I was like Morgan. I could only think of the loss of my child, I was not really present in anything I did, and I was a complete nut job. Well, more of a nut job then I usually am. I had to tell AC how I felt. And I did. Of course, when he tried to calm me down to tell me that it wasn’t like that I threatened to stab him in the neck with a fork while he slept so he just sat there staring at me. Ironically, I fell into such a deep sleep, the kind of deep sleep I hadn’t had in a long, long time, that night. Sadly, that blissfully deep sleep was fraught with a terrible nightmare about JoDee drowning and me trying to save her but her pushing me under the water to save herself. It was both awful and metaphorically perfect for how I was feeling. That morning, between rib-breaking sobs, I told him it was time. I had to say good bye to her. I was going to call her to tell her that she could no longer use me as her life line and she was on her own. After getting ready for work, I got in my car and dialed her number. Two rings later she answered the phone, and then hello changed everything.


Recently I had to do a research paper on cultural appropriation. In case you do not know what that means (often called cultural misappropriation) it is a concept in sociology when the elements of a minority culture is adopted or presented by the majority of a dominant culture. One of the most egregious forms of cultural appropriation came by way of the Swastika. Many will find it hard to believe, but the Swastika is dated all the way back to the Stone Age. It was seen as a talisman for religion and good fortune.  In fact the word Swastika is actual translated to conducive to well being. In Buddhism the swastika takes on the representation of Buddha’s foot prints. In Mesopotamia it was used on coins and Navajo’s wove into blankets.  For centuries it was seen as a symbol of something good or cherished. It only took on the negative connotation when Hitler decided he needed to find a way to connect the German’s with the Aryan’s.  Turning the swastika on its axis in a white circle with a red background did it begin to become something…else.  Just like that. Poof. One man decides that this symbol now represents his white Aryan nation and wammo, a symbol of all that is pure becomes all that is tainted. Can you imagine how those that honored that symbol would have felt in that time? I can’t imagine the horror.  Or now. Those that a Buddhists may find it difficult to use a symbol of Buddha’s footprints as a decoration in their home, or a background screen on their phone because that is not how it is not how it is recognized world wide. And who would believe that? Hey- this isn’t an Aryan nation support symbol, I am representing the conduction of well being…. good luck with that.

The bigger picture here is that one person’s opinion can change everything. Hitler, to the first person, to the next becomes an army becomes a nation becomes an epidemic that nearly wiped out an entire religion. That is sad. And disturbing. And monumentally unfair.  But, I hate to add in the but, aren’t we all guilty of it? Don’t we all have some cultural misstep we commit regularly? Have you ever said I have a girl crush on so and so when you are a girl but are not in fact gay? Have you thrown a Cinco de Mayo party at your typical suburban house with the 2.5 kids, a mini van, and sombrero’s? Raise your hand if you have said that something was your spirit animal even though you are not native American. Doing those things does not make you a bad person. It doesn’t make me a bad person. Hitler appropriating the Swastika didn’t make him a bad person, the way he used it, and the endless acts of violence, hatred, torture and mayhem make him a bad person. So why am I telling you all this? Honestly, that is a question I find myself saying on the regular. Why am I doing or saying anything? The truth is I feel unfaired. I feel as though life has been unfair, and as a result I am the victim of unfairness. I am the unfairee. I recognize that those are not actual words, or actual things being done to me, but I am whining and pouting and generally don’t give a damn.

We just had another holiday that JoDee wasn’t home. I can’t even remember the last good holiday we spent with her. I can’t understand why this continues to happen and go on. I hear that she is not using, and she is trying to right her ship that has gone so far wrong that I can’t even see her horizon but is that enough? How do I know? How do I know when the time to help again has arrived? Have I gone so far into the realm of skepticism and distrust that I can’t trust my own judgment now? I behave as though I am the mother of a child that was lost. I feel as though I am a parent that has suffered the loss of her child. Isn’t that appropriating another mother’s pain? The mother of child that really was lost? My child is not lost to life, she is only lost to me. To us. To our family. Aren’t I being Hitler-like in the way of using something that isn’t to make something appear as though it is?  I don’t know the answer to that, but I do know that this shit is really unfair.

The Unsent Letter

Adapted from the Fall from Grace album: artist Paloma Faith

I miss you in the mornings
Been up all night
I tell myself
You’ll be alright
Maybe someone will help you in a way I never saw
I am frantic, torn, and raw.

I miss you in the moments
When everyone is there
Listen to the silence
That hurts my heart
Maybe someday you will be back again
And not turn your  back
On the love that we try to send.

So I write this letter
That I’ll never send
Because there is no one to receive it on your end
And I write this letter
To my daughter, so filled with strife
So it stays with me forever,
Even if you aren’t in our life.

I miss you when I’m laughing
You’re very near
But then I open up my eyes
And you’re not here.
Maybe one day you will understand
The things I do,
I did it all for you.

So I write this letter
That I’ll never send
Because there is no one to receive it on your end
And I write this letter
To my daughter, so filled with strife
So it stays with me forever,
Even if you aren’t in our life.

And I’m just as scarred as you
Since you run wild with freedom
And I know right now you think there
Is no reason
But you’ll see
Nothing in life is easy

So I write this letter
That I’ll never send
Because there is no one to receive it on your end
And I write this letter
To my daughter, so filled with strife
So it stays with me forever,
Even if you aren’t in our life.

How’s JoDee?

Hmm. Everyone asks that. How is JoDee? What’s up with JoDee? Any word from JoDee? My answer is always the same. Fine, Thank you. Good, Thanks. Oh, really no knew news, thanks for asking. Those are the responses you hear on the outside. On the inside, well that is a totally different story.

On the inside, the words how is JoDee elicit a reaction in my gut that is akin to a rupturing volcano. My heart, which feels like a delicate piece of crystal, develops a new crack. Each crack threatens to break into a million pieces, for good, with no chance of putting it back together.  The more that she is homeless, by choice, on her own, on the street, staying with this person or that person that will give her shelter for the time being, using her mother by preying on her raw feelings of despair begging to come home, begging for a bus ticket and then using the money I send for a bus ticket (which the mother knows better than to do) for something else, the more helpless I feel.  Now, that doesn’t mean I don’t want people to ask, and I know they want too and should. I am not pointing fingers and telling anyone not to be inquisitive.

The problem is that the question, as obscure as it seems, is such a leading question. Why? Well, let me tell you. Suppression. Ignorance. Denial. If no one asks about her, or if I have talked to her, or where she is then I don’t have to think about it. I can pretend in my own ignorant mind that she is just off with friends somewhere living her life. I can suppress the idea that she is a drug addict, living a rough and degrading life.  People can tell me over and over and over again that this is not my fault. And I know that it probably isn’t but if there is a mother out there that can see their child living on the street, asking for a coat instead of a hotel room because the coat she can use everyday but the hotel will only keep warm one night and not feel like she has failed as a parent, raise your hand. I don’t know if it was a direct parenting flaw. Or if she is paying for my sins of the past. Is the way I treated or mistreated people in the past the reason she is suffering? If I apologize and humble myself to the people I have wronged, will the karma bus let her off? Will she be able to stop suffering to rejoin the world? Sadly, I am desperate. I am desperate for any relief so I started making a list. A list of people who may have felt wrong by me, or I  know I wronged, or I didn’t wrong but need to apologize anyway just in case. I have begun my own version of the 12 steps that are not Al-Anon, Nar-Non or NA/AA approved. It is not identical.  It is just me accepting that I can’t change this, but I can face it, and I have to find the courage to admit my faults and atone for them. I have begun atoning. It isn’t easy, and it is uncomfortable and it is embarrassing but I don’t know what else I can do. It is not ideal, but it’s all I have.

Please don’t do that thing where everyone tells me it’s not my fault and I am a good mother because it only makes it worse. It makes me feel like a fraud. Like one of those people who says how fat they look when they are a size 0 and you want to punch them in the face with a hostess Twinkie. And a vat of lard. But I digress…. at this point we aren’t really communicating which is something I have to do but don’t want to do. Although I preach cut them off, kick them out, tough love the truth is when she is sending me text pictures of her in a tent during a snow storm I offer to get her a hotel for the night. Which turned into two nights, which turned into a coat, and some money for a food, and then a $30 Uber ride and money for a bus to come home because she was alone and lonely and need me, which turned into her not buying a bus ticket. And when I questioned her she said she bough sleeping bags but she knows I can see the transactions on her debt card so I know that isn’t where it went. And the final straw is when she casually calls me, without realizing how stupid I feel for believing all the crap she has told me over the past few weeks, to say hey can you put money on my card so I can buy some food at the grocery store and I say….no. It is two letters. One word but the hardest one in the world to say. No. I cannot give you anymore money. I cannot give you even $10 for food. All I can do is say, No. And good-bye. And try desperately not to drive my car directly into the bridge embankment in front of me, or cry. Because if the damn breaks….there is no telling what will happen. Not one tear. One small, lonely, wet tear rolling down my cheek leaving a salt mark in my perfect make-up would cause a hurricane of emotion that would probably end with me in my bed. Again. For days. So….. ya, JoDee is great. Thanks for asking.