How is it that I find myself back in this court again? How is it that I find myself back in a place where I am watching my child get handcuffed and shackled, on a rainy Tuesday, the 15th of the month, exactly to the day 11 months from the last time I did this? The answer is who the hell knows. Running is something she does. Some people are runners, some aren’t. When things get tough and she doesn’t hear what she wants she takes her proverbial scrabble board and heads home. But in this case home was a park near a pond behind a convenient store in a town south of West Palm Beach, Florida. The only purchase she was able to make before I took all her money from her bank account (my name is on the account so you can all slow your roll before you call the FIDC on me) was two 6-packs of beer. I’m sure that isn’t what she hoped for, but taking all her money was a good indication that I knew she was on the run.
At the time I got the phone call from the facility, asking me if I had heard from her, I was just pulling into my step-daughters drive-way with AC. It was his birthday. Sort of ironic, one of my birthdays was overcast with her addiction, and now shit has rolled down hill to his birthday a year and a half later. My first reaction was anger. White, hot, screaming with no mercy pissed off. I immediately posted on Facebook that no one should help her. I probably shouldn’t have done that. I mean, I really put her on blast which isn’t exactly helpful, though I won’t lose sleep over it either. She left her phone behind so there was no way for her to contact me and there was certainly no way for me to contact her. Now, I’m grateful for that because if I had been able to reach her when I was so angry it probably would have scared both of us, whatever came out of my mouth. We carried on with our night, me trying to put it aside so we can celebrate his birthday. Him not happy either, as one of his girls is in crisis. All in all, we were both in our own heads; worrying about both girls and the impact their decisions have on the rest of us.
By the time the Patriots were watching the coin toss for Sunday’s game, we were home, depressed and worried. We had gone through this scenario before. She ran from us in Arizona and it took her 3-weeks to decide to call to come home. I knew I couldn’t rescue her again. Not because I didn’t want to but because it wasn’t helping her. There was no ownership for her own recovery. When she is in active addiction she is active extremely well. She is resourceful, conniving, and creative. She works hard to get her drug, will go to any means possible. But when she is in recovery she is not active in anything. She is lazy, resentful, demanding and nasty. Because it’s her active use and my recovery. She doesn’t have to do anything. It’s like emotional black mail. She knows how desperate I am for her to be clean so she can hang it over my head like a grimy mistletoe saying kiss my ass or I will use. If I give one of my kids a car (which I have, ahem, JoDee), she will appreciate it but maybe not drive it as carefully, or keep it as clean or as nice as she would if she bought it herself. No one appreciates anything as much as they do when they work at it on their own. I can’t recover for her. I hate to think I enabled her to stay in active addiction, and I haven’t because I never help her when she uses, but I do stretch out my arms for her to blindly fall into them when she is done, and that is just as enabling. I can’t do that anymore. I can’t do it ever again.
So, the next day, when she turned up the facility to get her phone I asked them to let me speak to her. They said she could not return to the facility, I understood that. I asked her what she was thinking, she was crying. Saying how bad it was, how sick she was, how there was no detox tapper and she couldn’t take it anymore. Every sentence she said started with I want. I told her that we had done what she wanted, many, many times which has not lead to anything the least bit successful in recovery. She was on her own, she made the decision to leave so she had to see it through. She cried, begged to come home, I held my ground and hung up. Staring at the phone, in disbelief that I was in this shit-storm again, I called AC. He concurred. We had no choice. There was nothing left to do. We tried to section her and it didn’t work. He said he wished there was a way to bring her home and section her without her knowing. That was a great idea. I called the court house and spoke to someone in the clinic court. We talked options and problems. She said its better if she surrenders herself but if she won’t we can get the warrant. I called her back on her cell and said I changed my mind. You can come home. Within the hour I had bought a plane ticket, she took a cab to the airport and made it through security. We didn’t tell anyone. I told her not to talk to anyone and when she landed I took her phone away and turned it off.
After AC nagging me to the point that I wanted to rip my own eyeballs out, I finally told some family. But I didn’t want too. I didn’t want to hear how I shouldn’t do this or I shouldn’t do that. I know that sounds similarly immature as my addicted daughter, however, I have to live with myself. I have to do what I think is right as a parent and that I can live with no matter the outcome. Sitting on it, thinking about it, if she died behind a convenient store in Florida, I couldn’t handle that. I wouldn’t like her to die in back of a convenient store up here either but at least if she is up here, I can try something. Sometimes, something looks like it’s for the benefit of the addict when the decision had less to do with the addict and more to do with the mother. It also sounds counterproductive to my previously mention declaration to not hold my arms out to catch her when she falls. In my mind, and let’s face it people, at this point I could justify anything, I was putting her somewhere she could be safe until she decided what she really wanted to do. I bought her a ticket and flew her home. I took everything she had except her license and said she was either on the street with no family or she surrenders. I knew we could try WATC again. She did so well when she got out last time. She couldn’t run, it was not option. It was her only chance. Or only choice. She agreed.
We spent the night at home, her brothers, AC and me. In the morning, we went to Salem and she surrendered to the clinic court. When they called her name, she gave me a hug and a kiss, and walked to the front of the court room. I watched as she told the judge she needed help. I listened as she rattled off the list of drugs she did, some of them still a surprise. I stood up as they handcuffed and shackled her, and I waved blowing a kiss to her as she went out of sight. 11 months ago I sat in this same court with AC a broken and beaten mess watching her be lead away. I felt as though I had been punched in the gut. With a sledge hammer. Today, the sound of those handcuffs gave me relief. And hope. Today when my daughter was taken away I was thankful that she even had a second chance to be given. Tonight, I will finally, really, truly, rest with the knowledge that she is safe for now. I’m not sorry that we took this route. I’m not sorry that I brought her home. At the end of the day I have to do me and others have to do them and JoDee has to do her. We all have to live with the choices we make….. and if you don’t approve, well, (insert middle finger emogy!)