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.

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10 thoughts on “How’s JoDee?

  1. Lydia says:

    Thank you for your posts and your truth. I was in detox with JoDee about two years ago. She and I didn’t really connect there – and we ended up choosing two very different paths after that. However, she had a spirit that struck me for the short period of time that our paths did cross and it has been enlightening to see how her story continues to unfold. I hope that you continue to share your story, and that someday you can be at a point where someone can ask about her and your answer can be something that offers hope.

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  2. Trish Rancourt says:

    Thank you for sharing your difficult story. I was a BHT while JoDee was at the Process Center in NH. From the moment I met her, we instantly connected. Probably because I’m way older, have sons around her age and her illness could manipulate the hell out of anyone’s heart, including mine. But whatever, drug addict or not, I adore her. I thought if I could get her to open up and began liking herself, I could help her. Before she left the center the first time, she had been to my home, we cooked together, talked, went out for dinner. I did try, but I was inexperienced in my position ( I had just left a 23 year career in sales management) and didn’t realize the power of addiction. My husband was an active alcoholic for over 20 years, however, he functioned quite well so it was easy to sweep under the rug so to speak. I’ve struggled with my own demons and my husband’s addiction. (He’s managed to stay sober over a year now). I guess I wanted to let you know, JoDee always spoke very highly of you. She loves you more than anything. I saw glimpses of the healthy girl you raised. She was kind, loving, helped make new clients welcome and even wore a pop of color now and then! I check on her through Facebook daily, kind of stock her yes, but I adore her. Mother to mother, im truly sorry for your pain and I will continue to prey for her recovery and your sanity. Please make sure you take care of yourself. God Bless you and your family.

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    • JoDee is such a good kid, or she was, before addiction. There are still traces of her inside and I see it every once in a while, but it seems like less and less anymore. At 24 she doesn’t seem to want responsibility which seems to me would be a natural human desire. It is impossible for me to understand her motivation for staying in this same situation that keeps her from her family, and on the street, and traveling through life in trash bags. LITERALLY. She has lost more stuff over the years then I think I have owned in my whole life! How does that even happen? Thank you for taking time with her when she was at Process. Even if she doesn’t, I appreciate everyone that has tried to help her.

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  3. Shelley Bastien says:

    I am at a loss of words. My heart goes out to you definitely. I can not even imagine.
    I pray for you, every day. I pray for your daughter as well.
    As I’m very spiritual.
    I hope she finds her way.
    If she doesn’t want to change she won’t.
    As I know you already know this.
    You do inspire me though. My daughter is 23 years old, seizure disorder, cognitive issues, 23 trapped in a 12 to 17 year old body mentally. Manic bipolar disorder. Don’t get me wrong we’re doing our best. My husband and I. Her step dad but awesome with her.
    I know not the same as you but let me tell you man oh man! You get it. I get it.
    One guy says hi to her that’s it, she’s in love… Bad decision making etc. Always has a new boyfriend has to have the rush of the new and the fresh. And she wonders why I don’t put the effort in to these new guys. But she doesn’t get it. I cry, I’m strong but some days I just don’t know. I stay home my husband works. She is my full time job.
    I don’t know where I get the strength some days. As I’m sure you wonder this yourself.
    Ty ❤️ for letting me vent.
    Thank you for sharing your story.
    You inspire me. I will continue to pray for you and JoDee.
    Shelley

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    • I’m sorry for your struggles, and the struggles with your daughter. It’s so hard watching them make errors in life or decisions we know will impact them negatively and not be able to do anything. It is so frustrating. It is even more frustrating when the realization hits that you can’t help them…. I hate it.

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      • Shelley Bastien says:

        I definitely agree with that! That’s for sure! Watching her is awful as I know it is for you and again can’t even imagine your struggles. You ARE an amazing woman, mother, daughter, wife and friend. Even though at times you feel helpless and have no one.
        Stay strong and I’ll continue to pray for you both.
        Thank you for sharing your story.
        It really does help me on my awful days knowing I have a place to go and read.
        So again thank you. xoxo

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  4. Shelley Bastien says:

    I did send you a private message on Facebook. Not sure how often you’re on there. So I thought I’d let you know.

    Shelley

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