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.