2016 is a Wrap

2016 has been a hell of a year.

January– This was a brutal month. It began with JoDee coming home from WATC. It wasn’t the best homecoming. Quickly it became very clear that it wasn’t going to last very long.  She ran off, as expected, but nearly died, which wasn’t expected. For six minutes she was dead to us.  I thought that was the end. I thought she would finally see the light and not the kind she should be walking toward. I could not have been more wrong. She sent me home. She didn’t want to come home. She wanted to go back out to do what she does with whomever she does it with. January was the month that I realized my daughter was gone to me. To us. And nothing was bringing her back until she was ready and willing. Jared’s birthday was not the happy celebration it should have been.

February– started with her birthday. It also happened to be SC birthday (they are two days apart). Being able to celebrate with SC but not JoDee was hard. It made me take a real look at what I was going to do now. It was clear JoDee wasn’t coming back to us. So, I decided to do something’s for myself including cutting my hair.   February was also the month that a young man lost his battle with addiction and a newspaper chose that time to exploit his death by highlighting his criminal past, as though that would justify his death. By the end of the month she had overdosed again.  I thought she was going to be dead any minute. And I felt desperate.

March-we didn’t have much contact. She did her best to keep her distance. I did my best to let her keep her distance. It was way too hard to see her looking like a gutter rat and way too hard to keep away from her. It was a miserable month.

April– seemed to look up a little. She was trying to scrap together clean time. It wasn’t working but she would try to do normal things like go to Pilates with me. There was a lot of talk about addiction in news and in the paper. Addiction was the new hot topic. Some people were actually concerned about those that were dying but some were too busy condemn the afflicted.  It was also the month I realized just how much addiction catalysed lies. From the addict, from the family, to oneself.  It was a particularly hard month. The weight of her addiction was crushing.

May– Well, this month brought both happiness and sadness. Jay J and Cinderella went to the prom looking like movie stars. And on the same day JoDee ran from another detox. Someone picked her up. Someone I talked to on the regular. Someone who I told not to pick her up. Later that same month, that someone would be dead. That loss was an enormous one. Not just to me or JoDee but to the whole NA community. I knew that meant she was either going to get better or going to die.  This was also the month that the kids, including Cinderella, AC and I participated in Light the Night Purple.

June– This month began with a Section 35. She was in a downward spiral that was clearly leading to death. She had nowhere to go and no one to call and the only thing she could rely on was drugs. And drugs aren’t very reliable. Shortly after she was incarcerated she called me to say that as soon as she got out she was going to get high. She was not going to be clean. She did not want to be clean and she was very angry at me. Hateful. But I knew that the person she hated the most was herself. We celebrated Jay J’s birthday but it was veiled with sadness.  In addition, someone had the bright idea of sending me a letter asking for advice. I now receive advice letters routinely and some of them are scary. Like, makes me question humanity scary, and my own humanity because I can’t stop laughing at some of them. (Think a question about sex with animals and my reply being don’t go to petting zoo’s). The month ended with desperation and anxiety.

July– If you follow this blog at all you will know that July was the month of anger. People giving me advice that I didn’t ask for or want annoyed the shit out of me. Nightmares, depression and general spite for al living things made me a little hard to live with. The month ended on a positive not for SC while AC, SC and I were in Arizona however, while away JoDee got herself in some hot water involving a misunderstanding about not paying for cigarettes or gas or something. Needless to say, one whole morning was spent on the phone keeping her out of jail.

August– Let’s face it, August was not much better than July. JoDee did a lot of running, I did a lot of isolating.  I was strong armed to sending her to a program in California which she promptly ran from, as I knew she would. August was spent with her on the run in the desert doing who-the-hell-knows-what while I sat home wondering what those terrible things could be. She begged me to fly her home. I wouldn’t.  In the end, unbeknownst to most, I paid for her to fly home but told everyone someone else did. I refused to see her or pick her up at the airport. I did not want her to know that I was involved.  It ended with me Sectioning her again. For the 3rd time in less than a year.

September– Oh the joy of September. September was the month the entire world went ape shit when the epipen price soared comparing it to the free narcan. I’m sorry, but that is an absolutely ridiculous comparison. I can’t. I won’t. I refuse to get into that again. If you need a refresher go here Dear State House.

October– Once the world died down on the whole epipen dilemma the public shaming started. Video’s of addicts nodded out with kids, or in stores, or in Dunkin Donuts started surfacing. This was about “exposing the addicts” for the scumbag shit they were. Well, I guess no one really thought about the families of those addicts or the kids in question and the fact that those images will be on Facebook, twitter and YouTube forever so it will follow them no matter how old they get. No one understands it doesn’t just shame the addict, it shames anyone within a 50 mile radius of the addict. But let’s don’t talk about that….. It was also the month JoDee checked into detox after I left her stranded in a park in the middle of the night. Proceeded to rehab and then ran from rehab.

November– JoDee checked herself back into treatment and according to those involved, was doing well. I didn’t believe it. I refused to see her. I didn’t really want to talk to her. I was waiting to hear that she bailed again. My faith was lost and my spirit was low. I was joyfully surprised when she hit the 30 day clean mark. And looked amazing. The glimmer of hope began to shine again. This was also the month that I fed McDonald’s to my family for Thanksgiving. Such a shithead sometimes.

December– That brings us to the end of the year. The last month of the year. The finally of 2016. This month brought a horrific loss to a wonderful mother. The kind of loss that is a parents worse nightmare. There is nothing I could say to bring comfort to her, and there is nothing anyone can say to ease my guilt for being relieved it wasn’t my kid. There is also nothing at all that can be done about the fact that it can be at any point, and without long term recovery it might be. Part of the end of the year is a stat report I get from my site domain.  To finish the year, here is some stat info:

The number one post of the year was To My Dearest Daughter.

The least viewed post was Why Does It Matter?

There were 15000 view of my home page or archived posts (from previous years).

The most views in the month was January with 3478.

I had 27361 more views than in 2015.

The most popular day of the week is Thursday and the most popular hour is 8 pm.

I gained 71 followers this year and double the number of comments from last year.

I posted 64 blogs (not counting this one) and they were seen in over 80 countries.

My favorite of all the stats are the search terms used for 2016: (these are words folks googled or binged or yahoo’d to find my blog)

The most used is the addict in my basement and there a number of variations of that.

I had two people find it by using “child unresponsive and not breathing at finish line convenience store”.

My boyfriend is growing drugs in my basement.

Motherless son fucks his addict mother.

Found drugs in my basement.

My family was in my house so I went to my basement.

Saying goodbye to a sister/best friend before I go to detox.

I helped a old lady home with her groceries and when she bent down to pick up groceries I fucked her.

How to apologise for the biggest mistake relapsing.

I feel pitiful at 18.

Life advice bloggers dumb.

Whats the movie called where the woman is held captive and replase on drugs that was hidden in her daughters music box?

What to do if you grew up a shitstain on society and became a sponging off the government drug addict.

Pinned droppy eyes heroin.

And the final and my personal favorite:

Is it illegal to tie up an addict in my basement.


The search terms boggle my mind. I can’t even imagine the reasons some of these terms linked to my blog. I’m sure I don’t want to know. I can promise my readers I have definitely not tried to force an old woman into a sexual encounter with me after helping with groceries. I can only imagine what 2017 will bring. I hope everyone has a safe and Happy Holiday and New Year.


Much love from my family to yours even if you are a self-proclaimed  shit stain on society,


MB, AC, and gang.



The Many Christmas Years

I know I am not the only person in the world who becomes nostalgic during the holidays. Holidays are milestone markers. I know that I can remember all of my children’s first Christmases. I can remember my first christmas married, each time, which  with Daddy-O also happened to be JoDee’s first christmas. This time of year reminds me of christmas time when I was a kid. My grandparents would have these giant piles of presents for my sister and me, that we would rip apart fast anxious to see what the next gift was going to be. Recently we found videos’ of christmas past and JCB and I looked like Tasmanian devils unwrapping presents at lightening speed barely acknowledging the actual gift.  Ah.. those were the days.

Christmas as a parent is so different from christmas as a kid. I think the transition from being parented to being a parent was so fast for me, I missed the orientation. Over the years we have developed our own traditions but one of our traditions is not really being traditional. For example, we have never put a star on the top of our tree. Or an angel or anything remotely elegant, religious or even able to lite up. For as along as I can remember we have put a skanky looking, stained and ratty Santa hat. The dog has chewed it. The bulb on the end is nasty and possibly carrying some undefined disease. Potentially the infection that will cause zombie-ness.

Usually it’s a hectic time trying to make sure that both Daddy-O and I get enough time with the kids, and our families. The last five years it has been crazy, not just hectic. The first Christmas AD (after addiction) JoDee had just come back from Arizona. She was recently detoxed so somewhat clean. Clearly we know her story involves relapses. A lot of relapses and shortly after Christmas of that year she relapses. The following year she was clean again, but that wouldn’t last either. The last two Christmas’ have been the worst, I think. Two years ago JoDee left my house with the intention of getting high. I knew it. She knew it and I tried to change her  mind.  There was no talking to her. There was no telling her to think about her life. There was only the look in her eye, the dismissive attitude on her way out and the ominous look of her tail lights as she pulled away from the house. The next few weeks were a blur of running from me, going to detox, running from detox, yadda,yadda, yadda. By the beginning of January we had her sectioned for the very first time. A terribly overwhelming experience.

That led to the longest amount of clean time she ever had. It also led her to be introduced to a whole new way to use and scam. What looked like a bright future turned into a freaking nightmare in a just a few weeks time. JoDee ran and was better at hiding since she had a new group to provide for her. And not in a good way. She had lowlife willing to hide her away, provide her with drugs. When I would finally get her to come home or see her she would look like she had been fighting a war. Thin, frail, exhausted. Eventually she would decide to go to treatment, and part of that treatment was further treatment in Florida. I remember saying I didn’t want her to go. I had a bad feeling about it. But she claimed she wanted to go. Everyone I spoke to said that the program she was going to was excellent. 5 days. She lasted 5 days before she ran away. On AC birthday last year (which was a year ago this week) we got the call that Miss Thing was on the run.

She eventually came home, after I bought her a plane ticket. Her feet weren’t off the plane for a minute before she was sectioned again. She spent Christmas at WATC. It was a difficult Christmas for everyone. SC was at Children’s Hospital so two of our five kids were not home. AC and I had a hard time working up the holiday spirit enough to put up the tree, but we did. That was a rough beginning to that year. That year being this year. This year being now as in 2016. To say that I am glad this year is over is the understatement of understatement.

This Christmas is going to be rough, too. But a good rough. A rough we can handle. Between the move and work and kids and school we have a lot going on but it’s nothing we can’t handle. Not anywhere near the hell we have gone through that last few Christmas’. I hope anyway. The truth is no matter what happens, we can handle it. We might not want to but we can. We might not like it but we can. If the last few christmas’ have taught us anything it’s that we can anticipate nothing and prepare for anything.  Christmas isn’t here yet so I don’t want to jinx anything. I am fully aware that anything that can change at any moment.


Fourth Time Is The Charm, I Hope

There are few things in this world by which I can tell myself or anyone else that I am an expert. I am an expert at swearing. I am an expert at growing tomatoes and cucumbers. I am an expert at cooking many things.  I also think I am an expert at reading people. I can usually smell bullshit before a bullshitter opens their mouth. I think I am an expert at telling when one of my kids is coming down with a cold. I am an expert at telling when one of my kitties is up to no friggen good. I am an expert at telling when AC is going to tie one on with his brother, listen to Colombian music and dance like there isn’t a care in the world. And as of late, I am an expert at many things drug related. Not in the sense of taking drugs, but in helping those who have taken them. In this case, my child who has taken them. Particularly, in obtaining a section 35.

As my birthday approached, and I lay nearly dying (to be honest I prayed for death) I am getting text messages from her bf that she was a mess, and she isn’t doing well. She is a not going to do well on her own. Her insurance has basically instilled a moratorium on any mental health coverage for her at this point because her behavior is so poor when she admits to any program. Or she runs from any program so most won’t take her anyway. The question is, will I section her again. No. No I won’t. How in the world can I walk into that court again and beg, literally on my hands and knees, for them to take her for the FOURTH time. This would be the third time this year. This would be the fifth time I would be begging them. Once they flat out refused. Once they agreed but AC and I had to hunt her down like a rabid dog in the street, which was both traumatizing and horrifying. One time I tricked her and one time she came willingly but with the hate for me of one thousand devils in her heart only to get out and immediately use and began the cycle again. What could I possibly say? What’s different? What has changed? Jesus, what has changed? No. I said I was drawing a line in the sand so I said no and that is it.  Only I am an expert at being able to tell a bullshitter from a mile away.

I was irritable all night. My own person was fighting my psyche. It was annoying. In my head I was telling myself that I would not be doing this again. I would not do this again. AC kept saying I should tell him what I was thinking but the truth was I didn’t want to say it out loud because saying it meant I would do it. I didn’t want to say it or do it. I roamed around the house. I was so freaking sick from a kidney stone and kidney infection . I couldn’t work. I shouldn’t have been doing anything but staying in bed. But as usual, I would put the needs of my addict before the needs of anything else. And I was determined to do it and get home before anyone even knew I was gone. That wasn’t easy because I was barely amongst the living myself, but I managed. I went to where she was, I picked her up, I drove to the court. And then something truly remarkable happened. I walked into the Court Clinic and the Dr who handles the cases, who does the evaluations greeted me by name. Good Morning, Ms. Brayden.  That is, really there are no words for that. It’s not like your kids principal recognizing you. Or a cop in town. This is a person 90% of parents will never ever have to meet. She didn’t say it like I looked familiar, or she thought I had been there before. No, she knew my name. That was a stunning moment. I gotta tell you, it was a highlight of a mommy moment.

I simply told her that I know she looks at JoDee and sees an addict that can’t recover but I see a girl that should be dead but isn’t. And that must mean something. I see a chance so unless she dies or recovers, I have to keep trying. And unless the court tells me no, I have to keep coming back. She said that I wouldn’t get an argument out of her, and told me I know the process. We filled out the paperwork, and got in front of the judge in no time. I was home back in bed within an hour. As JoDee got called up to the podium, and put in shackles, and handcuffs, again, I was too sick to get upset, too tired to get sad and too drained to think about what comes next. I drove home, crawled in bed with my shoes still on and my messenger bag across my chest. I woke up 5 hours later covered in sweat and had to take a few minutes to remember if I dreamt it, or if it really happened. It happened. She was gone again. For the fourth time in two years and for the third time this year she is back at WATC.  The three previous times brought me comfort and a time of rest but this time, it brings me nothing. I’m no longer naive to the ways of the world. I don’t believe that she will come out a shiny new sparkling brighter version of herself. I can only hope she comes out a more aware and willing to live version of herself. A version of herself that is willing to forgive herself for her past deeds and understands she owes no one an apology except for herself, and if she forgives herself, the world is hers for the taking.  If she comes out on, let’s say a Monday, and knows she won’t use Tuesday, but doesn’t know about Wednesday yet, that’s success. It means she understands she can only take one day at a time.

The World of Addiction is so absolutely ass backwards no one can possibly understand it unless they are in it. Most kids complain that their parents expect too much from them and put too much pressure on them. Only in the land of Addiction do we expect nothing and want them to take one day at a time, and that is asking too much. I want my family back. I want to have my life back. I don’t want anyone’s pity or sympathy or compassion. It’s tiring and weights me down. I want to be normal like everyone else.  I’m sick of saying I’m fine or isolating so I don’t have to say it anymore. I can’t fix the heroin epidemic and God knows, I wouldn’t even know how to try. I just want one kid to be saved, just like every other parent of an addict.  So, if I have to embarrass myself in court 20 more times, I guess that’s what I will do if that means she is alive.  One of these times I might just build a cage in my basement and lock her up for a year. Don’t test me….anything is possible.

My Purpose

Everyone’s life has a purpose. Everyone’s mistakes have a purpose. Sometimes we do things purposely that others can’t understand. Sometimes we question the greater purpose in life. Sometimes we fail to understand the reason or the purpose of losing a loved one, a man so great and so giving that any purpose given would still seem unjustifiable. There are times I sit at my desk, listening to my bosses order for reports, and time frames are given to complete things as though they are life and death when in fact, it’s just accounting. No one will die if I forget to complete the bank reconciliation by the 10th of the month. So what’s the purpose?

Purpose. Purpose. Purposely. Purposeful. The reason for which something is done or created or for which something exists. To have as one’s intention or objective.  The reason for which something is done is not always clear. At times we are not certain why something was created or for which it exists.  Often we do not know if the intentions of a person are good or bad. But purpose is neither and it is both. Purpose does not have a feeling or judgment. It’s neutral. Purpose doesn’t pick sides. Purposefully hurting someone and purposefully helping someone can look the same. Purpose is driven and exact. The problem with purpose is that it is not always clear on directions. Sometimes a purpose that is meant for good becomes a purpose of bad. I began parenting with purpose. The purpose of someone who wanted to raise well-educated, well-behaved, well-rounded and cultured children. I began parenting with purpose to do good-by my children, to shape them into adults that are loved and open-minded members of society that make a difference in lives of many.  The purpose was to have children that would grow up to help make the world a better place, and leave it better than it was when they were born. My intentions were pure. My goals were obtainable. I set out with a positive purpose.

I never anticipated that my child would become the opposite of that. That all of my purpose would instead raise a child that steals, and lies, and squander her life in the name of addiction. Her purpose is to get high. She purposely sticks a needle in her arm, an arm that is infected and abscesses and scarred.  It is because her purpose became something that could kill her that I had a new purpose. My new purpose is why I marched into a court for the fourth time in two years to tell a judge that my daughter is a danger to herself. My purpose was for them to issue a warrant on a section 35 to detain her in a safe environment by staff that could help treat her drug addiction. It was with that same purpose that I told her either she goes or she is not part of our family. It is with the same purpose that I drove her to that court-house, listening to her say how she is sick to her stomach and afraid. My purpose steeled me against those words because queasy and scared are emotions she won’t feel if she is dead, and my purpose was to keep her alive.  My soul purpose in life has become keeping her alive.

They called her name, and she handed me her jewelry, giving me a kiss and a hug as she walked toward the judge. As I watched the bailiff, the same one that was here last time, and the time before, purposely put her in handcuffs and shackles, I stood up to wave good-bye. I exited the court room without looking back on purpose, because I have seen her be taken away twice before. I walked back to my car with the purpose of a person who understands she needs a new purpose because she can’t make her child live purposely unless she wants too.



HBO, Home Comings, and New Year’s Resolutions

Well, shit. Here we are, a year later in a very similar place that we were in this time last year. I don’t find this ironic or coincidental at all. This is what addiction is all about; doing the same thing over and over, though, if we are honest, we don’t expect different results. No one does. Actually, that’s a lie, I do. I expect one of these times it will end with her dying. And that is a given. If you use, you die. It’s only a matter of when. With that in mind, I had been asked multiple times over the last few weeks if I was going to watch the special on HBO about addiction on Cape Cod. I was not going to watch it. But I wasn’t sure if I wanted to or not so I decided to DVR it in case I wanted to see it later. The truth is I have seen JoDee with a needle in her arm, I have found her overdosing, I have seen her high, lie, steal, beg and run away only come back clean when she is tired of the life. I was absolutely certain there was nothing I could learn from that program that I didn’t already know. So, why watch it? It’s like watching Intervention. I used to watch it to tell myself our life isn’t so bad. But then the more I watched it, the more it really resembled our own lives and that got depressing so I stopped. At 8:58 I was watching the end of Chopped. I waited for Ted to pull the cloche off the plate of the contestant being chopped, revealing the winner when I had an out-of-body experience. Suddenly I had no control over my hand and bam I flipped the channel to HBO.

I was not surprised by the program. It was everything I believed it would be, and it was everything I didn’t want to see. I was saddened by the loss of the two beautiful girls that had lost their battle with addiction. I could relate as I listen to the parents in the support group talk about finding money for rehab even when you know you shouldn’t, the co-dependency and enablement, and I could even hear JoDee’s voice in those of the addicts interviewed. Her story is their story is all addicts story. The same, but different. Addiction is a whole new paradox. One that you never ever want to go to but when you do you realize that forever, eternity and beyond, your life has changed. Whether you are the addict or the family member, life will never be the same. I also agreed when the woman said that parents of an addict is a whole separate struggle. A person can walk away from a lover/boyfriend/girlfriend/best friend/neighbor/sibling if they absolutely have too. But a parent is doing the exact opposite of what they have spent a life time doing-putting our arms out to catch our child when they fall. Kissing boo-boo’s and healing pains. Addiction is the only thing I can think of in which helping an addict is hurting them. Helping them is the exact opposite of what you must do, an impossible thing to do when your knee jerk reaction is to catch them when they fall. While I did not really learn anything I didn’t know, and instead, confirmed my worst fears, I certainly hope those that are not dealing with addiction on a daily basis learned something new. My hope is that the prejudices for those suffering from addiction will be lowered just a little bit, so they can get help without the stigma currently attached to it. Only time will tell.

Only time will tell what 2016 has in store for this family, too. It is not going to start off well, for that I am sure. But when you start low, there is only one place to go but up. JoDee is going to have to come home, sooner or later. She would prefer sooner, I would prefer later. Knowing I cannot keep up with this madness anymore, I can’t just step back. I can’t just try to withstand from doing for her, but I have to literally let go. There is a saying in NA to Let go and Let God. I’m not sure what I believe as far as God or a higher religion, but the sentiment is the same. I have to figuratively and literally let her go. And not be responsible for her. Please do not fool yourself into believing this will somehow grant me peace and serenity, it won’t. The pain for watching her suffer will be the same. Should she relapse again, I will be in agony watching from the side lines and when she tries to pick herself up, I won’t be there to brush her off. She will have to figure out how to do that on her own. I will still be her mother, and her pain will still be mine, and I will hate this fucking disease but I just can’t anymore. I can’t (fill in the blank).

That brings me to my New Year’s Resolution. I have listed them below:




This makes it extremely easy to see that I don’t give up on my resolutions. I am not pledging to lose weight, be organized, volunteer, stop swearing, or any of the other ridiculous resolutions I have made over the years but never stuck too. Especially the swearing resolution… that was just dumb.  Resolutions usually last until mid-February if a person is lucky, which I am not.  I am going to end this year in this year, and try not to take anything with me into next year.

I have a tradition of writing all the things I didn’t like about the previous year on an egg and smashing it against a tree in the woods on New Year’s Day. This year I am going to do that but with more practicality in choosing the things I write on that egg. I am not going to write the things that annoyed me or I was bothered by, or my own character flaws that really will never change. I am going to write the things I am ready to let go of, say good-bye too, and be willing to release once that egg leaves my hand. I am looking forward to that.  I hope every one has a safe and fun New Year’s Eve and that 2016 is all you wish for it to be.

Happy New Year’s ~


Twas The Day After Christmas

Twas the day after Christmas, when all through my head,

Were thoughts of thanks that I killed no one dead.

Some presents open, some left by the tree w/care,

So when she comes home, they will all be there.


Christmas Eve, I had vision of her scared and alone inside her cell,

which meant I was up all night, and didn’t sleep well.

I couldn’t decide if I wanted to hug her or give her a slap

I wondered my house pondering where I went wrong and feeling like a sap


Christmas from the past were my food for thought

And I think about last time we spoke, or shall I say fought

This Christmas was different, for that I know for sure

What I wanted more than anything could not be bought at a store.


The child I dreamt of, the little girl I raised was long gone

I should have seen it earlier, when she was first withdrawn

But I ignored the signs, and told myself lies

And now I pray she recovers before she dies.


Prayers are all we have, the Christmas Season

If we are honest with ourselves, that is a good reason.

I may be sad that she is away, locked up and not with us,

However, I can’t overlook our fortune that she is on earth, nonetheless.


Others have not been so lucky, the succumb to the beast

Heroin grabs a hold and doesn’t let go until the soul is released.

But, if one more person tells me it could have be worse,

I swear to all that is holy, they will need a hearse.


Heroin has not killed my child yet,

And without recovery there is no safety net.

You use, you die, you use, you lose, you use, it’s over,

For all of us, it’s a miserable, unacceptable hostile takeover.


For this New Year, I have only one wish,

It can’t be bought, or laid beautifully in a dish,

It’s can’t be wrapped, or traded, boxed, or bowed

It’s something only she can do, it’s all her own workload.


I wish for her to be healthy, and healing, and full of love,

I wish for her to know she can do it, and realize what she is capable of,

I wish for her to come home, settled and calm, ready to live life again,

And that all of our love, and support and belief in her, isn’t in vain.




Sectioned: Take Three

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!)