Progression of S






































So long





Shut up

Shut out

Shut down



In high school I read a story about three people from different stations in life being asked to describe their idea of hell. This was a blanket statement.  What is your idea of hell? Most would have heard that question and assumed it means the place no-good-doers go to when their life is over.  The answers were very  much in line with that school of thought.

The first  was a middle-aged man, white, married with several children, of a stable financial class. He said that hell would be a burning, hot place. Cliffs and ridges of brimstone and hell’s fire. Loud sounds of moans and screams, explosions, and lightening but no rain. Nothing moist or wet. Everything is dry and life-sucking.  In this man’s hell he could hear his wife and children screaming but could not discern where it is coming from. The screams are shrill and speak of violence and fear. The man is paralyzed in place. His feet are engulfed in quick sand but it isn’t pulling him down further, it is turning to cement. The cement burns and bubbles and scolds his feet.  As he continues to struggle to get out of his cement shackles, he can feel and hear his bones breaking until his legs separate, knocking him to the ground with bleeding stumps.  This scene starts over again. In his hell, he lives these moments over and over in eternity.  Though, he could not say the crime he committed to warrant such a horror.

The second person was a woman. She was a school teacher in her early thirties. Recently married, no children, with no plans for children in the future. She was stuck on the why. Why would she be in hell? What could she have done that was so terrible to constitute an eternity in hell? The why seemed to dictate the what. Depending on how bad the crime was, depended on how bad hell was. In her mind, there were different degrees. If she had been a liar or stolen or some other offense that was not life taking then she described a hell that was being lost in a maze of trees on fire. There was a way out, the maze had a beginning and an end but she could not remember where she entered or how to get back out. The trees that made up the maze, similar to the one in The Shinning, were all ablaze. She could hear children screaming, and yelling for her but she was unable to find them. Her fear of burning alive made it impossible for her to make the decision of which direction to begin. Her eternity was spent in that burning maze. If she had murdered someone, or taken a life in any way, she would be in the same maze only she was the one on fire. The trees were dense and she was not able to find her way out. Her husband could be heard yelling to her so he could help but she could only hear the crackling of her hair burning, and skin melting from her bones. This was how her eternity would be spent.

The third participant was a child. This was a young girl, around the age of 11, with no specific religion noted. She was of Spanish decent, with both parents living, and had lived a typical childhood with no traumatic experiences to note.  She described hell as a place that people go when they do not deserve heaven.  It is hot, and dry, and people there have no eye lids. They are never able to close their eyes no matter how tired they are, and they have no thumbs so they are not able to grip or grasp or hold anything for any length of time. People do not have any big toes making it difficult to move quickly, run or dance.  The ears are removed but not the eardrum making all sound seems louder and more intense and the sounds never stop making sleep impossible. She described a mouth so dry that it hurts and her lips would be cracked yet she could see a water fall, a ways out in the distance, with no way to reach it.  There are people enjoying the water. Playing in it, splashing around, laughing and enjoying each other but there was no way to get there with them and participate so the only thing to do is watch them with longing and jealousy. Her eternity would be spent as such.

Those things have always been in the back of my mind. I’m not exactly sure why but I have thought about that a lot. My idea of hell isn’t a place I will go to when I die or spend my eternity. My idea of hell is right now. To have a child that is not dead, who lives and breathes, who wakes up every morning but is not really alive. Not really living. Not really awake. To have a day that is snowing and cold to be spent with my children shoveling and watching movies and cooking dinner and baking a homemade chocolate cake (courtesy of Cinderella) but not really enjoying it because we are missing one. One child that isn’t really alive but isn’t really dead. Who is alive and part of this world but who isn’t part of my world is being in hell. To know that I cannot reach out to her because doing so would help her stay sick, and is not good for anyone, is hell.

We are living in a time that addicts are dying by the multiples every day. There is no warning sign. A person may get a batch laced with something else, or something in it that they aren’t aware of, and it will kill them instantly. Or just take too much, and bam- you are dead. Knowing that, and knowing that my daughter was in treatment, in a safe place, but chose to leave to go back to a life that is like playing with a match in one hand while holding a gas can in the other is hell to me. Getting the call that she had left again was not a surprise. It wasn’t shocking or even really upsetting, if I am being honest, because I knew it was coming. I knew that her attitude wasn’t right, she was so busy making sure even one pitied her she didn’t have time to focus on recovery. She was on her game while in recovery. She was on her scam game, who can do the most for me, my mother won’t help me, I’m just a poor victim game, while she was in recovery.  And that was hell to me.

I know where she is, even though she thinks I don’t and knowing where she is, is hell to me. It is hell to know she is crawling back to a place she used to be that isn’t good that lead her to be abandoned in a park in the dark on a cold night. That night was hell to me. It was hell to me getting back in my warm bed, knowing she would be sitting on a park bench until someone else would pick her up. It was hell to find out another time I refused to pick her up she was actually sick, and in danger, without the use of her legs, but I didn’t believe her because she cried wolf so many times. Facing myself then was hell to me.  Explaining to the doctors why she was alone on the street in the freezing cold was not only humiliating to me, but it was hell.

And now, I have no contact with her, and I know that I can’t, is hell to me. I have done all that I can. Others have done all that they can and she doesn’t stay in recovery and that is hell to me. She does not value her life as I do, and she doesn’t care if she lives or dies, and I think she doesn’t believe she is entitled to live a happy life, is hell to me. I am in hell while I am alive, and I will be in hell when she dies. This hell is not worse than fire and brimstone, or eyes with no lids, or waterfalls I can’t reach. This is a hell only a parent can understand. I live in hell.

Surgically Removed

I love the practice of medicine. I find it absolutely fascinating the way the body and mind work. Some of the best scientists believe that everything we need to know or learn about the body is tangible. The heart pumps blood, the lungs push oxygen, the muscles along with ligaments and tendons help move the body, the bones are the source of strength and our skin keeps it all together. The brain sends a signal to a foot to wiggle a toe, this involves many different actions under the skin, in the brain, down the leg to the foot for one small wiggle, and it all happens in seconds, or less.  The brain, spinal cord and peripheral nerves system together create a complex integrated information-processing and management system also called the central nervous system. Together they regulate all of our conscious and unconscious facets of our life.  Imagine that.  The brain is the beginning and end of all things life. It controls body temperature, blood pressure, heart rate, and breathing. It accepts and process all of our senses; seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting and touching.  It manages our physical movement and allows us to think, dream, reason and experience emotions.

The Neurons in the brain have the remarkable ability to gather and transmit electrochemical signals, like a TV or IPad moving information. There many different types of neurons: motor, sensory, interneurons and associative neurons. I could continue to educate everyone on the billions of neurons or the way they move, but the part I am most fascinated by are the changes when they are damaged.  It wasn’t until circa 1972 that the full effect of opiate use was clear. A group of scientist from Johns Hopkins University revealed that the brain has specific protein receptor sites for opiates. It wasn’t long before they identified that the body produces its own endogenous opioids. When synthetic opiods, like heroin, are introduced the body’s perception of pain lessens and elevate mood by increasing the levels of dopamine.  There is a process where the opioid is converted back into morphine which triggers sensations of euphoria (and pain relief) much greater than the body is able to develop on its own.  There is evidence that a single use can change the receptors in the brain so significantly that the body begins to feel higher levels of pain and discomfort while not using, occurring in the need to use more and more.

Long term use has even more dire consequences. So even if a person is to detox from the drug physically, the other side effects will continue to be a problem like poor ability to regulate one’s own behavior, impaired emotional processing, impaired memory, diminished flexibility with completing tasks, decreased capacity for making decisions and decreased ability to imagine future events and interactions. In short, the user becomes a poor decision maker with radical mood instability and no ability to see or plan for a brighter future.  And many think that solving this problem is to just not use. Just not use. Just like that. Many people have a notion that addicts are lazy and ignorant, classless and untrustworthy.  Often society only sees the result of the addiction and not the addict. If this was a surgical case, if there was a part of the brain causing the problem, like an aneurysm or a brain tumor, a well trained physician could open the brain to remove the anomaly.  If this was an appendices that was hot and inflamed, a general surgeon would either open the abdomen via a laparotomy incision or a laparoscopic procedure to remove it before it infected the whole body resulting in death.  There is no such treatment for addiction.

Doctors, nurses, social workers, psychiatrist, psychologist have spent decades studying and learning and yearning to find a cure but there isn’t one to be had. There is no fix. There is no surgical procedure, or medical intervention of standard practice. I cannot simply make a phone call or make an appointment for her to show up to help her. There are alternative methods.  And I would love for her to try them, but at the moment, I can’t reach her. Not emotionally. I could pick up the phone and call her. I could send her a message on Facebook but anything I would have to say would not be received. It would not register in her head and it certainly wouldn’t mean anything. I have become the enemy. I have become the thing she hates the most.  I don’t know why that is. Maybe it is because she has nothing left to hate. Maybe it’s because I remind her of her. Maybe it is because I have done something wrong as a parent. Maybe it is because I don’t know what else to do.  The mixed messages I receive from her are confusing and frustrating. I know she is not using, but that is not the same as being clean. Being clean is about a lifestyle change, a reckoning with her own psyche, attitude. The things I see, and hear, isn’t giving me the warm and fuzzies.  She is feeling sorry for herself, and wrapped up in some kind of thing I don’t recognize. Separating from her family is never a good sign. We want her to be well and we want her to be part of the family but the negative, angry, blaming, spiteful, and poor-me girl that has taken her place is not something we can be part of. When she tells me one day that she can’t be part of us, that we are not good for her recovery, but calls the next day to say I love you, oh and I have no money in my account sounds an awful lot like I want to do what I want, without answering to you or anyone else but I want you to financially support that.

I don’t want to make her pain worse, but I don’t think she cares about our pain at all. I think she is so tied up feeling sorry for herself she doesn’t have time to understand the effect of her actions on us. I spend and have spent so much time worrying about her physical health and emotional health that I often forget about my own. Or the other kids. She doesn’t see it that way, which was a problem for me because I would want to pay attention to the other kids while convincing her she is important too. There is no way to be with her and be in my own present. I can’t divide myself. And I don’t think there is a single thing left that I could possibly do to help her. Anything else I do is hurting her, I think. I keep thinking that when I was her age I had two children, pregnant with my third and Daddy-O and I owned a house. We both worked, grocery shopped, mowed the lawn or washed the car. We were adults. Adulting. Daily.  I want her to adult her own life and she can’t. Or won’t. I don’t know. Her brain is so fucked up, I know she doesn’t see life in real terms. Somehow her addiction has become my problem to solve but I want a life. I want to spend the day with kids, and my grandmother, and my friends without feeling guilty because she is wasting her life. I gave her that life. I did the best I could with it. I can do nothing at this point to encourage her to live it differently. And I know I run the risk of losing her for good but she was gone a long time ago.

It is time for me to accept that I cannot make her be something she isn’t. Or someone she can’t be or won’t be. I cannot put her in an operating theatre, open her brain, excise the thing that makes her this way, close her up and monitor her for post operative complications.  I know there are ways via neuropath ways, for her to be better, but she would have to want that. I won’t give up on her, I won’t forget her or cast her aside as worthless, because she isn’t. She is far from that. She was destine for greatness which she is capable of if she can make it there.  Her brain and her body need healing. They need to rejuvenate and regenerate to become whole again.  I don’t think there is enough medical practice in the world to do that right now.

The Six Stages of Grief

1969 Elisabeth Kubler-Ross outlined the five stages of grief in her book On Death and Dying. This model introduces the five emotions experienced when a loved one dies; denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance.  The misconception was that she intended for the  grieved to experience these emotions in the order outlined in her book but that was wrong. She corrected herself, years later, to say that those emotions are felt in total, those five feelings are experienced, but not necessarily in any order. Years after that the model was expanded to included emotional loss, not just loss of life. Some of the things noted were loss of a job, infertility diagnoses, the end of a marriage or significant relationship and even sports fans were mentioned, for the end of a season or a loss of a big game and finally grief over substance addiction but that only pertained to the addict themselves. The only thing I did not see mentioned was the grief due to addiction of a loved one. I know it doesn’t rank with childhood cancer, or the loss of a child or a child born with a debilitating disease but it should have its place.

The really shitty thing about the stages of grief are that most go through the stages, and find some sort of acceptance at the end. It might take years, or even decades but eventually, the acceptance sets in and closure begins. That is not the case with addiction. Sometimes I get all the way to the end of the emotions, I am able to accept that she will be an addict always and forever but it can manageable to be surprised when she is in active addiction again. It’s a constant roller coaster of emotion. At any time I could be feeling any of the emotions. And I know that people are sick of hearing about it. No one wants to hear me complain, five years in, about how angry I am at her for running again, or how depressed I am that her life is so unmanageable. I don’t want to lay in bed bargaining with someone or something about her finding the path home. I have made more deals about not swearing, going to church, giving to the needy, donating money, and the like that I should have been able to save a thousand addicts by now, but that isn’t how it works.

The way it works is denial comes and goes. And anger is always there, and no matter how much bargaining I do, nothing will change, and it’s depressing that I have to accept that she is going to ruin her life whether I like it or not. A part of parenting is having a plan for our kids, and for them to not want to follow that plan. And that is ok. Except when it is making living so difficult. When people say to me that they are sorry, I say that they should be sorry for her, not me. My life will go on, one way or the other. All of that is true, but the endless stages of grief game is frustrating and annoying. There is no way to truly find acceptance. I mean, yes I accept that she is an addict, and yes I accept that I cannot control it, but I can’t accept that she will keep running until she is dead, or that she might or may recover but only if she wants it. How can she not want it? Why wouldn’t she want it? Ok…I think you get my point.

All of that while my child is alive and an addict, but she might not live, and then I have to go through it all over again, to a different degree. The joy of being a parent of an addict that dies is that there are actually 6 stages of grief. The one that no one knows about, or talks about, or thinks about, is guilt. The parent of an addict will always feel guilt. Did I throw her out soon enough? Or should I have done it? Did I yell at her too much, or not enough? Should I have sectioned her again, or did I section her too much? Did I have to ignore her call the last time because I couldn’t listen to the drama anymore? Is that why she died? Because I ignored her? Why didn’t I know she was going to die? How come I didn’t feel it? As a mother the moment she passed from this world to the next, shouldn’t I have felt SOMETHING, a sense that my child had left the earth? No matter how much or how little a person does for their addicted child there will always be something we will wish had done differently to change the ending.


Right now, as I write, my daughter is alive, and possibly in recovery. I believe she is, I think she is, I have no reason to think she isn’t, except a feeling. My father said to me that we can only hope that this last time, with the stroke and the mental deficiency that it would be a real and final wake up call to her, only I don’t think so. I don’t feel that way. I want too. I try too. I was faking it until I make it, but I can’t hide my defeat. AC says I am being negative. A friend says I am being realistic. JoDee thinks I am being an asshole. But the truth is I am stuck in one of the stages: Anger. I am so angry that 5 almost 6 years later we are still doing this dance. We are still going back and forth to hospitals and detox and rehab. We are still having moments when we don’t talk or pretend that nothing is wrong when everything is wrong. For my life anger is good. Anger is motivating and energetic and helps me concentrate at work, and clean the laundry room, and wash the kitchen floor and clean out the fireplace. Depression would have me in bed with the red blanket over my head with my cat sleeping on my chest while I refuse to adult in any capacity at all. Anger is hard for JoDee, depression is hard on my family and addiction is hard on all of us.

T. R. E. M. B. L. E.

T-Today is a new day. It is a day we should embrace because we are given another chance to do things right. To make today count. The problem with that, is if I realize it, and I know it, it’s one thing. But she has to know it. She has to feel that way. She has to take today as a blessing. If she is making excuses, and blaming others, and focusing on the wrong then, today won’t count. It will just be a repeat of yesterday and all the yesterdays gone by.

R– Remembering how she was when she was young is both painful and helpful. She used to be so innocent, and beautiful, and kind, respectful. Now she is a shell of the girl she used to be. Now she is planning her next scheme, looking for away to work less but get more. She is looking for a way out or a short cut or an excuse or someone to blame. Gone is the girl who would beg to feed to feed her little brother, or would ask for chores to earn a dollar, and wanted to learn to mow the lawn. Now she feels like life owes her something, that she is the victim of her own doing and is deserving of all that others have.

E-Everywhere I go I am reminded of what is or could be or was. A mother with her little girl in the park looks like we used. A banged up girl on the bus looks like her now. The man at the Red Sox game nodding off into his beer looks familiar. The woman in the ER with the child passed out in her lap has the body of her own but the face of me.

M-Mothers are breed to protect their children. Mother instincts are not just a saying; they are in fact a real feeling. When the child grows up to be a heroin addict the instinct is now a curse. All the things a parent will do to protect their children, the mother will do, is the wrong thing. The way we would protect our children before now becomes enabling and dangerous. The feeling we have to stand in front of our children, shielding them with our own body, not only is harmful to our children, but may even result in a knife in our back. Mother becomes could world for mistake. And a big mistake will end up with a dead child because if we don’t make them responsible for their own actions it can be lethal.

B-Because we have to change everything we every knew about parenting means forgetting all the things we have become, and learned, and have grown into to instead be a jailer, and probation officer, drug specialist, hard-ass that we don’t even recognize when we look in the mirror. When I look in the mirror.  And because I don’t recognize myself I become the other B word. Bitter.  I am bitter that my life doesn’t look like I wanted it too, or that my daughter’s life doesn’t look like it should, and that I have to un-parent one child but still remember to parent the others. It becomes confusing.

L-Laughter is something I miss. Laughter is something that should reside in everyone’s household along with their pets, and memories, and experiences. Laughter should not be something that is malleable. It shouldn’t bend, and leave, or break and come back.  It should be part of every persons being. Laughing should be as present and tangible in every life. When laughter is missing, it is evident. The atmosphere is heavy and dark.  When laughter is present the atmosphere is light and bright and has a lot of hope.

E-Everyday I tremble with fear that she will be dead that day. Waking up with hope that things will change is becoming less frequent. Trembling is feeling, movement, or sound or a physical or emotional condition marked by trembling.  I have learned a person can tremble with laughter, with fear, with joy, with anxiety, or love. Hatred and anger can also make a person tremble. Desperation and anticipation can cause trembling as can heroin withdrawal, alcohol withdrawal, detoxing and overdose. When a person is administered narcan, and brought back from near dead, the will have involuntary shakes and trembling while also swearing, vomiting, and general disorientation or agitation.

To Whom It May Concern:

Hello. How are you? I hope this letter finds you  well. All things considered, this year has been awful. I am not the only one who has found that 2017 has really sucked ass. Now, I know that sounds harsh, and judgmental but there must be a way to make this better.  I am not sure who to reach out too, but I was wondering how to change our karma, or clean our spirit, or otherwise chase off the black cloud.  Can you help a girl out with that?

Just to recap this year, which I might point out has only been 31 days , I have listed them below:

  1. The sale of our house was delayed, and delayed, and prolonged, and completely fucked. This ended with us having to move the previous owner out, and keeping half the crap to dispose of ourselves. Fan-effing-tastic.
  2. The first few weeks in the house, we painted, and organized while we waited to have our rugs and floors put in. At some point, someone knocked the thermostat off the wall, and no one noticed so our new house, that I hate, and can’t stand, was absolutely freezing. Because we have too much going on, it took us like ten days before we figured out how to turn the heat up.
  3. The state of our union is looking bleak since no one can agree and the hate being slung around is vicious and soul-sucking. One of my few luxuries at the moment is flipping through Facebook to see how the rest of the normal world lives and that has been ruined by politics. Thanks for that .
  4. I have spent more than I care to think about, or tell AC about with retail therapy. Sadly, and really unfortunately for my wallet, I could buy anything I want from the convenience of my phone. Apply Pay has ruined me financially; however, the new house that I hate has been decorated handsomely. Also, I had no idea I could buy LED candles for the new candle holders for my mantel that have a remote control! That is simultaneously horrifying at the sheer laziness and exciting that I can turn them on without leaving my couch.
  5. My daughter overdosed on drugs, had a stroke, and was left on the street like a piece of garbage without a care in the world. As a result she has lost feeling in her right leg and foot, and suffered short term memory loss. I sat in Mass General Hospital for a week reminding her multiple times a day where the nurse call button is, and why she ordered a grill cheese for the fifth time in a row. I watched her legs swell up with edema, and her oxygen level dip because of water retention. I did this all while trying to suppress my anger at her addiction, at the dickhead that helped her get to that point and to the future which will probably involve long-term short term memory loss.
  6. While trying to leave the hospital to sleep in my own bed after several days on the sleeper chair that had the potential to catapult me onto the floor every time I moved, I had an incident in the parking garage. The incident begins with not remembering where I parked my car since I was there for so long. Then I realized I was on the wrong floor so I took the stairs to the lower floor. I don’t know if it was from sleep deprivation or frustration or an MS thing but I slipped on the stairs, grabbing the railing to steady myself and pulled muscles in my neck, shoulder and back. That was fun. Good times all around.

So basically what I am saying is cut the fucking shit out. We need a break. If the entire year is going to go like this, I have to say, I cannot be held responsible for my actions. I have begun carrying the bat in my car again, just in case. And my witty, charming sarcasm has become a little more edgy then is absolutely necessary. Anything you can do to help turn this around would be great.


Also, I am willing to compromise. You can continue to make my life suck at your will, if you leave my kids alone.



Everything Opposite

Everything Opposite

I am concerned about jinxing myself, as I have stated before. So, in an attempt to trick karma/the universe/whoever decides what is jinxable, this is opposite day. I am not saying that everything I am going to write is the not true but merely insinuating that readers should think of these statements as contradictory to real life.  Let’s begin.

  1. The house move is going splendidly. Very organized and well thoughts out. Not at all crazed and confused.
  2. I can’t wait to move into our new house which I love. So much. Love it.
  3. I was not at all upset when a tiny pebble, a miniscule little stupid fleck of a rock flew out of nowhere making a quarter size cracks in my windshield. I laughed. I wasn’t mad. I definitely did not swear.
  4. I am so looking forward to Christmas. I cannot wait for the fun which some might interpret as chaos and worthy of self mutilation, but not me. I am grinning ear to ear.
  5. I am not at all easing my stress and aggravation with retail therapy in the form of online shopping. I do not have so many packages and boxes stacked in my bedroom that Diego scared the crap out of me when he jumped on them in the middle of the night causing the entire stack to fall over on to my bed and on to the exact spot that I was sleeping in.
  6. I am looking forward to all the wrapping I have to do. I simply can’t wait.

And lastly, since it’s OPPOSITE day and you should consider this to be CONTRARY, I will say JoDee is doing, ugh, so bad. Horrible. Can’t stand having her at home. Such a drag. We don’t laugh and laugh and laugh until she snorts which makes me laugh more. She is not behaving, and following the rules and cleaning up after herself. And she looks like crap. She does not have absolutely clear and beautiful skin and put some weight on. She does not look so healthy that it’s hard not to stare at her and she doesn’t seem happy at all.

I won’t go on and on about all the contradictory things that have been going on. I definitely am not treasuring this time. Not at all. No way.


Mother of The Year

So. I never said I had good ideas. I just have ideas. Sometimes my ideas come to fruition and are awesome. And sometimes, they suck. Suck may be a little judgie. They don’t work out as intended. This Thanksgiving probably falls somewhere in the middle between fan-tab-ulous and suck-a roo. As far as ideas go, anyways. My plan was to flip things upside down. I did not want to have another holiday where we pretend that everything is hunky dory when it isn’t. We do this pretend thing that I hate. It basically means we do the exact thing we would do any other holiday while ignoring the fact that JoDee isn’t home, or JoDee is home and is high, or JoDee is home and is not high but I am worrying like a lunatic that she will be high at any moment. I just can’t keep doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. I am still insane though.

My plan was to have all of us, the entire family including the rotten teenagers that would need to be dragged kicking and screaming, to volunteer somewhere in the morning. I wasn’t really going to share my plan with them. I just was going to ease them into it when they got up in the morning. Like you know, when they got up in the morning just sort of saying let’s go for a ride and show up at our location. In the end I basically told them to be ready at a said time. I was really surprised how many organizations need help delivering, serving or otherwise preparing meals for the less fortunate. In the end I chose to stay close to home and we spent the morning running deliveries to shut-ins, the elderly, or anyone who for whatever reason couldn’t get out for a hot meal. The woman who organizes the whole thing has been doing it for ten years. She begins months and months in advance. This year she was able to feed 2000 people.  She is amazing and it was absolutely humbling to be part of it the little bit that we did. Some folks worked the night before and began again at 5am on Thanksgiving.  We were not that hard-core, though we should have been.  I was so Thankful to be part of it. Were the rest of my family is the question.

Yes. Everyone grumbled and moaned about where are we going and what are we doing but once we got there and everyone was able to see those we were helping they were grateful to be part of it. It took a moment or two to get there.

These boys were not thrilled with me:


The boys had to go to Daddy-O’s so they left after a few hours. The girls, AC and I stayed until after 1. At three the boys would be home and we were going to visit JoDee. But between 1-3 was a period of time I hadn’t considered. It never really occurred to me that I should have had something for them to eat or something else to do. We drove through a few towns, including our own looking for something to eat. I totally thought the Chinese Food place would be open. I kept saying we could get Chinese Food. I mean, isn’t Chinese Food places open always? Even during the apocalypse? Like what the hell? No. The answer is no. Typically the only place open on Thanksgiving are restaurants that require a reservation. Except one. There was one place we found open.

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Mother of the year took her family to MCDONALDS!!!!!!!!!! Oh, my god. It’s humiliating. Yup. That happened. #sometimesIembarrassmyself  #youhavetobekiddingme #thatwasarealtreatNOT

That was certainly a moment I will never be able to forget. I’m sure the kids will be saying for years remember that time we had McDonald’s for Thanksgiving. Sweet Jesus.  Anyway. After that we had just enough time to go home to pass out for a quick nap before we went to see JoDee.  That was the highlight of the day.  She was so happy to see us, and we were so happy to see her too. Everyone but Jared. Jared wouldn’t come but I know he will come around eventually. He has every right to be mad at her, so hopefully by Christmas he will be willing to visit.

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On the way home we were laughing and talking about the new house and when JoDee came home. I apologized again for the McDonald’s incident and the kids surprised me by saying that this was one of the best Thanksgivings they ever had. We all agreed that the day was amazing and wonderful and uplifting.  So drastic from last year.

Last year was a miserable Thanksgiving. The morning after I was desperate to get a hold of her because she turned off her phone so I went to Facebook hoping she would see it:


I must have been in lala land because I have no idea why I used a screen shot I took of 5:55 on Sept 30 but who the hell knows. I won’t even get into what that Black Friday looked like for us but you can refresh your memory if you want, here Black Friday.  This year this was how my Black Friday started:



I guess I brushed my teeth a little vigorously because the toothbrush flew out of my hand right into the freaking toilet.  And no, I did not keep it. I bought a new one, thank you very much.






Conjecture and Disgrace

There is a lot going on with our nation right now. Today marks an important day, being Election Day. Our country will not be the same, either way. It’s a country divided and really at war with itself. When I think about the significant times in American history I can’t help but compare them to current events. During the abolishment of slavery there were those that didn’t think change was necessary and there were those that could see the future of America, making all of the citizens free.  During the women’s lib movement, there were men that good understand and value the support needed for women to have equal rights.  When segregation was ending there were American’s that wanted all of our citizens to be treated fairly and equally and not be ostracized due to skin color. There are many examples of this, I could go on forever. However, the common theme is those that want change and those that don’t.  Only each side views change differently.  Each side believes that their side wants the change, even when the change is more of the same.  Who can be sure what is right? What if right is wrong? People that are wrong, often don’t know it. And can’t recognize it. If they did, they would see it from the other side.  My point is, each party is fighting for or against their own fundamental beliefs. Sometimes it is hard to be able to see the forest through the trees. And let’s face it, while we have come a long, long way, we still have miles to go. Racial profiling still happens, women are paid less than men by as much as $0.25 on the dollar and the LGBTQ families suffer hate crimes, discrimination and still do not have equal rights as their heterosexual counterparts.  America was built on fundamental beliefs of justice and evenhandedness, but it is clearly still a work in progress.

We, as a society, are divided and it is painfully obvious that is not going to resolve anytime soon. It could not be clearer then when looking at the addiction families. It is not bad enough that when our children or loved ones are suffering from addiction that we have to live on the edge of our worst fears waiting for the call that they have died. But then when that call comes, and it is more likely than ever to happen, the family is bombarded with disgusting and vile comments about the addict deserving their death, or getting what they deserve. How did we become such a cruel society? How did we become a whole that splits in half pointing fingers at each other looking for blame? When we spend so much time pointing fingers and calling out whose fault it is we spend zero time looking for a solution to the problem.  Recently I read an article about a woman who lost 3 sons. THREE SONS. Three. I cannot fathom going through this nightmare with three children. It is literally paralyzing to me.  That is the epitome of suffering addiction. Those poor boys suffered watching each other die off, the mother suffered burying each one and the entire family suffered the loss of a future. Add to that the mother is a recovering addict and it is a perfect storm of devastation.

Once again, because I truly never learn, I clicked on the comments underneath the article. And once again, because nothing really changes, I was disgraced by humanity. The cruelty of people is just unbelievable. And I do mean unbelievable in the most absolute and outrageous way.  Sometimes I am embarrassed to be alive and sharing air with people who are so ignorant and disgusting.  The comments were loaded with conjecture. The mother must be the problem if all three kids died. The mother is an addict too so don’t donate to the Gofundme page because she will probably use the money for drugs. Don’t donate because she deserves to lose her kids if she is a dirty scumbag addict too. On and on. I read them all. There were plenty of people offering supportive words about the loss but the bad definitely out weighted the good. It was horrifying.  I understand that there is some speculation on how three boys from the same family end up so deep in addiction they lose their life, especially under the supervision of a mother that is an addict herself.  Doesn’t anyone ask why?  Instead of crucifying this family, did anyone stop to ask why this has happened? In the supposed land of opportunity?

I’m sure a lot of people say it’s because the mother did drugs so the kids followed in her foot steps. That’s true. I believe that is very probable but, there is still a why. What led the mother to that lifestyle? Well, who the hell knows. No one. No one knows for sure. It really doesn’t make it any less tragic. An entire family has been wiped out by addiction and that is fucking tragic. It’s awful.  I can preach myself blue about disease versus choice or behavior versus mental health, though I think that would be futile.  There is just no forgiveness or natural kindness anymore. Now every time something bad happens to someone we say that was karma making it right, or that the person deserved whatever they got. Who are we? It’s disgusting.

The truth is that the way we live and are raised and are praised or not typically shapes who we become as people. Positive feedback and encouragements causes a self-amplifying cycle where positive change leads to even greater change and continued growth in a positive and self-satisfying way. Negative feedback or discouragement does the exact opposite. If a child is raised in a place where they are told they can be whatever they want, and can do whatever they want, they will believe that and strive for the best. If a child is raised in an environment that is predominantly negative they will believe that they cannot do things, or they are not good enough and it will have lifelong effects resulting in unconstructive behavior.  Those types of behaviors follow people and families for decades.  I recently read a study about children raised in poorer neighborhoods versus those raised in wealthier neighborhoods. In some instances the children were both born to poorer families (young, unwed mothers from well-to-do families) or mothers. Even though there were similarities in financial background such as mother’s working as a waitress or in a department store with no father participation or very little participation, the children raised in wealthier places were ten times to be more successful than those in the poorer neighborhoods.

It’s hard to imagine that a women that loses three sons to addiction and is an addict herself wasn’t also raised in that same environment. And, it’s not hard to imagine that the worse this addiction epidemic becomes the more of this sort of thing that will happen.  Everything starts somewhere. Poor decisions, impulsivity and negative self image are bred and developed. They are learned. And they can be unlearned, helping an entire generation crawl out of hell and into real life, but that doesn’t happen by telling them what a flaming piece of shit they are. Reading the story of this woman and her three dead sons made me sad for her AND in spite of her but I can’t judge her even though that sounds contradictory.  There has to be more compassion from one human to another.  Otherwise why bother living.



Morning Drive

IThis morning I decided to finally bring JoDee some clothes. She has been at the program for a little while now and she has called asking a few times. Each time I sort of blew her off but she sounded really good the last time I talked to her. I bought her some sweatpants, a sweatshirt and socks which AC then washed and packed. I was apprehensive to say the least. Namely, I was afraid going there was going to jinx it so this was the thoughts and sometimes actually talking out loud to myself that happened in the ride from my house to the drop off location:

Shit, I’m going to be late. I’m going to be late for work. I don’t even know where I am going. Oh, GPS.

Lady, don’t cut me off and drive slow. Hello? Do you have a gas pedal? It’s a GREEN light. (Beeps horn) DRIVE. (While passing her) Oh nice. Baby in the back and a phone in your hand. Why am I not surprised? BAD MOTHER.

(receive text from Jay J and pick up phone) Shit, I’m a hypocrite. Shit. Ok fine, she isn’t a bad mother. Wait, I don’t have a kid in my car. Oh lovely, pull into dunks with your head buried in your phone to load your kid on sugar. Oh, don’t be so judgmental. I suck.

Damn it I need gas. When did that light come on? Was it on yesterday? Did I need gas yesterday? There will be a gas station on 114.

Shit. GPS is taking me off 114. There must be a gas station around here somewhere. Why is there no gas station? Hello don’t people in this town need gas? What kind of non-gas-needing towns people live here? Omg this is ridiculous. I am going to run out of gas. That will be humiliating. Again. Oh- I can ask that guy where there is a gas station (start to slow down). Oh my god that guy looks like Hannibal Lector! Jesus he will probably cut my eye lids off and feed them to that mangy looking dog. Fuck.

No! Is my car stalling? Shit no. Ok. Still going. This sucks. I just got my license fixed from all of JoDee’s tickets and now I have to get gas too? What more does the Universe want from me? I am only one woman! Oh good, a gas station.

What the hell kind of rusty, crusty, dusty ass gas station is this that it doesn’t let me pay at the pump! Of course. Uh oh. This must be full service….. (hops back in, put window down). Christ on a cracker I am drunk. I am drunk off that mans breath. I will fail a field sobriety test right now. Jesus Mother of God.

Who is calling me from a Danvers number? Shit, the school. Jared did what? No. No he did not say he admired Alexander the Great for chopping off people’s noses and ears. Wow. No words for that one. Crap.

Ok I’m here. Here I am. There are a ton of people outside. I don’t see JoDee. If she ran away I will kill her. She ran away. I know she did. I will effing kill her. I knew it. She isn’t here.

Oh. My. God. She looks amazing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Me calling AC: You guys worry for nothing. She looked great and is doing well. Have some faith.

AC: I’m hanging up.