Monday, October 28, 2013

So here I am 15 years later.

Life actually does continue after dealing with all the drama, jails, rehabs. Guess what? I survived. More or less intact.

Who'da Thunk?

Most of my life today revolves around parenting my grandchildren and helping my mentally ill daughter learn to manage both her life and her 11 month old daughter.

So household is...DH, age 50, 100% disabled Vet.
Me, - My Facebook pages says Tired, at Mostly Retired. age 58
D - 24 (recovvering from brain injury trauma) daughter
S - age 14, should be in 8th grade, is in 10th and also a Freshman at local University granddaughter
A- age 12, 7th grade, part-time custodial grandkid, both parents function, are divorced and work shifts. granddaughter
J - age11, should be in 5th grade, is in 7th grade. granddaughter
M - D's daughter, age almost 11 Months. granddaughter

4 dogs. 3 cats.

Kids that no longer live with us?

C- Nurse, A's Mother. working full time and going back to college to be RN lives 5 mins away
R- Foster Kid, married, Nurse 4 kids lives about an hour away.
B - Son. lives with gf. Finally 10 minutes away
S1 - mother of S & J. has another child K.  still goes to methadone clinic everyday, for the last 8 years. lives about 1 hour away
C1 A's Dad. Lives about 5 mins away. A splits her time between C and C1 and Our house.

One VERY large box of Wine. Yes, I now belong to the "Boxed Wine Mom's Club on FB" !!

Most trying thing today? Getting S up for school! I am so sick and tired of multiple trips up and down stairs to wake that kid up!!  I can literally scream in her face and she just sleeps peacefully on with her alarm clock making very LOUD obnoxious noise 6 inches from her ear!!  How DO they do that?

I am so sick of it...after several years (since she hit teenhood) I called school the other day and talked to principal. I said "look, I know the law. But here's the thing. This kid, although only 14, has GOT to learn to get out of bed herself!!  I realize that I won't get a visit from truant officer until she has 10 unexcused absences. Here is my thought.  I wake her ONE TIME. If she fails to get up, she misses bus, and therefore school. The next day when she shows up WITHOUT A NOTE FROM ME EXCUSING HER STUPIDITY, can you PLEASE just give her both Friday Night Detention AND Saturday Detention?  Is that in your power? Because I am pretty damn sick and tired of this shit!!"  (this was on a voicemail btw, yah, I am one of those weirdo's who talk to VM  like I have you on the phone...)

He called back, chuckling and left ME a VM (I was taking a nap and didn't feel like answering) and said "I would be MOST happy to bend the procedures a bit in this case and will definitely be on board with your dastardly plan!)

So last night, I told S a "modified version". I simply said "Okay, here's the thing SOPHOMORE TENTH GRADER.....I will wake you ONE TIME and ONE TIME only. If you go back to sleep,  you will miss school and when you go the next day I will NOT send you a note, which means you WILL go to principal's office and you WILL get detention, - Got it?" To which she replied...Yes.

Am I being to harsh? Probably. Let's face it, the kid is 14 and a straight A student, 2 grades advanced AND going to University with a 3.8 G.P.A.  Her answer is "What do you want from me?"

Um. grades are great. Now how about cleaning the pigsty you call a room, help ME out around the house, don't talk back and also, GET UP IN THE MORNING!

She says I am being unreasonable. I tell her "that's my job!" and walk away. GRRRRR

BTW. she did, in fact, get up on her own this morning. I guess if you don't HAVE to do something, you won't? Now she has to because I refuse. It will be HER suffering the consequences, not me.

Which, as any of you who have been with me all along's what I sort of started out wanting to do. I know PART of their mom's addiction was because she had no coping skills for failure, AND, Stupid parent's that we were back then, we rushed in where even Angel's fear to tread. So I did decide to NOT make that mistake again, and to let the girls suffer the consequences of their actions (or lack thereof).

That's a lot harder than it sounds. God I love these Grandbabies an awful lot,and I have to constantly watch myself from thinking..."oh, give them a break. both their parents are poly abusers, dad's currently in jail, mom just go out of 15th or 16th rehab (I've lost count).....

That is SUCH a dangerous road to go down. Every parent is an enabler, it's what we freaking DO as parents from the day we bring them home from the hospital!! Its what our culture raised us to do.

So, I have to "self-check" on a daily, sometimes hourly basis. Not let them use that as an excuse (they have tried) and not offer it to them as an excuse.

I thought about it the other day. for 42 years straight now, I have been parenting children and running a house (sometimes while holding a full time job). You know what?

I am REALLY TIRED of this.  I get sick and tired of making dinner every night. Sick and tired of cleaning. Wish I was rich enough to hire someone. Dream about hitting Lottery (I've heard your chances are proportionately higher if you play however....) buying a mansion, paying taxes 100 years in advance, and hiring a maid and a cook. Spend most of my time in whirlpool bath with a glass of Cabernet and a good book.

That's MY fantasy!!

Good day all. Hope you find your way here. This blog is about the insanity of teenagers being raised by a tired, bitchy old lady.

Welcome to Life After A Junkie Kid.


  1. **I know PART of their mom's addiction was because she had no coping skills for failure**

    This is an interesting idea.

    Love your new blog. Hope to hear more form you.....try to egt some rest today. I know, easier said than done.

    1. Annette. I put so MUCH research into this...OMG. When we decided to take the girls, I was like. WELL SELF. I know it's not my FAULT that Calamity became addicted.....but Really, WTF happened? So, research being my specialty and not wanting these girls to end up like their parents...I searched and read and networked all across the U.S. Northwester, Stanford, Duke, Carnegie Mellon. Remember, Calamity was the "golden child" in our family. The one to whom everything came so easy. she was absolutely brilliant, valedictorian, full scholarship from NASA and dual majored in college in Physics and Math. What kind of kid like that ends up addicted to heroin? One who doesn't know how to fail at ANYTHING. Turns out a whopping 97% of the most successful people in the world (success meaning socially integrated, working full time, able to form relationships, etc) were AVERAGE STUDENTS. They learned AS CHILDREN, to fail. And then, to GET BACK UP and try again. And, consequently, they learned that it is possible to turn failure into success.

      My daughter never learned that because (as many of our addicts) she NEVER failed at anything until sometime in late teen/early adult hood. Now I am not talking every single junkie everywhere. But it seems a dis-proportionate percentage of our addict children were highly gifted kids who never failed. Kind of makes you wonder.....

  2. Oh Dawn... how I missed your humor & reality checks. I too am now more or less raising a grand baby age 2 & he is the joy of my life His mother.. well let's just say in 2 short years the baby brought me more joy than she has in almost 29 years. I agree with the failure part & will bang my head still to understand the "How the HELL did it get to this" & "Damn it snap out of it"! I am thankful she is clean but they may want to teach reality coping skills in rehabs. All the energy being an addict takes you'd think they would have better "Deal with it " skills at the end of the day.

    1. Welcome Susan! Funny how it took me 10 flipping years to gwt my humor back. Yah. But finally, the bitterness is gone mostly. And yes. A clean junkie is a wonderful thingn but a FUNCTIONING CLEAN a bit rare. My daughter on 8th year of methadone, STILL not really functioning. Sigh. It is what it is. And dont you just LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE 2 year old's? (My fav age btw)

  3. I truly have missed your 'rantings!' love this. So real and spells human!

    1. Thanks Ame! Just visited you blog. How is little Hobbit?

  4. I totally agree about "letting them fail". That was my mistake the first time with my adult children, especially the addict, my firstborn. The 2nd and 3rd child have a lot less problems - with them i was more aware of not cushioning their falls all the time so to speak. Your blog is an excellent reminder to do a reality check frequently!

  5. Love your new blog, Dawn. I still battle the part of me that wants to enable my kids. And the part that wants their approval. Codependency ... ain't it grand? But I'm getting better!

    Our oldest is now 33. Married with three kids. He has lived with varying degrees of substance abuse since his teens. I would say he is addicted to being a victim. At times, he is quite pleasant and functional; but when life gets tough, he is just plain angry. "Poor me" mentality! That gets very old, very fast. I mean, is he really the only person in the world who has problems? So my rant would be that I am tired of living on the roller coaster that he brings to my life. It's time to grow up, accept responsibility, and stop blaming the world for his problems.

    His brother is 26, married, sober for seven years. Praise Jesus! He recently told us that it was a total lack of self-esteem that put him on the fast track to addiction. He regularly sabotaged his own "success" as he was growing through his teens. Thankfully, hubby and I realized that we had enabled big bro into victimhood, and when little bro was 19, we drew a line in the sand and said NO MORE. For him, it worked. I know there are no guarantees. Trust me. Just thankful it worked for him.

    Daughters are both married, 24 and 22. They actually managed to learn from their brothers' examples! Miracles do happen. Oldest daughter has a two-year-old little boy; I quite agree that it is a wonderful age! She is also expecting another baby next summer; we just found out.

    Raising teenagers ... children ... grandchildren ... I can't agree more that it is one of the hardest things in the world to do. And you've been doing it for about three times longer than most people. I pray that you get the rest you much need!

    Good to reconnect!

  6. Replies
    1. Tori, I've written like 3 or 4 more posts! Are they not showing up?

  7. Hi Dawn I am not seeing your November or December updates either. Your last blog story was 10/28/13. And if it is not too much to ask, i know you are busy, but this follower of yours is curious as to your opinion on handling holiday get-togethers and the many requests of birth parents to attend community events in addition to their visitation. My opinion is, since my daughter/their Mom (in recovery) is not yet paying child support and is only 4 1/2 months out of correctional rehab, that we need to really stick to the supervised visit schedule with exceptions only for Christmas Day. She wants to pay for a movie and all of us go and of course tell the kids its her treat, even though again, she is not paying child support. She also asking if she and her new bf can treat us to several community events like the zoo Christmas program and other events. Sadly for the recovering addict, these have become our traditions. I am leery of including her in these events so early in her sobriety. Please Dawn, enlighten us on your experience with this issue!!!

  8. Hi Dawn, love your new blog and as always your brutal honesty with a big dash of humor! Renee