Thursday, December 26, 2013

Another Christmas Survived

Nice Church service. There was my family, six others, the Priest, the choir director and the Acolyte. LOL. Very small turnout. There was a midnight Mass scheduled which we usually attend, but we chose the 7 pm service because of the baby this year.

Calamity showed up 15 minutes late and loaded. Sigh.

Girls were all very good and baby crawled all over the church.

Horrid Pic of me, but girls all look nice.

S ended the Service with the Traditional second verse solo of Silent Night. (The lights are lowered, it's very moving and the church goes dark as Crappy video (taken by J) but voice is nice!!

The next day, the madness started. Well not exactly the next day. RIGHT before we left for church S asked if she could spend Christmas Eve with Calamity. I said, Really? you whip this out on me 10 minutes before we are ready to leave for church?

I just gave up and said yes. It just wasn't worth her ruining everyone's Christmas Eve with attitude and snarkiness, which would have happened.

However, had I known her mother would be loaded....

At any rate, the only kids we ended up with were J and M1.  So we got a bit of a ly-in on Christmas morning.

Everyone loved their gifts, which was AMAZING as we had such limited funding this year. I actually DID do the Wal Mart Black friday thingy to score J a new laptop for 178. It was a deal I couldn't pass up as our budget was $200 per child!

S showed up with Calamity and K about 11 am, and they loved their gifts as well. (we only buy for the kids now, too many in the family!)

While they were here, oldest daughter C came over with A, who had spent the night with her Mom.

And the battle commenced.  Calamity is sitting at table being snarky because son in law refused to pass the peace with her at church last night...(He didn't, but as he is a recovering alcoholic of 15 years AND his father is a Lutheran Minister, he was MIGHTILY offended by Calamity showing up loaded in church), so he shook her hand and then turned away.

Calamity starts making barbed and pointed comments. C comes breezing in with A and bf L, Tells me she has to cook some dessert thingy for work (nurse, working afternoon shift) and begins DESTROYING my kitchen (which I had just cleaned).

She C is ignoring her sister Calamity, Calamity is snarking about this and that, Dave is hiding in bedroom, kids are playing, we are desperately trying to get M1 to TAKE A NAP (epic failure). I am texting Son in law (nurse's ex husband) and asking him if he has a sharp olive fork so I can gouge my eyeballs until blood squirts out!

He says....(remember this is the recovering alcoholic), Go and POUR YOURSELF A GLASS OF WINE!!

What a MARVELOUS idea!! and so I did.

Eventually they all left. I got up and cleaned the kitchen. It was relatively quiet. Son in law had made this MASSIVE lasagna for me to cook on Christmas Day so I wouldn't have to mess with anything. I love him!

I put it in the oven, kicked back and read, sitting at kitchen table with my tablet. LOL.

Kids played. Baby finally slept for a few. Quiet reigned.

Son in law came over at 2:30 when he got off work and picked up A, and then they came back for dinner about 5 ish.

S wanted to spend the night with her BF who lives 3 houses away, so I said yes. She texted me at 12:30 pm to tell me one of her braces brackets FELL OFF. I didn't get the text till this morning when I awoke, and am waiting for her to answer me. It may require a trip to orthodontist. It's SNOWING again and orthodontist is a one hour drive NORTH...where it is ALSO Snowing....

Life goes on. and on. and on.

My wish for all of us out there, that our children find sobriety, or if that can't happen, that we find peace with their addiction. That we stop putting money down a heroin hole. That we take back OUR lives and LIVE them. That we continue to pray.

Monday, December 23, 2013


So very weird. So much of what I am going through right now seems to trigger flashbacks to when my daughter was using actively.

My nights are filled with weird dreams of betrayal by differing members of my family. The dreams are somewhat based in reality, and so are quite disturbing.

We just bought a car a few months ago, which is a whopping $540 a month, which is putting a strain financially, but then we needed a car so what can you do?  Thanks to Calamity, our credit STILL sucks (2 years left till everything is off the old credit record).  Our son has willingly become unemployed and therefore is NOT making his student loan payments, which we then had to take over because my In-Laws house is on the line as they co-signed them (they are in their 70's). That's another $400 a month. He doesn't seem to really care. Additionally, his older sister Nursey had the cell phone bill in HER name and she is trying to purchase a home. So, to keep the unpaid and whopping Verizon bill off her credit record, we had to add that to the list of things we shouldn't be paying, but are. Another $100 a month there. Between the car and the son, that's a whopping $1140 a month. A third of our income.

What's left? enough to barely pay the bills, (mortgage, electric, natural gas, water, garbage, cable, cell phone bill, car and home insurance). Barely.

Meanwhile, Pint who is going through a rough age and has unfortunately spent LOTS of time with Calamity (remember the bad bad ice/snow storms a few weeks ago). Well, because Calamity is STILL driving over 2 hours to the methadone clinic and we leave fairly close to the major highway, she spent like 3 days at our home. Her and K, the 6 year old. So that she could get to methadone clinic easier in the snow.

And...of course, most of the time was spent with Pint, who has a queen sized bed in her room. So they could sleep together. God only knows what the conversations were. Pint has been very hostile to me since then. Kind of makes ya wonder.

Here is the hard part. Calamity has to take K (1/4 Pint) to clinic with her unless she leaves her here. So, it's logical in bad weather to have them both stay. I certainly do NOT want my granddaughter (1. going to a methadone clinic at all) and 2. being in a car at 5 a.m. before the roads are even salted and plowed and driving 115 miles.

So yes, I could say NO, but then, God forbid if something happens. Guess who would be blamed? Me. in a nutshell.

Sometimes, I feel as though choice has been taken away. And that is the reasons for the flashbacks.

As parents of an active addict, we lose our choice. And our control.  And, as parents of a non active addict, we sometimes have to make decisions which make us uncomfortable and backed into a corner. That's where I am.

It is rather taking the  joy out of the season. I hate that. Not that I am a Christmas nutso. I never have really been. I don't for the most part, decorate. I don't do alot of cooking. Thanksgiving has always been my Holiday.

I am hiding the stupid Elf on the Shelf (I would personally like to surround the inventors of that with a host, no, a HORDE of rabid pre-schoolers, and they have to hide about a thousand of those damn Elf's every night...)

The tree is up. Today is cookie making day. After an unseasonable three day spring weather hiatus, we are decently back to freezing temperatures!! Snow (or at least a chance of snow) is predicted for the next 3 days. Hopefully, there will be snow on the ground come Wednesday!

Control freak that I am, it just is WRONG to have temps in the high 60's 5 days before Christmas!! I mean, when I lived in Florida, when I lived in Hawaii, no one expected snow so it was a bit of alright. But in NE Ohio, where winter is WINTER, well, there is a 'natural order of things in the universe' which the universe just simply should NOT mess with. Okay?

It's quiet right now. Coffee. Kidlets still sleeping. It's holiday from school time so I am not giving them their ADHD meds intentionally. The ones they are on do not have withdrawals. I am trying to see if they nasty, snarky attitudes I have been presented with lately have a correlation between the meds and the behavior.  Or, is it something else?

I read recently Annette's blog and felt so good for her to have a NORMAL day, doing NORMAL things for the Holiday in the midst of the usual chaos we POA's go through.

I was a bit jealous!! LOL. But in a good way.

Also concerned because another of our group is having to take a newborn grandchild. Sigh. When we started, I was the only one who was doing the unthinkable and attempting the impossible, i.e. raising the children of my addict daughter. Now the close club has grown, and that is a very sad thing.  Most of us are now (at this point) FB friends and have each other's cell #'s. So that helps.

It does feel rather like I am emotionally vomiting all over this blog. Sorry. My mind is a jumble of things. Son doesn't really speak to us because he owes me over $3,000 and deep down, he knows how hard he has made it.  Son also caused a good bit of problems for us by running his mouth recently. This is a VERY small town. And so, the gossip got around (none of it true) and although I could have made the rounds of my few friends and proved everything wrong, I didn't feel that I should have to open our finances to anyone to prove the gossip wrong. So, I lost all my friends. In retrospect, after knowing me for over 10 years, none of them should have believed a word of it. But, they apparently did. So I feel a bit on the abandoned side there.

Calamity is complaining all the time she has no money. she has repeatedly disappointed the girls by promising things to them and then not being able to  produce. She called to see if she could borrow some money. While I was laughing hysterically talking to her, I suggested that she GET OFF METHADONE and she would have $1200 in just 3 weeks?  She said that wasn't an option. WOW. So you are complaining to me that you don't have money to buy 1/8 Pint and Christmas presents, but you spend $150 a week for the clinic and $250 a week for the gas to drive 2 hours each way, 7 days a week?  Since she got KICKED OUT of the methadone clinic that the medical card was paying for because she popped dirty AGAIN after the rehab, she now has to travel OUT OF STATE to a new methadone clinic which the medical card does NOT cover, and so, she DOES NOT GET REIMBURSED FOR THE MILEAGE. That, as you all know, was her PRIMARY source of income. (to the tune of $1200 a month). Sucks to be her yah?

Um. hellloooooo. Junkie thinking. Junkie behavior.

I did manage to get the girls presents. Not a lot.  But enough. We have food. Not alot. But enough. There is a half tank of gas. Not alot. But enough. We have been through worse. We will survive, because HEY! That's what we do!!

Biggest problem now? 1/2 Pint still believes. In 7th grade. At age 11. How do I let her down gently?

I am thinking just give her her presents Christmas morning, and they will all be from Meemaw and Pappy? and leave it go at that. Any ideas?

Love and Peace. A few prayers wouldn't hurt either.

Friday, December 20, 2013


Today is the last day of school before Christmas Vacation begins. Sigh. Our tree is up, but not yet decorated. It sits, forlorn and forgotten on the table in the corner where the baby cannot reach it.

J is a bit upset. SHE thinks we should have completely rearranged the incredibly small living room furniture to accommodate the Christmas Tree and put the BIG TREE up.. The BIG TREE has a footprint of roughly 8 feet with branches extended.  Our living room is 15.5 x 15. um. Not happening!!

I think J knows deep in her heart that this is the LAST Christmas where she will actually believe. She is almost 11 & 1/2 years old. Yes, Virginia, she still believes.  We have the damn Elf on the Shelf and I have a stupid alarm on my phone that goes off at 10:30 every night and says "Twinkle Time!"  grrr. I then get out of bed where I was almost asleep and find another place to hide the bloody thing.

Since J is in 7th grade, and really, WHO believes in 7th grade? No one except her. I am going to wrap all the presents this year (in our house, borne of my laziness-Santa presents are NOT wrapped). Each and every present will not appear until Christmas morning, but  ALL of them will say from Meemaw and Pappy.

Yes, her bubble will be burst. Sad.

Funny story. My niece who lives in New Orleans with her Navy husband on base, they have my great nephew X. X is 6 years old. He too, has an Elf on the Shelf. He is a REAL pistol. So my niece who is quite inventive.....and a bit of a pip herself...decided that X's behavior could be improved a bit.

His Elf turned EVIL. Kept getting into trouble!  His Elf, instead of being dressed in the requisite Red and White, suddenly sported a Ninja outfit!!  And at night, that rascal would do things. String toilet paper all over the stairs. Take all of X's toys in the playroom and mix them up!  Change out Army men to BARBIES!! Hide his Skylander collection in the GARBAGE CAN!!

After two weeks of  evil alternate personality, my niece called the North Pole, and was told by Santa himself that if X improved HIS behavior, the Elf would correspondingly do the same. There is apparently a precedent set, and rules. You have to TOUCH the Elf to re-activate his magic, and solemnly swear to be a better boy, to try harder to be good. Lo! and Behold!! Evil Elf turned back into Elf on the Shelf.

I thought it was hilarious. Of course, I am a bit warped.

S has settled down. She survived her grounding.

J is a bit snarky lately.

M is still a good mom, but spends all her time when M1 is sleeping also sleeping on the couch. If I ask her to get up and run sweeper, etc., she will do it. Yesterday, I almost fell off my chair. She did it WITHOUT being told!!

That is a pretty big deal for a schizophrenic.  Even though she is well maintained on her meds, the LAST thing to come around is personal hygiene, organizational skills and social skills. Yes, I still have to tell her "it's time to bath the baby", and things like that. I have to tell her M, it has been almost a week since you showered or changed clothes. M, it's time to do your laundry.

It's rather like having 4 teenage girls and a  baby, even though M is almost 25.  That is mental illness. If you don't live with it, you don't really understand.

Again, it is what it is.

M1 continues to be a delightful baby, happy and very independent. she is About to take her FIRST STEP. Any minute now. She has 'let go' a couple of times, which I suppose would have counted, but she quickly grabbed for the nearest couch, wall or finger. LOL.

I am not quite as tired. I think my body just sort of....goes on strike occasionally. My body knows when I am at the line approaching my end. And it just quits. I have no energy, and it is all I can do to clean the kitchen, cook dinner. I don't even want to run errands or shop.

Really, all I want to do is sleep. But, I have found throughout the years, that my body seems to know what is best for itself, and that if I indulge it, I get better quicker.

I did manage to sort through and clean the girls rooms. I also told them this is absolutely the LAST TIME I will ever do so.

If I have to go up again, it all goes in a trash bag. Computers, cell phones, tablets, whatever. And I will not pick up the garbage either. They will just have nothing anymore to clean.

DH isn't crazy about that, being as how we PAID for all of those expensive electronic items. But still, if you don't lose, you don't VALUE?

J is getting a new laptop for Christmas. Only because I snagged one at the Black Friday sale. Our budget per child is only $200 each for Christmas for the full time kidlets, and $50 per for the part timers, or grands who do not live with us.  That doesn't seem like much, and truthfully, it's not. But it's what we CAN afford. I refuse to overspend.

J had a laptop, handed down several times. The wireless card broke down, I went and purchased a Belkin USB wireless adapter.  Her little sister K broke it last week. J is quite upset. I told her I do not have the $69 to go out and buy her a new one! I told her if her computer was valued, she would not 1. have left it on the floor, 2. asked a 6 year old to pick it up and put it away thereby damaging the USB thingy sticking out one side of it.

Hopefully, she got the lesson?

Grades are good. S ended up with a 3.0 in her University class. she now has 18 credits and will finish her Freshman year in May.  Her high school grades are averaging a 3.8 GPA. How weird that she will graduate High School at 16, and enter her Senior year in University at 17 years and 18 days? But hey, the high school pays the tuition so it's saving us a shitload of money in tuition!!!

J is carrying a 3.5 in Advanced Placement classes in 7th grade. Well, except that she missed a sign language final on 26 Nov (because I kept them home to bake for Thanksgiving) and even though it was an 'excused absence' the teacher is out on medical until 6 Jan.  So that grade shows an F. J of course, TWEAKED. I called counselor and was re-assured that teacher will be back before grades close (15 Jan) and will be able to make up test with no penalty. Thank you Lord!! That child freaks out if her GPA drops below 3.5.

I have this knack of spending almost exactly what cash I have in my wallet. LOL. I thought I had like the last $200 and we were pretty much out of food. I went to Aldi's. It came to $166.93. I opened my wallet thinking "hey, I have like almost $30 left!! WHOOP WHOOP!  Only to find I had 169 in my wallet. Forgot that I had 1. paid a doctor bill and 2. bought my prescription (which have risen exponentially since ACA, thanks Obama).  What I used to pay $5.00 for now costs me $27.

Anyway, we have food, hopefully enough to get through till we get paid the 31st.

Christmas presents are already purchased and safely ensconced in my closet. So there is really nothing left to do. Scraped by again this year. Makes me yearn for the years when we had money in the bank, but alas and alack!! those days are long gone.

Update on my South African girl, the one who was in Afghanistan and addicted to heroin. She successfully went cold turkey there, waited until she got leave (civilian job) and went home. Told her parents, and voluntarily entered a 90 day rehab program to nail down her sobriety. She is doing well. She quit the job (I told her there is just no way you can go back to Afghanistan), and is now working in S.A. which is a HUGE thing as their unemployment is about 25%. Her family was very supportive. I am very proud of her!!

I was contacted two days ago by a young woman in Australia. she is married to a junkie and has an almost 1 year old daughter. She asked if there was any hope. I had to tell her that the BABY comes first, child services would most certainly get involved, and she could actually lose custody of her daughter, who is her entire world (as it should be).  The husband's own mother won't have anything to do with him, he is preying on his wife. Stealing money, etc.

I told her in my opinion the only safe thing she can do is cut him loose. She said, but he will be  homeless. I said oh Honey. NO junkie is EVER without resources!! Trust me, if they can get dope, they can find a place to sleep. LOL. We have all been there!  I also told her that you cannot LOVE a junkie clean. Sigh. She said she was going to print out my letter and carry it with her to give her strength in the times when she would be tempted to listen to the lies. That made me feel good.

Sometimes, I do hate that I have been on the internet for 20 years. Yet, here are two women, who have been helped in one year, so I guess really it is a blessing in disguise.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

a funny thing happened on the way to morning

I just realized what my biggest problem is! Woot!

I am Retired, but do NOT get to sleep in.

There. Problem identified. Step 1. I admit I am retired yet cannot sleep in. I am powerless over my lack of sleeping in-ness.

Step 2. ??????

Headed off for Nap!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Self Doubt

It seemed a lot easier the first two times around.  I read an article this morning while perusing the news feed on my tablet. It made me stop and wonder.  The article was titled "The Bully Too Close To Home"  link

OMG. I saw myself. And then I saw my 14 year old.

Am I too critical?  Is this what the bitterness and disappointment in my addict daughter has done to me? ME??

I didn't think so. We have 5 Rules posted for the house.

1. Do not disrespect anyone.
2. Keep your space clean.
3. Get up. I have to.
4. Keep your grades up.
5. Get over it. These are NOT hard rules.

That's pretty much it.

S doesn't do so well with anything except number 4.

she is mouthy. she is lazy. she doesn't get up. she doesn't get over anything. she is a drama queen. she is sarcastic.

she is a TEEN.

But, how much have I contributed to that. I am sarcastic.

I'm  not lazy, I do get up, I am  not a drama queen. If anything, I am the antithesis of a drama queen.

But, I AM critical. I suppose.  In all honesty, I do try to be nice. I ask  nicely when she gets home, "how was your day?" to which she usually replies either "okay" or "crappy".  I pretty much just let it go at that point.

Sometimes, I just feel so fucking tired. Of parenting. Too tired to get up and do much else besides keep the bathroom and kitchen clean. Too tired to sit and talk for hours. Just too tired.

What the  HELL do I do about that?

I am stressed from the moment I get out of bed till I go to sleep. I am now having 3 glasses of wine at night. Yah. I know. And a Xanax with the last one so I can sleep.

Dr. says there is just no way I can deal anymore. He says after numerous years of extreme stress, my body has just begun to shut down. My STRESS REACTORS are broke he says.  It would take years of therapy to overcome it. At 58, I don't have YEARS. I also don't have the money. Our co-pay for mental health is 50%. Guess who cannot afford THAT??

The author of the blog says she started saying to herself (the bully)  STOP! Only love today. Only love today.

she said she had results in less than two weeks. Little things. Like letting her daughter create a garden smack dab in the middle of the nicely manicured lawn. (read control freak, like the rest of us...)

Is it really important for S to keep her room clean? I don't honestly know. 

I grounded her last week for being smart mouthed and not getting up on time. I mean literally, she had less than 10 minutes for the bus. She just got her braces. Didn't brush her teeth. Didn't wear her contacts. Didn't grab her glasses. Wore the clothes she slept in.

REALLY?  And she couldn't figure out why I was pissed. I tried for OVER AN HOUR to get her up.  

she had PLANS. I am of the opinion that if you get grounded and do not have any plans, the grounding doesn't do a whole hell of a lot. It is also the first time she has ever been grounded.

This is the kid that expects me to drive her 8 hours each way to open for some 19 year old singer in Indiana after the 1st of the year.  Gas, hotel, etc. This is the "chance of a lifetime"...according to her.

Do I want to? No.

Should I?  I have no clue. She is quite good at being a vocalist. Really good.  If I refuse, does it ruin her life? In her eyes, certainly.

Her grades are great.

she is definitely of the "entitlement" generation, something I did not think would happen. I am supposed to drop everything to see to her wants.

She says that because she helps out when asked, I shouldn't withhold anything that is within my power.

I did NOT think I would be this confused after 38 years of parenting. I pretty much thought I would have it down by now.

We don't have alot of $.  It is rob Peter to pay Paul, all year long. Son has not paid for his student loans for 6 months. He now owes me over 2 grand. That came out of household money. that WAS my disposable income each month. Son doesn't give a shit. But his GRANDPARENTS house is on the line, so WE have to pay it so THEY don't lose their house.

Taking her to Indiana just in gas is about $300 each trip. Sleep in the car time. I don't have $300 a month to do that anymore. I used to.

Blame son, but what the hell good does that do? Create MORE family discord in an already functionally dysfunctional family.

We live completely on a Disabled Vet's pension. We live on just under 45K a year. yah. and 3 teens. and a single mom and a 1 year old. 7 people. 45k a year. 650 mortgage.

stress, you are my middle name.

I literally walk around all day in a fugue of self pity. I hate myself, and the situation. I am too busy and too sick to work. I still smoke and have COPD pretty badly. Not on oxygen yet, but really, not too far off. I know I should quit, but I don't.

I am never happy. They tried me on anti-depressants. They don't work. I have been on like 9 of them. All I do is sleep and cry. for days.

Doctor said that is because I do NOT have depression. I have severe Anxiety disorder. I probably have 6-8 panic attacks PER DAY. And have for about 10 years.

That's fun. Feel like you are literally dying from a heart attack 6-8 times a day. Actually been hospitalized for it. 

Shit. Shit. Shit.

Stop! Only love today, only LOVE today.

I'll give it a try. I'll try to paste a smile on my face. I'll try. I'll try not to be critical. I'll try not to be debbie downer. I'll try to keep busy and be happy I have to clean and cook.

I used to enjoy all that. Now, it is just drudgery. I look around my house and think "my kids come from broken home."

Front door broken. Back door broken. Dishwasher broken. Refrigerator broken. Fence broken. Ceiling fan in upstairs kids room, broken.

Worse part? We have ALL the parts to fix everything. Guess who gets to do it? yep. me.

DH hasn't come out of the bedroom for over 2 months, except to get coffee. And run the occasional errand for me.

Okay. Now all I am doing is having a pity party. I'm gonna stop now.