Monday, November 12, 2007

Lack of.......

I owe you a post. I've been mulling it over in my head now for about a week trying to come up with the exact right way to express the feelings that I had and what it is like to live where I lived.

Then on Friday I went to a meeting and one of the women read about having a lack of feelings when you get so far into the dark place that is living with an active addict. I spent this weekend thinking about that phrase, "lack of feelings." Was that where I was?

Then this morning it was confirmed for me. I was dropping Zack off at daycare and there was a little girl who was just starting. Her mom and her dad were there to drop her off and her mom immediately burst into tears when she handed her over.

I didn't do that.

I dropped him off and went to work and never called to check to see how he was doing. It wasn't that I didn't love Zack but I guarantee you that I didn't love him in the way I love him now. As of right now he has not gone through the phase where he cries when I leave him there. I guarantee you if you want to see a mommy blubbering like a fool catch me once he starts that phase. THEN I will cry...

The strange part is when I was in it I didn't realize how much I had really shut down but now looking back I am overwhelmed by my lack of anything...

When you live with an active addict you draw lines in the sand. If he does this I will... and at first he would just lightly tiptoe over the line and then immediately draw back. Eventually that line was blown clear apart by a violent surf and I had to choose to leave or draw another line.

I always drew another line. This process repeated its self over and over again. And every time I sank further and further into the hopeless desperation. If you've ever known an abused or abandoned child it is much of the same thing. Eventually you just start to shut down and stop feeling because it is too hard to deal with.

I can not tell you the number of times I searched through his car praying to G_D that I wouldn't find anything and ALWAYS finding something. The first time this happened I was SO hurt. Then eventually I just started expecting to find something. It was more of a bother than a hurt, I just sort of shut it down.

Then one night we got in a fight and he peeled out of the driveway. I remember being SO upset that he would leave me. He came back a couple of hours later but then as the months passed he left more and more often and the time until he would come back got later and later. The first time it almost killed me that he would leave and I remember pacing the house until he returned. By the 20th time it just seemed like old hat. He would return eventually, it was almost a relief to have a break for a few hours.

Then one night he didn't come home. And I remember the hurt of that night. I stayed up all night trying to call him. I would call every 15 minutes then every 30 minutes then every hour. I would drift off to sleep for an hour or so and then awake with a start and dial the phone hoping he would answer.

I can remember vividly the desperation as I dialed over and over again. I remember praying for him to just answer just let me know he was okay and then I remember when he would answer and not say a word. Just press send and then end hanging up on me. The first time that happened it tore me apart. I cried and cried and cussed the phone but slowly over months and years of this I just got used to it. I became numb to the feelings.

And for a couple of years this was the way we lived. He would pick a fight with me, find an excuse to leave and then call me at 6:00 the next morning telling me how sorry he was and come home. I slowly just became numb to all of it. The name calling, the fighting, the rage, the disappointment, the anger... it all just sort of melted into a giant blob of nothingness.

There was so much desperation and anger there but there was no way for me to express it. I would drive around for hours looking for him, take his keys, chase him out of the driveway ANYTHING to get him to stay home so I didn't have to feel that void of hopelessness and sorrow.

Then Zack was born and one night he didn't come home. And the next day he didn't call and that night he didn't come home and instead of anger there was just a void. I was trying desperately to bond with this little boy and all my mind was focusing on was Jake and where he was and why he wasn't there.

I was so deep into the hole that all I could feel was empty when I should have been overflowing with love and joy at just having given birth to the most beautiful, perfect child* in the universe. And instead of being happy and in love with my child I just felt empty. I didn't have that intense over protective thing that most parents do. I left him with my mom at 2 or 3 days old to go to W*l-mart and never thought twice about it.

At the time I justified it that I was just not wanting to take him there during cold and flu season and that I knew that he was safe at her house. Now, looking back, I know it was because I wasn't bonding with him the way I should have been. I was just one giant hole of emptiness.

And that, in a nut shell was how I got to where I was and why I stayed. You get SO far down into the hole of hopelessness and despair that you can't really see your way out. Being with the addict and living day to day, moment to moment in their addiction with them becomes a way of life.

I was used to hiding my purse in my car to keep him from stealing from us. I was used to locking up my checks to keep him from stealing them. I was used to juggling funds because his paycheck didn't come home or came home not whole because he had missed work or taken money and I didn't know about it. I was used to sleeping with my keys and his keys under my pillow or hidden somewhere throughout the house.

It is the here and now that I am not used to. It is all new to me to have all of these strong feelings and if you remember right on more than one occasion I have mental attacks of OMG my LIFE!! on this blog... those are because the rush of feelings can be very overwhelming.

I am now so in love with my son that I squish him every moment he will sit still long enough for me to do it. I can't get enough of him and it just pains me for other people to hold him or play with him. All of that stuff that was lost is slowly coming back and I'm realizing that while relapse might be a part of some people's recovery I'm not sure I could ever go back to that place I came from. I just think I've come too far forward and seen to much of the other side of the "mountain" to ever go back.

*no I'm not bias, why ever would you ask that??

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Off My Rocker

The other day I received a very nice e-mail from a lovely lady who very politely explained to me that she thought I was certifiably insane.

Let me digress for a moment, if you have a question for me and you don't want to post it here feel free to e-mail me. If you don't agree with my opinion on something but don't want to post it here feel free to e-mail me. Anything else you want me to know but don't want to post it here... e-mail it to me. I accept and read all e-mails and unless you call me all kinds of names I will politely respond to them too. The link to my e-mail is over there to your right ------>

Ok, now back to the point of this post. Me... crazy... oh yes... it's all coming back to me now. This is not the first time I have heard that I'm crazy and it is not the first time I've thought it to myself either. That is what I was talking about in my last post when I said living with an addict or being close with an addict can distort your thinking and your perception of reality.

Let me note for the record just a few of the things I have done in my past that I now look upon as absolutely asinine.

I used to sleep with my keys in my pillow case.

I would take his keys and hide them.

I would drive around at all hours of the night looking for him even though I had no idea where he would be. I have driven up and down streets and neighborhoods just because I thought maybe, possibly I might run into him or see his vehicle.

I have sat up at nights and called him 20 - 30 times in 10 minutes just trying to get him to answer the phone.

I have chased him around in my vehicle.

For the longest time I thought it was normal to get up every 20 - 30 minutes and go downstairs just to make sure he was still watching TV or passed out on the couch. I thought everyone did this. I thought I was just being a good wife.

Shall I go on? At this point I think you probably get the point.

Living with/being close to an addict makes you sick without you realizing that you are ill. You try to force them to do what you want them to do not realizing that if they want to use they will do it no matter what.

The guilt I carry around is astronomical for this fact. I tried to force my husband to be here and so in a small way when he used in this house with my son here it was because I was so worried about him being here I couldn't see past the end of my nose to realize that him being here wasn't going to stop him from using.

So yes, I was insane. I became that way through 10 1/2 years of trying to control Jake's addition. Now, after all of that time, it is my turn. It is my turn to take care of myself and I am doing that through Al-anon and through trying to do more things with my friends or just for me.

However, the key words you need to focus on are I am trying to get better. In Al-anon we call that progress, not perfection. Sometimes I may say things that sound completely crazy and usually it is because I have slipped back into an old behavior/pattern or I have not fully worked on that part of myself yet.

Eventually, some day, I may become sane again. Until then, bear with me will ya? It's a process....

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Anger, Resentment.... Acceptance

So I have a post that I have been meaning to write for awhile but I just haven't seemed to make the time. Remember last week when I promised you a post... yeah... still in my head. Then today as I was typing a letter to a family friend about how I'm doing I realized that everything I had just written was pretty much what I wanted to write here. So... here it is: The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly.

Before Jake went to treatment and even after he left I convinced myself that everything would be wonderful if he would just stop using. After all, he was the one with the problem, and that problem was the drugs and the alcohol. Obviously if those things were taken out of the equation life would be all sunshine and roses. How could it be anything but?

Then Jake came back and I woke up from my lovely dream to realize that just because he had changed everything wasn't suddenly perfect. I was faced with a flood of emotions about the way things used to be and also the way I was afraid everything was going to be again. For me, this fear quickly turned to anger. LOTS of anger.

I was angry with him for what he had done but I was also angry with him for things I thought he should be doing and also things I was afraid he was going to be doing. On top of that I was angry at myself for not seeking treatment for myself sooner. I convinced myself for so long that I didn't need a support system and I didn't need to change anything about me that when I finally did decide to go and get help it seemed like it was too late. I had just started to attend Al-anon meetings and then the next week he was home.

I found myself very resentful of him and of the fact that he was there in the first place. I felt like I was just learning who I was and what I liked to do and then he came back and I felt like that was all taken away from me. Like I didn't have the time I needed to heal myself.

So as a result, I would blow up at him about the dishes or the laundry when really that wasn't what I was mad about. Last Thursday I ended up talking to Jess for about 45 minutes (totally missed the first episode of Survivor... THANKS Jess!! :-) and she mentioned to me that sometimes people fight about the topics but not the issues. So she told me that I needed to start focusing on the issues (i.e the reasons I was upset in the first place) and not the topics (i.e. the dirty bowl that didn't make it into the dishwasher).

This seemed to make a lot of sense to me but I still wasn't sure how to begin. So I went to my meeting on Friday and I talked to some people about it. They had some really good suggestions for me. I started pausing before I blew up about something and deciding, number one if that was what I was really mad about, and number two if it was worth fighting about.

Then at my meeting last night we talked about personal freedom which is basically being free to live your own life and be your own person. This topic is HUGE for me because I have spent 11 years doing what Jake likes or basing what I can go out and do on whether he wants to go or if I'm scared that he will get drunk and make and ass out of himself!! :-)

I've spent so much time watching him and taking care of him that somewhere in all of that I lost myself and I lost my ability to just be me. So now, I think I've turned a corner. Jake and I are talking about our, or mostly my at the moment, issues instead of fighting about them. And I am working on finding myself. Right now, I still catch myself doubting whether I should make plans or do certain things but I'm getting better.

On Sunday I'm going to my aunt's house and I didn't feel for one moment like I had to clear it with Jake or make sure he had something to do too so he wouldn't be getting into trouble. I just decided I wanted to do something and I made plans to do it. And for me... that is HUGE.

So, I think I'm finally moving forward in my own recovery. I'm getting to a place where I'm accepting that Jake is NOT my responsibility. I am my responsibility and Zack is my responsibility.

As we say in Al-anon. One day at a Time....

Friday, August 31, 2007

So...um... yeah...

I'm not sure how to begin this post or really how to end it. In fact, I'm not really sure what to put in the middle either so excuse me if I just sort of ramble in incoherent sentences and in some sort of a random order. Things at my house right now are stressful, to put it mildly... REALLY mildly.

Jake is home. Not for a visit, he is home. Sort of got dumped on me after the funeral. I told you all how he had sort of stalled in his progress two weeks ago and then he appeared to be moving again but apparently not at the rate they think that he should be. His counselor called it failure to thrive.

I don't know how I feel. I have talked to her a couple of times and she has assured me that this is not really a problem with Jake but more a problem with the environment. She doesn't feel that he's making progress because he is too focused on me and Zack and he is too far away from us. She thinks that he will do much better in an outpatient environment here, where he can still see us every night.

I called her again yesterday morning just to be sure. I made sure that she understood that I was basing my decision to let him back in our household on this information and she needed to tell me the truth, not what she thought I wanted to hear. She assured me she was.

She says that she has no doubts that Jake can do this and with five months of sobriety under his belt she doesn't think he needs a residential treatment center any more. In her opinion he will do much better and make much more progress if he can be around us and not be distracted by worrying about us.

There's a part of me that's happy that he's home. It's now another set of hands to help me with Zack and thus far, in the three short days he's been there, he has been a great help around the house too.

However, there is also a part of me that is disappointed and sad. He wanted to finish this program, I wanted him to finish this program and the both of us feel that they sort of gave up on him because he wasn't making progress as quickly as they would like.

My counselor tells me that sometimes these places have stats that they turn in and if someone is bringing down their stats they will discharge them. I don't know if this is the case or not. However, I am sure that if Jake tries at this, he can make it.

On Tuesday he will begin outpatient treatment. This weekend we will attend some meetings. There are some tonight that are an AA meeting in one room and an Al-anon meeting in another. I think we may try to hit those.

As for my stress level, it is through the roof. I think I need a Valium or a percoset or whatever it is that people pop to bring their heart rate down and make them function again. As a friend of mine so wonderfully pointed out, I have chosen to let him come back so I have to give him the space to prove to me he can do this.

I think my stress level will be much diminished once I fully embrace this concept. This is no longer my battle to fight. Jake has to sink or swim and at this point I know that if he falls I have an amazing support system to lean on and I can do this on my own. My big thing now is not that he's here but that I had no warning. I wasn't prepared for it and so I'm feeling very caught off guard and a little out of sorts.

Hopefully after a three day weekend and a whole lot of projects that I hope to get done I will feel a little more like myself.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Homework for Jake's Councelor

A couple of months ago I got a phone call from Jake. I could tell that he wanted to tell me something but I didn't quite know what, so the conversation progressed and there were these awkward pauses where I was kind of waiting for him to say whatever it was he needed to say, but he didn't quite get to it.

Then after about five minutes he just sort of blurted out, "I need to know what you love about me." Just plain as day. Simple, short and to the point. When he blurted that out my first thought was "Why?" Not that it mattered but I couldn't figure out why the heck he was asking. That was followed quickly by my mind freezing. It just went blank. It's not that I didn't know anything; it's just that I'm not really a Johnny on the Spot kind of girl.

I could tell that my silence really bothered him. He was kind of waiting for me to say something and then when I didn't the tone in his voice kind of changed and it sounded kind of sad when he said, "Well if you don’t know you can think about it and I can write it down later." And really, it wasn't that I didn't know, I was just sort of taken off guard.

So, while my mind was racing, he answered my original question of why. He told me that his counselor had asked him that day and he had told her he didn't know. So she had told him to ask me and then write it down. Therefore, never one to disappoint the counselor, I pulled my thoughts together and just started rambling things off as he wrote them down. Or at least I thought he was writing them down. Every once and awhile he would stop me or tell me to slow down so he could get it all down and then he would read back to me what he was writing down.

I thought this was sufficient; however, a little over a month ago I found out that what he wrote down was apparently the readers digest or the Cliff's Notes version of what I had told him. When I talked to his counselor after his visit in June she told me there were only three or four things on his list and they were just items written down with no explanation.

So, since she was trying to work on Jake's self esteem, obviously he has low self esteem, all addicts have low self esteem, she wanted me to think about it and write down what I loved about Jake.

At first I didn't really think that this would be as much of a reflection project as it has been. I thought I would just write a few things down and then move on with life. However, when I was talking to a friend of mine about this project right after I received it she said to me that she thought it would be kind of hard. In her opinion I had only known him as an addict and so if she had to write down ten things she liked about Jake she wasn't sure she could do it because she's not sure she knows the real him.

At first this really caught me off guard and I admit, I saw red. I thought how rude of her to say such a thing. She is not married to Jake, so of course she couldn't write down what she liked about him. She was seeing the superficial stuff, not the real him.

I on the other hand have known the man for 11 years; of course I know what I love about him. Don't I? In fact it kind of made me defensive, like obviously if I've stuck by him for this long I should know what I love about him. Shouldn't I?? And then I started thinking about it. I ran through the list of things that I had given him the first time and there were several character traits that I do love. Several things that are fundamentally him but there are also several things that I am now questioning.

As I listened to myself say them out loud I wasn't so sure that some of the things I loved didn't sound like what a parent would love about a child instead of what one spouse would love about the other. You see Jake and I have fallen into a very parent/child relationship over the past 11 years.

Mostly out of necessity I have taken on a parental role in taking care of the finances and continually having to remind him to do household chores. He has a prepaid Visa card because he has been unable to manage money and therefore has never been allowed (see that parental role) to have a regular credit card or checking account. I also did a lot of parental "babysitting" when he was home. Calling to check to see where he was, trying to make sure I knew his friends or where he was, going to get him if he didn't come home, things like that.

At first I was unsure if I was willing to give some of those roles up because I'm pretty comfortable with them. But after some more reflection I've come to the conclusion that if he wants to get a good job and work full time while I work part time I would gladly give up the role of the main breadwinner. If he wants to step it up and take care of his house I would gladly give up the role of nagger of the year. (I never really liked that one anyway.)

In fact one of the things I am most looking forward to when he returns is having a normal adult relationship. I don’t want to have to question where he is or what he's doing. I'm NOT his mother and I'm tired of being "forced" to play that role. I have actually grown quite comfortable with being able to sleep the whole night without waking up for every little sound wondering if it was him and being able to work a full day without having to call him and worry about where he is or what he's doing.

In fact, so much of the last eleven years of our lives has been in such turmoil that some of the things I convinced myself that I loved about Jake had really just become things I was comfortable with. And in the same token, so much of what I thought were qualities that he had I am now questioning whether were lies or truths. Do I really know the real Jake??

In the end, what I thought was going to just be a quick write down the things I love about Jake has turned into a two month project of really examining everything about our relationship and everything about who he is to me. I have really had to examine the roles that we have kind of put ourselves in and decide if I love those qualities and those roles or if I'm just comfortable with them because they are all I know.

So once I sorted out the things I wasn't sure were things I loved but were more like things I was comfortable with I discovered that the list was pretty small. So I decided to look back at our website and through my old journals to try to remind myself of who Jake was and who he has been to me. And you know what I discovered? More anger.

In fact it has taken two trips home for him and two trips down there for me and lots and LOTS of question and answer sessions for me to finally process all of that anger. I have anger about things that he has done and said and I also have anger about things that he should have been doing or saying.

On top of the anger I have resentment. All of this has been a lot to process in the past two months and not at all what I thought this process was going to be. However, I think I am finally starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. I'm finally starting to remember what it is that has kept me with Jake for all of these years and the things about him that just make me smile inside. For two months I have been looking all over for him and this weekend, while I was visiting him, I opened my eyes and there he was.

I feel like I've come full circle and I can now start to be Jake's biggest fan and supporter again instead of his biggest critic. For several years now I have been the first one to question what his motives are and take a position against him. Now I finally feel like I can begin to support him and believe in him again. I've come to a place where I can once again take his side or believe him without needing to call his counselor and question him or check his story. It's taken me a LONG time to get here… but it sure feels good to have arrived.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Answering Questions & A Bit About Jake

I have gotten some wonderful comments on my last post. Several have been anonymous and I wonder do you leave them that way because you don't want me to know who you are or because you don't want others to know who you are?? Either way, I greatly appreciate all of the support and compassion that you all continue to show me. You are a great help to me in this time of my life.

I have gotten a few comments and/or questions that I would like to address though. First of all, to Jess, I have not told you about Jake because it is not a HUGE deal (well it was on Tuesday but it's not now). I intended to do a post about it today but then last night while reading all the old journal entries they seemed more important so I wrote about that instead.

The deal with Jake is that he is not progressing as quickly or as much as his counselor would like. Basically he is still stuck in a lot of his old behaviors that they are trying to change but he is not doing it. I don't think it's for a lack of trying on his part, I just think it's hard to change everything about yourself. (Which is what they ask them to do there.) I know for me I'm doing a lot of self evaluation and while I can see the problems it is much harder to actually go about fixing them.

What really brought this situation to a head though was that Jake told a lie. Last week he called a group on his father. Out of respect for his dad I won't go into great details here except to say that his dad drinks and Jake is uncomfortable around it and so they had told Jake how to talk to his dad about that and a few other things. Jake did call his dad but he didn't talk to him about that stuff because he thought it would embarrass his dad or make him mad.

However, when the group asked him, he lied to them and told them that he did talk to him. Then when he got back from pass he was upset about his dad again, he stood Jake up when he was supposed to meet him at the fair, and so he called another group. In this group he mentioned that he had, in fact, not talked to his dad about the drinking and other items. So, when they had treatment reviews on Tuesday he was essentially "called out" for lying.

That basically brought the whole thing to a head. His counselor talked to Jake about how he has yet to come up with a good reason that he's in treatment. When asked he will say because he wants to get sober for me or Zack, but really he needs to have a reason to be sober for him and he hasn't found that yet.

He also still has a huge problem thinking for himself. He consistently looks to me or to the counselors for approval when he has an idea. He wants desperately for someone to tell him how to do things instead of coming up with his own ideas. He does his homework to get it done and then he has to redo it 3 or 4 times before it is right instead of taking the time to think it through and do it correctly.

And those are just a few examples. According to his counselor everything Jake is doing is typical addict behavior. It is all things that she works with all of her clients on. The problem with Jake doesn't stem from these factors it stems from the fact that he is in a rut. He has basically been going no where for about two weeks and so she told him that he needed to come up with a list of reasons for them to let him stay.

He came up with that list and for now he is there and hopefully this will be what he needs to begin moving forward again. At this treatment facility you can stay as long as you need to but you have to continue to move forward to do it. You can't just sit still and take up space.

So to answer another question that I got, no he is not coming home right now. Will he come home eventually, yes that is the plan. If he does what he needs to do and he graduates this program than yes, he is welcome in our home. If he can't get it done than I'm not sure what will happen. I want desperately to tell you all that if he doesn't graduate he won't come here but right now that's not realistic for me to say. I have learned that if I am going to say something I need to follow through with it so I'm just going to leave it open ended for now.

About what I love about Jake. Someone said that it shouldn't be hard to think of the things I love about Jake. I think I made it harder than it was. You all have opened my eyes to that quite nicely. I think I just needed to dig through some of my emotional baggage and get to the real Jake. The Jake that keeps me smiling. Once I dug through that and realized that they don't have to be the "huge" things that I love they can be little things too it became much easier. I should have it finished as soon as I finish this post.

Finally, on to my last question. Do I feel obligated to stay with him so that he stays successful with his recovery? Wow, when you guys ask questions you go for the gusto don't you? Actually this has been something I have struggled with quite a bit. When people asked me why I didn't just leave him and let him rot in the getto this was my answer. If I left him he would have no one else who would go get him. And for a long while that was true.

Now, however, I don't know how I feel about it. That's a fair answer isn't it? If nothing else, it's honest. I do wonder what will happen to him if we do not stay together. That is why I fully support his counselor when she says that he needs to find a reason that he wants to be sober that is for him. For a long time he has told me that I'm all that he has and without me he has nothing. While that's a sweet sentiment and all, I'm really hoping that he can build back up some of his self esteem and get to a place where he loves me and he wants to live with me but he knows he could live without me. I don't want to feel like if I can't leave him (should something happen where I feel we can no longer stay married) because he would relapse without me. That's a hell of a burden to carry around. Even for me.

So now, I think I've answered all of your questions and told you a bit of an update on Jake in the process. If you have any more questions or if I was unclear on anything please don't hesitate to ask or e-mail me. I am one of the most open people you will meet and part of my reasoning for writing about all of this is to educate and to make sure that no one else who is going through this feels alone.

Being Alone

So, like I mentioned the other day, I've been looking through my old journal entries. Some of them have been really funny but a lot of them have really got me thinking. I'm supposed to be writing this thing for Jake's counselor about why I love Jake and I've had the assignment for over a month. I've managed to write three pages of filler but only about one page of real stuff.

So I thought maybe I would find some answers in my old writings. However, I'm not finding much. What I am finding is an overwhelming sense that I have been through a LOT in my life, and not just with Jake. I'm also discovering that this stint on my own is probably the longest I have ever been alone in my life.

Throughout my journal there are numerous entries about not wanting to be alone. I was continually clinging to friends or to boyfriends. Even when they were not as nice to me as they should have been I stayed because I didn't have a backup plan and so they were all I knew.

In high school I had a whole string of friends who I was SOO close with, even one who I called my mommy for a time (don't get me started on how stupid this sounds to me now) and yet none of those friendships were really based on anything other than the fact that these people liked me and accepted me for a time and I clung to them like glue.

It is sad to me to think that before Jake I had a steady boyfriend that I fought with for 5 months before we broke up and STILL I was sad when he left. Before that I had another boyfriend that I NEVER saw and only talked to on the phone once a week, but still... I had a boyfriend and I was not alone. (And when we broke up I cried in my cheerios over that one too....)

My journal is filled with all of these entries about how much I love boyfriends and friends and how within the span of just a few short weeks I am SOO attached to someone that I would let them walk all over me just so I wouldn't be alone.

It makes me wonder who that person is. Five months after Jake has been gone I am having a hard time remembering her. However, two days ago Jake called to tell me things were not going well and he may not graduate his program and it all came flooding back.

I know in my brain that if he doesn't graduate (I'll write more on this later) that he's not serious about his recovery and so I should not let him back in my life. But in my heart there was a great sense of panic. This is why I have to continue to be honest with my friends and family.

It would be all to easy for me to fall back into my old routine and make excuses for him and then let him come back and blame the system instead of him. It would be all to easy to make sure that I'm not alone. But I can't do that. I have a son who depends on me to keep him safe and so really, I'm not alone. (In fact in a few short years I may be BEGGING for time alone.) But right now, I'm the sole care giver for the smartest, most adorable baby in the whole wide world (heavens no I'm not biased) and I have to make sure I keep him safe.

So what's my real problem? The fact that his counselor gave me an assignment that should not have, but has caused me to look at myself in a whole new way and to really examine who I am and why I put up with what I have. Why do I get SOO attached to people who are obviously bad for me? How do I make sure that I'm letting Jake back into my life because I love him and I love our life together and not just because he's comfortable? And most importantly, how do I make sure that I never go back to being that person that I was, so afraid of being alone that she would let herself be trampled all over just to be with someone?

Thursday, July 12, 2007


I’m not quite sure if that is the appropriate title for this post but it is the only word that keeps swimming in and out of my mind so it is the one I use. It seems like such a little kid word to me. Something you call someone on the playground but it envelopes so much of how I feel about this whole situation with Jake.

People often wonder why battered women stay with their abusers. They look at it from the outside and they say why doesn’t she just run? I think it is much the same for people who stay with addicts, because let’s face it; they are not really pleasant people either. Now while I can’t speak for everyone I can speak for myself. I tend to do it quite often and quite loudly. This is why this whole situation has seemed so strange to me.

Why didn’t I just speak out? Tell someone what was going on and let them help me. The answer is two fold. (Or possibly three or four…) When you are in a situation with someone who is abusing you or themselves it really is a day to day event. You have really good days and really bad days. Unfortunately for someone in my position something gets lost in translation so to speak.

Somehow the good days overshadow the bad days. By like 100 fold. When Jake would go out and use or he would become angry and violent I would believe him when he would tell me that was the last time. I would believe him when he told me the pipe I found was old or that he was just out with his friends and not getting high. I believed him because I HAD to believe him. And even when I knew it was stupid to continue to do so I did it anyway.

There is a lot of fear and shame in a person's life when they are living like this. I would believe him when he would say something to me so I didn't tell anyone about it because if I had said to my mom or to my friends, I think Jake is using drugs they would have told me to leave him and that was not what I wanted at that moment. I had convinced myself that it was the last time and so why "rock the boat" so to speak by involving others.

Then when he would fail again, and he always did, I just felt stupid. I didn't feel like I could tell anyone after the fact because really, the more you put up with the more idiotic you feel. I would look back on it and think "you knew what he was doing, why do you put up with it?"

So, knowing that I had made a stupid choice I kept it to myself. Hell, I already knew it was stupid; I didn’t need anyone else pointing it out to me. Half the time most of his friend already knew he was lying to me and that was enough of people rubbing it in my face. They all knew when he cheated on me back in 2000. They were all there and they all looked at me when I would come over to their house and not ONE of them said anything. Talk about feeling like and idiot!!

On top of feeling stupid there is also fear. I think, like me, a lot of people who stay are afraid to leave. Sometimes they don't know how they will pay their bills on their own or where they will live. Sometimes the abuser convinces them that they will be harmed if they leave or that they will be worthless. And sometimes, like me they are just scared to be alone and scared of life without this person. Jake is not a bad person. He just has a bad addiction. That is what I kept holding on to. That he could be a good person and what if I left and then he got better and I missed it?

Because let’s face it. People who stay with addicts or abusive people (or in my case both) are not stupid. I was VERY aware of what was going on and that it was not how I should have lived my life. If I would have been naive I wouldn’t have hid it from everyone. I didn’t tell them because I knew.

However, with that said I was somewhat powerless to do anything about it. I could look back on every incident and say that was awful, I don’t ever want to do that again. I could promise myself that next time I would leave. Next time I won’t call if he disappears. Next time I’ll file the divorce papers. But somehow it never happened.

There is some power that an “abuser” has over the other person. Something that I can’t quite explain. I was never the quiet meek woman. I fought back with Jake. I told him my feelings and I tried very hard to get my point across. I never just let him walk all over me without a fight, but in the end, I did let him walk all over me.

In my book I describe it as somewhat like a drug. Getting my fix of Jake. We would get in a huge argument and he would peel out of the driveway. Usually to go get wasted. I would know where he was going but somehow would be mad enough at him that I didn’t care. Then after about 30 minutes I would start to panic a little. Than 30 minutes later I would begin to call.

It was always the same. He would either not answer… making me really panic more or he would answer and he would make me false promises. It didn’t matter what he said, all I needed to get my “fix” was the sound of his voice. Now I know to most of you this sounds pretty stupid. Hell to me it sounds pretty stupid and I’m writing it but it is the truth as best I know it.

Some part of my emotional being “needed” Jake and so while my logical side said that I didn’t, over and over again, it was in direct conflict with my emotional side. And somehow, over the past 10 years and against my better judgment most of the time my emotional side won out.

I guess in a way that is sort of where I am stuck at now. My logical side has made the choice to stay with Jake. To give him this one opportunity to be a part of my life and his son’s life full time. It was not a decision I came to lightly but it was a decision that ultimately I decided on.

Now my heart, the part of me that Jake has always held in the palm of his hand, supports this decision fully. It is the rest of my emotional side that is struggling. The part of me that is SOO very angry with him for the things that he has done and the things that he has put me through.

A lot of my friends and family members are angry at him for this too and most of them only know about 1/4 of the whole story. And part of that is because of fear. I have not wanted to tell them everything because I don't want to hear that there is no hope for us or that I need to run as fast as I can in the other direction. I want to be able to get over this struggle. I want to stop having the nightmares and the flashbacks.

I want to stop flinching every time I see someone in the back of a police car or every time I hear sirens. I want to stop checking to see who the driver is every time I pass a jeep just to make sure it's not Jake headed somewhere he shouldn't be. I want this all to go away and I can't make it do that.

Hence the breakdown as of late. I am hoping that talking with someone will help me to make myself one whole instead of two halves. I have been in conflict, my logical side with my emotional side for the better part of ten years and I need to fix that.

There’s a new song out and there is one line which I really like. The rest of the song doesn’t really apply to me… but the line I like is…

I hope you know,
I hope you know,
That this has nothing to do with you,
It’s personal
Myself and I
We got some straightening out to do

That is how I feel right now. I need to get myself straight and discover who I am as a whole person before Jake enters back into my life. I have to figure out how to stop being haunted by what happened and move on. And if I can’t stop the nightmares and allow him to be in my life than I have to learn how to let go. All of this I hope the counselor can help me with.

For now, Jake is gone. It is just me and Zack making due the best that we can and I need to get myself fixed up so that I can be the best mother to him. With or without Jake.

It's taken me three and a half months to come to this place and I'm sure it will take me several more to come through it. However, driving home the other day I realized something. There was a song on and it just hit me…

“Though you’re still with me… I’ve been alone all along.”

I was afraid to be alone so I let him stay but he was never really here to begin with. That's a start… I'm sure the rest will come with time.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007


I'm not sure it is one thing but rather a culmination of items. I have contacted my former doctor (she left her practice... boo hoo!!) and she has given me the name of another doctor in her practice to go and see. She told me she will give him a little bit of history on me and then he can give me a referral to a counselor or a psychiatrist or whatever.

Since I'm breastfeeding and since I am usually extremely opposed to any medicines of any kind I do not think that there will be anti-depressants involved in this meeting (not that I might not need them).

I think right now, more than anything, I just need to talk with someone and get their suggestions. I met with Jake and his counselor this weekend and I think that is what started all of this. (Damn you counselor people and your get in touch with your feelings crap!!) :-)

Actually, I really enjoyed meeting with her and I REALLY think she is good for Jake. She is a former addict so she knows his tricks and is able to call him out when he tries to lie or avoid a topic. And really, liking her so much is what is causing all of this. (Again... damn you likable counselor lady!!)

For the first time in ten years (yes you read that right... TEN years) I feel like someone is going to look after Jake. I really don't feel like I have to worry about him or be his advocate any more and unfortunately that has opened up a whole other Pandora's box of feelings. Things that I have not been able to deal with because I have been too busy dealing with Jake.

A little background, when Jake lived at home I thought that his parents would look out for him. After all, my parents did me and so I just thought that is what parents did. I was wrong. They let me down far too many times. He would go out and get drunk or do drugs with the wrong people and they would ground him. He would piss and moan and they would give in and let him do whatever.

I learned pretty quickly that just because he was going to be with them did not mean he was safe. They let him drink before he was of age under the premise that they would rather he drink at home. His dad dismissed his smoking of pot, even when it became a regular occurrence, because pot is no worse than alcohol. (His dad still has big problems with both but that is not my story to tell, it would take much more than one post!!)

So basically when I thought I could count on his parents to tell me where he was or what he was up to they let me down. His dad, mostly, was willing to lie for him and did on more than one occasion. So, I became the one that looked out for Jake. I had to make sure he got to work on time and came home after work, etc. When he got in trouble I had to hound him to get to his classes and pay his fines because they weren't going to do it.

When he got into the system it was a lot of the same. The outpatient drug treatment programs that the courts sent him to were a joke. He only stopped doing drugs long enough to pass any drug tests he had to. As soon as that was over he went right back. Hell, half the time he would attend those outpatient programs high.

Then we had him committed and I thought FINALLY something will get done. And sure, I sleep better at night than I ever have but still I didn't feel like things were getting done to help him with his addiction. When he was in Broadlawns there was NO treatment. He was just being held. He was sober but if they would have released him into the world he would have gone right back down the same path.

Then he was transferred to that half ass MECCA program and I thought to my self, there they will teach him something. HA!! That was a joke. The whole program was a joke and then he got kicked out. And again I was his advocate. I found the long term program he is in, I called every day, twice a day, until they processed his paperwork. I called all the people with the state to make sure he could get his court order transferred to there and to make sure he would get there on the appointed date.

And then he went. And I thought this is it. Finally. But nothing changed. There were still issues that I didn't feel were being addressed and I felt helpless to do anything about it. I would ask Jake about certain things and he would tell me that he was talking to someone about them or doing a group or whatever. But his attitude remained the same at certain times and I couldn't help but feel like it was an act.

Then this weekend happened. I was finally able to talk to his counselor and tell her what I thought the issues with Jake were and hear what she wanted to do to help him get better. And then she said these words to me, "You worry about yourself and your son. We will take care of Jake." And you know what, I believed her.

For 10 years anyone who has told me they would take care of Jake has given up or has done a half-ass job of it and chalked it up to him being able to do the rest. They have never stepped it up in a way that I felt was acceptable and really helped Jake to change and to become a man. I think this woman will do that.

So now, there is nothing left to worry about on the Jake front and it is all me. Suddenly everything that has happened is rushing back to me in a flood of memories that are far to painful to deal with all at once. I started writing a book about it about three years ago. Any time something would happen between the two of us I would write it down.

Now I've decided to comprise it all into an actual book and try to maybe sell it or publish it here, who knows. But the point is I'm trying to get it done. It's not going well. Last night I took my computer home to work on it and after Zack was in bed I couldn't do it. I just couldn't bring myself to begin reading over all of that stuff again.

Some of it is just too real and too raw and so that is where the counselor comes in. There is the logical part of me and then there is the emotional part of me and they are NOT on the same page right now. I have made decisions for my life and now I have to figure out how to get my emotional side there so that I am not haunted by flashbacks when Jake gets home. I have to deal with a lot of things and let them go so that I can start over.

And that is a task that seems harder than anything I've ever had to do before.


Things are piling up on my desk at work. I spent all day yesterday trying to get something done... ANYTHING done. It didn't work, I just couldn't concentrate.

At home it is much of the same. My house is presentable but by no means as clean as I would like it. The counters are once again getting cluttered and it makes me angry to look at but I just don't seem to have the motivation to change it.

All around me life seems to be going on as normal and yet somehow I'm just stuck. I'm going through the motions but I'm not sure I'm making any progress. Jake has been gone for three and a half months now.

This weekend he will be returning to our home. He will only be here for two days (on a pass so we can have a meeting with DHS) but still the prospect of two days makes me uneasy. I'm not worried that we will fight, I'm not worried that he will use, I'm not even worried that he will not want to return to the treatment facility, I'm not really sure what I'm worried about.

Deep down there is just a part of me that has not yet been able to heal. And dealing with him, on what has now become MY territory, brings back all kinds of memories. Even now as I am writing this my breaths become shallow and it feels like someone is pressing on my chest with a 100 lb weight. I have to remind myself to just breath.

Every week someone asks me "how is Jake doing?" "how are you doing?" My answer is always the same.


Would anyone understand if I answered how I really feel?


**I promise that at some point in the near future I will expand on this. However, today, at this moment this is all I'm capable of.**

Friday, June 1, 2007

Oh Bother...

That would be the kind of day I'm having today. One of those no good very bad types of days. You know what I'm talking about don't you? The kind of day where you focus on all the bad that is going on and forget to think about the good. That's me today...

Zack got up at 4:00. Usually this is not a problem but today he didn't want to settle back down. He just proceeded to lie there and kick me and keep me awake.

My alarm went off at 5:00. I was just dosing back off. I got out of bed at 5:30.

I get downstairs and I notice that the one load of laundry that I have managed to get clean this week will probably have to be re-washed, or at least re-dried because one of my stupid cats decided the laundry basket was her bed!! (Like I have TIME to re-wash clothes!!)

Then I get into the bathroom and notice that one of the cats has decided to use my rug as their own personal barfing ground and hacked a hairball on it.

The dog is loosing weight. He looks awful. I feed him the same amount as always, this week I have doubled it and I don't know if it's stress or if some thing's wrong. I'm afraid to take him to the vet because Jake will be devastated if something is wrong and I am HORRIBLE at lying to him so if I know something he will know something.

I got the bill for Jake's first stay in Broadlawns from 3/20 - 4/13. $20,000. Did you fall out of your chair yet? My portion is $1,900. Yeah... not as bad but still pretty close. I can only imagine the joy that will come when I get the rest of the bill for his second stay.

It is raining. Not just a little sprinkle either. When I was driving to work it was like a fire fighting helicopter was overhead and it had opened the bucket and was just pouring the water out. My hair... well it's a good thing I didn't do much with it because now my bangs are flat and my hair is frizzy...

I miss my son. I miss my son every day but today seems more than usual. He is so happy in the mornings that I just want to stay there with him and watch him smile and laugh. I need to get up earlier so that I can spend more time doing this.

Jake's pass got denied. Did I tell you he was trying to get a pass? He couldn't request one until he had been there 30 days so we counted on a calendar and thought 30 days was Saturday. I think they are counting differently. Technically he won't have been there a month until Monday.

Jake and I got in an argument over the phone last night. About what you ask?? The only thing we have to argue about these days. Money. He wanted some money to go to Costco today and I told him I didn't have any to give him. Only I'm not sure I was that nice about it. It ANGERS me a lot when he talks to me about money. It is like there is a big angry pot inside of me and it boils over whenever that subject comes up.

Finally there is all of this crap with this site. Honestly at this point, at least for this one post, if you don't have something nice and supportive to say PLEASE just keep your comments to yourself. Post on your own website, e-mail your friends, hell e-mail my friends, just don't carbon me on the e-mail okay?

At this point I don't really care what any of you think about the decisions I am making. I know my husband. I know him better than any one else and I have talked to him, more than what I have posted here or told any of you. I know that his addiction is a disease. It is in his family and his marriage is not the only marriage/relationship that has been threatened by it.

Say what you will (to yourselves today) but I am not making excuses for him. I know what he did was wrong and I am not willing for him to just come skipping back into our lives and pretend that nothing happened. But I also know that he has an illness. He didn't get help because he couldn't. He asked for it but then he would always say he could do it on his own. In the end it boils down to what he told me, "it doesn't matter how much you love your family your addiction takes hold and you just can't do it on your own. I wanted to check myself in to a treatment facility but I just couldn't do it."

Believe what you will (still to yourselves) but I chose to believe that he was sick and that in his right state of mind he would never have put anyone he loves in danger nor would he have done some of the things he has done. I know he's sorry, I know that he wants to make things right. I don't need to beat a dead horse by bashing him over and over with what happened. He gets it now we all need to move on.

At this point my sanity depends on surrounding myself with supportive people and on NOT dwelling on what happened in the past. Every time I think about it I have days like this. It happened, it's over and no it DOES NOT MATTER if I know 100% of what happened. It's over and if I'm willing to move on than you all should be willing to let me.

P.S. Thank you to all the anonymous people (whomever you are) who have been so great yesterday and today and have really stood up for me. It helps more than you know!!

Thursday, May 31, 2007

326 and other stuff

{Tune of farmer and the dell}

This is my 326th post...

This is my 326th post...

Hi ho the dairy oh...

This is my 326th post...

Ok... now that I've taken the focus off of my last two posts I have something to say. No really me have something to talk about?? I know... you're shocked.

It seems to me that the way that I say things in my posts is misinterpreted by the same people that I thought would be able to know how I speak but apparently they don't. I was going to take the post down but I have spoken to everyone and seem to have cleared everything up so I'm leaving it up. However, to all the people who I have talked to on the phone or in e-mails I hope what you misunderstood has been ironed out and that you understand that I love all of my friends for different reasons.

As for the question from the anonymous poster who didn't want to have any knives thrown their way. I don' t know who you are but I wish that I did. E-mail me and let me know. But I will answer your question.

How do I view Jake's addiction? Is it a conscious decision on his part? A biological illness? Or a little of both?

I believe that it is a biological illness. I have friends who will say that I am making excuses for him, but I'm not. I think that my husband is sick. I think that he wanted to get better, as most addicts do, but he could not get himself there. I think there are parts of the things he did that were decisions he made but for the most part I believe that the addiction called the shots.

That is why I have been so forgiving of him and so willing to help him as long as he is willing to help himself. Because I don't think he hurt us intentionally. I think we were casualties of war so to speak. The war against his addiction. So, I really hope that he is getting the tools that he needs to be able to fight that war on the home front and this time win. Anyone else have any questions? I like questions.

Tripping Over My Own Two Feet

Well my last post hasn't even been up for two hours and already I'm offending people. Believe me when I tell you that was NOT my intention. I was not out to say one friendship was better than another simply to say that I have had and still do have all types of friends.

Both of the people that have been over at my house helping me clean have been WONDERFUL!! They have put their hands into some pretty questionable items and still they continued with their mission. My friend has come back night after night, week after week and this weekend we have FINALLY completed 95% of the cleaning of my house.

It has been messy. We have found some paraphernalia items that Jake hid throughout the house and also cleaned up some messes that my cats left that really should have been taken care of months ago. I have no excuses for my lack of house cleaning skills I can only say that I greatly appreciate her effort and her resolve to make my house a much cleaner and more organized environment.

I also didn't mean to make it sound as if she has no reasons for not hanging out with Jake. She does. He has been mean to her in more ways than one. There have been incidents in restaurants where playful banter has turned into angry words. If I were to make excuses I could say that people on drugs do mean things but I don't need to make excuses for him any more.

The anonymous commenter had it right when they said that my friends are looking out for my best interests and I am aware of that. There is a part of me that is sad because all of this happened and there is a part of me that is sad that I can't just go back to a "normal" life but that is not my friends fault. That is something that has happened in our lives and we have to deal with it.

If Jake is serious about his recovery than he will come out of this place with both feet firmly on the ground and he will take as many steps as is necessary to win back the trust and respect of all of the people around him. If he is not serious I will see it in the faces of those who I hold as my dearest friends and I will lean on them for support as I close the book on that chapter of my life.


(Please note that all things said in this post about my friends are how I feel about what is going on. They may not necessarily be what they feel or think or even how they would react.. it's mostly how I think they will react or why I think they reacted a certain way.)

When someone is in a situation like Jake is there comes a point in time when you have to reevaluate the company that you keep and decide if they are your friends because of the addiction or your friends no matter what. Unfortunately for Jake 99.9% of the "friends" that he had were only so because they used together. I have had his phone for the past 2 1/2 months. No one has called to check on him. Some of these people knew my number or the house number yet no one has called to see how he is.

The strange part is some of the people whom I thought I would put in that 0.1% of real friends have not called either. I'm not sure if they feel uncomfortable with the situation or if they just figure when he gets out and wants to talk to them he will call.

Oddly enough, on the outside, I find myself in a similar situation with some of my friends. Tracy Lawrence has a song out now called "You find out Who Your Friends Are." (Or something like that) and that song describes a lot of what I've found myself going through these last couple of months and even to a certain extent before Jake left.

I once heard that sometimes your friends are only your friends for a reason or for a season and I believe that is definitely true. In college I had a friend who was my friend for a season. We were in classes together and I was able to help her with her homework and we could hang out sometimes. However once college was over, or really just that semester, she sort of just drifted off into the wind. I still think about her sometimes but I'm sure I will probably never see her again.

At that point in my life I also had a friend for a reason. We were roommates. We talked and hung out because he was there. We knew everything about each others lives because we lived in such close quarters it was convenient to share everything. Then I graduated and he moved away. I still chat with him every once in a while but I couldn't tell you who he's dating now, if anyone, and he wouldn't be able to tell you how Jake is doing.

When Jake and I moved to our house he was really the only friend I had. Then slowly I acquired some friends and he acquired some "friends." I was never allowed to hang out with his "friends", for obvious reasons, and so we started doing some things with my friends. The more we hung out with these people the less I shared with them about Jake and I and our relationship.

With every new couple that we would hang out with I shared less and less until from the outside they would only see a normal couple with the occasional disagreement. Every aspect of our relationship was censored. These people knew all about me and my life but very little truth about Jake's and my life together. This was not their fault really. They believed the truth that I gave them.

If we got into an argument on the phone and they were there I told them the parts that I wanted them to know. I was very careful to change facts or circumstances so that they would know we weren't perfect but also not know the "extent" to which we weren't so. I did this because I wanted to be normal. For so long now that is all I have wanted.

Most people have goals for their relationships. Things they want from them. They want their husbands/wives to do x or they want to be able to get to a place in their relationship where y happens. For me I never really had those goals. All I ever wanted was to be normal to argue about the things that other people do and to never again have to have an argument because I found what looked like drug paraphernalia or because he would get mad and disappear for hours on end.

Then March 20, 2007 happened and this whole little world that I had created came crashing down. In some ways it was a relief. I could finally stop censoring everything and could just tell 100% of the truth. The same thing that I had always told Jake "Tell me the truth and let me decide how I deal with it" I could finally start doing myself.

I like not having to hide anything any more. I like being able to tell my friends everything. I don't like what it has done to some of my relationships.

I have one friend who has really stepped it up. Her and her husband have been there for anything I have needed during this last 2 1/2 months. They have devoted weekends, evenings, money, time, sweat and an occasional hand in something unmentionable while cleaning some part of my previously disgusting house that should really have been cleaned MONTHS sooner!! She always calls and asks if I need anything and she always asks me to go out and do things.

However, I can't help but feel like when Jake gets home, all of that will change. It feels very much to me like in her and her husbands eyes I am no longer normal. I feel like they know all of the things that I hid from them and they are not able to forgive Jake for those nor are they willing to hang out with him. This makes me more sad than you can imagine. I have loved hanging out with them but when Jake gets home I can't just leave him home and go hang out with them. As much as I love these people I can't help but feel like our relationship is going to change a lot when he get back. Like I could come hang out with them when I'm alone but not with him and I won't be alone forever.

I have another friend who has also been a great help to me and my son. She also calls and asks how things are going and is consistently checking on me and wanting to make sure I'm ok. I do not see her and her husband a lot because of distance but they have made me feel as if they would be willing to over look Jake's past and move forward with us as friends. I appreciate this more than she will ever know and I hope that we are still able to be as close as we have become these last few months once Jake comes home.

Then there is the friend whom I used to be closer to than all of the others. She is hurt by my "charade" and our friendship as sort of fallen apart because of it. She feels as if I "lied" to her in a way by not telling her of the troubles that I was having when I told another friend of mine. I can't say that I blame her. Some people do not fully understand how important it is to appear normal. I hope one day that I can fully convey to her that I did not keep everything from her because I didn't trust her, I kept it from her because I didn't want her to see me as different.

The friend that I told happened to catch me on a bad day about a month before everything fell apart and it all just sort of pored out. She asked what was wrong and I needed an ear to babble to so I babbled away. I knew at the time she was not incredibly fond of Jake so telling her was not going to destroy any image that she had of him nor was it really going to tarnish her opinion of him. (Which wasn't that great at the time.)

However to my other friend, I didn't want to be the wife of a drug addict I just wanted to be Heather. Or at times HeatherJake. I was afraid that if she knew his history (she knew the past she didn't know the recent past) or what I had fears that he was still doing she would not want him around her or her children. Again, I can't say that I would blame her if that was the case.

Now don't put words in my mouth here when I say this. I have NEVER gotten any indication from her that this would be the case. Everything I did was solely based on the fears that I had of how things would go.

Now all the cards are on the table. For the most part I think she has moved on from the initial hurt of me not telling her what was going on. However I'm unsure if our friendship will ever be the same. Her and her husband don't call me any more. I wonder if it isn't somewhat like Jake's "friends" that I mentioned up above. Maybe she thinks that I will call her if I want something or want to do something.

That is where she doesn't fully understand the mind set I am in. I don't want to be the 3rd wheel if I'm not wanted and I don't want to make her and her husband uncomfortable. When I have seen them sometimes they ask about Jake sometimes the conversation seems to make them uncomfortable (more so her husband than her). Sometimes I feel like they would rather just gloss over it and go back to things being normal.

So I don't call. I figure they will call me if they want me to "tag along" when they go somewhere. And since they are not calling me and I am not calling them you can only imagine what a cluster f*** our relationship has become.

From the outside to a lot of my other friends it seems as if she is being insensitive, not calling me to see how things are going. However, I see the other side of things. Perhaps she is just giving me some space and waiting for me to call her. Well dear friend, that is probably not going to happen any time soon. I can barely keep track of where I left my son let alone a social calendar. If you want to see me please call. If I'm busy... call again, and again, and again.

And really that goes for all of my friends. I am sorry that I have not been the best friend that I can be lately. I'm sorry if I forgot your birthday or if I have arrived 20 minutes late to something or spaced it off entirely. I never planned on being a single mother with a husband in rehab and adjusting to it has not gone as smoothly as I would have hoped.

Right now my life is about taking care of my son and preparing myself and him for the eventual return of my husband. I hope when that happens that my friends turn out to be real friends and not just friends for a reason or a season. I hope that they can eventually see past the things that Jake has done and understand that addiction makes people do things that do not always have a logical explanation.

I keep coming back to that song about finding out who my friends are. Friends that I thought were friends who have gone away and friends that I wasn't so sure about who have really stepped it up and become big parts of my life. I really hope that they can understand that someday I would love to be normal and I would love them to continue to be a part of my life as I strive to get there.

Thursday, May 17, 2007


I started this yesterday and then my computer sh*t on me and it all went away. I was so discouraged I gave up but have decided to attempt it again today. Someone asked in one of the comments how we were doing so I thought I would give you a little update on all of us. I'll start with youngest and move to oldest. Yes that means I will be last... please don't remind me!! :-)

Zack -

Still adorable. (No really, there are new pictures up on his site if you don't believe me.) Is there anymore update that is needed?

Okay, I'll give you a little more. He's spoiled AND adorable!!

He has absolutely no interest in rolling over or doing tummy time. If you lay him on his back he will happily kick his feet and babble to himself but he has absolutely no interest in reaching for that toy I put just out of reach (like they tell you to do).

If I put him on his stomach he happily lays there and chews on his fist. I have seen him lift his head up from this position a grand total of one time. Other than that... not happening. And as for putting him laying over the boppy, don't even think about it unless you want to hear the wrath of Zackary!!

He has been sleeping through the night for about a month now but he does so in bed beside me. At first he was in the boppy in bed beside me and then in his bassinet and now for the past two weeks he has started out in his own crib. However the end result is always the same.

Sometime in the middle of the night he wakes up and can't find his binkie so he begins to cry. I go in to retrieve said binkie but am tired and disoriented. In theory if I would stand there for 5 minutes or so he would probably go back to sleep and I could go back to bed but did I mention I'm TIRED and I like my sleep?? So into my bed he goes.

I'll let you know if this is still going on when he is 18, until then as someone said on my last post on this topic sometimes I need him more than he needs me and that is so true. I love waking up and being able to kiss his head and hug him.


He made it to his long-term treatment program on May 4th. We went one week without talking to each other because that is their rule. In that time, he wrote me a letter. I about fainted from shock when I saw it in the mailbox. Jake does NOT write letters. In fact any time I have asked him to write in one of my cards it has consisted of love ya lots Jake.

Once I did get to talk to him it was obvious that this place is unlike any he has ever been in. His attitude is great. He is very positive about everything and says he really feels so much calmer now that he doesn't have to worry about hiding his addiction or worrying about getting his next fix.

They go to two AA and two NA meetings per week and they also have group sessions as well as one on one's with a counselor. He has to write 100 interference statements (I interfered in so and so's life when I did) and he also has to write his life story (one page for each year he's been alive).

Both of these things require him to take a pretty deep look at his life and how he got where he is. These two things are what hold a lot of people up. It takes them a few months to even begin writing them and so the longer they take to start the longer they take to finish and they can't graduate until they finish. Jake has started his interference statements but not his life story.

On top of the treatment aspects they are also trying to teach them how to be responsible and to live a drug and alcohol free life. Every Saturday they have a car was to raise money for the community (that's how they refer to themselves as a community instead of a treatment facility). They have also helped someone move, babysat puppies, etc. All of this to make money that these people never see.

For addicts this is a big step. Addicts by nature are very selfish people and usually only want to make money if it is going into their pockets. So they are trying to teach them that when you live in a community it takes money to buy food and to go and do fun things so they have to make this money so that they can do those things.

And that is the final step that they are working on. They take them out into the community to go to baseball games and go bowling, fishing, volleyball, etc. All of this is to teach them that they can have fun without drugs and alcohol.

For the most part the facility is run very much like a community. They give them the freedom to mess up if they are not serious about their recovery but at the same time they monitor them for screw ups. They are all given a breathalyzer when they return from any outing and they have to take random UA's while they are there. Eventually he will be able to earn weekend passes and then he will also have to do both when he returns from that.

We visited him on Sunday and I was pretty impressed with the laid back atmosphere. We sat outside under a shade tree with a road 100 feet in front of us never once feeling like he wanted to run away or like there would be anyone there to stop him if he did. It was just a very relaxed community feel.

We are going again this weekend to celebrate his 60 days of sobriety but then after that we will be limiting our visits to every other weekend. Both because of gas prices and also because that is a long time in the car for my little guy (two and a half hours down there and two and a half hours back).

Overall I feel very lucky that we were able to find a program that seems to be such a great fit for Jake and where he finally seems to be taking his recovery seriously.

Me -

Amazingly enough here is where I draw a blank. I seem to be able to go on and on about everyone else but can't think of how I'm doing. I guess in the grand scheme of things I'm surviving. That is sort of how I've been doing it for the last two months. Yeah, you read that right, on Sunday it will be two months since Jake was committed.

I guess if I think about it too much I get overwhelmed so I try to just take it one day at a time. My friend Jess has really been helping me to get organized. Her philosophy is that if you get rid of the clutter your life will feel less hectic. For the most part it seems to be working.

There are days when she is pushing me to get "projects" done and I just want to scream at her but then once it is done I look back and I think wow, this is so nice. Like right now my bathroom and kitchen are organized and everything is put away. It is so nice not to have all the clutter lying around. If someone is coming over it takes me 10 minutes to tidy up those rooms as opposed to 10 hours.

Since Jake has been at the long term facility I have had a few moments of overwhelming stress and anxiety but I just write him letters or vent to friends and I seem to be able to deal with it quite well. My most recent thing has been a little bit of jealousy. (Actually I'm not really sure that's what it is but I don't know how else to describe it.)

Maybe it's more of a that's not fair attitude. You know, he doesn't have to work. He gets to go to baseball games and go bowling and play volleyball, etc. and I'm stuck here getting up at 5:00 in the morning and working all day and then going home and working there to try to get Jess's "projects" done. (Love ya Jess...)

However, once I really examined it I realized that those are things that he HAS to do to get better. If they don't teach him how to go out in public and not use he will just come back home and be tempted to use again. If they don't teach him to work at odd jobs and give the money to the community than that will be a battle that I have to fight.

As for how the rest of me is doing I would say alright. I don't really get lonely at night because I have a really cute man that keeps me company. He's a little demanding at times but he gives the best cuddles and the most wonderful kisses.

My mom has been helping me out with the money situation and so I don't feel like I'm drowning too badly yet. Although I had to begin tapping into my savings this week and that was sort of depressing. Once that runs out then I will really feel like I am treading water.

I try to stay strong for my son and also for myself. I've never been real good with falling apart. It's not really my style. So for now I'm just kind of hanging out.

Anything you want to know that I missed?

Monday, May 7, 2007


Friday night Zack and I had dinner with some friends. At the restaurant I saw a woman that I used to talk to quite a bit before she moved away. In fact at one point she used to read this website. This woman is married to a man who is was a recovering alcoholic/drug addict.

When I saw him with a drink in front of him at dinner my heart just sank. Then throughout dinner while I was trying to socialize I kept looking over and watching them and all of the memories just came flooding back. This man looked awful (at least to me). He was sweating profusely and I just kept thinking about the times when Jake and I had gone to dinner and he had looked like that.

I remembered being SO embarrassed as he was sweating but still felt like he HAD to order another drink and I kept looking at this man's face and seeing everything that I used to see in Jake's. It haunted me all night long. I don't know if what her husband is doing bothers her and if she still reads here I don't in ANY way want to make her feel bad. All I know is what I told my friend. My heart hurts for her, even if she doesn't know hers is hurting.

And then it dawned on me. I can NEVER go back there. I have been so bothered by this all weekend and even today it gives me chills. That is a part of my life that I have tried to forget but I can't and so I have to deal with it and move on. And part of my dealing with it is to promise myself that I will never re-live those moments.

I don't ever want to sit across the table from a man who I know is messed up and try to be okay with it. I don't ever want to be the bad guy because we don't have the money to buy a six pack of beer or to give him $20 for "food." I can never go back to where the addiction ran our lives instead of us running our lives.

I have now had forty seven days in which I have not had to wonder where he is or walk on eggshells to try to budget money to get him what he needs and still be able to pay our bills so that we don't have a huge fight. I've come too far to ever go back to that place again.

You know it's funny, you don't really realize how deep and dark the hole you are in is until you have begun to climb out of it and you look back. At this point I'm still climbing. I have a firm grip on the rope that is pulling me out and I will loose my fingers from gripping to hard before I will let go and fall back down.

Friday, May 4, 2007


Isn't it ironic that Jake is in a car on his way to the long-term treatment program on the same day that he was supposed to graduate from that half-ass MECCA program?

Isn't it also ironic that today I feel more scared than at any other moment in the last 41 days? I have put so much effort and faith into him going to this long-term program and I really feel like this is our last chance.

I want SOO much for it to work that the thought of him even starting terrifies me. If he never starts than he can't fail. However, we can't live our lives in limbo forever. All I can do now is just cross my fingers and pray.

My husband is a different person today than he was a month and a half ago. We laugh together and we have real conversations. I have faith that now that he has a clear head and a drive to succeed he will be just fine. He can do this and I can do this. (Excuse me while I go off and chant that over and over to myself.)

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

New Day, New Outlook

I went home last night and decided I needed to do something about my house so I started. I ran the Roomba in the kitchen and the bathroom. I did two loads of laundry and I actually put some laundry away. I also wrote about 15 thank yous for things I have received for Zack.

So today I feel much better. There are still lots of things I need to do but I am getting there. Maybe it took my one bad day yesterday to kick me in the ass who knows. As I told Jake's aunt I felt like it was all crumbling down on top of me yesterday.

I suppose in the grand scheme of things everyone is allowed to have days like that. In fact I even considered pulling down yesterdays post but then I decided against it. It is real and it is who I am and as much as I try to put on a happy face and act like a strong person there are inevitably days that I break and days that I don't feel so strong.

But today, so far, is a good day. Now if I could just figure out how to get to work on time my days could go from good to great!! :-)

Monday, April 30, 2007

Not Getting Easier

I know some of you are probably getting sick of my continual saga. I can tell because my comments have dwindled, although my hit counter still shows about 30-50 hits per day, apparently those people are not interested enough to comment.

However, it is my life and there really is NOTHING else going on with me. So, take it or leave it.

Our weekend was good. We went and saw Jake Friday, Saturday and Sunday. On Friday the woman from the long-term program called me and told me to send the check for Jake's first 21 days which basically means that they have all of his paperwork and he has been accepted she just needs the check to assign him a date to start.

Starting would be great.

As for me, I find myself somewhat overwhelmed today. I have spent most of my afternoon getting caught up on other peoples blogs and trying to forget what is going on in my life. It is not that everything is so different today. It's not. It is basically exactly what it has been for a month I just think it is finally all hitting me today.

I looked into Al-Anon meetings today but when I went to the website it looks like they are geared towards family members of alcoholics. Now while Jake may also be one of those that is not the main support I need right now. I need family members of drug addicts and I'm not sure that's what this is. So, I e-mailed the Iowa chapter of NA and asked them what they recommend. I have not heard back.

For some reason I kept thinking that this would get easier but it has not. Probably because I never really dealt with it during tax season. Who knows. But let me tell you, every day it is different, but never better. Zack changes every day. So while he can now entertain himself more he also sleeps less so it is like a trade off.

I feel like my house is still in a constant uproar. Jess has helped me tremendously with getting things organized but I still have a long way to go. I feel like I take two steps forward and then one step back. Every day I bring home 3-5 dirty outfits from daycare so I am continuously doing laundry and I NEVER get it put away. It's not like I don't try.

Last night I had large plans to get some things done. HaHaHa!! Zack screamed. Oh yes, and then he screamed some more and when he was finished with that, oh yeah.. there was more screaming. At one point I had to take him outside and walk around with him for 45 minutes just to keep him halfway calm. FINALLY at 8:15 I gave him his second bottle in an hour and he passed out.

Well by that point I had to eat and then get his stuff ready for daycare today and it was close to 9:45 by the time I got all of that done. I have mail stacked up on every flat surface in the house and laundry on the ones that don't hold mail. And then there are the floors. I own a Roomba, I really need to run it. But it takes effort to move the chairs and to remember it BEFORE I am 2 miles down the road.

The one thing I do need to make a priority out of though is the extermination. Yesterday there was a spider in my window. A furry black spider probably about the size of a quarter or a half dollar. I DON"T DO SPIDERS!!! Nor will I react well if my son is playing on the floor this summer and picks one up. EWW!! My skin is crawling just thinking about it. Does anyone know how expensive it is to hire an exterminator??




Ok, I think I have been severely side tracked. This post had a point. I PROMISE. And the point is... oh hell who knows. I'm having a self pity day today. My birthday is on Wednesday, I'm all alone in my house and I think I am SERIOUSLY pre-menstrual because I am crying at EVERYTHING today!!

Every day things are different here but they have yet to get any easier. When does that happen?? I am getting things done but there always seem to be more things right around the corner. Anyone got some extra cash so I can take a vacation???