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???

Thursday, April 26, 2007


Last night Jake's grandma was in town and so we went to see Jake at Broadlawns. While we were there he asked me to buy him something.

Since he has been committed Jake has asked me to buy him many things.




Pumpkin Seeds.




You get the point.

Last night Jake looked across the room and asked me if I could buy him an NA (Narcotics Anonymous) book.


It was the first thing I did when I got in this morning. In fact I bought him two (one full size and one pocket size) just for good measure.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Status Update

Well, Jake is back at Broadlawns. I know, didn't he just leave there? Well yes actually he did. So, let's go back a few days and start at the very beginning, a very good place to start... wait, wrong story...

Anyhow, Friday morning Jake's mom called him at MECCA to discuss his decision to go to the halfway house instead of going to the additional treatment program. At this point he had once again changed his mind and told her he would do whatever he had to to be with his family and so he was once again on track to go to the long-term program.

Then Friday night I got a call from him asking about the long-term program. He was pretty insistent so I asked him why the sudden change of heart and he told me he couldn't stay there anymore. They were kicking him out. They are what? How the hell do you get kicked out?

Apparently at the joke program it is pretty easy. A girl he transferred with got in a yelling match with another girl and they kicked her out. (Well she was a ward of the state like Jake so they transferred her since they couldn't kick her out but you get the point.) Apparently they have no interest in teaching you life skills at this place they are just interested in making you follow their rules or sending you somewhere else.

So anyhow, he tells me this story that I don't believe. There is no part of it that sounds real and so I instantly think he's making it up. He says that these girls accused him and his room mate of climbing out of their window in the middle of the night and knocking on the girls window. Why you ask? Who knows, he claims that he was asleep.

Instantly I think he got caught doing drugs or he ran away or something. Anything more logical than that. As soon as I hung up with him I called the main number and asked to speak with the director. They tried to give me the run around but I was pretty insistent (to the point that I would have gone down there and knocked on the door if they wouldn't have put him on the phone) so they let me talk to him.

I asked him what was going on and told him the cockamamie story that I had gotten from Jake and to my utter disbelief he tells me that what I heard is pretty much the truth except they are saying that Jake and the other guy were in the room not just knocking on the window.

Okay, so did he go in there to steal something? No.

Did he go in there to be with one of the girls? No. Misses Hamilton, I want to stress to you that there are NO allegations of anything inappropriate happening. The girls have not accused them of doing anything but standing in their room.

So you want me to believe that a 26 year old man who takes a medicine that puts him to sleep woke up in the middle of the night, climbed out of his bedroom window and climbed into another room just to stand there?

Through further conversation with the director I get the "real" story. No staff caught these men. It supposedly happened on Wednesday night but wasn't reported until Friday. Further more he gives me the impression that he doesn't even feel this is a true story. BUT because there are three girls and only two guys they have to error on the side of caution and Jake and this other guy have to leave.

So, I explain to him that Jake has no where to go and that he is court ordered to be there. He says that Jake can stay until Monday as long as he behaves himself, which he has no indication that he won't. He also stresses to me that Jake has maintained his innocence throughout the whole thing.

My take on what happened. Jake ran his mouth to some of these girls after the girl he got transferred in with got kicked out and he pissed them off. Since they knew how easy it was to get people in trouble they made up a story to get these two guys kicked out. No, I don't think he was just standing in some girls room. The director didn't think that and he's there, so I don't have any reason to believe that he was.

Now tell me he was there to steal money or cigarettes from them and then you have a believable story.

So, Jake behaved himself and was there all weekend. Monday morning I had not heard anything by noon so I called him. He told me that he knew nothing so I decided to go above his head and call the director back. This time no one squabbled with me, they just transferred me.

The director, this man is a class A idiot, this much I have learned in the last five days, knew nothing. Finally at about 2:00 his counselor called me back. He told me that he had faxed all of the paperwork to the long-term program to try to get Jake in but that the lady that does the processing was out sick. He also told me that he had called the clerk of court to find out what they needed to do but had not heard back and so if he didn't hear anything by the end of the day Jake would be discharged.

He would be what?? Oh no, no, no... this just won't do. So I got on the phone and started making calls. First I called the lawyer who represented us on the involuntary commitment. He didn't answer so I left a message. Then I called the clerk of court. There I got some answers. He told me that he had called MECCA back and told them that legally they could not just discharge Jake. They had to hold him until another court order could be issued transferring him somewhere else.

So, he basically told me that he was waiting on paperwork from them so that he could go before the judge and the judge could decide whether to send Jake back to Broadlawn's or to release him. I, rather insistently, told him that I would prefer Broadlawns. (Shh... Jake doesn't know that). Then I made plans for Jess to meet me at my parents house and I went home and drove Jake's jeep there. If he was coming home I was not leaving his jeep there for him to go through. I haven't had a chance to clean it out yet and I didn't need any temptations since he hasn't even really been through treatment yet.

Once she brought me back home I headed back to work for an hour. On my way back I got a call from the MECCA counselor. Apparently he had not gotten the paperwork to the clerk of court in time to have the judge look at it so Jake had to stay there until Tuesday. As I later found out this was because the director, see class A, #1 idiot above, told him he couldn't miss his group to work on the paperwork. He then told the counselor that he would finish it while he was in group. He didn't.

Moving on to Tuesday. By 10:30 I had heard nothing of the transfer order so I called the clerk of court. He returned my phone call at 11:00 and said that the order had been signed by the judge and that Jake was going to go back to Broadlawns. They were just waiting on transportation. So I call his counselor and leave him a message asking about the paperwork that he was supposed to get to the long-term place and also about Jake's transfer.

Then at 12:00 I call Jake. (They have specified phone hours) At this hour no one had told him that the transfer had been signed or that he was going back to Broadlawns. He was completely unaware that at any moment his ride could show up and he needed to have all of his things packed and be ready to go. Some communication system they have there!!

Finally at around 1:00 his counselor called me back to tell me that he had told Jake to get packed and that the director was frantically trying to arrange transportation because he wanted Jake out of there that day. (After all he was causing SOO many problems at this point what with minding his own business and reading in his room and napping and all).

However, as it turns out the transportation could not be arranged so Jake stayed in MECCA one more night. This morning he was transferred back to Broadlawns where he will sit until we can get all of the paperwork processed for the long term program.

And that... is an entirely different story. I have been working with this program since Monday. The woman who does the intakes is out sick. She has been out sick all week. I finally got another woman to help me who assured me that she would look at the paperwork and let me know if a bed was available by today but here it is 4:45 pm and I have not gotten a phone call. SO... it looks like one more day ticks off the clock.

One month, Five days and Jake STILL hasn't even started his treatment program. I realize that he is safe and he is clean but at some point I would really just like to get this show on the road.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Letting go..

Yesterday was a hard day for Jake and I. He has basically made up his mind that he does not want to go to another treatment program. He, instead, wants to do the halfway program that MECCA provides and then do outpatient treatment. This upsets me.

We argued, I cried, he yelled, then he talked and I talked. He doesn't want to go to another program and miss out on more of his son's life. I'm torn. I get to see Zack every day and missing Jake is not the same as missing Zack. If someone told me that I had to go away and miss more of his life, when every day he changes so much, I don't think I'd do it either.

I spent most of the night tossing and turning over this and when I woke up this morning I had a sore throat and my body ached and I came to a conclusion. I have to let go. I am making myself sick and it's not doing me one damn bit of good.

In the end it doesn't matter what program Jake does because if he doesn't want it to work he could be there for 2 years and it wouldn't make him better. I have spent so long thinking that I could do something for him and feeling terribly when things didn't go right. I am continually asking myself what if and beating myself up thinking I could have done something.

But you know what? I couldn't have. I have done everything I know how to do and right now there is NOTHING else I can do. I have to let go of the control and give it all to Jake and see what he does with it. He is the only one that can make this program work and if he honestly thinks he can do that with one month in MECCA and three months in a halfway house than I have to let him do it.

And if he fails, I have to be willing to let go of the thoughts of what if I would have made him go somewhere else because in the end, it all comes down to choices. And unfortunately for a control freak it is hard to let him make those but I have to. I can't be with him 24/7 and I can't stop him from doing drugs if that is what he chooses. So, I have to let go and realize that this is not my decision and it is not my path to walk.

Jake and I will go to counseling. We will try to work on our issues and if we are not at a place where I feel comfortable with him coming home in 3 1/2 months than I will choose to live apart from him. That is all I can do right now. I can honestly tell you that letting go will be the hardest thing I have ever done but if I want my life back it is the only thing that I can do.

So, you're job, oh faithful ones is to keep reminding me. If you hear me talking like I am trying to make decisions for him or beating myself up because I didn't do something and he made a bad choice please remind me that I let go. Pry my little hands off of the control stick if you have to but please just keep reminding me.

Heather, today is the first day of your new life and today you let go....

Monday, April 16, 2007


I'm trying to find Jake a place to transfer and I'm having NO luck. I am so unbelievably frustrated that I just went to come here to post and typed in www.frust before I realized that would not get me to the blogger site.

We thought we had found a place. I talked to one of the counselors and everything seemed good. But now I can not get the intake woman to call me back. Jake called and I called last week to no avail. FINALLY at the end of the week someone mentioned that she was out until today. So I e-mailed her. And then I called this morning and left a message.

Nothing. So I called again, and again, and again. Every time I keep getting her voice mail. No... I have not left her 6 messages... although I am tempted to. I just hang up on her voice mail.

So, there is another place. A place that may be better than the first. So I call, and I get transferred and I get voice mail. Three times I have called now and three times I have gotten this woman's voice mail. I have left her two messages. Still no call back.

Do these people not know I am DESPERATE!! MECCA is, as we suspected, a joke. Jake likes it better than the hospital but only by a very slight margin. People are rude and disrespectful and most are just there because the courts told them it was either there or jail.

It is filled with "kids" (18-23 yr olds) who probably grew up with alcoholic and drug addicted family members and this is the only life they know. They are there because they have to be and the minute they walk out the door they will go right back to the only life they know.

So here I sit, trying to concentrate on the few returns I have left and all I can do is stew and watch the clock and continue to call. I just want SOMEONE to answer the phone and give me some answers so we can get the ball rolling before he slips between the cracks like every other one of those people there.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

How goes it?

It goes.

Is that enough of an update for you?

Well aren't you all just hard to please!

Let's see, this week has been CRAZY!! The tax deadline is on Tuesday and so I have a million things I am trying to get done. The piles on my desk don't ever seem to end. Plus I have about 5 returns for family and friends that I said I would do and have not been getting done and now they are calling wondering when their returns will be filed.

Note to self, next year better predict when world will fall apart so can decline friend requests for tax services!!

The earliest I have been home all week has been 9:15. I have either been working, visiting Jake or trying frantically to get the friend returns done. I told my mom that tax season is going to get over and I'm going to go to pick up Zack next Wednesday and he's going to look at me like who the hell are you??

As for Zack, he seems to be doing much better. He slept all day yesterday. He would wake up, eat and then go right back to sleep so I'm guessing he is a growing little boy. Which is good. We had a doctors appointment for him yesterday and he weighs 12 lbs 6.5 oz which is up from where he was last week so he is gaining weight as he should be. He's still in the 50th percentile for weight but the doctor says as long as he stays consistent than they don't worry.

The gastroenterologist (sp?) still wants to do an upper GI on him just to make sure that everything is functioning correctly but he says he doesn't anticipate finding anything. They asked me when was a good time to schedule that and my standard answer applied. Any time AFTER next Tuesday!!

As for the rest of my life, I'm struggling to keep my head above water but I'm still here. Jake goes to MECCA tomorrow and then HOPEFULLY will transfer to the next treatment facility rather quickly. I have not heard very positive things about the MECCA program so I would really like him to get into a REAL treatment facility as soon as possible.

In the back of my jeep is his bag for MECCA. I am taking it to visiting hours tonight so that he can put the rest of his clothing in it. I spent an hour at Wal-Mart last night gathering the essential items. Soap, shampoo, razors (no he can't keep them.. they keep them locked up and then "supervise" his use), deodorant, etc. All alcohol free items.

Do you know how hard it is to find alcohol free shampoo and deodorant? No really, you would think it would be easy but you have NO idea how many things have alcohol in them!! He ended up with some off brand of deodorant and shampoo. He was able to keep his regular soap though!! Yeah!!

So now, the only things I have left to do are to pick up his prescriptions and get him some quarters for the pop machines and then he will be all packed and my panic attack with continue to escalate.

Yesterday was a hard day for me as it slowly dawned on me that tomorrow he will essentially be free again. For three and a half weeks I have not had to worry about where he is or what he is doing and tomorrow all of that goes away in a sense. He will still be in a treatment program but from here on out the ball is back in his court.

None of the long term treatment facilities in Iowa are locked. They take the approach that the people have to want the help so locking them up is not going to do them any good. Therefore, if he wanted to, he could walk at any time. That freaks me out a little. I very much like the control that I felt when I knew he was safely locked away from all of the drugs and druggies.

I suppose in the end this is a learning experience for both of us. I have to turn the control over to him and essentially let him sink or swim. I have spent so much of the past few years thinking that if I took his car away or made sure he didn't have any money that it would keep him away from the drugs. In the end, however, he is the only one that can do that.

If he succeeds he has everything to gain and if he fails he has everything to loose and there's NOTHING I can do right now to make or break that. That is a hard thing for a control freak to come to terms with!!

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

As Long as it Takes

So, I've been doing a lot of thinking lately. When you sit at home every night with an 11 week old, who for all of his endearing qualities is not much of a conversation starter, you have a lot of time for thinking. Either thinking or watching bad reruns on TV since I've canceled all of my movie channels (thanks for that Lindsay... cancel your premium channels she says).

So, thinking it is. And what I've been thinking about lately is time. Mostly the fact that everyone keeps putting a time frame on Jake's treatment. I admit when this first started I was right there with everyone else. He needs three to six months inpatient, he needs another six months outpatient, etc.

However, what I'm realizing now is Jake needs what Jake needs. And only HE knows what that is. He has agreed to transfer from MECCA to another treatment program but as of now is still focusing on time. I don't want to be there longer than x number of days. Some of his family members are falling into that same trap.

I have recently received calls asking me how long he would have to be there before I will let him come home. "Well if he goes and does an additional 30 days is that enough? You know if he at least does that you shouldn't be too hard on him. At least he's trying."

The problem is that I don't know how long Jake will have to be in treatment for before I feel comfortable letting him come home. And quite frankly at this point, neither does Jake. The fact that he is willing to transfer at all is progress. It says to me that his head is finally getting clearer and he is starting to think on his own instead of listening to all of the other people in that place.

However, I think putting a time frame on treatment is cheating everyone. Jake will have a head start on everyone when he enters treatment, he will be clean. He will have been clean for 3 1/2 weeks before he goes there. That means that maybe his stay will be a little shorter than it would have been if he had not gone there clean.

But do I know how long a little shorter or a little longer is? No. No one really does. And that is precisely my point. I don't want to quantify how long Jake "has" to be in treatment for. I don't want to do it and I don't want him or anyone else to do it either. I think everyone is focusing WAY too much on the time aspect and not nearly enough on the recovery aspect.

Jake has admitted that he is an addict. That is the first step. But it is just one step down a long and winding path. At this point I just really want everyone to stop focusing on the time continuum and start focusing on the end result. I want Jake to transfer to another facility and I want him to transfer with an open mind. Get there, work the program and see how long it takes to get better.

Maybe it will be 30 additional days. Maybe it will be 180 additional days. Whatever it is that is what I want from him for him to be able to come home. For him to be willing to stay there for as long as it takes.

Monday, April 2, 2007

Thank you...

Now excuse me while I go in the corner and stick my fingers in my ears and rock back and forth saying na na na na na...

No really, I appreciate that all of you are so concerned for me and Zack and I really appreciate all of your support. It keeps me going to know that people are rooting for us. (Except for my sister apparently who never liked my husband... although I'm just finding this out now 10 years later... but I think that's another blog entirely.)

ANYWAY... I have taken today and made some decisions about my life. Obviously not what anonymous would want me to do although since they will not identify themselves I don't know how much I can listen to them anyway. :-)

For better or worse I married Jake. I love him for better or worse and trust me when I tell you this is definitely on the worse end of the spectrum. Right now he is sick and just like if he had cancer I am not going to abandon him. I know that some of you may disagree with my take on this but unless you have ever dealt with someone with an addiction you can not claim to know what I should do or what you would do in my position.

HOWEVER... with that said, I have also decided to take Tink's advice and draw a line in the sand.

I will not let him hurt me any more. (Well... there will still be hurts as we go through this process together but I'm not going to stand by and just take his anger.) If he can not be respectful on the phone I will not speak to him. If he can not be respectful when we visit, we will leave. I realize now that I have put up with far to much for far to long and I need to draw some lines and stick with them.

If Jake does not want to go to additional treatment I can not force him. I have spent far too many years thinking that I could fix him. I can't. He is an addict (he has at least admitted that) and only he can fix himself. However, I will not abandon him at this time. Right now he is frustrated with his situation and trying to work through everything in his own mind.

If once he starts counseling (nope not yet... still sitting in the psych ward with the crazies remember?) he decides that he will not do additional treatment than I will help him by helping myself and walking away. I know that it will be the hardest thing I will ever do but I have learned a lot over the past two weeks and part of that is that I have AMAZING friends and family members who will be here to help Zack and I in any way that they can.

For that... I can not thank you all enough.

Loosing my shit...

Well, I held it together this long it's about time things fall apart huh? Today is a BAD day!! Actually the whole rest of the weekend after I left work on Saturday was bad.

I left work early on Saturday to go see Jake because he wanted to see Zack awake and I really wanted him to see Zack awake. His sister had seen him on Friday night and said he seemed good so I was excited that he would be in a good mood. He even called me right at 2:00 to see if I was there yet. However, that was the best thing that happened on that visit.

As soon as I mentioned to him that I had found a place that was willing to take him after he got out of MECCA he got really defensive. Basically the jest of what I got from him was that it is my fault that he is in there and maybe I should think about things a little more before I go sticking him in a place like that and I can make him do 30 days of treatment but I can't make him do anymore and he's not going to.

Then he got up and walked out on us. So I was left there, holding my son in shock. I couldn't go after him because kids are not allowed on the floor so I just packed Zack up and headed out. I tried to call him on the way home but what I got from him was that he was moving away as soon as he got out and he didn't really care if he ever saw his son again.

Then his sister tried to call him and he wouldn't even come to the phone. He finally called me back around 7:00 and apologized but was still very angry. He then asked me to bring Zack on Sunday to see him since he didn't get to see him much on Saturday.

I had not made up my mind as to whether I would do it or not when the phone rang on Sunday morning. It was him telling me that kids couldn't come visit that day so that made that choice easy for me. Later that afternoon I spoke with a family friend who's husband is in treatment right now. She basically told me that he went through MECCA twice and it is a joke.

So, knowing that I called Jake again last night to try to discuss with him how I was just wanting him to get help and didn't think MECCA would be enough. He went off on me again saying you can't make me do 6 months of treatment. However when I reminded him that the DHS lady thought he needed more than 30 days and so did the officer who was considering charging him with the theft of the trailer he said well than I guess I will have to do what I have to do.

I'm just angry and hurt right now. I want him to do the additional treatment but I want HIM to WANT to do it not to just do it because he HAS to do it. If he does it because he has to then he will go right back to drugs as soon as he gets the opportunity.

I just feel very lost right now. I think Jess is right, I miss the vision that I had of Jake as a father, I'm not sure I really miss what he was. I just need to get things straight in my head. So much of what I think I miss I'm not sure if is really something I ever had or something I just hoped to have. Does that make sense?

I'm not sure I know what it would be like to have a normal life with Jake but there is a part of me that desperately wants to find out. Then there is another part of me that is screaming for me to run while I can. My head is swimming and I am DESPERATELY trying to tread water before I drown.