Thursday, March 20, 2008

One Year Ago - Day 3

**These are not getting any easier to write. Sorry it has taken me so long to get this one up today but this was by far the hardest day**

One year ago I woke up with what felt like a huge rock in the pit of my stomach. I had already talked to Molly on the phone the night before and she had agreed to meet me at the courthouse at 9:00. At 8:30 I called the phone number and someone answered. As it turns out they opened at 8:00 and he said the earlier we could come in the better.

It was 8:50 when we walked into that tiny little room off of a dark hallway in the courthouse. That was the first time I met Danny. Danny is the man who believed in me and Molly enough to go to bat for us with the judge.

When you look into committing someone what they tell you is that you need two people, the wife/husband (if there is one) and another relative. You go to the courthouse, you sign some papers, and they pick up this person and haul them away. If only it were that easy.

The real process involves filling out lots and lots of paperwork. You have to explain why you think this person is a danger to themselves or to others. You have to write out specific incidents when you saw them using or when they talked about using to you. No second hand knowledge is allowed. As a side note, I imagine for someone who's spouse only drinks at home this would be very hard to accomplish as addicts are usually pretty good at hiding their addiction from people on the outside.

Anyway, after we filled out all of the paperwork Danny came down and talked with Molly and me. He asked me some of the most difficult questions I've ever had to answer. Such as, how do I know that you are not really a drug addict yourself and are you going to divorce your husband? I didn't know at that point. I was so mad and so scared so I just told him the only thing I knew. Not at this moment, I just want to get him help before he dies.

"Before he dies..." even now that phrase makes me tear up as I type this. Because that was what I was SURE was going to happen to Jake. I didn't see it ending any other way. The addiciton had him so tightly in its grip that it was never letting go. Without some serious intervention I just knew that the only way he was getting out of it was in a coffin.

Apparently Danny was satisfied with my answers because he had us wait in the hallway while he went and talked to the judge. That 15 minutes in the hallway was what seemed like the longest 15 minutes of my life. While I was there waiting I called people. It was on this day, at this hour that I realized that I have the most amazing friends and family a person could ever ask for and that they were there all along if I only would have reached out to them. Everyone I called was so supportive and offered to help me in any way possible. No one judged me or looked down upon me. They just offered out a helping hand.

15 minutes later and 2 1/2 hours after we entered the court house we had the signed documents of committal and our instructions on what to do when we found him. I had given them two houses that he was known to hang out at but as it turns out when they are looking for someone on a committal order they can only knock on the door of a private residence and ask if they are inside. They can not go in without permission and obviously the people he was with would not give permission.

So we had to wait and try to get him out into the open. I went back to work that day and tried desperately to get him to answer the phone with no luck. The only word I got from him all day was a text message that will FOREVER be burned into my brain. "I love you, I'm going to make things better, I will call you later."

Looking back, knowing where he was and who he was with, that message hurts me. All I can think is how deep he must have been in his addiction to write something like that and then go right back into the thick of things.

That afternoon Molly and her friends drove around looking for him, as did our friends Shane and Jess. No one had any luck. Shane and Jess had just gone home when we got the tip that "broke the case wide open" as Shane aka Big Dog Bounty Hunter refers to it. A friend of a friend told Jake's mom that he was staying in a hotel with the word Red in the name. There are only two in our area.

So, Shane and Jess jumped back in their vehicle and headed out again. No luck. I was on my way home when I got "the call." They had found his vehicle out side the second hotel. He was not alone. My heart sank. It still sinks today when I think about it. I went through all of this time, energy, worry, heart ache to save a man who wasn't even worried about me and his child, who was instead holed up in a hotel room with a prostitute doing GOD knows what!!

At that point I just wanted to march down the hallway and kick the door in myself. We wouldn't need the police to escort him out of there, we would need them to keep me from KILLING him. However, in the end, I realized that he was sick. He was not in his right mind and that even if we didn't stay together he deserved a shot at a normal life. So I waited at the end of the frontage road with my friends for the police to arrive.

Since it was not private property they could go in and get him whether he invited them in or not. First problem solved. I showed them a picture and they headed out to get him. I stayed behind. I couldn't watch them pull him out. I couldn't stand there and watch the shell of a man that I loved get hauled a way. A man who was just an illusion of his former self.

As it turns out, it was a good thing I wasn't there. Those who saw him said he was a messed up wreck. The police who pulled him out said he was as high as they have ever seen anyone. My husband was not in that room that night and I didn't need to see them pull his body out.

From there it all sort of blurs together. I remember the emotion as vividly as I did then but the events are all mushed together. Somehow Jake's jeep got to our house, I'm pretty sure Jess got a contact high from driving it there. Somehow I made it to my parents to pickup and hug my son and cry as I held him. Somehow the two of us made it home to our completely empty house to sit in a rocking chair and rock for hours as I promised him that I would make everything alright. That I did the only thing I knew how to do to keep him safe and that no matter what I would ALWAYS be there for him to keep him safe.


**This song REALLY spoke to me. It makes me think of how dark Jake's life was and the place he was in and angels really did come and take him from his dark, cold hotel room to his new life. They were just angels without wings**

Spend all your time waiting for that second chance
For the break that will make it ok
There's always some reason to feel not good enough
And it's hard at the end of the day

I need some distraction, oh beautiful release
Memories seep from my veins
They may be empty and weightless and maybe I'll find some peace tonight

In the arms of an Angel
fly away from here
From this dark, cold hotel room,
and the endlessness that you fear

You are pulled from the wreckage
of your silent reverie
You're in the arms of an Angel;
may you find some comfort here

So tired of the straight line, and everywhere you turn
There's vultures and thieves at your back
The storm keeps on twisting, you keep on building the lies
That you make up for all that you lack

It don't make no difference, escaping one last time
It's easier to believe
In this sweet madness, oh this glorious sadness
That brings me to my knees

In the arms of an Angel far away from here
From this dark, cold hotel room, and the endlessness that you fear
You are pulled from the wreckage of your silent reverie
In the arms of an Angel; may you find some comfort here

You're in the arms of an Angel; may you find some comfort here

-Sarah McLachlan


kbreints said...

Your courage, your strength, your honesty, it is all amazing.

Jessica said...

It was Shane, Jess, and Winston :) in the truck that day! I can remember sitting in the parking lot of the hotel our truck was parked at the end of the building where the police asked us to park in case Jake tried to run. Next to us sat Molly and Amber in her car. We sucked on blow-pops and spied through super bounty hunter scopes we borrowed from Keith.

Finally they emerged from the building, Jake in handcuffs with the (what Shane calls) crack wh@re clinging to him. I will never forget it as long as I live. It was at that point that I began judging. How could you jeopardize so much for this, Why?, When are you leaving him?! – All thoughts I sometimes too openly shared with you. In hindsight it was probably this week of events that made me form the opinion I do today; LEAVING is what takes STRENGTH. It was so frustrating for me that I couldn’t make this decision for you. I now believe your family and friends know and can see the best for you. I take that lesson with me in my own life to this day.

I think what makes you strong Heather, is the climb you made to confidence and knowledge. Ultimately I think the lessons you learned and the time you spent alone is what will pull all three of you through. You can’t know now what will happen in Jake’s future. You can love him, support him, guide him, and share with him. YOU CAN THANK GOD FOR EVERY SOBER DAY …. EVERY GOOD DAY … Thank God!!

We love you!!

Lynanne said...

As painful as this is for you, I'm hoping you find it cathartic.

Having my best friend/SIL committed was the worst moment of my life. She was already in custody so we had a commitment hearing at the courthouse, before a judge. She looked straight at me, denied being my friend, and said some other hurtful things. I knew it wasn't her speaking the words but it hurt just the same.

Someday when I find the words, I will write about the experience on my blog. I admire your strength, Heather.

All the best for Jake's continued sobriety!!!

electriclady said...

Heather, you are so brave.

stella said...

Wow, what an incredible journey this has been. Through adversity comes strength. You both have done very well. Be proud of how far you have come. I know I am.

Aunt Becky said...

You continue to amaze me.