Wednesday, December 30, 2009

All is calm, all is bright

Corey and Sara were here for Christmas. I saw them for a few hours each day, and they seemed great.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thankful for . . .

I'm thankful that both of these guys (my dad and C) are still in my life.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Twisted Road

They move forward, and my best thoughts and hardest prayers go with them.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

A fresh start

After his major stumble last month, C went back into treatment and seemed to get it right this time. He's going to have to deal with the consequences of his DUI, as California views it as a second strike. His only other DUI (amazing given the events of the years behind us) was in New Jersey right after he finished high school. While his case hasn't come up yet, he'll likely spend another 30/20 days in jail in California.

But for now, C and his girlfriend have packed their belongings and are leaving the west coast. They should arrive in a few days and spend a couple of weeks before heading down to the Florida Keys, where they will live.

Fingers crossed.

Monday, July 13, 2009

I'd really love to tell you something good . . .

However, after Corey was released from jail and went to the "safe house" (that's just such a misnomer knowing what I know now) he was hooked up with a "case worker" who had issues of his own. C was able to continue his most recent addiction to "benzos." This guy basically told my son that he could do whatever he wanted as "he had his back."

I don't want to bore you with the details, but long story short: Corey was picked up last Friday after he wrecked his car, got a DUI (drugs, not alcohol), spent the night in jail, and went to detox for benzodiazepines, which are so incredibly horrible that many detox/rehab places won't take patients going through this withdrawal. It might take years for him to be totally free of the effects.

And my already shaky hope for Corey's recovery has slipped even further from the positive. I love him, I pray for him, and I try to see the best. But I am steeled for the worst.

It's not a good feeling.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Independence Day

After 20 days in Orange County Men's Central Jail, Corey was released at a little after midnight on Saturday morning, July 4.


He was picked up by a representative from Sober Living by the Sea. He'll be living in a safe house there for the next 30 days and then moving to Florida with his girlfriend.
Doors open.

I hope that these past weeks help them to stay clean.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Still captured

This crab was held captive between these rock walls by the waning tide on a New Jersey beach.

Impatient as he appeared, he had only to wait a little more than 12 hours for the incoming tide for his release.

Corey's tide won't come in for another week.

I'm hoping that this time in Orange County Central Men's Jail will instill in him an aversion to the place. And not just in Orange County.

He's been able to call collect every day, except yesterday, when some folks "acted up." I can't help but wonder what constitutes "acting up" when you're in jail. And I expect my phone bill will be accompanied by a security guard next month. I KNOW it's going to be impressive. At one point, my phone company refused to accept collect calls from OCJ any more. I prepaid to receive C's calls, and my credit card was compromised, and the $50 I'd prepayed went by in a day (maybe 20 minutes of talk).

He now calls my fax number collect. Maybe I'll get two security guards with the bill.

I don't think I've spoken to C every day since he was 14 and I lived with his dad. I like that part of his incarceration. But, I'm ready for him to be free of jail. And he seems resolved to never land there again.

Bring on the high tide.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Not what he expected

Illustration by Barron Storey

C expected to go to court yesterday and then be released.

Except that isn't what happened.

He found out that he was sentenced to 30 days for his outstanding warrants and would serve 20. He'll be released July 4.

(a moment to think about that)

I haven't actually talked to him as I was in NYC all day with friends, viewing the Barron Storey exhibit at the Society of Illustrators, lunching, and walking through Central Park.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

How I hate this

Tonight he sits in a large room surrounded by folks I'd rather he not be with — 'the block' he called it. Captive. His bed is a cot on the perimeter of this 'block.' I wonder how he'll find his space in this 'dorm.'

He sounds much better today than he did at 4 a.m. when he called collect from the Orange County Jail. He was angry. He was sometimes incoherent — holding the phone under his chin . . . mumbling. 'Old warrants,' he said. 'Already taken care of,' he said. 'Look up Orange County on the internet,' he said. 'They're corrupt.' It was difficult to say that I wouldn't help. That I wouldn't pay his bail. 

His girlfriend said that the warrants are unpaid traffic violations for throwing cigarette butts out of a car window. Is that really possible? The girl at the Orange County Inmate Info line said, 'yes,' but that she was not able to give information over the phone. 'If you'd like to come down . . . '

I had the pleasure of speaking with a man who identified himself as a 'friend' of my son's. He is the father-in-law of my son's last employer. Someone who has gone beyond to help him. Someone who is there and who cares. He said that he'd visit C tomorrow if he could. He said that he'd let me know.

It's so hard to turn my back and walk away.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Looking up

Every little thing that isn't bad makes me feel good. So, I was encouraged tonight when I spoke to C and heard a clear-minded person on the other end of the line. I suspect that is not who was manning the cell phone when we had a text conversation last week, as I really couldn't make out one thing he typed.

He told me tonight that he's been clean for six days. 

I believe him.

I hope that he multiplies that by a hundred . . . A thousand . . . Ten thousand . . .

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Detach with Love

New Zealand Maori carving (altered)

I get a lighthearted quote from StoryPeople in my e-mail every morning. They are often pertinent to the things I'm dealing with, and other times they just crack me up, like this one:

"has detached with love so many times that her hair has started to fall out in clumps"

Actually, I guess that does pretty much pertain to my life right now.

Checking my hair in the mirror.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

In between

This photograph is one I took last summer. It's probably my favorite of C as an adult.

Soon after this photograph was taken, C flew back to California, and during his flight, he decided that he was old enough to have a drink. . . after eight months of sobriety.

So, here we are. This is the image of C sober THEN. The next one I hope to take soon.

Monday, April 20, 2009


I've been reluctant to post again. It's so easy to be misunderstood when words stand alone. When the reader doesn't understand the places a writer has been to before. When he can't see my eyes, or C as a three-year-old, or the family Christmas play . When he doesn't understand that my hopelessness is fleeting. Or, at least understand that it will be.

I debated starting this blog for a full year before I did. I spoke with friends about it. I posted about the subject a few times on another blog of mine. And then, on a night when I was feeling somewhat less than hopeful . . . tearful and terrified . . . this blog was born.

The comments and e-mails I've received during the past week have touched me. I'm buoyed by the support, and saddened that my plight is shared by so many. I appreciate the suggestions, but I know the road well. I've been to Al-Anon meetings and Nar-Anon meetings and have joined online support groups. I know I didn't cause C's addiction, I can't control it, nor can I cure it. . . most of the time. Loving an addict means that rationality is not always at the top of your emotional pile.

I've heard from readers I don't know, from family, from in-laws and from friends. Their responses made me question who I was writing to. After several days of reflection, I've decided that I can best tell my story without distraction. Therefore, I am disabling comments on this blog.

I am writing for myself, to document the events going forward from this moment, as well as to reflect on events that have passed. I am also writing to share my experience with others who might also be living this nightmare. I may post information that folks find helpful, so please feel free to read on if you wish. If you feel strongly about contacting me, you can find my e-mail address in my profile.

Know though, that my pain coexists with happiness . . .  found in C, my other children, my grandchildren, and my life.

Wishing you all the same.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Pure Joy and Loyalty

It's difficult to have a bad day when you've spent it with these virtues.
Thursdays are always spent with my grandson. Atticus, is with me every day, but he shines when his favorite kid is around.

I spoke with C last night. Apparently, he is planning to come back to this area in May. Of course, there is a lot of 'green' between now and next month. So, we'll see.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

How the heck did we get here?

I'm sure that every parent of an addicted child asks themselves this question at some point.

How did we go from innocence and sandcastles and flying kites on the beach, into the darkness and the broken dreams and the place where nothing but heroin matters. It's a rhetorical question. As Lou says, "It is what it is." At some point, the rabbit hole appeared in front of him and he dove head-first into it. We've spent many years reaching in to pull him out, even though I know he's got to climb out of it himself.

Within each of us are the elements of happiness and despair. Today, I choose to be happy: my one-year-old grandson can say, "Memaw."

Monday, April 13, 2009

I hope he's wrong . . .

We are exactly where we were ten years ago when I started documenting my son's drug use. 

At that time, I was also documenting the crazy things that accompanied my divorce from his father. And, while the events associated with our divorce have faded into practically nothing, C's addiction continues to demand attention.

This is my first post to this blog. Right now, I hope that I post often and for a long time. Because, you see, my youngest son (25) has relapsed for the countless time, and his father and I have taken "that stance." We've announced that we will no longer support him or his lifestyle.

The disconnect is electric within me. I'm searching inside myself for how he is and the ways in which I've failed him. I'm one inch from tears often.

A friend of mine told me tonight that her father says, "the only cure for drug addiction is death."

I hope he's wrong.