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|04-26-2007, 02:51 PM||#1 (permalink)|
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Portland, Maine
Help for my daughter
I heard a show on NPR the other day (Talk of the Nation) which was all about mental illness and about how many people are only able to find help through the criminal justice system. There was a guy on there - David Oaks from Mindfreedom International - and he spoke about how in the 70's he was diagnosed with psychosis and immediately put on psychotic drugs. His point was that over the years, he's discovered that he didn't need the drugs, that he was able to recover through the help of support groups, professionals, family members, etc - he surrounded himself with support and has been able to recover and leads a healthy drug-free life.
So anyway, the program and his story caught my attention because my 21 year old daugher suffers from bi-polar/schizophrenia, and is also a heroin addict. She's in jail right now, on a probation violation and facing other pending charges. We (her family) are petitioning the court to try to have her placed into a rehab program.
We've been through a lot with Sarah, and I'm reaching out to anyone who might want to write to her while she's in jail - her next court appearance is in June. She's depressed and isolated. Her husband, 22 years old, died the night before Easter of a drug overdose, so needless to say, the last few weeks have been a nightmare. My husband and I just got legal guardianship of Sarah's 15-month-old daughter, so we're keeping her happy and safe while her mother tries to get better.
I'm broken-hearted. We've been wrestling with Sarah's addictions and mental health issues since she was 15. She dropped out of school and started living on the streets when she was a sophomore in high school. When she had the baby, she had been clean for 8 months, and we let her and Bobby move in with us. We were devastated to find out just after Christmas that they were back into drugs. And then they were arrested, Bobby got bailed out and died, and Sarah is still in jail.
Can somebody please help me support her with letters of encouragement? She's a good girl, smart and pretty, but her thoughts don't work right and she's got a powerful addiction. I'm just hoping that she can find a few people who relate with her, to let her know that she's not alone.
I'm not taking her (collect) calls for the present - she's too emotional, and tells me too many lies, trying to manipulate me, and I'm not strong enough to deal with it right now.
I think I'm holding up okay - haven't been sleeping much, and have been quick to tears. It's hard to remember anything right now, I'm pretty distracted which is affecting my work. But I continue to be amazed at how much a person can hold up under. I don't believe the saying "What doesn't kill you, makes you stronger" anymore, though. I've changed it to "What doesn't kill you, makes you a quivering mess on the floor in a corner!" I have to be cheerful and happy for the baby, so in faking it, you actually start to feel a little of it. It helps...
|04-26-2007, 02:57 PM||#2 (permalink)|
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Dancing in the Light
It sounds like you're trying to take care of yourself and that's the best thing you can do. It's great that you're taking care of your granddaughter. I am sorry for what your daughter is going through right now and I hope that she will seek the help that she needs, both for her addictions and for her mental health.
|04-27-2007, 04:31 AM||#4 (permalink)|
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Mid-Life Express
Hi Gammer one of my son's bipolar manic depressive, he too turned to drugs alcohol anything to numb his mind, of course it didn't work and led him into all kinds of trouble. The terrible thing about mental illness is that often people turn to drugs to self medicate. It has taken years (and I know the illness is for life) to get my son to stop drink and drugs, after hospital stays, several suicide attempts, and mixing his prescribed meds with illegal cr**p. I know at any moment he may revert and everytime he does the drugs cocktail will have a paradoxical effect and he will become psychotic for days to weeks. He is taking his medication and not using or drinking at present and is eating well and excercising (sp). The family have to be aware at all times that he may have an episode. We have worked hard for this and now he is having to do it for himself with lots of backup. There's no easy way. Take care of yourself, hubby and grandchild and of course your daughter as far as you can. PM me if you would like to. By the way you are most WELCOME here.
When you judge others, you do not define them, you define yourself." Namasté
|04-27-2007, 05:08 AM||#5 (permalink)|
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Portland, Maine
Thank you all for taking the time to respond. It does help to know that others understand what you're going through. I'm just going to keep writing to my daughter, letting her know that she's not alone in the world, and hopefully we can find a way to get her the treatment she needs. It is a lifetime struggle, both the powerful addiction and the mental disorder. At times, it's depressing to me to know that we'll be fighting this forever, basically.
It's such a roller coaster - you allow yourself to get your hopes up when she's doing well, then it's a body blow when she turns to the worse again. It's hard not to become cynical, to harden your heart and when she pleads that she wants to do better, that she'll try harder, to just say "Yeah right, I've heard that all before..." But with the problems she has, she means it with all her heart when she's saying that she wants to be someone I'll be proud of. Her addictions are just stronger than that, and the mental disease doesn't allow her to make rational decisions. She's so impulsive, and her thoughts make no sense to others, and even she says it's scary to "wake up" and realize what you've done, and not even known why you did it.
I'm at the point where I just want to keep her daughter away from her, so that she'll never suffer through her mother's ups and downs, but to do that means keeping myself from my daughter as well. And I'm the only member of the family that is still on speaking terms with her, so that would be a death sentence for my daughter.
I'm scared for the future, and worried about how long I can hold up. It's changed me as a person, these years of hell with my daughter, and I can see it's continuing to change me, not in a good way. But nobody ever told you what the future holds, so you just have to have the strength to accept it, and find beauty in the good days.
I have 4 other kids, 3 of them still at home (a sophomore, freshman and 8th grader), in addition to the baby, and I am the northeast sales manager for the company I work for - responsible for $5 million/year in sales and I'm supposed to be on the road at least 50% of the time. The pressure is enormous, and I wish I could just walk away from it, but I'm the primary income in the house (my husband works 3 hours a night, just for the insurance coverage for our family, and this allows him to be home with the kids while I'm on the road), so I'm stuck.
My other son, who will be 19 this year, has chosen the same path as Sarah - instead of looking at her drug use with horror as the other kids have, he's seen it as "cool" and has followed in her footsteps. He's also had some brushes with the law, and at this time I've more or less cut off contact with him as well. He's hateful and rude to me every time I talk with him, and also full of self-pity and "poor me". The combination is too tough for me to take. He lives with his girlfriend, neither one of them can hold a job, both of them are going nowhere.
From the wreck of these two oldest kids, you'd think I was an awful mother. I look back and think, what did I do wrong? But I didn't!! I was a good mother. I was a stay at home mom until they were starting school, and then their grandmother (an RN) watched them. I read to them and played with them, Sarah was in ballet and gymnastics, my son was in Little League and football. We took them camping and fishing, to Disney World. I went to every field trip I could as a chaparone, we went to all their games. I've played untold hours of Monopoly and Life and Clue - I've always been there for them.
I guess it's just the drugs. It's evil evil. And Sarah, struggling with her mental health issues, was easy prey. And Jake thought her lifestyle was cool, and she promoted it that way to him and sucked him right in. And now I've lost both of them. I've got the 3 still at home to focus on, and the baby. I'm so fearful to have anything happen to them, I couldn't live through this any more.
Well, gotta get to work. Thank you all for listening. I live an isolated life on the road, and can't confide any of this stuff to my customers or co-workers. I have my mother and my sister that I talk to, but I try to stay cheerful in front of them, too, so it's nice to be able to put this all down and have you guys reply back to me with words of support because you've been there. Thank you.
|04-27-2007, 06:01 AM||#6 (permalink)|
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Fluttering About
Gammer Not only will I send her cards but also she will be in my prayers.
Thank You so much for posting and requesting support. You and your family will also be in those prayers.
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