Thursday, December 30, 2010

My Daughter Sees Me as #1 Mom

In the previous post, I wrote and told you for Christmas I received a silver necklace in the mail.  Attached to the necklace was a silver heart and lettering saying #1 Mom with a red rose inside in the heart with the lettering.
I need to say more about this.  My daughter, Taylor Jean, has Aspbergers Syndrome, which is a slight form of autism.  She functions in every day living  and made the JV Cheerleading Squad.  Her favorite subjects are French and Art and she wants to be a Fashion Designer when she grows up.  However, the AS makes it so she doesn't function socially at the level she should.  Thankfully her school has a class for this and it seems to help with her social skills.
As soon as I went to my dads house, I had my step mom put the necklace on for me and I haven't taken it off since and don't plan on it.  However when it first came in the mail and I read the words #1 Mom I thought how undeserving I was I was of this precious gift.
My Daughter is now 14 and I missed the years of her life from 7 to 13 and 1/2. With the occasional pop in and pop out until I matured enough to know I had to stay clean for a year before coming back into her life.  I will never get those years back, but more importantly when my daughter needed her mommy during those years I wasn't there.
Sometimes she still calls me mommy, because of her AS but also because there were so many years when she needed to say mommy and couldn't.  Of my past mistakes, what I did to my children is my biggest regret.  I had them stay with stable family; instead of dragging them through my addiction, but I wasn't there for them.
My son who was 3 or 4 when I left doesn't even remember me.  So I don't push him to talk to me or write.  I figure when he wants to he will, if he wants to.
I remember the years before my addiction:  a single mom working two jobs, at times, paying a mortgage, with two cars, and going to school full-time for my Masters degree(which I did not finish).  Yet however stressful that life might seem I remember laughing and playing with my kids in the yard and their rooms and the living room.  I remember having them crawl into my bed in the morning to watch tv with me when I just couldn't quite get up yet.  I remember making ice cream sundaes and dinners in the oven.  I remember reading to them everyday before we left the house and every night before they went to bed.  I read to them before they were even born.  Back then I was #1 mom material.
I am trying my best to be the best mom I can from 10 hours away and after all the lost time, but I wasn't sure I deserved to be called a #1 mom yet.  I haven't had enough time to prove myself again to my daughter, however my daughter is quick to forgive and quick to love.
She thinks I would like this necklace and she bought it for me.  I wear it with pride and know that although I'm still proving it to myself; my daughter already accepts me as the #1 mom.  She has a step mom in her life and I know her I met her as a friend before my ex married her and she is a kind woman.  But in my daughters eyes I am #1.

What's Been Goin On?

To all my concerned readers, thank you for your kind words, but no I have not relapsed.  I just have been doing things where I couldn't get to a computer.  I am now house sitting.  The dogs and the cat and I are enjoying each other.  Tasia my chihuahua still thinks she runs things even at someone else's home.  She instigates the much bigger springer spaniel type dog to chase her.  The cat mostly avoids the dogs. 
I am right next door to my dads and have been over to visit once briefly since house sitting.  Before that he took the family out for Christmas dinner and then Christmas day I stopped by for a couple of hours.
I have found a new home group.  I cried the last time attended my old home group but I was there for a season and now its time for someone else to take over that group.  I do have a new home group but won't be attending until I'm, done house sitting as I have no transportation and am now in a different city.
I was able to buy my daughter a Christmas gift this year.  A nice one too. A telescope.  She wasn't expecting it and she was very happy with my choice for her.  She mailed me a necklace of silver with a heart pendant that says #1 Mom and has a red rose on it.  I couldn't believe it!! She still thinks of me as a #1 mom, after all the time we've been apart and heartache I'm sure I put her through.  I am being consistent with calling her at least once every two weeks, some times more often.
So here is the quick update and you can look for a new substantial post soon.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Others Can Still Jar Me

The NA book says relapse is not a requirement.  It also says a relapse may be the jarring experience that brings about a more vigorous application of the program.  In case you haven't guessed already someone I know pretty well has relapsed.  I've been in relationships before where the person who relapsed opened the door for me to follow suit, this is not the case here. I am not in a relationship with this person.  I am not even saying if it is a man or a woman.

However, it reminds me how close my disease is to me. If I make one bad choice it may lead me down the road to relapse.  I like to think I have enough tools in tool belt (the basic text and other literature, my sponsor, a network of friends who aren't using, my Higher Power, meetings, open talks, sponsee{yes sponsorship is a two way street, sometimes I may need them for help})so that I am more separated than that but it could happen.  It happens to people with double digit clean time every day if they are not living the program.  The NA book also says we have never seen anyone who lives the NA program relapse on page 79.  This causes some confusion because many times I hear people say they are working their program. They have two things wrong. first you need to live the program by applying the steps and spiritual principles in your life, attending meeting, talking to your sponsor and working the steps, doing service work, having and trusting your Higher Power, and giving back what was so freely given to you.  The other thing is it's the NA program-not their program.  By working their program they are allowed to pick and chose which of the above mentioned duties they do, instead of living them all.

This person has been a chronic relapser and almost had a year clean and made a wrong choice and has to start all over again.  I remember starting all over again because I've done it so many times.  Then the shame and guilt and embarrassment made me not want to go to a meeting and tell everyone I had screwed up again.  However, for the most part people were encouraging to me and told me they were glad I made it back and to turn off the solar powered ass kicking machine.  There are always one or two people who are not understanding yet they are the ones who are working their program not living the NA program. 
The only requirement for membership is the desire to stop using.  So no one can tell you if you are a member or not that's between you and your Higher Power.

And our primary purpose is to help the still suffering addict.  People were there for me when when I screwed up and I plan on welcoming this individual back into the fellowship with open arms.Through the program I have learned the meanings of compassion and empathy.

This persons set back reminds me I am still an addict and I am not cured even though I have sponsees and hold together a home group and have a service position as a GSR, and have a sponsor and apply the steps in my life, I am still an addict and I could have to start all over again if I make a bad decision.
I have noticed most of my relapses work in a backwards order first I lose my spiritual well being and then my emotional well being and then the next thing I do is physically pick up.  My Higher Power plays a large part in my choice not to pick up today because my Higher Power is always with me and watching me, even when no one else is.

My prayers go out to this person because I know if I could learn to live the NA program this person can learn to live the NA program also.When I see this person at a meeting I will be one of the first people to give them a hug and say welcome back, I'm glad you were able to make it back.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Recipe Because of Recovery.

I don't know why I was uncomfortable the last couple of days, but today I have a great perspective on my life.  I am sitting my warm house and the smell of oregano and garlic is filling all the rooms.  I made homemade spaghetti and meatballs.  As I was cooking, I realized, I had all the ingredients I needed for a good meal and I have all the ingredients I need for a successful life.
Take 1 cup of a puppy's love and half a cup of doggie kisses, blend with 2 cups of a warm place to stay and 1/2 a cup of phone calls from my daughter.  Mix together and let simmer for 20 minutes.  Then add 1 visit to a true friends house for a fun conversation and 1 visit to my dads house for family love and 3 cups of a Higher Powers love and understanding, and combine the 2 mixtures.  Add a dash of humility and a generous sprinkle of gratitude and then bake at 300 degrees in an oven(that you own, in your home, that's working because the electricity bill has been paid), and bake for 1 hour, in which time, take the time, to soak feet and relax(because I can, I have the ability to relax just because, and do not have to be hustling).  When the cake comes out of the oven there is no need to frost it, because everything I needed and truly wanted is already mixed together in the cake.  Take a knife and slice a sweet piece of recovery.
Of course there is more to recovery, I need the support of NA meetings, my therapist, and a network of friends who aren't using however these are all people I can invite to enjoy my cake today.
I am in a good space and hope all my readers are too, if you aren't remember to reach out to someone else and call on your High Power to help you through.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Can I Be Comfortable Without the Chaos?

I am taking a break from reliving past experiences today and looking at my present situation.  Everything should be in order and I should be happy and content right?  Well the fact of the matter is I am completely bored. 
I remember when I first entered recovery and I constantly had to be on the go.  I couldn't sit still for two minutes at a time.  In order to break myself of this, I chose one day a week where I would not allow myself to leave the house, not even to go the store.  This helped me learned to be comfortable with just being me and learning to sit still even if it was just one day a week.
Now, I am in a situation where I rarely leave the house.  I don't have many pressing matters that can't be handled from home and my lack of transportation contributes to this. 
Here's the heart of the matter:  My bills are paid, I have a warm place to stay with electricity, running water(I am extremely grateful for this), food in  my refrigerator, heat and a wonderful puppy to keep me company.  I no longer have to hustle everyday in order to enjoy just one of these benefits.  I no longer have to worry about being taken advantage of by people who I thought were my friends.  Don't get me wrong I don't miss the lifestyle of an active drug addict.  It's just that this new life is foreign and slightly uncomfortable for me.
As I was watching TV I saw a beer bottle that was distinctly a Grolsch beer bottle and remembered saving the tops to use them for roach holders.  It didn't make me feel like using as it might have a year ago but the memories remain.  I still drink sugar water when I run out money and have no juice or pop left in the house and that in itself brings back memories too.
If you were never an addict and are reading this you might think I am either crazy or ungrateful.  Crazy? maybe at least my doctors tell me so but I am on my medications so my craziness is not the issue. Ungrateful?  Definitely not.  I give thanks and praise every day to my Higher Power for allowing the opportunity of choice.  I remember when I did not have a choice and am so grateful today that I do have a choice and with my Higher Powers help I usually make the right choices.
The problem still exists though that I am bored.I have all the movie channels and have either already seen the movies I want to for this month or I don't want to see the others.  Tasia is a great companion but  she can't entertain me 24 hours a day.There was quite a bit of a snowstorm last night so walking anywhere is out of the question, along with the fact of my back problems prohibit me from walking too far anyway.  I play on the computer for awhile but there is no instant reply many times and I miss social interaction.
I used to be surrounded by people although they were mostly bad people for me I had some one to scheme with or get high with or complain with.
I do not want this to be seen as a pity pot posting because that is not my intention.  I think it is important to point out that adjusting to sober life is difficult.  Sure getting high was difficult, it was a job you never went home from or took a coffee or lunch break from, but new experiences need to be recognized for what they are.
I was the person who thrived on chaos and pressure and currently neither of these entities are in my life.I tell myself it's OK to lay down and take a nap, but then I feel like I've been asleep for many years and am just waking up; I don't want to miss anything.
Learning to be comfortable while being comfortable is proving to be quite a task for me right now.  I am sure other recovering addicts have gone through this same experience and as the book says this too will eventually pass.  Point is, I am ready for it to pass now.
So here I am taking things one day at a time, and re-learning how to live.  I am sure there are many non-addicts who would be envious of all the free time I have on my hands the problem is I am not sure what to do with it.  I read, but my ADD doesn't allow me to focus on one book for very long so I have several books that I am a various points in and when I pick one up I have to recall which story it is and what has already happened.  As I stated earlier I am getting pretty tired of TV and Tasia, my angel/puppy helps but is not the answer.  I have joined facebook, and twitter all trying to fill the void.
My sponsor told me to fill the void with spirituality.  I look to my Higher Power quite frequently but still have problems waiting for the answers.  It's not like I can talk and get an instant response with my Higher Power.  I read spiritual books but again my ADD interferes.
I feel as if I am living the life of a senior citizen and I am only 39.  My body puts me in the condition of a senior citizen many times because of the pain.  I have no job, as I am on disability for my bi-polar disorder that was diagnosed when I was 17, long before I started smoking crack.
Part of me misses the adventure and chaos and part of me says thank you to my Higher Power for not having to put up with adventure and chaos.  Basically, as it says in the first step I am lost and confused.  I feel different.
Learning to cope with a comfortable life does not seem to me like it should be such a huge obstacle.  Yet, everyday I feel like I am missing out on something.  Like there are adventures to be had and I am not invited.
I know I will get through this feeling but writing about it helps.  It makes me think I need more friends but then I think How do I go about doing that?  It's not like in elementary school when you could just walk up to someone and say "want to be my friend?" and they said "OK" and that was that.
Being semi-home bound(because of pain and lack of transportation) makes making new friends a difficult task.  I thought about trying to make friends with my new neighbors however no one lives in either house next to me and I'm not sure how far down the street etiquette allows you to go say "I am your neighbor and would like to be friends."
So the good thing is I am comfortable and I will learn eventually to be comfortable being comfortable.  I am just not in that spot right now.  That's why there are tomorrows however I am getting impatient.  I am grateful I have this medium to express my feeling and emotions and hope my posts help others too.
I checked the site stats the other day and this blog has reached Norway, Spain, Australia, Singapore, Rwanda, United Kingdom, Canada, Bangladesh, and many places in the United States.  This lets me know my message is getting out and I look to my readers as friends right now.  I have met some extremely kind and wonderful people here and this is a journey I wish to continue.I enjoy reading all your comments and try to respond to them all so please keep reading and keep commenting.  This is something that helps me to be comfortable.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Recalling Another Almost Death Experience

I met a girl in the hallway of an apartment building we were all squatting in.  She was stayin on the second floor and I was stayin on the third.  She'd been there longer. I'd only been around a couple of weeks.  She was lookin for someone to smoke some crack with and invited.  What addict turns down free crack, right? So I followed her to the apartment she was squatting in and smoked some with her and she seemed alright but the crack was gone so I went out to hustle.

Later on that night I ran into her and a trick of hers and her husband and they were all goin back to the part of the building they were staying at and they invited me.  She told her husband she met earlier and I was ok.  Everything went ok earlier, so I went along.  Well, things started to get crazy.  She wanted everyone to take their clothes off and wouldn't let anyone else smoke any of the crack.  Luckily, I wasn't dumb enough to take my clothes off before I got any crack and when her husband offered me a packed pipe she smacked it out of my mouth across the room saying " How you gonna offer her to smoke before me."  Remind you there were four of us in the room and she the only one who had gotten to smoke.  After about 20 minutes, I noticed she'd been drinking and then she got jealous.  She smashed the liquor bottle on the broken out out window so the neck was in her hand and the jagged part was being waved around wildly at everyone in the room, but especially me since I was the only other female in the room.

I don't remember how, my find still blocks out portions of this night, but I got out of the room.  I went up to the portion where I was staying with a friend cause she didn't know where my spot was.  After talking with my friend who told my about this building and was sharing this portion of the building of me, he'd been there about a year, he informed he how absolutely insane she was.

That same night I was jonsing so I went out to look for a trick or two to make some money.  Wouldn't you know it, the crazy lady's husband had had enough of her to and had gotten a HHR vehichle from his cousin.  He saw me as I was coming back into the parking lot after striking out on the hoe stroll.  He rolled down the window and said "Jump in, before she sees you."  He had crack earlier so I figured he had some again.

He drove me across town to a city park in the back.  It was about 11pm and dark and no one else was around and I was used to going to parks to trick for crack but not this one.  When we got out of the car we went to a picnic table and he packed a stem for me.  Then he said he wanted a blow job. 

This is where some parts are extremely clearly etched in memory and some are extremely erased from my memory so sorry if this recounting goes kinda fuzzy. 

He grabbed me by my neck and said " Do it right.  Don't play that hoe shit, and try to do it quick."  For about the next forty-five minutes I was told the following statements over and over.  "Were alone here no one would find you until the morning."  "I should snap your neck right now."as her would pull my hair forcing my head from side to side. I thought for sure tonight was the night I would finally die.  "Do it right."  "Quit playing those ho games, you're not gonna get this done quickly."  Eventually I knocked his crack over, which ended up being benzo anyway, so he forced me onto the ground and with his knees on my shoulders he got my pants down.

Then he grabbed my neck again and raped me.  Then He got me back into the car.  I thought it was over but it wasn't.  He made a call and said "Are you ready? I got one."  He told me he was taking me to his friends so they could rape me too and then he and his wife were going to beat the shit out of me and that they did this type of thing all the time.  He actually he referred to himself and his wife as Bonnie and Clyde.

So I thought fast, luckily it was benzo and not crack, so I wasn't totally stuck.  When he turned to pull out of the city park, in the middle of the turn I flung open the car door and jumped out.  I remember hearing him say "Don't do that."

I ran down a busy street in the opposite direction of the way the car was facing so he couldn't follow me and had no choice except to drive away.  Which he did. Fast.  I was running wildly down the middle of a busy road my arms waving back and forth over my head yelling "Please Help Me Please Help Me."

I think it was 4 or 5 cars that passed me before someone actually stopped.  It was a group of 3 yuppie boys goin to a club.  They were concerned and asked what I needed.  I told them I'd been raped and needed to go home.  They tried to talk me into goin to the hospital, they were all confused they didn't know what to do and I kept saying no just take me home.  I actually went to a different spot and told them that was my home.

After they drove off, I hitchhiked from near Detroit to Flint to see the only person I thought would understand.  A man I met in recovery and was in love with.  His mom didn't know what was going on and wanted me to take a shower before his daughter came down for breakfast.(Yeah, he still lived with his mom who has custody of his daughter, but that's another story.)

Anyway, since we were previously involved his mother knew my family and within a few hours she got a version of what happened by my simply saying "I was raped and needed to see C."  She drove me home to my dad who wanted nothing to do with me since I'd been back out on the streets for awhile, again.  However he did say I needed to file a police report.

I didn't want to go through that either but finally after an hour of coaxing which seemed liked days as I still wasn't high and that was the whole purpose of mission that started the night before, I allowed Miss Barbara to take me to the police station.

I tried to write a report as well as I could but I was forgetting to how to spell, I still hadn't slept, and I hadn't slept for a few days previously because I'd been smoking.  I had no home address or phone number and it took awhile and I went through the rape kit and everything.  When I was done, the officer called my dad to come pick me up.  He wouldn't come.  I can remember hearing the officer say"But she's your daughter." It didn't matter.

I ended up sleeping in the police station waiting room sitting in a chair with my head on a table. I woke up in the morning and realized no one was coming for me and I had nowhere to go.  I couldn't go back to where I was squatting because I had given a good description of the man and where to find him and I saw a xerox picture of him at one point during the night so I know the police had picked him up.

My feet were blistered and aching because when I was hitchhiking I ended up walking half the way.  I did not know what to do I was lost.  I sat on the sidewalk outside of the police station with my head on my knees trying to figure what and where to go and do next.  Then the owner of a three quarter house I had stayed at before showed up.

My dad had called her and told her where I was and she came and got me.  Again, I reentered a three quarter house.

I don't want to put a moral or some astounding truth to this story I just want to present the facts about this situation.  I need to realize the decisions I make when I use drugs put me in these types of situations and I need to address them in order to heal from them.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

So Much Over the Past Couple Days

I have a feeling my good ole friend MS. Bi-Polar for the Holidays is kicking in and I am rapid cycling.  One minute I have so much energy sleep seems like a foreign word and the next all I want to do is give myself a pity-party.  However, I have made it back to this blog and would like to recap the past few days.

I had my slumber party for recovering women Saturday night for my early bday celebration, at first I was dissappointed at the turn out and then my Higher Power said the people that need to be here are.  As I look back the most important person there was not me, it was a newcomer who celebrated her second 30 days on Monday.  She actually spent the night and is not a woman who gets along well with other women yet.  She was shown, we have fun without the use of drugs or alcohol at parties.  I spent the whole next day sleeping I am not as young as I used to be. Staying up late and watching movies and eating tons of food and sweets takes a toll on me these days.  I did make my Home Group Sunday night, but that's all I accomplished on Sunday.

It was a great meeting concerning the sixth step.  It was also a good place to have other people finish eating up my cake, because I found I was starting to like the cream cheese frosting too much and every time I went into the kitchen I was grabbing a piece.  Just because I turned 39 doesn't mean I need to put on 39 pounds.  It was red velvet cake too.  Having something different like that, it went fast at the meeting.

On Monday, my family threw me a celebration.  This was my actual bellybutton birthday day.  My parents hooked up steak dinner with all the fixings.  They spent a major portion of their day preparing for me.  For someone who still can never ask to spend the night, not even on the floor, no matter what is happening in my life, like I learned after one of my past rapes when I ended up having to spend the night at the police station becase they wouldn't pick me up.  These same people invited me into their household and spent time preparing a major meal in my honor and bought me new pajamas, a pretty sweater, and a warm, fuzzy, housecoat(this is the only thing I asked for).

Since the thanksgiving holiday and my birthday took up so much of my time, my tutoring students had 1 extra day of holiday break from me because I did not work on Monday, my birthday.  However, yesterday was a tutoring marathon helping evey student.  I started at 930 worked until 330 took a break til 6 then worked until 1000.  But this goes to show I am becoming more responsible and people can depend on me.  On this subject reminds of the really cool news that happened during a phone call at 830 yesterday.

My dad's neighbor, they live in a ritzy area, called me in the morning.  She has a dog, lady, a type of spaniel and a cat, Willow.  She has witnessed me through my ups and downs since she is my dads neighbor and she has seen how I feel about Tasia and animals in general.  She was almost deterrmined not to go on a family trip from Dec 26 to Jan 11 to Florida(we live in Michigan) Escaping this weather would be a blessing especially for Florida's weather.  Anyway, she called me and asked me if I would bring Tasia over and house and pet sit while she was away on her trip.

You could've knocked me over with a leftover birthday mylar balloon.  Someone is trusting me enough with all they hold dear while they will be out of the state.  Let's recap the same girl who lived homeless, was a prostitute, hustled on the streets daily and often sold things that weren't hers to begin with is being trusted with a family's mosted valued possession, their home and pets.  And the thing of it , when they come home, the tv and dvd player, and computer, and even the house will still belong to the rightful owners.  People are starting to trust me after 19 months of living the NA program and living my life accordingly.  This gives me hope and reassures me that all the effort I am putting into my recovery are definitely worth it.  I feel better about myself and some people are starting to the changes in my life.