Saturday, June 14, 2014

Fathers Day, Sam's progress, an epic fail, & another friend lost the battle........

*****Happy Father's Day weekend...*****

to ALLLLLL the Dads out there.....
bio-dads, step-dads, adoptive dads, ALL OF YOU..... every "Dad" is important, in a kid's life, no matter WHAT they may think.....
I guess that is where I'll start, today.

I can tell you from a little girls' point of view...... All I wanted while growing up, was my Dad to be proud of me.... I wanted to do things to his "standard" and be the person he thought, I was or could be, or was supposed to be. Because he gave up so much, just to try and get me started on the right foot.... No, I'm not talking about my Biological Father....
Maybe I should back up...
I know I've explained this before, in my blog, somewhere.... But, here we go, again in summary;
My Mother was under the impression (told more than once by numerous medical folks) She would not have children, and IF she did, it would be miraculous..... so, she really wasn't "planning" on me, But I know, and I want NO Question here, that she WANTED me.... now I'm trying to think... WHAT did she always say......hmmmm... she'll kill me if I can't remember...
OHHHHH yeah, "you were unplanned but certainly NOT unwanted"
Yep, that's perfect.
Anyway,
She knew better than to get back into (or even stay) in a very unhealthy relationship JUST because she was pregnant... Something she taught ME, too......  So, for the first few years it was JUST ME AND MOM..... and it was cool.... I have lots of memories of her and I riding around SO CAL, in this little yellow Toyota car we had... where the seats were so hot sometimes (black) they'd FRY your butt and leg as you sat down... going to the 7-11 to get a SLURPEE.... and you know, all that kind of stuff kids just LOVE TO DO... we did things like that together, just her and me, all the time.
anyway,
about the time I was 6, or so? She met the man I call my DAD..... she got pregnant again,, yes miracle number TWO..... and had my brother.....
we became a family.... I don't remember exact dates, and I don't think any ONE of us really "cares" what date that occurred... I do know, my parents loved each other very much, and still do. today I know now, more than ever they both did their very best, to give my brother and I the best "platform" to jump from... Not so easy, then or now either one.
here's a
REFRESHER on how I came to call him, DAD.......
(just the first couple paragraphs)

My Dad did the best he could. . . . . . every day. . . . . . No he wasn't perfect,,,,,,,, yes,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, he made mistakes. . . . . . But I do know he'd have stepped in front of a semi truck to spare me, if needed without a second thought. He taught me, anything I wanted to know about cars, engines, carpentry, WHATEVER knowledge, he COULD share, he did share. . . I guess that's the way WE bonded.... It was the only time we really talked a lot, & got along  well...... As anyone knows, teenagers are so EASY to talk to, right....
At THAT time, I didn't realize how much of a pain in the ass, I really was.... but I know I was in no way an "easy child" to raise, or keep after, or teach ................well ANYTHING.....

Anyway,,,, My point here, is this......
As a young woman, and growing up, I guess I thought, that's how ALL men are/were.... they all worked as hard as they could for their families,  I not only saw my Grandpa do it but my Dad too. THAT was the "norm" ,,,, right?
yeah,
I soon had a reality check coming, one that hit like a ton of bricks.....but we won't go there, today...

A real PARENT,,
whether it be a Mom or a Dad,,, and I don't care WHAT your "title" is..... a REAL PARENT,,,, gets up every single day, and does the very best they can for their family.... And that's it.... no matter what... even on days you don't feel like it.... You just DO.....

according to ALL THE BOOKS,,,
your child will LOOK for a spouse, with the same traits as they grew up with... so think about that, next time you are debating your "relationship"
Think to yourself,
would I want my son, or daughter to PUT UP with THIS???  What would I EXPECT them to do???
and you might just see things differently...

I had NO IDEA
how highly important WORDS ARE, to a little boy from his father.... NO IDEA..... until this past year or so.... Mike has learned a LOT , too..... and I'm glad he's paid attention..... I put it to him like this one day,,,,
"Sam hangs on to EVERY LITTLE THING you say to him.... he repeats it, he wears your WORDS on himself, like a coat...... It's totally up to you, whether you want those words to be POSITIVE and encouraging or NEGATIVE and horrible... it's totally IN YOUR CONTROL,,,, how he thinks of himself, how he views YOU and other men in his life, ETC..... Think about THAT next time you want to "lose it" or anything like that..."
And I repeated back to him, many of the things Sam had repeated that came from his Dad's mouth at one point or another.... he didn't KNOW , either... how very important everything he says, really IS to that little boy.... who will grow up to be a man, himself one day.

I'm certainly happy to REPORT,,,, Mike says more positive & encouraging things nowadays (and in the past 8 months or so) than EVER Before, and hardly ever,,, only seldom does anything remotely negative show or get said. . . .
Samuel  knows (and understands) much more than "average" for a five year old about things like county jail and probation ; and some people think that's a mistake on my part... But, I just couldn't lie anymore, I just couldn't "keep up" with the bullshit anymore... And Of COURSE I only explain things as they are AGE appropriate.....
but guess what???
he knows he wants NOTHING to do with Probation, "when I'm a big kid" as he puts it... and that is just FINE with me... he also knows that not ALL people that are in or go to jail are BAD PEOPLE... yes sure, some of them, are....
But many many GOOD people make bad choices at one point or another, or make mistakes and that's where they have to go for awhile.. Or they end up on heinous probation, and end up going back for stupid reasons. I think it's a mistake to raise kids, with the thought that "only bad people" go to jail, or are on probation, or WHATEVER you want to say... if you raise them, thinking they are "out of reach" by these facilities,,, that right there will almost guarantee they will be IN ONE at some point.... do you see what I'm saying???
You can go to jail for damn near ANYTHING these days.... Piss one law enforcement person off, and that's it,,, you're gonna do at least a couple nights.... Now, you want your child thinking there's NO TURNING BACK, after a week in county lock-up??
don't get me wrong,,,, I do NOT think this a "good thing" by any stretch of the imagination... I'm just saying in this day and age,,,,  maybe we should be giving our kids a little MORE reality and a little LESS FAIRY TALE....
in an age-appropriate way,,,, of course...

*************************
*****Samuel's Progress*****
he finished up the last couple weeks of school with a BANG !!!!!
I mean he had the BEST 3 weeks, of the entire year... Not ONE BAD REPORT,,, honestly...
not ONE...
and after months and months of parent-teacher meetings, sticker charts, reward charts, behavioral interventions, diet changes, ETC ETC ETC,

do you know HOW FREAKING RELIEVING THAT IS??????????
one big HUGE F(bomb) SIGH OF RELIEF from this Momma.....
and HE is proud of himself, too.... he is so much more confident in himself, and it really shows...
Between the medication changes, , ,
still using the behavior interventions that actually WORK for us,
keeping schedules the same, , , , using LOTS of positive encouragement, , , ,very little negative consequences, (but he does have them) ,,,,, and CONSISTENCY in all these categories,  Things are much better at HOME, SCHOOL (all 3 of them) and Socially too......
All good stuff to report, really....
the ONLY side-effect I see, or encounter once in awhile is he gets a little over-emotional when his meds DO wear off... it was pretty bad the first week to two weeks of the change in formula of medication, but now it seems to have leveled off quite a bit. . . Although, when he has something else going on, like he's hungry or didn't get enough sleep, well it starts to look like he's a bear in a cage and I'm poking at him with a stick... any LITTLE thing will set him off, and he just has a complete mental meltdown, lays in the floor and cries, or just plain has a tantrum...
BUT the good news is,,,,
it seems to be going OUT.... less and less occurrences, so that's gotta be a good sign, right?
(((fingers crossed)))
and even still,,, IF NOT,,,, if that's the "worst" side effect, I think the benefits far outweigh the occasional breakdown... hell I have those... .....

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
~~~~~~Mike's EPIC FAIL,,, ~~~~~~~(earning him another 10 days in county..... )

So, the first part of May he was back in court for two violations, you might remember; one being he "missed" the due date for 120 hours of community service,
and second violation the PO turned him in for was failure to pay fines/fees/etc,,, just THREE Measly days before his FIRST PAYCHECK....
so the judge was really great, and the PO pretty much TALKS HIM INTO changing his community service (C/S) hours to 12 days of work crew(W/C).
he also was sentenced to 14 days via electronic monitor, for the "violations"
bullshit??
yes, I'm about 300% sure... but if FAIR had anything to do with this,,,, he wouldn't have been in court, again, anyhow.
WELL,,,
he went to do work crew, and the SGT in "charge" announced in front of everyone, after making him wait just shy of three hours (starting at 7am on a sunday) that since they were going to a SCHOOL, he wouldn't be allowed to go.
Mike TRIED explaining,,,, he could go, that the PO was the one that recommended the change from C/S hours to W/C. . . .
Mike's story is this SGT person kept cutting him off, and talking over the top of him, not listening to what he was "calmly" trying to explain. this SGT also began accusing him of "copin' an attitude" and "getting belligerent" with her....

so naturally, (probably as any "normal" person would)
he got pissed off, and said,
this is F-ing Bullshit,
and started walking off... Then the SGT announced, his PO would be notified and he'd be sure and do the rest of his time IN JAIL...
As soon as mike got home, he called the PO's answering machine/voicemail and left a message of "his side" of what happened, and why'd he ever change it to work crew, if it was going to turn into jail time.... (legitimate question, right?)
and guess what?
apparently the PO got a call AT HOME on Sunday (I heard the voicemail myself)
and called Mike on Monday morning,
Letting him know, he was going to "
turn himself into her office, Tuesday morning by 9am, (which also happened to be his birthday) and I'm giving you the rest of day to make arrangements w/work and your wife that you won't be available for the rest of your W/C time"
I drove him to probation the morning of his birthday, he was "ready" to go to jail.... his boss was absolutely furious and had been waiting for the PO to call him back, since the day prior...
Mike came back OUT of the probation office 15 minutes later, after being told to call back BY 1pm, and be ready to turn himself in.
He basically waited around all day, on his birthday to go to jail.
the PO NEVER CALLED UNTIL WEDS AFTERNOON.
then, she gave him the "option" to pick the 10 day sanction, the turn in date, for sometime by his original W/C cut-off date of the first of September.

One of my biggest problems, here.... is that how does 120 HOURS of community service turn into TEN DAYS OF JAIL???
even with him missing the due date...... furthermore.... one of my biggest pet peeves,, is saying one thing and doing the TOTAL FREAKING OPPOSITE...
I mean, why'd she say that shit in court (clearly it's shit if it's not true)  if she didn't mean it??
why not just let him "fail" again, at not getting C/S done.. that's what she told the judge,,,
"since c/s is NOT supervised, and technically on w/c he's an INMATE and SUPERVISED, well it's going to be much easier for him to get the hours completed"

what? So why would a person CHANGE something to potential JAIL TIME< if they didn't have to?
hmmmmmmm
anyway,,,, he's "turning himself in" on the weekend of the 21st/22nd... and missing yes, a full week of work... equal to almost $1500 (gross) now... for saying "this is F-ing bullshit"
yes, learn from this kids...

I'm not saying he's perfect.. I'm not saying he didn't give them an EASY excuse to give him a punishment... I'm saying, wouldn't any "normal person" that had a job, family, etc,, be a little irritated in THAT situation?
and why does a jail guard of all people, have to be on a power trip like that, and do a "move" like that and call the PO at HOME???
why cant I CALL HER AT HOME???
I certainly have had a couple pressing things to tell her a time or two....
oh well.... not a damn thing I can do about it.... I've certainly learned that much....
All I can do , is keep supporting him,
he really has come a long way... in his "therapy" and with probation, and especially with his job... I really am a little impressed... just don't tell HIM, I said so....
I put some money on the pre-paid phone acct for the jail so that he can call Sam, every night at least.. because THAT really is important for both Samuel's sanity and MY OWN....


*******Another one, bites the dust *******
************************************
So about six months ago, I met this woman in out-patient treatment.... We kinda talked while waiting for different appointments, and ran into one another at the pharmacy, you know. all the FUN, small town BS...
She's experienced a lot of trauma, and some legal issues, and had all four of her children removed from her care, in her lifetime... Yes, all from addiction.
I don't judge anyone.... I like to try and be there for the people that HAVE BURNED EVERY BRIDGE... I mean, even burnt the matchbook up...
I know what it's like, when EVERYONE is tired of your bullshit,, your even tired of telling your own bullshit....
Over the next coming months, I became friends with her,, and her husband, who was also trying to get himself straight... he was still on the wait list to get ON the suboxone program....
They both had their (felony) Probation transferred from the southern region of the state, to clatsop county just recently...... at which time the hubs was told, he could not test + for suboxone, w/o a prescription.... it didn't matter that this guy had been on Heavy duty (dillaudid, oxy, etc) pain killers for over 15 years.... he was sent home from detox and rehab because his medical problems were too overwhelming for them to handle.. which included previous strokes, among other things...
anyway,,,,
one night I get a call... first one around 3am...
next one around 5am.
it's her... she's very highly worried something is terribly wrong with her hubby.... apparently, he was really having bad pain & cravings (probably co-existing 24/7)  and disappeared, for a few hours... upon his return (around one am) she was fairly pissed off...
According to her,
he fell asleep and she did too, shortly afterwards.
Until he rolled out of bed, around 3am... she couldn't wake him up, for anything.. she tried pulling his hair, opening his eyes, plugging his nose, ETC.....
I asked her to check his airway, his breathing, (breaths per min) and his pulse for strength and # of beats per minute, while she was on the phone with me. I could hear him snoring the first phone call.
I told her he was PROBABLY OKAY,
but that if she really had ANY DOUBTS, what so ever definitely don't risk it, take him to the ER... she brought up, that "Release of information" papers, had ALREADY been signed at both ERs in town, for probation/parole division, and he'd definitely go to jail over it.
I said, well if something is REALLY WRONG you won't regret it.... but YOU are the ONE that knows him best, YOU are the one that's been MARRIED to him for almost a DECADE, it's totally your call...
To make a painfully LONG< sad, story short.....
at 4pm that afternoon, she called him an ambulance when she still couldn't wake him at all.
he was on life-support once he got to the local hospital
and he was life-flighted to Portland about ten minutes after they arrived.
he sat on life support machines for a little over 36 hours, in Portland.... at which time they announced him brain-dead, due to a massive stroke in the left side of his brain, acutely caused by an overdose.

I really tried being "there" for her... I answered her calls, I listened to her cry anytime she needed me to. I tried telling her, re-assuring her that she had her own battle to fight, and she needs to continue on , even though he's NOT HERE< anymore...
she keeps saying things like,
"I'm not going to make it much longer, I want to see him again".... "I cannot live without him and I don't want to live without him"
ETC ETC ETC...
then, she was asking over and over if she could "stay a few days" with me...
Well I was thinking it over, until she started "falling asleep" over the phone with me.... she came back from Portland last week.... I gave her a ride, and she was "falling asleep" (yes THAT  is code for ALL of you that know) in the back seat of my car.....
Even three years later,,,
THAT is a trigger for me, and I just... under NO circumstances can be around it.. or anyone experiencing that...
Not to mention.... things are pretty stressful for ME, as it is... I don't need "extra" triggers in play...
I KNOW addiction...
I KNOW it's a compulsion... you can't help it, it's ALWAYS THERE... I KNOW that...
but here's the thing...
You have a choice to put yourself IN that situation, where you might be MORE likely to USE, or NOT...
I'm here to say from experience,,,
the RESPONSIBLE thing,, is NOT THE FUN THING....
it's lonely,,, it's hard to say no, it's hard to choose the "lonely" over the company.... it's hard to fight the dragon in the back of my head that's saying
"YEAH YEAH LET HER COME OVER.... she'll share her dope!!!!"

but.......
I've made so much progress... and DAMN IT WAS HARD TO GET HERE.... it really has been very difficult some days....
I just can't risk it... I just can't put my OWN SOBRIETY....
aka my OWN LIFE,,
at risk,
for anyone...
nobody....
I had to fight and fight, to get a roof over my head, and a foundation under my feet... I'll be DAMNED if I'm gonna give up THAT EASY...... no way....
this is what I WISH For her to be able to see.... I wish she was in a place where it WAS "bad enough" but I'm not sure,
after having children removed, and now her husband dying of an OD pretty much,,, what will EVER be enough??
what will it take?
I don't know... And I'm sure not going to "ride the coaster" with her...
I'm taking my ball, and going HOME... where I belong..... even though it is pretty lonely sometimes... and no it's not a RUSH OF FUN, like... .......... ...... ...you ... .... .... ..know
but it's consistent....
it's comfortable....
and RELAXING.....
satisfying......
drama FREE time... with my son.... and this new lil boy well on his way....

this guy that passed away... he was one of the nicest dudes I've ever met.... anytime we went anywhere, if he'd see a homeless person, or someone that even looked slightly hungry,, he'd buy them something in the drive thru, or a bag of chips from inside the store, SOMETHING... he helped any person he could ,,,, anytime he could... and expected NODDA in return... he even watched Sam for me a few times, once I got to know him... he was VERY patient with Sam.... they were almost on the same "wavelength" with all Sam's crazy stories and everything....
it's definitely sad...
and Sam isn't sure WHAT to think about it... I try and explain the best I can.. in the most honest way possible... but it's not easy..

I don't know how the story will play out for my friend... All I can do is be here, when she's READY... ready for real support....  she would always say, "you're like the ONLY sober person we know"
and I would explain to her,
well that's because I don't hang around ANYONE that uses.. at all.
EVER.
no matter what.... its just my NUMBER ONE RULE.... because,,,, don't fix it, if it ain't broken, right?
this is what WORKS for me.... and I'm not changing things, now...
Well,
now it hopefully makes sense to her... I hope she doesn't take it personally.... well of course she's acting like she is,,, but I'm not sure that's "true emotion" right now... I think it's all just tip of the iceberg type stuff.... she'll feel the real pain, if/when she quits... for GOOD..... and actually processes, her hubs' death.... THAT WILL HURT... no doubts....
I just hope she makes it that far.

Please know....... if you are fighting this battle, like I am... KNOW you are NOT ALONE... although it might feel that way,,, you are NOT alone.... I'm fighting too.... my own little battle.... I'm wining, one day at a time, too. . . . . .
so,
march on soldiers....
march on.

And, , ,  that's ALL I have to say about that.

have a fantastic rest of your weekend.....

learning to RIDE BIKES... 
 
Mother's Day flower... just love this one






a pose in front of the log truck......











2 comments:

  1. Amber you are very inspirational. You are doing an amazing job. I'm so proud of youbfor making it one day at a time! Keep up the good work Mama!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks so much Alyssa....
      Seriously.....
      It's so NOT EASY...... But at the same time, SO WORTH THE EFFORT.... and it's so sad to me, I know YOU have FIRST HAND experience with the losses resulting from Addiction ,,,
      it's so frustrating,
      that it does NOT have to be that way.....
      I've never said it's easy..... I don't think it's supposed to be... but part of what keeps me going, and keeps me sharing, HERE,,,,
      is that I really wish more people (w/addiction issues like myself)
      could see a GLIMPSE of the OTHER SIDE...
      you don't have to die...
      there IS HELP out there.... there's so many people that will ROOT for you and be your "cheerleader" once you get on the RIGHT TRACK....
      and you learn to lean on those people...
      Even if you don't know them all that well..... Just like YOU and I .... I know, you would most likely take a call from me, late at night if I needed to talk, or share, or vent, whatever.... needed a ride somewhere cuz I was stranded......
      THAT IS what I'm talking about....

      I just wish with all my heart, more people would reach out for help, when they felt ready for it....
      You are one of those SHINING STARS,,,,
      that I'm sure would help anyone out, in anyway that you could, IF you KNEW they were TRYING..... and re-building.... I just know it....

      So THANK YOU,,, for being YOU......
      and not looking down on people like me, but instead, lifting them UP,,, and helping them grow....
      I wish all the best for YOU and YOURS...
      that's what you deserve....
      *** Love, Happiness, & hope ***

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