About Me

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Dallas/Ft. Worth, Texas, United States
I'm mom to 3 beautiful children, wife to a wonderful man who is the love of my life and grandmother, "Nonna", to a beautiful grandson. Like too many others out there, I am the mother of an addict. I am still learning to deal with things in a healthy way and have a life inspite of the insanity that addiction produces. I am very blessed to have found this community of amazing people that share so much of themselves with us all through their blogs. You are all an inspiration to me. I share your struggles, your pain, your joys and all your hopes. I pray for the addicts still out there suffering and for the people that love them the most. My heart felt thanks to each & every one of you! May God's mercy and grace be with us all, Kristi

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Your Support Is Needed

There's a mother new to this struggle that I believe could really use everyone's support. Please visit her blog and let her know she isn't walking this road alone. Her bog is at:
thank you and God bless you all,

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Back Where It All Began....Part II

As I mentioned in part 1, when Jake went into treatment for the first time, I literally fell apart at the seams, to say I was a total and complete wreck would be an understatement. I didn’t know what to do, how to do it and I was terrified!! My doctor took me off work for 3 months and put me on anti-depressants. I remember sitting in group counseling at this treatment facility, with other families, and I recall hearing, more than once, a mom or dad say “Hi, I’m so & so’s mom or dad and this is our 3rd time back,” WHAT?? Third time back? Third time to go through this? OH HELL NO!!! I didn’t think I was going to survive just one time and here they were doing this 3 and 4 times!?!?! God help me!!

I remember the counselors telling us that about 80% of the kids there would go back to using. They kept telling us that relapse was a part of recovery. I had such a hard time getting my head around this one. I understand now that relapse is a part of recovery (sort of), but I believed then and frankly still do, that telling a 16 year old (or 17, 18, 19…) that relapse is part of recovery, you’ve just given them permission to use. In my mind it was like a free pass, like an excused absence in school….it was crazy in my mind!!

Jake was diagnosed with Poly Substance abuse and depression. It came to light during this time that he really had no drug of choice, he would try anything, and he would use anything. Another blow to the gut for me. Where would this madness end? My head wouldn’t stop spinning! Like other parents I went through all the questions: How did this happen? How did I not see this? What did I do wrong? What should I have done differently? What if his dad and I had stayed together? I knew his friends, didn’t I? I talked to other parents!! I am close to my children!!!  All I wanted was to be a good mother?Why me God? I was the easy child…this isn’t fair!!! How could this happen to me? To my child?!?!

The three months I was at home with Jake, I became his shadow…I was terrified to let him out of my sight and so I didn’t for a long time.

By the end of this brief round of treatment Jake had broken one of the cardinal rules…DO NOT form relationships. Just as Jake was about done at this center, a young girl arrived. She was in for meth addiction. She was a little more than a year older than Jake, very cute, very funny, very charismatic and lived just a few blocks from us…a disaster waiting to happen. At first they would see each other at NA meetings and then they started hanging out together. Next thing you know, they’re all wound up in a “relationship” which was neither healthy nor stable and just something else that would add total chaos to our lives. They were together constantly, they fought, they lied to each other, they couldn’t trust each other….just more insanity. Naturally, it didn’t take all that long before they relapsed together, would say they were not using anymore, just to relapse again…this happened numerous times.

Her family had sold their house and moved back home to Seattle….finally, several months later, she followed, with a little pushing. She and I had actually gotten very close and I really cared deeply for her and her well being…I was as sick as they were; for almost a year I had 2 addicts to worry about and look after, of my own doing.

Jake continued to lie and manipulate all of us and usually get away with it. Throughout all of this he was in counseling. We went through a series of counselors, psychologists and one psychiatrist. There was testing to see if we were dealing with any undiagnosed disorders or mental illnesses….nothing, just ADHD, which we already knew, poly substance abuse and depression.

There were a series of crazy events that went on. While going through his stuff one time, I opened one of his dresser drawers and found it full of cash, 20’s, 50’s, 100’s….I was just stunned, dumbfounded. I just kept starring at it, trying to figure out what was going on….then the panic set in!! He was counterfeiting money…a federal offense…and in my home, somehow under my very nose!!! Had he finally lost whatever was left of his mind?!?! This wasn’t a stupid kid, matter a fact he has (or had) a higher than normal IQ…so what the hell was he thinking and no wonder my printer was out of ink again so soon. I shredded most of it and only hung onto some of it to confront him with. Of course he totally down played this event, it’s no big deal mom, I was just playing around, you can tell it’s not even real, I didn’t try to use it, I’m not stupid, mom!! He had a way of always keeping me second guessing myself…he’s good, he’s very good. Praise God, I’ve come a long way since back then…momma can still be fooled sometimes, but not nearly as easily and not nearly as often!!

I was fortunate that there were a few kids that would pass along information to me about Jake and his activities or where abouts (there were actually a few that cared about him). These tips were given on the sly of course and I never divulged my sources, much to Jake’s chagrin. This was war, my tears were fewer and I was finally getting angry, very angy and fed up. I downloaded his phone records daily, identified the ones I could, made notes, noted nicknames, real names, male, female, dealers, users, addresses, anything and everything I could find out went on this spread sheet, including a few mug shots of people I knew that he knew. I would even sit and call these numbers, taking on various personas to elicit information…I was amazed at the information these kids would give out just because they believed I was some hot little chick that saw them at some party!! They would buy this crap hook. Line and sinker, every time….it was just crazy!! I still have this spreadsheet to this day…could never bring myself to destroy it….not yet anyway – I pray I live to see the day that I am confident that this “work of art” is finally useless and I’m finally able to destroy it.

As things continued to spiral downward, Jake began disappearing. He would stay here and there, but never too long in one place. I would call around looking for him and while none of these kids where going to rat him out I was able to smoke him out eventually by telling everyone I reached that he had cops from two different communities looking for him and that he was in really big trouble and anyone caught with him would go down to. I also told them that I had turned all their numbers over to the cops. This worked quite well since Jake told me later that he ended up sleeping in parks and out at the lake because his “friends” said he had too much “heat” attached to him!! He also told me on a few occasions to stop calling people (remember my spreadsheet?) because all his friends thought I was crazy!! Good, my evil plan is working then! That is exactly what I want them to think! Needless to say, this was a full time job chasing him around town and scaring all his dumbass friends.

I received a tip from one kid that knew Jake and other people they both knew. I was informed that later that night a drug deal was going down…Jake was out to buy cocaine from some Hispanic drug dealers working out of some low, low rent apartments, well known for illicit activity. He was funding this transaction with counterfeit money….the same “play” money that I had found months earlier. Apparently, I hadn’t found all of it. I went into instant panic mode…I was terrified that he was going to get himself killed. I called his dad and filled him in. He headed out immediately. I called the police, explained everything, including that my son had money on my computer. Much to my total shock and amazement, I was told there was nothing, I repeat, NOTHING they could do until and unless my son was caught using the counterfeit money…unbelievable!! And, they wouldn’t go check out the drug buy either because I was told it’s a Friday night and the police are very busy already over in this particular area of town and unless I had a specific address to give them then there really wasn’t much they could do. Unbelievable!!! So, Jake’s dad arrived at these apartments, drove around until he spotted a car driving very slowly with a few kids inside. He parked and watched this whole sorted thing go down!! He was prepared and ready to act if necessary, but didn’t want anyone to get hurt, so he just watched and waited. Everything went smoothly and he followed the car to a convenience store where he intercepted Jake, messed up, but not resisting. We never really had problems with Jake resisting or getting hateful or belligerent or violent. He seemed to know when he was “caught” and would just get kind of quite. The way he resisted was to just disappear…if they can’t find me, they can’t do anything. Jake’s dad brought him home (to my house), we sat and talked, yelled, talked and yelled some more until about 3 AM. It was at this point, after this night, that we knew that Jake needed more intensive treatment. I began searching for the right place for him….this just had to work this time!! He got his “free” relapses, now it was time to get into recovery again and this time stay there….or was it???

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Back Where It All Began....Part I

So, where to begin…. This blog is something I’ve been meaning to start for quite a while now but, beginning seemed to be the hardest part. My journey began a little over 5 years ago, yet seems like decades ago. I’m Kristi; I’m the adult child of an alcoholic. I’m wife to a wonderful man that it took me three shots to finally get right. I’m mom to 3 wonderful children: mine & my husband’s only child together, our son who is 6 months old and so precious to us, a beautiful & smart daughter that’s 16 and my oldest at nearly 20, Jake - he is my heart and he is my addict…this is our story.

How can 5 ½ years seem like a lifetime somtimes? It amazes me when I stop and recount all that has transpired in such a short period of time – never a dull moment (although I long for them!). A little back ground first - Jake was diagnosed with ADHD at a relatively young age, in my opinion….he was right at 6 and I was told he was a “textbook case.” He was a very energetic child, full of wonder and seemingly happy. His dad & I separated & divorced when Jake was 7. About 5 years later I re-married for the 2nd time…to an alcoholic who had never had kids; this marriage should have never happened. I’ve often wondered where the hell my head was at that time in my life…what was I thinking? He was a nice guy, not the abusive kind of drunk, just “Joe Party” all the time. I’m sure this situation that I put us all in, did absolutely nothing to deter the events that were about to unfold. Husband #2 just wasn’t cut out to be a husband and certainly not a parent…I wonder how much of an influence this little detour in our lives had on my 2 kids at that time? As for his drinking, it was an every single day occurrence which he was unwilling to change…he didn’t see that there was a problem regardless of the fact that I had a son in the early days of his struggle with addiction. Husband #2 even went so far as to give Jake a beer after he had been to rehab the first time!!! What the hell?!?! He said that was his way of bonding with my son!! Bonding? Take that crap somewhere else pal, you are out of here and out he went!

Around Junior High (6th grade) is when things began to go south. Jake seemed to become more of a follower than the leader he had always demonstrated that he was. He always gravitated to older kids (8th graders in this case). It seemed like I was always getting calls from the school….Jake pierced some kids ear in the cafeteria before school, Jake isn’t doing his school work, we think Jacob and others are sniffing markers, we have a group of girls that idolize Jake and it’s recently been discovered that they are cutting…we noticed scratches on jakes arm….and on and on. Jake was 12 years old the first time he was caught smoking weed….12!! I was blown away!! I wasn’t naive enough to think that he would never experiment with pot, but never in a million years would I have believed that I would be dealing with that at 12.

Just after Jake turned 15 is when the bottom seemed to fall out. I don’t know what it was, but every year, a couple of months into the new school year, everything seemed to get really crazy with Jake….I began to dread September/October every year. In late September 2005 I asked his doctor to set up a lab appointment for Jake and that I wanted blood and urine tests and wanted him tested for anything and everything. I didn’t really know what was going on, but I knew something wasn’t right. He came back positive for THC and alcohol. His doctor recommended that we get him into an outpatient program. Its funny when I look back…I remember his doctor telling him that he was an addict and him looking at her with these huge brown eyes like she was crazy and saying, “What? I’m not a drug addict, that’s crazy…are you serious?!?” Of course at the time I have to say that I was agreement with him (although I never let him know that!). I have never condoned the use of marijuana or anything else, but he was a teenage boy and we were talking a little weed here, nothing else, right? Addict was a term I associated with a person that had a serious drug dependency on serious drugs, that wasn’t able to stop….wasn’t it?

At this time I was about to take a trip to Italy for 2 weeks. My kids were going to stay with their dad while I was gone. So, my ex-husband began looking into outpatient programs in our area. He found one and said that he’d get Jake started immediately. Great! Two weeks later Jake, flowers in hand, was at my gate to greet me upon my return from Italy…this was a Saturday afternoon. He was so happy to see me and couldn’t wait to tell me all about this outpatient program he was in and how good he was doing. A little later he asked if he could spend the night with a friend who I believed was a good kid and whose mom kept a close eye on him. Sunday morning around 8 AM I received a call from our local police. Jake had been breaking into cars in an apartment complex and I was asked to come get him. When I got there, my son was passed out in the back seat of the squad car, totally and completely out of it. This is what happens when kids mix alcohol with 5 mg. of Xanax. Jake was placed into treatment for the first time that day. Two weeks in-patient, 1 week intensive out-patient followed up with aftercare and 90 in 90 in NA. He was diagnosed with poly substance abuse and depression. Aren’t all addicts depressed? I never really got this…. At this point, I was a total and complete wreck.

This was to be the beginning of a journey to hell with my son, my heart….