Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Butterflies and Tears

I was up very early this morning to travel and see Drama Queen graduate from the inpatient recovery center. It's an hour drive to the center and the entire time I had knots in my stomach. I nearly turned back twice. But I didn't. I pressed on. When I followed the map to the address, I realized this was a neighborhood I had chased her down before seven years earlier. I nearly cried right there. I tried to ignore my surroundings and get myself in the door as soon as possible.

The moment I walked in the door, DQ was there waiting for me. She looks fabulous! An addict's body detiorates with use very quickly, the acne is horrendous, body becoming more like a shell with bones protruding. They look sick. DQ was radiant. Her hair was shining and healthy. I cannot remember her face looking so smooth and beautiful in years. Her body is perfect. She is not overweight from eating too much starch (happens in some rehabs) and it is not thin (from not eating enough). And then there's that tummy. No doubt she is pregnant. My heart sank when I actually saw this.

She took me to the room where all the women residents and counselors had gathered for her graduation and closing ceremony. There is a coin with the name of the center on it. DQ is not allowed to touch it yet. One at a time, each girl held that coin and spoke. They expressed to my daughter what she meant to them. They expressed what they wish to take from her. Then expressed what they wish to give to her. What was expressed over and over is DQ's strength, her knowledge of the 12 step program, and her love of people. Of course, I know all these things. It was nice to hear about twenty other women say the same things about my girl. Then the coin was handed to her. There were many, many tears among these women. They have grown close in a short time.

DQ loves butterflies. While she was in this center, she would have a Monarch butterfly floating around her whenever she was outside. She took this as a sign that it was Reece staying close to her. Whenever the other girls were outside and a butterfly would flutter around, they come in and let DQ know that Reece was outside. DQ beamed as she told me this. She blames herself for Reece's death. She is doing much better, but has a long road ahead still.

I then drove her to the next residence she will stay for three to six months. This is what is different this time around. Usually, you finish the inpatient program and they open the door with a good luck and don't let the door hit you on the way out! This place is supervised, but not a lock down inpatient facility. It is a re-integration facility. There are counselors to help her on site. The clinic and doctor is a couple of blocks down the road. She will hopefully be looking for a job soon. She will work on finishing her GED. She only has the Math portion left to pass. Damn Math. She missed passing it the last time by two lousy points.

I'm still not convinced anything has changed with her. She claims she has 'gotten over' Reece's father, yet he was thinking of attending her graduation until he heard I would be there. Wise choice to not come. He is the father of the present bun in the oven. I guess time will tell. The good thing is she is not in our metro area. She is very close to Blondie, but she doesn't know where Blondie lives now. We are going to keep it that way for now. Both of my girls are now in Jayhawk Country.

I pray she makes it this time, but I already feel we are heading down the old familiar road. God help me.


Eric said...

I think going was the right thing. It's good to keep a cautious attitude... no need to expose yourself to further heartbreak. But, at the same time, your presence and support may just make the difference. You're a wonderful Mom!

Take care,

InTheFastLane said...

Sometimes that is all there is left to do; pray. I will send one your way as well.

SherrySherry said...

You are a super mom, Sue, and I am glad you went. Like Eric said, that support could make a difference this time. However, you are right to keep your distance and pray. You know the Word said, when there is nothing left that you can do, just stand on His Word and pray. Don't give up - stand still and see the deliverance of the Lord.

Dana/texasmammie said...

Kids...take my word for it, when they get older, they finally see the effort it takes for you to keep your emotions in check while at the same time be their cheerleader.
To stay clean, DQ's always going to have to take the high road, make the good choice, turn down the invite...what ever the euphamisim is.
And it sounds like she may be on the road to understanding that this time.
It is very, very hard to be the mom to an adult child who has decisions to make, especially when the mom is a take charge person. The mom wants to do it for them, and the adult child would gladly let them.

Hugs to you and them ~ bun and all.


Guinevere said...

Well, you can be sure I'll be praying that this is it for DQ! That everything she's learned will stick this time...for her sake and for yours!!! :o)


Hang in there, girlie! We're all rooting for her!

Christine said...

Hey Sue!
I hope she makes it this time. I have more hope for you and her than for me and ODS. Tell you about it sometime.


Chris said...

If you're without hope, you have nothing at all. But you still have it. It's all over this post - your description of DQ, the explanation of the butterfly & Reece(nice picture by the way), even when you point out the "lousy 2 points" in math. If I can see it reading words on a monitor, I'm sure DQ saw it. In your smile, voice, and tears. And one of these days it's that hope that's going to pull her out of this. Have faith. And pray. We will be, too.

I'm usually not one to give these out online, but for you...


Anonymous said...

A day at a time is the message for the day. Glad you went and now time will tell where she is headed. At least she will be in a supportive environment for the next 6 months and then a new baby....

CEO Dropout

Sarah said...

Sounds like it was a wonderful day. I can't imagine how hard that was for you, or her. All I can say is that I am praying for your daughter, that she can make a real go of it this time and have everything turn out okay and be still standing tall on the other side.

brenda said...

After being down that road so many times before, I'm not surprised that you're feeling the "deja vu". Perhaps her new support system will help this time around? My prayers are with you.

Anonymous said...

I will pray that she makes it this time too, Sue. Have I mentioned how strong and AMAZING you are? Because you ARE.

Love & Hugs,


Keith said...


You did the right thing, and you are right to still be cautious about the future. The number one change that I did make in my life to make it work this time was to completely end and shut out all relationships I had with my friends who used. This was the hardest thing I have ever done, as some of these guys I had known for over 20 years, and some used to play in the band with me.

I still get lonely for friends sometimes, but I know I can never go back, for my little girl if nothing else.

One piece of advice, from an addict: If she is still talking to or hanging around the friends she used to use with, she is either using or will be soon. This is a hard but true fact. Trust me.

Stay supportive, but stay cautious. The sooner she feels she has you believing her, the sooner she will be comfortable taking 'just one hit' and then it's all over.

Best to keep suspicious, and make her EARN your trust back, and don't let that be easy. I'm talking over YEARS of time. Keep her on her toes, and who knows what may happen? This could really be it this time, with the right dosage of support and caution.

Miranda said...

The future is not ours to know, and it may never be-

so let us live and give our best and give it lavishly!

All my best,

kapoelevi said...

Glad you made it and not getting sucked in. Your the best love lil sis

Leucantha` said...

This is my first visit to your space. It must be hard to make the choices you have been having to make. I've had to make some hard ones with loved ones in the last few months too, though not in the exact same vein.

I have been meaning to stop by for a while since I saw you were a Jayhawk fan on Malathion Man's space. My husband is too, I spent a year in Lawrence and really liked it.

Hope she does well outside of rehab. I'll try to remember her in my prayers, can't hurt can it?

Anonymous said...

You are such a good mom.
Bless you,

Malationman said...

Hey Sue,

You did the right thing by going to the graduation. I know it's hard when you have seen it all before.

It sounds like there are still too many unresolved problems. I'm sure you know that. Being "cautiously optimistic" is probably the best you can say about the whole thing.

Come on over to my space for a laugh before I post about my DQ. Or don't, you are gonna get tagged. :)

EZ said...

Hey Baby!

Look who has come to see you. You always impress me with the way you handle things. I know this post is about DQ, and rightfully so. But it also is about you and the heart that beats inside you. Sue, no matter how many ups and downs DQ may experience, no matter how many experiences any of your children have, you are always one constant in each of their lives. And I love you for that.

You are an incredible woman with unbelievable resolve. Your husband is a great partner and spouse. And your children will one day look back on it all and see that THEY were the blessed ones. We are blessed too because we now know you.

One of these days I am going to sit down at a table and look across it while we have some coffee and an awesome chat. The honor would be all mine.

BTW .... in case you can't tell by this post ........ I totally dig you.

Ciao Baby!

deannie said...

Oh Sue. There are more experienced voices here offering good words to you. I can't know how complicated this was for you in your heart. I don't know if I could have stayed away for as long as you did...even though it was for the best.

I really appreciate that you show your daughter how much you love her by doing the things that are genuinely in her best interest. Those are the hardest parenting skills to learn.