Friday, January 28, 2011
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
When I got to work I called the number back. It was to the company that sets up accounts for inmates and those of on the outside to receive collect calls on our cell phones since none of us have land lines anymore. A representative must have been trying to reach me from the company to get my account up and going. I went ahead and set up the account on the website but left my debit card at home so I couldn't put any money on it.
A couple hours later, another call from the same number but when I answered, it sounded like the connection didn't go through. I didn't call back because it's an automated system. I am so busy at work so I figured if they call back again, I will get it taken care.
Ring....Ring.....here it comes again, that same number. I answered it and the recording says "you have a collect call from".......CHAD!!!!!! Gasp! But I couldn't accept the call because I didn't have money yet on my stupid account that I set up online this morning to receive these calls. CRAP CRAP CRAP CRAP CRAP!!!! It was the first time I have heard my brothers actual voice in over two months. It's the first time in two weeks for communication and I was NOT prepared and ON TOP of things and because of my slacking, I missed his call. Not just one call but all four of them....didn't answer the first two, the third one didn't connect and the fourth one, where I heard him say his name, couldn't be accepted because of the almighty $. Hopefully he heard me say on the other end of the line I would put money on the account for him to call me, I doubt it though. Did I say CRAP!!!
I scurried to call my dad. I asked him for his debit card information so if Chad called back, I would get the call. He hasn't written in two weeks and I KNOW he's been moved to general population so I have too do this. As usual my dad comes through and all I keep saying to myself is "call back.....ring.....Chad....call back....please call me back." My phone will NOT be out of my sight for sure now.
It will be just my luck that there is now money on the account to accept his call and he won't call again today. ~My head has just hit my desk with such disappoinment with myself and nausea in my gut.~
Pleeeeeeease Chad, please please please call me back.....today. Please!!!!!
Monday, January 24, 2011
Friday, January 21, 2011
Bury all your secrets in my skin
Wednesday, January 19, 2011
Monday, January 17, 2011
I know you must be wondering "what was the happiest news" that got my pot boiling. I got a text last night while making dinner. It was from a friend of Chad's who he himself, has struggled with addiction. He and Chad were in the CATS program at the county jail and became REALLY good friends. They had so much in common besides their drug addictions. And while they were not supposed to be in contact with one another when they were released from jail, a stipulation of their probation, they broke that rule and did so anyways. It was a "good" friendship these two had and they both tried hard to support the other one through their road to sobriety.
Well his friend has had his own issues fighting sobriety after Chad went away and was consequently jailed. So in his text last night, he put my curiosity to rest and told me he was jailed until a spot opened at a local rehab here in the city. That spot opened and he was released.
Of course I was elated for him. I was happy to hear he was "being set up for SUCCESS", not failure, and he's happy. A word that is hard for an addict to admit..."happy". Support is imperative and easy IF you're willing. They can't do it alone and certainly can't do so without support, so I definitely want to be there for those facing this uphill battle. He promised he would keep me informed of his progress and I look forward to good news from him. Then suddenly, I crashed. My feelings started to whirl-wind. I again found myself smiling.... for him.... and crying inside for my brother.
WHY was my brother not given the chance at rehab? WHY did the system put him through the same program, TWICE, when it was obvious he needed SO MUCH MORE? WHY were we, his family, told when we called hospitals, rehabs and detox centers over the years they wouldn't take my brother because he had no insurance, no job, and wanted THOUSANDS of dollars to enter him into a program that might not even prevail to his benefit? Drug addicts for the most part don't have insurance or money because they don't have a job!! They can't hold a job!! And a drug addict certainly doesn't have thousands of dollars stuffed away for when they decide, if ever, that they want to enter rehab and get clean....once and for all.
Chad was put through the CATS program in the county jail as I said, twice. It's a 6 month program that teaches substance abusers life skills and I don't know what else. And when Chad's most recent relapse began to reak havoc, when he took the money from my checking account to get high, I called his p.o. in a panic and he PROMISED me he would get Chad help, he would put him through the CATS program again. Well sorry to inform you....but CATS was NOT enough for Chad. He didn't just need to be rehabilitated, he needed serious and intense counseling. He needed to receive extremely intense treatment for a raging drug addiction to a drug that is one of the hardest to overcome, heroin!
I'm not solely blaming the system for Chad's failure, I'm just simply asking why! I hear of so many people who are court-ordered to a treatment facility that is "inpatient" for their abuse, whether it's alcohol or drug or whatever the addiction may be. Naturally they have the option to walk out, and if they do, they may risk going to prison for doing so if it's because of drugs that got them there. But Chad was NEVER even given the opportunity. NEVER given the chance!!!
I can't say that had he be given those chances at an INTENSE rehab program or felony drug court (that seems to be very popular and successful) that he wouldn't have relapsed once again, but why was he never placed in these successful programs like so many others are to at least try? Please don't get me wrong, I'm so happy to hear the success stories of those who are able to overcome their addictions and live sober lives. Staying sober is a very difficult task to achieve, so it's ALWAYS good to hear the Cinderella stories. Addiction is the disease, sobriety is the fight, and it's a fight they must face everyday for the rest of their lives so when they succeed, they deserve a standing ovation like no other for making it through the hell this disease dishes out. I guess I'm just super envious and maybe even jealous of those families who are able to see their addicts recover and stay recovered. Sigh!
I didn't get much sleep last night. I found myself looking through my haven again, my bedroom window, asking myself over.... and over.... and over again....WHY? Why was his addiction not worthy of what others seems to be? What would it have taken to get him into an intensive treatment program? Would my brother have been able to overcome the need to live high and receive his standing ovation? All those words that begin with the letter "W", why, what, where, when, would that ask my questions. Questions I will never have the answer too and I'm struggling to understand.
Monday, January 10, 2011
It was a rather short letter. He is in the progress of writing a more detailed one, but wrote and sent this one as fast as he could just to say happy birthday. My brother remembered my birthday. I'm not saying this in a way to belittle his gesture at all and if he did forget it, I would have been completely okay with that. With all he has done, all he has put himself through and all he faces daily and will continue to do so for many more years of his life to come, he went out of his way to make sure me, his big sister, got a happy birthday wish from him. And on top of all that, my birthday is still a week away.
With his letter was his version of a "high five". It was his hand, outlined. My heart ached and smiled at the same time. I was holding my brother's hand right in the palm of my very own. I remember when he was in jail a few years back I had done the very same thing for him. I wanted him to know that anytime he needed a hand, mine was right there for him, whenever he needed it.
I put my hand inside his. My brother really is a caring and sensitive person. He is kind hearted, even if he's dying slowly inside. Yesterday, this day, and tomorrow, my brother Chad is as I know him, sober. A COMPLETELY different person than the one who's existence was fueled by heroin.
Am I selfish I ask, to be happy I get these letters. Is it totally selfish for me to be happy that I, still in a way, have my brother and "her name" family doesn't have her. Is it wrong for me to even be talking about him because of what he did? He still exists, she does not. He can write, he can talk, he can love, he can interact, he can still live...she cannot. And it was him, my brother, who took her soul away.
I know we are in for a very, very long road. I know it is not going to be easy. I know there will be days of what feels like an emotional roller-coaster for many of us. I know there will be days ahead of me where I will be so angry and torn because this should have NEVER happened, it didn't HAVE to happen this way.
Once again, I know what he has done and I'm facing it the very best I can, as I'm sure he is. And I know Chad and I will get through this....a world apart but together....hand to hand.
Tuesday, January 4, 2011
My oldest made it home for his winter break as they call it in college. Man is he handsome and growing so much. Not just in height but as a person in general. I wish my little one were here this year but as a typical divorce goes, I have to share. Next year he'll be here though and it's something I look forward too.
I got a BEAUTIFUL Christmas card from Chad. Can I just say when I saw the odd but very familiar and typical card shaped envelope I was stumped? I say odd shaped and stumped because I was hardly expecting to receive an actual Christmas card from my brother. At the very least, I thought if he found it in his heart to send anything in regards to a holiday that he pretty much despises, it would be a picture of something he drew or a home-made card. I was surprised to see otherwise and I hold it so close to my heart. It is a very special card for me and one to be cherished for a lifetime!
Christmas Eve held the traditional festivities at dad's house. He and his wife always have the family from both sides over. Home-made chicken noodle soup in bread bowls is the menu for the evening with LOTS of dishes and trays full of chips, dips, and sweet stuff. I learned how to play a new card game with the girls called Blitz and I loved it. It was something new for me to do with the other girls in the family, dad's wife's side of the family that is. You see, the relationship with us kids and dad's wife has been nothing to rave about in any sense of the word. Yes they have been married now for 9 years but it wasn't an easy transition for ANY of us, including her. It's been a rocky and difficult road to travel and one that had something to do with Chad's destruction. But, as time has gone and experience has slapped me here and there, I have learned it is what it is and for me, for myself, for my heart and my peace of mind, I need to make every situation the very best it can possibly be and be happy with it. Life is way to short, to fragile and changes drastically in the blink of an eye to take ANYTHING for granted. What was there today, may very well not be there tomorrow.
So I opened myself up and played the fun game of cards and laughed myself silly along with the others in the family. Grand kids were running around, sometimes 15 different conversations took place amongst us all and the guys watched football. It was good to laugh, to hug, to smile and BE A FAMILY. Yes there was hollowness in my heart wishing Chad was there with us. I find myself internally whispering that I shouldn't be at these family gatherings because of the guilt I carry for him but on the other hand I know he would want me to be there for both of us.
Christmas morning we all slept in. It tears me to a point realizing I no longer have "little" boys waking me up at the crack of dawn with big eyes and ear to ear smiles with unexplainable excitement to see what Santa Clause delivered to their sweet souls. I guess I should be grateful for the additional sleep I get at this time in my life. One day I will be a "Nana" and it will start all over for me with my grand babies. Of course those are days I can wait for but when they do come there will be no such thing as cloud 9. Can you say cloud 12, or 13 and on and on.
When we finally decided it was time to meet the day, we opened our presents. Everybody was happy with what the old, round man in the red suit brought us. Even Lacey, the dog, got presents. Bones, bones and bones. She acted like a kid in a candy store. We visited more family throughout the day and evening as we usually do. It was good to see everybody and talk to those not so close to us geographically.
Love is important and while I have always tried to let everybody in my family know how much I love them and how much each and everyone of them mean to me, I tried even harder this holiday season and will carry on doing so. I hugged tighter, I smiled bigger, and I enjoyed more! A bitter lesson that 2010 handed me. If there is such a thing as loving too much or loving too hard, I'm guilty in the third degree and will gladly face my own sentence for this conviction.
I have yet to receive notice that I have been cleared to visit Chad. I'm waiting patiently as I tap my fingers on any surface they touch. He wrote me after he sent his card and he is doing well. He should be moved into population this month...eek. I'm a little nervous about that but again, I have to believe when Chad says he is okay, he really is. Otherwise I'm going to drive myself insane thinking about all the "what ifs". Realizing I can no longer be there to help him is quite daunting and not an easy pill to swallow. He is doing a lot of reading to pass the time and asks for me to tell you all hello.
Going back to work wasn't exciting nor a simple task, however, while I will miss the morning show, Good Things Utah I became so fond of, I know whole heartily staying home is not an option for me. Two weeks was wonderful but was also enough. It's apparent I get more done out of my home than I do in it. So the list of "home projects" continues too idle for now. Yes I will get my bedroom painted, yes I will get my laundry room organized and yes I will get my storage room cleaned out. And while I have not yet been able to bring myself to packing Chad's belongings and securing them in a safe place, I will also do that...one day...in due time.
When I walked outside this morning to warm my car up, tiny pieces of ice flakes were fluttering in the freezing, dark air. The kind that glisten.....twinkle....as they gracefully fall from above. "Her name" instantly came to mind. There she was, with all the other spirits, casting her sweetness on the new day as it was ready to open. I hope and pray her family were well for the holidays and the new year too come will give them happiness and peace, as I also wish for my family.