Total Pageviews

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Curiouser and curiouser said Alice

Isn't it funny, how the strangest things can upend your world, completely turning it inside out and upside down? I mean, when my daughter first got involved with drugs, that was pretty bad. It seems so very long ago now, although it was only 11 years or so ago. A virtual lifetime though.

It's almost as though someone ELSE lived through those very very weird times. Gardening at 3 a.m. to relieve the stress. Working full time and trying to deal with my other kids, new babies in the house and a junkie daughter. I honestly don't know how I did it. Not a clue. Can't even imagine how I got through a day, much less several years of those days!

Now, it's even weirder. All my friends are out doing things. FUN THINGS.

I, am not.

I wouldn't trade it for the world, mind you. But I do occasionally think about it.

See the not so funny thing about custodial grandparenting is that, well, the usual reasons for getting custody of the grandchildren mean that those grandchildren usually come with a certain amount of baggage. Either emotional, physiological, or both. And, it's usually pretty labor intensive to parent them.

Most of us have kids who have occasional issues. We have gone through teen-age angst. We have gone through teen-age mishaps. We have learned a good bit about parenting.

Now THIS time around, we are doing it again, with about a million new things to learn, and with the added burden of children born addicted to drugs, neglected, ignored, abused, malnutrioned, or even worse.

The bad bad bad part is that it is OUR child who did this to them, or at the very least, allowed it to happen.

And the REALLY bad bad bad thing is that we can't say a damn word about it to the kidlets we are now raising. We can't badmouth Mommy or Daddy, no matter how bad of a F*%^ up they were. We can't say to the wee little baby who asks us "Granny WHY do I have to be different", or WHY do I have to have ADHD, or WHY don't I get to go to the store with Mommy, or WHY can't I stay the night at Mommy's house....

We can't say, WELL darling, It's because your mother would rather shoot heroin up her veins than take care of you, sweetkins.

No, we have to snuggle them, and tell them that it's just one of those adult things.

It was easier when they were 2 or 4. Now, at almost 9 and almost 12, not so much. They ask PERTINENT questions, hard questions. And it takes real skill and intelligence to carefully construct an answer which is non judgmental, won't scar them for life, won't break their little hearts and souls, and STILL manage not to LIE to them. Because see, their Mommy's and Daddy's lied to them and that is the one thing we can't ever do.

And, because their idiot parents are in some way biologically related to us, and waaaaay back when, when we didn't KNOW any better, we very stupidly allowed their idiot parents visitation, and now can't just shut it off without hurting the kids, WE have to put up with them being in and out of our lives, in and out of the kids lives.

We don't live normal, whatever that is anyway. My kids counselor calls their mother the "Ghost who didn't have the decency to die". She's not a major player in their lives, but she still impacts their lives. She comes and goes as she pleases, in and out of their lives. They never get the chance to just grieve for her and be done with that. It is rather like a wound that won't heal. Just when you think it is ALMOST better, it breaks open and starts ooozing again.

It's a constant state of flux, limbo, not being emotionally settled.

It's MUCH harder than raising your own child was. Much.

My day? Starts at 5:30, to get up, get kids up, fed, dressed, out of door to school bus on time, (2 different times this year), clean, pick up one of the three who have a counseling/doctor/case manager/dentist/eye doctor appt, take them to the whatever, drop by grocery store, run any errands I had, be home by 2 for the first load to get off bus, homework, second bus arrives, more homework that I don' t understand, get them to clean their rooms, pick up after themselves, answer landline, cell phone, texts from my own kids, figure out dinner, make dinner, get showers started, convince them that brushing your teeth is NOT child abuse, order ProActive for the one hitting puberty, organize the one who is ADHD, medicate the one who's entire digestive system doesn't work without medications, calm the one with a brain cyst who is F.A.S. (Fetal Alcohol Syndrome), get the 2 younger ones to bed, start the oldest one to wind down, convince her that turning off her TV at 9:30 is not abuse, get up six or seven times to see what she is yelling at me from the basement for (her bedroom is down there), and finally, remembering to take MY meds to keep my heart from exploding, my thyroid in check, my nerves from taking one look at me and running away from my body, MAYBE get to watch an hour of TV that I thankfully can DVR or I would never get to watch....and go to bed myself at hopefully 11:30 or so. On a good night.

Yeah, those Sandcastle vacations that my friends are taking look pretty damn good. It's -10 F out there right now. I'm cold, and old. LOL.

But, when I go tuck the kids in at night, and I kiss their sweet little cheeks, and I know that they are safe, that drugs will never again impact their lives, that their parents will never again have the opportunity to ignore them, or hurt them, or trade their food for drugs, when I know they are loved, and (spoiled) and okay, well, I don't mind never going to the spa. I have a paraffin wax thingy. I guess that's enough.

Custodial Grandparenting is not for the faint of heart. Nope. Not at all. But for us tough old birds, ::::nodding my head:::: it's just the way we roll.


  1. Would you prefer to not have ever found outabout your daughter's addiction? As the parent of an addict, would you rather you were left in the dark about the whole thing? As an addict who is also the parent of a young child, the worst situation I can fathom is having my parents find out about my addiction and taking my daughter away from me. I don't want to hurt anyone, but I'm not big on lying either. I've never stolen, cussed out my parents (well, except as a rebellious teenager a couple times, but I never used drugs then except for occasional pot use), or neglected my sweet innocent daughter. I just don't want my family to ever find about about me being a junky. Is this possible, and if it is, is it preferrable? I don't want my addiction to be anyone's problem but my own.


  2. throughout history there's been a very small number of children who had severe "conduct disorders" and probably adhd type symptoms but i do suspect the increase has something to do with the overload of television, computer games, music and high sugar high additive food coupled with permissive parenting (i mean in victorian times children HAD to exercise self restraint or they'd get whacked with riding crops etc)... i know somebody who has been on ritalin since age 7, she's now on adderall/whatever it DEXAMPHETAMINE which is stronger than ritalin, is diagnosed bipolar, has severe depression and mood swings plus a heroin/dilaudid problem... i mean what hope is there? i'm very glad that she's finally going into a dual diagnosis rehab to sort herself out but i do feel most of the damage was done TO not BY her, y'know..?

    thanks for unblocking your blog i couldn't get to you for months!

    i'm off heroin now off drugs only on methadone and cutting alcohol to zero (slowly) my dr knows how much i drink and says it's not a major problem

    if you come by mine and think i sound drugged it's ME you see. me without drugs. that's why i was dampening myself down all those years on heroin, i was really depressed and had increasingly bad mood swings so now i'm seeing a consultant psychiatrist. i absolutely have to sort myself out and it's got so bad the drugs issue as faded into a pretty distant second place

    not everyone who comments wants to believe this but they don't see me, they just read my words. i'm not in withdrawal and i'm not on crack but they want to believe the problem i took drugs to MEDICATE is CAUSED BY... i mean come on! that's a total contradiction. i've only been a heroin addict since age 28. i've had depression etc since childhood and it's been a real issue since my late teens. only now am i finally getting somewhere with Sorting It Out

    take care of yourself and all the best to you


  3. ps no i don't advocate whipping children with riding crops. bamboo canes are much better


  4. SJ -- were it only so that you addiction is no one's problem but yours!

    Addiction is a family disease. It will affect everyone you know, if not yet, in time.

    I know, I am raising my herion addicted daughter's three kids. Sure she loves them and would never physically hurt them. But she can't parent them worth sh@t. Yet she thought she was doing a great job. Nodding out, laying on the couch all day, not in any condtion to do anything but let them watch TV all day. Talk about denial!

    Kids deserve the best you have to give. You can't serve two masters, your addiction and you child.

    Hope you figure it out soon. Because your parent will evential find out.

    Sorry for the un-asked for comment.

    Dawn, feel free to tell me if I am out of line.

  5. @SJ. No, I don't wish I had never found out. Why? See the thing is, like YaYa said, my daughter THOUGHT she was a good parent. But parenting is more than providing food and shelter. Parenting is providing good and concrete examples of how and what to be. Do you do that?

    Parenting is being there 24/7 for your children. Are you there when you are nodding off?

    Are you there when you are worried about scoring? Are you there when the kids are with you when you make a drug run?

    Do you want your kids to grow up and be addicts? Because that is the unspoken message you are sending them, whether or not you actually believe they are aware or not. They ARE aware. Trust me on this. My granddaughter was aware as early as age 2 when I would ask, What is Mommy doing...and she replied.

    Sleep Standing.

    You think, that they don't know. They do. Here's a thought. There was, for a long time, a fellow blogger named Kelley. Her blog was Welcome to The Dollhouse. She was the child of a heroin addict. She was also a heroin addict. You know why? Because she wanted to SEE just what it is that her Mom wanted so fucking badly that it was more important than the kids. You know what? I can't find her anymore. I think she o'd.

    And I cry about that alot. See, she only lived 45 minutes away from me. She was only 20 years old. TWENTY YEARS OLD.

    THAT is what having a parent who is a drug addict does to kids. It fucks them up.

    You wanna be a drug addict and have kids? Pick your priority. You cannot be a good parent and a drug addict. period.

    No sympathy here. Sorry.

    I can list the OTHER things that happen. But, I won't. I am not beating you up. I hope you get and stay clean, because you love your kids more than drugs. I will pray that you do.

    Kids and drugs don't mix.

  6. @Gledwood. You know, interestingly enough, I found out in my research, that undiagnosed ADHD children have a whopping 75% chance of going on to self medicate.

    I am also ADHD, and of course, undiagnosed. They didn't even know it existed when I was a child, in a universe far far away.

    I thought it was normal to have seven or eight simultaneous thoughts. I didn't know till my mid 30"s that it is NOT normal.

    I self medicated for years with weed. To allow me to function normally.

    Yes, it might be that Pint would have had ADHD even if her mother hadn't dropped acid when she was 3 weeks pregnant. And, maybe she wouldn't. We will never know. 1/2 Pint, maybe she wouldn't have the brain cyst if mom hadn't been a heroin addict the whole time she was pregnant? We will never know.

    I have followed your blog for, wow, a long time actually. As far back as when you only had the one, not Gled 1, Gled 2 and Gled 3 LOL.

    I think many children self medicate to slow their minds down. Interestingly enough, most of the really brilliant people in history were probably ADHD. DaVinci, Beethoven, Ozzy, well, the list numbers hundreds.

    Our brains work in hyper gear. We try to slow it down to be 'normal'.

    The most successful are those who are somewhat artistic or mathematical or whatever. For those of us who don't have a particular talent, we just have to figure out how to function, LOL.

    And, you are doing well at that. Which puts you ahead of the game LOL ;)

  7. @yaya. you are fine. never worry about posting a comment here. this is a free speech zone ;)

  8. The crazy part is, my kid has never seen me high. She has never seen any drugs or gone with me to pick up (although she has seen me smoke cigs on our porch, outside only). My kid has never wanted for anything or been in need of something that I couldn't provide her. I only get high at night when she's asleep or my "nights off" when she is with her dad (not an addict). I don't want to hurt my little girl. Everyone who knows me IRL says what a great mom I am, and I bet their opinion of that would change if they found out that I was an oxy junky. But why? I don't think that drugs are what make a bad parent, although they often go hand in hand. My daughter has always come first in my life, never second to the drug. If I can't keep that up, then I won't really have a choice but to quit. I just don't want to hurt anyone.


  9. okay SJ. then think about this. All that being said...Oxy's ARE addictive, WILL get you. It always starts slow....but it always wins out in the end. How about this? How about you go start counseling to see what it is inside you that is leading you to NEED that release you get from oxy's. Do it now, so that you can just stop and work on the underlying problem.

    then, you won't ever HAVE to worry about it. Because the thing is, if ANYONE suspects, and pops a piss test on you, you WILL LOSE YOUR DAUGHTER. CPS doesn't piss around anymore, test positive for opiates (and oxy is) lose your kid.

    instead of rationalizing why it is okay for you to use, rationalize how to learn how NOT TO USE and WHY you started in the first place, and just freaking QUIT, and then, as you say, you ARE a good mom ;)

  10. Hey SJ, how about spending the money you use for oxys on your kids or inves in a college fund for your kid. My daughter is an oxy junky with kids and I know the drill. You cannot be a good parent and an oxy junky at the same (mutually exclusive by non-junky rationale). Actually, all you junkys who think you are good parents, just make me sick. Did you use while you were pregnant. I consider that child abuse at its worst.

  11. I didn't even take tylenol while pregnant!

  12. chillax everyone!

    SJ, if you have a chance to get/stay clean, do it. there really is no such thing as a part time junkie. It will take you in the end and you will lose your daughter.

    None of our kids thought they would end up childless because of their drug use. It sneaks up on you.

    There are 5 million of us mom's out there now who know what really goes on. Someone WILL turn you in.

    Stop now while you have the chance to save yourself from losing your beloved child.


  13. Fractal mom...I love what you write....and I so honor your commitment to those little ones. Good on you in a huge way.

    Meanwhile, you are also very right about the ADHD,...the untreated ADHD child is MUCH more apt to become an addict and have all kinds of destructive life experiences. Gledwood wrote about the person taking ritalin and/or adderall and now having all these other problems. there's an old adage in science....correlation does not equal causation. Just because an ADHD person that was treated with medication becomes a drug addict....does NOT mean that the ADHD treatment led them into addiction, but instead the impulsive/ excessive predisposition of behavior to both...and the need to slow oneself down that is common to both. And Fractal Mom is also right about the high amount of high IQ people who have ADHD too. Just know that stimulant medication treatment for ADHD works to get an ADHD brain to a mode of functioning that works "normally" for the non ADHD person. that's very different than what oxys and heroin do,...nothing helpful and better functioning about them. And by the way...Ritalin has been used since 1938 without negative outcomes...that is a fact. Sorry for my soap box rant here. I'm just so sick of how much the media etc. spews incorrect info. on ADD and ADHD. I'm a teacher and see how much kids (and adults of course) can be helped when properly treated, and yes, that does mean medication, for it's a physically (not t.v. or sugar or other food) caused disorder. Medication may have some side effects, but untreated ADD or ADHD often has lifelong very destructive side effects. For some accurate info., go to

  14. @Beachteacher and @Gledwood.

    The research I discovered when evaluating Pint at age 5 (now almost 12) blew my mind away. I understood ADHD, I thought, as we had already had a number of foster children diagnosed with it.

    What I DID NOT KNOW was that UNDIAGNOSED people who continue to be undiagnosed into early adulthood have a WHOPPING 75% chance to go on to seriously abuse drugs. And, for some reason, the drug of choice is opiates, almost across the board.

    The rationale in the uneducated mind, is that the finally figure out that most people do not think 6-9 things simultaneously, and they therefore use 'downers' in the mistaken belief that it will S L O W down their brains.

    Conversely, those who ARE diagnosed and ARE medicated appropriately, have only a 9% chance of abusing drugs when adults. Their minds actually work well on medication, and they are more well adjusted, think clearly and adapt much better.

    While I am not taking responsibility for my daughter's addiction, I do realize that had she been diagnosed with ADHD, (she was in fact, ultra brilliant), she might not have gone on to self medicate.

    The other thing I found was also important.

    I found that adversity is what builds character. So running in to rescue whatever challenges they face is not good. Also, not letting them even HAVE serious challenge is a disaster.

    The grands? I am allowing challenges, adversity and the ability to fail, while they are still little and have loving arms to fall into, a good support system to fall back on. How is this not enabling?

    Because they are little. My daughter didn't face her first obstacle till she was in her 20's and away from home. She didn't know HOW to handle failure. She just folded.

    This time around, the kids (also even more brilliant than their mother) were grade accelerated and one has even gotten an F in math. And, she has had to learn to STUDY, and to TRY, and then has gone on to conquer that F and turn it into a D, then a C, and is on the way to a B.

    We can't turn back time, but we can correct past inabilities to see issues.


  15. go Fractal Mom go :) That's also such an issue for very bright kids...that is so common in causing underachievement...they're really not used to ever having a new academic concept be a challenge...or to have to study or work at their own learning and/or academic progress. So, when,at some point they run up against something new that they must work to understand or achieve.....they really don't have the drive to do so, or even know how to do so. It's GREAT that you made sure that they have the right level of challenge and that they are learning how to study and achieve academically. It warms my teacher heart :)

  16. @Beachteacher.

    We had such a hard decision to make. Their mother, we called her the 'golden child'. Everything she touched turned to gold. She was an early entrance kindergarten child. We left her in grade level, upon the advice of the 'experts'. She was a 4.0 student all the way through. Valedictorian. Full academic scholarship from NASA. Dual majored in Physics/Math at college.

    Faced her first significant failure her junior year at college. No family around, no coping skills. Couldn't handle it because she had quite frankly NEVER failed at anything at all in her life. Was beautiful, popular, smart, funny....everything you could want in a child.

    She crawled into a needle and has never come out.

    Now, at age 32, she is an idiot.

    Her kids are even smarter than she was. Both of them. It scared the crap out of me.

    So I did a bunch of research. And added in a good dollop of experience in my own life.

    Decided that it was the very adversity and challenges that I faced and overcame which made me the strong woman I am today.

    The research showed that a whopping 90% of the world's most successful people were AVERAGE students. They got D's and F's. They learned how to improve. They fell on their face and had to struggle. And, they learned to go on and conquer what had, at first, beat them. Once that was learned, NOTHING could stop them.

    So, DH and I decided we would artificially create adverse conditions for the grands. We would insure that they FACED challenge. Hard challenge. And, we would put them in a situation in which they would have to fail. So that they could learn what failure was, how to recognize it, how to overcome it when they are little, how to rely on your family for coping skills and support, how to turn failure into success.

    The littlest, now 8, skipped 2nd grade. She is tiny, only barely 8 years old and in 4th grade. she is a straight A student, BUT, she has had to learn to actually STUDY to become one. Before, she didn't even read her assignments, they were so easy for her it took her seconds to do her homework. Literally. On the first day of school in 1st grade she read the entire reading book on the bus ride home. She was done for the year.

    The oldest wasn't accelerated until the end of 4th grade. She went to sixth. she is struggling, but learning. She just turned 11 1/2 and is in 7th grade.

    She has to balance emerging puberty, going to school with kids 3 years older than her in her class and ALL A.P. Classes. She is doing well, got an F in AP algebra, and dropped to regular 7th grade math. Her Anc World History class is challenging because she doesn't like her teacher. She waffles from an A to a D, back and forth, depending on the week and her mood. She also has ADHD, so....

    But, she is learning. And I hope (pray) that it is working, because God knows what we decided with their mother certainly didn't work!!

    Did we make the right decision? Only time will tell. Until then, I am like the energizer bunny, I just keep going...and going...and going...and going...... LOL