Saturday, March 31, 2007

Jailbird Sister

My baby sister is in jail and it's not necessarily a bad thing.

I have written about her and her crack addiction in the
past and although much of what I have written may sound harsh to someone that has never had to deal with a crack addict, I hope that it is a bit understandable.

Last year when she got arrested she asked me to go before the judge and tell them that I was bringing her straight to rehab so that she could be released to me. I did it because the thought of my little sister in jail scared me and because I thought that I was telling the truth. I did bring her to a rehab in the snow and sat in the car while she went inside. She came out a half an hour later claiming that they wouldn't have a bed available until the next day.

I knew she was lying. I told her that she could stay with me over night and I would give her a ride there the next day. She asked me to give her a ride to go see her boyfriend (a fellow crackhead) and I refused. I begged her to stay with me. I told her that I knew that she was going to go get high and she would end up blowing off rehab and she refused. I drove her to my house and cried and begged her to just stay here and she walked out, still claiming that she wasn't going to get high. I knew she was lying, and I didn't here from her for months.

This time when I found out she was in jail I was relieved. Finally, confirmation that she was alive, not living on the streets, and at least temporarily unable to smoke crack. She has written to just about every member of our family asking us to go before a judge so that she can be released early. So far, we have all refused.

If I were to go pick her up she would be on the streets within minutes and I have no doubt of that. At least by our refusal we are keeping her alive (although locked up) for one more month; and sadly it feels as if her life expectancy does seem to be at the point that it can be measured in months. I told her that if she wants to end up back on the streets killing herself I can not be the one that gives her a ride there.

I tried to explain it all in my letter to her and to tell her how much I love her but all she seemed to see was my "no". I wish I had some magic words that would make her understand how much I love her and to make her change her life, but instead all I have the ability to do is to help keep her locked up for a little while and hope like hell that someday she understands.

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Obsession, Phones and A-1 Sauce

I hadn't realized that it had been so long since I had not only blogged but even read anyone else's until today. The problem is that my obsession for blogging has taken a bit of a backseat to my new obsession of making jewelry.

It's horrible how completely consumed I can become with my obsession of the moment. For a while if I wasn't blogging I was usually thinking about what I would write next. Now, if I am not making jewelry I am either thinking about how I could make a new design idea work or thinking about how I can sell the stuff. The funniest part is that I first started making jewelry so that maybe I could sell it and now I am hoping to sell some so that I can afford to keep making it.

I really think that I need to get a more healthy balance so I am going to force myself to update my blog more regularly again (besides I am currently out of wire.) I tend to get so wrapped up in something that I can barely think about anything else. I am sure there is some sort of psychological term for it that no doubt contains the words obsessive or compulsive but I refuse to diagnosis it and instead just work on rounding out my activities a bit more. Now, I am going to go off on a couple of minor little rants in an attempt to prove that I have more on my mind than the creation of incredibly beautiful jewelry...

Anyone that is thinking about switching over to Sunrocket phone service....DON'T!! It's pretty bad when you lose phone service twice in the first 24 hours and when you call to complain the supervisor actually tells you that if the power goes out anywhere on the East coast you may have to reboot the system. Of course the only way you would realize that your phone is out is if you obsessively check for a dial tone throughout the day (which I have been while I am waiting for my old service to be reinstalled). Of course this same supervisor also told me "perhaps if you are looking for a reliable phone service, and I'm not saying that Sunrocket isn't, but if you are looking for a reliable phone service perhaps Sunrocket isn't for you."

I can't imagine that I am alone in my desire to have people be able to reach me on my phone. I guess I am just one of those picky people that expects to have a dial tone and not have service suddenly get cut off without warning.

Now, besides Sunrocket I am going to express one more peeve of mine...A-1 sauce. I love the stuff but their packaging bother's the living crap out of me. The thick dark brown bottle seems designed to hide how much sauce is left. What's the big secret darn it?! If you want me to buy more A-1 you've got to meet me half way and allow me to be able to tell that I am all out before I attempt to pour it over my steak and find out that the heavy bottle that I thought was half full is just heavy because it is made out of glass similar to what they use in the shark exhibit at the aquarium and it only appeared to be half full because as I was twisting it in the light desperately trying to see through the dark glass a shadow fell across the bottle, coupled with my deep unconscious desire to not have to go to the store, tricked me into believing that there was plenty left. I am going to leave that run on sentence completely untouched because it actually illustrated quite clearly how just thinking about Sunrocket and A-1 sauce can leave me incoherent.

Now I am going to end this here, try to find my happy place (it involves a television and a remote control) eat something that requires no condiments and wait for the happy time when the phone guy shows up to return my old (more expensive but reliable) service.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Just a Rough Taste

I have debated whether to post this for quite a while but I have decided that in order for me to write more that I have to have to courage to at least put this little bit of my "book" up for public consumption. I will save my neurotic debates with myself for another post and just let you get on with reading this one...

Before I even opened my eyes I could feel the tight canvas around my wrists and ankles. There was no gradual awakening and realization to where I was and what was happening. Even in sleep there was no escaping the reality of those restraints. I kept my eyes closed not to delay the inevitable sight of the hospital around me but because I didn't want them to know I was awake; and I knew that someone was watching, there was always someone watching.

I was surrounded by the hushed voices of nurses going about their work late at night, only interupted by the occasional squeak of practical shoes on sanitary floors. It didn't take me long to realize that two of the voices were discussing me. "She looks like an angel sleeping there. You wouldn't know that she was the same girl they brought in last night." Soon their voices faded into the background as my curiosity began to take hold.

On either side of my bed were curtains so close I could almost touch them despite the restraints. I felt closed in, trapped, and yet I sensed that there were people on the other side of those curtains that I would rather not see, and rather not have see me. Strange to feel both protected and trapped by mere cloth.

The foot of the bed was left open and I could just make out the nurses station that I had known would be there. "Excuse me." I had thought that my words would be harsh in the silence but they were barely a whisper. I cleared my throat and tried again, "Excuse me". I saw one nurse glance over. She made eye contact only briefly before returning to her hushed conversation with her coworkers. I was trying to get up the energy and the courage to make a third plea for attention when she broke away from her pack and quietly came over.

"It's late, why don't you try to go back to sleep now." Strangely enough I was struck by how she managed to invoke both a condescending concern and a no-nonsense authority in just those few words.

I knew it was pointless and didn't matter anymore but I had to know something anyway. "What time is it?" She quickly whispered that it was after midnight, go back to sleep and patted my hand briskly as she shuffled away. Stupidly, I began to cry. I had missed my show. It was too late, I had missed the show I had been waiting all week to watch. I focused on that one disapointment as I fell back asleep. Somehow, it made it all just a little easier to bear.

The next time I woke up it was to the sound of arguing. There was a man shouting and a woman telling him to calm down and she threatened to call security if he didn't. She told him to let the others sleep and warned him that he is frightening the girl in the next bed. They are so close. How can there be a man kept in the same room? How can he be so close, and so angry? I lay there trying to ignore the voices and try to silently will the man to calm down. Doesn't he know that they will tie him down? Doesn't he know that they will win?

The curtains moved violently as the man struggled and although it still blocked my view I could see it all in my head. I wanted to hide from it all, or move further away, but I was helpless to do anything to protect myself from what was happening. I stared at the ceiling and tried to concentrate on not letting my imagination tighten my own restraints as the violence only a couple of feet away from me played itself out to it's inevitable conclusion. The man was subdued and the sounds of struggle ceased.

One security guard stayed behind. I knew that the guard was black because of the things the man said to him and I know that the man was a bigot for the same reason. Such hatred was coming from this man's mouth and all I could think was that he shouldn't be using those words. I had been listening to this man shouting and fighting for what had seemed like forever but his quiet racist taunts of the guard scared me even more than his previous violence had.

Suddenly the guard's voice was very close and I realized that he had moved closer to the man so that he could speak quietly. "I hope that some day when you are out of these restraints I meet you in a dark alley. You won't dare talk this crap to me then. You should be glad that you are tied up or I would beat the shit out of you." He laughed and walked away as the man on the other side of the curtain shouted one last ineffectual insult at him. I started to shake.

I was trying to get my breathing back under control when I heard a whisper. "Hey little girl, are you awake?" It didn't even occur to me to object with typical teenage outrage to his words, perhaps because in my fear and helplessness I had never felt more like a little girl in my life. I tried to pretend that I hadn't heard him but after his second attempt to get my attention I couldn't ignore the lifetime of training that told me it was rude to ignore an adult when he was talking to you.


"How old are you?"


"Hey, could you help me out?" I could see the thin barrier of the curtain moving inches from my hand as he tried to get closer. "Could you untie me please?" My mouth dried up and I wanted to call for help but I just wanted to be left alone, by him, and by the staff.

"I can't. I'm tied up too."

"Oh man, that sucks. I can't believe those bastards would tie up a little girl." His voice eventually drifted off as his interest in me waned with the realization that I wouldn't be able to help him. I fell back into the refuge of sleep.

Over the next two days I had very little time in which I was alert enough for any sort of serious reflection on my situation. I was moved to a private room but the relief I should have felt barely registered. Things passed in a blur with only the arrival of meals and the pills they used to keep me sedated to mark the passing of time. My head would fill with questions that I was too drugged to ask out loud so the only answers came from inside. I played over and over in my mind the mistakes I had made to put myself in this position. In my sleep, I would sit quietly as they wheeled me down the hall. In my dreams I didn't panic at the thought of being locked up again and my impulse to suddenly run was stifled by the common sense that hindsight had afforded me. The wish to rewind those few minutes before I was quickly subdued and restrained became such a powerful one that I almost felt as if I could make it happen by sheer force of will. The brief pain of the disapointment I felt each time my eyes opened was almost unbearable. However the same pills that made my dreams so vivid, blurred the edges of my reality; until it became easier each time to allow myself the safety of sleep and avoid the bite of reality.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

I Love You Too

All weekend my son has been begging me to play one of his new video games with him. I kept putting him off because I was kind of tired, and really just didn't feel like learning how to play a new video game.

I finally was forced to play with him tonight because I had promised him that I would play with him before the weekend was over. I don't know how I could have forgotten how fun it is to spend time with my son.

He is so patient with me, even though he sometimes has to explain something a few times before I get what he is saying. He actually is sympathetic at the same time that he is laughing at me for losing to him so badly.

He also is the easiest person in the world to get to laugh. There is nothing that can compare to the joy that I feel when my 12 (almost 13) year old son is bent over double in his chair begging me to "stop, you are going to make me pee." Of course, then I explain to him that I will love him even if he does pee his pants and he laughs even harder.

Why do I keep forgetting how much fun it is to spend time with him? I can't believe that I had to be emotionally blackmailed to spend time with him and I ended up feeling like he was the one that had done me the favor. I think sometimes I just let myself get too caught up in the worry of being a parent and occasionally have to be reminded just why it is all worth it.

Just now I passed through his room and decided to give him a little kiss on his cheek before he completely fell asleep. I didn't say a word but he smiled and said "I love you too." God! I love the heck out of that boy!

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Mom: The Informant

I just got back from bringing my son to the doctor. His doctor was very good at taking the time to listen to my concerns about my son's difficulties in school (which may explain why he was running late). He even took the time to answer my son's questions and did it without talking down to him.

The doctor seems to think that it is a real possibility that my son does have ADD. I just have to fill out a few forms and bring some to the school for them to fill out. The forms are the typical "on a scale of 1-5 how often does the child do this?" It is the title on the forms that got my attention however. The forms are labled "parent informant" and "teacher informant."

Now, being a "survivor" of adolescent psychiatric care in which I often felt abandoned and betrayed by the adults in my life, the fact that I am now preparing to get my son help by filling out a form in which I am identified as an "informant" is a bit disturbing to me.

I realize that it is just the term they are using for "the parent providing the information on this form" but it set me back a few steps nonetheless.

I would like to suggest a few things they could put in place of the title "informant" that would perhaps be more appropriate to the situation.

1. Concerned parent

2. Parent with no agenda other than taking care of offspring

3. Parent filling out the form

4. Literate parent

5. Parent taking time out of day to spend time reflecting on child's needs

6. Parent with a pen

I would basicly accept any term that doesn't sound as if I am turning my son in to the police or the Gestapo. Maybe I should just cross it out on the form and write in my own term. At least then I would leave little doubt that my son may have a genetic predisposition to mental illness.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Lack of Focus

I can't seem to focus at the moment. Nothing is wrong, I just have so many things that I want to talk about that I can't bring any of them into enough detail in my mind to really write about any of them. Here are a few of the things that I started to write about but erased after just a few sentences...

1. My husband's aggravating habit of constantly worrying about what we don't have and never focusing on what we do have

2. My aggravating habit of never worrying about what we should be working towards instead of just living for the moment

3. Further reflections on bullying

4. How much our childhoods effect how we view the world

5.Worries that some day my children will be blaming their failures in life on my parenting and the childhood I provided for them

I guess I will just save all of those things for another post on another day and instead mention something that has been on my mind all day (ever since watching Elizabeth Taylor in "Cleopatra" this morning). I was shocked to realize that when writing this entry that I had completely forgotten one of my "some day when I am skinny" dreams. Amongst all of the talk about belly button rings, scars, and harem costumes I completely forgot that I have always wanted to start wearing those bracelets that go around the biceps. I am not sure what they are called (arm bracelets) but any time Cleopatra is depicted she always seems to have one on. I think they are sexy and unusual. I can't figure out why you don't see people wearing them more often.

The best news is that I don't seem to have any scars that would interfere with proudly showing off a (soon to be) finely toned upper arm so no flesh colored body suits would be required.

That is all...good night.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Bullies Suck

Sometimes I really hate kids. Of course I don't mean my children I mean other people's kids.

My 12 year old has come home sobbing hysterically for the past two days because of getting teased on the bus. He has a long history of getting picked on and I have spent countless hours trying to explain to him that there have been bullies since the beginning of time and the fault lies with them, not with him. He has tried ignoring them and has even taken to bringing a portable CD player with him so that he can turn up the music on his headphones and try to drown them out..but he says that now they just shout their taunts.

They call him "gay" and a cry baby. They make fun of him because he lives in an apartment and claim that he is poor (oh how well I remember childhood when being called poor was one of the worst insults).

Although this situation has existed for quite a while and has made me cry more than once that isn't what I want to talk about right now. Right now I want to take a moment to just be pissed off.

Who the hell do these kids think they are? Why does it make them feel good to pick on a kid that is trying to just ride the bus home? Where are their parents that they don't realize that they are raising evil little monsters? Why does the school hang up posters all over the school about bullying and yet never seem to follow through unless someone throws a punch?

There are times that I want to follow him onto the bus and threaten every single one of those future convicts (or politicians) with severe bodily harm if they don't stop picking on my wonderful boy. I want to call up all of their parents and threaten them with some sort of divine retribution if they don't start paying attention to the kind of children that they are raising.

I want to walk into the school and shove those "anti-bullying" feel good posters up the staff butts and see if that gets their attention.

Of course, I will do none of these things. I will probably make a call to the school in which I very meekly express my concerns, I will receive useless platitudes in return, and I will start giving my son rides to school so that he doesn't have to ride the bus with the bullies.

Still, a girl can dream can't she?

P.S. Please keep in mind that I am letting off a bit of steam. No children, parents, or teachers were harmed during the writing of this post and such actions are in no way condoned by the author of this blog. I am now going to go check out this site and see if that helps. It couldn't hurt I guess, at least not as much as my idea about where to put the posters.