Thursday, September 27, 2012


A good friend of mine who blogs, here, is mom to eight children.  Three are biological and five are adopted.  She has become quite the student of attachment theory.  As the years have gone by I've heard more and more about attachment, dealing with with a host of things besides adoption.  Seems we all need some attachment to someone we can rest assured that will love us and be there....always, no matter what.

I started hearing about attachment from the books written by Gabor Mate, MD, on children with ADD and addiction.  Then hubby and I began marriage counseling and our LCSW uses attachment therapy.  I didn't look for that but it's where God sent us. This summer I read Greg Boyle, SJ's Tattoo's on the Heart, a book about his ministry with former gang members.  His number one advice is to repair the attachment. 

Now, my friend (we have always said that we live parallel lives) gives me all of these DVDs on a conference led by Dr. Karen Purvis, dealing with healing the traumas that have caused a failure to have secure attachments.  Dr. Purvis is a psychologist at Texas Christian University.  She is amazing.

One of the messages she shares, that I really liked so much is this, the good news is the bad news:  the brain is plastic.  It can be changed; for the good or the bad.  But, what it means for me is there is hope for recovering what might have been lost.  It isn't easy or perfect but it is possible!!

I'll try to share a few things I'm learning along the way in my next few posts. Today I am thankful for hope.  It is a marvelous thing.  I'm thankful for a second chance of sorts.  I'm thankful for the time at the county jail.  Those ladies teach me so much.  I pray for more knowledge needed for healing.  I pray for the patience, strength and perseverance to carry out God's will.  And, as always I pray for the soul of Henry.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

My Samaritan Friends

"And he sat down and called the twelve;  and he said to them, 'If anyone would be first, he must be last of all'   To better illustrate this teaching, He took a child, and put him in the midst of them; and taking him in his arms, he said to them, 'Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me;  and whoever receives me, receives not me but him who sent me'.

This is a passage from today's readings which illustrates that if we humble ourselves to embrace those who are of little importance in the world's eye, we are in essence embracing Christ himself and His Father who sent him. 

This passage has come to mean a great deal to me.  Before I was a mother of a recovering addict I understood this passage.  But, now, I feel so many levels and nuances of this passage that I never experienced before; it is hard for me to illustrate, but I will try.

My son is working (this time) on four months of sobriety.  Total sobriety from drugs AND alcohol.  It is a first time for that.  He still smokes but he has gone father and worked harder at his sobriety this time than ever before.  He attends NA and goes to mass.  He is doing a lot and his family is very proud.  We are also very tired.  Four months while great, is but a short distance of travel on sobriety's road. 

Four months means that he's working very hard but he still has panic attacks.  He's still very emotional.  He isn't always able to sleep at night so he will nod off in the day causing others ( me included) to think he is using again.  His behaviour is not typical for a 23 year old.  He is emotionally behind.  Sometimes it is embarrassing.  Sometimes my pride gets in the way.  It is the ugly truth.  I am not proud of myself.

Yesterday we (son and I) had a conversation about people knowing that he is a drug addict.  He said that he understood that I had to tell some people but he hated that some people know because it changed the way they behaved around him.  He felt like it marks him....forever.  It probably does with some people.

But, he went on to tell me about two families that we are friends with.  One family, we'll call our barn family and the other we'll call our godparent family.  Yesterday, we went to a horse show and the Barn family mom came up to him and hugged him.  She listened to him.  And, when he was a little off, you would never know it from her kindness, inclusiveness and love that she showed him.

Godparent family has been much the same.  He is welcome at their home.  They are happy to see him and they never judge him.  They are praying for him and he knows it.  They make a point of talking to him and touching him on the shoulder, looking him in the him dignity.

Both families have created for him, safety and love;  key ingredients to recovery.  Both families make my eyes tear at the kindness that comes so easily and naturally, making my fears of his behavior leave. 

We are a blessed family.  Today I am thankful for the gift of those in my life who will come last(and in so doing, are first) and embrace, drawing in, those who society sends away to the periphery.  I pray for all of our addicted loved ones and I say a prayer for Henry.


Monday, September 17, 2012

Do You Remember...

The seventeenth day of September....  On this seventeenth day, twenty-one years later, I like to remember the gift of that day.  A daughter was born.  A child who embodies nurturing love, even to her detriment, at times.  A beautiful, intelligent, confident young lady who will leave a distinguished mark on this world as soon as she realizes what her father and I already know about her.

Only the baby for 14 months, when little sister arrived;  This child would wake and bring me two diapers each morning, one little, one her size, without prompting.  I'm fairly certain that her example potty trained her sister and she taught her to tie her shoes.  She loves to help those in need and has a soft, kind heart once you get past the tough exterior.

Our Asian pediatrician always said to me after a visit, "She has good brain."  and she does.  Born just past the school cut off she went ahead with those a bit older but not always wiser, because she was reading at 4 years old. 

She is always in a hurry to get things done....simply because she can without always taking her time to just be.  Just to be and absorb and find all that God has made her to be. 1.   Magnificent.  2.  Holy. 3.   Loving. 4.   Caring.  5.  Diligent. 6.   Intelligent.  7.  Beautiful.  8.  Full of Light. 9.   Intuitive.  10.  Driven.  11.  Articulate 12.  Organized 13.  Kind 14. Cuddly 15.  Nurturing 16.  Competent 17.  Willing 18.  Accepting 19.  Trusting 20.  Inclusive 21.  Uniquely designed by God

And we would not have her any other way;  even though she does keep her father and I on our toes.

Today marks a celebration for Dad and I  because on this day 21 years ago we received the most wonderful gift. 
A daughter who has been in a family with ups and downs.  And, her light still shines so bright.  A daughter who valiantly travels a difficult journey with a broken family;  but one who loves her enough to do the work to heal and start anew.  So on this day, We begin with prayers of thanksgiving for a beautiful daughter;  a calm loving one named for a grandmother who exuded those same traits.    We pray for her strength and fortitude for the journey.  We pray she finds the peace that passes all understanding only found with God.  We pray that she learns to take her time and see the miracle that God created in her.  And we are so excited to watch her unfold into the person that God intends her to be. 
Happy Birthday My Daughter "of Light".  We love you very much.


Thursday, September 13, 2012

Money For Nothin' and Your Chicks For Free.....

My husband is an equine veterinarian.  He has been practicing now for 28 years.  There are times when it has been a very fulfilling career and vocation for him.  Lately, with a slow economy, there has been nastiness of epidemic proportion.

Just today, two clients have threatened to us;  one to use another vet if an after hours charge wasn't removed and one threatened to have a dispute filed with a credit card company over charges another disagreed with.  She also threatened a lawsuit and reporting us to a veterinary medical association.

There really are a lot of nice clients out there but a few make you want to wave the white flag, sell out and move on.  I was thinking just how brilliant the cupcake places are.  You sell one enormous beautiful cupcake for $5.00 and nobody gets pissed off or tells you that the ingredients were not just right.  They don't tell you that because they are so fattening that maybe they'll just pay $3.50.

I was feeling overwhelmed at all of this happening just before noon when my husband said, 'remember son is doing so much better right now; we are doing better; the girls are okay.  I guess that really is all that matters.

Today, I am thankful for a husband that can remind me when life pushes me down.  I am thankful for all of the blessings listed above.  I pray for all of our addicted loved ones to persevere in their fight for freedom from addiction.  And, I say a prayer for Henry.

Sunday, September 9, 2012


Some people swear.  But, in the south, we cuss.  I have never really been much of a cusser (is that a word?).  My mother, born in 1923, NEVER cussed.  She actually wouldn't even fully spell a cuss word.  Doing so might actually mean that she'd cussed.  So, she'd spell exactly half the word and not one letter more. 

My dad grew up very poor and the son of an alcoholic.  He wanted more.  He would always tell me that it was easy to cuss but he was so proud of my Mama and what a "good" girl he'd managed to snag that he just felt like he could and would do better.  Instead, he made up cuss words.  "Dad dhasted" was among his favorites.  "Son of a Buck" was another...although I'm fairly sure that a buck is male, but I don't really guess that matters. 

My aunts used Sugar instead of that word referring to fecal matter.  I wonder why we feel such power when shouting out a term referring to excrement?  But, the one that is like nails on a chalk board to me is the "F bomb".  Did you know that "f bomb" actually made it into the dictionary this year?  It is a sad sign of our times, indeed.  Anyhow, I hate, hate, hate that one. 

In active addiction, my son, knowing of my adverse  reaction to that word once called after he'd been kicked out and he'd been drinking, and using his great creativity to use that particular word as a noun, verb, adjective and a host of other grammatical terms that I have forgotten the meaning to. 

On Friday, I confronted him about something that I thought he was lying about.  When he continued to stand by his story, I yelled from a place I was certain my parents were watching and shaking their collective heads in a "you know better than" motion, BULLSHIT!

If you really think about it, bullshit is like the plain ol shit on steroids.  I know this for fact as I live next door to cows.  Anyhow, I'm fairly certain that son swallowed his gum and his face went red and the whites of his eyes just about doubled in size.  He was so shocked.  Here was this boy who was obviously not shocked by much and yet me cussin at him almost knocked him over.  He could not let it go.  He brought it up 3-4 more times.

It kind of tickled me (after I felt guilty over stooping lower than I should have in a fit of anger).  It tickled me because even if I didn't realize it before, keeping my language clean, meant something to him.  You talk and talk to your kids but it's your day in and day out actions that are really who you are.  They are what they really notice.  It is a wake up call for me to build on that one good thing that I've got going.

Today, I am thankful for his standards for me.  I am thankful for great parents.  I am praying for all of you out there with your daily ups and downs and I'm praying for Henry.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

The Glass IS Half Full Today

Today I had an early morning doctor's appointment.  It took me 1 1/2 hrs to drive there.  It should have taken 45 minutes.  When I left the appointment, a funny smell started coming out of my air conditioner vent and then my air conditioner quit working.  It was 90 degrees Fahrenheit.  Then, I stopped to get gas and I stepped over the gas line to shade the area where you punch in your credit card info so that I could see it and I tripped over the gas line.  Miss twenty something was on the pump on the other side.  She had on workout clothes and was slim, trim, and fit.  She saw me fall flat on my face stubbing my big toe (which still throbs!).

I still didn't make it home in time to attack the pile on my desk.  Two house showings in three days has robbed me of the pleasure of checking items off my list.  And, to add insult to injury mine and my husband's cell phones are on the blink.

But, my son called and talked about having a dream about a devastating accident at work that involved a death.  It bothered him so much that he was extra careful when he had to use that piece of equipment.  Then at work, a similar accident happened but no one was hurt.  He told he how after the dream, he had been doing a lot of praying.  "That, I said, was the Holy Spirit!   How cool is that?"  "Pretty cool he says.  I've been praying so much lately."  Cool indeed.  And definitely the path to recovery.  My cup is more than half full.  It runneth over with words like those.

Today I bathe in thankfulness.  I pray for all of you and for your loved ones and for Henry.


Tuesday, September 4, 2012


I'm extremely weary.  Early sobriety is very difficult to live with.  The behavior is off.  The emotions are up and down.  I swing between worry and fear and empathy and regret.  I can't decide when to love unconditionally or when to draw the stiff line in the sand. 

My husband says that I just need to drug test and love him.  Either way.  I guess he is right.  My son is trying and I know that.  It's just that he has so much lost.  He has a battle which has started from behind. 

Today I pray for perseverance.  I pray for guidance.  I pray for blinders.  And, I pray for the soul of Henry.