UGH! I just wrote a big update, and somehow this stupid computer lost it. Somehow I hit the touchpad in such a way that it starts backing up and I can't control it - and then everything I wrote is gone. AAARRRRRRGGGGGGHHHHHHHH!!!!
- I thought I'd posted an update that apparently I never did.
Naomi did go into residential treatment weeks ago. (A month ago? I think it was June 3rd?!) We alerted the people at the program about her diet & exercise issues, although family therapy is a component of the program, so it's not like we weren't going to see her and be able to find out how she's doing. We were encouraged by the fact that they were accomodating to her being vegetarian - and not just by providing meals of dairy products.
What ended up happening, we're not quite sure. But because legally, for these purposes, Naomi is not a minor, unless she signed an agreement to release medical information to us (which she chose not to do), we can't get info on what was going on with her meds, etc. And the place isn't a jail so if any residents want to roll, they roll, although often they have the good graces to at least sign themselves out AMA (against medical advice). Naomi did not do this - she just disappeared, leaving quite a few of her things behind.
Fortunately, she did take her cell, and she did call us. Gary's first instinct, obviously, was to go looking for her. But every single doc out there advises against that. The odds of her beating her addiction at this age were so slim to begin with (especially with her history). They all say the same thing - until she's ready, there's nothing anybody can do.
It's just so frustrating. We don't know if they were working on new meds, or different doses of meds, or what. We do know she was down to 35mg of methadone, which we felt she was coming down way too fast - but everyone knew we thought that, and in the end, the decision was between her and them.
When she called, she said that she was NOT back on heroin, but that they were horrible to her in the program, and she didn't come here because she was afraid we were going to be upset. There was no point in discussing any of it with her, really, because she was just not in any kind of rational place. She did not go to Peter's. Some traveler friends of hers (we don't know if it's the same group that was here before or different people) are/were in town, and she was with them in some new squat.
She was really quite crazy. I don't know if I'm just in denial, or maybe I'm really just a cold-hearted bitch - I don't know. But Gary was so torn up. It really depressed him (although he's coming to terms with all of this again). I don't know. Maybe I was just better prepared, mentally. Either way, at first she didn't want to come home. What she wanted was for us to rent her a car so she could stay at Peter's and continue the methadone program at the clinic out here that she was enrolled in before the residential program. She wanted us to wire money for food, gas and I don't know what else. (I told Gary I was impressed that she even wanted to continue on methadone - let alone go to all the trouble of coming out here). He said - don't fool yourself. It's just a cheaper way to get high. This way she gets the methadone basically for free, but she's at a low enough dose that she can get high off of heroin - but she won't need much heroin.
When we told her there was no way we were renting a car for Peter, and there was no way we were wiring money, she really flipped out. Gary's first reaction was to get mad at the way she was behaving. I had to remind him that what all of this is about is that she's mentally ill, and then he just had such trouble dealing with it all.
This is undoubedtly the hardest thing we've ever done. After that first, insane, angry phone call, we obviously had an emergency therapy appt. And we decided to stick to our guns. No support unless she lives at home - and she can't live at home until she's got her meds worked out, and we've all been in family therapy together to the point that we feel she can participate in the family, not just be someone to be taken care of.
Of course what she wanted changed very rapidly. The pleading to come home began - and while we were happy to get together to see her, we made it clear she wasn't coming home until the above conditions had been met - and we'd all discussed all of that a hundred times in and out of therapy, anyway. Obviously she accused us of abandoning her, etc. She then pulled out the threats - we were forcing her to become a dominatrix, because we wouldn't give her money. We pointed out that for the unskilled, there are many alternatives to both panhandling and the sex trade, and that no matter what, she IS our daughter - but she's the one who wanted to turn her life around, we were providing that opportunity, and when she's serious about that again, she knows what she needs to do. We'd discussed hundreds of times that our home will not be a shooting gallery, her traveler friends are not welcome here, and if she wants to work the sex trade in ANY way, she will not do it from here. (Her great idea was phone sex - then we wouldn't have to worry about driving her to and from a job as well as to and from the methadone clinic). She keeps missing the point - this is about changing her life. Going to school. Gaining skills that mean she doesn't have to resort to selling sex, in whatever form, because she doesn't have the will or the patience to clerk at a store or something for minimum wage. We've all struggled in our lives, and there's no damn shame in minimum wage. We've had these discussions a million times too. If she were a nymphomaniac, by all means, find your niche in the sex trade. It's a way to make money doing what you love. And great - if you've changed your mind and you've decided school is not for you, that's fine too. Going to college was never a condition of becoming our daughter or living at home. All of this is dealable with. But not being on her meds is not, and running away from the program - not discussing it, not saying Hey, I'm not into this - none of this is OK.
We'd gotten to the point where she was on low enough doses of methadone that her schizophrenia and other disorders were a problem. A seriously disruptive problem. None of us was functional, and that's not good for anyone.
So.... in the meantime, we are paying the methadone clinic. And as long as she uses the cellphone primarily to communicate with us, we're keeping that for her. We don't know how she did it, but she did get her biological father to purchase a used car for Peter. The very sad thing, though, is that Peter is no longer communicating with us about what's up with her. She has probably threatened him with leaving or going back on smack full-time.
We have seen her several times (she's out in NJ every day except Sunday, and we're in the city several days a week now, so it's easy to get together on her way back in, or out here), and she had definitely shot up several times, because you can see it. She said she was getting a job as a waitress - and two days later she told us that she had lied about that, and a "friend" of hers did get her a job working as a dominatrix in some "club" in the city.
She continues with the I want to come home - and we continue with the When you complete residential treatment combined with family therapy....
The saddest thing is that she's lying about so many things now that she messes up so that we know she's lying. She is back on heroin, though to what extent we don't know. It's not "bad enough" that they haven't kicked her out of the methadone program. But Gary and I feel very much like we have failed, miserably, as parents, and while we know we did our best, and we did most likely at least save her life, right now it's really hard not to feel like she's worse off now than she was. She does have a roof over her head, because she's mostly staying with Peter. And he's definitely getting her to the clinic every day. But the phone calls and visits are so disturbing. The "rational" Naomi that we'd come to know just isn't there, and it's depressing talking to her, because you just have no idea what's the truth and what isn't. And it's so hard not to feel like we should let her move back home - but the fact of the matter is that we just can't work properly on a full-time basis when she's here. She isn't sane, and it is completely disruptive, and we can't afford full-time home care.
So.... we don't know what twist or turn this relationship will take on any given day. But for right now, we're pretty set in not having her move back home until she's done something
to indicate that she really wants to become part of this family, however dysfunctional it is. We know this is a healthy decision for us - but what none of the psychs have completely convinced us of yet is - is it best for her?