Sunday, July 31, 2011

Banyan tree

Feeling life within and the stories it holds.


I can't believe how time flies....if I'm not mindful it gets wasted.

Just came back from West Palm Beach and visited some areas that we haven't seen in a long time. We took the time to visit The Norton Museum and Flagler Museum as looking at art.

The following day we met with FA friends and had a long leisurely lunch.....there's nothing like getting together with members of the fellowship as there is such a deep connection and the pleasure of knowing/feeling we are understood. There's no place like "home".


Saturday, July 23, 2011

Some of my past history

I’ve shared my story in bits and pieces over the years but not in this blog, so bear with me as it is a bit long. 

As I became more knowledgeable about addiction since joining FA (Families Anonymous), the
curtain opened and deeper issues were now more evident. Turns out that my
grand-father died of alcoholism, his son (my dad) also died from
complications due to alcoholism, my brother had a health wake up call at 50
and suddenly quit drinking….apparently he started his day with alcohol in
his coffee for many year. (Sadly his abstinence only lasted one year).

I met my husband in a bar and he liked to party and liked to drink every
night. Since I was raised in that environment I never gave it any thought
until the later years when my husband’s drinking started to affect our
marriage in more ways than one. I had learned from my mother unknowingly
how to put up with this and how to ignore/deny the severity of what was
going on.

Along the way, we had started a family. Our first born son brought us much
joy and pride with no worries ever, our second son couldn’t have been any
more different. This boy required our constant attention…from crying 24/7
to troubles at day care through high school. During those years he had also
been diagnosed with ADHD and put on medication from the time he was in 2nd
grade. That brought quite a bit of chaos in our household and it was
overwhelming for me….as most incident would happen in the evening as my
husband was passed out, leaving me to handle it all by myself.

My son’s  first encounter with the police was when he was 12, he had
decided to skip school with an older boy and they went on a spray painting
spree in a resort garage across the street from where we lived. That was
his first experience with facing a (mock) court and jury who ordered
restitution and community service….which we made sure he completed. Also
during those teen years, as a result of our inability to control the
constant chaos, we enlisted the help of several counselors and therapists
as well as private tutoring hoping to help him improve his self-esteem. I
myself took evening classes on parenting because I felt totally inadequate
in my parenting ways as far as he was concerned.

Then high school started and I truly feared what we would face then. Though
he started playing in the orchestra and was first chair, he also
participated in the youth symphony and I had high hopes that his music
talents would help along the way. But it wasn’t meant to be a pretty song
after all. The communication stopped as my son refused to talk to us and if
he did talk, he was lying. The funny thing was that he actually got himself
part time jobs after school and held those jobs. Though he came home with
items that I questioned…the usual answers was that people had given these
things to him or he was holding them for people. Over the years he was
caught and called on for having stolen items and at the time I hadn’t
realized how serious this was. Then when he was 17, I found alcohol in his
closet….I thought it was teenager stuff….or wanted to believe
that…..we discussed the fact that he might have addiction genes in him
and that it would be dangerous for him to even consider drinking and we
poured the booze down the drain.

Soon, I thought to myself, my son will turn 18 and I will not be
responsible for him anymore. Little did I know…..that everything was
going to multiply and become so much more heart breaking.

The last year of high school was underway, the gown had been ordered and
vision of prom dates was in the near future. My son turned 18 and went to
celebrate with friends and didn’t bother to come home that night. A
couple of weeks later he was arrested on school grounds for smoking pot in
his car with a ninja star in the glove compartment (weapon on school
ground). We got a call from the school informing us that he had been taken
to jail. We contacted a lawyer and decided to keep our son in jail
overnight. That evening I stripped his bedroom down to the bare
minimum…mattress, sheet, pillow…jeans and 2 plain white t-shirt. My
plan was to show him what his life in jail would be like if he continued on
in this path…..again…..little did I know how often he would land in
jail and how futile my attempts were.

We paid a private school so that he could finish high school and get a
diplomat….though I think it was more important for me than it was for
him. He worked full time and paid us back most of the money for the
lawyer’s fees. He attended the court ordered classes and meetings. He was
told that if he stayed out of trouble, his record would never be revealed
to the general public. His plans to enlist with the Air Force kept on
getting put off to a later of wanting to enjoy some
‘summer timer’ off before embarking into a career.  At that point the
relationship at home had become a nightmare, finally one day I told him
that if he didn’t like our rules that he was welcomed to move out and he
did. He lived on couches and in his car until it was totaled. His boss
called us at one point and pleaded his case and we ended up opening our
home for him again. Soon after he met a girl and the day after, he left
with her and moved into another state. I felt relieved.

The new love relationship didn’t last….her parents called us and told
us they had been caught with many drugs and paraphernalia and were thrown
out of the apartment. Then they broke up and my son called to say that he
was coming home….we told him he couldn’t live with us anymore. And so
his homelessness started……and it lasted an entire year. This was my
hardest year as I wondered where he was, how he was and I couldn’t see
him get himself out of that situation….so I extended a trip home, a job
at my cafĂ©, and room and board at a friend’s house. He seemed genuinely
eager and happy to get a chance to start over…..little did I know that I
could take him out of homelessness but I couldn’t take the homelessness
out of him… was evident when I watched him pick up cigarettes butts
in the parking lot and watched him talk to himself. Not long after that,
the room  & board was eliminated when he brought a stolen van in the
driveway. He was told to return the van and to move out. A few months later
he called us from jail and dad bailed him out. At this point the
relationship was taking a nose dive…we told him we couldn’t work with
him anymore. A month later he was arrested again, this time with 13-3rd
degree felonies. We did not bail him out.

It was shortly before that time that I found FA….not a moment too soon. I
was so relieved to hear that I didn’t cause it, I couldn’t change it
and I couldn’t cure it….it was out of my hands and I could finally
breathe a sigh of relief. I was no longer alone and had found people who
understood what I was going through and who had been there before. I
started to work the Steps, attend the MWW meetings and e-meeting and got
myself a sponsor. I was able to let go of the anger that I had been
carrying for so long and also learned about addiction which made me realize
that it wasn’t a moral issue after all. It made me more compassionate
toward my son and I let myself love my son again for who he was, and
stopped concentrating on what he had become. I was also learning to detach
from his problems and issues….more difficult to do but certainly not

He was released from prison after 16 months and found an apartment in our
town. Shortly after, his prison pal/partner joined him. Then, different
issues, challenging demands started to occur…..hard to decipher between
the truth and the scams….as his partner was twice his age with much
wisdom (being sarcastic here) to teach our son. One of those wisdom was to
help my son file for disability and all the other government freebies he
could get his hands on. During this time, we were asked for loans, for
advances, for rides, for assistance, for food etc. I also noticed how my
son seemed to be manipulated and most likely mentally abused by his
partner. I offered my son a list of phone numbers to call if ever he wanted
assistance with abusive issues, he thanked me but declined the offer. After
being a free man for 11 months, he was arrested again….this time one 2nd
degree felony and 2- 3rd degree felonies….which could add up to 25 years
if charged to the maximum. He has been sitting in jail now, still waiting
for a sentence. He was offered a 5 yr plea deal which he declined, the
judge has ordered an evaluation as he deemed our son incompetent to stand
trial. (2011 – plea deal of 3 years was accepted and after being in jail
for 1.2 months – he was moved to a prison to finish his sentence – due
to be released Feb.2013)

Now, here we are today…. I’m tempted to write as much about myself but
that would constitute another book LOL….sorry for such a lengthy post,
but let’s face it…my story is what brought me to FA. Anyway, as the
result of finding FA and working the Steps, I was able to shift the focus
away from my son and all his baggage, not only that but I shifted my focus
away from my husband and his drinking as well. I think in a way that my
husband started to sense the changes that was taking place within myself
and started to make changes within himself as well…..I think my growth in
the program as well as my own recovery made me a better person and as a
result of those changes….everything started to change. My husband barely
drinks nowadays and he keeps praising who I have become. I feel better, I
feel more confident, I have become more assertive and I go after what I
want. I am happy, my daily life brings me a lot of joy and the friendship
that I have come to know with the people in the fellowship has made me rich
in ways that no money can buy. My life is not perfect, there are still
issues being worked on and on a bad day I can still have a pity party but
overall I am experiencing a better way to live….and I’ve got FA to
thank, for giving me the opportunity to get  my life back….and Tom (another member of FA) for
his idea to make it possible for people to have an e-meeting available

Friday, July 22, 2011

5 Stages of Grief

1.Denial and Isolation - At first, we tend to deny the loss has taken place, and may withdraw from our usual social contacts. This stage may last a few moments or longer.
2. Anger - The grieving person may then be furious at the person who inflicted the hurt (even if they're dead), or at the world, for letting it happen. He may be angry with himself for letting the event take place, even if, realistically, nothing could have stopped it.
3. Bargaining - Now the grieving person may make bargains with God, asking, "If I do this, will yout ake away the loss?"
4. Depression - The person feels numb, although anger and sadness may remain underneath.
5. Acceptance - This is when the anger, sadness and mourning have tapered off. The person simply accepts the reality of the loss.

T I M E takes T I M E

Thursday, July 21, 2011


Have courage for the great sorrows of life and patience for the small ones, and when you have laboriously accomplished your daily tasks, go to sleep in peace. God is awake.
Victor Hugo

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Does the dust ever settle?

Another letter today with more pleas for help and assistance with calling the authorities to report the fact that he's not getting the medical attention that he needs. Can't lay down on one side, hurts to take deep breath, extreme pain when sneezing or coughing and no one is providing any relief or medical attention.
Now he wants us to call a law firm locally to start a lawsuit against DOC and will pay us when the lawsuit is won. If we're not willing to do this then we can call his buddy and he can reap the benefit of that lawsuit.
I'm sitting here and thinking....what will it take for me to stop receiving demands and pleas such as these?? Also, why am I so privy to hear about those painful events?? I love him and want to provide support and do not want to enable in any way, shape or form. Then I wonder, for a split it even within my control??
From my own past experience, I know that sleeping on these issues usually helps me to resolve my being unsure as to what to do. But that 24 hours is no picnic in the park.

Monday, July 18, 2011


Just finished with one of my meetings, this particular one was about Step Eleven and I found it to be so timely with everything that has transpired lately.

This past Friday I went to my turtle patrol in the early morning hours, searching/looking for the tell tales signs of the turtles having come ashore to lay their eggs. My head had been filled with the recent events revolving around my son's beating that occurred at the prison and at the same time was looking forward to feel my connection with my HP which seems to come easier while on the beach - surrounded by the vastness of the ocean and feeling like a little speck without any power whatsoever.

Either way, I was certainly not disappointed as I was provided with messages that enlightened me to say the least. The first one being the moon on the horizon...full and bright as can be, making me realize that no matter what takes place in our lives that the moon will rise again within a month or so and will continue to provide light on a dark night.
The second message came to me while looking at the lighthouse....a sturdy fixture that has stood the test of time and is still there providing a steady, no matter what happens.....a light is showing the way.
And finally, coming across a fisherman at the pier whose line was tangled with a tern. This tern was flapping his wings trying with all his might to get freed from the bondage. As I stood still on the edge of the beach, I called the marine biologist whom I report to during my turtle patrol and asked her the procedure for taking care of the tern and how to set him free.....and while I was standing there and 'being'....the tern managed to freed himself and flew off. Wow....what a message that was for me! With the doubts in my mind of whether to call someone about my son's events.....and this tern getting freed without anyone's interference.....was the answer that I had been looking for.

And last but not least....I came across a turtle crawl....another surprise miracle as this zone rarely has any.

Okay, so for me.....messages from a power greater than myself.....brings me the answers to my dilemmas and I am grateful that I am able to 'hear' them.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Heart ache

So, I talked this morning about illness and how many people that I had heard about who were suffering one way or another. It just so happened that mid day the mailman delivered a letter from my son. 

It had been one week since we last talked....our last conversation was about the fact that he was allowed only one phone call before going into confinement and had given me the lowdown and had asked me to call and place a complaint against the individual who had beat him up.

I slept on that one and decided that if I were to make waves that it might end up being detrimental for him....perhaps resulting in more physical abuse.
Nothing about this is easy and today's letter is much the same....he is still in confinement and complaining about the fact that he doesn't the showers that he needs and has not been provided with soap either and he stinks. Other than that, the pain is incredible and he thinks that he might have 2 broken ribs as the result of that beating. He's still pleading that we continue to place complaints on his behalf and he doesn't understand why he has to suffer so and has to be confined when he, in fact, hasn't done anything to deserve this.

As a mother, it hurts when my son is hurting and "I" don't deserve this either. I would like to make it all better for him and for me too....but I know this isn't the answer. He is where he is now as a result of the consequences of his actions...I didn't put him there and i certainly didn't teach him the things that he has been doing.

I need to continue to work in my own program and detach myself from this situation.....there has been many similar situations....similar in the way that i feel and how powerless I am over any of it and in the end it really doesn't have my name on it.

Coincidences - hints ??

So many talk about illness lately....just this morning I read about 3 separate individuals who were dealing with one thing or another. That makes me reflect that today I am well and I am feeling good and it reminds me to be grateful for those fortunes. I have been very blessed with my health and I don't always understand when people describe their symptoms to me as I've never been there before.....but one thing is for sure and that is that I am glad I am able to get up out of bed without pain and that I am able to carry on and do many physical activities daily. 
Another thing too is that when I look in the mirror and see an older image of myself, makes me realize that life is fleeting and that nothing ever stays the same.....need to remember to enjoy the day and be grateful for what I have today because things have a way of changing.
Thank you.

Thoughts going through my mind today

Just been catching up with my e-mails, some games for fun and read the updates of the blogs that I am following. I wondered as I read those whether people who came to read my blog would think that I am a person with chemical addiction.....I guess it was where I was pre FA and that people who went to meetings were drug addicts/drunks etc and as a result of that usage were 'low life'....I was passing judgments.  There is so much that I have learned as a result of having a child with drug addiction and from the fact that I joined a 12 Step group to help me cope with this family disease of addiction and one of those lessons has been to look at myself, my character defects and how I act and react....I am not perfect.

Saturday, July 9, 2011


Today I've spent some time updating my blog, trying to find a style that reflects who I am, where I've been and what I aspire to. Please take a moment to post a comment and if you like what you see, "follow" me.

Since everyone is my teacher and I learn something valuable from each person I meet, I find that there are no bad experiences, only more opportunities to learn. 

"Life is a school; Why not try taking the curriculum"


Ancient Legends of The Sacred Tree of Life

The Tree of Life is a Universal symbol found in many spiritual traditions around the world. It symbolizes life itself, with it's branches reaching for the Heavens "Father Sky" and it's buried roots, linking to "Mother Earth".

Many ancient mythical stories come from the idea that all living beings are born from the earth; the source of life and sustenance for all.

Legends say that The Sacred Dove sits in the branches of the Tree of Life and appears with the fruit of the tree and the waters of life.

The tree has become a symbol of love, wisdom, rebirth, strength, redemption, friendship, bounty and encouragement.

Sources: The Druids of Turtle Island,

Friday, July 8, 2011

Serenity SunTree

This setting reminds me of my yoga session from this morning. It was lead by a new teacher, new for me anyway....she started the yoga session with a gentle meditation and it went like this: You enter this long corridor and to your right there is a door, you enter and within this room is your past....what happened ten years ago, what happened last year, yesterday and so close the door and move further down the corridor and open the door to the left and enter the room....this is your future.....what will happen tomorrow, next month, next year close the door and move down the corridor and go to the end of it, open the door and enter into the present and stay. Namaste 

Thursday, July 7, 2011


There is something to be said about sleeping on it......After letting a whole day go by and digesting what came over the land line, it seems like my head catches up and my thoughts are a lot clearer.....the fog has dissipated so to speak.

I got thinking about the phone call that I had with my son and how he related his incident. Yes, it's true that I don't like to hear of him being beaten and hurt however there isn't a whole lot that i can do about that.....though.....the part about being moved from one facility into another because of the abuse, that I can understand.....BUT.....being in confinement as a result of it ?? kind of make me question the whole thing and perhaps, as it always is, there is a lot more to the story and I'm thinking that if I heard the whole story that I might not be so sympathetic after all.

But, that's neither here nor there at this it is totally beyond my job is and has been for some time now "To Be" as oppose to "To Do" but mostly to "Accept" and "Surrender" and I'm still finding that sometimes it is even harder to do that....."Letting Go" is not for sissies and needs lots of practice.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

The tough keeps on going

Got a call from our son. We had planned to have a visit this weekend, as we hadn't seen him for the past 7 months. Well, looks like it's not happening just yet. Ryan explained to me what transpired on his end today.
He was working in the kitchen when a guard came over and asked him to go into the ice room.....he followed him there and when they entered the room, the guard started beating the crap out of him by kicking and punching him. He's pretty bruised up he says and he wasn't sure as to what procedure to take for this, so he asked around.....he was told to see the Captain to report the beating.
Shortly after he did that, they moved him into another facility and have put him in confinement. The doctor is to visit tomorrow morning and evaluate the situation....he thinks his ribs might be broken and he's hurting everywhere. There will also be an investigation to determine what transpired.

Nothing about this is easy....I get mad at the system for having so many people working within those walls who take advantage of the inmates and travel on an ego trip.....I get mad at my son's addiction and for the path that it has taken him.....I get mad that I receive phone calls like these and that I can't do anything about it. I'm working really hard at turning it over and letting it go.....letting HP handle it......He knows a heck of a lot more than I do.

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things that I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.

Roller Coaster

What a roller coaster these past few days have been.....need to put things down so that I don't dwell on them and get on a self-pity trip.
A friend of mine, whom I hadn't seen in a year......I called her and her husband told me that she's been dealing with cancer and had 3 operations within these past 6 months and has just been admitted in the hospital for more test. I'm glad that i called and I went to was good to see her and i think we both benefited from the visit.
Then it was the 4th of July parade....every year, it's a ritual....we go down to the corner and watch the small community put out a display of cars, bikes, floats etc.....and as usual it was hot as the dickens. My husband Tony stepped away and went under a tree to cool off, he called and asked me to joined I neared him, he fainted and landed on the ground. It was split second stuff and i quickly had him smile, talk and move his arms to eliminate any doubts about a stroke happening. Others came over and provided cool water for him, soon after he was able to stand up and got a ride from a neighbor.
Today a new day....he's feeling fine but refuses to take pro-active actions....grrrr.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Recovery blogs

Sometimes the answers come in ways that we don't always anticipate and I found too that my teachers come to me when I need them the most.
I have been a member of a fellowship that has been serving most of my needs for several years now but as things usually go....change takes place and I found myself needing more 'recovery' talk....sort of like more 'meat and potatoes' talk as oppose to fluff and puff.
And so, unexpectedly, I was getting information about blogs and wikis and the difference between the two....since I had more time on my hand that I knew what to do with, I decided to learn how to use/make my own blog and I did. Now I'm finding out how to get to other people's blogs and within that frame came across the 'meat and potatoes' that I was searching for.
And so, I am grateful today for my latest 'teacher'  who is showing me the way and bringing me what I needed when i needed it.