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Old 01-08-2004, 10:53 PM
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Unhappy Drank away his parole chances, our visiting weekend, & pretty much everything else...

Little did I know that so soon after Jeni & I became co-moderators of this forum that I would soon be sharing one of those stories no one wants to have to tell.

Please excuse anything about this that gets disjointed or doesn't make sense... I am still a little shellshocked right now.

I have been very proud of Brian's success and progress in recovery and have certainly spouted off enough about it here on PTO. As many of you have heard ad nauseaum at this point, he was on a nightmarish path of destruction with his addictions when he got locked up. His crime wasn't directly drug related, but was certainly a result of his drug and alcohol addictions. Since incarceration he has taken advantage of every recovery program available inside and he's had lots of long periods of being clean while stumbling here and there. There'd be a long period of being clean and sober, and then a few months of total mess again, then he'd get back on track.

The last two years I have felt really good about. After an extremely long period of sobriety and being clean again, about a year after we'd been in contact again he was back in the cycle of using again, then finally got back on track again. Since New Year's Day 2002, it's been like the difference between night and day. There were a few slips, but I could even see such improvement in those slips. In the old days when he'd relapse, we'd start another months-long cycle of hellish stuff again, and he would run from his problems rather than facing them head on, and run and hide from us - me, his family. What little stumbles there have been the past two years, he faced it and dealt with immediately, both within himself and with us. There was much improvement in the way he dealt with it, both just in the way he faced it and the length of time those periods lasted - one night as opposed to months and months of using. His recovery hasn't been perfect, but there have been definite improvements since the old days. He's been in prison much too long and much longer than anyone involved with his incarceration ever intended for him to do - what slips there have been have been due to being sick of being in prison years and years longer than he was supposed to have been. Not an excuse, no, but I daresay I wouldn't have remained alive much past the point of when he was supposed to get out if it were me instead of him, much less clean and sober 100% 24/7 365 days a year.

Anyway, so I felt good about things. I felt like his being clean and sober 726 out of 730 days was a pretty major improvement from the messes there had been before and more success than failure. And even with the disciplinary he got last summer for smoking weed, his future was still looking bright as far as the parole hearing we have been waiting and waiting (and waiting and waiting and waiting) for them to set a date. Before the disciplinary we were almost certain that if they ever set a date, this time he WOULD get out; but even after we felt like there was a pretty good chance.

Well, gang, I think we can safely say I am probably going to be waiting right here along with the rest of you for the next six and a half years now.

After the last two days of stressing and being sad that they were going to transfer all the temporarily housed inmates back to Alabama soon - because I am so close to where he is now, albeit I am probably the ONLY loved one of an Alabama inmate not happy about the men being sent back - last night when I didn't get a phone call I was expecting I got kinda edgy, some of y'all read me mentioning that. We were due for another all day, two day visitation this weekend that I was looking forward to, especially since I was afraid that due to the transfers back it might be our last one over here, and I wanted to have at least one more of these visitation weekends that were so much more wonderful than what we'd had in Alabama. So when I didn't get that phone call, I was concerned that maybe he was already on the bus back. Though I kept telling myself that maybe he just forgot, as he's done before, that he was supposed to call Wednesday night and thought he was supposed to call Thursday instead.

Still, I've been uneasy ever since last night. I didn't make any of my usual final financial arrangements for going for visitation this weekend on the off chance that he got shipped back and we were not going to be able to have our visitation. I just thought that's all it was, me being upset about losing all we've had with him being over here closer to me, if not this weekend, soon since he and the others are definitely going back.

Again, little did I know...

Shortly after I got home from work tonight the phone rang with a familiar number on the caller ID, so you can imagine my shock when the recording said "Brian's roommate, this is an emergency" instead of what I was expecting.

First I thought "he's been shipped back already". Then I thought - and why it occurred to me I don't know - "he's OD'd and died".

But it was neither. Bless his heart, this is the same cell partner who almost hung up the phone for Brian when he was in a drunken rage on the phone with me several weeks ago, saying to Brian he knew that none of Brian's people deserved to be talked to the way he was talking to me that night... and he and the other cell partner chewed Brian out pretty major the next day, when I was supposed to be coming down for visitation (and took my time and was an hour late purpose), telling him that it would serve him right if I didn't show up that day.

Anyway, he goes on to tell me on the phone tonight that something's happened, that something being that Brian got drunk again last night and got not only drunk and stupid and then violently sick, but got so violently sick that he himself pushed the button and called the CO's because he was afraid something was wrong (beyond the usual stuff that goes wrong when one stupidly drinks rotgut prison alcohol and gets sick). His cell partner said Brian was hyperventilating and not looking good and he and the other cell partner were about as afraid for him as he was for himself.

The CO's came and took him away and beyond that, the cell partner didn't witness anything else himself, but was told by the CO's who returned that when the paramedics came, Brian was passed out and they were concerned about him being unconscious in his condition and wanted him awake, so they put smelling salts under his nose and (according to the CO's) he came up swinging.

Beyond that nobody knows a thing (including he who came up swinging, more about that in a minute). His cell partner became even more concerned when Brian didn't return anytime today - and especially when someone else reported to him that they didn't see Brian in seg today - and thus called me. The cell partner was a little afraid that the "came up swinging" part might have meant he either hit a CO or, worse, hit the nurse, either of which would have been horrible but of course hitting a free world person like the nurse would have REALLY been bad. BUT since he'd heard Brian wasn't in seg, we figured the scenario was probably either (A) they'd put him in the psych unit or (B) alcohol poisoning had put him in a coma in the HCU, or yeah, worse (C) dead.

Anyway, his cell partner was really concerned and wanted to call me so I could call the prison tomorrow if Brian or word of Brian hadn't turned up by then. Most inmates are very hands-off when it comes to getting involved in other inmates and their families' business, which is generally a smart M.O. in prison but under the circumstances, I'm very thankful he was worried enough and took the initiative to call. Plus he had known I was planning to come down this weekend and knew, from Brian, that I usually rent a (prepaid and non-refundable at that) rental car and all that stuff, so he wanted to give me the heads up for that reason. I was about to make that reservation online tonight, so I am even more grateful to him for that, although certainly much more grateful about him being concerned about Brian's condition.

Well (you have probably figured this out by now) that most of those worries, at least about him being dead or in a coma or something, were for naught...

The phone rang again about twenty or thirty minutes later and yes, Brian is alive and sitting in seg and miserable as hell and well, you know, we just go from here.

They won't tell him anything so we really don't know exactly what happened after they took him out on the stretcher last night. He's very sick, though I am not terribly concerned about that since he probably should be sick today after drinking that crap. His eyes are all swollen and red and irritated, so we know he was pepper-sprayed... which probably means he either did swing and hit someone or at least came close. Charge or just disciplinary, I guess it will remain to be seen. Since no one will tell him anything, we don't really know at this point what we're up against.

He is a mess, understandably - and believe me our losing our visitation this weekend is going to hurt him LOTS more than it's hurting me - they told him all day he would get one phone call and finally he got it tonight and it was of course, rushed and messy. I'll spare you all the details of the messy conversation, only to say I know he's sorry and feels horrible, but he knows what he has to do. As his mom said to me tonight, it's almost unimaginable to think that he has not truly hit rock bottom before after all he's done and been through, but this time he's bottomed out yet again and but good.

I'm still, as I said, a little too shellshocked to process everything that I know we are facing even without yet knowing what exactly he did for them to throw him in seg besides him being drunk - pretty sure it's going to turn out to be not just that tho - but here is the laundry list of what I already know is going to, or is probably going to happen...

1. No visitation this weekend for sure. Maybe not for a long time.

2. Seeing as how they're about to transfer them all back to Alabama anyway, depending on what he's done his custody status may be an issue. If he loses what he had, then he may not be able to go back to the prison where he was. And all of the alternatives suck, both for him and for me, including for me geographically. If he can't go to one of the two prisons we would prefer, the chances of me being able to make the trip to go see him even just once a month are dicey. Not to mention we might end up losing contact visits altogether because they may send him somewhere where he can only have non-contact.

3. A host of other BS related to all of the above that I don't even want to think about right now.

And last and finally, and the very most important -

4. Bye bye parole, probably.

Best case scenario, I think, is they send him back to where he was and I have to spend the next six and a half years visiting him once a month on the average there and it will suck that he screwed up his parole chances over some nasty rotgut prison booze but we'll deal with it. Worst case, he goes somewhere he doesn't want to be and I don't want him to have to be and the next six and a half years will just be near-intolerable.

In any case, I think we can hang up our chances of him coming home this year, or next year or the next or probably not until his EOS date. I just want to wring his neck and chew him out so bad but that won't do any good either. We've had it so good since his transfer and have been blessed with a wonderful six or so months, and even before that we had it pretty good, for prison anyway. And we've had near-misses that could have easily screwed those things up and his parole before and have managed to get thru them, and by the grace of God and sheer luck, as well as the hard work he's done on his recovery and himself in general all these years, it was looking like the possibility of him being home sometime within the next couple of years was better than just very good.

And now it's gone, I'm sure. The consequences of this were SO high and he just walked right into it. I could strangle him, but that's not going to do any good. It's his disease and his recovery and he knows what he has to do to get better, and has been doing so wonderfully these last few years it's just such a shame that this has happened.

I don't know how we're going to get thru this, tho I know we will - we always have - he needs me to be strong right now and I will be for him though I don't feel too strong - I'll probably be a bit of a basket case for a while. I am just sick over this, but I know I have to take care of me thru all this and I will. I've just got to get past this initial shock that we have just lost EVERYTHING and then I'll be OK. I'd better be, since it looks like I'm going to have to keep dealing with this prison crap for another six and a half years.

The only silver lining I can even hope to find in this cloud right now is that, with the transferring back, most of the Alabama prisons do have AA and SAP and SAP Relapse and all that stuff in place, so at least he's going back somewhere where he'll likely at least have organized AA to get back into and, with any luck, maybe even be able to finish the SAP Relapse program he got jerked out of when they transferred him out of state and never got to complete.

And I know better than to get so ahead of myself worrying about all we might be facing depending on what they decide to do with him now, where they're going to send him, etc., so I'm going to try real hard not to freak out over that stuff until we know for sure what we're facing. Though the thought of non-contact visits or him being locked up somewhere that's eight or ten hours away from me just makes me want to puke.

And knowing that there's probably no way in hell now there's even any remote possibility of him making parole, that's the kind of nightmare I don't even want to comprehend right now.

And yes, there is the option of saying I've had enough and removing myself from the situation. Sure that's an option. But it's not a choice for me, gang. He's sick and he's an addict and an alcoholic, but he's still the man I love.

I do know one thing, though, and that is that, and it's been said many times before and in many ways - this system, our prison system, just does not work. I'm not saying Brian should never have done any time for his crime, never would say that - but he has now done nearly a decade more than anyone involved with his case ever intended for him to, and in that time the prison system has done only the minimum they had to, and on a grand scale very little, for the root of his problems, which is not the crime he committed to wind up locked up but his disease as an addict and alcoholic. The prison system as it is has only, in effect, made him sicker - any improvements there have been in handling his addictions have only come from his own sheer will and strength, and the support of loved ones as well as other inmates recovery - the system ITSELF hasn't done a darned thing. How different things might have been if he had served the time those involved with his case intended and then, perhaps, spent the rest of these many years locked up not in a general prison but in a state-run recovery and rehab facility, or something along those lines. Something like that would be citizens' tax dollars much more well spent.

Enough for now, and I know I've gone on too long. Just wanted to update you guys, and maybe when I get over the initial shock I'll have some worthwhile thoughts about recovery and rehabilitation and all that. Right now I'm just trying to process all this and find a way to deal with the fact that all the mass releases there could possibly be in that backwards-ass state are likely not going to bring my guy home anytime in the next 6+ years, not with this hanging over our heads.

Over and out,
Lys
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Old 01-08-2004, 11:12 PM
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(((((((Lys))))))))))
I just want to send you hugs and support.

Cindy
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Old 01-08-2004, 11:13 PM
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Cindy, you have always been so sweet and kind to me from just about day one of my coming to PTO... thank you so much for the hug. I wish it'd solve everything but it does at least make me smile for a minute.

{{hug}} back,
Lys
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Old 01-08-2004, 11:20 PM
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Lys,
I'm so sorry to hear about this. I know that you've had a lot on your mind lately. Always know that if you ever need anything I'm here for you.

Tanya

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I'm real niave about a lot of things so I'm going to ask the question that I'm sure others will also ask. How does/did he get drunk in prison?
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Old 01-08-2004, 11:23 PM
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Another example , "Prison doesn't work" ( for some, including my son)
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Old 01-08-2004, 11:31 PM
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Tanya - the guys make it. I don't know the details but it's like fermented fruit, sugar, etc. (And lord only knows what else) He didn't make it - he wouldn't, has never, and would just as soon no one else did so there would be no such temptations around like that for him or any other alcoholics. And I know he's turned booze and drugs down in his years of being locked up thousands of times more than he's ever given in. But it only takes that one drink or one hit to mess everything up... and boy did this one mess things up. (And don't feel so naive about asking, Jeni asked me the same thing not too long ago!!! )

Valerie... thanks for weighing in. I think often of folks like you and your son, Cepora and her son, Jeni and her Robert, and all of us here that are dealing with drugs and/or alcohol AND prison day after day with our loved ones when just ONE of those would be enough, sigh...
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Old 01-08-2004, 11:44 PM
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Lys, I'm so sorry, I just don't know what to say. It's so sad and such a shame. It makes one feel so helpless.
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Old 01-08-2004, 11:44 PM
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So here are the positives and pros about not being able to visit this weekend after all...

1. Don't have to touch up my roots, which I was going to have to do tonight and my bathroom and shower are cold as all get out.

2. Don't have to pay for a rental car this weekend (and by some miracle hadn't already reserved and paid for it).

3. Don't have to get up at 4 a.m. Saturday and Sunday.

4. Had not bought his smokes to take down with me as the one store I know of that carries them was out and I hadn't bought any others yet, so that's $6+ saved.

5. Don't have to do laundry now if I don't feel like it.

6. Uhhhh... I'm sure there are others.

It just occurred to me that whenever they get around to giving him his mail that will have arrived this week, he has a letter from me talking about the transfers back to Alabama and saying I guessed we'd better make the most of this weekend 'cos it might be the last great 2-day all day visitation we'd have, and if not this one there wouldn't be many more. As well as many references to "See you SOON" in that and at least one or two other letters this week.

See, I don't really have to chew him out... stuff like that's gonna hurt much worse (as it should) than any "What the f* were you THINKING?!?!" ranting and raving I could do, sigh.
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Old 01-08-2004, 11:46 PM
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(((Lys)))

You and Brian are in my prayers tonight. I'm sure you're angry with him, but it's good you realize nothing will be solved by showing him your anger. That's not to say once he's over the hump, you can't let him know just how his behavior is affecting you (individually) and your future together....because I think it's important that he be aware of just how hurt you are by all this.

As the former wife of an addict, I know the frustration of that road is beyond belief...so I wish you peace on this early winter morning.

Susan
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Old 01-08-2004, 11:49 PM
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Here are some hugs for you. Sorry to hear about what you are going thru.
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Old 01-08-2004, 11:49 PM
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I'll never understand why the system doesn't do more (or anything) to properly rehab people with addictions to drugs or alcohol. Granted a person can't be helped unless he/she wants it, but it seems that Brian, like many others, was looking to help himself by getting involved in all the right programs...

I don't see how he'll get out of this without actions taken against him, but I pray that the list is short and doesn't affect your visitations, parole chances, etc.

((((HUGS))))
Jess
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Old 01-08-2004, 11:51 PM
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sorry for you....
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Old 01-09-2004, 12:06 AM
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Lynn- I don't even know what to say. I am in shock.........
Really, after sitting here for minutes and minutes trying to come up with a sentence that will actually mean something to you........I have nothing.
I am contacting you.
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Old 01-09-2004, 12:27 AM
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Lys *HUGS* to you hon!! I am sitting here at work reading your post with tears in my eyes!
You hang in here with us....I know you will find the strength to keep going! *HUGS* again I hurt with you!
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Old 01-09-2004, 01:48 AM
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(((((((((((lysbeth)))))))))

I am so sorry with what you are going through and the disappointment, anger and conflicting emotions you have got to be feeling. I HATE this disease of addiction. Every day I am looking at it right in the face with the women I work with. I see the miracle of recovery start to sink in and then BLAM! When you least expect it, they don't come back from pass, they come back to program drunk, I get to witness CPS coming and yanking a screaming child given back to the mom in the treatment program, from the arms of a remorseful mother who screwed up...but TOO late! consequences your damn right there are! but still the same it's heartbreaking and it angers me that more can't be done! Their children get adopted out, they have lost it all and some and still the bottom is just another trap door spirling down to yet another bottom..endless. They FINALLY grasp recovery and end up dying of aids! but at least they died clean. but the truth is Brian's bottom will be brian's bottom. Maybe this one, maybe not. All we can do is pray it is. Programs work baby girl, brian has recovery and he knows where to go..sometimes we have to "let go" for a time for them to be able to live.

Take care of you and give the man you love to God...Let him take over for awhile. As hard as it is, He's got to understand the extent of his actions and face "His" consequences. it's between Him and his HP...and once he fully understands, embraces that concept when ever that is he will then put both his feet in recovery...He still has one foot in addiction and one foot in recovery...and he is probably unsure which of the two is making it so hard to put alcohol down for good. The consequences of his behavior this time and facing the ramifications of his actions, just might be that blessing you have been sticking around all this time to see!

I will keep you both in my thoughts and prayers.
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Old 01-09-2004, 06:15 AM
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Hang in there.... Like Jeni, I'm at a loss for words at the moment - yea I know... you thought that was not possible for me.

SO, Instead, I'll just let you know you and Brian are in my thoughts and prayers.

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Old 01-09-2004, 07:49 AM
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Oh Lysbeth, I am so sorry. Addiction is a powerful scary thing. I'm sending prayers up your way. You'll be fine, though, I can tell. Anyone who can weather a sh*tstorm like what you've been handed and then be grateful because you don't have to touch up your roots...you are his silver lining! I wish that somehow our sheer force of will could make them overcome/ recover from addiction. Take care of yourself.
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Old 01-09-2004, 08:11 AM
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{{{{{{{{{{{{Lysbeth}}}}}}}}}}}}}, you are so wise and strong- so soon after this happens and you already have so many levels of comprehension and compassion about it when most people would just be big ball of rage and hurt. I've respected you enormously ever since I got to PTO, but now I'm just in AWE. and chuckling a little because hey, anything that saves one from having to do laundry does in fact have a teeny tiny upside.
much love and here's hoping that the system's consequences will somehow be less than your worst imaginings.
Anne
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Old 01-09-2004, 08:35 AM
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well, i hope that he is able to get his ass in gear & see that what he is doing is a major no no. although, since he did do this..he will now get to deal w/the lovely consequences...

oh the beano, pruno, whatever its called, i know oranges are a high comidity in the jails out here, and i think bread is involved..im not too sure though...

but i hope he is able to get the help he most deffinately needs...

melissa
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Old 01-09-2004, 08:37 AM
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((hugs)) I've seen many people come in and out of recovery over the years and sometime it's so sad... I've often wondered what it will take for some to really hit "their" bottom and not want that lifestyle at all anymore.... I'm truly hoping that you're going to Al-anan and it's a good group where you hear what you need to hear as well as are supported.... My thoughts are with you... ((hugs))

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Old 01-09-2004, 09:37 AM
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you have been thru so much, yet you words are still clear and strong....whether you think they are or not. You have confronted and accepted YOU are not responsible for his recovery, but I still feel your pain. You are looking to the positives in all this, and most people don't have that ability (though I know, sometimes, it's find the positives in a situation or sit down and cry about it....)

Lysbeth, you have strength most don't possess, and it's good you are talking about it. You have tremendous support here, and we are beside you all the way. Skip & I will struggle with alcohol the rest of our lives...and it's a hard battle.

I'm so sorry for all of this.....keep us posted, and we will continue our thoughts/prayers for you both....

kath
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Old 01-09-2004, 10:52 AM
LOVIN'LIFE LOVIN'LIFE is offline
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Lysbeth:
Oh, my heart goes out to you! I don't even drink and yet alcohol has hurt me more then words can say! My husband is in prison AGAIN because of alcohol. We have only been married for 3 years and we've yet to spend a Christmas, Birthday, Anniversary....nothing together! I can't even really call his "relapses". Once he thinks that he's doing pretty good on Parole and his agent isn't constantly checking up on him he'll start drinking a little at a time until it's out of control. I don't even know for sure that he's ever actually 'stopped' drinking....I think he just wasn't 'caught drinking.' Being in love with an addict is by the far the hardest battle of my life. I understand your frustration, your anger.......it's so hard! My husband feels terrible afterwards (of course) promises to never drink again....yadda, yadda, yadda! It's a sad thing, all the way around! When he's locked up he has to face his mistakes, and he's very hard on himself.............he'll come home and do good for a while.....and hopefully we won't have to go through this again. He is such a good man....I love him with all of my heart but honestly, I just don't know if this is the life that I want for myself and my children. This is his second prison term since we've been together. He was home for almost a year before he got locked up again.........it's such a vicious cycle! I too have asked myself, "what else can this poor man put himself through before his eyes are opened?" And it's not like it only affects him......I go to prison with him every time! We have a 2 year old son that doesn't really even know his Dad...that is sad to me......!

My husband should be home late February or early March. We don't even have his outdate yet. They actually arrested him for being in possession of a BB gun...and resisting arrest. Again...alcohol was most definitely involved! He stayed locked up in the house while 30+ officers had their guns pointed at my house ordering him to come out. Of course when he's drunk he becomes 'invincible' and he refused to come out for over an hour. Looking back, it's by God's grace that they didn't shoot him...all they knew at that point was that he was seen with a gun. If someone had told me 5 years ago that I would be living like this I would have thought that they were crazy!

Anyway, thanks for listening....I don't have any family out here so my kids and I are doing this alone.......we're okay, it's just nice to have someone to talk to once in a while! I'll keep you in my prayers also........

Sherri
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Old 01-09-2004, 11:32 AM
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Susan - your wish for peace gives me just the right amount of added strength, thank you, sister...

Angie, dkr... thank y'all so much, hugs help more than one realizes...

Jess, I think you probably came along at PTO right about the time of the last episode so maybe missed the details, part of which are very important to what you said. He got the disciplinary and was ordered into the relapse program within the SAP program there. Unlike most people who get thrown in there, he was actually very happy to be able to do that and feeling very positive and encouraged about it. Well, first, because of the disciplinary and because they put him back to work because of it, he missed about three out of the first five relapse program classes because they made him go to work cutting grass instead. Then came the out-of-state transfer - so he was never able to complete the relapse program. Things like that are a REALLY good example of why even when prisons have substance abuse treatment available, it's often not what it should be. We were really hoping to be able to use that - him starting a treatment path and being encouraged to do so but not being allowed to finish it due to the bureaucratic red tape in the DOC - as one ace card with his parole hearing. Anyway, thanks for keeping us in your prayers...

Jeni my friend, you know it all so I will just {{{hug}}} you. I pray for Robert's successful recovery just as I do Brian's, all the time. Maybe once things get settled when Robert comes home we can get the two of them together via pen and paper and they can support each other in their continuing recovery much like we do with each other loving them. And I think it might do Brian some good to hear from someone who has done their entire prison sentence without slipping, dang it.

Renee, we see you so little around here these days it brought a tear to my eye to see you post here in this thread... thank you for the support, sweetie. Think of you often and miss seeing your smiling face around all the time...

Sunnie, you are wonderful and always have such a right-on-target point of view, thank you for your words. I had to share your post as well as a note I got from someone else here privately in my usual morning e-mail with Brian's mom (who is hardcore longtime Al-Anon) and she responded how wonderful it all was and that there were "so many truths!!!". These posts give me hope and make me feel like it's not all hopeless and no reason to give up, thank you...

Miz D, I am writing this day down in big red letters - "DRAGON LADY AT LOSS FOR WORDS!!!" Thank you and I believe dragon prayers are some of the strongest there are around...!

MiamiChica, thank you so much and the day that I can't find the joke or smile in something SOMEWHERE - like touching up my roots! - even if it's difficult to find, I guess that's the day I'll give up and lie down dead... as long as I am able to dredge up at least a tiny bit of humor, I reckon I will be OK thru most anything...

Anne, how wonderful of you to say such kind things, thank you... today really validates for me what a truly great place PTO is. I know I can always count on my friends to lend an ear or shoulder, offer advice and support - or chew me out when need be - but when things like this happen it is very humbling and heartening to know I not only have those I know I can count on in my corner but literally thousands of friends here on PTO offering the same. Thanks for being one of them and part of this great, awesome oasis of support we have here on the Web.

Melissa, we can always count on you to express a view in your very own unique and hilarious way, thank you sweetie. And I think they just basically call it "hooch" down here.

Deb, I still do online Al-Anon sometimes, the in-person meeting schedule here these days is not very good so between the online meetings and here - 'cos frankly once we'd begged and begged for this forum here on PTO, I think it meets a lot of AA/Al-Anon/NA/Nar-Anon type needs as well as the extra added bonus of people who actually UNDERSTAND the prison experience, wow! - and Brian's hardcore Al-Anon expert mom is another big ace in the hole for me in that regard. I feel blessed to have the support system I do. Thank you for the good thoughts. As for hitting bottom, I was wondering that last night because (as Brian and I have both been into some spiritual growth lately) Brian calls Psalm 40 in the Bible "the addict's Psalm", and it just happened to be in my regular reading yesterday, and it talks about crying out for help and being raised out of a "pit". So I'm sitting here thinking about him and what he's done and thinking about all that and wondering just how deep that pit's going to get before he gets himself out of it 100%, because in 20+ years of addiction he's dug himself in pretty doggone deep. As his mom said, it is unbelievable to any of us that he hasn't found his true bottom yet - you would think being sentenced to 20 years in prison as well as losing pretty much everything you ever had in your life might do it, much less all the rest - but it's just obviously not come yet and there's a reason for it that remains to be seen. I can only hope that this current situation will turn into one of the major steps that will get him out of the hole he keeps digging for himself with his addiction forever...

Sherri, thank you for weighing in and I hope you'll keep being a part of this forum, those of us with loved ones continually dealing with addiction and alcoholism and recovery really need to keep talking and sharing and getting thru this together because it's a positive thing and it will help us be well and taking care of ourselves, as well as making us all better support for our addict and alcoholic loved ones. My heart hurts for you with your story as it's the same old story we all hear over and over again, just the details are different, and proves what an ongoing vicious cycle addiction is. Drug and alcohol addiction = <insert whatever negative chaos or nightmare here> you know. If you look for some of my old posts here in this forum or in the Violent Offender forum, you will see that Brian's addiction wasn't the direct cause of what landed him in prison for 20 years, but without drugs and alcohol the whole thing likely would have never happened. I have been dealing with him and his problems for 15 out of the 23 years he's been an addict, and after 15 years you'd think there would get to be a point where he would have had enough, much less 23 years. But it hasn't come yet, and I just hope that that point will come sometime within our lifetime.

Kathy, I feel about two inches high and weak as a kitten right now so it's good to hear that you think I sound strong and clear... I know I am trying to stay strong thru all this crap. Knowing what you and Skip have gone thru and will continue to, just like us, just like Jeni & Robert, just like all of us who have been affected by drug addiction and alcoholism, just keeps on giving me at least just enough strength enough to get by, so thank you for your prayers and thoughts and thank you for believing that I have any strength. It doesn't much feel like it right now but I know if folks are saying that, it must be a little true...

Well, as for me, I am doing "okay" this morning and made the executive decision at the last possible minute to take a "me" day off and stay home and rest, relax, and regroup the disorganized mess in my head. I have to say it is real funny the small and mostly unimportant things that become sooooo irritating at a time like this. Like I am annoyed that I have all these new sweaters I got for Christmas that I was looking forward to wearing to see him, I got so many this year that I could have conceivably worn something different every time until spring and maybe not even have worn them all - I have been joking about it to him about the "Parade of New Sweaters", and didn't wear a new one when I saw him New Year's because something I had worn before was going to be the perfect outfit to really show off my beautiful new cross necklace that was my Christmas gift from Brian and his family. And now it may be very possible that it will be summer time or almost before I see him again. Things like that are just irritating - small but no less annoying.

It also occurred to me late last night after replaying in my head the conversations with his cell partner and with him and what all they both said about what happened the other night, it sounded like either right before they got him out of the cell or as they were taking him out on the stretcher Brian was shaking as if he were going into convulsions almost. That along with the hyperventilating and everything else his cell partner told me and the things Brian told me make me think he may have even gotten alcohol poisoning and even though his doing so wound up putting him in the hole, Brian could well have literally saved his own life by pushing the button to get the guards. I know that is one of the things that he is having difficulty dealing with now (that he pushed the button to get help and wound up getting thrown in the hole for it) but the more I have thought about what they both told me on the phone tonight, the more I wonder that he might have been dead by morning if he hadn't pushed the button. That may be one of those blessings wrought out of what otherwise is a real mess.

And there will probably be many, I know. Brian's mom told me last night that when he was in rehab as a teenager, one of the kids he was in there with but who came into rehab after Brian did, their mom was in Al-Anon with Brian's mom. When Brian had his first relapse, the other kid was just devastated to hear about it because he said Brian had helped him so much in his recovery, but then said he hoped to be able to use how he felt right then about Brian's relapsing to help not only himself but help others.

This kind of thing is something Brian has continued to do, being such a help and encouragement to others in their recovery, his whole adult life, I don't just think of it but have proof of it. Just in the last two months I have heard from one inmate and one former inmate who have expressed to me how Brian has been a significant factor in their own recovery, the latter who said the things he learned early on in incarceration in the SAP orientation class Brian taught are the same things that help keep him clean and sober and well today. And I know when someone like my Brian slips and falls, sometimes that gives those who are doing well in their recovery like those two guys all the more strength to just keep going on. So again, another silver lining in this big black cloud we're dealing with now. If what he's done to himself now will encourage even just one addict to stay clean and sober and not screw up everything for themselves like Brian's actions just have done, then there's something worthwhile to come out of this s#%@...

Well, back to bed for a long winter's nap... thank you all again for all the kind words, all the honest viewpoints, the prayers and thoughts and most especially the understanding. Each and every member of PTO is special and has made this the best place on the Internet for prison support, and you all are and this thread is living proof of that.
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  #24  
Old 01-09-2004, 06:03 PM
haswtch haswtch is offline
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personally I think this might just be the best place on the internet for support, period! and those of us going through the prison experience are just lucky enough to have it for ourselves. and you dear are one of the people that makes it what it is.
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Old 01-09-2004, 06:45 PM
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You sound like you have great strength at a sucky time like this...but I do understand where it comes from...HUGS!
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