We are a family with lots of rules and expectations. We are a family that has spent the better part of almost 6 years trying to save our daughter. We have run out of options, we have run out of patience, we are ready to surrender. Addiction has taken its toll on us all. We are participating in the family week portion of Christine’s 90 day treatment at SLBTS.
I am a registered nurse, I help people regain their health, I am knowledgeable, I understand disease. I find myself mesmerized by Dr. Kevin McCauley; his lecture on Addiction: the Disease Model. He is speaking at the SLBTS facility on 17th street, he is engaging. He doesn’t ‘dumb down’ the subject matter. It is technical yet understandable, his analogies are brilliant. I ask him if he will take my daughter for a year and send her back when she is better. This man understands, he is passionate, he gets it. I start to feel like maybe, just maybe, it isn’t my fault. Her mid brain is defective, this is a disease. Now, how can we convince the world who all think my kid is a loser druggie that yes she is addicted to drugs, she is not a loser, she is sick.
Christine was difficult in-utero, she was breech, she moved constantly. At 37 weeks gestation, Dr. Meininger did an external version and forced her head down from breech position, she didn’t go easily, that should have been my first clue. She walked at 8.5 months, she spoke in full sentences by 1, she threw the mother of all tantrums, frequently. She was triplets in one child, she was difficult. She was also smart, funny, beautiful and fun. She is still smart beautiful and fun. She is addicted, she is a vault, impenetrable unless she chooses to let you in.
She became a Meth addict at the age of 15, or was it 16? I had no clue, I drove her to the house where she used, she was helping her friend, his life was so terrible. He lived with his grandmother, his Mom a Tweeker, Dad no where to be found. Christine was his support system, I bought him shoes. I chauffered her to the place where she began her descent into hell, I never knew.
Her behavior changed she lost weight, she became mean and agitated. But she was a teenager, honestly, I didn’t even know what Meth was. As her behavior became more and more erratic, school suffered, more time in the Dean’s office than in class. Behavior modification plans with
with psychologist and counselors, testing, excuses, labels, diagnoses, boarding schools and being transported in the middle of the night to Hurricane Utah by professional transporters. We have done it all.
As her addiction and secrets grew, so did my desperation for answers. Christine was so good at manipulating me. When a drug test I gave her from the drug store came up positive for Methamphetamine, cocaine and weed; she convinced me the test was faulty. I believed her. Wow, how stupid am I?
We went from behavior problems to what I coined the "diagnosis du jour ". ODD- (oppositional defiant disorder), to Bi-Polar disorder with major depression and anxiety. OK, lets go with the psychiatrist’s diagnosis because the ODD thing and behavior modification model failed..miserably. Remember, I still am in the dark about the drug abuse. She says she had not started using yet, I think her memory is cloudy.