It was a nice quiet Thanksgiving. Keelen went to Boise with his Dad,
Step-mom and brother to visit his other Grandparents. Cal and I decided
to keep it VERY VERY low key and went out for dinner. On Black Friday
we went to America's Largest Christmas Bazaar at the Portland Expo
Center. We have been going since 1993 and this is one of our few
Christmas traditions. Actually, it's the Barbara Stories Rum Cake booth
that starts calling to me in July!! This is the best rum cake in the
world and they give away free samples!!
I decided to go visit Tiffany at the prison on Saturday. It was a
nice visit, just her and I chatting and playing cards. Although it's
always nice to take Keelen to visit is mom, he totally monopolizes her time and there
are just some conversations you can't have with a 5 year old around.
Tiffany started to tell me about the recent drug bust in one of the
units. They found drugs, needles, cigarettes and all kinds of
contraband. Before every visit, I go through metal detectors and at
times get "wanded"and patted down. I don't understand how that stuff
gets in there. Seriously...how do you smuggle in a pack of cigarettes?
And why would you risk it? I started questioning (interrogating)
Tiffany about the drug use. She has never failed a drug test in prison.
Thank God for that. If she does....I swear she better hope they don't
let her out. I've already told her I am soooo done with this drug crap!
Then out of the blue she asked me "Do you know how I started taking
Meth?" I was a bit shocked at the matter of fact way she asked the
Honestly...it had never occurred to me to ask her. I am not a
"shades of grey" person. There's black and white, right and wrong, good
and bad....taking drugs is bad. End of conversation.
I could tell she was intent on telling this story and I could feel
that "judgmental defensive mother" rising to the surface. What could
possibly be a good excuse for taking Meth?
I quietly sat and watched her eyes as I listened to her tell her story. It was very short and to the point.
"I was a 19 year old single mom, working nights and trying to stay
awake during the day as well. Keelen was a 1 year old. One night at
work I was complaining about being so tired. A co-worker said "Here
take this. It will keep you awake". He handed me a pill. I didn't know
what it was, but I was desperate and I took it. That's how it all
started and it only got worse from there."
That's it? One little pill? No big drug dealing "gang banger". No
messed up "meth head"? One little pill? The decision made at that
moment in time changed her life forever.
It is sad she felt so overwhelmed and alone. I was on the road
working and wasn't there to help her. I would be going to Iraq soon.
Again, I wouldn't be there to help her. Would she have even let me help
her. I don't know. She is very independent and stubborn. Hmmmm I
wonder where she gets that?
I was very impressed with her ability to verbalize this moment. She
wasn't giving me an excuse or trying to justify anything. She was just
stating a fact about a moment in time that altered her life
dramatically. I just hugged her and thanked her for trusting me enough
to tell me.
On the inside my heart was breaking and my "critical self" was
savagely beating me up. I should have done this, I should have done
that......the list of "woulda, shoulda, coulda" is endless.
One thing is certain, my little girl has grown into quite the amazing woman.
More from health