A whole bunch about us you may have never wanted to know.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

I am (stand-in) mother, hear me roar ...

**After writing this post I figured maybe I should start with a disclaimer: Although I am usually a patient person, I am losing that patience very quickly with Becca’s mom, thus the following post. I hope and pray that none of you ever have to deal with a drug addict in your family, because it really does kill brain cells and relationships.**

Do you ever just wish you could knock some sense into someone? That is totally how I feel about Becca’s mom, Jana. I had a discussion with her last night that just made me angry. In some ways I feel like I’m dealing with an ex-wife since we have another mom in the picture sometimes. Luckily for us, this mom is in another state and isn’t in contact too often.

In any case, last night on the phone I was REALLY annoyed with her. I was asking about the situation with Becca’s sister. Becca’s older sister Kylee had a baby in August; however, she isn’t competent enough to take care of this baby. Jana called us at one point and said the state was going to take away the baby since Kylee had tried to commit suicide while alone with the baby. We mentioned to her that we would like the state to contact us before placing the baby in foster care. (We feel through inspiration – not desire – that we are supposed to take this baby if given the chance.) When we mentioned that to Jana, she was excited at the thought and said that she would love for the baby to be with Becca instead of foster care. (None of Paul’s other siblings are able to take her, and his mom doesn’t want to.)

So, when I asked last night, I discovered that the baby is having her needs met, although through Kylee’s boyfriend’s mom (who they live with). In the past Jana has said that this grandma is not fit to raise a child, and the state wouldn’t find her competent to be the caretaker. So, I asked Jana about that, and she said that the baby was fine and that she’d prefer the baby stay with the grandma so she can see her once in a while. Now, I shouldn’t be surprised by this selfishness, but I was.

She then had the nerve to say that it was bad enough that we lived so far away that she never got to see Becca. That was the last straw in my mind. I told her to stop right there and reminded her that SHE is the reason Becca lives with us, and SHE is the one who decides not to visit. She then pointed out that Kylee had offered to pay for Becca to go up to visit them. I said there is no way I’m allowing Becca to go visit – not only do we not know Kylee’s boyfriend (who has a criminal record) or his family, but we also don’t know whether or not Jana is clean. Also, Kylee is very pushy and manipulative, and she is on Becca’s case all the time about her decisions (you know, crazy things like going to church and deciding she’d like to be a math teacher one day). I reminded Jana that she’s not strong enough to stand up to Kylee and that it would put Becca in a very unhealthy and scary situation. She insisted she would stand up for Becca, at which point I reminded her that she didn’t do it when Becca lived with her, which gave me no reason to believe she would now.

Jana said she was offended that I said we didn’t know whether or not she was clean. I informed her that when we saw her in August she was incoherent and out of it and looked terrible. She said that was her Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. I told her I was sick of hearing about her excuses, because CFS does not put your brain out of commission like Jana’s was. (It also doesn’t make you disappear for hours at a time with no excuse … unless that’s a new symptom they added ...)

She thinks because she has all of these “illnesses” that nobody understands her. I don’t say “illnesses” to say that CFS, bi-polar or brain tumors are made up. I understand they are very real. I say it because Jana doesn’t have any one of them. She finally dropped the brain tumor claims after no doctor would agree to operate on her! Unfortunately her real “illness” is fear to do anything with her life. So sad considering she was the most creative person I’ve EVER met.

Although I was upset and told her a few things, I think I was “nice” considering the situation. What I didn’t point out was that Jana chose herself over her children when she started using drugs AGAIN (after being clean for 20 years); that she is the one who brought a drug-dealing man and other drug users into their apartment and lives; that she asked us if Becca could come stay with us “for a few days”; that she is the one who calls her daughter only twice a month, if even that; that when we make special DVDs or CDs from Becca she doesn’t even watch/look at them; that she has proven to Becca nothing more than that she is selfish, lazy and full of excuses.

I was so annoyed that she made it sound like we took Becca away from her. Now, don’t get me wrong – we love Becca and are very grateful that she’s with us and not with her mom. However, she came to us at the most difficult point of my life – we weren’t making ends meet financially, I had two little boys age 2 and 1, and my husband was suffering from very severe depression. In the midst of another person to take care of, I had to teach this 10-year-old the basics: How to wash her hair; how to change her underwear; how to brush her teeth; etc., all while listening to her talk about how her mom is the greatest mom in the world. I had to bite my tongue a lot those first few years. (How does a neglected little girl know any different?) It has taken us years to teach her character traits such as honesty (non-existent in a drug addict’s home) and social protocols as well as small things like how to chew with her mouth closed.

As I sat down to start typing this blog, I received a phone call from Jana. I wondered what she was going to say. She asked me about the boys’ favorite colors and mine so she could make us Christmas gifts. Then she said, “So how are things going there?” Hello. Do you even remember we had a conversation last night? And you want us to believe you are clean?!?

In any case, I’m glad Becca realized at a very young age that she wanted to be nothing like her mom and sister. I’m glad that she’s realized completely on her own that her mom … well … isn’t much like a mom should be. I’m glad that she gets to feel what it’s like to be a part of a family, and that she misses us when she’s away from home. I’m glad that she wants to stay with us and that she is making great decisions with her life. I often remind her that making good decisions now will be the best way to influence her mom and sister for good in the future.

In the meantime we just pray and hope from afar that Jana and/or Kylee will decide to stop with the excuses and do something with their lives. We also pray and fast often that if Kylee’s baby is to come to us that she does so VERY quickly before the second-hand smoke, neglect and constant bickering affect her permanently so she can have the chances and opportunities every child deserves.

1 comment:

Stacey said...

I've decided that you and me are a lot a like...we want to fix people who don't have a clue and we don't have patience to deal with them! However, I've learned a very valuable lesson lately...let them be and it all works out. The more I try to help them or make them see the truth...the more they would go the other direction. It made me angry and caused more undue stress. It bugs me to feel like I'm walking away but, you've got to respect their agency and it will all come full circle. Have faith and know that Heavenly Father has a plan and a hand in everything...he just isn't always on our timetable:) It isn't your job to fix them...it is your job to love them and respect them however hard that may be. That is what Heavenly Father expects and love is what gets things done...I know easier said then done but, I've been a witness of it the last few weeks after years of dealing with several family members:) Goodluck!