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Yes...this is ALL about me, and mine. Marvellously self indulgent, feel free to tell me how splendid I am, leave comments, nice ones please, I have little kids and teenagers who can do the rude stuff. I am a grandma, to the glorious Joshua, I'm allowed to look frazzled and weary, I earned it. The older I get, the more I see that hanging on and being patient is worth it! They ( whoever 'they' are) are so right when they say you never know what is around the corner, it isn't always an articulated truck! It is vital to make the time for making memories, friends are the greatest treasure, I love mine. I am rich!

Thursday, January 06, 2011

I believe in Angels.

Sometimes, I will realise that something is over and the feeling I have is overwhelming. In all the tough times in my life there seems to have been a pattern, realisation, panic, getting through it ( which involves not thinking but just doing, head down, deep breath and get on with it) quivering fear as I realise I have done whatever it is that needed doing, followed by a period of mentally hiding, trying to not think that it may be over. Then, when I see that it is really and truly over, that seems to be when I fall apart for a while, when I just collapse and shake and shut down for as long as it takes. I hate that bit, more than the part when I am actually living though whatever nightmare life has thrown at me.
Whatever has happened, I have only ever asked once that it not happen, that I won't have to deal with this awful thing and that was when I discovered when Sophie was using drugs, I remember that day praying hard and telling the Lord that I couldn't do this, I couldn't do it, please don't make me do it. Please.
The next day, Dan stepped in and he took her away and he saved her. For a few months, he kept her safe and he watched her, he gave her a job and somewhere to live and he gave me time to get ready. She left Bath after a few months and she came back down to Devon and she carried on right where she left off and she did it the way she does everything, she gave it her all.
She moved from filthy, terrifying place to hateful, dark place. She mixed with the lowest of the low and she was a skinny, dirty and she was hurtling towards hell. I would meet her and feed her and walk away.
She would come to the house and ask to stay and I would ask her if she was ready to do things differently and she would say no, she couldn't, she liked her 'friends' and they liked her and I should accept that she could choose her own life, so I would tell her that she couldn't stay with us because I had 3 little boys and when SHE was little, I protected her, I kept her away from people that could harm her and I had to give them the same childhood that I had given her. I told her that in this house we have rules that keep us all safe and well, that we have rules to enable everyone living here to feel secure when they walk in the door and while she was living her life this way, she couldn't be here and take that away from everyone else.
She would scream and cry and beg to stay here and I would say no, you can't, you are choosing not to. One night, as I drove her back to the house she was staying in, she cried and cried and when I pulled up in front of the house she begged again for me to take her home and then she said " All I want is for you to love me, all I want is for you to hug me like a normal mum would and you don't even do that, do you? You don't do ANYTHING for me!"
I held my breath for a minute and then I said " Sophie, for 19 years I have been the only person to do everything for you, I have fought for you, fed you, taught you and stood up for you. I spend every day and every night waiting for someone to come and tell me you are dead, I wonder every moment of every day where you are and who you are with, I try not to think about how you are feeding yourself and what you are doing while you are with these people you call friends, tell me how I can possibly allow myself to have ANY fluffy feelings towards you? Where, in amongst all that terror and worry can I possibly find some cosy huggy emotions? All I Can do right now, while you are choosing to live your life this way is to make sure you are fed and remind you that should you ever decide that this life you are living is not what you want anymore, you can come home" and then I sent her into the house she was staying in.
I went into town one day and as I walked past a pub, at 10.30 in the morning, a pub that has outside seating, I heard her call my name and as I heard her she flew out of this pub seating area. She was, as always, loud and over excited and she said "Come and say hello to my friends!" I walked over to the table she was sitting at and saw 3 other people, all of them either in their 40s or they had had such a miserable and tough existence they looked much older than they were. All 3 were heavily tattooed, necks and faces included, one woman with yellowed skin, 2 men with missing teeth and nicotine stained fingers and I looked at this child of mine, 19 and beautiful and then back at these other people and a miraculous thing happened .... I was told once that wherever I went, evil would feel my presence and would hide itself from me. That sounds like a strange thing for someone to say but often in my life I have had people say things like this to me and I always take notice and remember what they have said and this day, I watched as evil tried to hide from me. Each of those people that was with Sophie, as she told me their names ( all made up names of course, Maz and Biffer etc) each one of them tried to slither away, none of them would look at me and they all tried to make themselves shrink under the table. I said goodbye and I walked away with the hairs on my neck standing on end and my skin crawling. When I saw Sophie the next day I told her that these people were not her friends that they were bad people who wanted to drag her down as low as they were, that they wouldn't be happy until she was as miserable and low as them. She argued, of course and off she went again.
When Sophie came home, long after she had stopped taking drugs, when we were beginning to put the whole experience behind us, we were driving one day and she said " I'll tell you something really weird that happened when I was into drugs and stuff. Do you remember that day when I was at Weather*spoons and I introduced you to those people? You know how you said they weren't my friends and that they just wanted to make me as bad as them? Well you were wrong, they were dealers and I did used to get drugs and stuff from them, well, after you left, one of them ( and she said his name but I choose to forget it and also, he is now dead, of a drugs overdose of course, so there's always that) well, he looked at me and he said " Sophie, I don't know what happened right then but what the hell are you doing with us? Why are you doing any of this shit? Whatever your reason, I won't ever give you drugs again, not ever, don't even ask because I don't want you to do this crap anymore, don't be like us, stop doing it. I'm not ever giving you drugs again" and he didn't, not ever."
She has guardian angels and although they couldn't ever stop her using her free agency to do what she chose, she was kept as safe as she would allow herself to be.
She came to me, not long after that and she curled up on the floor, at 1 o'clock in the morning and she howled and said she couldn't live that way anymore and I knew she meant it.
Maybe one day I will write more about what happened next because it's worthy of note but not today because that's not what I came here for.
The next phase in my pattern of dealing with hideous life crapola is an exhausted and grateful exhalation. A long moment of ' Oh, it's done, I did it, it's actually and honestly over' and then I am consumed with such feelings of relief and I feel as though I can pick up my head and begin to look around me.
That's where I am right now, with my Sophie girl.
I cannot get enough of her, I love being with her, I can spend all day with her and not feel I need to pull my hair out at the roots. We do the most ordinary mundane things together and we enjoy it, I have no trouble hugging her or kissing her, she doesn't feel the need to talk incessantly to keep my attention, she isn't loud and annoying ( sometimes she is because that's who she is but now she is that way when the mood calls for it, not because she just wants TO BE NOTICED AND HEARD AND LOOK AT ME!) Today she came shopping and not fun shopping, grocery shopping and she was intrigued, she is very young in many ways and she still seems to be under the impression that if I want money, I can just click my fingers and it will appear, she is under the impression that the shopping fairies come and fill the cupboards and pantry and that no-one has to actually pay for any of it. I am driven to despair over this girl's inability to manage her money in any way, shape or form, every month she gets paid and no matter how much she gets paid, it is spent within 2 days, in fact if it lasts 2 days I am impressed. She doesn't buy anything that can be seen or appreciated, it just POOFS into thin air and alcohol, she might buy an item or two of clothing that will quickly tear or get lost. As soon as her money is gone she starts to ask to borrow money and the whole cycle begins again. I have managed to stop H lending her money because he would just lend it to her and lend he some more and when she was paid, she would pay him back, have even less to spend and here we go again. So now I am the only person that lends her money and I lend her very little and I make sure she pays it all back.
So, in my quest to help her see that if she wants her money to do more for her she has to be wise with it, I have started to let her see how I make mine work for me. Instead of telling her to mind her own business when she asks how much I have, I tell her and then I show her what I have to do with it and how it is possible to make it work for you.
She will ask for money and I will say I don't have any to give her and then she will see that I buy something and shriek " you said you never had any money!" and now I tell her " no, I said I didn't have any money to give you, this is how it works Sophie. I get x amount and I decide how much of that I can/will spend. I take that amount out of the bank and then I spend it, when THAT money has gone, I have no money to spare, I tell myself that and I tell you that and that is how I do it. The money left in the bank is for other things, I don't borrow money, I don't have loans to pay for things, if I want something and I don't have anough cash to pay for it, I don't have it. The way to have money waiting for those things you would like or need is to put money to one side when yuo have it and forget it is there, tell yourself that you don't have any money to waste or buy nonsense with. I never, ever pay full price for anything because no-one needs to." Today I took her with me while I did a big shop and by the end of the day she was SO EXCITED! We parked outside her friends house as we waited for the boys to come out of school and she was telling her friend's mum what we had been doing. Such a mundane thing to do and to see her so excited and I hope, watching the message sink in a bit was such a joy.
We went to 4 supermarkets ( which is what I always do) and we bought, in bulk, whatever we use regularly that was on sale, buy one, get one free and even some buy one get 2 free offers. I do this at least once a month and that means that we have enough food and supplies that we can always live on what we have without ever having to go out and buy things that we use a lot of at full price. At the checkouts I have her my purse and let her pay as I packed, at each shop she would say something like ' How much do you reckon this will be, I bet it has to be at LEAST £168' and then when it was half that amount she would get so excited and squeal about how much stuff we had bought and how it was 'OMG you so bought like £300 worth of stuff for half that amount!! Why would anyone ever shop any other way, right that's it, I'm gonna tell everyone I know they should do this because now you don't have to buy anything for WEEKS do you?" It was so good to show her that it is possible to keep hold of your money until you see how it can work in your favour.
I am not expecting any over night miracles, I am hoping that she just might want to try it for herself and rather than run out and spend her wages in 2 days she might make it last a week and then next time 2 weeks, it'll be a long old haul but it is so exciting to do things with her and for her to actually listen and believe me!
She is trying to lose weight, we're doing it together and she is listening to me, she has cut right down on her drinking, which I'm sure will make a huge difference and she'll lose weight quicker than I do. I can't tell you how wonderful it is for her to ask my advice and then take it.
I am positively wallowing in my 'it's over, for real and AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH I like it' moment.



Blogger Gretchen said...

What amazing grace He has indeed.When we let Him work in our lives it is simply AWESOME. I am overjoyed as I read the ending of your post. God is GOOD!

1:58 pm  
Blogger Deb said...

I've read of Sophie's struggles and even though I am not a "commenter", I have kept her and all of your family in my prayers.

It's wonderful when you see the "lightbulb" go on, and our kids finally get what we have been trying to teach them all along!

Good both of you!!

10:05 pm  
Blogger Julie Q said...

I am so glad Sophie came home Helen, in every way. :) She truly had angels watching over her.

1:38 am  
Blogger Tired Mom of Six said...

Sophie & happy stuff. That is what makes me smile. It's been a long time coming and I couldn't be happier for either one of you. xxxx

9:10 pm  

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