“You are not going out with that boy unless his parents are driving and that's that. I'm not just Spitting Grits here, young lady!”

. . . My father, John Thomas Cravey, USAF, to me in 1956.

Drug Addiction's Parallel Universe: Wednesday, April 21, 2010, 2:50 p.m., Part II

Note: Part I, dated April 29, and archived, is categorized under Drug Addiction and Grandparents Parenting.

As I was pulling into the parking lot of our granddaughter’s day-care pre-school building, my OnStar interior phone rang. It startled me. Then I realized I had left my cell phone at home, an unusual oversight.

My husband said, “I’ve been trying to call you. Where’s your phone? You won’t believe this.”

His tone made my heart jumped into my mouth. “What is it?”

For years and years, we have lived dreading phone calls, expecting the worst, learning stuff that was beyond shocking. Here we go again.

“Mary is sitting in the driveway. Don’t bring the baby home.”

“Where am I supposed to go?” I replied, disbelieving this news.

“I don’t know. Just don’t come home.” He hung up.

I had to pull into a Zippy Mart and tried to think. I had no phone with me, and it had all my numbers in it. Of those people I knew the numbers for, I didn’t know who to call. I felt that familiar frantic nausea that calls like this generate.

I drove around. And drove around.

Finally the OnStar phone rang again. “She’s gone. You can come home now,” my husband said.

Are you absolutely sure she isn’t sitting around the corner?”

“I’m sure. Just come on.”

Our drug addicted daughter was arrested in the early morning hours of March 16, for manufacturing and possessing methamphetamines; this is a serious charge, and she was already a three-time felon. I have felt a great relief in the past when Mary was in jail or in treatment somewhere, because it meant that she was safe, at least temporarily, for now. But this time, a cloud of depression settled on me, for I knew it would mean we would have to face the baby’s grief over the disappearance and loss of her mother.

Incredibly, she was back out on the streets April 15.

How in the name of everything did Mary get out of jail? It was beyond any explanation we could come up with. Her bail had been set at $115,000; it would cost someone $11,000 to post her bond. Who would do that? Not her friends. They are all drug addicts. Was it a dealer? The narcs?

She had worn a wire for the narcs here in town more than once. If this were the explanation, she would be in grave danger, as her flipping on dealers and users was well known.

So I drove toward home. I feel sure that Joanna Leigh, sitting in the car seat in the back, felt the tension. Suddenly I understood some stuff that had probably been tickling my brain for a while: This awful scenario is what it’s going to be like, keeping this baby from her mother. And it felt all backward and wrong. But the whole parallel universe of drug addition, criminality, lies – all of it was all backward and wrong. I would have to keep standing firm on what I knew I had to do.

I drove to my house a back way. This is just another example of what it’s like trying to live in a regular, normal way while that parallel universe of drug addiction is just outside of your peripheral vision.

As soon as we got out of the car, Joanna Leigh wanted to stay outside, ride her trike, go for a walk. I kept scanning up and down the roads. If Mary showed up now, this baby would have to face yet again the loss of her mother that would surely come.

The encounter happened anyway, a few days later.

It’s no way to live, but we had been living this insane way for the nearly quarter-century our daughter has been on drugs. She is 35.

(To be continued in Part III.)


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