Sunday, November 27, 2011

HAPPY 22nd BIRTHDAY Kate! Venting, remembering, and tons of pictures

Hi everyone. This entry is going to be bittersweet. In 7 hours my baby sister would have turned 22 years old. So on her 22nd birthday being celebrated from heaven, we here will be remembering the 4 month anniversary of her death.

It is SO hard for me not be angry not so much at her anymore, but her addiction. The pills. The damn pills!

Tomorrow I am going to buy a cute little pink Christmas tree and bring it to her and visit her grave for awhile. There are a lot of wreaths there I noticed on Thanksgiving. And anyone who knew my sister knows she isn't a wreath type of girl. A bright
pink tree is more fitting ;)

My mother did end up back in treatment. I made the call, and had the police go pick her up. I tried to give her chance after chance. I even fought for her to stay home a couple weeks after my sister passed away. I went before our tribal judge and plead her case. That treatment was not what she needed, family was. But once I started getting calls that she was falling f

requently, she was passing out in random spots, ect. I had to have her put back in treatment.

She sat in detox for 3 weeks, while we figured out where to send her. While she sat in detox I found out from her Neurologist that her most recent MRI had shown damage to her Myelin Sheath. Which is the protective covering that protects the nerve cells. She has damage in her brain, and spine. So after finding that out, we wanted to find out the severity of the damage. Where her cognitive levels were at. So on the 1st of this month she had a 6 hour Neuro Pysch test done. The next day she was drove to South Dakota to a treatment that has a Native based program.

Originally she was supposed to be drove by me to this test, then also the next day to South Dakota. Her CD counselor from our tribe stepped in and told me I NEEDED to step back and take a break and let them handle it. Of course my mom was pissed, because she wasn't able to get her hair and nails done, ect! (you know the important stuff) But I had been sick for weeks. And still actually am getting over it 6 weeks later.

I do not believe after talking to her counselor, that my mom will for one ever get 100 percent sober. But also ever really appreciate what I have done for her my whole life. Which is act as her mother, versus her acting like mine. I have forgiven so much over the years, or turned a blind eye in order to love her unconditionally. Her counselor said that she didn't know if she had ever met someone who felt such a sense of entitlement before.

My mom does not call me ever to simply see how I am doing, or her grand kids. It doesn't matter if she is in treatment or out. She only calls drunk, when she needs something, when she feels her sky is falling, ect. For my physical, emotional, and just overall well being. I have realized that I honestly no longer can be who I am in my moms life.

My mother has been in over 20 treatments in my life. I am 36! Yet to this day my mom will not admit she is an "alcoholic" she calls herself a situational drinker! Ironically, there is ALWAYS a situation! When she gets caught drinking she will admit to the people like her counselors she had a "slip up". This last time when she was in detox. I drove there 5 times. It took me 6 hours each time there and back. I tried to explain to her that YOU ARE NOT having slip ups! Slip ups are someone who is sober for a year, and has a bad night. Then sobers up, admits it and continues to be sober. NOT, someone who drinks 5 out of 7 days a week. Not someone who falls all the time, not someone who gets completely taken advantage of every time she turns around, not someone who lies all the time to cover up their drinking, not someone who............OKAY, well you get the point. I gave her a list of reasons. She just looks at me with this blank look.

I lost my sister to an addiction to pills. There is a good chance I will lose my mother to her addiction, alcohol. But I have done all I can do. She is almost 60 years old. I would like to think that she is not hopeless, but history shows she will never change. History shows, things she has done over the years that absolutely should have been her rock bottom and weren't, would show she doesn't have a rock bottom. Other than the absolute worse.

I asked and told her I wanted to participate in the family meeting at the treatment she is at. It was on the 21-22nd this month. When talking to her counselor, she told me she didn't add me to the list. So she couldn't set it up. While preparing to go this couple day thing. I dug way back and began printing things I have either wrote to her, or to myself in journal entries over the years to bring. Because I am finally at a point, I am ready to confront her with all of it! I so sick and tired of her "working" programs. And not being totally honest about how her drinking has affected everyone in her life. But now I will not have that opportunity, because she didn't add my name to the list!?

I found a couple poems on my external hard drive that I wrote just over a year ago. When my mom and sister both sat in treatment again. One for my sister. One for my mom.

My moms...........

I called it "Just a Title"

Just a title
Nothing more
I am sorry to say
We have no rapport

Better this way
Than playing pretend
This is the way I have come to contend

Just a title
Nothing more
I'm finally able to close the door

You did this yourself
All on your own
I cannot imagine your going to like feeling alone

I have tried to much
Now I am tired of holding the clutch

Just a title
Nothing more
Is what I have decided for

You made your choice
Now you must lie
Now I see your chosen side

Just a title
Nothing more
"Mother" now I shut the door

I obviously have already been at a point, I was ready to walk away. But when I wrote this and a VERY long letter to her. My sister overdosed the first time the same week. So they got put on my external hard drive and have sat there since.

This one was wrote to my sister the same night.........

Why are you doing this, ruining your life?
The only thing you've accomplished is causing stress & strife
We're all trying to help you with this hard and trying time
But you think we're crazy, it's all in your mind
I miss the way it used to be, just a few years ago
Because of the pills you've changed for the worse & the reason I do not know
I worry about you each day and every night
But I can't protect you, I can't fight your fights
I'm your sister, flesh & blood, and I really do care
But I'm only human, all these burdens I cannot bear
I want you to grow up, grow up & be a woman
You're 21 but want us to hold your hand
Sister it's not to late to put your life on track
Do it for you, but also for us, we need you, and that's a fact
At night when I lay down, for you I silently pray
That would keep you on earth & not take your life away
It's hard for me because I have to stay strong
I'm always more worried about you and mom. She doesn't ever seem to care what you or her did wrong
I'll do you a favor, but only for your sake
I'll keep love and supporting you praying for your life, that the pills don't take
I love you, I do! But I can't go on believing lies
I'll help you best I can & at night cry tearless cries

I wrote this for my sister after she overdosed, and I found out she tried to have pills brought to her in the hospital after the overdose. The week that she overdosed, I was so completely and utterly tired of both hers and my moms addictions!!!

I still remember when my sister was born. She wasn't born into an easy life. Actually her, my brother and myself have not had an easy life. If we told all of our stories I think some people would say "that cannot possibly have happened to all of you!". But the thing is we have known nothing, but the life we were handed. And all chose to deal with it in separate ways.

When my sister was very young I spent a lot of time taking care of her, due to my moms drinking. I would have her for a week, sometimes weeks at a time. Her whole life was spent that way. I was the loving, nurturing, reliable one to always be there. Not to spoil her, and turn a blind eye. But to tell her I loved her, to hold her, to kiss her, to tuck her in at night, to do everything in my power to protect her from the abuse she dealt with, to tell her and not sugar coat things when she was doing something wrong, to never fear her getting mad at me by doing so because she knew no matter what I would always love her and be there for her.

She was such a sweetheart as a child! Scorned in many ways, had it rough. But always loved SO much and always had this huge heart! As she turned into a teenager herself, from the very first time she drank or used drugs. She felt it helped numb her pain. It made it easier for her to deal with things that were out of her control. Eventually her addiction took over so strongly, that she couldn't even feel normal without her pills.

That is what has always made it so hard for me. I understand why she made the choices she did. I just wish she would have used her strength and fought with everything in her to find a way to overcome and let go of the things she had no control over. I did that as a teenager. If I hadn't I probably would have been in the same boat she was.

At one point in her life, my mom called me when she was 14 and told me she wanted to give me custody of her. I went and got her. I made a bedroom in my house for her, enrolled her in school. She had the same rules my other children did. She loved the full time love, and knowing that I would never be drunk when she needed me! BUT, she decided to smoke weed. My hubby and I caught her and she obviously got grounded and had consequences to pay because of her actions. She was upset. She went back to my moms and never came back. I should have fought for her. Instead, I was so disgusted by my moms "blind eye" and the way that both of them were being, that I stepped away for quite some time.

Until one day when my mom was in the hospital. Her and Kate had came home from Jamaica and my mom got admitted into the hospital right away very sick with an infection. My brother and his ex wife called my moms and talked to Kate. After talking to her. They called my hubby and I and said Kate didn't sound right at all. So after stepping away for about 6 months, I decided to head to there to see what was going on. What we walked into appalled me! It disgusted me, it saddened me, it pissed me off beyond belief!!! When we walked in my moms house was TRASHED and when I say trashed I mean trashed! Her and 3 friends were sitting in the kitchen at the table with a plate of cocaine. Lines chopped. She had been on a few day binge.

We kicked her friends out. And gave her 2 choices. Come home with us, or we were calling the police. We dumped the coke down the drain. At first she agreed to come with us. But then she freaked out. Started throwing stuff, cussing, ect. My hubby went up into the bathroom where she was freaking out and my sister fell into his arms crying. He held her and let her cry. She was so high, hadn't slept for days.

Once he let her go and I came upstairs she again freaked out and started throwing stuff. I ended up calling the police. I had them take her to detox at the same hospital my mom was at. I had to drive there and after no speaking to my mom or seeing her in 6 months. Wake her up at close to 3am to tell her what was going on. She said to, I will never forget "I had NO idea!". I shook my head and went back to her house to clean. If it tells you anything, the house was so nasty that when they brought the police dog in to find drugs, ect. The dog couldn't even do his job. He was confused by the mess.

It took myself, my sister in law, my hubby, and 2 other friends all day to clean the house! We took out garbage bags, upon garbage bags of trash. Empty liquor bottles, bloody tissues, towels, socks. From their nose bleeds.

BUT, what really killed me was my mom saying I had no idea! My sisters bedroom walls were COVERED, literally covered top to bottom with her and her friends writings and drawings. When they did drugs they would put their names, the drug they used, the amount, ect. YET, my mom had NO idea!!!????

I had my sister taken to to treatment in Oklahoma. My mom sort of followed my lead like a child herself. That was the beginning of Kate's addiction to drugs, and really the beginning of the end.

So now years later looking back, and my sister being gone because of her addiction. It is so hard for me not to really tell my mom how I feel. How she contributed to her addiction, how many mistakes she made and so many different ways. It is hard for me not to blame myself for not fighting for her. For not getting custody and not backing down on not letting her go home ever.

But I cannot do that, I know I can't! I had to accept that I had done what I could a year ago. I had to accept, that I could not help 2 people that didn't want help. I had to accept that it was very possible I would lose them both to drugs and alcohol. Which I did. But again, it doesn't make the hurt or anger any less!

This entry ended up me venting, remembering back to the very beginning of my sisters life. But either way the bottom line is I always loved her. I will never stop loving her! I really wish things would have turned out differently!

TONS of pictures below.................... ;)

I want to celebrate my sisters good qualities, even the ones that were annoying but made her "her" ;) So I am going to add pics as a tribute to her now............

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Sunday, October 9, 2011

Halloween Gorjuss tag. SNAG only

Sad long overdue update........

Hi everyone. Long time no write! So much has happened in my life since I last wrote. Every time I think life may be calming down, NOPE, WRONG! Something else is thrown on my plate.

How ironic as I was typing that 2 hours ago, I got a phone call of some more drama I had to hear about and deal with!

I will start with my saddest news. I know those of you read my blog, or used to read my journal. Have read about my venting of my youngest sisters drug abuse. She has been in treatment more than out in the last 3 years. Every time she gets to come home, she ended up back in another treatment within a few weeks. She also has been kicked out of 3 treatments for being caught buying and taking pills there.

Last November a week before her 21st birthday. Her fiance called me at 2:30 AM. He said "something is wrong with your sister". I said "what do you mean?". As I was asking I could hear her gasping for air. He said she was sleeping and he couldn't wake her up. She continued to gasp for air. He tried everything he could to wake her. She wouldn't wake. I told him to turn the lights on and check her fingers and toes. I asked him what color they were? He said they were blue. I told him call an ambulance now, she is overdosing. He grabbed her cell phone and called while I didn't even bother getting dressed. I threw a long winter coat on over my pajamas, called my brother and told him what was going on from my home phone. I was on the phone while the 911 operator instructed her fiance to give her CPR until the ambulance arrived. I stayed on the phone the whole way there. I picked my brother up. When the ambulance arrived, I could hear them say she had no pulse. They rushed her to the hospital. I picked my brother up and we headed down to the cities where they had taken her. We were clueless when we got there. We both were prepared to be told that we lost her. They had her in a ICU, stablizing room. We sat for about 2 hours before being told anything.

My mother was in a halfway house when this happened herself. It took me over an hour of calling different numbers to finally get a nighttime nurse to wake her so I could tell her what was going on. They allowed her to be picked up and come to the hospital.

2 hours later the doctor came out and said they were able to get her heart started again. She was going to be okay. But we wouldn't know if she had done any damage to anything for a couple days. They said the next 72 hours would be critical. She was in and out of it for those for 3 days. When she was able to talk. She said to us "I only took 24 pills"!!!????

A few days later they did an Angiogram of her heart. She had done damage. She had Cardiomyopathy. She also damaged her liver some. Our tribe already had her on a involuntary commitment. So one day before her 21st birthday they moved her from the ICU to the mental health unit of the hospital. With plans to hold her there, until she could be placed in another treatment. We found a dual recovery program in California. The day she was going to be flying out there, I picked her up and drove her to the airport.

She made it there about 4 weeks and all the sudden I didn't hear from her for 4 days. I knew something had happened. My sister had signed papers in the hospital that I was authorized to make medical decisions for her, and also get information about anything, any time. So I called the treatment and found out they caught her using and she was in detox and being flown home in 2 days. Because she got kicked out. So she flew home. The police, myself, and a CD counselor from out tribe met her at the airport. The police transported her to a detox until they could find another treatment for her.

They found a program in Alexandria a few hours from the cities. She spent almost 9 months there. I prayed that her rock bottom would have been dying, and being revived.

She got out of that treatment in early July. Her 2nd day home my daughter and I went to her house to help her clean and get her bedroom organized. I could tell she was going out of her mind wanting to use. So we stayed late and tried to just keep her preoccupied. When we left there at 3am. I told my husband when I got home. I give her 3 weeks tops for another overdose.

Well exactly 20 days later (one day short of my prediction). I got another call from Adam at around 4pm. The call that I have prayed with every inch of my soul I would never get. I prayed she would fight with everything in her to beat her addiction. This time the call was different. I answered.

"Crying is all I heard"
"Hello? Who is this?"
"She is gone"
"Kate, she is gone"

I screamed for my husband, threw my cell phone across my yard. He came running and took the phone. My daughter was in the shower, my other daughter was at home. Bill told Rayanna she needed to come talk to me when she got out a few minutes later. I told her "hunny Kate is gone". We both had just showered. So we got dressed. I called my mom and brother and told them. My brother came to my house shortly after. The medical examiner, police, crime unit, ect were all already at her house.

We all headed there. I had a longtime family friend pick my mother up and meet us there. When we arrived we were all asked to stay in the living room or outside. She had went to sleep at 11 the night before and she just never woke up again. Her fiance tried to wake her at around 11:30, but she always slept with the blankets over her head. She didn't wake, so he just laid down and took a nap with her. Around 4 he tried again. When he removed the blanket her hand was locked onto it. He knew she was gone.

They only allowed my mother and I to go up to her bedroom to see her before the coroner took her away. Even though I have known and even predicted this was going to happen. It sure didn't make it hurt any worse! I wanted her to wake up, I wanted my baby sister/child back!

From that day on things seemed to go in fast motion. It all happened so quickly that I didn't have a minute to catch my breath. She died July 28th. Of a drug overdose. We later found out it was almost the exact same quantities and pills she overdosed on the previous fall. We decided to have a traditional Native funeral for her. Within 4 days it was all planned. We all stuck together through the whole thing. Then on July 31st we went and checked into 4 rooms at the casino. Across the street from the community building we were holding her wake/funeral. From start to finish it was 28 hours long. At 2pm on the 1st we all met down at a parking lot of the Tipsy Turtle. The hearse brought her casket. We had drummers in the lead in a truck, playing. It was a cloudy, drizzly day. We invited only closest friends and family to be a part of this. We all walked her body a mile to the building her wake and funeral were being held. Once we got in, there was more drums, and a service. We had cooks hired who fed everyone the whole time. There was SO much food! A lot of people also dropped dishes off from our community. We had a couple other services that day. With more drummers, and also a singer. Flowers kept coming, and coming. At 5pm we opened the wake to anyone else who wanted to come. So many people started showing up.

Finally at around 10 pm all that was left was immediate family, and close friends. Part of Native tradition is that her body was never allowed to be alone. It was an open casket the whole time. So no matter what my brother, mother or myself had to be in the room with her.

My mom slept about 4 hours on the stage above her casket. I couldn't sleep. So my hubby, me, her fiance, and my daughter Amanda all sat up with her all night long. We all just pulled our chairs close to her casket and talked, and cried.

The next morning it started all over again. A huge breakfast was served. And about 150 people showed up. Her funeral service was at 2pm. It lasted about an hour and a half. When given the chance for people to speak. SO many people came and talked about they wouldn't be who they were today, if it weren't for my sister. If she only knew and embraced HOW MANY people loved her so deeply! After the funeral service. We had the final viewing. Everyone else went first. We stayed seated. We then got hugs from all of the people there. That actually was the 3rd time we had that line of hugs, and kisses, and condolences. We then as her family had our chance for our final viewing. It hurt so bad when they finally closed her casket, after it being open for 28 hours. It might sound strange to some of you. But I would have happily sat there with her as long as I could. It became so real when they closed the casket. We then had another walk of about a mile long. All 150 of us walked again with the drummers in front, flag holders, us in the front to her resting spot. Again, it was windy, drizzling, and almost storming but not quite. My sister loved thunderstorms!

They had a beautiful tent set up with seats for her immediate family to sit at during the final service. We then had another line up of hugs, ect outside at the cemetery. Then we all dropped a handful of dirt and a rose into her grave. And they lowered her casket in the ground. It hurt SO BAD! I have always been more of a mother to my sister. More so than a sister. I couldn't breath. My heart hurt so deeply. That was it, I will never see her here on earth again.

We all walked back to the community center where a huge feast was ready and waiting. We then had one last ceremony. We paid the drummers, cooks, and couple who made fresh fry bread through out the whole thing. We also presented star quilts to all of the pall bearers. We then distributed the trees, flowers, and plants to the elders. And it was time to pack up, head back to the hotel and pack up there and head home.

In 5 days time I slept a total of 4 hours. I was beyond exhausted. I had gotten sick a few times.

All responsibilities fell on my shoulders. I am still closing her estate out. Greediness of course came into place from her son's father before she was even buried. I had to hire an attorney to protect her assets. We have already had 2 hearings and the 3rd will be in November. Bottom line, his greediness didn't win. Some people do not understand Tribal laws and tribal beliefs are very sacred, and cannot be altered.

I knew I would hurt for a long time. I just wonder when it stops hurting more everyday, then less?? I get angry, then sad, and in the mean time. I have to make sure that everyone else is taking care of themselves also. My mother being an alcoholic. Did amazing the first couple weeks. But it has been rocky since then. I think she is very close to ending back up in treatment herself.

I thought I had time to write so much more tonight. But just ran out of energy. I am going to try to start writing more here again to help myself free my mind sometimes when I need to. I hope everyone is doing good!

Love & Hugs