There are no excuses. She has made many bad choices; Choices that were rationalized in the fog of addiction. Iím not going to make excuses for her or to condone her past. Iím doing this because she truly deserves a chance to feel human again, to feel self-confidence and independence again.
Incarceration was a blessing for her. It gives one time to think, clear the head, get clean and think about what one used to have. As with most addicts, the first incarceration put her on the right path when she was released; But only for a while. She returned to the only friends that she knew. The people that she thought were her friends. They were merely friends due to the one commonality: addiction. She returned to jail for a longer period of time and, again, was released with the same hope and aspirations for herself that she had before. Her last stint in jail occurred after a long period of sobriety. The proverbial slip up. Someone was watching out for her this time. She went to jail for one year. Upon release, she had hopes for herself that I hadnít seen before. She wanted to be the Mother and Grandmother that her children and Grandchildren deserve. She wanted to smile again, to feel proud of herself, and she has worked so hard to get there. She lost custody of her children years ago. They were adopted by family, but a lot of time went by before she could even see them or talk to them. She now has a good relationship with her oldest child and her two Grandchildren who live two hours away. She looks forward to the day that her youngest is 18 and they have the opportunity to get to know one another.
She has a decent job, is renting a small house in the country and is quite content with the meager belongings that she has: a bed, a stove, and a small dorm refrigerator and household essentials. Sheís slowly getting on her feet. In many ways, she has everything that she needs, but she doesnít have a car. Her job is nearly 30 miles from her home. She depends on coworkers for rides back and forth, giving them gas money each week. She canít afford the rentals near the city she works in so moving is not an option. I recently found out that the person she is riding to work with has been less than kind, berating her for the 20 minute ride to work and then doing the same on the return home. It brought me to tears. This makes me so sad for her. This is a woman who has lived on the streets, who has fallen victim to those that prey on addicts, and she is trying to rebuild her life and trying so very hard to be strong and proud. She is a survivor and, given the chance, will again be the independent and confident woman that she once was. I would love to see her be able to get in her own car and go to work, visit her Grandchildren or go to the store when she needs something. Iím not asking that she get help getting a new car, or even a newer model car; Just a car that is dependable and safe that will last a while.
If you can help, it would be very much appreciated. If you have questions, please ask and I will answer them.