Friday, March 15, 2013

From the INSIDE - Almost Left H4H

Never Thought It Would Be Easy But ...

March 15, 2013

But I never thought it would be such a shock to my system.  I thought I was prepared to live on the fly and without much. Before I came to Hope for Haven, that is what I was doing.  I had dwindled my possessions down to hardly anything.  Working at several different jobs over the last two years and moving around a lot, my life became unattached to mainstream hopes and desires.

It was the second time I had given all my possessions to my children.  I kept enough to furnish a small bedroom ... a daybed, chest of drawers, small table with 2 chairs, small tv. clothes, toiletries, a few pairs of shoes, office chair and my desktop and laptop computers.  The possessions became too much for me to move around.  I was moving so much that no one really wanted to help me move anymore.  I began to give away the really heavy furniture and keep all that was easy for me to move by myself.  I started not asking for my family or anyone to help me and just did what I could on my own.
It is kind of neat to walk into your children's homes and see all your stuff there.  I would think, 'this is what it would look like if I had died and I'm getting to see how they decorated with it.'  I thought that was cool.  At first my children kept asking me if I wanted some of my stuff back.  Some things they had already made apart of their home and wanted to keep, but some stuff they offered to give it back to me.  I took some back when I started trying to furnish a  small apartment I had rented.  I really wanted them to keep what I had given them and only give me back what they didn't need.  From there I went to renting a bedroom from a lady who had just married and moved out to the ranch with her new husband.  They wanted to keep the home in town and so it worked out for a short time.
I keep talking about my children.  I have two daughters and a son.  They are all grown and married now.  The youngest, my son, just got married about a year ago.  My two daughters both have two children of their own.  So I'm a Mimi and have a fairly large family.  I love them very much and I know they love me.  My journey has been hard for them, yet they still want what is best for me.  Heck, I don't even understand it all myself because it has been so different. My mom asked me why it was this way for me, and I told her I didn't know why I had taken this path.  It was as if the path had chosen me.  At an earlier time in my life I thought I had the will, determination and energy to achieve and attain material wealth, power and happiness. I rode that pony into the wild blue yonder as long as I could.  Like most, that fantasy fell by the wayside and it seemed that others were able to move on, but for me my life stopped.  Everyone else continued living and it looked as if I did too.  But I was peering at life as if I was an observer and not part of it anymore. My wounds came bubbling to the surface and I was drowning in hopelessness. 
But ... back to Haven for Hope.  After being on campus for 2 weeks and still just settling in, I went to one of my daughters for a visit.  My first visit away from H4H.  We can have no visitors here on the campus.  It is gated with security checks at both entryways.  Only members, as we are called, can be inside the gated campus.  We are free to leave any tiime with a curfew to be back by 10:30 pm unless working a night job.  During my first two weeks, I ate out with my son for an afternoon but came back.  This time I was invited by my daughter to spend the night.  It was spring break for my two grandkids and I thought it would be fun.  I knew other members spent the night out, but I was suppose to arrange it with my casemangager.  I called the dorm and talked to a lady that monitors our dorm.  She said to call and leave a message on the casemanagers answering machine and went on to explain that I need to get approval first next time.  So, I was out for the night, sleeping in familiar surroundings with my loving family close by my side.  I was home.
The first night spilled over into 2 nights away, then 3 nights, 4, and finally a whole week had gone by.  I asked my daughter if I could stay in her home and not go back to Haven for Hope.  I told her of all the shocking incidents, non-privacy, bickering among the women, coughing and hacking in the dorm room at night.... really just anything negative I could think of.  She felt so sorry for me and said, 'yes I could stay with her'. 
I had already tried to stay with her before and it was very hard on her marriage if they were to reconcile.  Right now she and her husband are trying trying to make their marriage work after an extended separation. Her 2 children are ages 10 and 4 and it helps some with Mimi (me) there, but mostly I feel I'm in the way.  She really wants to make the marriage work.  I hope that he is as determined to make it work as she is but that is their journey.
In the meantime, my son gets wind of me trying to stay at his sister's.  He works for the city and is the one who initially told me about Hope for Haven.  He had met a lady, with a Master's degree, that had just been through Hope for Haven and was now working again.  He said she reminded him of me.  I also have a Master's degree and still came upon troubled times just like this woman.  Well, my son was so disappointed that I wanted to leave Hope for Haven (H4H).  He talked to me very strongly and hurt my feelings very deeply but I knew he thought he was doing the right thing.  He brought me to H4H for a tour because he had never seen the side of the campus where I would stay if I came here.
We couldn't take a tour so we went to Intake, and they had me fill out some paperwork to see if I qualified to get in.  I thought it was like buying a car.  You see if you qualify and then decide if you want really buy the car or not.  DO YOU EVER NOT BUY THE CAR IF YOU QUALIFY!!!  That is what happened to me.  I qualified to stay at Haven for Hope if I passed the drug testing.  Did I stay?  Did you buy the car you last qualified for?  Yes, I just stayed!  I thought this is where life is leading me, and I will see this through.  I surrendered.  We had to come back for an appointment in 2 days because that is when my son could bring me back.  I took the drug test and entered H4H that same day.
So, my son had invested significant time and energy into me being at this place.  Really he had done a lot of research to help me with agencies but when he saw what H4H offered. It was the whole tamale wrapped up in a neat package of on-site services and living quarters.  He could let H4H take on the responsibility he felt for me and they could do it in a professional capacity.  He was not a happy camper when his sister said I could stay with her and the kids again.
I stood my ground with my son and did not back down in that conversation.  He clearly thought I was not making a good decision and told me all the reasons why.  It was hard to hear but I love my son dearly.  I thought .. he is young...25 ... and a new cop. He wants to save his mom.  But, in reality, he saw what I saw at Haven for Hope.  It was hope for a new way of life for his mother.  He saw how I struggled and he called what he was doing with me "tough love".  Well, I knew what he was talking about but he was harsh and very legalistic in his presentation to me.  I kept talking about being compassionate but I knew his heart and how he loved me. He didn't want to lose his mom to depression and suicide as he thought he did in 2003. It was nearly fatal and I recovered without any damage that I am aware of from all the prescription drugs I took. This is where my son is coming from, where my whole family is coming from.  It's hard to surrender to this but I have to make it work this time.
Haven for Hope may be the answer.  We'll see. I saw my casemanager yesterday and I came back today.  Ready to make a difference in my life and the lives of my kids and grandkids. 
Havenista Hope





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