Adjust and Adapt

January 20th, 2020

It’s been exactly two weeks since the girl got out of prison. It seems like a helluva lot longer than that. I knew beforehand that she would rock my world. That was a given. I just didn’t know how, or when, or why.

That first Monday was brutal. It started with me picking the young woman up at Ellsworth Prison at 7:00 AM. Eight hours later she relapsed. Catastrophic failure. Then there was a series of frantic phone calls to her parole officer, a trip to an ER, and general chaos. We both made it through that day, although I honestly don’t know how we did it. It all ended with Dove bars and Netflix. It could have been much worse.

I think that we were both a bit traumatized for the next few days. We functioned, sort of. On Thursday, Butch, the PO, came to our house with his loyal assistant to do a “home visit”. That went okay. Being a veteran, I established a little bit of credibility with Mr. Butcher.

Time goes on. Because my wife is away, it’s just me taking care of the girl that we love. We are slowly establishing a new relationship. This all takes time.

The last few days have been much better. The young woman has set up a plan to get her life together. She is actively doing things to change her situation. She works out at the gym. She goes everyday to 12-step meetings. She sees a therapist. The young woman goes out with sober friends. She wants to do all the right things. She wants to live. 

The girl told me, “I want to get my head straight before I start looking for a job. I want my mental health stuff to be set up first.”

I wholeheartedly concur with that. We have been spinning together in this dance for over a decade now. Pushing her too hard and too early guarantees failure. This young woman has been though a lot, more than most other humans. She needs to work hard on rebuilding her life, but she also needs to rest when it is necessary. We have time.

I was just re-reading Dracula from Bram Stoker. That book is all about addiction and madness and redemption. It was the right to time to read it again.

Right now, my life revolves around her life. My schedule is her schedule. It won’t be like that forever, but it is now. This is a life and death struggle. I don’t exaggerate. She needs me now. Later, if there is a later, maybe not so much. This young woman needs to heal. She has deep wounds, and they are physical, emotional, and spiritual. Our house is her field hospital for now.

How does this all end? I have no idea. In a way, it doesn’t matter. The ending is not my concern. The girl’s destiny is up to God, not me.

I can only help.





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