Pause where we are in the story and rewind back to late March 2016, a month before J entered rehab for the first time. She had violated the TPO order for disruptive and threatening behavior at my parents house. Things got so out of hand and she refused to leave if we wouldn’t give into her demands. We found no endgame without reporting it. She was charged and arrested on March 30, a week before my wedding. Did I mention that all of this started really unraveling during what was supposed to be the happiest time in my life? That is a whole other story in itself. After that arrest, she spent several days in jail for that violation and upon her release a court date was pending. In April, when she entered rehab, we submitted a request to the court to drop those charges. We explained that we were unaware of the drug abuse and since then she had willingly asked for help and entered treatment. We had not heard anything from the court in all of this time so we were unaware of what the disposition of our request was. Three months had passed from the time of that request until now.
Okay, back to July 26, 2016– out of nowhere that day while trying to get J sober enough to get through the assessment interview with the new sober living, my phone rang. It was the Assistant District Attorney, Natalee. She had received my request and was willing to assist if I could provide proof that J was actively in current treatment. Yesterday I could provide that, today I couldn’t, not yet anyway. By the way things were looking, it didn’t look like that was going to happen anytime soon. Naively, I was totally honest and told her exactly what had happened the night before and where we were in that moment. She let me know that technically J was in violation of the TPO by being at my parents home even though we allowed her to be there. She reiterated the possibility of J not sobering up until the evening which would prevent her from getting to the new sober living—leaving significant opportunity for her to not only be a considerable flight risk but also a high probability of her leaving again to use when she came down. She convinced me the best chance at securing her immediate safety and resuming her sobriety was to pick her up for being there today in violation of the TPO and holding her in jail until court. Natalee assured me she would advocate for mandated treatment at that time. I did not know this woman from Adam (that is southern for total stranger) and was completely ignorant to the legal system. In that moment I made a difficult decision to have her arrested. I was desperate to minimize her relapse and get her to resume her recovery. As she was sleeping off the high from the night before on the couch of my parents den, she was abruptly awakened by police officers standing over her and was blindsided by an arrest for violating the conditions of her bond from the TPO at my parents home that we willingly allowed her to enter. The guilt I felt from making that choice was overwhelming and it was gut wrenching to watch, yet, it was one of the hardest, easy decisions I have ever had to make. In this situation, I thought jail meant she was safer than she would be if she was left to her own will. How is that even a thing, safer in jail?! I truly believed that to be true but was in shock that I even had to make that justification. How has this become our life?! J spent the next 5 weeks in jail. She flashed back and forth from anger, resentment, fear, and remorse. As her mom, I may have been free on the outside, but just as when this nightmare began, I was doing the time with her. It continued to be a period of both torment and peace. Talk about a double whammy of confusion and guilt. When will this nightmare end?
To be continued, again…
The Tangled Tulip