Tuesday, August 27, 2013

How Much Is Too Much?

 Part 1

It was in April of 2012 when we learned a truth about Jessica. She came home in the middle of the afternoon and told us she needed to tell us something. Her demeanor was serious, almost frightened. This conversation was unexpected but its contents not a surprise.

It is hard to recall exactly what she said. The gist of the conversation was that Jessica was going to drug rehabilitation for an oxycodone addiction just as soon as they could find a placement. In the meantime she would be dealing with withdrawal symptoms. This information explained a lot about Jessica. If there had been any trust left, it was gone.

It was easy to see all those ER visits and hospitalizations for abdominal pain where medical indications were not found were really symptoms faked to get drugs. With the new tracking programs the ruse had finally caught up with her so no oxy for Jessica.  The only help she would get was rehab and something to tone down her withdrawal symptoms just enough to get her there.

It was a couple of days before they found a bed for her in a state rehab facility. I expected her to be gone for a month but it was just long enough to get her through the physical symptoms of withdrawal. What else they did I can't say because all I have is what Jessica told me and that's proven to be unreliable.

Dave and I are not the kind of people who would kick someone when they are  down despite what Jessica had pulled to this point. If there was any hope for this young woman to put her life in order, it had just happened when the doctors finally caught her deception and cut her off. Knowing exactly what we were dealing with meant we could make an informed decision about how to deal with her.  I have experience with 12 step programs as well as more than a good understanding of what it takes to walk that walk so Jessica couldn't trick me on this.

If she wanted to continue living here, we had a list of expectations. These should have been obvious but we wanted her to know her life had just changed, in more ways than she thought, when she returned  from rehab. She was going to be required to pull her weight, pay for her groceries, keep her room clean and the boyfriend needed to be outta here. There would be no tolerance for anything less.

It was a couple of weeks when she called me to say she would be coming home the next day because she was getting out of rehab. When she arrived I sat her down and we went over the list of our expectations which included getting a day planner to learn how to manage her time, studying for school, helping with meals and dishes, daily stall cleaning and caring for horses and working her recovery program. I made sure she understood exactly what she must do. Jessica was going to behave responsibly or she was going to leave. 

Jessica managed to use the first item to escape that very first day. She went to the store to get a day planner that afternoon and didn't show up until after I went to bed. I think she thought it was business as usual but she was wrong. I was done playing games with Jessica.

The first few says she managed to avoid part of her responsibilities claiming she was going to meetings but she was using that as a ploy to escape work just like before. I was tracking her down and letting her know there were enough meetings around she could do her work and still get in her meetings.  Of course she used the excuse of not having a car and being unable to drive because of her suspended license but it had never stopped her before when she had someplace she wanted to be. I made it clear none of her excuses were going to work. She would do chores here or else.

On Saturday she told me she and Jimmy were going to the ocean for the day. I asked her if the chores were finished and when she didn't know, I sent her out to the barn to check in with Lindsay on what still needed to be done. Not long afterwards Jimmy came to get her but I asked her to clean out a wound on Dandy's leg before she left. She wasn't happy but she did it and brought the horse to me so I could inspect his wound.

It never occurred to me that she had skipped out on the stalls. Only later that night did I find out she not only hadn't helped but she had the gall to say the stalls left were Dave's (work).  

Jessica's sense of entitlement had not suffered in rehab but she was about to get a rude awakening. It is hard for me to grasp how someone with no job, no car and no place to live, except for the kindness of strangers, could be so ungrateful but that was obviously the case.  Whether I understood it or not, I was deeply offended by the inequity of it. I may have been slow to pick up on her selfishness with me but taking advantage of Lindsay or Dave was another matter. I was seeing red. Jessica had not idea the firestorm that was brewing.

To be continued....

Saying Goodbye to Jessica


  1. Sounds like you finally had enough and she was on her way out. Good for you.

  2. Sounds like the only thing your "farm manager" manages is making bad choices. I would hope that she's reading your posts and having some inkling of regret and enlightenment that might result in some positive changes in her life, but I doubt it. Rehab only seems to sober up someone long enough to get them rational for a few days until they are released, and then they usually go right back to practicing their addiction.

  3. Based on your posting, I'm going to assume that you put your foot down (and boot) Ms. Jessica. Good! What a horrid situation that sounds like for you and Dave.