Saturday, January 31, 2009

SHAKE THE DISEASE

After running into our old friend and dealer the other day, it suddenly occurred to me the number of females that we know who found themselves pregnant in the past two years, have given birth, and yet do not currently have custody of their newborn. Ashley was just the most recent of at least a half a dozen, or even more. Of all of these women, I am aware of only one of them who was able to leave the hospital with her daughter, who remains with her to this day, almost two years later. All of the others automatically were involved with Social Services. One of their representatives was literally waiting there in the birthing room to remove the newborn from the mother the second that this could safely be done.

This is frightening on a number of levels to be sure. Obviously these females were still abusing one, or more, illegal substances throughout the pregnancy. If she was unable to quit, or at least get on methadone - if opiates were the issue - the moment she found out her condition - and once the decision was made to continue with the pregnancy - she made it abundantly clear how very selfish, and negligent, she really was. Obviously, no serious consideration was given to the potential damage she could cause for her unborn child with continued substance abuse. Without exception, all of these women did nothing at all to even curtail or reduce the amount or frequency of their substance abuse. For me, personally, I had an extremely difficult time even interacting with any of them while they were pregnant, as it was near impossible for me to refrain from comment about this abuse.

Last week when I ran into Ashley, I simply could not keep quiet, especially as she was the one to introduce this topic into our conversation. Since the birth of her daughter a few months ago, her use has actually escalated, not to mention that she has now introduced speed into her daily doses of 8mg dilaudid pills. I am sorry, but WTF? Currently, her and her boyfriend do not have an apartment of their own. They've been rotating staying at various friends pretty much on a semi regular basis. The baby is currently with her mother, and by the look of their current situation, will most likely stay with her for the foreseeable future. She mentioned that the Social Worker was giving her six months to get her act together.

She was given a guideline of sorts as to what was expected of her to accomplish in order for her daughter to be returned to her. She's got about six weeks maximum now before she has to meet with Children's Aid. At this hearing, she ostensibly is to present to them why they should return her daughter to her care, Obviously they're going to want to see that she is serious about her recovery which means that she should be on MMT at the very minimum by this time. She is also going to have to prove to them that she has a permanent address with the appropriate amount of space, or rooms, for a newborn to be adequately maintained, never mind flourish. I'm also guessing that she'll need to prove that she has all of the proper furniture, accessories, food, et al for the baby. No doubt there is considerably more things that will be required for her to do and have. CAS is certainly not going to hand the baby back to her in a cavalier manner. They will look at every last detail under a magnifying lens is my best guess.

So far, she's not done any of this. Nothing. In fact, about the only thing that she has really done is ensure that now her boyfriend also has a hardcore dependence on opiates. What a pair! I told her as much. I said that she needed to get serious right away, especially if she really and truly wanted custody of her daughter. She maintains that she does, but I don't know anymore. I look at all Of the women whom have gone before her these past two years, and all I see is the writing that is already on the walls. What's really gut wrenchingly sad is that in the end, it is the children who will suffer because of these women's ultimately selfish attitudes and choices. If they've decided that they are simply incapable of cutting drugs from their life no matter how hard they try, what they really need to do is remove themselves completely from their child's life, because in the end, the inevitable sporadic contact with them will damage these innocent babies immensely. Do the unbelievably unselfish act of severing ties completely so that their child has a chance of finding a family who will nurture and love and be completely involved and committed to them. Otherwise these babies barely stand a chance, and they might as well admit defeat before they even have a chance to get started!

4 comments:

Gledwood said...

In this country you do not automatically lose custody of your kids just because you're on drugs even heroin/crack.
Having said that I know one lady called a "baby machine" by more disparaging friends who has had 5 to 8 depending who you believe... she had her last one 2 or 3 years ago and did make valiant efforts to keep him... for one thing she and her boyfriend the father gave up shoplifting then, which they seemed to be at all the time (though how on earth they got away with it I'll never know they looked so obvious to me. If I didn't see their face I spotted them by their shoplifters' walk... yes they gave this up and to this day I've not seen them bombing down the high road clutching shopping bags. They are still using but funding it from what they can get via state handouts ...

Just thought I'd tell you a story of what it's like over here...

As for your friend... I know well what that morass is like and whatever the risks, threats, whatever... you get to a stage where you've lost it so bad you just can't help yourself

SICKGIRL said...

I don't know if this kind of Children's Aid program exists in Canada's other provinces and territories, but I know that in regard to a pregnant woman's known prior substance abuse issuses here in Ontario, she automatically would be strictly watched and monitored by this agency.

Obviously, as a rule, Canada generally protectss all of her citizens in regards to their privacy and civil rights, so, there would be no reason for the average Ontario female, pregnant with child, to be monitored, or whatever. In order for Social Services to crash this particular party, something in some file, somewhere, or in a file that the expectant mother had with them for a past issue, would most likely be what alerted CAS of a pontential child endangerment issue, blah, blah, blah...

Now of course, there is absolutely no accounting for general stupidity, as I've known other women whom have gone and told on themselves when they really should have just been a little more patient and kept their trap shut! Way to draw unneccasary attention to ones selve - unless that was your plan all along as your hand would then be forced and you could let your baby go relatively guilt free as "CAS" had no other choice but the one they were forced to make!

OK, I'm starting to sound a lot more convoluted than I wanted to that's for bloody sure, but that is what this particular topic ends up doing to me. Especially, as I, myself, could have been one of these women nearly two decades ago. I literally knew exactly when I had become pregnant - and I don't mean like the very second the egg was fertilized - because over a two week period, all sorts of crazy things seemed to be happening to my body.

So, off I went to the doctors to get confirmation, which I did get at approx three weeks pregnant. The moment the doctor confirmed this news was the moment that I gave up any and all of my selfish lifestyle choices, as for the next nine months, my body was no longer going to be able to be used by the original owner. Now, I had to take into consideration everything I ate, drank, smoked, you know what I mean. I even went from approx 12-14 cups of java daily to no more than two, all in less than a 12 hour period. Started excercising again - water aerobics cause this puts the least amount of strain on Mommy's body as well as on her evergrowning newbie.

Not trying to appear like some sort of martyr, or whatever you might want to call this, I made the decesion to continue with my pregancy and everything else that this would invovle - I am pretty sure that continuing to IV methamphetamin and dilaudid for another eight months at least was part of this particular package cause if it was, I so missed that memo!

Nor do I think that I am better than them. What drives me mental is what inevitabley always seems to happen. Don't see them for a few months and then when they're in their final leg of the race, you run into them, or somebody else does and gets you updated good and proper with all of the dirt. Shuffle, shuffle for a few seconds before they let the bomb drop.

I mean, they tried, they really, really tried but in the end they just couldn't manage to quit, so they felt that, for the health of their still unborn baby, it would be far better to keep on using - what if quitting caused the baby to go into shock and have a heart attack and die or something, WTF is wrong with these people.

This brings us back to the whole continued substance abuse issue, and whether or not said pregnant female could be completely and utterly unselfish for probably the first time ever, and put someone else before themselves. Its a rare individual - by this I mean addict - that is truly stong enough to make this sort of longterm commitment. That's not remotely the problem.

Problem is knowing damn well you'll fail miserably and yet, you choose to continue regadless of the consequences. I'd have far more respect for the one that was able to admit to themselves that maybe this wouldn't be the best option for them. I am by no means suggesting that an abortion can be viewed as an additional birth control measure, but sometimes, no matter how many others find it distasteful, or muderous, abortion is the only smart and sensible, and ultimately selfless thing to choose.

*******************

Thanks for reading this through all to the end. Appreciate your patience right now that is for sure.

peace, love and happiness...

sickgirl

Lou said...

I have to agree. The decision to abort (which I personally would not choose), or immediate adoption should have been made at the beginning. Not only are they wasting their lives, but the children (who are blameless) start life with a huge handicap, emotionally & physically.You are right to confront them on this when you see them.

PS I follow a blog that is pro methadone & publishes all articles concerning MMT. It is http://armme.wordpress.com
Here is America there is much prejudice against MMT.

SICKGIRL said...

Thanks for taking the time to comment LOU. Checked out the link that you included and have now added this web site to my links section under ALTERED STATES