I can remember what an energetic child

Dear Erica,

I can remember what an energetic child you were and how often I had told you as long as you do the right thing, good things will happen. As life went on you choose several paths that were not what you were taught or the lifestyle that you came from. It started at around 15 when you attend a drinking party by sneaking out of the house and your father and I received a phone call from a police officer that you had been in a really bad accident and that they could not locate you. We soon found out a person had died and we thought it was you and that they were not telling us the truth. You soon appeared at our door, drunk and disoriented with cuts on your face. I thought that after an experience like this that you would never get involved with drinking or drugs. That was the first time I had experienced what it felt like to almost lose a child.

This experience did not stop you. I found re-occurring empty alcohol bottles in your closet. You stopped attending soccer practice and games (you were so good). During this time you had told me, that "you're only young once" and you need to have as much fun as you can. Your fun was taking you on a very dangerous trip. Then you finally graduated and immediately took up with D. I was so disappointed. I knew this was a big mistake. That you would be further from home and we would lose communications with you. I can remember one of the first holidays you appeared to be anxious and I ignored it. The next holidays we would find D. sleeping and you were running around with your head chopped off (too much energy). I knew there was an issue. I was just not sure how big and what to do. Then when you finally admitted that you had a problem and needed help. You had explained how you and D. were going to get help. I know of three rehabs that you attended. At those times, I would say, she will get clean. I believed this with my whole heart. It was short lived. You would finish the rehab and continue to lie to your family on how well you were doing; ask for money, make arrangements to meet for shopping trips or promise to come over for a holiday. It got to the point I would tell our family that you were not showing up for a holiday, even though you promised you would. I would tell them you were working. I was lying for you. I hated to lie for you; it made me feel like I was accepting who you were becoming. Then your dad and I starting getting calls for money to keep you out of jail. I was mortified. I would never have dreamed that my grown child would go to jail. Your dad and I gave money to bail you out of jail and visited you in jail. You have no idea how demeaning it was for me to be in that place visiting you. After that experience, I told you to never call me to bail you out or to come see you in jail again. I was at the point I did not even want you to call. I then began to blame myself, what kind of mother was I…? What did I do wrong? Do you realize how humiliating it was to tell others that my daughter works at a strip joint? No, I never admitted to them you were stripping, because you lied to me and told me you were only a waitress. I truly wanted to believe you, but the truth was you were supporting a drug habit for you and D. and stripping was a way to big $. . It broke my heart to know you would put yourself in that environment…my God you were my daughter! The worst part was to trying to explain to your Grandfather and Uncle that you were only working at a strip joint to earn big $. It was at this time I was once again lying to Grandpa…I know he knew because he had seen me cry when he would ask how you were doing and that he missed see you. The nightmare continued, you were my daughter and I could not get through to you.

Then tragedy strikes. H. is on heroin. Then Sara dies and now I am in panic mode. Who will I lose next? Do you realize how beat-up and disappointed I felt? You did not even try to help H. when you knew how devastating this drug was. I went through a funeral realizing my next oldest (you) may be in that casket next. I would ask my self—why did I have children—for pain? My God would it ever stop.

The next step after pulling myself together was to get help for H. H. was recovering at Narconon California and was pushing me to get you help. H. told me "I know Erica is in big trouble, she needs help now or she is going to die." I told H. she has to come to me for help. I told her I am not sure she can break away from her drugs or D. I did a lot of crying and feeling very lost. I could not stand that thought of losing another child.

Then the call came. You said, "Mom, I need help and I am afraid." I told you we would help you if you were serious and you had to show up at your Dad's before I would reserve a ticket to fly you to Narconon California. It took you forever to get to your Dad's house. I knew if you were strong enough to get to your Dad's house you had a chance. I remember you called me throughout the night assuring me you were going to Dad's. It took you 10 hours to get to your dads. It was only an hour and 1/2 drive; tops.

I even helped you at the airport (we won't go there- yes I would do it again to save you) to be assured you would get on that one-way plane out of Hell. You had every opportunity to jump off the plane and go back to MI, and you did not. You had made the most important decision of your life and kept your first promise to me for the first time in many years.

I know your trip through the Narconon California program was difficult at first; you were scared, depressed and had a hard time letting the past (people) go. You are learned it's part of finding YOU. YOU had been gone for many many years. You have been so strong during you up hill climb. There were times you wanted to leave, when you wanted to reach out to those enablers and go back to what you thought was an easy life style. Look at what you have done, you have made it almost to the top of the hill, you are ready for more responsibility and a new beginning. Erica I will never truly know how hard your climb was, but I do know that without it, you would not be here. I am so very very proud of you and your accomplishments. Remember I have been following you on your climb. You are excelling within the Narconon California program, you care about your family and you show it, you want to come home to be with us (you miss us), you made your promise to get clean and you are doing it, you have caste out those individuals that helped to cause your pain and did not help you, and you finally feel the loss of your sister.

Do not ever sell yourself short or let someone control your life as you have in the past, you have been through more than an individual will go through in a life time. You are now a butterfly having the opportunity to come out of your cocoon to enter a brand new world.

I love you with my entire heart,


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