Monday, August 23, 2010

Random drug testing and my life in limbo

This week I have been racking my brain trying to figure out what I should write about for my next post.

Well after I went over and I checked the blog Immoral Minority it clicked. I read the post Gryphen wrote about my mother’s weekly UA’s and I wanted to add my two cents.

Although I know it is required by the courts it still angers me that for the next two years I have to live my life around these random UA’s.

They will not allow my mother to drive because she is taking medications for her pain which means that I always have to make myself available to drive her to and from Palmer. ( Palmer is about 20 minutes away. 16 miles from our house).

Sometimes while waiting in the parking lot for my mother to come back out I see other EM clients driving themselves to their appointments and it really kind of irritates me.

But even if she was allowed to drive it would still not be possible because my dad got her car in the divorce settlement. So I guess that leaves it up to me.

It is not that I mind taking care of my mom, believe me I don’t, but not only does the randomness of her UA’s make it virtually impossible to take college classes, the money I spend on gas to get her there, and the miles it puts on my car is outrageous!

I cannot go out like a normal teenager and hang out with friends to watch movies, or play sports, or take in a late dinner, because I have to make sure I am in bed at a decent time every night just in case there is a UA scheduled early in the morning. There can be several UA’s each week as well as visits with mom’s parole officer, not to mention random visits at the house by her PO, and other appointments connected to her conviction. It often makes for a very busy and very chaotic week.

However I know my mom is greatly appreciative of all that I do for her and sometimes has been known to shed tears because of how much she realizes I am sacrificing for her.

I suppose the hardest thing is that some other family members don’t seem to understand, or appreciate, just how much I do.

They still expect me to go out and get a job as well as go to school full time which simply is not possible right now while mom is so dependent on me. It isn’t at all easy and at times the stress is almost unbearable.

Now that Levi and I are back on speaking terms, and are currently working on repairing our relationship, I hope that he will be able to take up some of the slack and give me a break once in a while.

By the way I just need to mention that I really appreciate the support you all have given me and my family. Believe me I don’t take any of it for granted and I always look forward to reading your very supportive comments when you take the time to share your thoughts with me.


Cuppajava said...

Hey, Sadie.

It's easy to get bogged down in the details of our everyday lives and forget that things change. Friends and loved ones come and go, happy days come again, good things happen, we learn to deal with life better, we go on, we move forward....we get through our days, our weeks, our months, and our years. But, overall, things change as we move through our lives.

If you can look at your help to your mom as being a blessing that you are able to give to her right now when she needs it so badly, and that your days won't always be structured this way, maybe it will make the time pass more easily.

Things change. That whole "Carpe diem" idea is a reality that continues through eternity.

"Seize the day."

Tru said...

Mercede...hang in there, kiddo. I know how time seems to stand still when you're not doing what you want to be doing, but when your mom is no longer on house arrest and gets some independence back, you can both make up for lost time. I'm just very sorry for the pain she's in, because until we've "walked a mile in their shoes", none of us can ever really know how awful it is to be ill. Best of luck to both of you, and I'm rooting for Levi to have some good news come his way, too!

GrainneKathleen said...

so sorry to hear of the burdens you and your mother have had placed upon you. i truly hope your brother will be of help to you both in future. you are so bright, though sadie - first chance you get, finish high school and start studying something that you really love. where there is a will there's a way; it usually just takes time and patience. i am recalling myself at your age (it wasn't that many years ago) and i remember feeling trapped by some family issues as well. you will find your path through just like i and many others have - you can take comfort in that. blessings to you and your mom.

Trish said...

Have you considered taking classes through an accredited online college? It might grant you the flexibility you need to continue your education.

Misses M said...

Sadie, if my daughter grows up to be half the young lady you are I will be one proud mother! Sending a big hug your way because you deserve it... if only more people were as giving and selfless as you are, the world would be a better place.

Lynne said...


Please know that this difficult time is only a snapshot of your life - things will get better, though sometimes it's just too dark to see. Now that your relationship with Levi is on the mend, however, perhaps you can persuade him to drop the reality show idea; it sounds ridiculous (Levi for Mayor?) and boring (Levi getting his GED?) and where will it lead? If anything, pitch a reality show or documentary on teen life in Wasilla (forget hunting and fishing because people don't want to see animals being killed on tv). Or he needs to get his GED, get a job, help take care of your family and put Bristol's family behind him (except for his son). I seriously hope that you and your mom take the high road and don't succumb to a reality show for the money. Take online classes - one at a time - chip away at something for your future. You don't even have to leave the house. Pay for it with grants. Just a thought; you seem like a really sweet kid with a good heart and rational head on your shoulders.

celestiallll said...

Sadie, have you looked into taking college courses through distance learning? There are many reputable programs out there that let you work on your own time. My daughter took a college course through Indiana University Continuing Studies a couple years ago.

Under the extended-term program, she had an entire year to finish a semester long course, so she could work around her schedule and other commitments. There are many other programs like this one out there, and financial aid may be available. Definitely something worth looking into.
Good luck to you and your family.

CAgal said...

Being a "primary caregiver" can take it's toll. Before you burn out, try to enlist some family members or good friends to be "on call" for specified time frames, like a few hours in the evening or an afternoon or something like that. If you don't take care of yourself (by getting regular relaxing/fun/friends time), you won't be able to assist your mom. Hey, it's true that girls just gotta have fun! Get yourself some!

Jazzy Jan said...

Is there not anyone in Wasilla, AK with enough caring and kindness in their heart to help this young lady out. I don't mean to be critical and since I live in Oklahoma, it really is not any of my business, but it certainly seems to me that an individual or a group of people could volunteer to drive Sherry when she has to go for her UA. At least pitch in a little to help cover the gas and other expenses. And what about the other family members? I just don't understand this. Down here when friends and family need help of any kind we consider it our duty to help out and we do so with a glad heart. Who knows when we might be the one needing some help. If several people work together no one has to bear all the burden. Come on people - give yourself a blessing and help this young lady with some of this responsibility. Trust me, you'll like yourself a lot better.

Pat in MA said...

Your doing the right thing being there to support your Mom, and you have every right to be frustrated, too. I'm sure it's not easy. Hopefully you can get some help. Two years is a long time to put your education on hold, are there any online courses you could take? Hang in there.

M Baker said...

I quess I don't understand why your situation has to limit you so much. What would your mother do if you weren't there? Wouldn't the courts also have to make arrangements for the radom drug test if your mother can't drive and your not available? I know the courts can be unflexible at times, but certainly I would think they could help make the situation more accomodating. Maybe a drug test taken at a local doctors office?

I too have been taking pain medication (Oxycontin plus hydocodone) for over 10 years, but I'm still able to drive because the drugs don't cause side effects limiting my judgement or ability to operate a car safely. When I first begin with a higher dose, I may have some mild effects for a week at most, but my body adjusts to the higher rate allowing me to drive. Maybe your mother needs to talk to her physician about the side effects and the dosage, and also talk to the courts about her limitations getting to the lab for the ramdom drug tests. Perhaps a police officer or court official could come out to the house and take the sample, especially if an officer already stops by randomly now?

I think she needs to talk to the courts or her probation officer, and work out a better solution. I also think she shouldn't have to use a lawyer to do this. Certainly the courts are aware of the situation and I would think they would also be flexible enough to work something out for your mother. This just seems to be a situation that can be corrected, and I wish you good luck.

just a friend said...

I agree with the other comments. Continue your education on line with a flexible program. Keep a journal and write write write; it's good exercise and you write well. Levi should be sharing some of the burden with you. Are there any friends or relatives that can give you a day off and help out? Follow up on the suggestions that people have made to petition the court for some help. As others wrote, what would your mother do if you weren't at home and available? There must be other ways to collect a urine sample. Have you thought about renting an apartment closer to the place where your mother has to report and be checked? If for some reason you are not available, she might be able to walk over there. Explain this to the court, saying that if some morning your car doesn't start, your mother would have no means of arriving for her test. Seriously, think about relocating closer to the place where she needs to report so this isn't such a burden for you.

Gles said...

You go Mercede.... I am wondering if your mother's doctor has stipulated that you mother can no longer drive or has the DMV suspended your mother's drivers license? I am thinking that if you look at this situation one step at a time... I know you said your Father got custody of your Mother's vehicle in the divorce settlement. At the time, was your Father aware that his family was left without a vehicle?(Not counting Levi) I know you have said at your graduation that family had given you a vehicle as a graduation gift...and that your Father had shown up briefly at the event. Many times when we can afford a vehicle the insurance coverage may be beyond our means price wise. Perhaps this is none of our business but others may know where or what to do in this instance.

Many have asked you to continue answering our questions from earlier postings and we are sure excited to hear once again that Sherry will be posting.....

Be careful out there and keep your eyes open. Do you own a digital camera so that you can take pics of things/people you are suspecious of?

gsb said...


While I read your post, it reminded me of the time I spent with my mother during her long illness. I too, had no help,had a new car, and the trip for my Mom was 280 miles one way, three times a week. I would rise early, drive 20 miles to pick up Mom, then head to the twin cities and the University Hospital.
Leave her there for treatment, drive home, go back down to pick her up.then repeat the whole process. in that year, I put on over 50.000 miles on my car.. and borrowed over 3,000 dollors so I would have the money for gas. On the way back ,many times she was so ill from the treatment, but she always wanted French sik pie. To this day, French silk pie means more then just pie. It is a memory of my mom. The brother and Sister who had no time ,also have no special memory. You too will remember, all your life the time spent with your Mom.
Your Mom will always, think of you, as the special daughter who had the time.

Jan said...

Try ONLINE college courses of some kind of course to keep your brain busy. I hope Levi does help you. In the lower 48 there are people that take people that cannot drive to appts and run errands for really busy people. Of course there is a fee but it works down here. If Levi is too busy maybe he can PAY someone to help out. Will they make you drive in the WINTER? That is scary there!! Now that you are speaking with Levi, does he still object to this blog?

leu2500 said...

My initial reaction is that "several random UAs a week" is out of the ordinary and meant to be a form of harassment. Can anyone reading this post shed some light on norms for UAs, PO visits, etc?

SarahElizabeth said...

Hey, Mercede. I'm sorry that things are so hectic right now. I can relate somewhat. A few years ago, when I was 19, my mom had a seizure out of the blue and lost her license for 6 months because of it.
So it was up to me to drive her most of the time. It could be frustrating at times, when I wanted to do things of my own that conflicted with her plans. But we eventually got through it, and I know that you will, too.
I'd try not to worry too much about other people's expectations of you. YOU know you're doing all you can right now, and that's more than good enough. One person can only do so much.
Take care.

Martha Unalaska Yard Sign said...

Hurray, you're speaking with Levi again! Power to family love! That's wonderful news. The rest - OMG what a wonderful person you are.

I don't know the details, so I refuse to speculate about what you can and can't fit in, or where you should live, or all that other stuff folks seem to think you should do. That's for you guys to decide, and I'm happy to be here as your cheerleader in finding solutions or just the strength to carry on as you are!

Sharon TN said...

Mercede, you will never regret being there for your mom.
You're going through a rough patch right now, everything
is wrong & nothing is right. Or fair. You're also learning
some mighty important lessons that will stand you in good stead throughout your whole life. By doing the right thing,
being dedicated under difficult circumstances, realizing how vital your sevices are, helping to make a situation bearable for someone else, makes you a very special person. I know the folks on this blog & over at Gryphen's all think so.
You've always got our ear, Mercede!

Sharon TN

Rosa said...


I have some idea of how these situations can tie people up. I hired someone for various remodeling, everything was going well when suddenly he disappeared. I literally had no sink or walls, the old toilet and tub still worked but it was a disaster zone. It turned out that the worker was on probation and forgot to update an address, it was not even a dirty test. He got an automatic 90 days but due to the overcrowding he wasn't gone that long.

It is uber stressful to say the least. You have to be ready everyday. I am glad to hear that Levi is reconnecting with you all. IMO this particular case was a set up. Not to excuse what happened, but it is just not right for someone to be targeted for the wrong reasons either. It is unfortunate you can't just come out with more of the details, names and the whole story. Had more been known and investigated it's possible someone would have gotten closer to the truth about a set up.

One of the most neglected groups of people are children and family members of those who are incarcerated or out and in these programs. They are forgotten and get a lot of blame when the punishments fall on them as well. The family members that don't get what you are going through are uninformed. No one will directly say they blame the children, but that is how it feels. You live in a backward area that does not seem to want to evolve. I hope you can find the few people around Wasilla who have benefited with a stronger awareness.

Ivyfree said...

It's only a couple of years. And my first thought, reading this, is that it is certainly possible to start college online. I have friends who have taken classes online and of course the advantage is a lot of flexibility with time. It's not the same as living on campus, but it is an education.

MSB said...


You've gotten some great advice in the comments. No need to repeat. I particularly like Sharon TN's comment and was thinking those exact thoughts. I just want to offer you a virtual hug. The only advice I can offer (which I haven't seen here yet) is to accept any offers of help. If someone offers you a single morning drive off, you should accept without guilt. I am confident that your mom wants you to have some time to yourself also. I am constantly impressed with your maturity, confidence and common sense. You and your mom have a very positive karma balance working for you!!!

All the best,


:) said...

You are having your most difficult period right now, Sadie. This experience will shape you to have understanding at 20 that most people don't get until their 40's. I majored in psychology as a freshman and life got busy, I had kids, etc. and it wasn't until after some crazy life events that I realized that I'd be dangerous in counseling, which is what I wanted to do!

I don't want to be cliche, but this is shaping you for the best. Your writing is refining itself and I see you doing something like social work in a few years and then getting on a talk show or writing an inspirational book-- or even writing a chapter for one of those dreadful Chicken Soup for the Soul books-- I hope I never need them, as they ooze sap, but for those who need them, they inspire.

Don't do college until you are 100% ready.

Cutie in an Apron said...

Mercede-- you will be in an interesting position to speak out on behalf of the incarcerated when your mom gets off this. Think about it. Keep in contact with those who reach out to you. There is little known as to what rights the families of the incarcerated have and they and their kids get tossed by the wayside with no consideration. They need a voice, too.

AlaskaSundog said...

Keep trucking. Take on line courses. Use this time to get ahead. You have a cell phone to maintain contact so do go out with friends ( if there's some that you can trust) once in a while. Time flies by. Circumstances are always what they are but it's the choices we make dealing with them that makes us who we are. Ask Gryphen to put you in contact with Joe McGinnis & Geoffrey Dunn if it's mutually desirable. Oh, & keep a journal, not just to document but so when you're old you can look back. Good luck. Hope Levi begins to mature a bit. Like finish school & take out the trash Levi & be a good boy. Good luck with that too. Enjoy your blogs. A Chugiak neighbor.

AKSandhills said...

I have not read through all of the comments here yet so this may be repetitive but please do look into getting a student loan and start taking a few online classes at UAA. I did this a few years ago when I wanted to take a few courses and it is a great way to take classes if you are a self motivated person, which I believe you are. I know money is tight for you right now so enroll in say, 2 classes for now. There are so many general college requirements that are now available online so maybe take care of some of your English requirements.
I really urge you to take this step. Your mom can assist you with the loan applications and college advisors will be more than happy to help you decide which classes to take. This is not only an important step for your future but you really need something to concentrate on that is outside of your family situation.

amomtoo said...

I can't imagine your frustration when people minimize the situation and dismiss the circumstances out of you and your mother's control necessitating your availability to random appointments that you can't make even limited plans. Perhaps those who do that are actually justifying why they do not have time nor are concerned enough to give you a helping hand or any respite. So, you need to ignore and take your confindence back and it be enough to know the truth.

Note to one posster and others: I am a nurse and we routinely inform people they may not drive a car while taking narcotics. Under the law taking narcotics is equivalent to drinking alcohol and driving.

Maybe you have been assertive to ask if it is possible that random drug screens either be in the morning or afternoon to facilitate your mother honoring her house arrest

California Boy said...

Good Morning Mercede,
I look at your blog almost everyday to see if you have updated, and to read the others' comments. Yesterday, I read your post and was a liitle disappointed that it didn't have the insider point of view into the world of Levi and the you know who's. Then I thought about all the problems with drugs in America, and all the excuses we make. And I must admit, I wasn't really feeling any sympathy for your mom. But then I read the comments today, and realized I missed the point of your post. It wasnt about making excuses for what happened. What your mom did was wrong and she is making amends for it. You were just a young lady venting. Not asking for smypathy. You actually gave some great insight into your feelings. Of course there will be a little"why me?" but it is what you do with these sets of problems. I think this might be the beginning of something.....I think it would be a LOT more interesting to hear the story of a real American teenager living in a small town and what life is like for todays generation of young people, that to hear about some illiterate going "Rouge". (Perhaps she thought they said Vogue??) With the rapid speed which todays media gobbles someone up and spits them out, you have an interesting perspective. It seems like so many young people see the reality shows as ways to get rich quick. Or being media fodder for a flash in time as a way to become immortalized. But you can show the damage that this does to a family, to an innocent baby, to a mom with struggles, to a sister, to a town. People here have commented about how enjoyable your writing style is to read. Go to school and learn writing style and technique. And then tell your story, not anyone else's story, and maybe help a few people along the way find meaning and purpose for their lives.
Best wishes!

Extreme2010 said...

Miss Sadie,

KUDOS TO YOU FOR GETTING ON SPEAKING TERMS WITH LEVI AGAIN!!! Apparently he finally sees that BLOOD is thicker than water and that his blood family comes first.

And also God bless you for sticking by your mom's side, through the good and the bad. It sounds difficult and unbearable, but stay tough and stay strong. I can speak from experience, staying tough when things aren't going well has excellent rewards in life, and you will be rewarded a thousandfold for sticking by your mom.

YOU are the family that people should be emulating, not the phony ass Palin family with her wanna-be hockey mom swagger. When was the last time you saw Sarah with Trigg, Tripp or whatever her baby's name is (honestly it's hard for me to keep track of these days). All you do is see Sarah Palin posting rhetoric about President Obama on Facebook and Twitter, while you stand by your mother who needs you the most.

YOU are a role model for females in the nation, stay strong! Prayers with you always!

wowsa said...

Thank you so much for sharing all this! I don't have anything super insightful to say except one thing, but I think this is a biggie, THE TIME YOU SPEND WITH YOUR MOM IS NEVER LOST. I know this is really hard right now, sometimes life is upside down like that all the bad times come first when your young then the good later. This is supposed to be the "fun carefree times". at the same time, this time you put in for your mom, the time you are there for her, NO ONE CAN TAKE FROM YOU, THAT WILL ALWAYS BE YOURS. We don't know what the future holds, any of us, all we have is now. Your mom is still young, but not in the best of health, none of us are guaranteed another day. What we have is NOW, and NOW you are there for your mom. And if anything happens to her, if her health takes a turn for the worst, THIS TIME will always be YOURS. With that said, I am going to start praying for your moms total recovery to a normal life. I don't know if she is on disablity, if she isn't, she should be able to get that easily with no problem, especially SSI, since it has been so long since she worked. Maybe there is a legal aid type of program that will help pay for the costs to the appointments, or sometimes they pay taxi there, call the local legal aid for info on this, and programs that used to exist may no longer exist because of budget issues, but it seems there should be some sort of help available with either the costs of the rides, or the rides themselves. Sometimes charity volunteer groups can help with costs too. The types of charities that help elderly and disabled, so that is also a place you can check for help. Will be praying for you two!

Savannah said...

I really think you should get a modeling gig; you are absolutely gorgeous, you could make some money for you and your mom, so you lives would not be so damn difficult...think about it :)

Mem said...

Mercedes last night I read that bristol is going to be on dancing with the stars and it ticked me off to no end. I thought about starting a FB page or petition to have you on instead of bristol. BUT then I thought how neat it would be if they put you on the show with bristol because this would show the whole world how hateful and immature the palins are. Bristol would either throw a fit and quit or the world would see just how they act when they are upset of want revenge. Would your mom be able to go with you? I have a friend that is going to get a petition or FB page or both going with some help. Because of all the things I have on my plate I don't have time to do it myself...are you open for this...? I have requested a FB friendship from you but I don't think you have responded can email me from my site or PM me on FB!

MYJ said...

Mercedes, I was trying to find a program in Alaska that provide transportation for the disabled. They have the program here in Miami, FL, where they provides door to door transportation for the disbled. It is usually $3 to $5 round trip. Sometime there be alot of program available, that we don't about. See if your mother can get transportation to and from the AU, See what is available for her to make life a little easy.

If you get involve in a church that provide community service, will also be good. The church may ask it members to commit to one day a month to drive your mom around. You'll be surprise of the service they will service provides... Also your mom will be able to attend services and special programs. She will be able to meet new friend... I known a young man who was house arrest, was able to work and go to church.. it depend on the relationship with the probation officer... Being part of a church, the pastor can also work with the probation officer and help your mom... No harm in trying and asking...

Here are a few transportation company I found...

MAT-SU Transit 907-376-5000

Redi- Rides of Alaska 907-357-7500

This situation is making and shaping you into a beautiful caring person... It will take you a long way... You become wiser and smarter than the average kid your age... I remember you said in you previous post, the you are taking classes online... Avoid student loans if you can. Apply for Pell Grants, you don't have to pay it back and it is available for low income.. It is based on your mom income, not your and Levi.

physicsmom said...

Mercede dear,
You have so much going on in your life right now, I'm glad you can take an opportunity to vent a little on your blog and share some of your burden with us. I also took care of my Mom for some time and it is hard to structure your life around hers. I was much older and so didn't miss out on a part of my youth, but as they say "youth is wasted on the young." (That's supposed to make you laugh).

You've had lots of good advice here to think about. Take what you need and leave the rest. School will still be there for you after your Mom's home detention time is over and you will still be young. If you have the wherewithal to fill out the financial aid forms and the energy to devote time to an online course, by all means that's a flexible way to start. But if you don't; if you're too tired, frustrated or whatever to devote your energy to that right now, don't beat yourself up about it either.

I was so glad to hear you and Levi are talking again. You were right to tell him he would be welcomed back when he saw the light. You took the high road and have been rewarded. Good luck.

Jan said...

What is your opinion on Bristol being on Dancing with the Stars??

MYJ said...

She probably don't have an opinion and can careless... Sarah pushing her daughter into this mess and it going to hurt her even more... People laughting at Bristol and calling her a wanndabe star. Every blog I read is making fun of Bristol. Sarah the worse mom ever!

Martha Unalaska Yard Sign said...

It was fun to meet you at the fair!

wowsa said...

Here is an idea, that probably is not a good one, but it is still an idea. Craigslist has a section for "household" and in it you can find a variety of people who can be available on very short notice, obviously they would have to be paid, but if you found someone ahead of time, set up a "meet" and they seemed okay, often that person would be available on very short notice for very little cost for emergencies. The people that do that often list their services as "petsitters" (separate section I think but check that section too) or "housekeepers" but their ads often will say "other work just ask". Just an idea. Also and obviously maybe legal aid could give you ideas or even get the time reduced that you have to do testing. I realize you have probably already thought of all that, but in the chance that you haven't, because all this can be overwhelming, I just thought I'd bring those ideas up:) This isn't forever, just try to remember that, there is a time all this will be a distant memory. What also concerns me is how your mom CAME to be disabled in the first place. I hope that situation will be made right in time...

Laurie said...

The University of Alaska offers accredited distance learning courses:

Gwen T. said...

You don't want to be a wage slave. Especially in Sarah Palin's Vision of 19th-century America. She's insane. And sadistic.

You may want to check out some very funny/sick/revealing profiles of both Sarah and Bristol Palin on the Vanity Fair and Huffington Post websites.

Your ex-pal looks rather plump and her willingness to wear "modest dresses" seems like she's planning on wearing a burlap sack to cover up her THIRD pregnancy. I give you credit---you look normal for your age, not like an old like Bristol.

Cash in on the Palins. Bristol is preggers with her third kid. I think we need a scorecard for the Baby Daddys. prsonally, I can live without your brother, but why should he pay childcare for a kid that may not be his? Why should you starve while the Palins gain power and wealth and enslave people in their cruel worldview?

Cash in. Tell the truth. Bristol Palin had that Trig kid, didn't she?

Tell the truth to the right tabloid and you'll never have to worry about money again.

Post a Comment