Momhood

Motherhood, insanity and everyday life.

Friday, May 26, 2006

The Toughest Love of All

Patricia Murphy is my new hero. There is a story in our local newspaper about Patricia, who found syringes hidden in her teenage daughter’s stuffed animal this week. It was clear to her that her daughter was once again shooting up heroin. So, she made a very tough decision and turned her into the police, knowing very well that her daughter is likely to end up in jail for some time.

"It kills me to see her in that orange (jail-issued) jump suit. She's my little girl. But this is perhaps the best thing for her right now," said Patricia. "It's been horrible."

Wow, what an understatement. On the list of difficult decisions for parents to make, I would say that this one ranks pretty high. It's probably below organ donation but definitely above whether to let your kid stay out late. When you get into this parenting gig, you prepare yourself for things like colicky babies, potty-training, academic challenges and boyfriends or girlfriends that are bad news. I don’t think there’s anything that prepares you for the day when you pick up the phone, call the police and ask them to arrest your child. In my view, Patricia Murphy is amazing and has just earned a Master’s Degree in Tough Love.

The irony about this brave decision is that it might not work. This isn’t the first time that Murphy’s daughter has been using heroin and unless she stays in a substance abuse program more than three days this time, it might not be the last. At what point, as a parent, do you give up? I think that’s the amazing thing about parents: They never do. They never stop caring, worrying and loving....even when it seems hopeless.

I pray that I never have to make a brave decision like Patricia Murphy, but as every parent knows, sometimes it doesn’t happen to “somebody else.” I like to think that I have the guts to do what’s right, even when it’s the most agonizing decision, but I honestly have no idea if that’s true. More than anything, I hope that someday, Patricia Murphy’s daughter will see how much her mom really loves her.

18 Comments:

At 11:18 AM , Blogger Wickwire said...

It's like fighting fire with fire and sometimes it has to be the only thing you've got. When addiction rules the mind, there isn't much you can do methinks. This was a good post. I especially liked this: "In my view, Patricia Murphy is amazing and has just earned a Master’s Degree in Tough Love."

 
At 1:08 PM , Blogger srp said...

Here from Michele.
Tough love works, if all the family is involved and stands strong together. Otherwise it doesn't. She is a brave mother who obviously loves her daughter and fears for her life. Perhaps it will be the jolt the girl needs. Hopefully, her mom won't be torpedoed by the justice system that often gives too many chances.

 
At 3:24 PM , Blogger mar said...

The things parents have to go through... such a brave mom. Yes, sometimes these things don't happen to "other people" but right there in your own circle. It isn't easy, this mom is going through a nightmare and only wishing the best for her kid. Hope it works out for both of them. Hope I am never in that situation...Here via Michele's and leaving with a bitter taste and a sad heart for that mom...

 
At 3:55 PM , Blogger mar said...

Hi again,Michele sent me this way one more time :)

 
At 9:50 PM , Anonymous Kismet said...

Thanks for sharing that story. It was heart rending.

~K!

 
At 11:03 PM , Blogger jac said...

bless her heart! that has got to be the most courageous, heart-wrenching thing that a mother could possibly do for her child. thanks for sharing the story.

michele sent me!

 
At 11:03 PM , Blogger OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

Boy, that's a tough one alright. I have never been in this position so I have no real idea what I would or would not do...
I do know that Jail is most likely not the best place for anyone. I'm not sure that being in a jail means that someone will be in a rehab/recovery program that will really work...I pray that it does for Patricia's daughter...What a sad and difficult situation. And I cannot imagine how hard it was to make the decision she did...but at a certain point...the only thing you can do is what she did, I think. How hard that had to be---Tough Love--that sure is the Bottom Line.

Thanks for your visits Karen...yes, you are right about Betty...if you go to the link on her in the previous post--(IMDB.com) or to Danny Millers blog, you will see a lot about all the things she has done over her long wonderful career.

 
At 11:07 PM , Blogger srp said...

Here from Michele.
Hopefully, her daughter will get the help she needs and this family will survive. Sometimes it takes hitting rock bottom before making a change.

 
At 11:58 PM , Blogger Juliabohemian said...

She isn't even a minor. She should absolutely be turned in. The Mom could have been implicated as well if she had done nothing about it. But, I wouldn't underestimate her chances of having access to drugs while in prison. I have heard that all sorts of drugs are made available there somehow, if you want them badly enough.

 
At 6:11 AM , Blogger OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

Michele sent me back again this early A.M. I'm off to Zzzzzzland...you are my last stop before I hit the pillow. Still find this story rather haunting...I dearly hope it all turns out really well...Blessings to Mother & Daughter.

 
At 9:08 AM , Blogger Courtney said...

What a tough thing to do.
Here via Michele.

 
At 4:05 PM , Blogger srp said...

Here from Michele.
Have they had any updates on this news story?
I just heard about that awful tragedy in Miami where the father threw his two children off a balcony of a hotel and then jumped himself. I just don't understand that.

 
At 5:18 PM , Blogger kenju said...

AMEN! AMEN! I cannot imagine having this happen to one of mine. I would probably do the same thing she did, though.

Michele sent me today.

 
At 7:49 AM , Blogger kimmyk said...

As a mom you hope that your children grow up and do smart wise things, but that's not always the case is it?

I have two teenagers and I worry everyday they'll go down a path too often traveled. I admire Patricia Murphy for what she did. I'm sure it was the hardest decision in her life to pick up that phone and call the police...If something like this should happen, I pray that GOD gives me the strength to do just the same.

~~Thanks for stopping by via Michele!

 
At 8:04 AM , Anonymous colleen said...

Fill up their emotional tanks as best you can when they are young to stave off the kind of emtiness that turns people to drugs. Hi from michele's.

 
At 9:19 AM , Blogger panthergirl said...

Wow... I agree. But why would she have to go to jail? Couldn't she have put her in a detox center without her being arrested? (or I guess unless there's a court order the girl wouldn't be required to stay?)

My tough love moment came when my daughter graduated high school, didn't have plans for college but didn't have a fulltime job either, and she and I were about to kill each other. I sent her to live with her dad, and it saved our relationship. It was, however, the most difficult decision I ever had to make.

 
At 5:51 AM , Blogger Sandy said...

Thanks for sharing Patricia's story. I pray I never have to find myself in her shoes...but if I do, I pray I too make the right choice.

Back from Michele's.

 
At 6:33 AM , Blogger Carmi said...

It's every parent's worst nightmare, and it's a possibility that keeps me up at night - even though my kids are still munchkins.

I wish I could have the courage. I pray parents who find themselves in Mrs. Murphy's shoes can draw inspiration from her story.

You've done a great thing sharing this, Karen. Another reason why you're always such a treat to read.

I've definitely fallen way behind on my visits here. Time to catch up.

 

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