For the past two weeks I’ve continued working while in pain due to a ovarian cyst and trying to accommodate all of my clients from Texas Twins Events, The Pawning Planners, Texas Twins Treasures and Texas Prison Weddings to prepare for surgery next week. There are no sick days in the Dream Event business.

My sister and I work together on location as a TwinTeam. We are two Mrs Fix It’s when something goes wrong, someone forgets something or something is broken or lost. 

A few years ago, many elementary school children couldn’t afford mums. To solve the problem, Cindy and I spent weeks making mums to donate to numerous schools. Why? We had never been to a school dance or homecoming and certainly couldn’t afford something as extragant as a mum. 

My sister and I learned how to do just about anything ourselves in order to save money on expenses and along the way, we learned that we are capable of overcoming many things as a TwinTeam.

Outside of work, we have little control over “fixing” Cindy’s daughter, Stephaney and her mental health self medicating choices. 

Although I’m a Counselor with Two Together In Texas and can assist with pre marital counseling and crisis intervention, I have no experience as a drug counselor and therefore, no way to help my niece kick her bad habits.

A few of my dedicated readers have reached out to share their own experiences after reading the blog about my niece or other blogs about my mother who spent most of her life as a heroin addict. 

Having a family member who struggles with mental illness and addiction is truly a curse of pain, sorrow and expense. The drama never ends. 

I’m guessing at some point every family forced to deal with the devastation an addict brings to their family finally cuts them off in order to save themselves. Who could blame them? I certainly don’t. We’ve nearly given up too to be honest with you.

Here and there over the years, my niece has had moments of sobriety where we allowed her to see her daughters, Maryssa and Makenna. Two years ago, Steph had been clean and sober for two years and had finally rebuilt her relationship with the twins.But, family moments with Stephaney are so few and far between that there are very few photos of my niece at family events and far fewer of her with the twins. 

Why? Stephaney is drawn back into the world of drug abuse regardless of what we do to explain the merits of living life sober and staying on her medication. Not even her own daughters can make my niece walk away from meth.Photos of my niece with either her mom, my twin sister, her sister, Leigh Ann or my son, Robbie or even her own twin daughters are so rare because Stephaney often chooses to spend time with her drug addicted derelict “friends” over her own  family.

For those of you who might’ve missed the blog regarding my nieces setback a few months ago, here’s the link– Mental Illness, Self Medication & My Niece, Stephaney. 

Who knows why Stephaney can’t stay on her meds and chooses to self medicate? I wish I could change the last 16 years and had a magic button to go back but, I don’t and fear that nothing would’ve changed her life. 

The unhappiness in her eyes and the mental disorders are obviously in many of her photos. A laugh or a smile are almost impossible to capture on film from her 5th birthday to now.I write about my life, my work and my journey in the events industry as a sort of diary to help me with our book, “The Pawning Planners- Paying It Forward” as well as honestly depicting the successes and setbacks we’ve been forced to overcome with my niece being one of the “main problems” that continues to pop up. 

Demanding clients are nothing in comparison to my Demanding Niece, Stephaney and her whirlwind of problems blend associated with drug abuse. 

Whatever we do, she always falls back into her bad habits and self destructive ways. My sister and I have done anything and everything to try and keep Stephaney stable but, over and over again, we’ve lost her.

It appears after talking to our step sister, Tammy a few weeks ago, that the curse of addiction strikes every third generation in our family. This is an alarming and frightening statistic. My own health issues are attributed to genetics as well. 

Being “blessed” with good genetics is a gift and for those without a history of cancer or addiction, ya all should “knock on wood” for being spared the pain, agony and expenses of a genetic history that surprises you with health problems, an addict relative or worse, both.

I really appreciate the well wishes regarding my health and the kindness of many strangers who took the time to let me know we aren’t alone trying to save an addict from themselves. 

We feel so lost and sad that trying to hold it together the past few months has been a literal balancing act of emotions and expenses. 

The relief we felt of Stephaney quickly finding a good job after 19 days in Wichita Falls would be short lived though. 

Truthfully, my niece chose the worst possible time to relapse during my health crisis but, addicts don’t care about the chaos they bring or the emotional stress. Why? They only care about themselves.  

It isn’t always easy to “look normal” when your family life is far from being normal but, Cindy and I have been “keeping it together” for the last 16 years of her daughters drug related antics. 

Stephaney has been arrested over 29 times in 16 years and how she’s kept out of prison thus far is a mystery. 

Perhaps had Stephaney been sent to prison, she may have been “scared straight” while giving our family a rest break of her constant interruptions of drug fueled rages and accusations that include poisoning her. That’s right, I said poison. Stephaney actually told me yesterday that I’ve been poisoning here with food I prepared right out of my own refrigerator. Meth destroys families.

My niece has never readily admitted to drug use and consistently accuses everyone else including my sister and I of poisoning her. She’s actually poisoning herself and destroying her mind all on her own as we helplessly watch her get arrested or act crazy in public with no way to stop a train wreck of embarrassment and sadness “chugging right through our neighborhoods.” 

Stephaney always finds time to start trouble in my front yard or Cindy’s. Screaming what awful mothers we are and telling us how heartless we are for not moving her home are usually her favorite topics. 

No one wants an unpredictable drug addict in their home. Terrorizing you and stealing from you of bringing their drug addict “friends” in to go through your things and steal from you while you’re at work isn’t the way my sister and I plan to spend the rest of our lives.

Stephaney is old enough to have her own home and her own life but often uses lake excuses like “I want to see my kids” to try and move in with my sister or I. The kids don’t want their mom to be like other moms but, we can’t force her to adapt and maintain sobriety or take her prescribed medication. Without it, she’s far too unpredictable to be around the twins. 

My niece is Bipolar One and Schizophrenic. Stephaney is also mother to my twin grandnieces, Maryssa and Makenna. 

For years, Stephaney has gone off her medication and after the birth of the twins, became addicted to meth, lean, marijuana and some cool aid cough medication of which I don’t know the street name of. 

Anything to get high is my niece, Stephaney’s drug of choice. She prefers meth but we have also found her in heroin alley years ago so, it’s anyone’s guess as to what else Stephaney is willing to take to escape life. 

Trying to “save” Stephaney from the latest dangerous situation she has put herself in stopped years ago for my sister and I after a policeman told us we were stupid for going to such a dangerous area. Stephaney had told us her car had been stolen. Since she lives in her car, we had tried to find it for her. The truth is that she gave it to a drug dealer to go buy drugs for her and he hadn’t returned. She called me at work screaming “someone stole my car. Get over here and find it!” 

If I had a nickel for every time my niece ruined mine or my sisters peaceful afternoon of evening with another idiotical “emergency” phone call, we would both be rich by now.

Drug addicts are horrible people that ruin the lives of their family members and could care less.The “escape” part of drug abuse confuses me. Stephaney has never had the responsibilities of paying rent or utilities or buying formula or diapers, shoes or clothes. Why? My twin sister and I have singlehandedly provided all of the twins needs their entire lives. Stephaney generally lives here or there or in her car.

The expense of trying to rehabilitate my niece and deal with her “chaos whirlwind” has taken a an emotional and economic toll on our entire family over the years. 

Putting Stephaney in treatment took money out of our pockets that could’ve been used to support the twins or ourselves but, for years and years, we’ve held out hope that she would “get her shit together!” 

Six weeks there, three months here and numerous “family meetings” where the addict blames their family for the choices they’ve made later, we’ve decided that “family meetings suck!” 

The people who are victimized by their drug addicted relative need to skip these stupid ass family meetings to “support” the addict while they are blamed for being victimized, robbed and occasionally beaten by their stupid drug addicted relatives.  

How much suffering do family members have to take? My opinions regarding “family support” meetings for drug addicts are pretty strong since the drug addict has an opportunity to “share” how their family is responsible for their addiction. How ridiculous! You aren’t even allowed to “share” the pain of what your drug addicted relative has put YOU through at these meetings while your drug addicted relative blames everyone except themselves. 

My sister and I are never going to a “family group meeting” again. We are also not bringing the twins to visit their mother, Stephaney in jail, a Psych Ward or treatment. It’s high time my niece starts accepting responsibility for her actions and stops dragging my family through glass trying to save her.

Stephaney chose this “drug life” not us and certainly not her children. We are sick and tired of trying to “be there” for Stephaney when she has never “been there” for us. Phooey on “family support meetings.” They didn’t help Stephaney stay off drugs and they certainly didn’t help us feel less victimized from her addition either.

It’s time for my niece to grow up and get clean all by herself because her family and friends are sick and tired of hoping she will get it together.The primary reason that my twin sister, Cindy Daniel has sole custody of Maryssa and Makenna is due to my niece’s drug abuse, over twenty arrests, rehab and recurrent drug abuse relapses. 

Cindy and I went to court to get custody when the twins were less than 3 months old. Thank God we did because by the time we had pooled our money (thousands of dollars for two children) to hire an attorney and file for custody, Stephaney had tried to take the twins with her on yet another drug fueled night after stealing Cindy’s car to drive to a crack house. The car accident would’ve killed the twins. Amazingly, other than a few cuts and bruises, Stephaney and her dealer, Abe escaped without serious injury.

Trying to pry the babies from Cindy’s hands, my niece had screamed “those are my ####en kids!” It was their first night home from NICU and Stephaney was back on meth. My sister held firm and told her daughter that she would never allow her to take the twins in her current state. 

Cindy has always put the twins first and with Stephaney trying to run off with the twins all of these years, the only way to protect them was legally taking steps to get custody of both the twins. We both spent thousands of dollars to do so. 

Police have been at my sisters house so many times over the years that another “scene” of Stephaney in the front yard demanding to see the twins is a regular occurrence. They don’t want to see her anymore. 

The twins will be 14 in September and are as tired of Stephaney and her demons as we are. The twins consider Cindy and I as their moms. The only mother figures that they have ever known. 

Years ago, Stephaney had tried to take both of the girls while they quietly slept with Cindy in her bed. The massive argument that ensued is hard for any of us to forget. 

Stephaney has viewed the twins as her possessions over and over and thought because “she was the mother,” she could just drag them along with her to crack houses and heroin alley but, Stephaney underestimated her mother and the courthouse that provided my sister and I with not only custody of the twins but also any legal decisions. That piece of paper prevented my niece from ever taking the twins. 

Rather than taking her own vehicle to go buy drugs that fateful night, after calling my sister names and threatening to call the police because Cindy wouldn’t let Stephaney take them, Stephaney left her car in the driveway and took Cindy’s keys instead totaling her car. 

Stephaney rolled Cindy’s car four times before it landed in a deep ravine on top of a few trees. The back half of the car where the twins would’ve been sitting was demolished from the impact of the accident.

Waking my sister after midnight, my niece demanded that Cindy take her to the hospital, Stephaney was so out of it that she forgot the car she had wrecked was my sisters only vehicle.

It took Cindy months to save up enough money to get another vehicle. Why? She had changed her auto policy to liability only in order to save her money to buy everything necessary for the twins including two car seats, two baby beds, two of everything for her grand twins. 

The expense of Cindy having to leave her job in order to raise the twins immediately cost my sister $32k a year plus the added expense of diapers, formula, medications and more for the twins. 

Over the years, I’ve helped my sister with thousands of dollars to help care for the twins. Luckily, I’ve always worked and had the money to help Cindy because she had nowhere else to go for financial help. 

When Stephaney was working, she spent all of her earnings on court fines, warrants and other bills that she ran up going on and off drugs. Helping Cindy with the expenses of raising her twin daughters has never occurred to my niece. While she screams that they are “her kids” at us regularly, she has never played the role of a mother much less a caretaker.

My husband and I have sacrificed to save Cindy and the twins because on only her husbands salary and no child support from Stephaney or the father of the twins, the expense of caring for them would have been impossible for my sister to handle alone. 

Shortly after the twins births, both of our husbands were unemployed which forced Cindy and I to sell all of our jewelry and furniture to provide for the twins and pay the electricity. Yes. Circling the wagons with two new babies and two unemployed husbands requires great sacrifices. We had no furniture to sit on but, the twins had everything they needed. 

My sister and I have always pooled our incomes to provide for Maryssa and Makenna because we had to. I worked while Cindy took care of the twins and used my income to help my sister. Without each other, we would never have made it this far. The twins would have never been to Disneyland, Twins Days in Ohio, Six Flags or Hurricane Harbor without their “two MeMe’s” because we wouldn’t have been able to afford such luxuries if there weren’t two of us. 

Stephaney was 15 when she became pregnant with twins. My twin sister and I were in already in our forties.We had nearly raised our three adult children and were looking forward to sailing into retirement but, the twins changed all of that. Maryssa and Makenna became our priority. Their needs came first.

We saved the twins from living the same life we had experienced as children of a heroin addict. Cindy and I gave the twins a stable and predictable life. 

Other than their mother getting on drugs again and going to jail, the twins had no surprises from life with their aunt Leigh Ann, two MeMe’s and our husbands. 

Our mother finally got off heroin after a car accident left her with permanent brain damage. Most of the time, she has no idea who we are. That’s okay. Cindy and I are nearly 54 years old. We haven’t needed a mom in our lives for years and as children, our stepsister, Tammy was the mother figure not our “out of it again” mother.

We no longer look back at what we missed by not having a mother. Our mother often forgot to feed us of that we even existed. It wasn’t unusual to leave us behind here or there or locked in a car for hours. 

Our mother should have never had children. My sister and I became the mothers we had never had. 

Taking everything we had learned from our crazy mother, we chucked our own childhoods out the window and forged the childhoods we didn’t have into being the mothers we had never known.
My niece, Stephaney will tell you that we “stole” her children but, my sister and I saved them. We also raised them without benefit of child support from either of their parents and gave them a stable life surrounded by my twin and I along with our husbands filled with love and support.

For nearly four years, Stephaney was on her medication and re establishing her relationship with her daughters, her mother, myself and her sister, Leigh Ann. 

Eight months ago, once again, Stephaney changed. Her behavior became so erratic that we refused to let her see the twins in order to protect them. 

Warily, my family realized that Stephaney “was back on the sauce.” In and out of jail, Stephaney went downhill fast and burned through three jobs. 

Between my doctor appointments and client meetings, weddings, baby showers, baptisms, funeral ceremonies, barbecues, prison weddings and birthday parties, “trying to look normal” has become more and more difficult for not only me but, also my twin sister with constant interruptions to our days regarding “Stephaney acting crazy again” in Weatherford, Fort Worth or somewhere else.

I have no idea how either of us would’ve survived our lives without each other. My sister is my best friend, my confidant, my rock. Cindy laughs to keep from crying and who could blame her? 

Life has never been easy for my sister. Raising two generations of daughters and their three children without child support the last 34 years wasn’t an “easy path.” We rely heavily on one another.A few months ago, I wrote a blog regarding a terribly sad Event Service regarding a previous military client that I had married in July 2016 that involved a premature birth of her baby suffering from Trisomy. 

Knowing that Deanna wanted a baptism as soon as the baby was born since Delilah wasn’t expected to live long, I waited for the phone call. 

Daily I worried that another “Stephaney emergency” would interfere with a phone call from Deanna that Delilah was on the way. I discussed it at length with Cindy as I couldn’t schedule the Baptism and would have to play it by ear.

Deanna had also been asked to Officiate the Memorial for the baby which caused me great sadness. Planning for a birth, baptism and burial, my heart literally broke for Deanna and Burt. Although I prayed and prayed that a miracle would occur for little Delilah but, Heaven needed an Angel. 

On the day the call came from Deanna, Cindy and I were with her granddaughter, Makenna over an hour away waiting on STAR Testing, a mandatory test for students in Texas. 

Makenna and Maryssa are both home schooled and Makenna had been scheduled to take the test separately. The twins are both upset their mother “slipped back into drug abuse.” They are both angry and dissatisfied and they are both in Counseling to help them cope. Makenna and Maryssa were both more than a little nervous about this yearly test and although Makenna is an excellent student, she was nearly crying over the stress of the four hour test. 

Knowing that her mother was “off the deep end again” certainly didn’t help Makenna to focus on the test. While Cindy and I were waiting on Makenna, my niece Leigh Ann called us from Cindy’s home nearly thirty five minutes away to advise us that Stephaney was at their home “trying to get in and screaming Bible verses while climbing the fence to get on top of the roof.” Horrified, I told Leigh Ann that we couldn’t leave as Makenna was still testing and to call the police. Cindy and I were in my SUV and certainly could not leave Makenna.

Cindy’s daughter, Leigh Ann and granddaughter, Madyson live with Cindy, her husband, Steve and the twins, Maryssa and Makenna. My twin sister has a “full house.”

By the time finished the test, Cindy and I we’re literal nervous wrecks! Knowing Stephaney was at her home while Leigh Ann and Maddy hid inside, we knew we would arrive with Makenna witnessing another tirade in Cindy’s front yard. We were right.

It was 2PM with the Weatherford Police refusing to arrest Stephaney and we had to be at Harris Hospital by 4PM for Deanna. 

Stephaney had her car loaded with bags as she was homeless again and unemployed. As Makenna hustled past her mother to get into the house crying, I did whatever I could to encourage my niece and the police to leave. Hell, I wanted to leave myself! 

I was on a timeline to get to Deanna and Burt and following the Baptism, a scheduled meeting in Dallas with IHeart Radio. How we could act professional after all this drama, I had no idea. I’ve never missed a commitment and was too old to start now. 

Telling Leigh Ann to get Makenna her anxiety medication from her counselor, I was relieved that Stephaney finally left Cindy’s house but, my relief was short lived as seven blocks away headed to I-20 and Fort Worth, my niece was accosting construction workers and accusing them of planting bombs. Stephaney was finally arrested again and her car towed right in front of Cindy and I. We cried all the way to Fort Worth.

I’m sure my dad shed as many tears over trying to get out mom to straighten up but, like us, he couldn’t. The failure of trying to save someone unwilling to save themselves is a heavy burden.

Cindy and I arrived at Harris and tried to appear as if none of the drama that had taken up most of our day had happened. 

We also arrived in Dallas a few hours after arriving at Harris Hospital acting normal and composed but, it would be another emotionally debilitating day for the Texas Twins. 

Thankfully, Stephaney was taken back to the Psych Ward in JPS which would give us at least ten days of drama free normality.

Deanna sent me a video today of Delilah’s birth and Baptism. It was and always will be heartbreaking that Delilah is no longer with us. From the Star Test to dealing with Stephaney at Cindy’s house to arriving at Harris Hospital before heading to Dallas, that day and baby Delilah will forever be something that I will never forget. Burt and Deanna are still in our prayers– Baby Delilah Villarreal.

I was profoundly sad by the time Cindy and I arrived home from a full day and refused a phone call from my niece at JPS. I simply couldn’t visit her after another arrest and more craziness. Visiting my niece is the Psych Ward is stressful for me. Not knowing what she will say or do or if she will talk to her invisible friend would have been just too much to consider.

I’d love to tell you that these types of crazy phone calls from family members and friends about my niece, Stephaney “acting crazy” again are unusual but, when she’s off her medication, my niece is full blown crazy. So unpredictable in fact that in the last 8 months, she’s been arrested 6 times. In the last 16 years, her arrest record has over 28 arrests on my last review. 

Three of those arrests were Mental Health Warrants that landed her in the Psych Ward. When my niece is in treatment, jail or a mental institution, we finally have peace around here. No phone calls or text messages about her acting crazy or posting wild things on FB from others. Aside from her calls from a Psych Ward or Jail, life finally goes back to normal for us.

No neighbors staring while she stands in our driveways screaming the world is coming to an end or that she is Jesus Christ. No crying over the never ending helpless feeling of being unable to change Stephaney or force her to straighten up. 

We’ve pleaded, her kids have pleaded, we’ve begged her to straighten up or lose her family and, we’ve failed.

Cindy’s daughter, Leigh Ann often accompanies us to bookings and handles photography. Leigh Ann no longer speaks to her sister, Stephaney. Who could blame Leigh Ann or my son for wanting to avoid Stephaney? Her crazy antics and screaming scare everyone including us. 

Years and years of watching Stephaney yell at her mother or I have turned Leigh Ann against her sister. Even Cindy and I have become tired and angry at the Hell my niece has put us through.

Leigh Ann is sick and tired of watching Stephaney straighten up only to slip back into drug abuse. Leigh Ann had also had numerous items stolen from her by her sisters “friends.” 

Like Cindy and I, Leigh Ann has been lied to and called names by her sister. Mending all of these years of Stephaney’s behavior is an impossible task even for me. I’ve remained hopeful and trusted my niece to finally be a responsible adult and, I’ve been consistently disappointed. 

Stephaney will either die from drug abuse or eventually, wind up in Prison. We won’t visit her there and listen to the endless apologies anymore. We won’t put ourselves through her crying apologies. Sorry won’t cut it. 

A little over a month ago, the counselor at Wichita Falls State Hospital called Cindy first asking if he could release Stephaney to Cindy. For obvious reasons including the fact that all three of Cindy’s granddaughters live with her, Cindy declined. 

Next, the counselor called me and told me that my niece promised that I would agree to sign the papers releasing her into my custody. Not surprisingly, I declined too. We cannot have my niece in our homes. 

Our homes are the only place in the world where we have any degree of predictably. Stephaney and her “friends” have stolen our cars, our credit cards, our jewelry, blank checks and more over the years. 

Stephaney doesn’t realize that taking things that don’t belong to you is stealing. Our husbands want nothing to do with my niece when she is “off the rails.” In fact, both of our husbands are concerned for our safety around Stephaney when she’s “acting crazy again.” 

The truth is that we aren’t comfortable around Stephaney on drugs either but,  in order to keep her from starving, running out of gas and other issues, my sister and I have both given my niece money, bought her clothes to try and find work and I’ve fed her at my home and allowed her to bathe at my home when my husband is at work. 

Two weeks ago, my niece was finally doing well after being released from Wichita Falls. She had found a really good paying job at a high end restaurant and was finally paying her numerous fines and for the briefest of moments, my sister and I believed that at 31 years old, she was finally on the right track again. FINALLY.

We were so proud that Stephaney was working and healthy, staying on her medication and spending time with her family again that if you had told me she would get back on meth again, I wouldn’t have believed it in a million years. She loved her new job and got along with other employees and had a chance at a fresh start again. 

After eight months of jail and Psych wards, she was finally holding it together. Cindy and I couldn’t have been happier about Stephaney and finally not having more problems, surprises or disappointment. But, we were about to be sucker punched again. Stephaney is self destructive.

After two weeks at her new job, things quickly changed. My niece came over to get ready for work and pick up the uniforms I had washed and was acting angry again. 

Sitting in my bathtub, Stephaney was acting volatile while screaming at me and covered in bruises. I was immediately scared she was using again. Sick and numb, I grabbed my phone. 

Nothing was worse or harder on me than calling Cindy who was so proud to finally have a normal life and tell her my greatest fear of Stephaney relapsing.

I snuck outside and called my sister to “alert” her that I believed Stephaney was using again. The bruises concerned me but, Cindy reminded me that bruising is often a result of meth. 

Like me, Cindy was crying. What did we ever do other than helping others and spending our lives being kind and compassionate to deserve a drug addict? Why? No one deserves this shit. 

Cindy has bought bulk drug tests for years because her daughter is a drug addict and told me I would need to force a drug test on her to get to the bottom of it. Was she off her medication or on meth? We needed to know. 

I was really worried that Stephaney might become violent towards me in my home and quite frankly, was too afraid to confront my niece as I’m in quite a bit of pain from my health issues and possibly unable to defend myself. It’s not unusual for meth addicts to kill their own relatives. You know, the people trying to help them. Their parents, their spouses, their children all become victims of violence. Meth addicts are violent and confrontational. 

Last Wednesday, Cindy came to my home and together we surprised Stephaney with a drug test. The arguing and insults began. The excuses of not having to go to the bathroom in order to take the test. We’ve heard it all before. 

A half hour later, down my long hallway, Stephaney yelled “I hope you two are happy. I’m not doing anything and I’m sick and tired of you both accusing me of using drugs. You’re idiots you know. I haven’t done anything!” 

What Stephaney had actually been doing was “doctoring” the drug test while Cindy and I miserably discussed what we could do as we both knew Stephaney would get herself fired as she had done her entire adult life by acting crazy and paranoid. 

Stephaney would be homeless again. Driving around yelling at other drivers, crashing at crack houses. We wouldn’t go try to save her and straighten her up again. We are too old to risk our own lives trying to save hers. We have learned to step away.

Any parent that has had to force their child (adult or otherwise) to take a drug test knows how combative the addict will be about it. We’ve all seen the signs, the red flags of abuse and by the time we get the nerve to demand a drug test, we are horrified with the knowledge that behavior doesn’t change. 

Drug addicts are easy to spot and always denying they are drug addicts. They lie. The cheat. They steal. They ruin your life with their despicable habits. Getting high is more important to them than their family, their job or their health. Drug addicts are some of the meanest self destructive people I’ve ever met. 

My niece, trying to be sneaky, had apparently used my bath oil and other items in my medicine cabinet to spoil the drug test before screaming “yes I’m back on meth and finally feel normal. I’m sick and tired of trying to be who you want me to be. The only time I feel like myself is when I’m using!” For the first time in her life, Stephaney admitted that she was back on meth. 

Like other addicts, Stephaney believes that no one can tell she’s on drugs but, everyone can tell. Even her own children know her crazy talk and refuse her calls. 

For 16 years, Cindy has paid for Stephaney’s phone in order to keep up with her but, we no longer try to call her. It’s just too painful.

Devastated, my sister and I didn’t know what to do and also knew that the good job Stephaney had wouldn’t last long. We had promised the kids that Stephaney was clean this time. She was going to finally get her life together and as much as we wanted to believe it, my sister and I were wrong again. 

All of these years of Stephaney and her demons have sucked the joy out of our family. The twins knew their mom would let them down as usual but, Cindy and I thought the new job, getting her car back and getting clean were finally going to keep her that way. Stephaney threw it all away.

Walking my dog, Foxy this morning, Stephaney appeared to have been waiting for me since she knows my schedule. This walk was similar to a mystery novel in that I had no idea what she would say or do next. 

In my upscale neighborhood, her clothing options certainly didn’t “fit in.” Her hair was a mess and she was wearing a too tight bathing suit with two completely different sandals. 

I realized that the previous weeks of Stephaney spending her days off with me going to Prison Weddings or meeting clients or even going to my medical appointments wouldn’t continue. 

Stephaney’s behavior is so shocking right now that I’m afraid to have her in my car. I’m so uncomfortable around her that the last thing I want to do is spend MORE time with her now that she had no job to go to anymore. 

A great job probably the best job Stephaney has ever had and she ruined it. Her fines will pile up and we won’t pay them. Her car insurance will lapse and we won’t pay it. Our only hope is another arrest or commitment to clean her up but, Cindy and I will never be able to trust her again.

The pleasant days that Stephaney was off with the last two Tuesdays and Thursdays with my niece of lunch dates and errands have flown out the window for me as I know all too well that having my niece with me in her current state of mind would be dangerous for me due to her extreme anger and unpredictable behavior. 

I’m sad about this but, I’m also a realist. I cannot have my niece around my clients or medical team. I can’t allow her to destroy my life the way she has destroyed her own. I’m not safe alone in my home or car with her. She throws things including her fists if I say or do anything to upset her. Sadly, I’m terrified of her when she’s using drugs. Everyone is. 

On last Friday morning, my niece came over to bathe and get her clean clothes. Her wild hair and unusual clothing were as alarming as her temperament. 

I was home alone with Foxy and preparing for a client meeting while checking my watch. She was acting wild coming into my office while I worked on a contract yelling at me. I had made her a coffee and she threw it in my sink splashing coffee everywhere and breaking the cup claiming that Inwas trying to poison her again.

I knew my niece was supposed to work at 10AM and had to be at my meeting at 11:30AM which would give me plenty of time to get her in and out while getting myself ready. If only I could make her leave my home to give me time to put my house back in order, I might be able to put myself back into “professional mode” as opposed to beaten down and devastated aunt, I could put myself together again but, Stephaney kept marching down my hall screaming. Finding me hiding on the patio, sge accused me of videotaping her to send to my sister.

Stephaney told me that she hoped I died slowly with cancer the way I had let her die and kept her from the twins. She convinces herself that none of the reactions that are the result of her own actions are her fault. Everything she has done- she’s done to herself. 

I’m as OCD as Monk when it comes to my home and personal belongings so I was more than a little upset to find that my niece had used MY toothbrush and MY razor rather than the ones I had set out for her. 

Grabbing my bleach and alcohol bottles, I skipped brushing my teeth or taking a bath and sterilized the entire bathroom. Why? I have no idea where my niece has been or worse, who she has been with! Over the years, my niece has arnottex to exchanging sex for drugs when she has no money. This horrifying truth is the reason I’m diligent about sanitizers that include bleach. 

I’m horrified that by trying to help her this one last time, I’ve put myself into the position of having to struggle through visits trying to feed her, clean her clothes and tolerate her sbisuve behavior in my own home! No good deed goes unpunished! 

This morning, my niece came over in a bathing suit and unmatching sandals. More bruises and wild hair to match her wild eyes- I quickly checked to see if any of my neighbors saw her too? I had spent four hours yesterday bleaching my kitchen cabinets and bathrooms and trying to sterilize everything my niece had touched. 

Stephaney was completely out of it again and wanted to “walk with me” while I walked Foxy. I told her to put a dress over her bathing suit as walking around in my neighborhood half dressed with two different shoes was going to garner attention. 

Of course, Stephaney was upset about putting a dress over her insane clothing options but, I didn’t care. 

I’ve been embarrassed enough by my niece over the last 16 years that I refuse to allow her to continue to make me want to bury my head in the sand anymore. Trying to act normal when you’re surrounded by insanity will take every ounce of patience. At some point, you will tire of your patience and get lit instead. I have. Cindy has too.

I decided to walk the alley with Foxy and Stephaney in order to stay out of my neighbors front windows. I already knew she had been fired from the lucrative job she probably never deserved. How could she keep a job looking and acting like this? 

It was Saturday and no one in the hospitality industry gets weekends off. Knowing she most likely had no money, I gave her enough money for food and gas until Monday when I could get with my sister and figure out what to do. 

Throughout my twenty minute walk, my niece screamed into her phone using talk and text about the end of the world coming and why her family wanted her sober while trying to kill her with poison food and how we were going to get what we wanted, “the real Stephaney.” The real Stephaney is a thankless, selfish, manipulative mean version of the niece we raised with love. 

We lost the real Stephaney at 13 years old sneaking out of Cindy’s or my home and finding teenagers willing to exchange marijuana for sex. Calling us filthy names. Stealing from us. Bringing her “friends” into our homes to take whatever they wanted. It’s no wonder she was pregnant by 15 because she was promiscuous long before then. We couldn’t control her. She quit school and became the biggest disappointment we’ve ever endured.

I was thankful to only see one neighbor while walking as fast as I possibly could with Foxy to avoid meeting anyone else! 

My neighbors have seen my niece screaming in my driveway and/or spinning her tires while making a scene because I refused to do something she wanted. 

My neighbors know my niece has mental issues and drug abuse tendencies. My neighbors feel sorry for me and know I’m a good neighbor but, my niece is a burden. 

I’m uncertain as to what the future holds for my niece. Jail or Prison? More rehab? Death by OD or another drug deal gone bad? Another stint in a Psych Ward? Stephaney can’t get a job anywhere in her current condition.

The fact that Stephaney told me she had spent an hour or two at 7-11 at 4AM in her bathing suit, current condition and unmatched shoes early this morning was shocking. 

Why didn’t the clerk call the police and “gift” my family and I with a weekend worry free knowing that my niece was safely tucked away from the public in jail or a Psych Ward? Damnit! 

I came home wondering if it was too early for a stiff drink? I have no idea where she is now or what she may be doing? I’m lost about my niece. It’s as if she’s already dead to me and I’m mourning the loss of what could have been in her life if she had taken the right path. Perhaps she would be married by now and have a new family? 

With a heavy heart, I called my sister to tell her that Stephaney is “crazier than ever. Totally off the rails and driving her car in her current condition.” I was so sad to have to upset Cindy with the truth. We didn’t make any headway. We didn’t straighten her out. We failed again for the hundredth or two hundredth time to save my niece.

We are both sick about this and have decided not to tell Maryssa or Makenna what has happened since Maryssa saw her mother a little over two weeks ago at Hurricane Harbor prior to choosing to throw her job and her life away to do meth again. Stephaney was normal then. A good job and a good life ahead of her, she was finally the niece that wasn’t embarrassing the Hell out of me or her mom in public.

During the past two weeks while organizing “stacked events” at Prisons during the week and scheduled events on the weekend, I’ve been doing my best to let phone calls from Stephaney go to my voice mail. I’m overwhelmed. My sister is overwhelmed. 

We don’t know how to change things or fix them where Stephaney is concerned. Truthfully, we never have. All of the rehab stints and expenses later, we are right back where we were years ago. It’s a painful setback but the reality of having a drug addict for a relative.

It’s simply too hard to deal with another crazy phone call when I’m trying to be professional! I can’t. Just cannot talk to Stephaney in her current state of mind where she believes she’s “saving the world or the FBI is following her or the CIA has tapped her phone or some other wild ass scenario.” In order for me to appear “normal” I must put speaking to my niece on a back burner. 

Another call yesterday while covered in bleach from cleaning up after my niece at WorthamWorld was from Anna regarding a Denton County Jail Wedding that at least took my mind off Stephaney for a moment. 

When I’m working, I’m able to forget all of the crazy things my niece dumps on me. Anna wanted to let me know that her attorney said that there was no problem marrying her over the video visitation. Hmmm, her attorney? Well, her attorney is mistaken as a marriage over an electronic device is considered Marriage Fraud. Her attorney may know legal defenses but he knows nothing regarding marriage laws.

I refuse to involve myself in any situation that is inappropriate and especially, illegal. Anna has left numerous messages and emails regarding marrying a Denton County Inmate who is facing extradition and Prison. 

I wished her good luck and suggested that “her attorney” go online and become an Officiant to handle the wedding himself. The fact is that I have a very full schedule and after a lifetime of suffering fools, little patience with someone who thinks they know it all. I’m picky about clients and Demanding Diva’s are the last thing I need on my calendar. If I’ve explained why I refuse to take on a client, I’ve decided the risk wasn’t worth the reward and no amount of money is worth breaking laws set in place. I’m a Rule Follower at all times. 

Meanwhile, I have four weddings scheduled at TDCJ Beto Unit and numerous other bookings at Prisons over the next few months including one client that I attempted to “talk out of marrying.” 

The age difference of forty plus years between the groom who lives in another state an the bride who is incarcerated is a bit of a stretch. Over several phone calls, I’ve tried to suggest waiting on marriage but, my client is determined.

I’m back at TDCJ Polunsky Unit on Death Row in July which always makes me nervous but, I don’t choose my client, they choose me. 

My bookings run through next year and while Maryssa and Makenna have the summer off, my sister and I are working at being the carefree happy MeMe’s they’ve known their entire life. If only we could stop crying when we aren’t working and staying busy. Stephaney had torn our hearts out again. It’s devastating.

It’s not an easy “acting gig” when you have constant interruptions of Stephaney but, hiding what’s really going on is necessary for us to give the twins the stability of knowing they can count on their grandmas to be there for them. We always have been. Being there for our clients means putting the heartbreak and drama of Stephaney’s World behind when we are with the twins or on location. We have to in order to function “normally.” 

Cutting a relative loose when they choose to do street drugs is a difficult choice. Watching them kill themselves is equally difficult. My niece has spent half of her life throwing it away for drugs. Such a tragedy.

At this point, we’ve given up saving Stephaney and decided to save ourselves from the heartache and disappointment her lifestyle has heaped on us. Her car being towed whenever she is arrested is an expense that we can no longer afford to pay for. The car is how she find drug dens in seedy areas of town. 

Expecting a relative to OD or be found dead over a drug deal gone wrong is a terrible way to face the future but, it’s the sad reality that my sister and I have had to accept…