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Tara Ariano

S14.E10: Amanda; James

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A woman whose husband was murdered has turned to drugs to cope, but as a result her children are now in state custody; and a man who started using meth to give him energy for a demanding job, marriage and fatherhood has lost all of those things.

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To show how well my predictor works, I thought James would be the one to get kicked out of rehab. I was pleasantly surprised to find out that he is embracing recovery and moved into a halfway house. I have come to the conclusion that at least six months in a recovery house after rehab is needed in order to truly maintain sobriety. For a long time user, 30, 60 or 90 days is just pissing in the wind IMO. I know this firsthand: I stayed in rehab 90 days and relapsed the day I got home. I had been drinking and drugging for 35 years. I really hope Amanda can stay clean.

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To show how well my predictor works, I thought James would be the one to get kicked out of rehab. I was pleasantly surprised to find out that he is embracing recovery and moved into a halfway house. I have come to the conclusion that at least six months in a recovery house after rehab is needed in order to truly maintain sobriety. For a long time user, 30, 60 or 90 days is just pissing in the wind IMO. I know this firsthand: I stayed in rehab 90 days and relapsed the day I got home. I had been drinking and drugging for 35 years. I really hope Amanda can stay clean.

I thought the same thing about James. When he was on the plane, I turned to Mr. Grumpypanda and said I bet he gets kicked out after ten days. I was pleasantly surprised that he finished treatment.

I agree with you that most of these people need more than 90 days in treatment. I think that the people that don't return to their home state have the best chance at long term recovery.

On a personal note, I also went to rehab and relapsed two days after I returned home. Same place, same old shit.

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To show how well my predictor works, I thought James would be the one to get kicked out of rehab. I was pleasantly surprised to find out that he is embracing recovery and moved into a halfway house.

 

I was certain it was going to go that way, especially when they had the shot of Amanda in bed in detox saying some sensible things about being there and focusing on the James' head counselor saying how difficult he predicted it would be for him. In the end though, I got the feeling that Amanda's "I live for my KIIIIIIDDDDDDDDS!" go-to stuff was deconstructed pretty well. She reminded me a bit of Jenelle from Teen Mom 2 (though that's not a comparison I want to feel is apt for anyone), but her specific manipulations and the weird bit about how her current bf was there from basically the moment her husband went missing was suspect. It didn't feel true that the trouble started when he disappeared, it sounded like she already had something else going on and wasn't super interested in her husband. It did surprise me that she got tossed due to aggression, but it actually kind of fit how she came off to me which was waaay selfish for longer than she'd been an addict. If she's only on Methadone now and/or using it alone and as prescribed, I'll be pretty surprised.

 

It was nice to see James and his family members visiting and his apparent calm. He appeared to have weathered his use far better than duster-guy (watched both this weekend, so duster-guy is all too fresh in my mind). Nothing was mentioned about his kids though, which made me wonder and feel a bit sad, and it looked like he was headed away from them in terms of his plans. It was very moving though to see him interact with them during the intervention, where he went from totally shut down to his chin quivering to holding them both. 

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Just curious. She got kicked out for fighting. Now was that something physical, or just verbal sparring. Cause when you have a bunch of addicts, all strangers to each other, detoxing , stressed and thrown together. Gosh, who could expect there'd be any confict!?

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About Amanda: how do you go from zero to heroin in one day?   There has had to be drugs before that too... her husband was a tattoo artist and with the Hell's Angels.


What kids go to bed at 5:30?

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Wow, I feel dumb that I didn't realize until now that Amanda's kids essentially lost both their parents. I wonder what kind of support she had as a widow. Was her family really being weird to her? How would she expect to get through that without some moral support?

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I thought the same thing about James. When he was on the plane, I turned to Mr. Grumpypanda and said I bet he gets kicked out after ten days. I was pleasantly surprised that he finished treatment.

I agree with you that most of these people need more than 90 days in treatment. I think that the people that don't return to their home state have the best chance at long term recovery.

On a personal note, I also went to rehab and relapsed two days after I returned home. Same place, same old shit.

I'm sorry you relapsed, grumpypanda, but I don't feel quite so bad now.

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Wow, I feel dumb that I didn't realize until now that Amanda's kids essentially lost both their parents. I wonder what kind of support she had as a widow. Was her family really being weird to her? How would she expect to get through that without some moral support?

I did a little Internet research about Amanda's deceased husband and what I found makes me pretty certain that she WAS using heroin BEFORE his death. Amanda and her hubby kept company with some pretty shady characters evidently. Nobody had anything bad to say about her husband, which makes me wonder if his death had something to do with her drug use. I have no idea, just speculating.

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What a horrible way to die. He basically smothered to death unless the bat to the head killed him first.

About Amanda: how do you go from zero to heroin in one day?   There has had to be drugs before that too... her husband was a tattoo artist and with the Hell's Angels.

What kids go to bed at 5:30?

Kids in bed at 5:30? What did I miss? I don't remember anything about that, please fill me in.

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I thought kid were in bed at 9:30.

Amanda looks like a *very* down on her luck Sharpay Evans.

John's mom reminds me of my boyfriend's mom. She wants to be the most important person in his life, the person he can't live without. Now that my boyfriend has been clean and sober consistently for over a year she's been better. Hopefully John's mom will find a new purpose in his life.

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Yes, I just love it when the interventionists call out the families on their codependency. Maybe in her new spare time, his mom will find an old copy of Color Me Beautiful, and realize that neon yellow or broomstick grey are the wrong answers for her.

So if Amanda's scene was pretty shady, I wonder if her mom saw she would eventually take the kids herself. It's sad, but if Amanda's mom is going to take the kids, then the whole family has to deal with Amanda. It's a package deal. But that makes their codependency more tangled than ever. It's too bad they didn't seem to have a relative on Sam's side that could help out, not that we saw, anyway.

Edited by purplemonkey
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I kept hearing "5:30" and I think so did the close captioning...

I guess I wasn't listening that closely. It looked dark for 5:30. The kid calling for her killed me and I never cry at Intervention!

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It seems like this episode was filmed in  late fall/early winter and it does start to get that dark at 5:30ish. However, in addict language :"I was there at 5:30!" means "I meant to be there at 5:30, but I was actually there at 6, sort of, and my mom is evil."

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When Candy allows kids into the intervention, I am prepared for heartbreak. But I hope that giving these helpless victims a voice empowers them to feel like they tried to help their parents, and a teeny bit of closure if the intervention and rehab fail.

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Man, I totally agreed with the upthread poster who said she had John pegged as the one to drop out.  I thought he would go after nine days, and that Amanda would make it "for her kids."  I'm glad, and sorry, I was wrong.  John needs to stay away from his toxic family, and actually, so does Amanda.  But she went running back home to the bosom of her loving family (!!) and if anyone thinks she's off heroin and on methadone only, I have some lovely swampland in Florida to sell you.

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but her specific manipulations and the weird bit about how her current bf was there from basically the moment her husband went missing was suspect. It didn't feel true that the trouble started when he disappeared, it sounded like she already had something else going on and wasn't super interested in her husband.

TRUTH. First of all, I'm pretty sure if my husband went missing, the last thing I would do is find a boyfriend. Second, I thought it was super bizarre Amanda complained that no one in the family called her when Sam disappeared (or she didn't call them). I have to believe she totally knew what became of Sam -- she even said he called her to come get him but she was "busy." (Yet, according to what I've read about his case, he called his dad and told him exactly who to blame should he wind up dead.) And Amanda learned she was supposed to be killed, too? Either she knows more than she's allowed to say or she's just flat-out lying.

Whatever the case, she's a noxious narcissist. Not surprised she's a failure.

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