Gone

They are gone, so many of them… Heroin Charley, gone, overdosed.   Sasquatch Man, gone….. passed away in his early 60’s……..surely the meth escalated and/or caused the dementia that took him down, I know it did.  I watched it.

Gone, my husband on his way out, only a matter of time.   His job gone, his home soon to be gone, his wife and son gone, his grandchild gone.  His driver’s license gone, car insurance, gone.  His household water, gone.  His electricity, gone tomorrow. 

His teeth, gone.  Even his false teeth, gone, jeri rigged, tweakered up and messed up.  Self respect, gone.  Health, almost gone.  Money, gone. 

Me, gone.  Staying gone.  Away, away, away, from it all.   Peace.

Advertisements

One Door Closes………….

Free, finally, I feel free.  Away from the addiction, at least for now.  After 37 years, the disease has progressed in all of it’s sadness, weirdness and devastation. 

No more, finally, I said.  I ran.  Saved up money, packed up my crap, my dogs, cats, adult child, elderly mother and high tailed it out of town. 

Walked away from my home of 20 years, let the mortgage company have it.  Let him have it.  Let the drug addicts have it.  I am done. 

Thank God, I am done.

I know I can’t save him.  I do not “hold the key”.  It is his choice.  Sink or Swim.

I must save myself.  I will not help him to kill himself.  I will not watch anymore.  I will not help him to sink.  I do hope he chooses to swim.

Thank God, I am done.   Thank God.  

Peace.

She’s Only 22……….

She’s only 22 and has 3 children under the age of 5. Her Mother is raising them and has given up hope for her, well, almost. She sent her back home to her family for help, for more rehab. The 5th time she has been in a rehabilitation unit. This time she walked away from it, didn’t even give it a chance, just detoxed and left. I guess it had been at least 6 years since I saw her. She was then a teenager with long dark hair, long legs and beautiful olive skin. She was troubled looking casting her eyes downward when spoken to. Her aversion to looking you in the eye was a by product of her years of abuse by her stepfather. It all made perfect sense later when we found out the ugly, awful truth. The quiet somewhat shy girl, who later could not look anyone in the eye even stopped laughing or smiling like she used to. There was something about her, a feeling you got that you could not quite put your finger on. A gut feeling that should have been paid closer attention to………..by all of us. When her stepfather started keeping her contact with anyone outside of their home to a minimum it really made you wonder. It was not long after that he was found out and subsequently sent to prison. Good riddance you say and rightly so, however………. The physical abuse stopped and she and her family moved away to another state. Years later, her stepfather is back out in the world doing God only knows what while her life is in shambles………..still. The promiscuity that followed seemed ironic to me, yet I believe that may be typical. I am no expert on abuse and the aftermath, but from what I have witnessed, self- abuse stays on inside the victim. The heavy drug addiction that followed should probably not have been a surprise, yet it was. Why you wonder? You get rid of the bastard, put him away and she is free to live her life. Free to recover and heal and move on to the life that she deserves. But, it does not happen that way. She has ulcers on her arms, and scars on her once lovely face. You can see the beauty that was there only a few short years ago. Her teeth look like they are on their way out also. It was quite shocking to see her. I wanted to hug her and say what happened to you and why? But instead I just hugged her and said, “Hey there, what are you doing? “ I did not have to ask how, I could see how she was doing. I knew what had happened without being in her life all of those years. I did not want to be close to her, did not really want to hug her until I saw her. Afraid of her addiction touching my life, as it was already touched by another family member’s addiction, there was no room for more. But, when I saw her I felt like crying, the sadness weighs heavily on me now, even as I write this. I realize that the abuser has served his time and is free, while the victim, my once sweet little niece has a destroyed life. Her children do not have a mother that is whole. All are affected. It is sad that punishing the abuser does not change things, but there can never be justice for something of this nature. It is just not possible. Maybe she would have become a junkie anyway, even with a normal childhood. I will never know the answer. I do believe that there is a point where she has a choice, to either nurture or punish herself, but it still angers me to my core. This chain of events that he has set off. This ruination of a life or her offspring’s lives. It angers me that he is free while she may never be………………………………….

East Coast Smile

Did he make it? I think he did, I rejoice in him when I see him. There is a look of caring about him. His eyes are brighter, clearer. The color of his skin is healthy. His teeth are new and white and even. They accent the big smile of triumph and happiness on his lips! There is a twinkle in his eye and a lilt of excitement in his voice. There is complete joy and gratefulness in his heart. There is a sense of freedom that surrounds him. It is fresh and catching, that feeling of freedom and newness that oozes from him.

It was the hardest thing he ever had to do, this gaining freedom. He had been captured. Yes, captured and wrapped up tight. So very tight. He and his loved ones had thought the knots would never be able to be loosed. They had given up. He had even given up all hope of a cure as he knew there was none. Or a reprieve from it and the road to hell it had led him and his down.

He began as a child. He folks’ were of a notorious biker group. They were the rough and ready type, not just recreational bikers. The bikers of the 60’s. He was raised around the partying and drugs and became addicted to heroin as a pre-teen. They allowed it. They allowed him access to it and did not care. They were in their own little world then and did not look to the future. Someone shot him up, I don’t know who as he never said. He learned to do it himself. He smoked it. It was the number 1 most important thing in his life. He fought at different times to come “clean” and stay that way. It never seemed to work, for long anyway.

When I first met him, my impression was that of a rough guy with an East Coast accent. Nice looking guy, except his teeth. I was introduced to him at one of my husband’s rehab meetings. They became friends. They connected. They were both clean and sober.

Over the next few years, my husband relapsed. But his friend did not. The East Coast guy went to every meeting and even started going to church and praising God in every way for his freedom and new life. His wife and family life were happier, he was happy too. His work was coming along well. He had more money. He got a beautiful new set of teeth. His smile was even prettier!

He had made it. It gave me hope that somehow my husband would again, “make it.” I was happy that he called him a few weeks back, thinking good, he is a good influence. My husband looked up to him. I was happier still when he phoned again, thinking maybe he is getting through to my husband. I was doubtful when the next time he called, my husband left the house. A week later, when he called our home 3 times in a row, I was skeptical.

An hour later the phone rang. As he spoke with my husband, I looked out the window. Rain was coming down hard and I saw East Coast leaning up against our front fence talking on his cell phone. Then my husband went outside in the pouring rain, wearing my pink rubber shoes on his feet to meet his friend underneath a tree that shaded them like an umbrella.

It really struck me! When my husband came back inside, the anger poured out from my heart and mouth. “What are you doing?” and “Don’t you be a part of his relapse!” and “Oh, my God!” The grief that followed surprised me.

East Coast with his beautiful new smile and freedom had relapsed. I thought he wouldn’t. Somehow his sobriety had become a symbol of hope to me. Now that was crushed. Did he make it? I thought that he had, but not this time. I sincerely hope and pray that he does again. I hope he makes it for good next time. I hope there is a next time.

Color Them Blonde

My brother and his wife became “tweakers”.

“Meth” or “Crank” came very close to ruining their lives and the life of our mother. There were radical changes in them. Physical, mental, emotional and even spiritual changes. Disturbing, dangerous and despairing. Life changing events followed. There was no one left without scars.

He had always been somewhat into the “drug scene” as were many people in the 70’s . Drugs were rampant in those years. First came weed. Later came “Benni’s” or “cross-tops”, short for little white pills, which were actually Benzedrine, or uppers. Truck drivers were known to use them for sleepless long haul periods. Diet pill prescriptions were sought after as they were similar in their effects. I remembered hearing about “pink hearts” and “black beauties” among other upper type pills in my high school years.

The 80’s gave way to “speed” and “crank” or meth. It was crushed and snorted through a straw. Felt instantly rather than waiting for a pill to dissolve it was an immediate rush. It was somewhat of a social drug then in our circles. It was fun for a while, then it changed. Somewhere, somehow the drug itself changed. Not that it was ever good, but it’s chemical make up somehow changed and became not only a drug that sped you up and made you feel good, but also a psychotic drug. An evil drug. I swear that the devil had his hand in that one, every bit as much as heroin if not more so.

By the 90’s the “meth face” became easy to spot. A long term user’s facial features seem to become shaped different, I believe it is the skeletal frame of their face that changes. I know it does eat away at the bones that hold your teeth in place, and rots out your teeth also. There is something similar in the shape of a meth user’s face, at least I think so. You can spot tweaking behavior as people walk down the street. Their exaggerated movements in simple things like brushing their hair, or talking on the phone. Even the way they wear their pants up too high, or hold a cigarette in between their lips can tell the tale if you know what you are looking for.

My brother and his wife were no exception. They were living with our widowed mother in her house at the time. They got into the meth heavier and all the changes I have spoken of took place.

Once they colored each other’s hair the same exact blonde. They looked identical, it was freaky. They wore their shorts too tight and too short. They painted each other’s toe nails. They became freakish looking . They were spotted at all hours of the night and wee hours of the morning traveling around the valley, almost skulkingly so, either looking for meth or selling it or both. They fought physically, get down dirty fighting. Police were called many times. They screamed horrible, ugly things at each other and at our mother, even at me.

The atmosphere at around the house was disturbing and violent. Furniture was dismantled and broken. Holes were in the walls. Bizarre writings left on paper. There were other disturbing things that I won’t mention. These gave me nightmares and trauma feelings just seeing it. That was when I knew I needed to get my mother out of there.

My husband and I packed up her bedroom and moved her out and into an apartment down the street from our house. She mortgaged her house and lived off some of the money, while we warned my brother and wife that they had to leave as we were selling the place. We knew it was the only way to get and keep them away from her. As long as she had that house, my brother would think it was his home and would not leave. We put it on the market and gave them $5,000 of her mortgage money to leave and began fixing up her home to sell. Basically, we bought them out.

They left and lived in an apartment for a few years. They would come to her house just before payday and do some schmoozing and it usually worked. She would help them from time to time with rent money. They were too dependent upon her. Eventually, she stopped this altogether as her money ran out. They talked her into moving into an apartment next door to them. She heard more fighting and carrying on than I want to talk about. Eventually, they talked her into moving in with them. So she was paying the rent then.

That did not last. Too much fighting and weirdness went on. Finally in order to get out, my mom moved into a foster home, then eventually in with me. She is still here with me. We have had our share of ups and downs, but not anything like that.

They were in trouble with the law. They went to drug court and got counseling, and cleaned up some. They still dabbled in the dope though, fooling themselves that they were clean. They lost their apartment and lived in their car and motels. Eventually, I think they just got sick and tired of it all and cleaned up. Plus, they grew older. They are doing so much better now. Two different people that you can actually have a conversation with and have some fun as family members. They were extremely lucky as it does not usually happen like that.

For the first time in years, I think I can safely safe that my brother and his wife are clean and sober. They have some gray mixed in with their hair color, but it is not blonde. The abuse has taken it’s toll on their health in some ways, namely their teeth. Their teeth are very bad, and there is no insurance to fix them. Their brushes with the law have an effect on their driver licenses also. Considering all that I saw and heard, I still believe they are one of the “lucky” ones. They are no longer “tweakers” and I thank God for that because I never thought I would see the day.

Gemmey’s Mom

Gemmey’s Mom can’t take it anymore. She is sure she is going to loose her mind. He screams and screams and beats on her. She just doesn’t know what is wrong with him. He does not talk, he just screams.

He is almost 2 years old and has not even said “Mama”. It breaks her heart. She is pretty sure that he is autistic. He is showing the signs. The social workers think so. She has some literature to read and has had meetings with a specialist.

She loads him into the stroller and walks down the street to the little market. You can hear Gemmey letting out a shrill scream every so often as she walks him. She goes into the market and directly to the beer case, where she picks out two 40 oz. of the cheapest beer. That will do for now. She smiles tensely and chats with the girl at the counter and looks nervously about as Gemmey lets out another scream. She has got to go! “Bye now! Have a good day!”

She goes back home and pours herself a beer and gets Gemmey to settle down for a morning nap. Finally. Thank God. Then she reads some material on autism given to her, dreading the facts. Her husband has already left her. She loved him so. But they fought. When they drank, they fought. He has been very little help with Gemmey. He wants to see him, but she is afraid. She is afraid he will steal Gemmey away from her. She would loose her mind without that baby. She has lost 2 before to miscarriages. She has another beer. Then another. She is buzzed pretty well by the time Gemmey wakes up.

She feeds him lunch and plays a little with him, then off they go. Into the stroller again. Into the little market again. To the beer case again. Two more 40 oz. cheap beers. Her demeanor is more relaxed and she is laughing a little as she converses with the girl at the counter this time. Gemmey yells loudly. She uses some sign language on Gemmey that she learned from the social worker. The sign stands for , “Need help” as she asks Gemmey, “Need help Gemmey ?”. It is time to go. Off for a walk down by the river. Gemmey’s mom says, “See ya later sweetie!” to the girl at the counter.

It is mid afternoon when the girl at the counter is getting off of work. She sees Gemmey and his mom going by heading for home. Gemmey is sleepy looking in his stroller and his mom is sleepier looking. His mom is walking in a weaving pattern down the sidewalk. She slurs her speech as she tells the girl to “Have a good day and see you tomorrow.” She and Gemmey are going home for a later afternoon nap. Actually almost evening nap.

She appears hours later looking rugged with Gemmey in tow. She is on her way to the little market again. She is with some guy she met down at the river and they are both heading to the beer case. More 40 oz. beers are bought. Twice more that evening, they come back for more before the market closes. By the last time, she is almost in a blacked out state, you can see from the way her eyes look. There is an almost vacant look about them. If you have ever seen anyone blacked out from too much alcohol, you will know what I mean. It is a look like none other. It is like the person is there physically, but that person is literally gone in a temporary alcohol haze. She stumbles and weaves her way down the street with her friend and her son.

Her days are filled with a similar routine, over and over. Eventually someone calls the cops when they cannot get her to answer her door in the middle of the day and she is discovered drunk with her baby awake inside the house. Children’s Services is called in and her son goes to foster care.

She goes to rehab twice. She makes it through one 30 day program. She gets Gemmey back. She tries not to drink. She really tries. It is just too hard for her. She is down on her luck, no money, no husband to help her, no car with an autistic child. It is just too much for her and she begins again to drink.

Her husband shows up and they talk about getting back together. They drink together and walk Gemmey around town. Later in the evenings, they argue and fight. It gets violent. She gets a knife and slices his tires. There is a lot of screaming and cussing and he goes after her. He leaves and takes Gemmey with him.

Eventually, she looses custody of Gemmey to her husband. He can only handle Gemmey for so long and puts him up for adoption. She looses Gemmey forever. She drinks more.

Gemmey’s mom is a very sweet, loving and funny young woman………when she is not drunk. Gemmey’s mom is hindered by her drinking problem. Gemmey’s mom looses 2 more children throughout the next few years. Gemmey’s mom now lives on the streets. Gemmey’s mom “Needs Help”.

Dear God, please grant her the serenity to accept the things that she cannot change, courage to change the things that she can, and the wisdom to know the difference. Amen.


Here We Go Again

Actually I should say here he goes again, not here we go again. We are not going anywhere together from the looks of things. Nothing has changed in the month that he was gone. The only reason he is back home is because he fell and injured himself. He had to go to the hospital and get stitched up, so being the idiot that I am, I went and picked him up there. Then the vicodin was a given and of course he took them all. He did not really have a place to stay, and I told him that he could stay for 2 or 3 days and then we would talk. We never really talked. I finally told him, you cannot stay here unless you are clean and in treatment.

He never went to treatment or even a meeting. He seems higher than a kite tonight, all wound up and excited. Why do I not tell him to go again? It is not because I am afraid of being alone. I liked it when he was not here. After about 3 weeks, I missed him mildly. What does that tell you?

I do need money as all of mine went to pay for the house payment. It is way, way too high for both of us to pay, never the less one of us. He gave me some when he was gone, but most of his was garnished for the treatment program that did not get paid. I cannot make it on my paycheck right now. Some changes would have to be made. I am too lazy to make those changes I guess.

I am pissed off to the max right now. I am so damned angry at him and his addiction. I am angry at his choice again. I am angry at my choice, again. I am mad as hell when I hear the happiness of the drug in his voice. For God’s sake, his grandbaby does not even know him as he does not go to see him. Of course he is not allowed when high. Time is passing, time is ticking away. His chances with the grandbaby are going to slip away. It makes me sick. It makes me sad. It makes me mad, so very damned mad.

I do not even want to hear his voice as he is blabbing on and on about the day’s events. I don’t feel like it is a real person talking. It is the drug. It is always the drug. It will always be the drug. Always.

How many times, have I hoped and prayed? How many times do I try to convince myself that it will change? It could change, he could choose differently. He could choose to seek help, to seek life as some say. Instead he chooses not. So what does that mean? It means that is he is not choosing life, then he is choosing a sure death. There, I have said it. In my opinion, he chooses death. What a waste!