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.