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Letters From Family & Friends of Meth Addicts

  • Mar

    A Hard Lesson to Learn

    I want to tell you my entire story so that maybe you won't have to go through what I have. I married a clean and sober (7 years) meth addict in October of 2001. She had cleaned up after being incarcerated for 6 months on distribution charges, gone through a residential treatment program, gone to school and gotten a 2 year degree in accounting. She was also one of the most caring and wonderful women and mother that I had ever encountered. She had a few beers after work every day and I didn't realize that as part of being clean and sober, that she was supposed to be avoiding alcohol as well as any other drugs. (You will find out in this story that until very recently, I was very naive about drug use and addiction.) She started drinking more and more each night, (12 pack a night) and I told her that I was concerned about her drinking. She told me that she would cut down. Sure enough she did cut back to her 2 beers a night.

    Shortly After we were married, I had to travel to Boston Mass for 6 months to train system admins. While I was gone, I found out that my wife was pregnant. We both seemed happy about it and I looked forward to sharing this experience with her. I was allowed to come home about every month or so for a few weeks and on my first trip back I noticed that she had lost a lot of weight. My wife was 5'10 and just about 200 lbs. when we got married. It looked like she had lost at least 30 lbs. and I asked her about it. She told me that she was not drinking any beer since she found out she was pregnant. I bought that, since I loved my wife and didn't think even once that she would use drugs again. (At this time, I didn't realize that most drug addicts have at least one relapse in their lives.) Like I said I was very naive. When I came home from Boston, I went with her to the Doctor to see a sonogram of the baby, only to find out that we were having twins. My wife really seemed happy about it, and we would talk hours about how we would decorate a room, and what toys we would buy. To me it was the happiest time of my life.

    After they were born, my wife had stopped working and was taking care of the babies. I started to find out things about this time but still hadn't pieced them together. I found out that she had completely stopped talking to my mom or grandmother both of whom she used to be very close to and that she was hanging out with some "old friends" from her drug days. I asked her why and she said that she just wanted "some sort of social life" and that the babies were very hard to deal with during the day. I asked her why she had to hang out with those people, and she said it was because they "understood" her.

    I started feeling depressed and thinking my wife was cheating on me. She also started doing something else that worried me. She had taken up online gambling as was spending about 40 dollars a day. I also happened to find out that she was bouncing checks. This was around Christmas of last year and I money was a little tight, but this woman had raised her two children (15 and 11 now) on an income of 800 dollars a month and had never bounced a check before. (That i know of) The gambling started getting out of control, and I was almost to the point of somehow sabotaging the computer so she couldn't get on it while I was at work. Around this time, she won $10,000 dollars and I stopped worrying so much. Within a month the money was gone and I asked her why. She said she had spent it gambling, but I couldn't see how. At this point I started asking too many questions I guess, because she would find reasons to go out when I got home from work. At first it was only for a few hours but within a few months she was staying out all night (usually until 1 or 2 am). I was very frustrated with this but loved my wife and wanted us to work. I just wanted to "fix" everything and make it all better.

    I thought she was just facing post natal depression and asked to her to go see a doctor. She flatly refused. At this point I started escaping into the computer, I was becoming more and more depressed by the state of my marriage and I couldn't understand why it was happening. I made good money, I was a good father and husband as far as I can tell, and I was always there for her and the kids. About 4 months ago, my 14 year old daughter called the police without my wife and I knowing and reported that there were drugs in the house. They came to our door and I let them in. They asked me if they could check the house and I was like "sure, go ahead, we have nothing to hide" they looked through the house, didn't find anything, talked to the kids, and left.

    After the police had left, my 14 year old told me that she had called the police, and that she was afraid of her mom. I asked her why and she told me that while I was in Boston she had found a bag of drugs and a glass pipe. She said that she had also found a broken TV antenna that had been burned at the end. I confronted my wife and asked her if she was taking drugs. She looked me square in the eye and said that she wasn't. I know that this doesn't sound like we ever communicated, but we used to set aside time to talk every day and I had never known her to lie to me. I talked with my daughter and told her how important it was that she tells me the truth. She swore to me that it was true and that she was afraid that her mother was going to die. At this point I saw the weight loss and she had a habit of falling asleep in her chair at the computer and it all started to make sense.

    I really wanted to believe that this was just her depression and that she would want to get help soon, but that was just fooling myself. I told my daughter that if she found any more drugs to please tell me and that I would do what I could to protect her and the other kids and to get her mom help. We went to Wendover for her birthday in April. My mom was watching the kids and we wanted to go spend some time together and work on our marriage. We talked about us the whole way there and how we would make it better. The first sign that I knew something was wrong was that she seemed to carry her purse with her wherever she went, even into the bathroom. She would also think of reasons to get me out of the room such as getting a coke or coffee. Things that would take me a while to get. I came back to the room and she had sprayed some sort of perfume or deodorant into the air.

    I became very suspicious and when we got back home, I started searching the web for what my daughter had described to me and found that it would either be heroin or crystal meth. I started watching my wife closer and about one month later I came home from school at about 10pm and found her passed out in the living room with the babies next to her. I woke her up and she seemed almost drunk, her words were slurred and she seemed to be completely out of it even after about 10 minutes. I looked in the fridge and didn't see any beer, then went downstairs and looked in her purse. Sitting on top was a marble bag I had never seen before. I opened it and found about 10 little bags of a white powder with little crystals at the bottom. I was still in denial and I about blacked out when I saw it. I waited until the next day to confront my wife about it. I think at the time I was too angry and I was afraid of what I might do.

    She told me that it was not hers, but a friend of hers, and that she was just holding it. I know it seems very stupid to believe her, but i so wanted to believe that she wasn't using crystal meth that I said I believed her and told her I didn't want that "shit" in my house ever again. She said okay and that she would get rid of it. For a few days it seemed to have worked, she wasn't going out anymore and seemed to be acting more responsibly with the kids. Then slowly but surely she started going back to the same things. She was staying out all night and I never seemed to see her sleep. She said she was sleeping after I went to work and that she was having trouble sleeping at night. I started having fights with her about all the time she was spending away from home. It got so bad that one night I walked out and drove around for hours ending up asleep in my car in the driveway. A few days later my daughter came back to me and told me she had found some burned tin foil in the basement. I looked at it and it and it was indeed used for smoking something. We saw residue of some substance on it and I told my wife that we needed to talk. She said that she didn't know anything about it.

    The next day i told her that if we didn't talk about it, that I was taking the kids and leaving. She told me to "go ahead and take them" and she left. She called me several minutes later and started talking to me about my daughter's report card as if nothing had happened. I told her again that if she didn't talk to me about it that I was leaving. She got very mad and said "what, you want me to pack my shit and leave?" I said it really didn't matter what she did if she wasn't going to talk to me, and then she hung up. She called back a few minutes later and told me if I took "her kids" that she would kill me. I called my mom and told her what was going on and asked her to come over. She came over and waited with me until the older kids got home from school. When they did, I explained to them what was going on and that we were going to stay at my mom's house.

    We got over there and after a several hours both my kids were worried so they called their mom to see if she was okay. Both kids could tell that she wasn't acting normal and she seemed high. She didn't even acknowledge that anything was wrong and talking kind of spacy. The kids hung up and we didn't hear from her for three days. My mom and I went over to our house that Saturday to try and clean up since it was obvious that she hadn't been home. My wife called me while we were at my house and asked me what was going on. I told her that she needed to get help and she told me that she didn't have a problem and hung up on me.

    Over the next few days she kept calling me, and would admit a little bit each time. The first time I talked to her she said she was taking caffeine pills and that was all. The next time she said that it was just the pills and marijuana. She went to see my son at his school and told him that all she was doing was pot and pills and that she was going to take a drug test and prove us all wrong. She called me that night and I asked her when she was going to take the drug test. She acted like she didn't know what I was talking about and got mad. She finally said "okay, I'll take a fucking drug test if that will make you happy." A few days later I accompanied her to a local work drug test center and she took the test.

    She should have had the results within 24 hours but after two days she said they still didn't have the results. I called the drug test center and they said she had gotten the results already. I called back and after talking about it with her, she finally admitted that she had tested positive for 4 of the 5 tests on a scan five test. She had tested positive for marijuana, cocaine, crystal meth, alcohol, and opiates. I told her that if she didn't get help that I would file for custody of the kids and leave her. She agreed to go to an outpatient program. The next week she started and I thought "Okay, maybe things will be alright now." She started visiting the kids at my mom's house and seemed to be clean whenever she came over. After a few weeks of her being in "treatment" and she seemed to want to get better, I asked her if she wanted the older kids to come home and that we would start working on getting me and the babies home, she said okay and the older kids went back to the house.

    I know that seemed kind of dumb, but i wanted my daughter to keep an eye on her and there was no way I was going to just move home and let her be unsupervised with the babies. After a few weeks more, she still seemed to be doing okay, and my daughter said that her mom was doing a lot better and she seemed to be sleeping normal hours. I attended my wife's group with her and everything seemed to be getting better. At this point my wife and I were talking daily and I was visiting her at the house and she was coming over to visit the babies. She kept asking me when I was coming home and I couldn't tell her. I was looking for some sort of sign I think, because she had told me that the meth habit was easy to break, it was the pills (soma's and oxycotins) that she was having the withdrawals from.

    This didn't jive with what I had read about meth and started to keep an eye on her again. My daughter started to become combative against her mother and I asked her what was wrong. She didn't say anything and I didn't pry. I wanted to wait until the weekend and talk with her in private. I dropped by after school one night and my wife was sitting on the couch watching TV. She seemed to be kind of out of it. Earlier that day, I had found out that she had tested positive for bennies again and she said that she was clean; but that she was taking Saint John's Wort and that had made it positive. I didn't believe that for a second which is why I stopped by later to check on her. My daughter was in the dining room and seemed very angry. My wife told me that she had gone by her friend's house to drop off some cigarettes because she didn't have a car.

    My daughter yelled out from the kitchen that "was a lie, she went to buy drugs" I asked my daughter why she thought that and she said "hang on" she went out to my wife's car and brought in a bottle of pills. I opened it and found a bag of crystal meth along with about 30 pills. I handed it to my wife and asked her to explain. She said she had never seen it before. After a few minutes she said, she had seen it but that it belonged to someone else. This went on for about five minutes with her telling me it belonged to several different people. I told her to hand me back the drugs, she said no so I told the kids to pack and get in the car. My wife started crying and I ignored it. Once the kids were had their stuff, I kissed my wife on the cheek and told her that it was out of control and to please go to a residential treatment center. (My insurance pays for it completely)

    I didn't hear from her for a couple of days and she called me up to ask me what I was doing. I told her that if she didn't go into an inpatient program that I was going to break our lease, file for custody, and move out. She flatly refused and hung up. She called back the next day, asking to speak to the kids; I told her no and that if she came near me or the kids that I would call the police. She hired a lawyer a few days later and he called me up to try and get me to give her visitation.

    Apparently she had told him a different story than I was telling him and that I wouldn't let her have any visitation until she got into a res program, he told her that and again she refused. After that he hung up and called me back a few minutes later. He told me that he wouldn't be taking her case and that he even suggested that she get help. I thanked him for his time, hung up and called child protective services and reported the incidents. A few days later a CPS worker came out interviewed my older son and daughter and filed for me to have temporary custody pending a hearing.

    My wife didn't show up for the hearing and I was granted temporary custody. Court was set for two weeks later. Around this time, I found out that my wife had been trying to get credit cards in my name with her as the authorized user. This was happening while we were still trying to "work things out" before the last incident. I can only assume that she was planning on getting all kids back in the house and then taking off somewhere. I think she knew that she couldn't get them back any other way, and that I would find out about her continued drug abuse.

    I went to court two weeks later for the pre-trial. The CPS case worker and I were talking and discussing whether she would show up or not. At this time she apparently had walked up next to us. I didn't even recognize her. Her face had aged years and she was down to at least 110 or 120 lbs. We went into the court room and she seemed oblivious to what was going on. She had started crying and the judge asked her if she knew what was going on. She said she didn't know why this was happening.

    It was obvious that she had shown up to court stoned and even the judge could tell. She was spacey and disoriented and kept "volunteering information" She was even polite enough to remind him that he is the one who gave her the last treatment order 7 years ago. He ordered her to go to a residential treatment center before Oct 14 and that she would have visitation of the kids thru CPS if she could give clean drug tests. At this point it's been 7 days and we have not heard from her. She has moved or sold everything that was in the house and has moved somewhere else. If I have any advice to give to someone that is going through something similar it is that as much as you love someone.

    If they are taking drugs, they are not the person that you love. They will lie, cheat, steal or do anything to maintain their habit and the best thing you could possibly do is to refrain from any contact with person until they are willing to get help. At this point I am trying to move on and take care of my family the best I can. If my wife ever wants to be part of their lives, I am all for it but only if she is clean. I'm sorry to write the novel, but it has helped me organize my thoughts and I find that I have developed quite a lot of knowledge of drug abuse especially crystal meth over the last few weeks. I have also found that there is a lot of prejudice against fathers for custody but if you are a father that is in the same predicament as me, hang in there and do what's right. It will work out and justice does prevail. Now my kids seem to be fairly happy and growing and are in school (year round here) we are all ready to make the best of a bad situation. Please ignore the misspellings or randomness, I have been having problems sleeping and was suffering from that tonight.

    Meth Hubby

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