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Meth Addict's Personal Stories

  • Feb
    16

    Meth Addiction vs Tough Love

    Meth Addiction vs Tough Love

    I am a 47-year-old, single grandmother and mother of 2 grown children, a son and a daughter. I am raising my 10-month-old granddaughter as my daughter has been incarcerated since January 21 of this year. I was raised by two wonderful parents who celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary last Thanksgiving. My Dad was always and still is my rock. He taught me to be strong, to be responsible, good work ethics. I always admired my dad and I am still today "daddy's little girl."

    My mother is sweet and kind, honest and pure as the driven snow. She is a true "southern bell." She never cussed and she never told a lie. Her biggest downfall was that she worried constantly. She had tremendous empathy for others. That can be a great trait and it can also kick you in the butt. She has always "tried to protect" her children from anything she deemed harmful or hurtful. To this day, she still "protects." They say you live what you learn and this is true. I became a "protector" as well. In the 17 years that I lived at home, I never once heard my parents raise their voices to one another. On the other hand, I never saw them hug, kiss, being playful, etc. The love we shared in our family and especially between my folks was understood but unspoken.

    I married at 17 years old. Shortly after that, my family transferred back to Florida and I remained in Alabama where I still reside. My marriage produced my two beautiful children but unfortunately it ended abruptly after 10 years when my kids and I came home one day to find my husband in my house, in my bed with another woman. My children were 4 and 7 at the time. I had just recently gone back to work after staying home for years raising my children. I was only working part-time making $120.00/week. I was devastated, scared, hurt, and angry but most of all determined.

    I divorced my husband and raised my children by myself. After our divorce, my ex went on to become a full-fledged alcoholic. I've always believed he was consumed with so much guilt over what he did that he couldn't live with himself. At times, I was overwhelmed with responsibility. I was in the right place at the right time and things worked out for me financially. I climbed the ladder of success but during the process; I developed an eating disorder... anorexia. Many of you may not realize that anorexia is a form of addiction. Just as your drugs get you high, the empty feeling in my stomach was my high. The issue it seems as though is "control." I felt like everything in my life was out of control and I had found something I could control... my eating. Anorexia is a very secretive disease. Nobody knew except me. It took years and 30 days in rehab for me to understand, but today I am in recovery just as many of you are.

    My son seemed to adjust to the divorce better than my daughter did. Over the years, he got involved in many sports and seemed to excel in everything he did. Although their Dad wasn't there emotionally, my son's coaches became his male role models. My daughter however, could just never find her niche. She tried sports but when she didn't excel right off the bat, she wanted to quit. I believe she felt like she had to live up to her brother's athletic ability. I tried to explain to her that she had to start somewhere and that if she remembered correctly, her brother sat on the bench many times in the beginning. We tried a number of extra-curricular activities but none seemed to fit.

    Over the years, my daughter seemed to be angry. That anger grew and grew. She was missing something in her life that I couldn't fulfill, her Dad. During the teenage years, I knew she had experimented with pot. She dated the same guy from the time she was 15 to 19 years old. He wasn't the person I would have picked out for her but he loved her and I always knew she was safe when she was with him. Other than her boyfriend, the one person that both my children loved more than anyone else in the entire world was their grandmother on their Dad's side. She was an angel.

    She was diagnosed with breast cancer when my daughter was 17. They removed the breast and thought they had gotten it all. About 6 months later, it showed up in the other breast. It was removed as well. Over the course of the next 2 years, the cancer spread to her lungs and then to her bones. What was once a vivacious, loving grandmother was now a grandmother who was slowly but surely dying a slow, long agonizing death. Both my children stood by and watched their precious grandmother go downhill. My son spent a lot of time at her bedside. My daughter on the other hand couldn't stand to see her grandmother like that. I believe, to this day, she regrets not spending more time with her during her last days.

    During this especially difficult time, she and her boyfriend broke up. She also lost her job. During a time span of approximately a month, her grandmother died, she lost her job and she was dealing with the breakup with her boyfriend. At about this same time, she met a new group of friends. She started staying gone from home. I eventually found out she was staying in a hotel that had been rented for an extended period of time by her new group of friends. Needless to say, if I only knew then what I know now.... My daughter had found a way to numb her pain. She started dating one of the guys in her new group of friends. They stayed from motel to motel never staying in one place very long. I found out through some of her friends that they were doing crack and the guy she was dating had stolen a HUGE amount of drugs from his dealer and they were on the run.

    Over the course of the next year, I didn't even know my daughter anymore. She kept in touch by phone but I rarely saw her and when I did, I was astounded at the way she looked. Even though her friends had told me, I was still in denial. One night I received a call from her boyfriend. He was in a rage. He told me I needed to come pick my daughter up. He then proceeded to tell me she was addicted to crack cocaine. The sounds that came out of my mouth sounded like something foreign. How could I not have known? About an hour later, I received a call from the jail. They had both been arrested for domestic violence and drug paraphernalia. My daughter's 1st arrest!

    I rushed immediately down to the jail to bail her out. (1st mistake) Her boyfriend had called someone to bail him out as well. Instead of my daughter coming home with me, she went home with her boyfriend. (1st major heartache) Over the course of the next 6 months or so, things declined with my daughter and her friend and he wound up in prison. She came home for a week or so then off she would go. She was basically living on the streets. She stayed at one person's house, then another. I spent so many nights crying and praying to God to watch after my baby.

    After about a year, she met Barry. I knew that chances were that Barry did drugs or they wouldn't be together but a part of me was so relieved that she finally had someone who seemed to care about her and she wasn't alone anymore. Sick thinking. Little did I know that Barry not only used crystal meth but manufactured it as well? They really didn't have a place to live. They stayed here, there and everywhere. I had begun dating a wonderful man who lives 2 hours away in Miss and I was spending just about every weekend at his house. My daughter and her boyfriend began staying at my house on weekends while I was gone.

    OH, if I ONLY KNEW AGAIN WHAT I KNOW NOW! They were using my house to cook. I would find little things that didn't add up occasionally and when I would ask about it there would always be an explanation. Things would come up missing at my house... little things like my electric screwdriver, my battery charger for my cell phone. my clothes. Whenever I would ask my daughter she would always admit to taking them and would promise to return them but of course she never did. Sometimes even during the week I would come home and I could tell they had been there. They were always gone when I got home... they made sure of that.

    At one point, I thought my daughter hated me. I remember asking my son what I had done that was SO bad that she would hate me. He looked me in the eyes and he said "Mom, she doesn't HATE you!" He said "She knows she's living wrong and she can't face you." He said "she knows you are going to question her, so she avoids you." I went back to my computer and sat there and thought for minute. I then went back in the den and said "how did you get so smart?" lol One day, I came home from work and low and behold, they had passed out in my daughter's bedroom. I am sure they meant to be gone before I got home. I tried to wake them to no avail. I thought "HOW COULD ANYONE SLEEP THIS HARD?"

    I walked in the den and sitting on my coffee table was a pipe that had been made out of a bic pen and a joint. Boy was I furious! This time, they DID wake up and in a hurry. I woke them up by screaming "HOW DARE YOU DO THIS IN MY HOME? BOTH OF YOU, GET OUT AND DON'T COME BACK!" About a week went by and I didn't hear from my daughter. I took the pipe to the police department and asked them what it was used for. (I know, big dummy here.) They checked it for residue and found none and told me it was a marijuana pipe. HA (they don't know as much as they think they do.)

    Daughter's boyfriend later told me it was used to smoke meth and they had left some in my den, which they thought I had found. I didn't. They both called and apologized and I told my daughter, I thought she had a problem with drugs and she needed help. Of course, she denied that this was a problem. She was embarrassed over what had happened, or maybe that they got caught. I told her she was not allowed to come to my house anymore unless I was at home. They didn't. Several months went by and we talked by phone only. Then, one night, the dreaded call at 2:00am It was Barry and he was in jail and he wasn't sure if they had arrested my daughter. When I asked him why he said "you know, for the same stuff you found at your house that day!" I'm thinking "what are you talking about?" but I played along with it until he finally told me he had been arrested for a makeshift lab and possession of crystal meth.

    Several minutes later, my daughter called and she was in jail also. She told me they weren't going to keep her... that she didn't even know what was going on. (BIG LIE) A part of me was relieved FINALLY Maybe this would be it. The next morning I called the jail and they told me my daughter had been processed. I went to the jail, NOT TO BAIL HER OUT... I had already made up my mind that this time, she would SIT. I wanted to talk to the investigating officer to find out exactly what happened. I was told when I got there that they hadn't decided if they were going to charge my daughter. They said Barry was taking the blame for everything. The officer told me he was meeting with the DA that afternoon and it could go either way. He said "either she will be charged or she will be let go." I sat at that jail ALL day waiting to see what would happen. I sat in my car for almost 6 hours until the verdict came back that she would be released.

    A part of me knew at that time that "this wasn't good." If I could go back and relive that incident, I would have insisted that they kept her. The mother in me wouldn't allow me to tell this investigating officer that my daughter was hopelessly addicted to drugs and was probably just as guilty as her b/f. I found out this wasn't Barry's 1st charge. He was out on bond from similar charges. They revoked his bond making it impossible for him to bond out. He, of course, wanted my daughter to come home with me. When we left the jail that night, she had me to drop her off "at a friend's house" to take care of Barry's vehicle (so, she said). (2nd major heartache) She did come home the following day but she never stayed for any length of time. Barry would call frantic that she wasn't there.

    After 2 weeks, Barry confided in me that my daughter was pregnant! OMG! When I confronted her, at first she denied it. Later, she admitted it was true. She had promised Barry she would stop using drugs. She did come home and I watched her struggle. She would eat and sleep for a week, then off she would go for a day or so. This pattern continued for the next several months. I had gotten her an appointment with a doctor and 2 days before the appointment; she did one of her disappearing acts. In the back of my mind, I KNEW she was still using but just didn't want to face it. Her excuse was that "she forgot." (Oh yes, how do you forget you are pregnant?) The next appointment I could get for her was not until she would be almost 5 1/2 months pregnant. The pattern continued of her coming home and really trying, then disappearing. She never stayed gone more than 1-2 days and she always called me and let me know where she was.

    One night I went to bed and woke up the next morning to a note by my computer telling me one of her friends had come by to pick her up and she would see me the following day. 7 days went by along with her new missed doctor's appointment and I hadn't heard a word from her. I was so scared. I just knew she was dead. Never had she gone that long without calling me and especially knowing she had this dr. appt., I just knew something BAD had happened. I cried and I prayed. I was driving down the road crying hysterically and I asked God, once again to please take care of my daughter and her baby.

    I had, several months earlier, found the KCI board and had been going there every day. Everyone I talked to told me I had to "turn it over to God." I thought I had. I would drop to my knees before I went to bed at night and beg God to do something. Little did I realize I wasn't letting go. I was still holding on to my daughter's feet. The day I was riding in my car, I knew in my heart that I had done EVERYTHING humanly possible to help my daughter and there was nothing left for me to do. At that time, I felt a "release" in the top of my head... kind of like someone was lifting the top of my head off my skull. I KNEW at that moment, that I had given my daughter and her baby to God. This time, for real.

    Exactly one week later, I got the call. She had been arrested with a friend of hers for attempt to manufacture a controlled substance in the 2nd degree. Almost 6 months pregnant and in jail! BUT FINALLY I KNEW HER BABY AND MY DAUGHTER WERE OK!! I wanted them to keep her. I was NOT going to get her out. She was there almost a week when a friend of hers posted her bond. This time, she came home. This time, she cleaned up. We went and had sonar done and she saw her baby for the 1st time. I think it was then that it became a reality to her that she had a life inside her. I continued to pray every day that her little baby would be ok. Seeing her baby gave her the strength to do what she should have done from the beginning. August 4, 2002. Little Madison was born. 8 lbs. 6 oz. 10 fingers and 10 toes and the most beautiful baby I'd ever seen. Everything appeared to be normal. My daughter was a WONDERFUL mother to her baby. She adored her. She stepped up to the plate and assumed complete responsibility for her child. It was wonderful to see her so happy!

    I'm not sure when during the next several months that she started becoming restless because it happened gradually. She began going to visit old friends. I refused to baby-sit for her during those visits. I told her she didn't need to be going anywhere that she couldn't take her baby. She began having mood swings again but she was home every night so I didn't really think she was using again. Then, one weekend I left to go visit my b/f. On my way home Sunday afternoon, one of her best friends called me on my cell phone and told me she had the baby and had been babysitting since the night before. She said my daughter was supposed to pick the baby up at 10 that morning and she hadn't shown up. The baby was almost out of formula and she didn't know what kind she used!

    I KNEW immediately what had happened. I told her I was almost home and I would be right there to pick the baby up. When my daughter called several hours later, I instantly knew she had been using by the way she was talking. I told her I knew she had relapsed and I wanted her to take a drug test. She was IRATE and insulted (HA) that I would even ask her to do that. I told her she would not live in my home and do drugs. Later on that night, she came by; packed up their' clothes and she left. Talk about a heart breaking! Watching her walk out that door with my granddaughter was the hardest thing I've ever done in my life. Over the next several months, I grieved... yes, literally grieved over the loss of my granddaughter in my life. I worried myself sick about whether or not she was ok. My daughter would call from time to time but she didn't stay in one place too long.

    I started getting calls from her friends that she was manufacturing again. Each time I confronted her; of course "they were all crazy and out to get her." On January 21, 2003, I got the call. She had been arrested along with 6 others in the place she was staying that night. There was a meth lab in full operation while my daughter and her 5-month-old baby slept on the couch. The task force busted in around 2 that morning and said the fumes were so thick in that mobile home that it caused respiratory problems that required medical attention for the task force. All involved were charged with manufacturing, possession of anhydrous ammonia and my daughter also was charged with child abuse. For some strange reason, the police released my granddaughter to a friend of hers.

    I went and picked her up. As I was on my way to get her, I received a call from Dept. of Human Resources informing me I needed to bring her to court for a hearing. When I asked "WHEN? They said, "NOW." I'm thinking, "Ok, this is just for a hearing." When I walked in the courtroom with the baby, the judge was leaving his office for lunch. I was approached by a social worker that told me they were going to take my granddaughter into DHR custody. I remember screaming "NO" I remember begging the judge to let me keep her. He was furious at my daughter. He told me in no uncertain terms that he wanted my granddaughter checked out by a medical doctor and before he released her into my custody he wanted an evaluation done on my home. As I walked out of the courtroom and left my precious granddaughter behind, I thought "WHY GOD!" This baby didn't do anything to deserve this. Luckily the drug test came back negative on Madison and I stayed on top of DHR until they got someone out to my house to do the evaluation. 2 days later, Madison was released to my custody.

    Since that time, the same judge automatically gave me FULL LEGAL CUSTODY of her. Madison is now 10 months old. Thank God she will not remember any of this. Strangely enough, as much as this child went through from the time she was in her mom's womb until after she was born, she has excelled in everything. She crawled at 4 months and walked at 8 months. Did I say how absolutely beautiful she is? My life has changed. I thought I was through raising kids. I thought it was time for me to enjoy what was to be the "rest of my life." When I feel myself starting to resent my daughter for the freedom I have lost, I look into my granddaughter's eyes or watch her smile at me with admiration and it makes it all worthwhile.

    For those of you who feel like using drugs is only hurting yourself? Read my story again. Look inside my heart. Look inside the hearts of others that have husbands, wives or children who have been addicted to drugs. Many have asked me if I still love my daughter. The answer to that is "not as much as yesterday and not nearly as much as tomorrow." Have I given up on her? Never my hopes and prayers are that someday she will get her life straightened out and give her daughter the life she deserves. Until that time, I am prepared to do anything I have to.

    I still have that wonderful man in my life who has stuck by me through thick and thin. The only thing that separates us is miles. When the time is right, we will make it work.

    To all my friends on the bulletin board, old and new, I owe you so much! You walked me through this from beginning to now. You gave me knowledge, wisdom, courage and strength. You never judged. You were always there to lend an ear or offer a helping hand. Thank you.

    Kathy (aka cmom)


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