In an effort to put a face on addiction, FortThomasMatters.com is documenting her journey. It's real and raw and relevant. She is our Northern Kentucky neighbor. She is our heroine. Her story is important.
Drinking was already affecting my life by senior year in high school. My mother received a promotion and we moved from Dayton, Ohio to West Chester, Ohio. I went from a school where I wore a Grateful Dead shirt and jeans to a school where pearl necklaces and cashmere sweaters were the norm. Again, I was out of place and felt completely awkward.
I had a job at a bar/grill restaurant owned by my brother in law and after work I did what most hospitality employees do; spend my hard earned money drinking and partying. Everyone I was friends with was older and drank exactly like I did. On my way home one night I got another DUI at seventeen. Somehow, someway I graduated on time with the class of 1993; this was something huge because neither my family nor I thought this was possible.
Soon after graduation I met “HIM.” He owned at trailer, had job, sold pot, drank and drugged exactly how I did. I fell in love immediately. I had no clue what I was in for, this was the beginning of a fifteen year affair with drugs, alcohol, bruises, babies and a new meaning to the word lost.
He had connections with everyone and anyone who sold every type of drug and believe me when I say we dabbled in all of them. My first love was cocaine and it became very visible. My dad and sister tried to save me but I heard nothing when they talked. My only thought was of him and getting high.
I began to use heroin and cocaine together but by this time I hadn’t used the needle….yet. I learned how to be a functional addict and drunk and cared for his one year old son. Soon after found out I was pregnant also. I didn’t know how to feel or what to think because I knew this wasn’t the man I wanted to have as a father to my child and I saw how his love for drugs became priority over his family.
I didn’t want to be a single mother and I was very scared.
My drinking and drugging stopped completely during the pregnancy and his did not. I have no idea what it feels like to have that pregnancy “glow.” He came drunk and angry most of the time and was physically and mentally abusive prior to my pregnancy, during and after.
I had my little soldier Morgan Erin on October 3, 1996 and moved to Celina, Ohio when she was six months old with my parents. I could not let her live in the environment that I found acceptable. This was the first time I put someone before my selfish needs. I learned what unconditional love and felt real love for the first time; I also thought a geographical change would fix me. If I got away from him and the drugs all would get better. Needless to say that was not the answer, and I had not changed inside.
I haven’t spoken much about my dad, he and I were just alike minus the drinking and drugging. We laughed and joked around all the time, he could always put a smile on my face and I did the same for him. My dad was a Type 1 Brittle Diabetic, and it began to take a toll on him mentally and physically. He had always been in and out of the hospital for as far back as I can remember. The memories I have of him being sick are still very vivid.
In 1999 he went into the hospital for what I thought was just another two day stay, but my dad never came home.
This is still so very hard for me to write.
On April 10th 1999 I said goodbye to the strongest man I had ever known, my best friend, my dad. That day I was introduced to Oxycotin and so began a downward spiral of unimaginable depths. Dad’s death became my excuse and reasoning to completely fall apart.