6:57 pm Saturday, May 16, 2020
The sun is going down, and it’s so relaxing and pretty outside, but there is a darkness that seems to cover the air, and fill the sky. It’s a darkness that is suffocating, it extinguishes all the light. I find myself, obsessing about a memory.
Right now, this moment, I feel so overwhelmed that I had to sit down.
I can’t feel my face, having been diagnosed with Bell’s Palsy, brought on by severe stress. I thought I was having a stroke, panicked, and went to the emergency room, literally thinking I was going to die. I can’t feel the whole left side of my face, I can’t breathe well out of my left nostril, my eye is twitching uncontrollably, and food tastes a little different on the left side of my mouth.
And this isn’t the only thing that I am physically experiencing.
I am stuttering.
I am bumping into things, dizzy, off-balance.
I am having nightmares, tormented in my sleep by both love and hate, half of my dreams of us laughing and loving, the other half, filled with grief and panic.
I am having flashbacks from all the triggers that happen. Every time I hear or see a piece of foil it makes me feel like I need to vomit. Seeing straws, and smelling certain smells, bring me back to when I had to watch it, and smell it.
Seeing the bathroom door was closed gave me instant anxiety because I knew what was happening on the other side of the door.
Whether he was shooting up using a needle and tourniquet he made out of something in the house, burning the back of every spoon in the kitchen and leaving the little orange needle caps everywhere, or smoking methamphetamine with a glass pipe, there was more than just drug use happening behind that closed door.
A once promising and handsome man was giving his heart and his care and his love, and his family, and his first born and only child away to what can only be described as an unseen, but very present evil. I felt it, sensed it, and dreamed about it.
He was literally two different people, in constant rotation of up and down. Meth to go up, heroin to come down. Prince Charming sometimes, and other times, a dark shadow.
Swallowed up by his demons, the moment the needle hit the vein, he didn’t care about anything else. The twisting of the glass pipe as it was burning, made all the bad feelings go away. I hated it because I had absolutely nothing to do with those bad feelings. He was numbing away the trauma and hurt and confusion in his life, but while he was doing that, he was also numbing out the good things that were happening in the here and now.
He had a healthy baby boy on the way, and a woman in his life he once adored and showed love to. I cooked, cleaned, worked until I was 9 months pregnant. I tried to do loving and romantic things with him. I did anything and everything he wanted sexually. In fact, I brought a sensuality and passion that he was admittedly addicted to, more than the drugs. There were times he wanted me to just lay with him for days, tangled up together and touching him, giving him the feeling of my energy. I like to be intimate many times a day, out wherever we are, in the car, on a walk, under the trees…. I keep the excitement and romance coming in unique fashion because that’s what I intrinsically behave like. The sexual chemistry between us kept us together. But, when he disappeared behind that trap door, nothing else mattered, and everything changed. He didn’t think about anything. Not his son, not the woman in his life, not his mother and his family, not his job, not his hygiene, not his looks, not time, not special occasions. Nothing mattered any more. One person went in, but another person came out.
As much as I would cry and beg for him to be with our son Jace; there he sat, denying he was doing any drugs at all. The edge of the bathtub and sink, both covered in cigarette burns. He placed the cigarettes at the edge so they wouldn’t go out, he became busy with his drugs so he let them just burn, leaving an ugly brown stain behind that you can’t scrub off.
I hated him in that bathroom.
I hated walking by the bathroom door, and feeling the doorknob, tightly locked.
I would ask him to hurry up.
I asked him to come out.
But there he went, again and again, locked in the bathroom for however long it took. When he finally did emerge, there was a stink in the air. It smelled like methamphetamine, or heroin, and cologne or bathroom spray that he used to try to mask the very distinct chemical smell from meth, or burnt sugar and chemical smell of heroin.
Either that, or there would be balls of rolled up foil, and little pieces of cut up straws in the trash can. Each and every time I found paraphernalia, he would immediately say “it’s old”. Water bottles all over the place from rinsing out needles, there was always something left behind to start a fight.
He spent so much time in the bathroom, that I didn’t even want to be in the same house with him. He would hear the baby crying, and the door remained locked while he yelled that he’d be out in a minute.
I would then start yelling and cussing at him out of extreme frustration, it didn’t matter.
He would just yell right back at me “shut up”, “stop harassing me”, “leave me alone”.
Drugs like heroin and methamphetamine, have a very disgusting and distinct stench. If you have smelled them only once, you would remember it the next time the smell was in the air. It’s gross.
Nonetheless, the drugs came first.
That means he did whatever it took to get them. He got them from ugly, dirty females I hated and men who I would tell off and make a whole-ass-scene every chance I got. He has a little circle of drug addict “friends” and they all do the same thing every day; disregard anything and everything, but getting the dope, and hastily consuming it like fiends. They leave and neglect their kids. They stay up all hours of the night, so his phone going off at two or three in the morning, was nothing new. Everything from needing a ride to being dope sick and looking for a fix, I and the baby came second to whatever was on the line.
The particular drugs he chose especially upset me, because since I was a young child, drugs, heroin in particular, had claimed the entire existence of three of my uncles. And it consumed each of them to death. It was extra traumatizing to me, because it brought back all the bad, and scary memories I had of my family, and it was an enormous weight on my mind, and my emotions.
I had to sit back, and watch his savings disappear, his mind slip further into rage, and delusion, and watch the love and care I had for him, slowly disintegrate right before my eyes. Love turned to hate; hate into rage.
There was nothing I could do that I hadn’t already done.
I already got up at 5am to go to his treatment with him over several months, on about 7 different attempts, and fails, at treatment. Then there were the failed attempts that didn’t include seeking outside help, it was just he and I. It was us, and the withdrawals, the sickness, the cold sweats, hot sweats, body aches. It was so hard, it made everything else in the world cease to exist.
I already helped him with treatment in at least four different cities.
I already took care of him when he got violently ill.
I already made phone calls trying to get him further treatment.
I already went with him to the emergency room when he got an abscess in his arm from shooting up, and had to have it cleaned and drained.
I already prayed.
I already cried.
I already begged.
I already bargained.
It seemed like the more I would try, the less anything worked, and it was utterly heartbreaking to watch someone I had planned to marry and spend my life with, killing himself, and killing us right along with him. I watched someone I once looked at with stars in my eyes, let everything go without a care in the world. He went from being someone I always wanted to be around, to someone I didn’t even admit to knowing.
I found myself not knocking on the bathroom door anymore, because there was absolutely nothing I could do about what was going on, on the other side. All I knew, was that I couldn’t just sit there and watch it anymore. I couldn’t deal with losing everything over a drug habit that was not mine, but someone else’s. The problem was bigger than me, bigger than him, and it became something that I had to get myself, and my innocent baby son, away from. I didn’t want either one of us around the poison, around the negativity, and ugliness.
I couldn’t compete with the drugs. Our son couldn’t compete with them either.
I couldn’t compete with his junkie friends who would stop at nothing to get what they all wanted. I had to fight a group of people, who literally thought I had no right to do so, and they truly believed themselves to be above our relationship and family, and they clearly were. He would defend his friends and stick up for them, at my expense, and our son’s.
The baby and I were always left behind, neglected, for a dope sack and people who looked like walking diseases.
I kept trying to fix it. I kept trying to make it go away. I kept trying to not let it win. But I was no match for the drugs that have a grip on him that he to this day, is unable to control. Everything is gone and lost. The drugs caused him to become someone he doesn’t even recognize, and someone he literally weeps at the thought of being.
Out of every place I ever caught him doing drugs; in the car, in the shed, with people who in their own family’s eyes are better off dead, the bathroom is the place that I literally still have nightmares about. A place I once escaped to for a bubble bath and a glass of orange juice with ice, a good book or movie, or with baby oil and baby-daddy for date night, was now a place I just wanted to burn down.
The only blessing in the nightmare, is that I am the one on the other side of the bathroom door. I am not the one trapped in that small space, and for that, I am grateful.
My son and I are no longer in a place where our health and well-being are being compromised on a daily basis.
We made it out, and he is still, behind the bathroom door.