If you have ever smelled the smoke of heroin, or methamphetamine, you know that the smell is just gross.

It’s distinct, and disgusting; a smell that you never forget.

Once in awhile I will momentarily smell something that merely resembles it, and it almost makes me gag. The smell triggers a memory, and it takes me immediately back to when I saw and smelled these drugs being bought, burned, and consumed by my son’s father.

Methamphetamine looks like shards of glass, hence the nickname Shards. It smells like burning chemicals and dilates your pupils, making them huge, suspicious, and scary. It makes you paranoid, jumpy, and anxious. It makes you angry, all you want to do is fight relentlessly without a care. It makes you mean, and the closest thing to demonic that I ever care to come into contact with. I can’t count how many times I said out loud when I knew he was doing it ‘oh my God, I haaaate that motherfucker’. I got so tired of the smell and the chaotic and dramatic scene which followed. It’s draining, like you can literally feel the life being slowly siphoned from you. And what made it all worse, was his complete ‘I don’t give a fuck attitude’. It makes it so much harder, and so much more painful, when the person who is doing it all to you, literally just-does-not-care.

Heroin is equally as gross. It also has a very distinct smell, almost like a burning sugar. It looks like a black, sticky ball; and has befitting nicknames like black, and tar. This drug makes you nod out, and makes you slow and incoherent. It makes you mean, combative, anxious, paranoid, and evil. It makes your pupils so small you can barely see them. It makes your mouth dry. If it’s being smoked, there’s bits of foil with long, thick black lines burned into it and cut up straws everywhere. If it’s being used intravenously, anything resembling a tourniquet will be used; a shoe string, charger cord, a small string of Christmas lights. It brings on a fight, and true to my nature, I don’t back down; so the fight would last sometimes for days.

I hated being subjected to these drugs and the effects of these drugs.

This isn’t your average reefer, a plant used as a legal and mild medicine for a variety of ailments, these are hard core drugs that destroy lives, souls, and families. These are drugs that take precedence over all other things, including the children. There’s always some junkie at the window, disrupting life and bringing their ugly into the place designed to be the most serene. I hated walking in the room and smelling this shit stinking up the air. I hated walking down the hallway and seeing the bathroom door closed, I swear I wanted to kick it in each and every time it was locked and loaded.

The door to the bedroom we once shared, I punched in and broke in several places.

The room he moved into because his room is so full, I also punched it in and broke it in several places.

The spare room I used for storage, Chris’ brother punched in so that I could get my things when I left.

Someone else’s drug problem can take over YOUR whole life. It’s like a strong tornado wind that just sucks everything up in its path then throws it out to make a pile of broken debris that you need sort through and try to fix, knowing that it will never be quite whole again.

I got tired of all the lies, all the sneaking around, all the over-sweet messages to junkie females, the hophead homies that don’t have anything to live for so they are as rotten as they come. The disregard for any and all things when you are not about any of that life, is enough to drive a sane person right off to crazy-town. I got so tired of the circus, and all the clowns. They circle around, like vultures waiting on their next hit. They don’t care about anything, they walk around like they’re something special. They are proud of how they intervene with their toxic presence.

It goes way beyond an addiction, and I just couldn’t stomach being part of such an ugly scene, when the dope scene isn’t my thing. I don’t like being around a bunch of tweakers, a bunch of people spun like the wheel of fortune, sweating and grinding their teeth and waiting for you to turn your back so they can steal your bag, or your electronics.

I’m also good off the heroin addicts. I’ve seen it my whole life, and I won’t be around people who can’t hold their heads up, steal anything from anyone at any time, and have absolutely no idea what is going on in the ‘real world’.

Being kept awake all night by someone who is doing a bunch of shit but really nothing at all, is infuriating, all I could think of was ‘plllllease, shuuuuuut uppppp’. Hearing the front and back doors open, cabinet doors slamming, lights being turned on and off, coming in and out all night long, disappearing in the night with whatever addicts are outside, on the loose; it’s a dark hell that spins your head crazy.

Addiction, is an illness.

It’s a disease that drives a wedge between lovers, and has already begun to put a distance between father and son.

It changes the world into a place of confusion and torment, not only for the addict, but for the people who suffer because of their behaviours. Junkies don’t feel, and they in fact laugh when someone is trying to get their life together. They become more of a nuisance the more you tell them to stay away. They will go through the pockets of a deceased person. They’ll call in the middle of the night asking for a favor like fixing a car, like it’s the middle of the afternoon. They will take their kids along on dope runs (shoutout to you Kelsey; you’re low-hanging fruit who takes your daughter along while you drop sacks and blow black in the bathroom with her on the other side of the door knocking for you, which I personally witnessed on the one occasion we met).

No sense, no compassion, no self-respect, no respect for others; no wonder why I am forced out of my character, desiring only to introduce their faces to the pavement. None of them have ever stepped up while I’m there and ready to rumble. They’re weak and frail, and don’t eat or sleep, and each stood there frozen and looking stupid as I was ready to smash, by myself.

They will all call me ‘crazy’ because I hold strong to what I believe in and what I know is right. I’m out of patience. Normally, I would be there to help, comfort, guide, and support; but in this situation, I just want to run far and fast away from the beast that this makes up this sickening nightmare.

I want him to get help.

Many times, I placed hands on him to pray over him, with my faith and my warm, empathic energy; both while he was awake, and while he was sleeping.

I placed one hand on my sleeping son, the other on his father; praying over them and asking Jesus to protect them. I prayed, and I cried, in the dark, in the rare times of calm, and peaceful quiet, trying to make sense of this purgatory.

It made me so hurt, and so sad, to sit there and think how different things would be, if this huge and dark entity weren’t a part of our lives.

I lay there, feeling so alone, so confused, so trapped.

I lay there thinking…. how did I ever have any fun, any silly, any romantic moments with this man who felt like such a stranger to me, someone I became very familiar with that I just didn’t seem to know, or want to know any more.

I’m scared ‘for’ him, and sometimes’ scared ‘of’ him. He, is the one and only thing, I have ever been afraid of. And I don’t mean a small fear. I mean the kind that catches in your chest and almost makes your legs give out beneath you, and causes you to tremble.

It’s really awful, when you’re awake at night, trying to fall asleep, just worrying, and thinking, ‘how am I ever gonna get out of this? How can I still give him his son, is it even safe to give him his son? How am I supposed to be the bridge…. how do I burn it’?….

I don’t tell this story because I want attention or followers or likes or whatever. I don’t write what I and my son have been through because I want to embarrass my son’s father, or to shame him.

I felt, and feel, compelled to write about this, as a way of healing for myself, maybe to hopefully reach someone in a similar situation, but mainly because it happens every day, in every country, around the world, and I can’t just sit idly by and accept that unfortunate fact without bringing awareness to it. Even as I sit here venting out things that feel like the pent-up steam in a pressure cooker, there is someone getting smacked on, beat on, yelled at, and abused. And there is someone doing those horrible things in front of their children.

Some abusers are on drugs or substance, and some, are not.

Some abusers are male, some abusers are female.

Some people are not abusers at all, but rather find themselves to be REACTIVE abusers; the ones who are constantly challenged and provoked and pushed; taking it and taking it, then finally, return the favor(s); that’s the category I fall into.

I always told my ex ‘yeah, you’re obviously gonna win because you’re a man three times my size, but let me tell you, you’re gonna know that you were in a fight with ME; because you won’t be leaving completely intact’. This he found out for himself to be true; as many a night, we chunked em’ from the night, to the early sunrise. After hours and hours, and hours of yelling, fighting, breaking things, and throwing hands, he had to wipe up his face and body for blood, and had bruises, unintended deep scratches from straight rage, some lumps, and a black eye just the same. Almost a two feet height difference doesn’t mean anything when you’re rolling around the bed or floor, in a brawling bubble, or fighting in the enclosed space of a moving car. Unreal as it sounds, these are the kinds of things that regularly happened; until I made it stop when I left.

As terrible and as painful as this has been for both my son’s father, and myself, he is still convinced that the problem wasn’t his addiction, or his behaviour, or his words. The problem, in his mind, is that I left. I told him over and over, time and again, that once our son was born, and I could walk comfortably, I was leaving him. And that’s exactly what I did.

Sometimes you have to make difficult decisions, to keep your offspring safe, to protect the broken pieces of your heart, or simply so you will be able to sleep comfortably at night, and not try to stay awake because you just don’t know what the person next to you is going to do. I usually take an over-the-counter sleep aid, but I never did, or do, when I am around him. I don’t want to ever allow myself to be in a deep sleep while he is anywhere nearby.

His drug habit really and truly frightens me.

When I see him coming at me so I can’t leave, it feels like I’m taking part in a sort of combat that requires more skill and focus than any other type of fight; because I’m not fighting a person. I’m fighting a drug, or drugs, and ultimately, an ‘unclean spirit’. The person you once thought you loved, is no longer in there; eyes look empty, and their touch brings discomfort.

It’s hard.

I feel like I just want to scream, cry, act a fool, and break things.

It hurts me as much as it angers me.

It can take me from zero to dynamite blast in a matter of seconds.

There’s been several occasions where my adrenaline was so high that I just got in my car and went to get a tattoo, just so I would be able to calm down. I didn’t even realize that I was a ‘cutter’ until my doctor explained to me, ‘….just because you’re not using a razor blade…. you’re just using a using a needle and leaving ink behind’. I never thought of it that way.

I’m glad, and grateful, to be away.

My only regret, is that I stayed too long, even though it was a pretty quick turnaround, it wasn’t quick enough.

I hope he gets the help he needs.

I hope that somewhere in there, is a man who will just accept his family won’t be coming home, but that he still needs to get better, for himself, and for our son.

I hope that he will find grace, because he is lost.

I hope one day, I can forgive him.

I hope he will find sobriety, because he is only getting sicker, and sicker.

He is only getting more mean, more delusional, more desperate in his actions with me.

His drugs of choice are the most dangerous , and when mixed together, they become even more lethal.

There’s no win or lose; just a constant struggle of a push-pull that never makes sense.

I wanted out and away from him because of all the things he was saying and doing. It’s awful knowing that each minute that goes by that he isn’t in treatment, it is only getting worse and worse, keeping me in a constant state of worry, ready for him at any given moment, ready for anything he may do. I have had to think of and prepare for things that I never in my wildest dreams would have imagined I would have to be thinking about or preparing for. It’s like trying to trying to find the door out of the maze before he does, hoping for him to freeze in the snow somewhere behind me like in the movie ‘The Shining’, simply because I know he will never stop. He will never just leave me be, whether he is sober or not, but the fact that he isn’t, only makes it worse.

At the end of the day, I can’t help but to say that I feel so sorry for him. He lost everything; a great job that he could have retired from which paid him thirty dollars an hour plus full benefits, a Bay Area FasTrak, a company phone, and a company work van; not to mention a boss who knew that I was having a rough time in my pregnancy, so he told Chris to take me to dinner, whatever I wanted, and to leave the receipt for him. Funny that he never knew that the man he was asking to take me to dinner, was also the man who was causing me such despair.

It must be awful to have nothing; and to know nothing but the kind of people who are best to be avoided, to lose everything that you have; your family, your job, your car, your funds, your pride. He has lost himself some time ago, he doesn’t know up from down, he can’t get it together, and I’m just watching him go further into an abyss that I can’t even begin to contemplate how I would pull him back out of it and into safety.

He could have been the greatest thing ever; handsome, funny, silly, romantic, warm, so comfortable to sleep on because I’m tiny and he’s huge, can fix or build anything. It’s hard to think that there was once a time I had fun with him, and wanted to spend time with him home, alone, bonding with our baby in my belly and preparing for his arrival. It’s hard to see or think of the good moments that were in there, because the bad ones just made everything that was good, fade into oblivion. All I can see or remember is the ugly; all the times I stayed when I wanted to leave. All the times that I was up crying, because I was trying to make sense and logic out of psycho behaviour, it was all an intensely awful thing to feel.

As time is passing now without his child, I hope he can understand that I’m not keeping the baby away just because I’m a bitch without a reason. I feel very strongly about my stance on this, and all I’m asking is that he be sober and he be a good father and role-model. I’m asking him to keep us safe, and to not be the one who scares us.

Just about the last (and only) thing he ever said to me that made sense was when we were actually having a heart-to-heart talk about our son. After talking together, and crying, and a ton of emotions, I told him why it was best that I take sole custody of Jace. Chris looked at me with so much hurt in his eyes, and I actually felt the pain that he was feeling as he told me….’take him to his happy place’…… I looked back at him, my heart heavy with sadness and hurt, and with tears running down my face, I said softly….’okay’… Chris knows what is best for his son, and the best thing, is being with his mommy who takes care of him with love and patience, in a place of safety and comfort.

Even after all that has transpired, I don’t want to be vindictive. I just want what’s right, and to salvage whatever we can for the sake of our child. I still want him to experience the joys of being a father to a son, I still want Jace to have his dad whom he adores and gazes at like he knows that’s ‘his person’.

I want the drugs gone. The price is too high, and I don’t mean monetarily. Some drugs will cost you everything, and it just isn’t worth it.