The Loss of All that Matters: Addiction Part 2
by Chris F H
My 2 children are the reason I live each day and why I do not run away. My son, my amazing son, is a man of the highest quality at age 16. If I did not have him to be my strength and support, I could not make it through this time.
Somehow he has become a better and stronger person through the horror of watching his lovely and capable father slowly destroy himself and everyone/thing around him. He has had some very hard times during, but not once has he turned bad or become frivolous or self-destructive; in fact, he has become a better person with more insight into the realities of life.
My angel daughter, who has had the worst time with her loss of her daddy, has found her way through this with amazing courage and positivity. I was so very worried about her due to her depressive state to begin with, being an 11-year old girl, but she has blossomed into a strong and happy girl as of late. Both of my children have had to grow up quickly and were hit with a life-altering reality that no one should ever have to live through, especially at their ages.
They had lived in such a sheltered and happy state that my biggest fear of this exposure was their destruction and loss of childhood naivety. I thank God and the Universe daily for helping them find the good and prosperity in their souls, instead of plummeting down into the abyss with their dad. I, however, am not as strong as any of them, and I am faltering and falling inside emotionally and spiritually; I just hide it well.
I met my husband, the most amazing man I had ever had the privilege of knowing, when I was 23 and he had just turned 22. Very young, but we were made for each other; instant soul mates. He was brilliant in every way imaginable.
His beauty was evident in all aspects of his life and character: looks, intellect, ability, honor, kindness, loyalty, honesty, etc... He was ambitious, creative, and hard-working: a perfect man!! I could not have imagined a better mate even if God had taken one of my ribs to create one.
He had a very tough childhood. His mother was just 16-yrs when she had him; he had a series of abusive step fathers and never knew his biological father. In his youth he was tireless in his pursuit to protect and love his 4 siblings; becoming their main role model. He has been employed since the age of 11 to provide for himself (things he wanted: clothes, bikes, etc...).
He also worked endlessly in the family home at the abuse of his step father #2. Without effort he maintained an ‘A’ average in all his studies always landing on the top of the honor role even while caring for his mother during her frequent late night binges and, therefore, taking responsibly for the care of his siblings.
This took its toll on him (I will refer to him as W for the rest of the story). He was forced to leave grade 12 due to his attendance even though he had honor role standing. W’s goal in life was to be a medical doctor and to help the people around him. He attended college in his quest for this achievement, but as life can have an alternate a plan, he found himself, due to necessity, finding work in another field.
We met early, and became one quickly. Within 2 years of being together we had a son, our miracle surprise, who we cherish and appreciate daily. W was the most amazing, wonderful and capable father I had ever seen. He was kind, gentle, nurturing, fun, dedicated and loving to his son. People who viewed him admired his ability as a father.
We continued in an era of success and happiness which included our marriage and second child, our daughter. W was very involved himself in sports and in the community. He lived his life as an example for his family and for those around him. W was respected and liked by all that knew him, and I adored him almost to a God-like position in my life.
My parents, confident in everything he stood for, loved and trusted him as a son, which now, unfortunately, has brought them to the brink of disaster.
Then it began to change.....
During the economic recession W lost his once-in-a-life-time job that he excelled at in every way. This created a situation we were not prepared for, and we suffered greatly. After this life event W slowly started to change and spiral downward. Slowly over 6-years I saw every aspect of him change until now I cannot recognize him characteristically or physically.
I call it the perfect storm scenario. I believe whole-heartedly if just one of the conditions/situations had not become, none of this would have happened... but it did.
Shortly after W lost his job some of his relatives moved from back East; unbeknownst to me, some of his cousins were afflicted with drug problems. Considering their career base in the medical field, certain medications were readily available; however, I do believe that cocaine and marijuana were the first and foremost drugs at this point of his decent.
After many months of inquires and investigation, (yes, I became an investigator because I felt like I was losing my mind.) I know that the cocaine use was infrequent at first, but the marijuana was daily, which I was aware of.
W had severe spine pain issues for many years; because he had issue with pain medications, he was directed to try marijuana. I was under the impression that this worked well in controlling his pain...it seems I was very wrong.
His usage of marijuana escalated over the years and it became apparent to me that he had issue with it. But I believed it was for his spinal pain, and I had NO idea he was mixing it at times with cocaine.
Approximately 2.5 years ago I began to see an extreme change in W. Myself and my parents, who trusted him blindly, believed he was very ill and might be suffering from something more sinister than just his spinal pain. We never once could have fathomed what he was actually battling; a battle that encompassed all of our lives and worldly possessions.
Approximately 2 –years ago it became apparent that something EXTREME was happening with my husband. He had withdrawn from everything that ever meant anything to him: soccer, martial arts, friends, family, etc... He moved out of the bedroom and began having frequent showers all through the night. (He use to sleep like the dead.)
Eventually the showers turned into frequent trips throughout the night outside into his vehicle. I started to notice my medicine was low. I could not account for it no matter what I did. Sometimes it would go missing altogether. W had me convinced that due to my ADD symptoms (from my brain trauma during the drowning) that I must be taking them without knowing or losing them. I discussed every issue and event with my physician, who at the time was my husband’s doctor as well.
Our doctor was working with us frantically to find a solution or answer for all of the “strange” symptoms my husband was experiencing: severe pain, extreme weight loss, frequent illness (usually stomach flu symptoms), depression, sleep issues, etc...
Every test she issued came back normal, and she refused to give him narcotic pain meds. This is when he decided to change doctors. And what a doctor he found.....
W took my prescription bottles in to his “new” doctor and that day got prescribed opiates. In 2 months he went from 4 perocet a day to 16-20 a day (who knows what else he was taking.). Keep posted for what this doctor prescribed next....
During this time I found him stealing my dad’s medication, and at this point things started to fall into place in our minds. My children told me they had seen him taking my prescriptions and going through my drawers and purses, as well as sneaking around their grandparent’s house. I still did not understand the dire situation we were in.
We attended a family event, a small family vacation that we had attended yearly. W was withdrawn and was frequenting my truck. I finally went to investigate and found cigarettes (which he had quit 10yrs earlier) and white powder on the back seat WHERE OUR CHILDREN SAT!!!
I begged him to tell me what was going on. I told him I would follow him through anything and help him through anything if he would just tell me what was happening to him, to us. He vowed on our children’s lives he had just started smoking again due to stress, and he had no idea what the “white stuff” was.
Please understand how I felt. I loved him more than anybody in the world besides my children. I adored him, needed him, wanted him, and cherished him. I felt like I was going out of my mind. I felt like my life had been torn apart, ripped away from me, and I was helpless.
I didn’t want to see what was in front of me. He is the father of my children. We had a connection that was so deep it became who I was. How could such a thing happen to us? It was not possible. I knew there had to be a “real” reason. He had to be sick and dying; there was no way it could be what it was: NO WAY!!
For months I drove myself crazy searching for answers and evidence... always finding what I did
not want to find. It always came back to the same thing. I was losing myself, the man I loved, and the father of my children. I felt so alone, lost, and weak.
The one person that had always been there for me to help me through the hard times was lost to me. I had to find strength I did not believe I had, but I had no choice but to find myself and my strength for my children and my parents. The worst part of it all was the deceit and lies he laid upon me/us.
We had built our relationship on trust, loyalty, and love, and it was all gone. Even I was deceitful in my spying and keeping things from him.....I felt I had no choice.
Please read "The Loss of All that Matters: Addiction" Part 3