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When we last left off in the addiction series, I found out that my mom’s mugshot was on the front page of our local paper with the headlines “Arcadia Meter Reader Arrested for Methamphetamines”. Well, this is how I handled finding out, along with the world, that my mom was a drug addict.
I went to school the next day with the article in my see-through binder. Yeah, I thought it was kinda cool. I had the cool mom. I had the mom that wasn’t like any other mom. Really, I had a mom that wasn’t a mom at all. I didn’t really care about that at the time, though. I am sure teachers felt bad for me. The sad thing is, nobody said anything to me about it. It’s like everyone in that town ignored the major issues. Not once did anyone make sure that I was okay while my mom was in jail. Not once did anyone get involved. Not once did a counselor call me into her office to see if I wanted to talk. When I was fist fighting in school, failing, or not showing up at all, not once did someone think that maybe I needed help. Am I wrong for thinking that I was a victim in all of this? At the time, I didn’t think so, but now I think, “Wow. Nobody tried to help me”. Just like our justice system, they didn’t seek out help for me. Instead, they punished me. They suspended me, expelled me or put me in the I.S.P (in school placement) room. They yelled at me, lectured me, but didn’t ever ask themselves, “Why is this child with a perfect record prior to this, all of a sudden acting out?” Hmm… that’s a lot to think about.
I am sure you’re wondering what happened after she was arrested. Well, her boyfriend at the time (who is still my very best friend and the only parental figure I’ve ever had – thank God for him) and I went to bail her out. He called my brother (who was taken away from her when he was a child) and we drove to the bail bond to see what we could do. He used his truck as collateral to get her out that night. He was completely clueless to her addiction. Before we bailed her out of jail, we searched through their bedroom. Hidden under the dresser were tons of burnt up pieces of foil. She was getting high while he was working hard to take care of us. Anyways, we bailed her out and you know what her (screaming and enraged) response was? “F*** You! How dare you call my son into this. I am walking home!” He begged her to get into the truck as she’s literally stomping down the road in the middle of the night. This man that is taking care of her daughter and just spent hundreds of dollars and put his truck on the line is begging her to get into the truck. This just shows you how screwed up she was and how good of a man he was. He could have left her in jail. He should have left her in jail.
The days and weeks after this weren’t much different than before. My mom was still getting high. She was still staying out until 3 am. Now that her boyfriend knew about her addiction, he was distraught. They were only a year or two into their relationship and it was deteriorating. He was a good, stand-up man with an incredible job and great future. He was a genuine person. He didn’t even curse until he met us. haha. For a man like him to be with a drug addict was completely insane. The thing is, he wanted to save her. He wanted to save this life that they created. He couldn’t have children of his own and we were his ideal family. Even after catching her cheating multiple times, he stuck around. Now, I realize he stuck around for me. I didn’t have anyone. He was my saving grace. I watched this man go through hell for the next 5+ years. I watched the toughest person I know cry on multiple occasions. I watched him beg and plead with her to get her life together. I watched him keep his composure as my mom pointed a knife at him. I watched him stand still as my mom punched him and spit in his face. I watched the happiest person I know completely lose himself.
Addiction doesn’t only affect the addict. Drug addiction has a huge impact on everyone surrounding the addict. Yes, this story is about me and my mom, but Jimmy was hurt just as bad as I was. It completely changed him as a person. It makes me cry when I think of what she put him through. It breaks my heart, but I am so thankful that from my mom’s addiction, I gained the best person I know. He finally left her maybe a year after I turned 18 and moved out. He waited until he knew that I was good and happy on my own before he left her. That was about 7 or 8 years ago. He and I still talk every day. He’s still my best friend and my only parental figure. To be honest, I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Thank you for reading another volume in the Pretties TCOAA (The Child of An Addict) Addiction Series. This is a series to raise drug addiction awareness. I decided to begin this series when I realized how many people were curious about me being the child of an addict. This was just life for me growing up. I never realized until I became an adult, that I didn’t grow up like everyone else. Yes, I had friends with parents that were amazing. I knew that my childhood was different, I just didn’t realize that it was interesting or a learning experience for other people… Read the Full Back Story here