Warning……………. this is not a Christmas Story, my story tonight is about Addiction. Addiction is the mass destruction of the family unit as a whole surpassing divorce, no one is left unscathed by Addiction’s bony finger’s, those gnarly knuckles might not get you with the drugs many seem to favor, yet they are stretching to latch onto you after a love one becomes addicted, you might not do the drug , yet addiction wants you to suffer, addiction will do anything to make you stop caring or loving the one under it’s power all the while destroying your normal life. Addiction is vile, merciless, boastful, a master manipulator, liar, conniver, thief, prostitute, beggar, gas-lighter, verbal- mental and physical abuse. Addiction uses emotional abuse to twist your guts until you walk on egg shells, cringing waiting for the door to open that unleashes the attacks against you as a deflection of addiction slowly trying to kill your love one. Addiction is a Train-wreck bent on destroying your love one and your family. It isn’t enough to just tell your kids to say “NO”, addiction loves that one, it’s not a fair war, no war is fair, teach you children to be in groups, so that they aren’t isolated, picked on or bullied, take away the shame of reporting drugs, or reporting persons trying to force people to do drugs. Strong people can become weak in fear, sometimes it’s best to teach your children to run like hounds of hell are after them , because that is what addiction is, it’s HELL.
In 2015 one of my precious brothers died at with end of life liver failure.
In 2016 my best friend lost her husband, he was hung by the neck, in a drug house for non payment of his drug supply.
In 2018, my best friend died in her sleep, after taking too many opiates.
Young people in my area are dying in rapid numbers, every intersection is over crowded with beggars, who are homeless due to addiction.
Addiction is the worst on the user, as it becomes all about self. Addicts loose their ability to make good choices , loosing their ability to rationalize, as the drugs become their Gods and that is who they serve. The drugs destroy their minds and bodies and when in the ecstasy of a high, they are very abusive in every way possible, spiritually, physically, and mentally to those they once loved.
Addicts will steal any and everything from you to pawn for drug money. If you anger an addict, they usually destroy your property. I learned quickly everything had to go under lock and key, yet they will even break down those doors if the hounds of hell are chasing them for a new fix.
Addicts are bullies, and if you put up boundaries putting in place rules, they come after you in relentless revenge. Addicts are experts at emotional abuse, everything is your fault, and they will convince people the problem is you when you may be the only one trying to help them or who clearly see the truth and the depth of their addiction. The time will come when you doubt your own sanity.
Addiction of your love one pushes you to the point that it becomes hard to love them or even pray for them. When God formed my youngest brother in my mothers womb, I’m sure addiction wasn’t part of the plan, by God or my parents. I remember the day he was brought home, I helped count all his toes. I loved him instantly. Those memories, are what continue to push me to pray for him, despite how addiction pushes relentlessly to destroy him and our family.
On December 3rd, my day started out quiet with my mom, my younger brother, had kept me up most of the night body slapping. (Body slapping is what addicts do because they fear falling asleep after drug use) To say, I was tired, was an understatement. Exhausted, yet up and caring for my sweet Mamma. I could tell on this day my brother was using drugs, to what degree I didn’t know, or what drugs he was taking, I just know never under estimate an addict, you will never win an argument or prove your right.
Daily I play this game I call sitting on fence, do I get off the fence and try to help or do I stay on fence where it’s safe. I have exhausted all government resources trying to help my brother, I simply cannot help him anymore, it has to be his choice to help himself. My state does more to protect the addict and their rights to the point they completely tie a family hands behind their back, disabling them from getting rehab and mental health services for their addicted love ones. When your love one steals from you, the police say, it’s your word against theirs, addicts are pros at conniving stories to make you look bat $#@& crazy. That brings me to the events that transpired this afternoon. Earlier in the morning, I checked on my brother, knocked on his door, got cussed like a sailor. I returned back to sit on my fence. I was upset. Scarred for him. The verbal abuse is bad. The clock becomes your enemy, should I check again? Finally, A few hours later mom says “Where’s your brother?” I replied in his room. A few minutes later, I’m asked the same repetitive question and I give same answer. Mom says ” I wonder if he is OK?” I shrug my shoulders and say “Your welcome to go check!” My heart starts to beat faster, as my near 80 year old mom gets up proceeds to his bedroom door. I hear her knocking, calling my brothers name, Mom continues to knock. My brother always answers our mom, or opens the door and today he is silent, no response. I feel adrenal of fear slide into my body, making it go into flight mode. Dread drops down and surrounds me, is today the day I face my nightmare? Panic overwhelms me, everything is in slow motion, my legs are like lead running to his door. I bang on the door like Paul Bunyan hitting a tree with the mighty swing of his ax. Mom is now screaming for him to open the door. Like a lioness, I slammed all my body weight against the door three times, continuously calling his name, no response. I run to back of house, crab a crow bar, running back, pushing my frantic mom aside. I call out his name again pounding on the door. Still no response, I start ripping all the trim with the crow bar, then using the crow bar to jimmy the hardware I slam my body weight again. When the door finally gives, I instantly breath in clouds of smoke like being in a bar filled room, my baby brother is in an upright seated position, his body slumped forward, head hung down, a cigarette burned down to his fingers. I fear I’m looking at a dead man with body discoloration of grey to purple and he appears not to be breathing. I don’t know CPR. Mom is screaming and shaking him, I run grab phone off kitchen table dial 911.
Thirty seconds into EMS call, my brother erupts from the room like a grizzly bear, he is raging. Relieved, I can see he is alive and breathing, I have to go away from him to protect myself from the wrath he is hurling at me, trying to convince my mother he only took sleep aides. I carefully watch him and walk out on porch to finish EMS call, finally EMS is on the way, my brother continues raging. I go back inside the home, he begins threatening me, running back and forth, he grabs the dismantled wood strips embedded with nails from his bedroom door, begins throwing them at me, screaming , I’m delusional, mental case, cussing madness. I feel my body going into a panic attack, hearing him claim he only took two Tylenol PM. The sheriff arrives, we are questioned, I’m hysterical at this point, talking in between sobs, By time EMS arrive, I’m in a panic attack and he has changed cloths, fixed his hair, used mouthwash with smell of cologne lingering on him having pulled himself together, I hear him tell EMS, “I’m crazy” then signs a release and refuses to be checked out by EMS. The scapegoating continues, he lies to the sheriff I have been fighting with him all day. By this time mom has already forgot the events and I’m glad for a split second her dementia took that horrible memory. No mother should ever go through what she did today.
I’m hurt from throwing my body against door. I can’t go hospital, cause there is no one to look after mom. I decline EMS also. The EMS and Sheriff leave. A family member finally arrives. I’m put into a family meeting where I’m cussed at by all parties for over two hours, I broke the family rule by not suffering in silence. I asked four times to be taken to hospital, I’m in pain, being told to shake it off. Finally I got ride to hospital, was dropped off. After several hours wait, a doctor orders xrays, nothing is broke, just bruised and sore possible 10 days to heal. I got text message asking “how are you getting home?” My BP is high, my Anxiety is high, and somehow my brothers overdose is my my fault. I was even told ” You seem miserable here, maybe it’s time for you to make some decisions.” Which is classic manipulation.
My brother has retaliated by harassing me for last two days. Last night, at midnight, he got a hammer and nailed and banged his door frame excessively for over an hour, yelling at me across the house. I know without a doubt my brother was borderline dead, what I saw still haunts me, yet by grace of God he lives, to see another day.
Earlier I stated “telling your kids to just say “no” isn’t enough.” Addiction is standing against the wall, laughing, licking the lollipop, figuring out how to entice your loved ones, your weapons are prayer, love, faith and truth, you got to get in the mud, pray, love, give graphic teaching lessons, don’t be shy letting children know addiction is death.
Don’t let your children off the fence, get in their business, you have right to know who, what, when, where and why! Search their rooms. Swaddle them with love and praise, speak words that give life. Track their phones. Privacy is earned.
The hardest question I ever answered to a child was when my grandchild asked me “What’s wrong with Uncle’s arms? (Needle marks) I hesitated, because he is young, then I looked in his eyes and I told him the truth; what a great little boy Uncle was growing up. I told him about his adventurous childhood, GI Joe, riding our bikes, playing in the creek, how he broke his leg, how I loved his laugh and his singing, specifically singing my brothers song “Doggies in the Night” and then I told him about the addiction bully, that he showed up through his best friend, my brothers one bad choice lead to his life now. I cried. I told him if the addiction bully shows up it is brave and courageous to run, just run with all his might, straight to his parents. Pray to God. I said “Run Child” then when you are safe sit on fence and remember there is nothing, absolutely nothing on the other side. Don’t get off the fence. Addiction is death. My little one cried with me, and he prays for my brother. My prayers for my brother continue. Sadly there are days , where words wont form in prayer, I’m exhausted in every capacity. On these days , I pray others are praying for those battling addiction and their families. When I am weak , he is strong.
Please keep my family and all those battling addiction in your prayers.