My parents were divorced right around the time I was born.  So I never was able to experience the home life with two parents around.  It was not great, to say the least.  The moment they separated it was what I consider to now be a broken home. My parents didn’t speak to each other and did not get along.  I remember right around five years old my mother’s addiction had gotten pretty bad so I ended up living a few counties over with my Father.  

It was pretty difficult at first because I missed my Mom.  I would only see her on the weekends.

Around age nine I needed to be watched by a babysitter because my Dad and step-mom both worked.  My stepmom’s nephew lived close and would help out babysitting for us.  Things eventually got just weird and I ended up being sexually abused by this man.  I remember being scared for my life.

I remember after being abused I just felt the need to tell someone what had been going on but I was too embarrassed and I was also scared of what people’s reaction might be.  There was a man that lived in a van down by this creek and I remember he just stayed drunk all the time.  He was a familiar face around town.  

So I decided to go unload my problems on someone and figured if I told him what had been going on with my Stepmom’s nephew he would forget what I told him.  I can’t describe how good a feeling it was just to tell another human being without fear of others finding out.  I felt I was held captive in my mind and was finally released.

I’m not sure if he wasn’t drinking or was just not as drunk as usual and it ends up he didn’t forget.  He told my Mom.  When my mother first approached me to ask what had happened I first thought I was in trouble.  I remember it was a Sunday and Mom told me to tell Dad what had happened.  I remember him taking off in a rage that he was going to go kill this guy.

About a week or so after that I was taken to a doctor to be checked out.  They did some tests and all I remember is they came back negative and my first thought was that no one was going to believe me.  But what did they expect to find a week later?  My body had healed since the last abuse.

I no longer wanted to be around my Dad.  He was at one point was a police officer.  He had an old-fashioned cop mentality and once the test came back negative and he didn’t have the “evidence” I don’t think he believed me.  I did find some comfort in knowing my Mom believed me.

I eventually went back to live what my mom.

Fast forward to me being 12.  My friends came around with drugs.  We were kids being kids and I also wanted to numb myself from what had happened.  

One of the first drugs I would try was a drug mostly known in my hometown, Artane.  They would also prescribe Thorazine alongside it to help with side effects.  This drug worked with an intensified when I used other drugs such as marijuana.  I really enjoyed using it, it felt good.

I also used it with my Mom.  She was an addict also.

I still remember the feeling. I remember the first sign that it was kicking in and working people would get lumps in their throat along with the pupils dilating.  To speak plainly it just made me feel really stupid.  You just lost track of time.

Skipping now to when I was fifteen I would hang around my Uncle because he also would get high with me.  He also was hooked on Artane.  I was bouncing around at fifteen and would stay at my Uncle’s for a little then move on to some others friends’ houses.  I remember one time he was in the bathroom and he’s doing something with aluminum foil.  I asked him what it was and he told me it was crystal meth.  Up until that point, he was willing to let me try stuff but this time he was trying to talk me out of it.

After a little convincing on my part, he finally let me try it.  And it was as they say love at first sight.  This was a drug that gave me the most escape from reality which is what I was seeking.  I still continued my Artane use and those drugs just intensified each other.  It started causing a reaction where I started hallucinating. 

I still remember the feeling I got when I was on crystal meth.  I remember it would relax my body but my mind would race a hundred miles per hour.  I eventually started shooting it and how nice that felt.  I would know if it was good stuff because my feet would get hot.  The better the stuff the hotter they got.  I’m not sure if anyone else got that feeling but I remember my friends getting “fire breath.”  They just felt as if their mouth was on fire.

I was in bad shape.  I remember one time when I was living with my Mom and her boyfriend they were smoking crack in the house.  It was something I had never tried.  At the time we lived in a one-bedroom apartment and I was sleeping on the couch.  I decided to go to sleep.  Money was tight and I remember when I was falling asleep I had a twenty dollar bill and a one dollar bill in my wallet.  I always put my wallet in my shoes.  I was woken up and went into my wallet and noticed I was missing my twenty dollar bill.  They had stolen my money to go buy more crack.  

I was at the time drinking and doing Xanax.  Combine those things and the fact that they stole twenty dollars from my and you’ve got a pretty mad dude.  I went up to my Mom’s boyfriend and went behind him and stabbed him a few times.  I than pulled him close to my and told him I hoped he died.  I still remember as the blade went into him I felt it grind the rib cage bones I was going between,  I’ll never forget that.  I threw the knife away by the dumpster.  

When my Mom’s boyfriend made his way back into the apartment he was bleeding all over the place.  My Mom freaked out grabbed a bunch of knives and locked herself in the bathroom.  She started screaming that she was going to kill herself.  I freaked out and called 911.  I didn’t want my Mom doing something stupid and hurting herself.  They finally get her out of the bathroom and they tell me she’s ok but then asks why the boyfriend was bleeding everywhere.  

I was taken to the precinct and put in an interrogation room.  I sat there for hours and hours.  I had been denying what had happened.  Finally, I just broke down and admitted it.  They asked me to write a confession and I just wrote three words.  “I did it.”

I was seventeen and I spent some time in juvenile hall.  I hadn’t spoken to my Dad in a while.  I wrote a couple of letters to him at the last address I had for him.  I didn’t get any replies.  I was hoping he would come to court but I never heard back from him.  

We’re in court and my lawyer comes up to me and told me my Dad showed up.  I was happy to have at least one person there that cared about me.  I got extremely lucky.  I was told if I go with my Dad and leave the state they would lessen the charges so I could just pay fines and leave.

Looking back I see how crazy I was.  I stabbed someone over twenty dollars.  

Now I was living back with my Dad.  I was working with him and saving some money.  I would use that money to party with my friends.  I had some extra money in my coat pocket and when I went to grab it to go party with my friends it was gone.  Again someone stole from me.  This time it was to go drinking and use cocaine.  That day I decided to leave.  I was seventeen and at that point, I was living couch to couch.  One night I’d stay at my Uncle’s then the next night at a friend’s house and so on.

From that point forward I wouldn’t have a place to call home for the next four years.  My life was lived out of a suitcase.  

Eventually, the meth didn’t even get me high anymore.  I got to the point where I just wanted to end my life.  I remember I was really down and hanging out with a girl who I trusted to shoot me up with the meth.  I took one of those little measuring spoons from the kitchen and just poured out a lethal dose of meth.  The girl didn’t want me to take that much but I insisted.  Took a couple of hours before I got her to agree to do it.

Finally, the needle was in my arm.  I felt my body starting to melt and I collapsed onto a bed and was paralyzed for hours.  I was only able to move my head.  I didn’t care if I lived or die.  I just needed to feel something, I needed to get high.  And it still didn’t work.  I wasn’t high and I didn’t die.  I was in a bad spot.

During all of this, my wife wouldn’t speak with me or let me see the children while I was using.  At the time I was hurt but looking back I see it was good the kids never saw me high.  

One day I called her up and finding myself a bed at a rehab facility.  I was all set up to head up there on a Monday.  So that weekend I partied my ass off.  I had smoked weed and meth, took Artane, and Xanax.  I was up for forty-eight hours.  I was on a mission to enjoy these last days.

That Monday on the way there I had a change of heart.  I wasn’t ready to go.  I tried to sleep on the way there but couldn’t.  We arrived and I still didn’t want to go in.  But my wife wouldn’t hear of it and I went in.

Once you get in their part of the process in the intake unit is to test my system for drugs.  They also had asked me what I had taken so I told them everything.  For some reason, they looked a little confused.  Then another counselor came in and said that my system was clean.  I couldn’t believe it.  Something happened and I was crying all of the sudden.  I knew this was God opening up and showing me miracles.

God had his hands on me and cleansed me of all the drugs.  From that point forward I’ve been constantly working on myself.  

Nowadays I no longer speak to the old friends who were still using.  I had to cut them out of my circle of friends.  Every morning I spend some time praying.  I head into work in which my fellow employees are all drug-free and my supervisor is a local Pastor at a church.  So I now surround myself with people like this to embrace a new way of life.  Every week I go to a group meeting at Freedom Recovery.  

I now enjoy my home life spending time with my children and wife.  When I was using I was never around so I am making up for the lost time.  Nowadays life is simple.  No more staying high and going from couch to couch.  

I’ve embraced the Lord and haven’t looked back.  He even gave me another miracle.  In rehab, they were testing for HIV and Hepatitis.  Being an IV drug user I had contracted Hepatitis C and the test came up positive.  

This is something that bothered me.  My mother died from all the years of partying and also contracting Hepatitis C.  So this was something personal to me.  I prayed to the Lord “please take this away from me, I don’t want to die like my mom.”  I also prayed that because I did not have insurance at the time and needed it.  The lord delivered and I was approved over the phone.

I went down to start my treatment and they gave me a test again for Hepatitis.  One morning on the way to work I get a call from the testing center and they tell me I now tested negative for everything.  I couldn’t believe it.  I now believe that was the Lord helping me out.

I can’t express how grateful I am for everything that has happened since I got clean.  I let go and let God.  

I went from being a dope dealer to a hope dealer.

That’s my story and if this reaches one person this was worth it.  

I hope it does.