Meth and My LifeAug 01, 2023
Content warning: This post contains mentions of physical abuse, drug use, and overdose.
Written by a CSUCI student.
It’s crazy to think that drugs do not impact anyone's lives, because for me it’s always been a thing. I’m not saying that I’ve lived a grueling life, in shelters or anything like that, but I have always been aware of terrible things out there and I’ve witnessed some serious drug addiction in my adult life that has been very hard to get through. Hard drugs like meth and fentanyl have reached people very close to me and it’s been a painful thing to go through, even though I haven't been the person addicted to those things.
My brother who was about 13 years older than me started using meth at a young age, and by the time I was in my twenties he was very deep in. Sometimes I would think he was ok, but then he’d always come back to our family with things that sounded insane. He literally began losing his mind. He’d call and ask me things like, “Should I put this bagel in the refrigerator or leave it out?” and that is the more normal stuff. He always thought that my dad had cameras in his apartment or where he was living, and that my dad was “spying” on him. My dad was always still kind and tried to help him get into rehabs and spent a lot of money on it. My brother would almost always leave after a few days and say that he “found god” and was fine now, but it was a cycle that happened over, over, and over again.
My brother lost his business and my dad kept helping him out in that area too. Even after about 7 DUIs he couldn’t drive anymore, and my dad would pick him up to let him work with him. And all my brother would do was bitch and moan. It got to a point where my dad cut him off, after telling my 4 year old daughter to “Shut the f*ck up” because she cried about something at an Easter Sunday event.
It continued to get worse. My brother was calling leaving threatening messages; saying he knew that my dad was watching him and that he was going to burn the dune buggy trailer down in the backyard and so on. My dad kept avoiding him because he was so scary. Next, he literally called the CIA and told them that my dad was going to assassinate the president with lasers… So guess what? The CIA showed up at my dad’s door! And once they spoke with him and my brother more in depth, they realized that my brother was an addict and insane. Things trickled off after that and we didn't hear from him for a long time. A year or so later, someone found him dead in the river bottom with a needle in his arm. It was meth laced with fentanyl. He died almost immediately. His death was a strange pill to swallow, because there was so much resentment and pain behind everything. But the best thing to focus on was that he was definitely in a happier place now. How long and how much was he truly suffering? It’s still a really hard thing to think about. I hope he’s well. Happy. Loved.
Meth has not just affected my brother but also the biological father of my daughter, which familiarized me with the drug more to understand what had been going on with my brother for so many years. The bio dad had used before I was ever with him, but had been straight and clean when we got together. And honestly I was very naive and ignorant about hard drugs in general at that point. When I was pregnant, my boyfriend (daughter’s bio dad) started to act strange, mean, and not be around when he should have been, or said he would be but then wouldn’t show up for hours or answer his phone. Once I caught wind of what he was up to it was sickening to me, but I still couldn’t quite wrap my head around the seriousness or extent of it.
Once I had our baby, he continued to have the same patterns and things gradually got worse. He had physically abused me some while I was pregnant, and after the baby was born it happened multiple more times. I ended up leaving him when our baby was 3 months old because things had gotten so bad. He was very, very mean, making me cry daily. Then he would apologize and try to be nice for a minute, then it would cycle through again. And we were always out of money and I didn’t understand why. So once I realized he really did have a drug problem, my baby and I moved in with my dad and step-mom.
For some time after I still tried to hold onto our relationship and beg him to get clean, but he never did. In fact some short months later he ended up in jail for the first time ever, for drugs and having a concealed weapon. Once he got clean in jail, he promised that he would straighten out. I even took our baby daughter to see him in jail. When he got out, it wasn’t long before he was back to treating me like crap, and then soon enough, back in the system. Then the same thing would happen: I would forgive him, visit him… and eventually he wasn’t just going to jail anymore, he was in and out of prison.
I finally got the strength to let him go, although after everything he’d done to me for so many years, it wasn’t so difficult. The last physical abuse I remember from him was him choking me (literally had my feet off the ground) about 7 feet away from our sleeping 2-3 year old. My life flashed before my eyes and I thought he was going to kill me. Fast forward to our daughter being 13 now, and guess where he is? Serving a 7 year-life sentence. He even said he thought there could still be hope for us when I briefly talked to him a couple of years ago, when he found out that I was about to get married. He always was a jokester. And as much as I truly hope that he can turn his life around and keep on track when he gets out, it’s hard to not be scared that the same terrifying man on meth will be back, out and about in Ventura County, where we still live.
If you or someone you know is dealing with drug abuse or addiction, support is available. Visit Safe Choices Ventura County to learn more.