manju Ahammad
THE ADDICTS IN MY LIFE- PART 2Please start here at the beginning if you missed part 1. https://findingourfreedoms.com/the-addicts-in-my-life-part-1/ I would like to say that the shock of watching this man getting ready to shoot up the mystery dope that was in his needle would have woke me up and kept me away from the scene for the rest of my life. Unfortunately that is not what happened. if anything I just dove in it even deeper. I thought it would be a great idea to start dating my dealer's oldest son Mike. He was super cute and I was young and oh so dumb thinking I was cool dating the pretty boy dealer. Now I would always have my own sack of weed— or at least knew where to get a bag when my friends were looking to score. During that summer we all went to Riverfest together one night. I had borrowed my step mom's little Geo tracker and we were heading back to their place; the drug house. We were only several blocks from their house when BAM— all of a sudden there is this jacked up Chevy Blazer partially sitting out of a parking lot driveway of a church without its headlights on. As soon as we pass it they start erratically following, flashing their lights at us, honking, and then proceeding to start ramming us. This was in the days before cell phones. Back then we all carried pagers and had to depend on payphones. We wildly maneuvered turning down into the neighborhood trying to escape them at all costs. Finally we arrived at the QuikTrip on Harry and Meridian (which is no longer there) and ran inside begging them to call the police. I was crying and I was so scared of the reaction I would get from my stepmom but especially from my dad when he heard what had transpired. We did not have a good relationship at that time because he was on the road driving a truck and I never saw him. He still carried a lot of bitterness and resentment from his divorce towards my mother, making it difficult to develop a relationship with us kids. I've blocked a lot of this from my memory over the years. To this day I still don't know what it was all about. Did it have something to do with these boys I was hanging out with or was somebody looking for my stepmom who I later learned was intertwined in the drug world herself? It wasn't many days after that incident that I had learned that the drug house was officially busted and the mom along with her two oldest sons were officially in jail. I was so stupid and naive thinking I was in love with this boy. Convincing my mother to take me to small county jail cells around the state of Kansas to visit him in. Sedgwick Co. in Wichita was overflowing at the time so they were shipping inmates to different facilities all over the state. We would write long letters, he would call me collect, and I couldn't wait for him to get free. Back to the power of the mind (at least mine) blocking so much I can't tell you how long he was gone. I don't remember when he got free, but I do remember he had to go live in a halfway house/work-release kind of program. I only saw him one time after he was released as truly by the time he was free I had moved on with a different circle of friends. I have no idea what became of him or his family. I'm sure if I really wanted to I could find them via social media with us now living in the smart world that we are in but I have zero interest. That was the end of that era. While he'd been away in jail I had started hanging out with a different group of friends as the drug bust had totally busted up our crew. A lot of my band friends from back in the day had picked up skateboarding and that was the new hobby of our time. Several of us girls spent a lot of our days hanging out downtown under the Douglas Street Bridge watching all the hot guys skating while we all yelled YEAH when they finally pulled off a trick they had been working on for hours or even days. We were having so much fun jamming out to the Beastie boys, eating way too many $2 specials from Taco Shop, enjoying band practices and shows on the weekends, and smoking lots of weed. It was during this time period that I was introduced to hallucinogenics in the form of white blotter acid from a Grateful Dead show. Some of our friends had brought back a bunch after following them on tour for the summer back when Jerry Garcia was still alive. Billy (God rest his soul) and Jessie came back with dreadlocks, crystals they were using for deodorant (I know, right?), unbelievable stories of the VW breaking down leading to going to jail in Utah, and lots of sheets of acid. They had made a lot of new connections that long summer on the road being deadheads. I had tried acid a couple of times back in highschool with my group of girlfriends so it wasn't completely new but the amount we began consuming was. Soon their new deadhead connections we're sending packages in the mail of more acid for all of us deprived people stuck in the middle of this country. I may have been more involved in all of this than I should have been and I remember opening up the packages that had traveled all this way from California. The first one contained Ecstasy that was hidden inside of this little trolley pencil sharpener, some other little trinkets souvenirs, and then sheets of acid in the box that looked just like white construction paper. Several shipments down the road the paper sheets of acid had turned into a liquid form arriving in rinsed out bottles of visine and those little breath freshing minty liquid drops. Tripping on acid was all the rage back then with us. We were making a killing selling these sugar cubes dosed with the liquid acid for $10 a pop and people couldn't get enough, including us. Going to live shows, hanging out downtown, watching trippy movies, adventuring on the trails out at Pawnee Prairie Park, driving through the golf courses at night while the sprinklers were on, and thinking we were having the time of our lives. But also all the while making horrible decisions. I remember going to babysit my cousins one morning after an all night trip on acid. Not proud of it but I wasn't in good shape and my grandmother came over and called me out asking me if I was on drugs. I totally was, but there was no way I would admit it. During this period I had been offered cocaine on more than one occasion. I've had a couple friends who had really gone down a bad path from uppers and I already knew then that I had a possibility of becoming addicted to any substance that I put in my body. I mean I was completely addicted to my pack of Marlboros I was smoking everyday and I still am. I need to change that sooner rather than later! I had heard the stories at the Ala-teen meetings and I knew my father was an alcoholic so that upped my chance of being an addict too. It's probably not saying a lot but I am proud to say I never did any cocaine. Unless you count the few joints over the years that idiots would sprinkle cocaine on and call a primo. As far as I was concerned it would just ruin the taste of the marijuana. While watching all the hot boys skateboard and hanging out at the band boys house I met my first (and only official) husband. He was a half Korean boy, a good skateboarder, very intelligent, obsessed with the Beatles (which I always thought was the sweetest), didn't hardly drink (but smoked a lot of pot), and we just hit it off. It wasn't long into our relationship that I moved out of my mother's house for the first time and rented a home with him and two other male roommates, Mike ( RIP) and Jeff. I was the woman of the house. All was going well for quite a while and then I realized that my new boyfriend had small guy syndrome, meaning he liked to hit and push me around from time to time when he was angry. And what's crazy is I am a strong girl— I could have totally kicked his ass. But I am definitely a lover and not a fighter. What in the hell was I thinking? Every time he promised he'd never do it again. Every time I would believe him. And every single time he failed us both. I wish I would have had more self-worth and wouldn't have tolerated the situation for as long as I did. Strange things started occurring at the house. Flashlights in random rooms. A little mirror I had hanging on the wall in the bathroom disappeared. A week or so after the mirror disappeared I found the frame of it broken and stashed underneath the bathroom sink along with the mirror itself hidden under a stack of towels. I didn’t understand why they didn't tell me they had broken it. Who really had broken it? And why weren't they sleeping anymore? I knew they both had sold weed which I had no problem with but this was something else. It didn't take long until I figured out both of our other roommates were dabbling with the new crystal meth that everyone was talking about. Of course, they didn't share this information with us. If you don't do it you're not part of that circle and are kept completely in the dark. It was when a good friend confided in us that we realized the depth of the situation. We learned that our roommate who ran the indoor skate park downtown was convinced the government/city was pumping oil into the basement and he was taking apart TVs and other electronics constantly looking for surveillance devices. They were always watching him whoever they were. It was then that we realized we needed to move out of this circumstance we were involved in and get a house of our own. Life progressed. We got a cute rental. He asked me to marry him. Me being blinded by love, I of course said yes thinking he would never hurt me again. We let a couple who were our friends move in to our spare bedroom. Cheaper rent never hurt anyone. At least that was our thoughts in the beginning. They also ended up getting strung out on this crystal that was everywhere and we had to ask them to move out. I can still remember hearing the girl of the couple bragging about how she was wearing jeans from junior high because she had lost so much weight from the drugs. Being overweight pretty much my entire life it sounded so tempting but I just knew I couldn't go there. I already had enough vices I couldn't afford. September of 98 is when we planned to have our destination wedding which was quite difficult in the days before the internet. With a few friends and his mother we headed to Las Vegas to get married. We loved gambling and he was big into craps so it just made sense we would get married in Sin City. Back to the real world. It didn't take long for the true honeymoon to end and him to lay his hands on me again in a physical manner that hurt me. This time it actually landed me in the emergency room for a dislocated thumb. The neighbors called the cops and he went to jail and he had to go through anger management classes. In the past his abuse had necessitated me to seek treatment from a chiropractor for months after he literally threw me through a wall during a dispute. With the cops involved now this was so different. This the first time others heard the craziness I was surrounded in. I realized I had made a giant mistake. If I stayed he probably would have killed me eventually as every occurrence of abuse was more severe than the previous. I started planning my escape. We were married in September and the divorce was final by December. I left him and didn't tell him where I was going. Any of my belongings that I didn't get from the house on the first car load he destroyed in the driveway of the house that I had just left. I lost a ton of stuff. The most meaningful being my handmade baby quilt from my childhood. But I was free— I would take the loss. I had gotten a tiny little studio apartment that I later learned was located in crack alley not too far from where he was still living. This was the first time I'd lived on my own and it was awesome not having to deal with anybody else's BS. At least that's what I was thinking until I couldn't sleep at night because the people living above me were constantly pacing around in the tiny studio apartment as they were doing drugs and certainly not sleeping. I was waiting for them to wear holes through the floor walking above my head. Waiting for them to come crashing down into my unit. I started drinking more, enjoying my newly found single life. I was working at a tire shop and we would go to the bar every night after work, drinking and developing deeper friendships. As always me hanging out with all the guys. I've always bonded better with men over women. Women just have such a tendency to be entirely way too judgemental for my taste and love to stab other women in the back. That's not the kind of person I am so I have always tried to avoid that scenario completely. It was during this time in my life that I started developing a relationship with the father of my girls— the next addict/alcoholic I would have in my life. To be continued.... Stay tuned for part three of this compelling series.