At some point in our lives, we need to move on to the next chapter. We need to be more self sufficient. Jim and I had our plan at the ready for our family to get the ball rolling. Little did we know, the ball was actually a giant metaphorical boulder of spiraling death out to get us.
Jim and I recently moved from our home in Atco, NJ up to Maple Shade, NJ. We are 10-15 minutes from Jim’s job and about 30-40 minutes from our parents houses. It’s a nice area. The Elementary school that my daughter goes to is upstanding. There is a beautiful, historical part of town. We live less than 5 minutes from two different malls. Wawa is in walking distance. (The most important factor when moving.) I love the independence of being on our own and having the ability to walk around naked if I please, because this is OUR place. It’s nice.
While everything seems nice and dandy on the outside, what lay beneath is a story that at times can be hard to tell. When I think about it I feel guilt,sorrow and glad that we are out of that part of the woods.
Without further ado, ladies and gentlemen, here is the story of us moving.
We were living in a townhome with Brian. He is my mother’s ex boyfriend and my littlest brother and sister’s father. Let me just clarify the reason we stayed with Brian. He is a sweet man who treated me just like his own child.
How kind was he? When I had been admitted to a hospital and had to stay overnight, I had no one with me. My mother and I were not speaking. My biological father wasn’t around (as it always has been), and the man who stood in his place at my wedding, my dad, wasn’t there. I still don’t think my dad knows I even went to the hospital that night. Anyway, Jim wasn’t there; no friends. No one, except for Brian. who promised he would stay with me until I was released. He was the only person who stood by my side at that really hard time, thus I have a soft spot for him.
Brian had started dating around 2 years ago. He kept his love life mostly private. The most recent woman, let’s call her Aggie, is important to the story.
Aggie walked in and looked like a train wreck. The just rolled out of bed look combined with the I haven’t showered or slept in a week look. She looked like she was a lot older than me, although she was only a couple of months older than me. She had this vibe that made me feel extremely uncomfortable and made it hard to look her in the eyes. You could easily tell there was something wrong or something serious going on with her. I mean, who comes to their boyfriend’s house for the first time like that?
Aggie visited only once in a while. Sometimes she was left to watch my little brother and sister over night. Upon returning home, there was always evidence of her terrible decision making skills. Once I came home to our winter clothes dumped onto the laundry room and the tote that was supposed to be holding the clothes- in the back yard, filled half way with water and a turtle that was so big it was unable to turn around inside the tote. When I the kids awoke the next morning, oh, did they hear about it. The reckless endangerment of one of my favorite animals, the inexcusable disrespect for our winter clothes that they can’t replace, etc.. However, after a good long lecture, my brother enlightens me to the situation. Aggie had come up with the idea of taking this poor turtle from the lake. I made the children come with me to return the turtle back to it’s home.
Maybe a month after the turtle incident, Brian was sitting on the sofa with a look of distress on his face,
“Hey, Miss. Can you drive the kids back to your mom’s?” Brian asks
I answer “Yeah, Sure. Are you okay?”
“Nuh-uh, Dad. You just said that Aggie stole your car and emptied your bank account!” Aaron interjects.
And that was the last we heard from Aggie… for a couple of months. She came back unchanged. Although this time, it would turn out to be worse.
Angie started off visiting here and there, and then started to stay for days at a time, then just never left. She would be in the bathroom for extended periods of time, but other than that we barely noticed her presence.
One day, I went to use the bathroom after she finished and found a white powder on the bathroom counter (which both my kids could easily reach) that looked like a crushed pain killer next to a small straw. My head was unable to comprehend this at all. Before I got a chance to speak to Brian or Aggie about it, they were gone.
A few months later it was Mother’s Day and my sister got me a beautiful basket filled with bath goodies. I cleaned the bathroom and sat the basket on the back of the toilet with various bath/spa stuff in it. Aggie came back over and this time brought a lot of her things. It was becoming clear that this time she was here to stay.
Father’s day came the next month and I once again did a deep clean of the bathroom. The tub, drawers, sink and finally, the toilet. I took the basket off the top of the toilet to dust –which had not been moved at all for a month. Low and behold. a very small Ziploc bag that could barely hold a quarter in it.
And I panicked.
Everything had come together in a cacophony of worst nightmares.
My home our home was now the residence of a drug addict. I had absolutely no idea what to do. I called my husband and told him about my discovery, and we decided to pack some things to stay the night at our parents’ house.
I was not about to let my children be exposed to such deadly chemicals. God only knows what could have been in there. Before I left, I called my mom and let her know what I found; she asked me to bring the bag to her so she could test it to see exactly what it was in the bag.
It was heroine. In my home. On the counter that day with the straw. The reason this girl looked so messed up and the reason I found it hard to look her in the eye. There was something wrong, and my gut feeling was right.
I talked to Jim’s Step father, who used to live in a world for drugs, and he told me what to expect from an addict. The things they would say and their mannerisms. He also let us know that if we needed a place to stay for a little while that his home, was our home. With that in mind, I decided that my children, would never step foot in that townhouse again.
I went back to the townhouse to get some more of our things.Before arriving, I let Brian know what I had found and what it contained. He sent Aggie to talk to me.
To be completely honest, I barely listened to her. I also didn’t respond. I knew that if I did I was going to lose my composure. She went on about how sorry she was and how she never wanted to put my kids or siblings in danger. She said she hadn’t used in over 6 months (Which was clearly a lie due to the fact that the bag was NOT there in May and was there in June.) She told me she is trying really hard to stay away from drugs so she can see her kid again. She went on and on about her sad, sad story. Just trying to make me feel sorry for her. But you know what?
HER TRYING IS NOT GOOD ENOUGH FOR MY CHILDREN!
I don’t care who you are. I do not want drugs around my children. My son or daughter would have simply thought it was POWDERED SUGAR, ODed and possibly DIED. She does not get to chose if my children’s lives are worth risking.
We hopped back and forth for about a month from Jim’s parents’ and my mom’s house. We saved up as much money as we could and searched desperately for an apartment for our family. After hundreds of property inquires and a couple tours, we finally found one. With some help from my mom, we were able to move in within a week of finding the apartment.
Now we call it home. Rent is a small price to pay for safety for my children. We never have to worry about who someone else is bringing into our home. We control who comes in. We control what comes in. We build this environment for our family, and everyday I am thankful that we made it.
If anyone knows what you are supposed to do when you find drugs in your home, please comment on this post, email me or tweet it. (@MANICxIDIOT) It just might help someone else out, you never know.