Postcard from Hell – Jamie

ehasJamie wrote:

You must get so many e mails. You are an amazing person to share your story and reach out and help others.

I came across your site while searching for answers to my husbands meth problem. The pain, and disparate to find answers, and how to help. We were a gay couple, and meth is very prevalent in the gay community, but i think it is all the same how it destroys people and families.

I think most peoples meth stories about their loved ones are similar, but I walked away sooner then you did,(thought my tearry eyed reading i think it said you left after years) I left 7 months after i first suspected it, and then when I was finding paraphernalia all over the house, pipes, bags, burnt tin foil in the toilet that didn’t make it down, or he was rushing and forgot to flush it, straws and empty bags. Funny thing is, he said it wasn’t his. Like its okay to have people come over and do meth? and you don’t do it?  As soon as i knew 100% that he had issues with it i left within 2 months because he was just so mean and the fights were crazy, and i would just give in and say i was wrong and i would change just to end the fight. I sometimes regret leaving, because while it was a nightmare living together, i felt i got in his way and he couldn’t do it whenever he wanted. But now typing that i realize that he did, he would just leave in the middle of the night, or come home very late from work.
I used to cry and beg saying if your not using meth then something is wrong with you, you’re different, you’re different. Lets go get you help, lets see a Dr. Ill help you, we can do this.
I guess fortunately for me i only woke up 2 times to find out he wasn’t home. But those times were the most horrific nightmares ever. I was surprised he answered when i called, and i got some lame excuse that he would be headed home shortly, and 6 – 8 hours later he finally came home after shutting his phone off (i guess so i couldn’t call, or text and ruin his high, or sex binge) while i called and called and messaged apologizing for whatever i did to make him mad and please come home.
Since leaving i have become obsessed with him (more so then the tracking and stalking and searching for drugs all the time i did when we were living together). I keep thinking about what we had. We were a regular couple, we had issues and some fights, but we loved each other. I look back at pictures of us and see us smiling, and looking happy, and sharing all these wonderful experiences. We were together for a total of 10 years, and our marriage did not make it 2 years. While we are still married, as i just left 2.5 months ago and our 2 year anniversary was 5/31 it made me regress. I hold on to what my therapist says. The good memories are still that, good memories and that wont change.
I had not talked to him in almost a month so i decided to call him because it was going to be our 2 year wedding anniversary. I don’t know why, but he answered, he usually ignores my calls and messages. He was in the Emergency Room and was having heart issues and was overheating. Which i know are signs of too much meth. He said it was from Viagra because of all the stress i put on him he cant get it up, but i know he was high on meth and was maybe going to have some wild crazy sex, or masturbate for hours looking at meth porn, which i would catch him doing in the middle of the night sometimes when i would wake up and he wouldn’t be in bed. This totally killed me. Now everything is all fresh again, and i’m so scared that he is going to die. I know there is NOTHING i can do. My support groups are teaching me to let go and let god, and i didn’t cause it, I cant cure it,I cant control it.  Now he is just evil.He is not my husband anymore, he is a different person. I don’t know why i call him, i am having trouble letting go. He never reaches out to me, but i just cant let him go. I don’t want him to die.
Its comforting to see that others have lived though this, and although scarred from it, you move on. Going to my meetings people talk and laugh and at this point i am like, how, how can you ever be happy again?
Thank you for letting me vent and thank you for helping all the anonymous people that you don’t know. I just hope that soon i will be able to move on.
I know this is probably very jumbled, as i type this though tears, and crazy thoughts. But thank you for sharing your experiences for others to read and see. Thank you for even letting me just share my story with you. I feel more comfort sharing it with others who have experienced it then with those who haven’t because the things i did were crazy and i see how they look at me. But in my first nar-anon meeting people don’t look like i’m crazy, One woman told me, I understand, I did everything you did. I stalked and tracked and searched every day.
Again, thank you for sharing your story so we know that we are not alone in this. Its so sad that i had no idea about this and then when i started to search how many people were going though this. There is so much info out there.
Jamie
Dear Jamie,

I’m so sorry to meet yet another person traveling down this horrible path. No one who hasn’t experienced loving a person addicted to this specific drug can truly understand just how hellish it is to live with. 
Meth is prevalent in all communities these days, my friend. I hear from people all the time who have a similar story to ours, and they come from every walk of life imaginable. For what it is worth, you never have to feel alone in this nightmare. There are so many of us who understand all too well.
I left Chef after 11 months, but I continued to love him for years. Even to this day, sometimes that love still rears its head. You needn’t feel ashamed that you weren’t able to turn that love off like a faucet. Love doesn’t work that way. It can take the worst kinds of abuses and still manage to live on in our hearts. That being said, you are right in the wisdom that you are helpless in your lover’s fight. I learned the hard way that my wanting to remain with Chef, to show him unconditional love, was really only mitigating his consequences and keeping him from hitting rock bottom. 
I am about 4 years out now, and I laugh often. I feel real joy in life again, and while Chef remains in my heart, he does not have a place in my life. And Jamie, if I can get to that place, so can you. I loved my husband with my entire being — heart and soul. We’d been together over 20 years, raised children together, and were best friends. Meth destroyed all of it. At first, I refused to allow myself even to remember the good times together, but time has softened the edges of my pain, and now, I’m grateful for how many good memories I still have.
Be patient with yourself. Only time and the Lord can heal this kind of immense pain, and you will be happy again some day. I will keep you in my prayers, which sadly, have become such a long list of hurting loved ones. 
With your permission, I’d like to publish your beautiful email so others like you will know they aren’t alone. I don’t have any from a gay person, and I believe that would help so many people who might be afraid to say something for fear of being judged. You’ll get no judgments from me or those who follow me. 
Please let me know, and be well. I am praying for you!!!
Your sister,
Bird
Jamie wrote:
Thank you for your words. You really are a inspiration. I know i am in the throws of it now, and it feels like it will never get better. Like you i feel this has changed me. I used to look down on drug addicts/alcoholics. But a good person making 1 bad mistake (as you put it Handle a little bit of sin) and taking that 1st hit changed everything forever. Like you i feel if he knew what would happen, he would have not tried it for the first time because he was so kind, caring, and thoughtful. I now realize that drug addicts are someones husband, wife, mother, father, sister, brother, son, or daughter. They come from all walks of life and all they did was make one bad decision for whatever reason, and their family is probably going though the same living hell as so many of us have.

Yes you can use my e mail. I know so many people are hurting from the horrible drug called meth.  Anything to help those, like me, who feel so alone and powerless in this. I spend hours reading other peoples stories and they are so similar. Its sad to say, but it does bring me comfort that i’m not alone, and at the same time my heart breaks for them because I know what they must be going though. ~Jamie

What We Look For in a God

Jake and Suzie-1-4In 2005, I was involved in a terrible motorcycle accident. For a month or so, I hung in the balance between life and death, my punctured lungs succumbing to pneumonia and ARDS, in and out of comas, every rib broken, liver pierced, heart bruised, and on and on. No one was convinced I would live, or could live.

But I did. God was clearly involved in my survival, and several months after entering the hospital dying, I walked out alive.

When I returned to my life, though, I found rising deep inside of me a

Dj, Caitie-Bug, and Rebekkah
Dj, Caitie-Bug, and Rebekkah

genuine anger. Yes, my body had begun to mend, but I hurt badly all over, my ex-husband had not paid any of our bills for months or taken very good care of our kids, and I found myself weak and overwhelmed with the task of putting all of our lives back on track.

Up until that point in my life, I had been careful to direct any anger about things in my life anywhere but in God’s direction. And there was a lot of anger to direct. I left my childhood home and family enraged, and my first few years of adulthood, while on the surface seemingly normal and calm, concealed beneath a churning ocean of anger, disappointment, betrayal, and sadness.

My mother and me...
My mother and me…

I believe that we have a better ability to ignore the wounds of our childhoods when we are young and strong, both in body and in mind. But after my motorcycle accident, with my mind still reeling from the shock of what had happened to me and my body still groaning beneath the pain, I found that I was unable to ignore certain emotions that were threatening to swamp me, and frankly, my dark thoughts were frightening me.

Chef has always been super popular with people who knew him. Me, notBandido Chef so much. It isn’t that people didn’t like me. It was just that I don’t collect large numbers of people to invite them into my life on an intimate level. I have always been careful about who I consider a friend, and I’m too introspective to have much energy left over to give acquaintances. And whenever I don’t feel well, or I’m sad, or stressed, or whatever else, I tend to withdraw and isolate a bit. I can’t manage social niceties while dealing with whatever it is I’m dealing with. It just isn’t how I function.

broken windowsSo, you can imagine how much I enjoyed parades of biker clubs coming to visit me in the hospital, along with the other supporting cast of Chef’s life. Plus, he went on television and spoke about motorcycle safety laws and held a rally in honor of those of us who had been hurt in this accident. I have memory after memory of waking up in a fuzzy state with faces looking down at me in pity.

When I got home, my three teenagers were pissed off too. Chef had Don and the kids 001farmed them all out to different biker households, and as is our family tradition, it would seem, they had all started smoking weed to cope. For 3 months, they basically did whatever they wanted to do, smoked a bunch of crap, and had to wait patiently to see if their mother was going to die.

So, yeah. I came home pissed at the world. Chef has never been a Christian much more than in words, but I had tried hard to make him understand why I was upset. It did no good to accuse him of anything. He thought his wife was going to die, and who knows how well or how badly we will handle that kind of stress until we have to? I couldn’t really direct my anger at the person who caused the accident either, because he’d been a fifteen year old kid, the same age as my own son, and with about the same maturity level.

When it was all stripped away, it came down to me and God. And for a person like me, that is a very scary place to find oneself. It could not be ignored anymore. I was upset with God.

Chef reached out to the most religious person he knew, hoping to find godsome help for me. I don’t remember exactly how he knew him. He wasn’t part of our biker community, but I don’t think they worked together either. But this man had purchased a prayer cloth from a television evangelist who had prayed over it and sent it to him for me.

Yep.

(Clearly, my ex never understood me much, even after twenty years.)

I was touched by the kindness of this man, but disgusted by television load of crappreachers who peddle in this nonsense. I accepted it politely, pressed it into a scrapbook, and plunged into the unhappy ocean of being disappointed in God. So, of course, Chef invited this man to come council me a few months after I went home.

c-s-lewis-quoteI listened for hours as this well-meaning man gave me all the reasons why I shouldn’t feel the way I was feeling. What really stood out among his various mis-teachings was his belief that we were on the same footing as Jesus Christ, demi-gods, if you will. He lectured me in the Word of Faith doctrine that has been corrupting our churches for decades now, and he sought to build me up with promises that if I could summon up enough faith, God would have no choice but to give me anything my heart desired.

As he was talking, the Holy Spirit seemed to wake up inside of me. I was polite to him, all the while disputing his beliefs. And finally, it came down to this — “Why do you believe what you believe, and what in you makes you want to believe what you hear?”

What are you looking for in a god?

It is a sad reality these days that people believe what they hear others tell them, but put little or no effort into finding out the truth about the Lord by looking for themselves. Even worse, they lack the self-awareness needed to understand why they are looking for certain versions of God.

When the man left, and for the first time since the accident, I went to my bible and started looking for the truth. The real truth.

It took no time for me to find it. I was angry at God for so much about this 18c6326b9228e34bc10dca933c81b7e4accident. Forget the physical pain. I’m no wimp. I can handle pain with the best of them. It wasn’t the myriads of visitors being directed into my hospital room by a husband who should have known by now how I hated people around when I don’t feel well, or the sudden drug problem by not one, but all three, of my strong-willed, not-easily-managed-on-their-best-days teenagers, or the stacks and stacks of threatening bill collection letters. No. It went further than that. Deeper.

I won’t go into the harsher depths of my crisis of faith back then. This is already a really long post. But I will tell you His simple answer:

“One of you will say to me: ‘Then why does God still blame us? For who resists his will?’ But who are you, O man, to talk back to God? Shall what is formed say to him who formed it, ‘Why did you make me like this?’ Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for noble purposes and some for common use?”

Romans 9:19-21

I know it sounds like an odd, not very comforting answer, considering how rough the times I was going through were. But for me, it was the perfect answer. It spoke to a truth in me.

how-to-wait-upon-the-lord-for-your-breakthrough-3-638I’m not one to want to be enslaved to a weak authority. If I am going to place all my hope in a god, I want it to be a real one, with power and godlike qualities. I want to be able to ask my god, why? But I want to be fearful of him as well. I don’t want to serve an ATM in the sky, or find special mantras that will force a deity to succumb to my infantile authority. I don’t want to imagine my god wringing his hands in worry over anything I think about what he says or what he does.

I want the God who predestined His own Son’s death at the beginning of cropped-sad-girl1.pngthe world. I want the God who shuts up the sea behind doors, who gives orders to the morning, who has seen for himself the gates of the shadow of death. I happily give over my life and all that it will ever mean to a god who is really a God. I want a worthy God to strive for a life that is worthy of Him.

Here I am, years later. All those terrible problems have resolved themselves in one way or another. But the most valuable treasure I took from the experience is the knowledge that my God will do as He pleases with what belongs to Him. For me, there is a trust that comes from understanding the God I serve is powerful, and He doesn’t serve me.

who_do_you_serve.jpgI’m saved by His mercy and by His grace, which He has freely given me without a single iota of it being commissioned by me at all. And because of this, I can trust that He doesn’t need mantras, or powerful pieces of cloth purchased from holy men, or some twisted exercises designed to summon up immeasurable things like faith. He doesn’t need anything from me at all, and because of this, I both fear Him, as well as respect Him.

~ Bird