Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Dear Pregnant Drug Addicts -

Lately an alarming amount of young people are getting pregnant. And I realize that I am still technically a young person, but I'm talking about high schoolers. And in this community, where drug use and teen pregnancy are so prevalent, often they go hand in hand. So I'm getting to get really personal and really honest and address this to all of the drug using pregnant teenagers (and women in general I guess) of not only Okanogan County, but the world, really.

Dear Pregnant Druggies.

Stop. I know that letting go of an addictive life style is harder than it sounds, but if you are going to keep your child, stop. If you are pregnant and still using, stop. Do not bring your child into the hell that is your life of drug abuse. Do not force your child to deal with the consequences of your inability to cope with life. Get help from a professional, not a needle or a pipe. I sat in a one bedroom picker's cabin and watched my mother smoke meth off of spoons, watched her various boyfriends inject things into their arms, knew that we had drugs and a lot of them hidden in our air conditioner. In fact it was never turned on. It wasn't even plugged in. It was purely to hide drugs in. I never want anyone to go through that.

Unless you have lived through the horror that is being a junkie's child, you cannot know how hard it is to explain to your friends why your moms tongue "does that weird thing", why your house always smells a little off, why I can't have friends over unless their parents do drugs, too. Unless you have lived through the horror that is being a junkie's child, you cannot know what it is like to see someone go through withdrawals, what it is like to live a real live, tweaker who embarrasses you in public, who cannot drive and couldn't afford a car anyways because she has no job and spends all her spare money on drugs.

Do not go on welfare to get money for food and then sell the card for drug money. Your children will get so hungry they eat out of garbage cans. Their ribs will stick out of their bodies, they will stop being children and become sharp angles and growling stomachs. They will stop excelling in school because they are too hungry to focus on their work and one time when you haven't had anything in a couple of days you will tell your daughter no one gives a fuck she is the only one in the entire middle school with a 4.0. You will leave lasting damage on your children that will never go away, no matter what they do after they escape the misery you put them through.

Please do not force your child to one day sit in a small room and tell cops, teachers, and family where you hide the drugs, who you sell the drugs to, the amount of times they have been hit, or starved as a punishment, or made to stand facing the walls with their arms over their head for 10,20,30 minutes at a time.You may think that child abuse and drug abuse aren't related, but you are wrong. Do not submit them to the guilt they will inevitably feel when your neighbors child who they will go to school with asks them why their mother just got taken to jail, knowing they put you there. Do not choose drugs over your child.

Because if you do, one day, seven years later, you will pass your child on the street as she walks to work. She will see you and feel guilty all over again, knowing that you went to jail because of her. Knowing that two of her brothers went into foster care, and two live with their aunt and uncle, and she and her oldest brother lived with their grandmother because she couldn't stand it any longer. Because she got weak. She will feel these things as you walk by. She will wait for a smile, a nod, a gesture of recognition from you, her mother, and you won't recognize her.

Do not force your child to grow up by age 8 and then be immature after she is set free because she is experiencing childhood five years too late. Do not submit your child to the pain that comes with the knowledge that you couldn't tell her apart from the woman that rang up your groceries last night. Do not put your child through the hell that is a parents drug addiction.

If your are pregnant and using drugs, stop. Do not leave a defenseless being to deal with diseases and handicaps that are no fault of its own, but the consequence of you "needing just a little taste" to get you through the day. Do not leave your child's future adopted parents to deal with a little boy who has eyes hungry for the world, but is unable to control himself because you killed a part of him before he was even born. For you, drug abuse could be a phase, it could be a disease you overcome, meth babies don't just "get over" what they are born with. They can never outgrow the damage you do to them.

Take it from someone who knows.

Get help.
For your child.