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I Can't Be Your Heroine...

by Stephanie
(Detroit, mi)

I've never told this story... By after reading your starter questions I realized heroin has affected my life in 4 out of the 5 ways. Yes I had an addicted spouse. Yes my father was a heroin addict. Yes I've lost somebody because of it and that same spouse is now at the other side it just seems like now that I finally beat that bitch and after all the fight I don't know what I want...

Lets start with this ... my dad was addicted to heroin all my life. I never seen my parents together. I've always had a low self esteem because of it. At 5 on weekend visits to my grandmas house to visit my dad I used to sit by the window and wait 2 or 3 days for my dad to get back from the store.

I didn't know it was heroin who had my dad so captivated but I knew he had no interest in me ... I was pretty, smart, funny ... or was I? Maybe I wasn't because why else wouldn't my daddy wanna spend time with me.

One day I wouldn't get out of the car and looking back you would think he would be forced to go without coping dope ... or so I would hope a parents love for their child would be stronger but this was one of the first of many times I would underestimate who I was dealing with. She won.

So I took a trip to Detroit. It was exciting and at least I actually got to spend time with my Dad. At 7 my Dad got shot 5 times by 44 hollow tip shells at a gas station. I think it was drug related but not if you'd asked him.

By 12 I would take a daily trip with my Dad and wait outside the methadone clinic. In my teens I had kinda numbed myself to the pain. You didn't have time for me so you'll be lucky if I grace you with my presence was my attitude toward my Dad.

I would make him let me smoke weed, buy me cigarettes and bring my friends over to party. After all my this was the price he'd have to pay for the injustice he did me. Fair is fair.

By 18 I no longer lived at home I stayed with my best friend after being kicked out - we did coke heavily, experimented with e pill, drank. Some nights all 3. Then she went a little too left.

She asked me if I wanted to try heroin. "Fuck no ... Ummm didn't you see my dad. He should be a walking anti-heroin campaign for you" was my first reply without hesitation and it came automatic.

I started feeling like I was imposing on her family. I didn't even like eating. I cramped everyone's style and most importantly I was not her parents kid. So I came up with a get an apartment quick scheme. Stripping.

Oh yeah it would be easy ... of course I didn't know how strippers made money but they made a lot of it and my cousin was one so on the day of my 18th birthday I took my awesome ID to the strip club my cousin worked, at went in spotted her and told her my plan.

She was 23 and knew what she was doing so of course I wanted to work with her. I talked to the manager. "Are you still in school?" What kinda question was that for a strip club manager. "Yes alternative. I graduate in June". "Go throw your clothes on and audition".

Nerves hit me like bricks luckily my cousin had a 5th in the locker room. I changed but I looked at her heels and mine was thrown together so my cousin loaned me a neon green outfit and real dancer shoes.

I looked the part but I needed to shake these nerves. Slammed my drink. I got the job but It wasn't as easy as I'd envisioned but since my bar didn't serve liquor the bar that they owned across the street as well would serve me even though I was 18 and me and my cousin would cross over there drink and take some people back with us.

My first night I poured out my purse. I counted out 700 dollars ... I was shocked but since that wasn't enough to get an apt. I gave my friends mom some money and my friend to get her nails done. The more I made the more people wanted money.

My friend continued to fight with her parents about drinking on school nights, smoking weed and god forbid they didn't even know about the e or blow ... So finally everything hit the breaking point. She had to go live with her dad, who she had only met a few times and she was getting kicked out.

She looked at me with "Big tears and said Steph, I gotta get a job there". She was only 17 I had just turned 18 so I was certain it would be unsuccessful but to my surprise they told her to get a fake ID. She did and the next night I had a test for my kidneys at the hospital so I was late coming in but her and my cousin had become best friends forever. T

They were telling secrets. Leaving me out and this had been my best friend since the 7th grade. I left because my stomach hurt and I was emotionally hurt. They weren't including me in anything, but she told me she was gonna have $2800 tomorrow.

I left and started crying explaining to my friend Kevin how they were leaving me out and that I knew something bad was gonna happen. I never went to sleep I switched my dance bag with my school bag and took off in the morning. So what they were having a good time. I had priorities anyways.

That day in school my cousin Joey and my Mom pulled me out of class when I walked out I had never seen my Mom that happy to see me. She only looked at my half brother like that. "Where are the girls?" She said with a sense of urgency.

So she found out about me dancing. Maybe she was mad. Fuck. "At home?" No Steph, neither of the girls came home. We drove back to the club looked in the dumpster, the field, the kiddy corner hotel knocking on doors ... Just about everywhere in the grim vicinity of that club.

Finally we went back to her house and I saw the police in her living room, but I didn't wanna hear it. My only friend did 2 packs of heroin, coke and e pills and went into cardiac arrest and was DOA.

I went to the police station and gave them every detail. What had I done?! I killed my best friend. Why would she try heroin? Or do all of that? I didn't understand why. My mom took me home and I didn't dance again. I didn't leave my house for a month. I didn't talk to anyone.

I looked at her myspace, I made pictures and collages of her, read old birthday cards and my whole box of class notes. Heroin had done it again and yeah you can't do a combo like that but I warned her about heroin.

I would never try it because of what I had seen and fear of what it can become. Finally my friend forced me to go out. I got drunk and met a handsome 21 year old and spilled my drunken heart to him. Soon we became inseparable that first year and moved in.

Except for when he'd go missing of course ... By the time I found out I was in love with a heroin addict who's mother got him addicted because it was "cheaper than Vicodin" I was 3 months pregnant.

Oh and I didn't meet this heavenly mother in law till 7 months after we had gotten together. I was eager to meet his family but he insisted they were always busy or something came up. Not to mention my dads last words were "It better be a boy". Even though we were not on good terms.

Right after my ultrasound I went to show my dad that it was a boy and my uncle told me to sit down. I had missed my Dad by one fucking day. It was my fault but I didn't want to go over there because he'd ask to use my new car or borrow the only little bit of money I had.

But was it worth not being able to say goodbye. My dad od'd and the autopsy listed heroin and diazepam. So 2007 I lost my best friend. 2008 my dad. Both to heroine ... and now my sons father was shooting up.

How does she do it? She's a better daughter, best friend and girlfriend than me. The next 2 years were hell. I begged my mom for him to stay after we lost our apt. where I was the only one working. I left him but in 2010 his mom got hit by a car.

After that he would get so fucked up he didn't know he had a kid. He was living in a dope house. I stayed with my mom and started dancing again to get me and my now 2 year old son on our feet after living out of hotels just because he couldn't stay at my mom's anymore.

He got a lawsuit from her death in 2011 shortly after he got out of jail and told me the problem was solved, he was cured, paid for our house, brand new furniture etc, etc. Soon his money ran out and he started stealing 50s and 100s at time for "roxycontin" that I asked to see but never once could.

Found needles, couldn't own a hoodie or the string would get ripped out ... He left my son with his friend and nodded out in the back seat of his car, had girls in my house 2 of them and I heard he fucked em, this was the proof I wanted for the last 2 years so why wasn't I packing?

I had lost the battle again. He ended up going to jail, I got a new boyfriend and still went back. So fast forward to present day. He's had 4 months clean, but I don't ever believe that ... and even though I know he really is why admit it now.

He's not gonna be for long. But I had nowhere to stay. Next month I get a section 8 that I can finally go to school in and maybe formally write this never-ending melodramatic biography I hope becomes a story of triumph.

The weirdest part is I haven't even threatened him or rubbed it in his face and that's how I know I've ran out of hope and its time for me to exit his life. I'm not bitter and I'm happy he's better.

He's fixed for a little while but I feel how unstable it feels and that its gonna collapse, I just don't know when. I think now that I'm 24, 6 years later I finally feel like I'm alright with the fact that I couldn't save my friend or my dad and I can't save him but that doesn't mean that I should have to sink with him.

I wanted a fairy tale but that's not the life I was given - I'm a survivor and I've survived for a reason and I'm not gonna join em because I can't beat em or in my case save them. I need to save myself and he needs to do the same.

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Apr 20, 2013
Thank you
by: Stephanie

Thank you Siobhan. I appreciate that. You sound like a good mother and amazing person as well. Never forget that scars bring character and its not who went through more we're all fighting are own battles for different reasons and pain cannot be measured because something that might not have effected you as much may have effected me more. We're all survivors and I'am very sorry about the loss of your friend and I like talking to people have been through similar experiences as me. Friends are hard to let go of because we choose to love them. Best of wishes to you and your girls. (:

Apr 18, 2013
OMG..... Girl you know your one tough cookie!!
by: siobhan

You've had one hard live girl, my parents never drank or anything!! My life started with my youngest two girls dad, I've lost many friends also but from meth.... One of my closest friend he was my bff and I blamed myself to!!! But I will tell you this my life as been easy compared to yours an you have to be a pretty amazing person to have lived thru all that!!!

Apr 14, 2013
by: Anonymous

Thank you

Apr 14, 2013
Thank you
by: Steph

Thankyou Cher, I know your daughter gets a lot of love and ecouragement from you and I know she may feel a void from her dad but I can sense that you are a very positive influence and that means that someday she'll appreciate you twice as much. Maybe not for a while because she's still got those teenage years to go through and emotions, especially anger is not always correctly directed. Stick by her and honestly I don't use any drugs today and a lot of my friends that led more sheltered lives did start using drugs like vicodin that eventually became heroin although I know it's a negative situation but it can be a positive impact on who she becomes because she is a survivor. Make sure she knows that. That a negative situation can be positive if she learns from it and to take her Dads situation and learn from that.

Apr 12, 2013
by: chey

You are an extremely strong person and your son is lucky to have you. My daughter is dealing with the pain of having an addicted father. We do not live together and have been separated for years now. She is 7 and knows about drugs and asks all the time about her dads bizarre behavior. It scares her and she cries over it alot. She says her heart is broken. I suffer alot of guilt over this. It is not easy and since you now have a child with him, the suffering will never be over. You seem to have a good understanding and are on the right path. Never give up or give in.

Apr 01, 2013
by: Steph

My mom used to tell me my dad loves me as much as he can love anything but he's ill and I truly believe that ... But if someone's got inner turmoil that can't fully give you all of them. It's not there to give. Someday I hope he finds what he is looking for but more importantly I hope I do and I hope my 3 yr. old son does because we deserve that.

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