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Me Before Marc
I was born, kicking and screaming, to a petite woman with no desire to have a child. To my mother, children were nusiances and dirty creatures that had to be constantly monitored and were always in the way. I was promptly handed off to a nanny who thought I was the most beautiful thing she'd ever laid eyes on. In my early years, my nanny, Maritsa, was the only mother I knew. Maritsa was a large brazillian woman with a warm smile and a soft heart. For the most part, I was a happy child, gleefully digging in the dirt, climbing trees, doing pirouettes through my mothers sitting room, and constantly being in the way. I could be expected to tell any secret I knew with the quick promise of a warm cookie and a cold glass of milk. Life was overall good for me. I wasn't forced to go to boarding school thankfully and was allowed to stay with Maritsa when I wasn't in school. I had my first boyfriend when I reached grade nine. His name was Jared and he had straw blonde hair and a shy smile. I loved school and couldn't wait until I could graduate and attend college. By my senior year, I had so many pamphlets from colleges offering me scholarships that there wasn't room at the table for dinner. I finally settled on a small college, Breaksville Community College or B.C.C. for short, close by in Breaksville with moderately priced apartments located next to the campus. I picked out an apartment and was set to share my little nook with a sophmore named Melanie who attended the same college as me and worked the graveyard shift at the local morgue. The apartment would be ready to move into by July, so all I had to do was wait. May and my graduation came in a blur and by the end of July I was packed and ready to move into my new apartment. Maritsa's husband Lucas helped haul all of my stuff to Breaksville and Maritsa and Lucas left me standing in the parking lot of my apartment complex waving goodbye while holding on to a large picnic basket full of goodies. Since Melanie wasn't due to the apartment until right before school started I had the place to myself. After exploring the town thoroughly and rearranging the furniture in my apartment until I was satisfied I began to explore the campus of my new school. Right around the arts department I bumped into a woman named Angelica who became a close friend of mine. I began to attend chic parties with Angelica in some of the other apartment complexes located nearby. Since throwing parties was about the only thing we could do for fun, there was always a party to attend. And after much persuasion the girls also introduced me to the recreational use of marijuana. At one of these very parties is where I met a handsome soldier by the name of Marc. Marc and I began to see each other frequently and on one marijuana filled night, we slept together. Two days later, Marc showed up at my apartment with suitcases in hand. Thanks to a suprise drug test given by his comanding officer, Marc was given a dishonorable discharge and kicked out of his barracks. With nowhere else to go, Marc moved into the apartment with me and Melanie. A month later I got pregnant and we got married. I baked a casserole to celebrate. So started my life with Marc.
The Early Years
During my fourth month of pregnancy, we were forced to move out of the apartment we shared with Melanie and into one not located in college housing. Once I began to show, I felt that college was too difficult to manage and dropped out. Since I was no longer attending B.C.C., I was forbidden by the department of housing to live in a college based apartment. Marc and I got a small apartment in an old building that was shabby and rundown but decorated brightly and in a decent neighborhood. Our favorite pasttime was sitting on the roof of the building, staring at the stars and drinking cheap wine. During this time, we would tell each other our dreams for the future and make up silly names for the new baby to be. Marc got a job as an errand boy for a prestigous law firm in a town thirty minutes away and I began taking in sewing from the ladies in the building. I spent so many long lonely days in the apartment that one night Marc suprised me after work with a tape of violin music. For days upon end, you could find me sitting on a small stool, sewing away on some piece of garment or another, blaring violin music from a small tape player we had. Around my seventh month, the small window unit air conditioner that we had quit working and we went for about two weeks in blistering heat. I was so unbearable to live with that Marc worked extra shifts just to stay out of my way. About half way into the third week, Marc threatened to call the owner of the property on the landlord so thankfully he fixed the air conditioner. Shortly after that, I was standing in the kitchen, cooking supper and swaying to the violin, when I noticed a wet substance coating my feet. Three hours later, the nerves in my body were just starting to relax when the nurse placed my baby girl in my arms. I took a mental video clip of everything happening so I could remember that day forever. My daughter was squirming in my arms while Marc swayed back in forth. Lightly in the background you could hear violin music from the tape recorder Marc had grabbed on the way out. The violin concerto was so moving, I instantly relaxed. When the nurse asked me what I wanted to name her, the only thing I could think of was Vialyn. On that hot June day, my beautiful girl, Maritsa Vialyn was born to the world. She looked at me with so much trust and innocence it was heartbreaking. If only she could have known then how much destruction I would cause her. A few days later I was allowed to take my bundle of joy home and thoroughly enjoy her. Just watching her little toes move was so entertaining, I stared at her for hours. Thankfully Marc was a doting father. Bringing home teddy bears for Vialyn, playing peekaboo or tickling her toes, even changing her which was not common for husbands to do at the time. Even though we were poor, we still had each other and our new daughter and that was enough for me. Marc would go to work while I sewed and tended to the baby and then when he got home, we would feed her, change her, give her a bath and then put her to bed. After she was asleep, we would pack a baby monitor up to the roof and get blitzed on cheap wine. During those times we shared so much it seemed impossible that we would not be in love forever. Our lives weren't perfect in any way but we felt that we could take on any obstacle and still come out a strong family. The wine gave me the illusion that our life had stability, safety, and security. I became disillusioned very quickly.
Moving Up In The World
By the time Vialyn had reached four months, Marc had put in enough effort and overtime at work to get a promotion. I baked a casserole to celebrate. His promotion bumped him from errand boy to executive assistant, which gave him an actual office and a nice raise. Thankfully, it came in the nick of time. Marc and I had began noticing just how costly having a baby was. I noticed in those earlier years that I was extremely thankful all the time. It's hard now for me to even remember what being thankful is. But just the same, we now had a little more income coming in and I was still taking in sewing so that we were actually able to afford to give Vialyn the things that she needed. The new job meant even more work hours for Marc and less time for the family but he excused this away by saying he was trying to provide more for his family. When providing more for his family began cutting into the nighttime too, I became a little concerned but between sewing and Vialyn, I didn't have time to express my concern. Whenever I mentioned that he was working an awful lot lately, he reassured me by saying that as an assistant he had to be available at all hours of the day. Especially if he wanted to continue up the ladder. I thought I was perfectly content with the particular wrung of the ladder that we were currently on but all that changed when a month later I missed my period. I waited anxiously, hoping against hope that the stress of Marc's new work schedule had put a strain on my body, but by the next month, and my second missed period I was beginning to feel nauseous. A trip to the doctor confirmed what I already knew. I was pregnant again. I waited until Christmas was over before I told Marc. To me, it wasn't fair to put a damper on Vialyn's first christmas so I kept the news to myself until after the holiday. By January I was miserable and unable to keep the pregnancy a secret any longer. One cold, crisp evening I revealed the dreaded news to Marc and was met with suprised calm. He already knew! He told me he figured it out by the mood I had been in. Relieved, I began to focus on preparing for the new baby. And once again I went through a grueling six more months of being bloated, overeating, and being nauseous about simple foods while cramming myself with a disarray of disgusting cuisine that left Marc green faced and unable to eat around me. Our main concern was space. Our tiny apartment had Vialyn sleeping in our room and we just couldn't manage to deal with having yet another baby crammed into the space. It was time for us to get a larger place. So, in between sewing, taking care of Vialyn and several trips to the bathroom, I tore through newspaper ads for apartments for rent. One night, a sheepish Marc came in to tell me that he had been promoted again at his job. They had made him PARTNER!!! The news was so exciting, I promptly made a casserole to celebrate. With this new promotion, we could actually buy a house. Marc told me he would ask around work to see where the other men in the firm lived and hopefully we could buy a house close to them. I was so excited at the potential of a house and new lady friends that I refused all sewing and returned the current garments unfinished to everyone in the building. At first they were upset, but when they learned of Marc's new promotion and us getting a house, they were ecstatic. Later on that week, Marc came home to tell me he had bought a house. I didn't hear him at first because I was furious that he would make a major decision without me, but the anger quickly dissapaited when he showed me a picture of the gorgeous two
story house. How on earth could we afford this? Marc assured me that we now made enough money that we could in fact afford the house and by the end of the month we were moving our things into this house. It was absolutely gorgeous. It had a large backyard with plently of huge tree's for shade. I could just envision a huge tire swing hanging from one thick branch of a tall sturdy tree close to the back patio. Inside, the kitchen was large and modern, the living room wide and spacious, and there were enough bedrooms for all of the family members to have their own. After having our furniture moved in and buying new furniture for the babies rooms, the house was so cozy and inviting I couldn't wait to have a visitor. The next night, I was suprised by just that in fact when a barrage of wives and coworkers of Marc's came pouring through the door. Each wife had a bakery confection and by the time they were all inside I had more cakes, cookies, and brownies than we could possibly eat in a life time. On closer inspection, I realized that all treats were dietetic with no real use of sugar, butter, or whole milk. Are these things still even considered desserts? I placed every gift I was given on the kitchen counter and swept back out to meet the group of women and men that were gathered together in my living room. I stopped to quickly scan the wives of my husbands coworkers and noticed that out of the five or so that were in my living room, none of the women were wearing outdated clothing or had an ounce of fat on them. All of the wives looked shrewd and snobbish. I looked down at my large belly buldging under my maternity top and wondered if these women exercised double time when they got pregnant just to keep their weight down. If they even got pregnant. I could see their drawn and pointed faces yelling at their husbands to stay away or they might get fat. The image in my head was so hilarious it caused me to laugh. Apparently, people in Marc's circle didn't laugh because they all stared at me as if I had just done something very rude. An embarrassed flush crept up my face to match Marc's red angry face. The rest of the night was strained and after our company left I was thoroughly scolded by Marc. He belittled me and announced that I needed to act more like the wives of his coworkers. After a couple more encounters with different wives, I was convinced that I wanted to be nothing like any of them and promptly tried to get out of any engagment that I was invited to. After that, things started to go downhill for Marc and I.
Tension began seeping into my family. By the time my son was born, I was convinced that Marc was having an affair. I hoped with all my might that the sight of our baby boy would bring him around and for a while it did. Landon Brandt was such an easy going baby that it didn't add too much extra work to my plate. He was so much fun and such an enjoyment that Vialyn and I could often be found in the floor of one room or another playing baby games with him. By this time, Vialyn was a year and a half old and already one of the smartest children I knew. I got so wrapped up in my children that I didn't seem to notice that Marc had been coming home later and later and often smelling of stale smoke and cheap bars. When I finally did notice and asked him about it, he gave me a weak answer about taking clients out to dinner. He no longer made much of an effort to conceal his affairs and
by the time my son was three, I made little effort to care. What I did care about was spend time with Angelica, my old friend from college who I had bumped into a while back. Often times, I would leave both Vialyn and Landon with the nanny Marc forced me to get and spend the whole afternoon in Angelica's apartment smoking pot. The mari juana helped me forget about my husbands infidelities and that neither our children nor I was enough for him. My time at Angelica's became so frequent that often times the nanny had to bring the children to her apartment to return them to me. I would gather them up, dump them into the car, drive them home, often times high as a kite, and put them to bed where I would then retire to the living room to smoke up the rest of the bag that I had bought from Angelica, who now went by Dee. Dee became my best friend and we were inseparable. It was easier with Dee to ignore the fact that my husband no longer came home at all. On the day that Marc started to slowly move his things out, Dee introduced me to crack cocaine. One hit off the pipe and I competely forgot everything. My mind cleared, except for a busy hum that seemed to vibrate through my body. Everything was black, thick and black, with little dots jumping around. It took me a minute to realize my eyes were closed and when I opened them it was like a euphoria of dancing colors. Everything was so sharp and bright. I just wanted to touch it. I felt like I could take on any scholar in any debate. The world was suddenly clear to me. I could almost feel the drug racing through my veins. I could hear a loud drum pounding away and after a moments notice realized the sound was my heart. My heart was beating so loud and so fast. I couldn't understand how I could feel so calm and relaxed while my lungs struggled to get air and my heart nearly beat right out of my chest. Dee was trying to speak to me but I just wished she'd shut up. Go away and leave me alone. I shoved her out of my face and got up to dance around the room. I just HAD to touch things. Everything was spinning so fast I couldn't stay on my feet. When I went down, so did my high. The experience was gone almost as fast as it had come leaving me with a feeling of smashing into a concrete floor, leaving my mind empty and devoid of anything other than a desire unlike any other. I had a desire that I wanted MORE. Oh please god more. I'll do anything just give me a little more. I found myself on my knee's begging Dee for another hit. Just a small one. Anything to bring back such PLEASURE, such PAIN. I began throwing money at Dee as fast as I could pull it out of my pocket. She handed over the pipe to gather up money and I scurried over to the corner of the room. It was MINE and I wasn't going to share it. I wanted it all to myself. I lit the end with hands that shook so bad I could barely focus the lighter on the end of the cigarette but once I did I inhaled so sharply it made my brain scream. All I could hear was this loud shrieking that seemed to never stop and I kept taking hits to bring back the euphoria and make the screamer go away. Everything darkened around the edges and when I stood up I stumbled to the ground. Right before I passed out I saw myself in the mirror, eyes rolling and screaming like the hounds of hell were after me.
Mommy's Little Girl
After my first few experiences with crack cocaine, Dee taught me the proper way to
smoke it and I was thoroughly hooked. I was constantly getting high and began to do it in front of the children as well. By this time, I was a full fledged drug addict and I didn't care about anything but the next fly to the sky. Starting out I weighed one hundred and fourty-three pounds but due to my drug addiction, I was rapidly losing weight and by the time that Vialyn started school, I weighed one hundred and thirteen pounds. When Landon started school, I weighed a whopping ninety-three pounds. I could barely get off the couch, let alone do my motherly duties and so my daughter was forced to take the reins. Vialyn, at age seven, got her brother bathed and ready for school, dressed, fed him and herself, bathed mommy using a small bowl with soap and water, fed me and even lit my pipe so I wouldn't burn myself. By then, there were so many burn holes on the couch and scars on my hands I was seriously contemplating switching to injecting the shit. It was more complicated than smoking, but I figured my hands needed a break. It was time for another visit to Dee and so I dragged myself off the couch, slithered into the car where I drove to Dee's to get a lesson on injecting it. Not only did I learn how to inject it, but since Dee was feeling nice, she taught me how to make crack cocaine. My unsteady hands made the task difficult and after a few near fires, my daughter took on the task of cooking the cocaine in a spoon so I didn't spill it. Early in the morning, you could find Vialyn spooning cereal into Landon's mouth with one hand while balancing my crack spoon in her mouth and holding a lighter underneath with the other hand. After a few more months, Vialyn was giving me my daily injections and had become a professional at the making and distribution of crack cocaine. By age ten, Vialyn had enoughof my constant drug abuse and left the house for school without giving me any of my injections. I awoke in a mad haze and scrambled about the house trying to find the good stuff. I realized two things at once; all my drugs were gone and my needles were laying broken in the trash. Desperately I ran out to my car, drove like a mad woman through town until I got to Dee's house where I promptly bought all the supplies I needed to make new batches. I sat cross legged on Dee's floor, while she cooked the cocaine and prepared the concoction for me. I took double hits from the pipe and then a couple more and stumbled out the door carrying my bag of supplies and the lit pipe in my hand. I took several more hits before I even got to my car and by the time I reached the end of the driveway, I couldn't even tell you my name. I passed by my car and wondered out into the street, down through town and out to the edge where the homeless were. Sewers were overflowing in this part of town and the stench was maddening. I tried to turn around, to go back, but I got dizzy and sat down on the sidewalk. After a few minutes I passed out. I was awaken sometime later by a homeless man who was sifting through my pockets for money for alcohol no doubt. Sorry bud, mine was all spent on coke. He scurried away and I opened one eye to take in my situation. I was laying in a drainage ditch full of filth. Trash, left over food, and rats floated around me. I had, what could only be described as scum caked to my hair, and old food stuck to my arms and legs. My clothing was soiled completely by whatever filth that floated through the ditch. I gathered up my drugs and after checking to make sure they weren't ruined, I stumbed to Dee's house. There, next to my car, was my daughter, frantic to find her mother, arms waving and gesturing hysterically. I staggered blindly up to her and she placed me gently into the drivers
side of the car. Shakily she climbed into the passenger seat and sat silent and tense as I drove us home. After that, she never threw away my drugs or refused to give me injections. I think, to her, having me constantly messed up at home was better than having me stumbling around only God knows where high as a kite.
Bye Bye Husband
It took me more than a week after to realize that Marc had moved his stuff completely out. He came by to give his key to the house to Vialyn. I was fried on the couch as usual and I didn't even open my eyes when he came in. He was a bastard after all and I wanted nothing to do with him. He shuffled over to me to tell me that he had gave his spare key back to Vialyn to give to Landon. I told him to get the fuck away from me, he was ruining my high. I opened my eyes to see him cast a sympathetic look to Vialyn and that was the straw that broke the camels back. I lept off the couch screaming at him to take his cheating ass and get out. I told him that he never cared about us, he never cared about his children, about Vialyn or Landon. That all he wanted to do was go and fuck his whore. I was scaring the children with my madness but I couldn't stop. How DARE you leave me, and then act as though I'm the bad guy I screamed. How DARE you leave me. After I gave you all I had. After I gave you two beautiful children. After I....after I. FUCK! I could see his bloodshot eyes staring cooly back at me. I could smell the booze sweating out of his pores. My hysterics had done nothing but make me look like an idiot and scare my children. Vialyn was cowering in the corner, using her tiny hands to cover Landon's ears. He turned around and walked out, shouting one last parting remark at me. He told me that I cared more about the drugs, about the high than I did about my children and that I was killing myself and ruining our children in the process. I screamed that he was a drunk at a closing door and after I heard his car start, I collapsed onto the floor and cried so hard I couldn't breathe and Vialyn had to give me a shot to calm me. She eased me up onto the couch and brought me a cold wash cloth for my face. After covering me with my favorite blanket she went off to fix dinner for the family. I rarely ate, but both Landon and Vialyn needed their three meals of the day. Vialyn had become the woman of the house. She cooked, cleaned, took care of Landon and transported both him and herself to school and after school activities. All the while dealing with a drug addict for a mother. This existence continued on up until well passed Vialyn's thirteenth birthday. She made excuses to her teachers about parent teacher conferences, and helped Landon with his homework. She brough home notes from teachers and forged my signature on permission slips for trips. By the time Vialyn was in eigth grade, I rarely even moved from the couch. My litle girl was a teenager now and Landon was hot on her heels. Eventually she would grow up, move away, and leave her pathetic excuse of a mother behind. The thought sent a chill of fear through my body. I had come to depend solely upon the existence of that one child. My whole world was leaning on her thin childlike shoulders. I can't even begin to fathom how she managed, at thirteen, to shoulder the weight of the world and me too. I put my haggard, worn, and tired existence upon a child who had not even gotten her period yet. A child who had not had a boyfriend yet, due to her duties at home. Her life
that she couldn't live because of me. The childhood she had to grow up from too quickly to practically breast feed a full grown woman who could not physically take care of herself. Sometimes I would catch her looking at me with a look I could not understand. A look that asked why, a look that wanted answers, that wanted to just walk away from it all. It was these times, that I was most vulnerable. That I was most afraid. Afraid that the one person who surrendered her life to me so willingly would demand it back.
Marc's Found God
I had made a long ago deal with Marc that he would continue to pay for everything and I would continue on with my existence. Even though he resented us, his little family that was holding him back, he still paid all the bills, and all the things needed for the children. He didn't even care about the kids anymore. Which is what suprised me the most when a sober Marc appeared at our door one night. I sent Vialyn and Landon to bed and managed to atleast sit up on the couch while Marc hung his coat up and came to sit on the couch. His face was old, but there was no blood shot eyes and he looked like he was coming to a funeral. He gave me a one over. By this time I weighed less than ninety pounds, I had lost all the shine to my hair, my skin was a yellowish color, and I talked as though I had smoked my whole entire life, with a voice as raspy as sand paper. He took a deep breath before telling me that he was sober now. That thanks to his new girlfriend Tiffany, he had given up the drink and as payment he wanted a divorce from me so he could marry her. He also wanted full custody of the children. I was stumped. Where the hell did this come from? I sat there for a second before an angry buldge errupted from my chest and I gasped from the strain of it. GET OUT DAMNIT. I threw everything I could get my hands on and he ran towards the door terrified. Vialyn and Landon ran down the stairs to see what the commotion was and came just in time to hear their father yell that he would have custody of the kids before the judge let some drug addict keep them. I launched a lamp at the door right about the time he shut it. My eyes were circling the room rapidly and I was panting from the strain it took to move. I collapsed onto the couch and curled into a ball. Vialyn brought me a shot, rolled up my sleeve, injected the stuff into a vein that hadn't collapsed yet, and then gently nudged her brother back up to bed. A couple of weeks later a police officer came for the children and they sat silently in the back of the police cruiser staring at me through the window while I had to be physically restrained. After they left, I went straight to Dee's where I stayed on a seven day high and didn't move from the same spot. When I finally came to, I stunk extremely bad, my stomach and body were craving food and water and I had missed my custody hearing. Rising up, Dee informed me that Marc had won custody of the children, and since I didn't find it important enough to attend the hearing, the judge had also awarded all properties to Marc and he was not liable to pay me any alimony. I was now broke, with no children, and no house to live in. I had also spent all the cash I had on my seven day high and didn't have enough money to buy more. I begged Dee for a loan but she adamantly refused. I was furious that she would not give me something for the day and started screaming about our friendship meaning nothing to her and stomped
out of the house. I walked down to the part of town where homeless people lived, found a realitively quiet part of the street and sat down. I was homeless now. With no money, no food, and no place to live, I had to resort to scouring through trash cans and picking pockets of the drug addicts who passed out in front of us. I routinely went to Dee's begging for a hit and sometimes ran errands for her for a few hits off her crack pipe. When I was desperate enough to donate organs, Dee recommended an alternative method to gaining money. For me, it would have been the bottom of the well, but I had broken out that bottom a long time ago and I was desperate for a regular flow of blow. So began a new path in my life.
Selling the Last of My Integrity
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