Marshall County Stories
Opioid addiction has impacted me since I was a very young child leaving me with low self-esteem and living with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder from being emotionally abused. It all began when I was eight years old. My mother was diagnosed with migraine headaches following a severe car accident, and her physician prescribed opiates to control the pain. She had no idea it would be the start of a bigger problem which drove her to see other providers for pain management. Her physician ultimately prescribed medication to help with her depression.
As the years went by, she began to spiral out of control and sought more pain pills from various physicians. She was so out of control at one point that she spent time in jail for forging prescriptions. Trying to find the right help for her was nearly impossible. I tried the court system, but they were unable to help. I felt hopeless, and all anyone would tell me is her family members needed to stop her manipulation. How could we control her behavior, though, if licensed medical providers could not help her? By this time, she was destroying everything and everyone around her. She would miss family functions such as graduations, marriages, birth of grandchildren and being a mother because opiates controlled her life.
The emotional abuse continued through my early adult life. In the summer of 2005, I had enough of the emotional abuse because it became physical abuse in front of my children. When on the way to the emergency room, she slapped me across my face while driving with my children in the car. Not only did it affect me, I could have hit someone and hurt all of us. That day, I chose to limit my interactions with her. l had no choice other than to protect my children from someone who had become a monster.
We didn’t speak for months, and then on November 26, 2005 my life changed forever. That day, I found my mother deceased. She had succumbed to an opioid overdose of Morphine and Darvon. She was only 52 years old with only diagnosed conditions of obesity, migraines and hypertension. I wanted answers and still want answers today of why she was prescribed Morphine, but her physician would not release any medical records. Now that physician is deceased. Opiates took my mother from me, her family and her grandchildren.
Today, I am still haunted by the abuse. Addiction affects both the addict and their family members who are left with guilt and pain after their loved one dies. My goal is to reach at least one person and say “please get the treatment you need. Your family loves you and the pain you leave behind is unbearable.” As a survivor, I will never understand the control addiction has or how someone could choose the addiction over loved ones.
Everyone always hears the negative stuff about the disease of addiction
so that’s a story which has already been told. Here is a story I want others to
hear. I have a great business career. I have an unbelievable three-year-old
son. I married the most beautiful girl in the world, and we are now awaiting
the arrival of our second little boy. Tell that to the people who say there is
On December 28, 2015, my youngest son, John Michael and I took a photo. Just before it was taken he said, “Mom, I am turning 29 on the 29th! This is going to be my golden year!” He’d had some really tough years and for the first time he was looking forward to the future. March 3, 2016, just six days later, I received the call. My son was in the emergency room with an overdose. I arrived to hear the doctors say, “We did all we could do. We have X-rayed your son’s heart, and it is no longer beating.” Heroin. When I was able to stop screaming and able to walk, I was led in to see my baby’s body one last time. As I stood over him in disbelief, I realized my blue-eyed baby boy was gone from this world forever. That day my family’s footprint on this world changed forever. I now live in two different worlds. Sometimes I can hardly breathe. The infinite number of days until I see him again is sometimes unbearable. Until then, I will help others live.