Name: Chelsie Hockersmith
From: Surprise, AZ
Raising a Daughter to Survive Her Father’s Addiction
When I married my ex-husband, he had been sober from drugs and alcohol for 4 years. We began creating a life together. We bought a house, we had great jobs and we had nice cars. I remember him smiling at me one day and saying “I have all the things, that I never thought I would have”.
Within two years of trying to have a baby, we knew something was wrong. We both physically appeared healthy, but we were not becoming successful in conceiving a child. After I went to a fertility specialist, the doctor told me that he did not see anything that looked amyss. The next step was to have my husband tested. The biggest blow came a couple weeks later when they told us that due to an extremely low sperm count, we would probably never be able to conceive naturally. We knew we couldn’t afford IVF and began looking into adoption. Right before we got through all of the hoops that comes with the adoption process, I found out I was pregnant.
At that moment, I thought nothing would ever go wrong in our life again. We were on top of the world. Then my ex husband was involved in an incident at work where he was a security sergeant. His leg was injured badly causing a metal rod in his leg to shift. This would require surgery. In the meantime, his doctor gave him pain pills. As my pregnancy progressed, I noticed that my husband was acting differently. I didn’t know what was going on and we began to fight. However, on August 10, 2011, Addison Laine was brought into this world, weighing in at 9 pounds 6 ounces. I thought for sure that my husband would “figure it out”. I thought we would be ok. I was wrong.
I was still on maternity leave, the day that I knew that I had lost my husband. He was acting strangely the night before, but I chalked it up to him being tired. At 3AM, I awoke to him standing over my infant baby. He picked her up from her bassinet and proceeded to drop her on the floor. I spent an hour on the phone with the doctor who ran me through what to look for as far as injuries were concerned. She seemed fine, but I was not. I could no longer lie to myself and think that my husband would rebound from this. I had to protect Addi.
I had not gone to bed, when I heard his alarm clock go off at 7AM. He got up and walked into the living room where I was with our baby girl. His face was drooping on one side and he couldn’t walk without almost falling over. My 30 year old husband looked like he had had a stroke. He refused to tell me what was going on and went to work. Two hours later I received a call from his boss indicating that he was being put on administrative leave because they believed he was under the influence of drugs. They asked me to come pick him up, once they completed their drug test on him. I remember never feeling so humiliated in my life. I asked him if they were going to find anything on that test, he refused to look me in the eyes as he nodded his head that they would.
Shortly after this I told him to move out. He begged me to allow him to keep his things at our home while he went into treatment. He completed a 28 day program. Then immediately moved in with a girl he met in treatment. That went over about as well as you would guess. His pill addiction turned into a raging meth and heroin addiction. Even following our divorce, I paid for multiple treatment programs and halfway houses all to no avail. He is now serving time in prison for multiple drug offenses, as well as identity theft and counterfeit offenses.
It is obvious to me now, that my ex husband had an addictive personality. He could not abstain from any substance including alcohol, medication, narcotics or other illegal drugs. What was not so obvious to me, was that he was also suffering with mental health issues, including depression. I feel like, had he gotten the help he needed, perhaps he could have conquered these demons. Now my goal is to make sure that Addison Laine is raised with support and mother’s watchful eye to keep in mind that she too may suffer from these afflictions.