Name: Nadette Lewis-Taylor
From: puyallup, Washington
The WAR of Addiction
As a nation we are dealing with an addiction crisis, addiction has no prejudice it affects everyone, the old, young, rich, or poor. Addictions sees no color it has no prejudice. Absolutely, everyone and anyone could have an addiction of some sort. I believe addiction has been a problem in the world for all time, it is just now in this day that we as a nation are recognizing the damage that it does to us a whole, we are now just realizing that addiction does not discriminate.
The consequences of this addiction crisis as an individual well actually, I do not believe that is just affects an individual, it has a domino effect to everyone in some type of way. It may have a more complicated affect on one as an individual.
To give an understanding of consequences of an addiction , I will first have to give you a little back ground of my childhood memories of being born to a mother that is currently and has always been addicted to some sort of street drug. I am a 40-year-old daughter a woman who began having children at 16 years old. I am not sure if she was addicted at that early or if the addiction came later in life, however, growing up in poverty in the 70’s it’s almost certain. I was told that I lived with her until around age for at that time she gave me to her mother and then she was gone, first living with her mother I was sexual abused by an uncle between the ages of 4-8 years. I remember the night when he was on top of me he came into the living room where my aunt and I slept on a pullout sofa bed in the living room, I woke up to him putting his hands into my private parts and one to my aunties as he did many nights, he then pulled my undies off an mounted me I could feel his breath on the back of my neck, he was so heavy I could not breath hot breaths panting and grunting, I felt the pain of him attempting to insert himself. Then the jabbing of my middle parts. Laying there not making a sound hoping wishing it was over. Then I heard a loud male voice yell, “BOY, WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING TO THOSE GIRLS! He was finally caught. The next thing I remember was there was police around. And I was in the back of a car being driven away. I was then being escorted to a big building with circular windows and a laying on a bed and a doctors saying, “I have to take a look at your private area, and you are gonna go to sleep.” The next thing I remember was being a nice lady house who had a big TV and she gave me a nice bed to sleep in. I remember her daughter going to school and I wanted to go but I was always too young to go. She was a nice lady. I can not even remember her face or the color of her skin I just remember that she was very nice, and she had a daughter and the daughter was nice and she had a big house. Sometime after I went to stay with a man that she said was my grandfather but I didn’t stay with grandpa he gave me back to my mother and now I had 2 sisters and my mom was about to have have a another baby. I remember sometimes not eating I remember when we went to sleep, we watched TV and when we woke up there was no TV. I remember seeing my mother and her boyfriend smoking weird smelling stuff in the back closet where the they kept the can goods, I remember my mom smoking that little glass pipe while she the baby was suckling her breast. I remember my mom’s boyfriend beating her up and I tried helping and got beat up too. I remembering being hit because us kids was playing to loud, I remember her calling grandpa because there was no food I remember him bringing food and telling her that this was for the kids only and don’t let that “guy eat it”. He used a different term! Grandpa wrote his number on a piece of paper and told me to call him if us kids needed anything. I remember watching her cook and smelling the food but only he and she was eating my sisters and I was hungry, and the baby had his bottle but us girls could not eat. The last memory of that house was she was laid out on a bed and I tried to wake her up, but I could not she would not make a sound. I called grandpa and he picked me up, I do not remember where my sisters went or the baby, but I went with him. A bit afterwards my sisters came and the baby came after them The next thing I remember was watching my grandpa drink from the bottles on the tall table that was only for grownups, he did this a lot then he would be sleep a lot or be walking and talking funny and he and his wife would be yelling and fighting a lot then he would leave or be passed out and his wife would punch and kick him until he woke up and left. She would be so mad that she would throwing thing at him and glass would be all over the place. When he left and stayed gone for a while, her anger would turn to us kids she would beat us with whatever she got he hands on hangers, shoes, belts, flyswatters even tree branches, or he bare hands. When he got back more fights then we all would get kicked us out of the house, and we would sleep in grandpa’s truck or sometimes at the neighbor’s house. As I became older, I learned what that weird smelling stuff was that she smokes and the glass bottles that he drank.
Me personally I am forever damaged, I have four children myself and the oldest is 24, I too had a child a 16. Still today when one of my kids comes too hug or touch me I jump inside or I find it so weird that they want to lay on my lap or just hug me sometimes the just want to play with my toes. As a kid, I was so afraid of adults, I would never go sit next to them watch a movie with them or touch them. I was always a dumb kid that no one wanted around I was only supposed to be seen and never heard from. I took my first drink at age 10. I can’t sleep at night I have to take sleeping meds, I have to take two medications for Depression I have attempted suicide 3 times the last time in 2013, I spent 9 days in a mental health facility. I have no sense of belonging. I am now 2 years into a marriage married to a man that I met 4 years, we had separated and started the divorce process and just reconciled 9 months ago. I have an extremely hard time trusting or believing anything that he says. One small mistake leads to so much more. I am forever damaged. Fortunately, I am alive and somehow have survived to become a law abiding, tax paying, somewhat functioning adult. I am a nurse and have been in the healthcare field for over 20 years. I have found some way to care of others even though I have never had the luxury of someone to take care of me. I still do not understand how I do it, but I have enjoyed nurturing others, but every day I struggle with some type of horror from my childhood.
The domino of effect of their addiction to society is that society must pay for the low income, public housing and under privileged. Hard working tax payers must pay for the foster care system, the jail system the medical care that the drug or alcohol addiction causes, the housing or government funding needed to help those effected by the gambling addictions, the high cost of food or clothing by those who are addicted to stealing. The mental health of those family members, the circle of addiction carried by the affected. The mental health of the wives or husbands affected by their partners who are addicted to their careers. The physical health of those who are addicted to food or the opposite. A person can be addicted to anything. It is a domino effect circle of life.
I do not know or feel that we can remedy the crisis of addiction, because addiction is almost like cancer. There is no rhyme or reason for it to happen it just happens. We can manage the effects of it when it happens, we can continue to support one another in the time of crisis and continue to be educated and give knowledge. I just do not believe that there will ever or could ever be a remedy for addiction