A life ruined, a heart broken and freedom stolen. Addiction has touched upon almost everyone’s lives. We all know someone, or of someone, who has been affected by it. If you don’t know anyone at all consider yourself one of the few. No one is untouchable.
I’m not sure exactly where to begin….Over the past couple of years, I’ve learned first hand what it’s like to be a mother of an addict, something I never imagined God would put me through especially with my daughter. My children(Azalea 23, Kyelee 21, & Blaike 16) are my life along with my granddaughter Sophia, and my family. I am the 3rd oldest of 11 children. I am a Christian. I came to Christ at the wee age of 3 yrs old. I will never forget my dad kneeling down and praying with me to accept Christ into my heart. Never ever will I be a perfect Christian and nor will I ever claim to be. I need God’s mercies that are new every morning and will until it’s my time to live in eternity. I’ve been praying about starting this group called “Healing 4 Heroin”.
Since December 2015, I felt as though God gave me the confirmation to get this started and reach out to the hurting families of addicts along with the addicts in active addiction or in their recovery process. Kyelee, who grew up hating drugs, actually despising them, graduated high school with the mindset that drugs were not for her. About 6 weeks after graduating high school Kyelee moved in with her “High School Sweetheart.” Kyelee was honest with me, that they had been having parties at their new apartment, just drinking. Then, as we all know, sometimes one thing can lead to another. I was and always will be that mother that worries about her children, despite their age; it’s my lifetime job. Kyelee, soon after the drinking, was gaining weight so she decided to try cocaine. I knew something wasn’t right with her, she started missing work, (the job she had all through high school).
I began praying for her protection and that she would get out of the partying scene and just sign up for college already. Kyelee had always wanted to attend college because she had a heart to help “special needs” children. She was a star peer tutor starting in 6th grade into highschool, she even had teachers from high school telling her they wanted her to come work with them after she graduated. She was well-loved by her special needs students and her teachers.
Within 6-7 weeks of moving out, she texted me out of nowhere and started telling me that her and her BF, whom she was engaged to, weren’t getting along. What a shock that was to me! I highly approved of him. He was a hard worker, a very respectful young man.
“Mom, can I move back home? Things just aren’t going to work out with us.” I was deeply saddened. I know she was too, but when partying and drugs are involved it seems as though the good things in life get tossed out the window. By September of 2014 Kyelee had moved back home. She’d been missing work again, and was on grounds for termination. I continued to keep the faith, continued praying that Kyelee would have her eyes opened to the truth and that she was throwing away things in life that were so much more important than what her present priorities were. She continued on with that lifestyle.
To my surprise the next bout of news was that she was pregnant. She had stopped everything! No drinking, no drugs, she had gotten a new job and was doing great! As her mother I was excited and thanking God that he had answered my prayers. I was excited about becoming a “Nana” for the 1st time. Kyelee was “glowing”. I’d never seen her this happy in many years. She was ecstatic about becoming a mother, and I, becoming a “Nana”. Her first Dr. appointment was to hear the heartbeat and find out her actual due date. She was nearly 12 weeks along. November 8, 2014, her little brother Blaike’s 13th birthday, after attending a hockey game, At about 11pm, Kyelee comes in my room and wakes me up crying and scared. “ Mom, I’m bleeding.”
OH MY GOD, LORD NO, I was thinking in my head. Let’s go to the ER. I could see the fear in her eyes and as her mother it shattered my heart. I began to pray. After an exam and blood work, the doctor said everything seemed ok. By the next Saturday, we were back in the ER, and it was confirmed she was losing the baby. Kyelee was devastated, heartbroken, as was I. A few weeks later Kyelee and the baby’s father broke up. By December she was back to partying hardcore. She’d rather get high to cover up the mental pain she was feeling. She’d lost her job, she quit paying her car insurance and cell bill (which she paid on her own from the age of 16) she quit coming around home, she quit hanging out with our family, I was crushed! I was broken! There was absolutely nothing I could say or do to make Kyelee feel better or open her eyes to the destructive path she was on. Around Christmas about 6-7 weeks after Kyelee had lost her baby, my oldest daughter announced she was pregnant.That was all it took for Kyelee to go overboard.
By January 2015, I had heard that Kyelee had started dating a “drug dealer.” I had people texting and calling me telling me “she needs to get away from this guy and quick.”. He’s well known in town for dealing and trapping beautiful young girls to be his girlfriend, showering them with presents,and drugs. I’ve never felt so lost in my life. My baby girl who despised drugs her whole life was now an addict. I got on my knees and prayed and cried out to God to save my daughter from this hell she was trapped in. Kyelee couldn’t deal with any part of her sister being pregnant. She NEVER came around after hearing of her sister’s pregnancy. Azalea and Kyelee barely talked the first 6 months of Azalea’s pregnancy. I couldn’t even show excitement about Sophia coming into this world around Kyelee, I never knew if it would offend her . God knew I was hurting from Kyelee’s situation, and I felt that maybe God was letting me have a chance to be a Nana again to bring joy in the midst of all the turmoil and hurt from Kyelee’s loss and heroin addiction.
Kyelee’s addiction had become worse and worse, she’d completely cut off all ties with the people that cared the most for her. I had many sleepless nights. I’d actually call Kyelee just to make sure she was alive. I’d have those gut-wrenching feelings wondering if this is the night I’m going to get that call/ knock on the door saying my baby girl is dead/ in jail. I asked God for peace. Kyelee had broken up with the “drug dealer” after 5 months.I was thanking God for answering my prayer! After that she had started dating an old friend from high school Ryan, he was sweet, had a heart of gold and truly wanted the best for Kyelee.
May of 2015, I get a text from Kyelee at 10pm. She is scheduled for a cyst removal on the 13th. She stated she was coming home, alone and wanted to talk to me. I was crying tears of joy thanking God, thinking this is it! It’s her time. So I get up anxiously awaiting her arrival! She gets out of her car and comes running to me bawling. We hugged and I held her for nearly 5 minutes straight as we cried and hugged. She says “Mom, I’m ready, I don’t want to be this way anymore, I’m sick of it! I hate it! My prayers were answered, she hadn’t used for a few days and her boyfriend encouraged her to come home and get clean. I’ll help in whatever way I can. She admitted to be addicted to heroin and had handed me a letter stating so. The process of detox was going to be rough. She slept in the living room. I made her a special place in the recliner, got her water, sweets, vitamins and a bowl to puke in. This was going to be a long week, but I didn’t care. All that mattered to me was that my baby girl was back. I could see her, hug her and tell her how much I loved her.
On day 4 of detox, we headed to the hospital for surgery to remove a cyst from Kyelee’s ovary. I was contemplating telling the Drs about it and decided not to, I had worked in the medical field, and knew how addicts were treated in certain situations, such as trash, drug seekers; I wanted to protect her from that. While we were back in the waiting room for her to be wheeled back to surgery, Kyelee decided to refuse pain meds, instead she chose motrin. “ It’s just going to mess up my detox. I don’t want it.” As her mother I filled the vicodin anyway, in case her pain got out of control. I was so very proud of her for her strength to keep going with the detox. I would check her vicodin prescription bag in her room off and on, the bag was still in there stapled shut with the pill bottle inside. I couldn’t believe it. This girl is strong. Tuesday, May 19th, Kyelee decided she was going to go hang out with a friend. When she told me she was leaving, the fear came over me, I knew something was up. She could tell instantly what I was thinking. She started reassuring me, “Mom, it’s ok. I’m not doing anything. I promise. I just need to get out. I’m going to see an old girlfriend. She doesn’t do drugs, Mom.” I wanted to believe her and trust her but deep in my gut I knew better. It got late, Kyelee wasn’t home so I texted her. She says, “Mom, I’m staying at my friends. We’re just watching a movie. I promise.” I went to bed and prayed and prayed and finally went to sleep. The next day it dawned on me , where are the vicodin? I knew it. The bottle was gone, I texted her immediately. She replies, “Mom, I have it. I haven’t taken any. It’s in my car. I just brought them with me. I didn’t know after laying around from surgery and then hanging out if I would be in too much pain,” Ok, believable story. As a parent of an addict, they make everything seem so believable even when you know it’s a straight lie. But I believed her she actually texted and called. She sounded good. Kyelee came home Wednesday night while I was sleeping. I had no idea I was going to wake up to.
I woke up Thursday morning at 5am it was a little early. I thought I’d just lay down a little longer. Then I felt a prompting from God. It was NOT to go back to sleep but to GET UP! I wasn’t thinking anything. I get my coffee and walk out to the garage to drink my coffee. What I witnessed as I walked in the garage was one of the most frantic things I’ve ever experienced with one of my children. All I see and feel is death upon me! I start screaming!
The garage door is closed and my car is running, yes running. I didn’t see Kyelee…. I turned and looked at the back exit door to the garage and see a chair backed up against the door with an extension cord hanging from it, intending to hang herself but she wasn’t there! I’m frantically screaming, I finally realize Kyelee IS IN MY CAR! Laid back in the driver seat. I climb in through the passenger side and start screaming and smacking her in the face “Kyelee, NO! NO! NO! You can’t do this!” She looks at me with the darkest eyes I’ve ever seen with tears pouring and with desperation says, “Mom, please just let me go, just let me go, please. I can’t live this life of Hell anymore.” I looked at her bawling my eyes out,“ I WILL NEVER LET YOU GO, EVER! The devil has ahold on your life.” I instantly started praying. My mom and sister were with me. I decided, “Kyelee, I have no choice but to call the cops. I’m getting you help no matter what.” So I call, asking for a crisis response team to come. I’m telling them the situation requesting no sirens and lights on. They took Kyelee by ambulance to the ER. Kyelee had gotten a syringe of what she thought was heroin. It turned out to be a mixture of heroin and meth from one of those so-called “good friends.”
I know there’s not a whole lot they can do with an addict not wanting anything but to leave. They wouldn’t tell me a whole lot since she was over 18. The next morning her nurse called to inform me that she would be released later that day (Friday the 22nd of May) as long as she had an appointment set up to see a psychiatrist. My thought Are you kidding me? You’re discharging her? Once again my hands were tied. I was numb. This was the Friday before Memorial Day so she got an appointment, but it wasn’t until the following Tuesday. Kyelee calls and says, “Mom, they are releasing me. I’ll be ready at 3pm. Will you come pick me up?” I replied, “Kyelee, I love you, but the only way I’m coming to pick you up is if you’re staying at my house until Tuesday when I take you to your appointment and you’re not getting your car either.” I then called my sister,and my best friend Crystal, to help me with Kyelee who was in full blown withdrawal. It was one of the most eye-opening experiences in my journey of dealing with my baby girl as an addict. This wasn’t Kyelee,it was the demons of her addiction, this crippling disease coming from within her. I’d never been so disrespected in my 22 years of parenting as I was weekend. Tuesday came and I took her to her appointment, and of course once that was over she wanted her car,I gave in! I was just too exhausted.
I’ve given Kyelee to God so many times by this point. Praying, crying out for His protection and mercy on her life. Just a little advice, when you sit and turn on praise and worship music and sing and worship God in the darkest valleys of your life, there’s nothing like the peace of God that comes over you. He wants our love and praise in the bad and good times.
A month later Kyelee calls me, she decided to come home from the drug house she was living in and begin her detox once again. The night after Kyelee came home from the drug house she was living in, it was raided. I said,“Kyelee if that isn’t God that you just so happened to move home last night you would be in jail at this very moment.”
Kyelee was doing great, so we planned a family trip to the Cincinnati Zoo for the 4th of July weekend. The trip was full of laughter, love and memories. The best part Kyelee was being the Kyelee I knew. Azalea, (my oldest daughter) 7 months pregnant, and I witnessed so many precious memories that weekend watching my girls bond together; I have pictures to prove it. That was the best! Something I had been praying and longing for many months. My baby brother, Austin, has always gone on trips with us. Austin and my son are often sometimes inseparable I love it! I thank Austin for his wonderful example and influence on Blaike’s life. It shines through Blaike on a daily basis. On August 11th God blessed Azalea and our family with a perfectly healthy, chubby and precious baby girl Sophia. Kyelee got to witness the birth of Sophia along with my mother and I . That’s such a beautiful experience. Sophia is spoiled rotten and is my world to this day. I thank God daily for her.
The anniversary date was coming up for the loss of her Kyelee’s baby. Kyelee was honest. She told me she why she relapsed. I would rather her be honest and not lie about it. I believe it was November 18th when Kyelee took off to Florida to stay with some people she knew and get away from Fort Wayne. She would face time me everyday all day. I could see the light in her eyes. I was thanking God for this opportunity for her to get out of Fort Wayne. I once again felt I had my daughter back.
I’ve learned in the deepest valley God always brings you things to bring you hope. My sister, Lindy, who was an addict for over 19 years, checked herself into rehab. We knew as her family it was her time. This time she did everything on her own. God is good she’s 60 days sober today! It’s awesome to have my sister back. God is good, all the time God is good! At the beginning of March, I spoke with Kyelee about going to see a doctor to get put on Suboxone. Kyelee called and made her own appointment, which made me feel hopeful. At her first appointment, Kyelee was on day 2 of withdrawal. I had called our insurance to make sure the drug was covered. I had spoken to 3 different reps and they all said absolutely,its covered. We head to the pharmacy, (I am close to a mental breakdown), Kyelee is curled up in a fetal position in my passenger seat while I’m being advised by the pharmacy that the drug in fact is not covered! What?! Are you kidding me?! I lost it right in the pharmacy drive-thru,pointing at my daughter, “Do you see this? I have to have the medication.” I decided to pay cash for it. Breaking my wallet, she continued going to those doctor visits for 6 weeks, and then she decided to wean off of the Suboxone.
Kyelee was in active addiction through the summer of 2016, still dating Ryan. He was such a sweetheart and always loved family time. I loved him as my own.He made Kyelee happy, he fit right in with our family. August 2016, Kyelee and Ryan decided it would be best to split up so she could get her life together. They were still keeping in touch. Every couple of days Ryan would text or call me and say, “What’s up Ma? How’s Kyelee? Any change?” My answer was, “Nope. Still praying, bro.” But I always encouraged him to keep doing the right thing and to keep on keeping on. His response would always be, “I am, Ma. You know me.”
On August 27, 2016, about 12:30 a.m., I get a text from Ryan’s mom, he died. Oh my God! How am I going to call Kyelee and tell her? All I could think was that she was most definitely going to do one of two things; either she was going to kill herself or she going to go deeper and deeper into addiction.
By September 2016, I had to learn to totally detach myself from Kyelee. Talk about the hardest thing a mother has to face! I’d found out Kyelee was staying at a drug house after Ryan had passed.
I remember calling my mom very early some days and just crying and telling her I couldn’t do it anymore, that it was too hard! I just wanted it over! And of course my mother, the strongest woman I will ever encounter in life, would be my encourager. She would start quoting scriptures to me, or just pray. It would give me a boost and remind me that I’ve got this. I have two other kids and Sophia to take care of. Two of my “go to” songs were “Oceans” by Hillsong United and “Thy Will” by Hillary Scott.
I needed to pay attention to other things in my life, including myself, Psalm 23 came to mind. I read it and I know God was telling me, I will be here, I will comfort you no matter what decisions you make. I realized how could I take care of my children or anyone else when I’m not even taking care of myself?
As I stated earlier, I had totally detached myself from Kyelee. Not that I stopped loving her by any means, but I had to give myself time to find myself and let go of things I couldn’t control. I’ll never forget the day of December 17th. Kyelee called me. She said, “Mom, I’m 100% ready to surrender. I found a rehab facility in Florida. I’ve already done my intake over the phone. They take our insurance. It’s covered 100%. I want to leave today.” I knew this was God! I called my best friend, Crystal, and told her the situation. Her response was, “What are you waiting on? Let’s go!” It was an 18 hour drive. We left Ft. Wayne and drove straight through. It was the best Christmas present I could ever receive. She was able to see the doctor as soon as we arrived. I was informed we would have no communication for 3 to 4 days. I knew she was safe. I would be able to sleep at night with no worries. Kyelee’s last words to me before leaving were, “Mom, I’m doing this for me this time, and I promise I’m going to make you proud this time!” When I was finally in the car again, to lighten the emotional burden I was carrying, Crystal made me start laughing uncontrollably. I will be never be able to thank that fabulous woman for her unfailing love and friendship. She is an anchor in my life that will be forever irreplaceable.
The rehab was keeping me updated on Kyelee’s detox progress. They told me how wonderful she was doing, what a beautiful soul she was, and that I had a beautiful daughter and to NEVER give up.On December 21st, I get my first call from Kyelee. It was a magnificent 20 minute call. I could hear some relief in her voice. She told me how much she loved me and thanked me for never giving up on her. I truly learned that I absolutely had to let go of things I couldn’t control. It’s hard, real hard.
We went to church as a family on xmas eve. My mom and sister came over afterwards. I knew Kyelee would be calling any moment. I couldn’t wait. I answered, Kyelee says, “Mom” in a totally different voice than three days before. “We just got back from church. It was amazing. I’m going to tell you something that happened at church.” I placed the call on speaker. “I was at church. It was an awesome service!” She said at the end of the service that anyone who needed prayer or wanted to accept Christ as his/her Savior could come to the altar, no pressure. She said the other girls were asking her if she was going up front. She said, “No way,” and she remained in her seat. She then began to explain that “something” came over her that she never felt before. She got up from her seat and walked up front and accepted Christ as her Savior. She’s like, “Mom, I feel like a new person.” Of course I was bawling, the best Christmas present ever! (We all need to remember that’ God’s grace is sufficient for each and every one of us. 2 Corinthians 12:9.) No matter the mistakes we have made in life, He’s always waiting on us with open arms. Like I said before, I will NEVER be a perfect Christian nor would I ever claim to be. I don’t judge people based on their beliefs or life. This story is mine to share the Forgiveness, Hope, Love and Peace that God can give each of us.
My 15th wedding anniversary came, it just went on as a normal day. While he was at work that day, all these things started going through my mind. After all, he had made me feel unworthy for quite some time. I began questioning everything on my part. Have I done everything possible to save this marriage? Is this really how my son should see his dad treating his mother? I hadn’t worked in four years due to health issues. His famous words were, “EVERYTHING IS MINE.”I would always tell him, “I don’t need materialistic things to survive in this life. I would rather have nothing than continue to be mentally and verbally abused by your narcissism.” Things continued the same. I’d already been searching my soul and seeking God for the right answers to all my questions. Even though I knew in my heart my marriage was over. I had absolutely no love left for this man who had already broken every wedding vow along with every promise he had made to get help. I even suggested marriage counseling, he refused. Everything was my fault so he had no need to go to counseling. In August of 2017 I finally had the courage to walk away from my abusive marriage.
I just kept the joy in my life. All I could do was take care of Blaike as always and be so forever grateful that Kyelee was about to be released from rehab in two weeks.In the meantime, I was working on a non-profit group called “Healing 4 Heroin.” I was excited to share that Kyelee was graduating a rehab program and her sharing her story alongside me.
On March 31st, we headed to Florida to pick up Kyelee.It was the most beautiful reunion ever! Kyelee’s eyes were bright baby blue. Those “heroin” eyes were gone. No words to describe the awesomeness. During the next five days, Kyelee, Blaike and I spent a lot of time together just relaxing and catching up on life, enjoying the sunshine poolside. Kyelee wanted to go to church where she had been attending the last four months and wanted me to come along and meet some of the girls she had become close to. We also went to an NA meeting. I could see her thriving and happy but reserved. She was nervous about coming home.
I had some mother/daughter time with Kyelee while in Florida, I’d been waiting for these days again for nearly three years. It was awesome to say the least! Kyelee had a prior legal charge that she had been avoiding due to her addiction. She would have to turn herself into jail on April 10th upon her return. I already had everything set up to with our attorney.
Tired from traveling back to Fort Wayne from Florida, we went to bed. Little did I know that I was going to be put to the test, a testing of my faith, that very next morning. I woke up to go see my beautiful daughter lying in her room asleep, back to the good ole days, so I thought. She’s gone! She had left. No Kyelee. My heart drops. NOOOO. How can this be happening?! Why me? I can’t take life anymore. I don’t want to do life anymore. It’s impossible! Of course, me being the strong person I am, I realized I couldn’t give up now. I finally got a hold of Kyelee. I knew she wasn’t in a good place.But once again I had kept my faith in God.
By May 2017, Kyelee was still on the run, but that was out of my control, and I refused to let it taker over my life. I just continued to pray for her safety and that one day God would be glorified somehow in this whole situation. I started volunteering once a week at church. I was able to connect with some wonderful ladies and share a little bit of my story with them. They were a continuous encouragement to me; true blessing.
May 29th, Kyelee called, “Mom, I’m going to jail. They found me.” It was actually a relief that she wasn’t going to be out running the streets. I could sleep again without waiting for that dreaded call. Shortly thereafter, I found out my sister had relapsed after nearly eighteen months of sobriety. I had no words! She had been such an inspiration to me during those eighteen months of dealing with Kyelee.
I’ve learned through this journey called life, that until we come to terms with spiritual warfare in the context of our days, we will not understand life. We will misinterpret ninety percent of what is happening around us. It will also be very hard to believe that God’s intentions toward us are life abundant. It will be even harder to not feel somehow that we’re not just blowing it. Worse, we will begin to accept some awful things about God. Such as, “Why is this God’s will?” Most people, including myself, get stuck at some point because God appears to have abandoned them. But actually God is rather silent at times. Before He promised us life, Jesus warned that the thief would come and he comes to steal, kill and destroy. (John 10:10) We won’t see clearly what has happened in our lives until we see it as a battle, a war against our own hearts. I’ve realized that I’ll always need my whole heart for whatever comes next in life!
I will be reunited with Kyelee on January 25, 2018. I am beyond excited for this. She is starting a new journey in life, and it will be with me. I can truly smile again. I’ve learned to love myself as God chose me to be. I’m worthy; many love me. But most of all, I’m loved by the One who created me. I pray my story of hope, love and faith can encourage at least one person. I know God has put a calling on my life to share “My Story” and reach out to the families of addicts, addicts in active addiction, and addicts in recovery, and to those who feel they are trapped in toxic, or abusive relationships. I am here to encourage you. Never give up! Never! There is hope and healing for your life if you really want it. Even in the darkest of valleys God is still there. He will never leave us or forsake us. Remember, no matter what choices you’ve made, what mistakes you’ve made, you’ve been remade. God loves us for who we are. He wants us to come to Him just as we are and He will complete the plan He has for each and every one of our lives. I’ve learned through this whole situation with my daughter and my divorce, to never be ashamed or embarrassed. Vulnerability IS NOT a sign of weakness. It’s actually the most accurate measurement of pure courage.
I AM WORTHY
“Where there is no struggle, there is no strength.” Oprah Winfrey