I remember when I was young, noticing how Mum and Dad would take themselves away after dinner time. They’d go down to the wash house and close the hallway door; we weren’t allowed to go down there.
“I remember being in 3rd form, and wagging school one day to go and get stoned with my friends”.
I realised that my Mum and Dad were using too, ‘cause I recognized the same behaviour and bloodshot eyes. I decided to use this knowledge to my advantage - you know, if it’s alright for them then it’s alright for me.
Dad would leave me a little on the windowsill, without Mum knowing. My younger brother joined in too, and we’d do it with Dad - 1 or 2 spots each.
“Dad would buy it for us while we were still in school. But when we started earning our own money, he told us to chip in and start buying our own.”
I smoked marijuana from when I was 14 to 19 - after that, I was addicted to Meth and Synthetics.
I was 18 when I gave birth to my first baby. I had stopped drinking alcohol and smoking cigarettes while I was pregnant, but I just couldn’t stop smoking dope. I always wanted to stop but I just couldn’t.
By the age of 19, I had my second child. My partner was on Meth, so I started taking it too;
“Whatever was going, y’know. I was after the high, however I could get it.”
My partner and I separated for a time and I ended up getting pregnant to another man. When I was 3 months pregnant, I experienced these abnormal back cramps and pain. My neighbour rung the ambulance and I was taken to hospital. I found out I was actually pregnant with twins, but one baby was ectopic (growing in my fallopian tube) and needed to be removed through surgery.
“I sorta try to block that part out because it was a real rough time for me. I think that’s when I really started drinking and smoking heavily.”
My third baby was born 6 days overdue, and in trouble – there was no water in his sac, and I hemorrhaged. And, because of the earlier ectopic pregnancy, I had to give birth to 2 placentas - one had life in it, but the other one was dead and just black.
Seeing those two placentas, and knowing I was probably to blame because of my addictions, made me feel broken. I didn’t want to face it and so I continued to take P – increasing my use rather than stopping.
Out of Control
I was heavily addicted to Synthetics when I got pregnant with my fourth baby.
“By then, I was hardcore and most of my money would go on Synthetics”
I’d always have food parcels so that I didn’t have to spend that much money on groceries - I needed the money so I could smoke it.
“I wasn’t really eating, or feeding the kids properly - my children were losing out on food.”
It just got worse and worse.
Child, Youth and Family Protection Services were investigating me because of reports to them from the kids’ school. I hid from them. I knew I was doing wrong, but the pull of my addiction was too strong.
Mum and Dad had moved to South Auckland, I knew they were trying to make positive changes in their lives, so when Mum wanted to take my kids to her house to live, I agreed. My mentality was - less mouths I have to feed – more money for drugs.
“My kids didn’t want to stay with me ‘cause of the things that I was doing. There wasn’t much I could do, they just didn’t want to be with me anymore.”
My younger sister and brothers moved in with me and we were selling from our house. We would steal to get money for our drugs and sell to others. It wasn’t hard to know what was going on. There were people coming and going from our place all hours of the day and night.
“The police raided my house one day after the kids had left to stay with Mum, and we were all arrested, the whole household.”
After the arrest, we all just continued as normal, like the raid hadn’t even happened!
I was missing my kids and was depressed, I had no reason to carry on; I was just waking up to get stoned. Dad would still come over when he was working out West, to check on us, to make sure we were still alive, I guess!
Mum and Dad invited me home to visit the kids after about 2 months, it was my third child’s birthday. I remember not wanting to go, ‘cause I needed the drugs.
I was so happy to see my kids, they looked healthy, clean and fed. I felt loved from them. They said to me,
“Y’know Mumm, you gotta stop smoking otherwise...we not allowed to come back…”
That’s what did it for me, seeing them and hearing their sweet voices telling me to stop the drugs. Mum told me, that I could stay but she had two rules: “You gotta go to Legacy, and you gotta go to church.”
Legacy and Destiny Church were my game changers; they helped me see myself as who I was always meant to be.
I walked into Legacy about a month after being with Mum. The first question was, “what does heaviness mean to you?” I spoke about my partner and how he was in and out of prison, leaving us and not really looking after us like my Dad did. I’d not really spoken to anybody before, about how I didn’t feel worth much and the mistakes I’d made in my life, about how I felt really horrible inside.
“I cried the whole session! I’m thinking ‘what the heck is this? I’m crying!’ “
But it was OK, for some reason, I felt a bit lighter.
I forgave my partner in the car on the way home from my first Legacy session. I knew that I’d forgiven him, because I was no longer angry at him, I actually started to feel sorry for him. I wanted change for him.
“I have my children now, I have me now. I love myself.”
I’m happy within myself, happy with my life. I’m in a much better place with myself and accomplishing so many things that I didn’t think that I could ever do – like stop my addiction, be part of church, hold a job, go to University and to be a good mother.
I’m facilitating a Legacy group in the same area where I used to live and sell drugs. I’m giving this new life 150%.
I still find myself overwhelmed with this new life – like joyfully overwhelmed and thankful.