The Word


“Jordyn, you’re needed in the counselor’s office.” My English teacher said hanging up the class room phone. “Great, what kind of group are they trying to put me into now?” I thought. It had been a crazy year between moving back home from Idaho, bouncing from my dads house, to my grandmothers, briefly to my best friends home, and finally landing with my mothers friend Michelle, that one with the older son from a few years ago. The school felt I could use life skills, so they kept sending me to all these special group meetings where myself and few other “troubled” kids would sit around and talk about what was going on at home. We all found it a formality that we must adhere to, although we all lacked desire in obtaining the skills they wanted us to learn. Expecting to, at the very least, get out of class I walked confidently into the counselors office as if I already knew why I was there. “You’re guardian called, said it was an emergency.”

I’d lived with Michelle for several months at this point, but I had been away from the house for the weekend with my dad. I’ll admit I was a little worried and had no idea what to expect as I dialed the number to call Michelle at home. She answered quickly, “I need you to come home. I can’t say why, just come. I’ve already checked you out with the office, get here.” Although the weather was wet and the walk was long I was excited to get out of class for the rest of the day. When I arrived at the house and turned the handle to enter the home, it was locked. “That’s weird,” I thought, “Why is the door locked with her inside?” I waited a few minutes before Michelle finally cracked the door open slowly. She said, “Are they out there? Can you see them?” I laughed confused, “what are you talking about?” She hurried me in the door and quickly closed it behind me. “There’s men in the trees.” She said. Again confused, I laughed a little more at here and vocalized that I thought she was crazy. She jumped in her chair, “Did you see that?” Seeing nothing, hearing nothing I had decided this woman has lost her mind. “I’m going to go smoke.” I told her shaking my head at all the craziness that was taking place. She stopped me with wide eyes, “Do not go out there. You can smoke inside.” I knew something wasn’t right at that point. Michelle never smoked in the house nor did she allow anyone else to. As the day went on she told me about the man that kept peaking out from behind her chair. She could see him in the reflection of the television and the bowl on the table. By the time night rolled around I began to find her antics to be quite funny.

A friend that I immediately recognized stopped by the house and her and Michelle went straight to the bedroom leaving me alone in the living room, which was unusual. I just sat there content with being able to smoke in the house. Michelle soon called me to her bedroom. Laid before me was a glass pipe full of crystal meth. She said, “smoke this and tell me you don’t see some shit.” At this time in my life the only experience I had with mind altering substance was alcohol and weed. So I treated the meth pipe like a weed pipe and ripped a huge hit as she melted it down. I expected an immediate head change like you experience when smoking marijuana but I didn’t get one. So I took a few more rips off the pipe, and that was all she wrote. I became a full blow 14 year old meth addict just like that. Funny thing about it is that I didn’t even realize that I was addicted. When I was doing it, it was just something to do. It was partying, it was fun. I would sit in class watching the little man pop out from behind my chair in the reflection of the television.

By the time summer had rolled around I was living the life so to speak. All my friends were junkies, our whole lives were about that pipe. I didn’t have many friends close to my age, since it isn’t common for teenagers to become meth addicts. When I found one I hung on to her. It made me feel a little better to not be hanging out with all the older people who kind of creeped me out. Alice and I palled around a few days before she decided to introduce me to a friend of hers. He also used, and it was likely that he would share with us just so he wouldn’t be alone. We walked to his house and Alice went to the door, when he cracked it open I saw an older man with a belt around the neck of an older woman with a needle sticking out of the side. It didn’t scare me, or freak me out. He told us to come back in about 30 minutes, I couldn’t wait. We walked around town a little bit, meeting up with some other friends before finally returning to Todd’s to party for the night.

That night it mostly a blur. When I think about it almost feels like I’m on a roller coaster. Inching my way toward the top knowing that I’m about to be dropped off a ledge quicker than I’ll be able to change my mind about doing it. That’s what meth is like an anticipating ride up and up and up followed by the exhilaration of falling fast as you twist and turn sideways and upside down, except it doesn’t stop. You can feel everything and nothing all at the same time. You can be head over heels in love, walk down the street and cut someone, just to return home and love again. Messed up right? These feeling intensify with your preferred method of consumption. Todd’s was the needle. Remember the truth or dare situation? This was the same. I didn’t think of the consequence, I didn’t think of the damage or the possibility of death. I didn’t think of the pain it would cause my family, I didn’t think of any of that. All I thought was, I want him to like me. I gave him my arm and he gave me my first shot.

After being up for several days the effects of my drug use were beginning to take a toll on my body. Todd shot me up and we got in the shower. The next thing I remember is his face coming into focus and he was screaming my name. When I came to he hugged me tight, got me out of the shower and onto the bed. “You were dead! You were dead, I swear! You looked at me and you just went down. I grabbed you and yelled your name over and over. Thank God you’re alive. Thank God.” He cried as he held me. Maybe it was the drugs, even this didn’t scare me. I finally slept for a couple days and then was right back at it again. Here’s the thing, Todd had no idea how young I really was. I was well developed and looked older than I really was, so I went with it. A friend of his came to visit from out of town and for some reason we all decided it would be a good idea to road trip to this town to see Todd’s parents. When we got there Todd got a phone call, I knew something wasn’t right. He looked panicked, terrified even. When he hung up the phone he turned to me, “I have to ask you something and I need you to be honest. How old are you, don’t lie to me.” I didn’t want to answer him, I didn’t want this relationship to come to an end. “Fourteen.” I said with my head down, tears in my eyes. He freaked out, not only was our relationship a crime, our activities and the location where we were was all crimes, big crimes. His friend raced us back to town where my dad was waiting for me.

Coming down off meth is process, that takes several days. It was common for me to sleep for about 3 days at the end of a binge. I would eat a huge meal and then start again. This time was no different. I never thought this then, but looking back I would say I was feigning. I told my dad I was going to go to the school to ride bikes with some local kids. I’m not sure why he believed me, but he did. I didn’t go to the school at all, I rode 20 miles to Todd. When I got there, he called my dad. I remember trying to hide in his dog house, how stupid is that, but I was found and drug back home. I didn’t stay though, I found someone who would come get me and take me back to town. I was done with Todd, he betrayed me. I never saw him again. I still had Alice, I still had Michelle, I still had connections. My addiction progressed and continued, along with all the typical things you would expect. Older men, wild parties, lots of missing memories and time.

I don’t know who I became. Although at the time I never once thought I was losing myself or becoming someone I didn’t want to me. I actually fought to be able to continue in the lifestyle. Every time my dad took me home, I ran away. Every thing worth anything I stole. I lied, and cheated. I used my body and manipulated people who loved me to get drugs, yet I never saw myself as an addict. I never saw myself as a bad person, just misunderstood. That’s the thing about drugs and addiction. Sober people don’t understand. How can you possibly be happy like this? Is this what you wanted your life to be? Of course not, but next time you see a struggling addict know that they probably don’t even realize how bad it is. It probably started just like this, in some effed up situation out of their control.

By the end of it I was unrecognizable. I don’t necessarily mean in appearance, although I’m sure that drastically changed as well. I mean in thought and conduct. I didn’t care about anyone or anything. I would my sister, my step mom, my best friend. I was angry, hurt and bitter. Why? You might ask. Again this is in hindsight, but I was pissed it wasn’t enough. Enough for what? Enough for my mom to come for me. Enough to be rescued and loved by her. I was still carrying around so much pain from the few summers before. I couldn’t believe that two years had passed without hearing a word from my mother. No birthday card, no phone calls, nothing. I felt abandoned and rejected again. When I was high I felt nothing, and that’s how I wanted it to stay. It did for awhile, but then it all came to an abrupt stop.

God only knows how long I had been gone at this point. Wandering the streets, crashing here and there, with this man or that one. I was at a popular hang out spot when the cops came rolling up on us. They harassed us all the time so we weren’t really concerned about their presence. This time was different, the pulled up, stopped the car and got out. Before I knew it I was being cuffed and stuffed as a runaway. To be honest, I felt like I had just leveled up in street cred. Now I’ve been arrested, even if it was for something as lame as being a runaway. It was all fun and games to me until my dad showed up. I’d have to go home again and find a way to return. Surely he was going to be putting me on lock down now since he went through all the trouble of getting the police involved.

We went straight to my grandmothers house for dinner after we left the police station. I didn’t eat. My dad and I were in the back yard having a cigarette as I told him how happy I was and how much I liked my life and wanted to continue living it. I told him he didn’t need to worry about me anymore. I was doing just fine and I could take care of myself. He was so grief stricken. I remember the tears in his eyes and his long face as he pleaded with me. Encouraging me that this wasn’t my best life, and that I was meant for more. He kept telling me how much he loved me and that he would fight for my life. Two men came walking out the back door, I assumed they were my grandpas friends. They got me into the house where they broke the news that these men were here to transport me to a facility. I didn’t have any choice but to go with them, I could go willingly or by force. I looked at my dad dead in his eyes and said, “I hate you.” As I willingly went with the gentlemen.

I arrived in a treatment center, far away from the town I lived in, for a detox period. After being there a week or so they had determined that I would need to go to another facility for extended treatment. By the time I had detoxed from the drugs, slept and got a few good meals in me, I welcomed the treatment. I remember telling my dad I was willing to do what was necessary to save my life. I apologized for telling him I hated him and even thanked him for getting me help. Everybody was relieved that the girl they knew and loved was emerging from the hollow shell of addiction. It was like a fairy tale ending where the family all locks arms and walks up the grassy null towards the sunset while some harmonic melody tickles you right in the feels. It may look that way now, but there’s darkness ahead.

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