Dedication: My soul mate. My best friend. My Dwayne <3
I would like to start off by introducing myself, as Missy the messy writer. This story will most likely be all over the place (I’m not a very skillful writer), so I apologize in advance if it gets too confusing to follow! This story is for basically any human being who is a parent, a mother, someone’s child, someone’s bestfriend, anyone who has been convicted of a crime/felony, anyone who considers themselves to be a poster-child for grief, loss, guilt and shame. This is for any of you and anyone else who just wants to read along. I guess this is where I begin.
This is my story. It’s a story about friendship, love, addictions, bad choices, regret, self-hate, guilt, shame, grief and loss. This is the story that changed my life, and I still struggle every single day because of it…
I met Dwayne when I was 16. Instantly I felt it, he was meant to be my best friend. My soul-mate. Not the romantic, “lets get married”, fall in love kind of soul-mate. This was the “need you in my life”, lift you up, tell any and everything to, no judgement or fear, one and ONLY, irreplaceable friendship kind of soul-mate. Right away he just got me. It was like we already knew exactly who each other was. I know everyone probably has someone like that at some point in life (I would hope), but nobody could possibly have, or will ever have anybody like him. I did. And then I didn’t…
Eight years ago, I was struggling with addictions. Dwayne and I were supporting each other in sobriety. It was just a little over three weeks we had spent drug free, and we were distracting ourselves with other things to keep us on the right path. Activities like swimming, bon fires with friends, long pointless car rides together. One night, there was a bon fire, friends, laughter, music and joy. I had been smoking pot that night (it helped control the other urges), and Dwayne and three others of us were all having drinks. I politely rejected alcohol all night. After a few hours I caved in and made myself ONE small drink of whiskey and coca-cola. We decided to go out a bit after that to go swimming somewhere. I remember leaving the house with Dwayne (who was driving), my boyfriend at the time, my other best friend and my little sister (she was 16, I was 18). Then it all just goes black. I remember feeling like I just woke up, standing in the middle of a road, in the middle of the night. All I was thinking about so far was why the hell we weren’t at the lake where we were originally headed. There was a man I had never seen before standing near me saying “you need to sit down, I can see your skull”. I remember only worrying about my little sister after that. It was my job to keep her out of trouble. My RESPONSIBILITY to keep her SAFE. She was fine. My boyfriend was fine. My other friend had a fractured cheek bone, which first showed as the biggest, blackest shiner I have ever seen! But she was alive, she was okay… then I heard that stranger man saying “can you hear me buddy? Can you move anything”? He was stuck in the back seat of that little 2 door bronco he owned, and the vehicle was front end down in a steep ditch, resting on a culvert. What I remember after that are just pieces of a puzzle ive never been able to solve. I can’t recall anything leading up to this accident, nor can I explain how it happened. All I can tell you is that at some point, I got into the drivers seat (with no drivers license whatsoever). I was informed after a 6 month investigation by detectives (and multiple stories from my ex), that I had switched spots with Dwayne and had tried to make a very wide u-turn on a 2 lane highway. I ran out of road and hit the ditch. The impact of hitting the culvert would have sent my friend flying through the windshield; however, Dwayne broke both of his wrists by putting his arms out in front of her, which saved her life. It’s also the reason he died that day. The motion of him inserting himself in front of her, broke his neck. I never saw him after the accident, I dont remember much of anything else either. When I recieved his medical records, I read that he was air lifted to a bigger city’s hospital. Just in that roughly twenty minute helicopter ride, he arrested three times. And several times more upon arriving. The estimated time of the accident was around 1:00am. Dwayne died at 8:30 that same morning.
I was the reason.
Almost two months later, I got news I was pregnant for the first time. I was a mess, but the decision to keep my baby-my son, is what saved my life in those moments. It was a total of six months after the car accident that I was arrested and charged with the death of my person, my soul-mate. I waited for my punishment, went to court dates and stayed out of trouble. I gave birth to my son ten months after the accident. Three months after that, I was pregnant with my second (my daughter). I had a newborn baby, a toxic relationship, and a prison sentence coming. How could I raise a second child, when I was immobilized by the thought of leaving the child I had just had!? I made three different appointments to abort my second pregnancy, none of which I kept. It was a total of one year and five months after the accident that I finally received a two year sentence to serve in the only women’s federal institution in the province. I left my eight month old son with my father, and left at five months pregnant with my daughter. I gave birth to her five months later. My dad and my son came and were able to stay with me for 72-hours after delivering her in a private visiting house at the institution. We were able to do that once a month until I was released on day parole. I spent ten months in that jail, and another six months at a halfway house. I missed my son’s firsts’. First christmas, birthday, words, steps.. and I missed the first eight months of my daughters life.. I live with this white-hot pain throughout my entire body, every day, all day. The guilt of causing my best friends death is enough to make me want to disappear even after eight years. And all of the things I missed, the things I had to give up: the lullabies I didn’t sing my babies to sleep to, the hugs and kisses, the smiles and laughter. Sometimes I feel that it was selfish of me to bring those two perfect children, into this world, knowing that I would be leaving them without their mother, the one person who is always supposed to be there for them right from the beginning until the very end. I gave them life, because I wanted desperately for someone to believe in me and love me unconditionally (the way Dwayne did) and as I sit and write this right now, nobody has ever made me feel that whole and worthy since he’s been gone.
After I came home, I graduated highschool, got a job and started college. Things were pretty good considering what I had just came out of. That is until college got harder with two toddlers not even in school yet. The pressure of being this accomplished, mature woman began weighing down on me heavier each day. Constantly feeling the need to prove that I was not just some loser out of prison who had failed in life by the age of 22. The anxiety I felt from that spiraled me back into addiction. I dropped out of college with less than a year left of the program. I started using again, and I got a really shitty boyfriend. I got so deep into that depression and feeling like a failure, (especially even more after becoming a college drop out), that I couldn’t stand feeling like a constant disappointment everyday to my kids and my dad any longer. So I made what has been THE worst decision out of them all, and I moved in with my boyfriend, leaving my children to stay with my dad. I couldn’t control the desire to get high and forget the person I was. I just wanted to be someone else, anyone else, even just for a minute each time. I couldn’t get up in the mornings and be anywhere close to the mother my kids deserved, and just looking at their faces made me die inside picturing all the things they had to do/go through without me there beside them; yet how they had become these absolutely amazing little humans… even without me. I honestly believed they would be safer, healthier and happier staying with my dad in the only home they’ve known. I still stand by that decision as much as I hate myself for leaving them a second time and BY CHOICE. Only because I think about dragging them along with me, down deeper into my disastrous spiral of self loathing, and what kind of life that would be for them. I left. I was literally 5 minutes down the street (extrememly small town). I called almost everyday, when I wasn’t too messed up to talk to my dad without sounding like a what most people would call a train wreck.. I call it a hot-mess express! I saw them all the time, and only sober. That lasted an entire year! Drugs, people, crowds, drugs, drinking, purging, bulimia, drugs, repeat. I finally got the nerve to take off one day while my bf was at work. He was angry, he yelled and cursed me. The next morning I went home and found a complete stranger lying next to him in our bed. I quietly gatherted what I could find and left without a word. It’s been just over 16 months since that day. I have an incredible boyfriend who doesn’t scream at me, try to control me, or put me down. I’m still easing back into being a full-time mom again, and my babies are still living with my dad. I still feel guilt, that I don’t think will ever go away as a parent, a mother. I’m non-stop house hunting to find a home for us to start our lives in together. Everything is slowly coming together I hope. Im going to struggle as an addict my entire life, so I have attended meetings and stayed sober.
Well, I don’t strongly think that very man
many people can relate to this jumble of issues, but I’m sure a lot of them can take whatever piece that they understand and gain something/anything from taking a glance at my life. I’m not a horrible person. I am shy and kind and thoughtful. I always prefer “the little things” and giving/recieving uplifting compliments to all around me. I have made more mistakes than most at my age (26) but I have been all through hell, hit rock-bottom, and came back standing tall after it all. You are strong and beautiful and intelligent, you just have to believe it for yourselves. <3