Part Thirty-Eight: Life After Meth

It was the final little span of time while the degenerate and his wife were in my life, after my roommate and I had opted for a life of relative sobriety and clarity in our lives and in our home, that I ended up being involved in what would be one of my strangest and categorically one of the worst relationships of my life…though a wonderful little girl did come out of it, so I can’t claim that it was all bad.

The girl that I ended up involved with was the daughter of the degenerate’s wife, someone I had dismissively met years before and not remembered. In my newly adopted sobriety she and I bonded over our mutual disdain for the junkies and tweakers still populating our respective lives. She and I had both recently sobered up and felt more than a little bit of contempt for those who hadn’t made the same choice.

When I say that she sobered up, I mean only that she had stopped using methamphetamine and cocaine, because she was still one hell of a drinker. There was one evening in particular during which she emptied a bottle of gin into a bowl along with a can of Dr. Pepper and thirstily continued to drink from said bowl like the classiest woman I’ve ever met. Being highly intoxicated by the time she was done, she was in no state to go anywhere so I invited her to just sleep in my bed with me that night. She ultimately stormed out of the house in the late night hours without even putting her shoes on because her attempt to seduce me failed for two reasons, the first one being that I wasn’t interested at all but also because there is one thing I have always insisted on; I will not sleep with a woman who is intoxicated unless we’ve had a sexual relationship already in place, I don’t know if it’s a moral code or what one might call it, but it would feel too much like taking advantage of someone.

Had I been in a better state of mind, without the after effects of months of heavy drug use and a thoroughly confusing non-relationship that I told you about already, this girl and I would not have become anything more than friends. I wasn’t particularly attracted to her, physically or otherwise, but we did click in some respects that surely could have made us friends at the time. I was not in a good place though, certainly not a healthy one yet, and she was very much interested in me.

Who was I to deny her interest; I wasn’t someone anyone else would want?

There was pressure from her mother for us to get together as well, because she had met my two oldest children and determined that I would be able to give her a beautiful grandchild or grandchildren, if only I could be persuaded to become intimate with her daughter.

The whole situation was fucked up, and only became more fucked up when both the mother and daughter approached me (together as well as separately) in order to propose that I knock the daughter up and then I could leave the picture altogether if I so desired.

I sometimes have those moments when I am forced to question whether I am mentally retarded in some small way or at least severely unbalanced, and my agreement to that plan was definitely one of those things that elicit that rumination.

It didn’t remain as clean and businesslike as all that, as she and I fell into a sort of relationship together…and she did indeed become pregnant after only a couple of months. I wish I could regret that, but the daughter we had together makes that impossible for me. Children have a way of doing that sort of thing to us, turning an otherwise regrettable experience into something we wind up treasuring even if there is nothing else worth holding on to from a whole period of our lives.

I will say that, if it had been possible, I would have preferred to have this daughter with a different partner though…a better alternative would not have been difficult to find.

During the pregnancy itself, things really weren’t so bad with her. She may have given up drugs prior to meeting me, but her alcoholism went on hiatus during the pregnancy and that served to make her a much more tolerable human being. She was so proud of herself for being completely sober for the first time in I don’t even know how long, and it was contagious enough that I was proud of her as well.

That didn’t last long.

It was only two weeks after our daughter was born when I received a phone call from her while I was at work because she needed me to pick her and our daughter up after I got off because she was drunk in an apartment downtown and there was no one sober who could get her and our newborn daughter home. After retrieving her she repaid my kindness by vomiting in my car, having managed to do little more than put the window down before evacuating the mostly liquid contents of her stomach.

This became a routine for us, not the puking in my car part of it (thankfully that was only the once), but the retrieving her drunken self from somewhere or another. Initially it was once every couple of weeks, for a month or two, and then it was once a week, and it kept getting worse until it was a couple of days pretty much every week that I was having to rescue our daughter from some place her mother had dragged her off to in order to be drunk, slobbering, stupid drunk.

The relationship didn’t survive her drunken escapades after we moved into a new house shared with my former roommate, the waiter, and his girlfriend. Having friends around helped me to build up the necessary self-respect to offer her an ultimatum, that she stop drinking so much or she needed to leave. Of course, I was the bad guy for putting my foot down like this.

This was not the first time, nor was it to be the last, that I was faced with a woman who treated me like I was an asshole for little more than standing my ground and displaying a modicum of self-respect and dignity, demanding a little bit of decency and consideration from my supposed partner. Clearly I am a fucking idiot because there have been more than just one or two women I’ve become involved with who considered it an intolerable affront for me to demand any such thing. Maybe it has to do with the sort of women I attract (looking, as I do, like a fleshy pin cushion), maybe it’s just something about me that makes me seem like I am suitable to be walked all over like a carpet and shouldn’t have the audacity to demand more from these women. Whatever it is, I damn well need to figure out how to change it one of these days. That sort of shit gets old really fucking quickly.

As you can probably guess, she opted to continue drinking her life away rather than concern herself with being a mother or my partner. She moved out with our little girl and continued living her life as she preferred. Thankfully that baby girl still ended up with me a lot of the time, during my days off and when her mother was at work I would keep her there with me since there was no other babysitter available.

The fact that my daughter was spending so much time with me even after her mother moved out was something that made me exceptionally angry about what came next in this particular story.

It was less than year after being out on her own that the mother was picked up drunk by the police, in a car full of other drunks, out on some errand or another. She became hysterical and insisted that the officers let her return home or take her there to her baby. The police checked out the house in question and found our daughter asleep in her crib in a house full of drunk and/or high individuals, not a sober person in sight.

Our daughter was taken into protective custody and Child Protection Services placed her in temporary foster care. I didn’t find out about any of this until a couple of days later when I called the mother to inquire as to why our little girl hadn’t been dropped off with me.

I was livid, to put it mildly.

My being angry was made no better when I was finally able to contact someone with Child Protection Services to demand that they let me know what was going on with my daughter and why I hadn’t been contacted. They rambled off some bullshit about how they had no contact information for me and that they were going to keep her in foster care because they didn’t feel that it would be a good idea to have her in unfamiliar or strange surroundings. Think about that for just a moment, they placed her with total strangers as foster care rather than send her to be with her own father, with whom she had spent probably as much time as she had with her mother, if not more. This was the sincere, totally straight-faced response that I received from these people. These are people who have to have achieved some manner of college education before they can work for that department, and yet the total lack of reasoning capability exhibited by the caseworker I spoke with was beyond astounding to me.

It offended my mother and grandmother as well, and they began petitioning the caseworker to pull her head out of her ass in what was probably a more civil tone than I was managing to muster after a couple of days time. I am not ashamed to admit that I was not composing myself in quite the gentlemanly fashion I probably should have been…under the circumstances I had every right to be angry.

It took a while to get through to these people and it was finally agreed that our daughter would be released back into the custody of her mother if she agreed to leave the home and roommates she had and was residing with me. So, she and our daughter began occasionally staying in the house with me, but mostly they would show up early in the morning on the days when the caseworker was going to perform an evaluation of the living conditions. I know that I was breaking the law by going along with this deception, but those jackasses were not going to release my daughter into my custody, and I sure as shit didn’t want her mother living with me again. We manipulated the situation to our mutual ends in order to get our daughter out of foster custody and I feel no guilt about doing so.

The mother was no more suitable to be caring for our daughter than she was before that whole debacle had taken place, but I was damned if that little girl was going to end up staying in foster care any longer than she already had…and it worked out, to some extent.

Sadly, the mother is no more suitable to be a mother today than she was then, less so in a number of ways. She has been in and out of treatment programs four or five times since then for drug and alcohol abuse, Child Protection Services has become involved in her life again at least one more time, and our daughter has been almost exclusively living in my custody for a number of years now, which is where she belongs. It’s just a damn shame that her mother seems to be unwilling or unable to provide a better example of what it means to be an adult and a woman.

I sure know how to pick ‘em, right? You can shut up though, I don’t need your judgment, and it’s not like I’m unaware of the fact that I have some pretty damn poor taste or judgment when it comes to the women I allow into my life. It’s not always a disaster though, just most of the time.

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