A Little Introduction Pt. 2

Okay.. so where was I?

Ahhh… Jacob.. that’s right. So in September of 2008 we had our 2nd child that we named Isaiah. Things were picture perfect. No fights, no verbal confrontations of any kind. We were living in our own apartment and even engaged and looking to get married. The holidays had just passed and it was January 2nd 2009. We got into such a bloody fight. My sons room was destroyed from him slamming me through walls, his bed, his toy box… there was blood everywhere. I was knocked out from the bottle that hit my head. I still have a scar from that night. It used to remind me of pain and sorrow… now it reminds me of how STRONG I am!!! I’m alive and well. After getting out of trauma, it took me 2 weeks to locate my kids. His family had them and didn’t want to return them to me. I eventually got them back though, and was awarded full custody and child support. I ended up staying with my mother in a one bedroom apartment. It was my two kids, myself, my mother and my brother, all living in this tiny apartment. I switched my sons school and things were going good. My son Isaiah was in his teething stage and was always cranky and crying. My mother couldn’t deal with it. She was always fighting with me and saying things like “Can you shut your fuckin’ kid up? I can’t fuckin’ sleep! I really regret having you live here!” “Can’t you shut them up?!” “What the hell is wrong with him now?” I didn’t want to be there anymore than her not wanting me there, but I was… and I had to find a way to deal with her craziness. We got into a really bad fight and she started throwing things at me and it hit my son so I decided to call the police on her and try to have this dealt with once and for all. The cop knew me and my bad behavior in the past and knew I had a couple warrants for my arrest and ended up locking ME UP! (In front of my kids too…) After a week in county, I was released on ROR. I stayed at my sister Danielle’s house and got my kids back. Since they went with their father on the weekends, I drank on the weekends. Weekends only. My drinking got worse and worse. My sisters husband kicked me out, my kids went back with their father and I started staying in a party house, which was a friends house. I couldn’t have my kids there because everyone was doing drugs and drinking everyday, and it really did kill me inside. My son would cry and scream for me.  That made me drink and drug even more. I was a bad mother. I did nothing for my kids at this point in life. I felt worthless and was filled with self pity. I just wanted to die. Eventually, everyone was kicked out. I stayed with my cousin this time around. She was very strict with me, and I got a job and started doing good. I seen my kids, but nearly as much as I should have been seeing them. I didn’t want to bring them to her house either because she drank at the time and drugged too.. and there was always fights breaking out and I didn’t want my boys near that. I met up with someone I used to smoke pot with and asked if he could get some ecstacy. He did and we hung out and I started seeing him regularly. His name is Joseph. He treated me SO good. He cared for me and not a lot of people did so I kept him close. We started dating and soon after I moved in with him. I started seeing my kids more often too. My boys loved him just as much as I did. We were so in love.. and decided to start a family of our own! After trying to get pregnant for 3 months it finally happened. We were a family. Something I never had and I always wanted. I just couldn’t stop smoking marijuana and popping roxy’s, oxy’s, and percs during my pregnancy. We moved into our own 3 bedroom apartment, and things were great! I couldn’t have been happier at this point in my life. My kids were back in my life, I had a wonderful fiance, and we were having a baby! I gave birth to a baby boy named Joseph Jr September 3rd 2008. A social worker came into the room and said they had to call DYFS because I tested positive for marijuana. I thought they were going to take my son away! They let us go home from the hospital. I automatically signed myself into an intensive outpatient program and tried staying clean. The state took us to court for custody of our son and the judge denied them. They did implement a homemaker to watch us with our son for 12 hours a day. My best friend passed away July 8th 2010. I started drinking very heavily. When I drank I turned into a different person. I was mean and cruel. Especially to Joseph.. the one who cared and loved me and my kids for who we were. The one I was so happy and in love with. I tried killing him numerous times. Once, I had our son in one arm, and a butcher knife in the other… running after him throughout the house. I was extremely intoxicated. Anything could have happened. Thankfully I calmed down and slept it off. Another time I had a bunch of friends over and we were reminiscing about our friend Jojo who passed. I snapped and started hitting, punching, and kicking everyone in the house. It took 4 grown men to pin me down to the floor so I couldn’t move or hurt anyone else. The police came and spoke to me. They were about to let me go back upstairs but I threatened Joey in the hallway and he took me back out to the cops and they took me to the hospital. The nurse at Bayonne Medi Center was very mean to me. She was laughing at how I lost my kids and how I was a junkie. I was soooo furious, I escaped from the hospital. It was summertime and I was going through peoples backyards and I grabbed clothes off of a clothes line. Every officer in Bayonne was looking for me that night. I walked right past them and to my friends apartment. It was 3 in the morning when I got there and my friend convinced me to go back and deal with what I had done. I took a shower at her place, and she drove me back to the hospital with Joseph. They strapped me in and kept me on psych watch. I was released the next morning. I went back to the apartment and started cleaning up and Joey and the baby were gone. He didn’t want to come back because of my using and bad behavior, but he did. We tried to work on things. DYFS took us back to court again for 24 hour homemaker services. They were granted what they asked for. I tried so hard to stay clean, but sobriety didn’t have a priority. I stopped drinking once again but was still using opiates. I was getting them from the doctor for years for my back problems. Now it’s the beginning of August. Joseph had come home smelling of alcohol. That set me off and I went out, drank and threw what little time from alcohol I had away. Emergency DYFS workers came to the house and I was asked to leave my own home because I was intoxicated. I left. I came back in the morning and Joey took the baby and left to his fathers house. I wasn’t allowed near my son at all at this point because of my using. Eventually… they took my son and placed him in foster care. This sent me spiraling down in self destruction. I used ALL the time. I just wanted to be NUMB. They tried putting me in rehabs and detoxes and I would leave every single one of them. I wasn’t ready to quit. I always kept up with my visitations though. I loved seeing my kids, but it was getting harder and harder to stay sober during my visits. 2 years went by and eventually Joey and I weren’t together anymore, and I lost the apartment. In January of 2012, I BEGGED my case worker to put me in rehab. It was life or death at this point. I went into Sunrise House in Lafayette NJ on January 31st. It was the only program I didn’t leave AMA (against medical advice). I completed that 28 day program. I stood clean for about 70 days until I relapsed with heroin thinking that I can still hang out with the same people. I picked myself up and got on a MMTP in the Bronx on May 2nd 2012. I haven’t used since. I went to court still fighting for my son, but they were ready to terminate my parental rights to my son Joseph. I signed my rights away to my sister Danielle who ended up adopting him, and still has him to this day. I never get to see him anymore. I think that made me so much more closer to my two oldest boys, Jeremiah and Isaiah. They’re so proud of me. They tell me all the time how proud they are, and happy they are that I’m okay now. Jeremiah told me something that will stay with me for the rest of my life…. “The next time, you don’t need to go to rehab. All you need is us (Him and his brother Isaiah), we’ll make you happy when you’re sad. We’ll be here for you.” Those words keep me going to this day. They tell me how much of a good mother I am, and how happy they are when they’re with me. I get them on the weekends and I keep up with all my visitations with them. They’re very sad they never get to see their brother Joseph anymore and I feel bad because it is my fault he’s not with us. Danielle won’t let me see my son anymore and neither will her husband. What really bothers me is that Joseph and I were both using. He went to rehab too…. he was right along with me doing the same things, but he gets him every weekend and spends a lot of time with his son. I wish I had that. I’m a bit jealous. I’m his mother and I want time with him too. I’ve missed his whole life because he was taken at 2 1/2 months old. Sometimes I wish I could do things over with what I know now. I would never ever put my kids in this situation..

My kids were my high all along and I was so blind that I didn’t realize it. I’m glad I’ve been able to stay clean for this long. I’m getting treatment for my addiction and also my depression and mental health. If I don’t deal with the reasons why I use, I won’t get clean. I go to NA meetings, MA meetings, and tons of support groups. I have a huge network of people in recovery that are there for me. They’re good clean people and they love me for who I am.

I finally fit in somewhere. I’m single and focusing on my children. I don’t need a man to validate me like I thought. All I need is my sobriety, family and friends. I’m finally content with life and I deal with things a day a time.. and when things get to hard I deal with it a moment at a time. If you have any questions or comments feel free to leave a comment. I promise I will get back to every single one of you.

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4 thoughts on “A Little Introduction Pt. 2”

  1. Wow Ash… You are an inspiration to many women your age or should I say women in general. I never knew your whole life story. Reading this story brings tears to my eyes. I am very proud of what you have accomplished and I hope that God continues to bless you and your children through your journey in recovery. You have done alot despite of the time you lost. For your children to tell you that they will be there for you to that capacity and they love you no matter what because of the love you have shown them throughout their years. You are learning from your mistakes and making amends with what has happened to you in your life. I think you should pursue a career in helping other recovering addicts and battered women because like you said, sharing your story could inspire women in your situation to come out of that type of situation and do better for themselves and their kids. A friend of mine is going through something similar right now. Thanks for your bravery in sharing your story. It made me see you in a whole new light. Much love ❤

    1. Gracias nena! That’s what I want to do. I have a passion for this that burns inside… like I NEED to help people because I too have been there and I know what it feels like. People need to know that they’re not alone in this. Together we can and will recover!

  2. Dear Ashley:
    I am left with out words as we both know I as your dad know you have gone though so much.
    But I had never knew your pain, I want to say to you I beleive in you and this story is truly life affirming and as I read this portion of your story I was in tears, as you know I wish I could of been around and a part of your life but I was in my personal journey of recovery as well. May you continue to be this women in whom you ave become, your going to go a long way I know it I feel it but most of all I see it. Thank you your Daddy

    1. Love you Daddy!!! I finally started to understand the pain you were going through as well with your addiction when my life started going down the drain from my use of drugs and alcohol. You were in the process of fixing your own life so you can be a part of mine, now. I’m so proud of you too and how far you’ve come in your own recovery. I will always be here for you. We’re stuck with each other.. Haha!! Te amo siempre 🙂

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