“Mom? Mom!! What happened? What is going on?!” The blue and red lights flashing, the sirens screaming, my stepdad being whisked away in handcuffs; those will be images I will never get out of my mind. My mother was silent as the police officers ripped and cut chunks out of the carpet. They confiscated her safes, her guns, her cell phone; anything that could possibly be used as evidence was confiscated. I sat down next to her on the front porch steps and asked again “Mom… What happened?” “Mink has been charged with kidnapping, possession of paraphernalia, and possession of drugs with intent… So far” she replied.
“I Knew it!” I thought to myself. Images from my childhood began drifting through my mind. The random people showing up at all hours of the night, the crazy and abusive outburst, the violent fights with people over ‘rent money’ or ‘borrow money’. I knew it all along, he was selling drugs. Prescription drugs. It all made sense: the countless and unnecessary surgeries, the doctor hopping, the sketchy behavior, the need for multiple firearms (he did not hunt or shoot for fun…. Ever), the sudden income shortly followed my poverty. I knew it had been going on for over a decade, now I had the proof.
My mother sat on the porch crying. All six neighbors and their kids stood in the parking lot of the apartment complex in total disbelief. “I can’t believe Mike would do something like this!” “That’s what he gets for being a criminal and trying to sue the cops to feed his habit. Of course, they would come after him.” Within minutes every news station from the state was at the apartment. They interviewed the neighbors, my mom, and her roommates. Red. Blue. Red. Blue. Deedooo. Deedooo. Flash. Flash. Flash.
I stayed next to my mother on the cold front porch steps until the police, emergency response crews, and reports left. After I arrived back home I texted my brother to let him know what had happened. “Well… We knew he would get caught eventually. Is mom okay?” I was not able to contact my mother for two weeks after the ‘incident’. She rejected my calls, ignored my text messages, changed the locks so that I couldn’t stop by. She was humiliated and was shutting herself down.
That night was the first time I have ever had to face the reality of the drug world that my family had suddenly been dragged into. Mike was charged with five 1st-degree felonies, two 2nd-degree felonies, and was sentenced to five years in state prison. Over the next few years that he actually spent in prison (he was released two years early due to ‘good behavior’) I slowly came to terms with the fact that, based on the behaviors he showed while in prison (tonguing and selling his medications to fellow inmates) I knew I would always be dealing with an addict.