A horrifying tale of meth addiction and sad choices …

This post authored by Mike Staton.

head shotNowadays a youth basketball game or baseball game will find proud parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles standing up on the bleachers at gyms and ball fields all across the country snapping photos and taking videos with their smart phones and iPads. Sometimes the smiling faces and the action – a fifth-grade girl sinking a field goal or a six-year-old boy getting a fly-ball hit into the outfield – gets posted on Facebook for loved ones to see, like and share. Sometimes the photos appear in the local weekly newspaper along with a small story or caption providing details on the kids shown and the game. Mom, dad, grandma, grandpa, all the myriad aunts and uncles, older nieces and nephews – the whole menagerie of family – chase down the scissors, cut out the photo and paste it into the family memory album.

That’s the feel-good moments we treasure and hope to collect and keep close to our hearts, like young boys and girls in grandma’s backyard collecting lightning bugs in bottles. Or like the times girls entering their teen years unlock their diaries and write down the memories of their first kiss or their first slow dance.

Meth addict (600x276)And sometimes we have to cope with the not-so-good moments, the moments that stab the heart, twist it into knots so painful we shriek out our frustration at the callous Universe.

I spent Thursday, April 10 with my friend Sharon’s father as he got fitted for a new set of teeth. It was a good day overall with a visit to the Red Rock National Park north of Las Vegas inserted into the afternoon as Charles waited for the plates to be made. By the time we made it back to Henderson, it was 5 o’clock, and after a snack, I sat down at my computer to scan my Facebook timeline. What I read sent jolts of shock searing through my body.

I had just read a post by my stepbrother filled with exasperation and rage. Comments from others in the West Virginia county where he lives were filled with sympathy and shared anger as well. My brain neurons went into overdrive and I quickly grasped that something unspeakable had just happened to the mother of his three boys and their older sister. I immediately called his mother.

Photo album2It was as horrifying as I feared, happening to a young woman who I had shared Thanksgiving and Christmases with through the last ten years. As all good weeklies do, the local newspaper reported the incident: “A Calhoun woman was taken to Minnie Hamilton Health System Thursday suffering from what was described as multiple and severe traumatic injuries, reportedly linked to a dispute. Family sources reported that the woman suffered injuries to most of her body. A status on her condition was not available. Deanna Nelson Jones, 28, who had reportedly been living at Cabot Station, was then life-flighted to Women and children’s Hospital in Charleston.

The newspaper included the name of her “significant other,” who brought her to the hospital. I’m not going to identify him, though. He’s not locked up like he should be. The newspaper said the Sheriff’s Office was investigating “the matter.” However, charges hadn’t been filed against the thug.

My stepmother Linda, who’s actually a few months younger than me, said the severe beating resulted in multiple broken bones including legs and back. No doubt there are just as grave internal injuries. Linda is an aide at the hospital and had heard talk that Dee might not make it.

How the do you beat someone that severely? And it’s not the first time. She’d been beaten earlier – several times. I’ve seen photos of her on Facebook, the ugly bruises, the missing teeth. Yet she married this monster earlier in the week.

Diary1 (259x194)My stepbrother faces some tough decisions. How much should he tell their children, the oldest just ten years old? Should he take them to the hospital to visit their mother?

I’ve already seen the repercussions of Dee’s new lifestyle. I was going through some old photo albums at my dad’s house and came across a photo of Dee. The ten-year-old girl stood near me. Dad showed her the photo of her mother and asked, “Do you want it?” The girl shook her head and walked away.

Dee is a walking billboard on the dangers of meth. She’s been indicted and faces charges related to the manufacturing of methamphetamine. Her meth addiction has ruined her life, led to terrible decisions by her, and is having dreadful ramifications in the lives of her loved ones, especially her four children.

Linda reminded me that Dee wasn’t always this way. There was a time when Dee would sit with her daughter and read books to her. I noticed early on that the girl at four years old loved to read books. That’s a doting mother who wants her daughter’s life to turn out better than hers.

But now meth rules her life and could very well end it, with the help of a man’s fist and God knows what else.

Postscript

The local newspaper reports that Dee’s new husband, Adam Andrew Jones, 25, of Big Springs, has been arrested and charged with attempted homicide, kidnapping, malicious assault, wounding and battery. Authorities allege that Jones bound and wounded Dee with intent to kill.

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21 Responses to A horrifying tale of meth addiction and sad choices …

  1. Unfortunately we’ve all had a “Dee” in our lives. This is truly heart breaking. This was so sad but so well written. My thoughts and best wishes go out to her kids.

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  2. T Richardson says:

    So sorry to hear this, Mike. I hope that Dee not only heals and dries out, but that she will eventually be able to put her life back together.

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  3. Mike, indeed this horrifying. I know this “thing” exists, takes people’s souls and twists them into something they are not and would never be if they were in their normal state of being. I pray there is an answer to all this madness with meth. Thank you, Mike, for sharing.

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    • Mike Staton says:

      One time a sheriff showed me a “before” and “after” photo of a woman on meth who had just been arrested. When I was a young reporter for a newspaper in Central Ohio in the ’70s, I don’t recall meth addiction. It no doubt existed but probably not too this extent.

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  4. erinfarwell says:

    Mike, first I am so sorry for your family and what you and they must endure. Those poor children are so lucky to have a stable family to support them. While I know this was hard to write, it was beautifully done. May God hold you all in the palm of his hand.

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    • Mike Staton says:

      Thank you. I was just looking at a photo of one of the boys on FB. He’s playing in a baseball game and there’s a big smile on his face.

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  5. Mike, I’d like to say I like this post but of course I don’t. What I do like is your excellent writing skills and treating this horrifying tragedy with care and concern. And, of course the reason I said I didn’t like the post is that the content is so sad. However, we can’t keep our heads in the sand. The man involved sounds like a monster. My own daughter went through abuse (although not nearly as bad as this) so I know a little about why people can do such terrible things to someone they supposedly love. I’ll be praying for this woman – God can work miracles. How wonderful for the family to have someone like you who cares enough to reach out. Definitely meth and abuse interact but it happens to all kinds of people. So sad to see this type of self-inflicted abuse (meth) drag a nice person into something much more sinister and life-threatening. If there’s anything you need or I could do please let me know.

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    • Mike Staton says:

      Thanks for the kind words. In Vegas now, I don’t get a chance to see them. I did visit dad in February before driving out to Vegas, but stepbrother didn’t come by dad’s house to visit so didn’t get to see the boys and their older sister. Did get an update from their grandmother on their mom’s legal problems, though.

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  6. Wranglers says:

    Mike, I am so sorry for the horrible thing that has happened. I used to counsel drug and alcohol abusers who were on our program, there really is nothing more important to them than the drug. Not family, not children, not possessions, nothing. I’m just sorry for your step-brother and his children. Thanks for sharing this. Cher’ley

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  7. Doris says:

    Mike,

    These stories are never easy. The choice to start down the addiction path is their own choice, and they never see where it will lead. I am so sorry for everyone involved. People who think that addictions just affect the user are so wrong. Thoughts that the right things will come to mind while dealing with all this fallout. Doris

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  8. katewyland says:

    This is so sad. I feel for you and your step-brother and family.

    I took a Citizens’ Police Academy course this winter and one of the session focused on drugs, particularly meth. They showed a video of the physical changes meth causes in users. Pictures, mostly police mug shots, showing before and 1-5 years after. Most were unrecognizable. If it’s doing that much damage to the body, what must it be doing to the mind? And now “shake and bake” meth is spreading across the country. It’s a way individuals can make small amounts themselves, rather than having to buy from meth labs. Unfortunately, it’s still very explosive and dangerous.

    I hope her kids can eventually deal with it. Best wishes.

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    • Mike Staton says:

      Thanks, Kate. The boys are young. The girl’s older and more aware of what’s happening. Hopefully it will keep her from making any similar mistakes when she’s an adlult.

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  9. This is very disturbing. You and your family are in my thoughts.

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    • Mike Staton says:

      Thanks for the caring thoughts for my stepbrother’s kids. Hopefully his ex will be able to recover and put her life back together.

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  10. sstamm625 says:

    Mike, this is so sad, and I’m so sorry for what your family is going through. Those poor kids. My thoughts are with you and your family, with wishes for healing all around.

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    • Mike Staton says:

      Thank you for the kind words. Remember, though, it’s my stepbrother’s kids. I guess you could say it’s my extended family, although I only get to see them a couple of times a year, typically during the holidays. It’s a tough life in that part of West Virginia with a depressed economy and not a whole lot of decent paying jobs.

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  11. Nancy Jardine says:

    Heartbreaking to read, Mike, and I feel the pain as you wrote it. And often the ones who suffer for many years are those who are watching on the periphery- the children (who see it with young eyes at first and then very differently years down the line) and the adult relatives who feel unable to do much to divert that path of destruction of ‘normal’ lives. Hopefully some good will come to the woman and her children.

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