Ten years ago I met my wife. We were high school sweethearts. We fell in love fast. Our love was like electricity. We were together every day. Things between us were great. She was the best friend I had always wanted. We stayed together all through high school, graduated together and moved into a home together.
At times we fought and argued with each other, but what normal relationship does not have that from time to time.
We found out she was pregnant with our first daughter and decided to get married. It was something we had talked about for a long time, and it was something I believed she truly wanted.
Soon after, we discovered she was pregnant with our second daughter. We were shocked and were not ready. At this point in time we were both severe drug addicts with opiates, mojo and all kinds of dope. She was with me through my mother’s death.
A few years later, we lost everything, our home, vehicles, jobs and thousands of dollars. The state threaten to take our kids away. We now have three daughters together.
We began to fall out of love with each other and began to love dope more. Heroin, meth and alcohol became drugs of choice.
Rehab fixed us for a little while, and my new job had money rolling in. I got us a new home and vehicle. Life was good until the drugs came back with a vengeance.
The night I felt I had gotten stabbed in the back finally came. My wife and I drank a lot of alcohol and did meth together one night. We began arguing and things got way out of hand. She began yelling and hitting me. My 4-year old-daughter, my princess, got in between us and my wife did not like the fact that our daughter was trying to stick up for me, so she punched her in the back of the head. When I saw my daughter laying on the ground, I snapped. I jumped up and started choking my wife. The woman I truly loved. I choked her.
The police were called and I was soon being arrested in front of my baby girls on aggravated domestic abuse and battery by strangulation charges. My daughters were all crying. It tore me up.
I never said anything to the police about what my wife had done to my daughter that night. I did my time in jail and then ended up here at the Odyssey House. I now have six months to do here. I have to complete this in order to get my girls back.
While being at this facility, I learned my wife left my children with her parents and is now sleeping with my best friend. This crushed me. Now my focus is on me and my girls. I need to complete this program and prove that I am the man I know I am to myself, my family and my daughters.
When I leave here I will be a new man and a better man, along with the skills to be the father my girls deserve. My focus has changed and I now know what I need to do.
I will always love my wife, but I cannot be with her anymore until she wants to be my true wife, if she even wants that. Either way I’ll be fine. She will always be the mother to my kids, but I cannot be in a relationship like this. This journey is for my girls and a learning and teaching experience for myself. My journey will end in peace, joy, happiness and success.
Chase Ducote, 25, is a participant in our writing workshops inside Odyssey House Louisiana, a nonprofit behavioral health care provider with an emphasis on addiction treatment in New Orleans. He began the program in April and is scheduled to be released in three to six months.
The Beat Within, a publication of writing and art from incarcerated youth, was founded by David Inocencio in San Francisco in 1996. Weekly writing and conversation workshops are held in California, six other states and Washington, D.C. Submissions and new partners are welcomed. Write to him at firstname.lastname@example.org.