This is a hard story to tell because it hasn't ended yet. God only knows what the ending will be if he looks into our future. I feel that He allows us to determine out own destiny by our actions so he may not even know.

Carmen is a very pretty lady. She is 40 but looks like she is 30 and sometimes she looks like a kid. She is petite. I can pick her up and kiss her with her feet off the ground. I can carry her around with not effort. She is very intelligent and she has a heart of gold. When you talk to her you instantly like her,

She worked as a bank teller and had a good future with the bank. She could be a branch manager now if it weren't for one problem. Carmen is a crack addict.

A few years ago Carmen came to the building I live in. At the time it was a building full of addicts, dealers and hookers. When I moved in the management was cleaning it out. Some of the addicts are still here.

Carmen met a man who was a loan shark. She started using drugs when she was with him. They lived in the building. The police came one night and had a talk with him. They told him that he had to find a new profession or they were going to bust him.

Carmen moved out of his place and share an apartment with a female friend. While she was visiting the guy they were watching a movie, US Marshals. US Marshals busted in. He was arrested for drugs and loan sharking. Since Carmen was in the room when he got busted she was evicted and banned from the building.

When I met her it was a date. She had dates to support her habit. (She was a hooker.) For me this was supposed to be a sexual experience only. Before long we fell in love. I had competition.

The competition was crack and it still is.

I talked to the manager and he said Carmen could come into the building again. She was losing her place and I offered her a place to stay. No drugs in the apartment. No addicts in the apartment. After midnight if she left she could not come back in.

She tried to cut down. The first two nights were ok. The third night, she did not make it. She came in at about 11pm. She moved slowly and talked slow and soft. She was constantly looking around and every noise was a mystery. Her eyes were wide. She looked like a child that had done something wrong.

She went into the bathroom and closed the door. She was in there along time. Finally I said I had to pee. She came out and I went in. I could smell the crack but I held my tongue. I went back to my desk and worked on the internet. She had her hand on the door and when I wasn't looking she started to open the door.

I said, "If you go out that door do not come back." She left and I locked the door and went to sleep.

During the winter she was homeless. I told her when she needed a place to stay she could spend the night with me but she had to be clean (not high). Once she was in it was for the night. I was not going to get up in the middle of the night to letter her in.

I would talk to her about rehab. She had a son who used weed. I heard her talking to him and he was talking about smoking 5 or more blunts with weed a day. She could not say any thing. What she was doing was much worse. I told her about herself. She also has a little girl who was a crack baby. The baby has problems because of it. We talked a long time and she was saying she wanted to quit.

She would promise that she was going in the next day and get some crack for her last time. I told her as long as she did that she would not go in. She would not go in.

She promised many times and a couple times went in. She would go through the 5 day dry out treatment and not go back for the 30 day program.

I would tell her to come back after the 30 day program. She would knock on my door a few days later she would be clean and she would tell me she was staying clean.

As soon as I would take her back she would come in high again.

I haven't seen her in a week. She called the other day and said she would be in to see me in an hour and not show. Yesterday she called and said her food stamps were added to her card so she was going to get me some groceries. She would be here in a couple of hours. That was 10:30AM and I am still waiting at 5:30PM the next day.

Everyone that knows her want me to keep trying and they tell her that I am the only one she can depend on and she is close to losing me. I told her that as long as she was using crack I was going to see other women. I see three other women now and if Carmen gets rid of her habit they know that she is the only one I will be with. If she takes too long and one of the others straighten out their act I may end up with that one.

I love Carmen but I will not compete with crack. As long as a woman is abusing drugs and alcohol I will not commit to her. All of these women know about each other and 3 know each other. A friend of theirs just had her heart explode because of drugs. You would think that would be enough to get a person to quit.

As I have said many times she has to want to quit. As long as I am around she thinks she does not have to stop. The next time I see her I will tell her that I will not see her as long as she is on drugs. This time I will stick to it. It worked with Shirley. Maybe it will work with Carmen.

© Copyright 2001 Lee W. Gaylord

After three days of calls saying that she will be here in an hour Carmen showed up this morning.

She did not look high but she did look like she was mentally unbalanced. It was like she was going in and out of reality.

She would be talking normally then she said, "I smell a dog. My nose is playing tricks on me. I see dog shit on the floor. My eyes are playing tricks on me."

Then she would be back to normal. She told me she was with some friends. She smelled a dog and asked her friends. One said yes and the other said no. The one that said yes was high and the one that said no was not. She decided she was smelling things. I don't think she realized that she went though that a few minutes ago with me.

She is also going through paranoia. The hall carpeting was removed and the floor is concrete. Foot steps and the opening of the elevator doors echoes in the hallway and into my room. The stairway is next to my room so when someone uses the stairs it sounds like the are walking in my room.

This drives her crazy. She hears the noises and thinks someone is coming for her.

There were times when she would call me and tell me someone was in her room. Even at my place she would check the closet and bathroom thinking someone was in the room listening to us.

I told her that it was time for rehab. If she doesn't do something now she may end up in as asylum or on the streets talking to herself. The drugs are messing with her brains. It may be too late. I hope not.

As she left she told me that she was going to rehab. She said she knows that if she doesn't go she is doomed. She has said it before.

She has cut down and is trying to beat the addiction on her own. She will go a week without crack and then have a day or two with crack. Some day she may be able to stop killing herself.

Pray for her. She is a good woman with a bad habit. She needs help and she needs to let the real Carmen out.

© Copyright 2002 Lee W. Gaylord

Now in her early 50s she is still looking good. She is clean and sober and is helping mothers reunite with their children after recovery from addiction. We are soul mates.

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