The Best Of Rich Walters
The Best Of Rich Walters
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Freedom from these “silent” addictions has made my life much more enjoyable. There are still challenges that I must deal with on a daily basis to maintain my freedom from negative mood altering substances or actions. As they say, “Rent is due everyday” when it comes to recovery. A clean and clear mind from drugs and alcohol is a great way to start each day.
My clean date is 9/1/14. My last drug of choice was crystal meth. Today I am able to work on fixing past mistakes, the wake of destruction and financial issues that were all caused by my addiction to drugs and alcohol. At times, I can get discouraged about that long list and the length of time it takes to cross something off. However, I try to remember just how fast I was digging my hole during my addiction. I need to factor that into the equation as I review my progress. When I do, I find out I am doing just fine.
The final days of my active addiction still resonate in my mind on a daily basis. Finally reaching a point that I could no longer afford get high or even afford to eat. I had been living on the streets for a year, at this point. Day after day was spent trying to survive by scavenging and scheming to get money, drugs, shelter or food. I recall flying a sign at busy street corners trying to get as much money as I could so I could get high one more time.
Meth had taken over everything and destroyed all that I had. If I could not get enough money for drugs, then I would buy food and try to find someplace “safe” to sleep for a while. This was usually in a park or behind some vacant building somewhere. I was often awakened by a police officer or two. Fortunately, I did not have any issues with the law. I am still not exactly sure how I pulled that off.
At this point, I was in a small town in Northwest Oregon. Without a place to stay, I would hang out at a local tavern and try to fit in and stay inside as long as I could. Playing pool helped the time pass. I would also sing karaoke every night they had it. That was just about the only thing that gave me joy.
I kind of became the “stray dog” that people took care of. They would give me a few free drinks here, a meal to two there. One rainy night a guy let me sleep in the garage of his mom’s house. I slept on the back seat of a car that was in the middle of stacks of boxes. It was not very comfortable but I was dry and grateful to be inside.
I left early in the morning. So I was back upon my undersized mountain bike that I found in a field. It was in bad shape. I did not care on bit because it was much better than walking. I do not remember experiencing an epiphany or an event that made me decide to turn my life around. Now that I look back, I clearly see that my Higher Power was hard at work protecting me and guiding me toward a new life in recovery.
To be continued…
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Thomas Gagliano has developed an approach that is effective in changing the voices in our own minds. One of the hardest realizations is our understanding that as adults failure does not equal to failing in life. By giving to us the three basic essentials of awareness, actions, and maintenance, Gagliano uses a mixture of stories of inspiration from his own life experiences combined with the words of Abraham J. Twerski, M.D., to show his audience that with perseverance, anything is possible.
In The Problem Was Me, Thomas Gagliano gives the steps to allow for change. Fighting for our own survival is a must. Overcoming our own battles, while difficult, is the necessary action for peace of mind, and contentment of living. The ability to change is graspable. Just as we may have been trained to see our faults through criticism, we can retrain our thoughts to become the person we need to be for purposeful, daily living. Using the inner voice, or the warden, as Gagliano has aptly labeled this, the reader can follow each chapter, seeing how one way of thinking can be changed into a better way of living.
He has appeared on numerous radio stations and on the Trinity Broadcasting Network. Hailing from New York, Gagliano holds a bachelor degree in marketing from Seton Hall University, and a masters degree in social work he acquired from Rutgers. While his credentials speak for themselves, his life experiences are a stronghold. Not only has he helped many on their own paths, but he is also an addict in long term recovery
Gagliano maps out each chapter so that through all ways stated, it becomes obvious how negative thinking affects us. Not only is seeing this through his view necessary, but it shows the ways in which change is brought about. The warden is a vicious attacker and an active ailment that exists in each of us. Displaying the ways in which our environments have shaped us by using his examples, Gagliano defuses those scenarios and the warden’s voice by promoting the necessary steps in doing so; from the awareness of what is wrong to the action that brings change.
It will help you heal and grow. Then, you need to take action” (35). Each chapter could easily be taken out to stand alone, but by using each one to build on the next, this basic concept of change is easily understood. While most of us do not enjoy being told with preciseness how to change ourselves, the suggestive tone Gagliano uses, leaves us in charge of our own paths. There is no one way to do so, as he shows us, but there is a right way to go about it.
Unlike the weekly journaling suggested by most self-help groups, Gagliano proposes that making this a daily activity brings forth the commitment to our necessary actions, allowing us to live a life changed. With this commitment to journaling, he also gives a way to take our own personal inventory. He states, “An inventory allows me to see clearly the personal struggle going on between my old belief system and my new belief system.
Gagliano tackles one of the hardest obstacles to overcome in our adult lives, but he does this without a complicated vocabulary and with a simplistic approach. The explanations are just as easy to understand, even as Twerski’s terminology is precisely placed within the text.
From childhood, most of us have tried to become the person we believe we are supposed to be in adulthood. Yet, we struggle with the complacency of pleasing others before pleasing ourselves. In doing so, we also become engulfed in the anxiety and fear of acceptance from others. Gagliano gives a basic solution for anyone struggling to unbecome the wrong person by becoming the person he is meant to become. If anyone is feeling that change is on the horizon of his own path, this book should be a welcomed inclusion.
I only smoked weed until I about 15, the I started drinking. I dropped out of high school when I was 16 because, being the smart kid that I was, I thought I was too cool for school. I went from smoking weed and drinking, to eating psychedelics like mushrooms and lsd. I had a pretty fun time with all of that for a while.
Then, when I was 16, I had discovered crank and meth. I used for a little while, but it wasn’t really my thing. Then I broke my ankle and the Dr gave me some painkillers. I had to find a way to keep up with my addiction, considering I was only 16 years old. I didn’t have very many options at the time. It started to get out of hand real quick. I’ll give you an example.
When I was 16, I was about 5’5″ but I weighed roughly 250-260ish. Nothing about a year, I ended up getting my ex-wife pregnant with my first child.
When we stopped using, I was down to about 110. Now, for my build, my ideal weight hovers around 180. So, at 110, I was literally skin and bones. I cleaned up my act because I wanted to be more of a father to my child, than mine was to me. Over the next few years, I had moved all over Washington state, following the work. I continued to follow the work until I was about 20, and kept my nose clean (aside from rx painkillers I got from a couple accidents) when it came to drugs. That was until I tried heroin for the first time. At the time, I had found my own person paradise. While I was moving from place to place, and working mostly under the table jobs, I always found a way to make sure my addiction was my #1 priority.
My method of using my DOC at the time was smoking it. Well, after a while, everybody builds a tolerance, and that’s where things started to get exponentially worse for me. I know it’s kind of far into the story to bring this up. But, addiction runs rampant in my family. My dad died from a heroin OD, my mom is still kind of a closet addict. It’s nothing major, but it’s an addiction nonetheless. On my dad’s side I have 3 uncle’s and 1 aunt. My grandmother is a recovering meth addict, as is my aunt and one of my uncles. Also, my grandfather is an alcoholic. To be honest, I don’t even know if my grandfather is still alive or not. The last time I saw him in person was 12 years ago, at my dad’s memorial. That sums up my dad’s side. On my mom’s side I have 1 uncle and 2 aunts. My uncle is a recovering heroin addict, and 1 of my aunts is a recovering opiate addict.
So, I was, how do you say, genetically doomed. Back to the story. My older brother is still an addict. Heroin and meth. He was the one that gave me my first shot of heroin. I was 21 years old. Thinking back on it now, I had been an IV heroin user for 1/3 of my life. Roughly ten years that I’ll never get back. I don’t remember, what should’ve been, the happiest days of my life. Then, I met the love of my life when I was 26. I had moved to Montana to get clean, because it was impossible for me to stay clean living in my home state. So, I did the only thing I could do, I moved 2 states away where I knew absolutely no one.
Well, I was fortunate enough to come across the most beautiful woman in the world, and I’ll never forget the day I first saw her. I didn’t know it at the time, but I had met the woman that I would be fortunate enough to call mine. Well, after about 6 months, we had gotten pregnant with our daughter. I can’t even begin to out into words the feeling I had. Not only had I met the the peanut butter to my jelly, but now I was having a child with her.
Well, the day I was blessed with another daughter was October 1st, 2013 in San Antonio, TX. The damage I had inflicted onto myself, because of my drug use, was irreparable. I remember when the Dr wheeled her into the OR for an emergency c-section. That’s the extent of my memory for that day. I don’t remember hearing my daughter cry after being born. I don’t remember watching her get weighed and bathed. Shit, I don’t remember holding her for the first time. To this day, I try and try to remember even bits and pieces. But I cant, and I’ll never forgive myself for it. After our daughter was born, my wife and I used the birth as an excuse to get more and more painkillers. The following november, we moved back to Montana to be closer to my wife’s family. Her grandfather had ALS, and she wanted him to meet his last granddaughter at least once before he passed. Around December I had gotten diagnosed with Degenerative Disc Disease.
That was the first time I had been to a pain management dr, and oh boy was he my best friend. The bad part about that, was that he had me on the bare minimum dosage on hydrocodone. It wasn’t nearly enough to satisfy my addiction, because my tolerance to opiates was through the roof. But, he had me on just enough to give me serious withdrawals when I ran out early, and to keep me crawling through the door every month. I managed to keep myself from getting sick most of the time.
Mostly from random trips to the er, and the occasional acquaintance who happened to have a few they were willing to part with. Then, in May 2013, we found out we were pregnant with our son. During the whole pregnancy, I was extremely and hopelessly addicted to opiates again. My DOC (heroin) wasn’t available where we lived, and if did happen to pop up, it was extremely overpriced and not worth the hassle.
On the evening of December 27th, 2014 my wife was going through the “nesting” phase. We went through our place with a fine tooth comb and deep cleaned everything. My birthday was the night before, and I hadn’t had any opiates since the night of my birthday. Needless to say, I was going through some extreme physical withdrawals that night and was beyond sick. My hair hurt. While cleaning, I had found half of a 30mg adderall. I felt like I had won the lottery. I popped that bad boy and got my first wind. Now, I was actually useful to my wife, because I had that nice amphetamine energy. Well, we had to be to the hospital at around 6ish for my wife’s scheduled c-section.
After eating that adderall there was no way I was going to fall asleep willingly. So, naturally, I did the only thing I could do to speed up the process. I ate about 700mg of diphenhydramine to knock myself out. Well, that turned out to be probably once of the worst decisions I could’ve made. My wife went into labor in the early morning hours of December 28th. I was so fucked up that she kept trying to wake me up so we could go to the hospital, but when she finally succeeded in waking me up, my dumb ass casually goes outside and smokes a cigarette, the I go back to bed. Well, needless to say, she wasn’t nice about waking my ass up after that. We had packed hers and our daughters bag the night before.
So, I strapped my baby girl into her carseat, went upstairs and grabbed the bags, then helped my wife down the stairs and into the car. After we had dropped our daughter off with my mother in law, we went to the hospital and had our baby boy. Well, the same thing had happened with my son, as it did with our daughter. I don’t remember his first cry. His first bath. Nothing. I think that’s what haunts me the most to this day. No memory of my children being born. None of them. I think the worst part about my son’s birth was that he was born 2 days after my birthday.
A man couldn’t ask for a better birthday present than the birth of his 1 and only son. But, I just wish I could remember it. After that, we lived a pretty normal life. I worked as a meat cutter while she stayed home with our monsters. The summer of 2015, my little brother was getting married, and we made possibly the worst decision of our lives up until that point.
We went to my hometown for the wedding and we never left. In a matter of less than 2 months I was back on the needle. At that point, I had talked my wife into giving heroin a try, and within w weeks, I shot her up and got her hooked the needle as well. Now, I don’t regret anything that I’ve done in my life, because in the end, it shaped me into the person I am today. Except for one thing. Introducing the love of my life to the needle. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to forgive myself for that, and to this day I think the guilt that I carry from that is one of the main inhibitors of my depression.
My little brother got married in July of 2015. By thanksgiving, we had robbed almost everyone in my family blind. We had fucked up so badly that my parents kicked us out with our kids, and we stayed in a seedy ass motel. Hopelessly addicted to heroin. On December 17th, 2015 my wife’s grandfather had lost his battle with ALS. Utter devastation. We took that as our sign to get the fuck out of dodge while we had the chance. So, we took it. When we got to montana, we stayed with my wife’s sister, and I went through the worst pain I have ever experienced in my life. We quit a $200+ a day heroin habit cold turkey.
My wife, her withdrawals were pretty mild. Which was a good thing. She was able to keep up with our 1 year old son and 2 year old daughter. Me, on the other hand, couldn’t get up from the bathroom floor. I am beyond thankful that it was me that went through that and not her. I almost died. I didn’t get RLS. I got RBS. Restless body syndrome. I couldn’t sleep, couldn’t eat, couldn’t drink, nothing. Shit, I could barely even talk.
The only time I could talk was when my wife would come into the bathroom to check on me and I would beg her to just make it stop. I couldn’t take it any longer. I used my fucked up back to my advantage and was able to talk them into taking me to the er. Just so I couldn’t get something to take away the pain of my withdrawals. Well, I ended up getting what I wanted and talked the doc out of some painkillers.
Well, after a couple days, the physical withdrawals had subsided, but the mental aspect was running rampant. I looked and looked to find something comparable to opiates to help with the cravings. The only suboxone Dr in town was a cash only Dr who was booked 3 months out for new patients. There’s no way I was gonna wait that long, and that’s when I discovered kratom. I can honestly say that that shit was what saves my life. I would have never been able to get through the first couple months without it.
I ended up working for my wife’s brother in law, who owned a construction company. I was making pretty decent money, and because of the kratom, I felt fucking fantastic! No craving, no withdrawals, no nothing. After about 5ish months of working my fucking ass off, this is one of those times that my hard work didn’t pay off. My wife’s brother in law ended up screwing us out of about $1300. Needless to say we didn’t stay there much longer. After some heated words, they gave my family and I the boot with our kids.
We didn’t have anywhere to go, and we ended up moving into motel 6. But, without the income that I had, we weren’t able to afford that for very long. We ended up moving around 250 miles away, because my wife’s friend had a spare room and told us we could stay with her as long as we needed. Within a week, we ended up back on the needle. It wasn’t heroin this time. It was meth.
My wife had found her DOC. Her first time with meth was like me with heroin. She had found her paradise. I’m an opiate guy. Meth was never my forte. I’m a downer through and through. Well, after everything we had done to try and get our shit together and stay sober went right out the fucking window. We ended up moving in with my wife’s other sister who lived about 60 miles away. After we got there, we were able to sniff out the drugs, and that’s when our downward spiral began… Again. After 3 months of daily IV meth use, and robbing my wife’s sister for almost $4000 worth of silver, we ended up homeless.
Again. We slept in our car with our babies for almost a month. We couldn’t live like that anymore. We took our kids to the only person we could think of. My wife’s mother. The day after we dropped them off, we got a call from my wife’s mother. She told us that cps showed up and took our kids. That was August 31, 2016. After we found out, we had lost everything. We didn’t just lose our kids. We lost ourselves as well. My wife tried to kill herself and I rushed her 20 miles to the nearest hospital to get the massive quantity of pills pumped from her stomach before I lost her. Now, I’m not a religious person by any means.
But that day, there had to have been some kind of divine intervention. Not only did I rush her 20ish miles to the hospital, while going 80+ mph. But I did so on an empty gas tank. After we arrived at the er, and I knew she was going to be ok, I went out to the car to goto the store to get cigarettes. The car wouldn’t start. 120% our of gas. If there is a God, that had to have been his way of telling me that he wasn’t done with us yet. After everything, we were in complete denial over everything that had happened. We blamed everybody else for our kids being ripped away from us.
We were good parents. We didn’t have a problem. We were in complete control and we didn’t deserve to have our babies taken away. We used that denial as an excuse to justify our continued meth use. We were able to numb ourselves of the guilt and shame that we had for being the reason as to why we didn’t have our kids.
Well, it was a never ending cycle. Blame everyone for our problems, feel terrible guilt, use to make the guilt go away. Wash, rinse, repeat. This all happened in the month following the removal of our children. Then our daughter’s 3rd birthday came around. At that point, we legally weren’t able to see, or talk to, our kids. Not seeing our daughter, and being able to wish her happy birthday, was our “nail in the coffin”, so to speak. That’s when my wife attempted suicide for the second time. She swallowed a large hand full of pills again, and I rushed her to the hospital. Given the amount of Tylenol she ingested, she was on the brink of complete liver and kidney failure. They admitted her to the icu, and that’s where she remained for the following 3 days until they were able to check her into the psychiatric ward for evaluation.
After she got checked in, I was lost. All I could do was sit in our car and think to myself “how did I Fuck this up so badly”, “if it wasn’t for me introducing her to the needle, none of this would’ve happened”. It’s been 7 months since We lost our kids, and I still have a hard time wrapping my head around the events that brought us to where we are. Because it happened so fucking fast. Our kids were gone, my wife almost died twice, and I was alone. I had nobody and I was sleeping in our car.
My wife and I hadn’t been apart for more than 16 hours our entire relationship. I snapped. I tried to end my pain and suffering. The pain and suffering I inflicted on not only myself, but also to the ones I care about the most. I started the car and I tell myself out loud “if you can make it up to the hospital safe, then you’ll check yourself into the psych ward and get the help you need. IF you can make it.”. It was 11pm, October the 5th. I drove as fast as I possibly could through down.
I didn’t stop for anything. I ran red lights at 85 mph through the busiest intersection in town. Nothing happened. I made it to the hospital, surprisingly, in one piece. I had myself committed. At 1 am they transferred me to the psych ward and have me an Ambien to knock me out. When I woke up, I walked into the cafeteria and there was my soul mate. My wife and I were in the psych ward together and that’s when I had my second “moment of clarity”. Well, just like every other positive emotion I had up until this point, that clarity was short lived. She got discharged 2 days later, then the day after that, I got discharged also. That’s when we got our third wind. We went on a meth fueled road trip across Montana that last almost 2 weeks. 2 weeks I wish I could get back.
Well, after 2 weeks worth of sleep deprivation and paranoia, we had finally lost what little sanity we had left. We both got sick and tired of being sick and tired. Enough was enough. We knew that if we kept up these bullshit shenanigans, we would lose our kids forever. Well, that was more than enough motivation for us. I’m happy to say that we’re going on almost 6 months clean, and we’re so close to getting our babies back that I can smell the Johnson and Johnson in their hair.
This is probably the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. I’ve been an addict for 17 years. Over half of my life. While in the hospital, they diagnosed me with general depression and anxiety. It was kind of expected. The part that sucks most for me is that, I’ve been an addict since I was 13. My brain never got the chance to go through puberty, because I kept myself numb to any and all emotions through my drug use. Now, at 31, it seems like I’m finally going through puberty, emotionally.
But, I’ve been dealing with it fairly well. For the first time in 17 years, I’m having to deal with all the losses I’ve suffered, and all the bridges I’ve burned, with a clear head. The damage I have caused not only myself, but also to the ones I care about most, will never be repaired. If it wasn’t for my wife, and the ridiculous amount of love she has for me, I would not be here to write this. She’s the strongest, and most amazing, woman I have ever known. I’m beyond thankful, and lucky, to be able to call her mine.
Now, as my crazy long story comes to an end, just remember one thing. If you ever feel like you’re alone, or if you feel hopeless and that sobriety is futile endeavor, just know, everyday that you’re able to stay clean and not use, means you’re THAT much stronger than the person you used to be. I would tell myself, and I still tell myself, that God gives his toughest battles to his strongest warriors. It’s going to be hell. Its going to be painful. But pain is weakness leaving the body! I always have an open war of you ever need to vent.
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Jacob (Jake) Looney was one but she chose to date a boy name Charley. Arielle and Charley dated for a few months and most of the time they dated Jake tried to break them up and picked fights with Charley. Just before Thanksgiving, Charley called me crying saying that Arielle was cheating on him.
Jake had been sending Charley messages on Facebook telling him all kinds of things about Arielle that were not true but had Charley so upset that he had written some sad song lyrics in English class and the teacher thought he was suicidal and the school baker acted him.
This was all because of the things Jake had said about Arielle. All of this combined with many other things was stressing Arielle out. She stopped talking to Jake. Close to Christmas 2014 Arielle broke up with Charley. Here and there I would find her talking on the phone with Jake before she broke up with Charley and there were times she was really stressed and would tell me she was feeling like she was going to pass out.
Basically dating him. I asked her how she could talk to him after how he had done Charley. She kept saying he’d changed, he’d apologized, that he’d even apologized to Charley. I told her I didn’t like him and I COULDN’T BELIEVE she’d talk to him after everything he did. She was grounded for some things I had found out during her holiday break and I had taken her phone.
That he was a better person when he was with her. I had a close friend that said maybe I should just meet him after seeing how down Arielle was. My friend had a daughter that had a lot of rough times as a teenager. I finally decided I would meet Jake. When I told Arielle her face lit up like a Christmas tree.
He didn’t look at me even so I looked up at him (he’s 6’ tall) and said “You look me in the eyes when you’re talking to me boy.” He look at me, a little shocked and I said “did she tell you where I’m from?” Arielle said “MOM!” I said “Did she?” He said “No ma’am.” Arielle said “MOM! Don’t scare him!” I said “He should be scared of me and not your dad!” Then I looked back at Jake and said “I’m from West Virginia, I’m a 2nd Degree Black Belt, and the 2 of you have done brought the redneck out in me!
That was my first encounter with Jake Looney. I did tell him that day that I thought everyone deserves a second chance, but he would never be alone with my daughter, she was NOT allowed to date because she was grounded, and when she was allowed to, there dates would be double dating with me and my boyfriend. I let him hang out at our house at times. I took them places with me, like movies, dinner, to hear live music locally. The only date I ever let her go on with him was his junior prom and that was because his mother drove him and was a chaperone at the prom.
The prom was at the end of March 2015. About a week after she broke up with him she told me she was taking him back. I said “Really Arielle?!” She took him back but broke up with him again for good 2 weeks later. That was the end of April 2015.
Our second week in Gator Trace, Arielle asked if she could go to lunch with Jake and his parents. I said “You’re not starting that crap again are you?” She said no. They were just trying to stay friends with him so I let her go. They came and picked her up. He stepped in through our garage door to wait on her and said hi but didn’t walk around the house. That was the only time he was in our new house until the morning he attacked us.
My girls had to share a room for the first time in their life. We just had fun and went to Key Largo a couple of times to visit my cousin (they call Aunt Ruthie). Arielle and Amanda also went to Fort Lauderdale quite a bit to their father’s so they could go see their uncle who was dying of pancreatic cancer. In July Jake had started texting both Arielle and I that he was being rushed to the hospital for his breathing, then tests, then said that he had leukemia.
Arielle would tell me she felt bad but didn’t want to see him. In June she had started dating a boy name Peyton (they’re still together). I didn’t find out until after we were stabbed that Jake would text Arielle he was going to kill himself if she didn’t answer him. Would send her pictures of pill bottles or a handful of pills and say he was going to take them and she would even show Peyton the texts. She would ignore Jake most of the time and then he would text me to see if she was ok and why wasn’t she answering him. One day in the middle of July he texted me he really needed to talk to someone.
That conversation quickly turned into him asking about Arielle. Then on August 3, 2015 Arielle called to warn me that Jake was coming to our house and she didn’t know why but he was angry. I texted him AND called him and told him NOT to show up at our house. That Arielle was gone because her uncle had passed away. (I have every text message sent to me from him.)
Jake’s mother had told the police he probably went to see his girlfriend. I said “WHAT?! She hasn’t dated him since back in May and he’s been a pain in our ass all summer!” I was kind of yelling and they were like we were just told that and asked if they could come in and look around.
At 3:45 a.m. Tasha Looney, Jake’s mom, called and asked me if Jake showed up would I just let him in and Arielle or myself would sneak off and call the police, that there was a lot going on with him and she would call me tomorrow and fill me in. She never called me the next morning so I called her and left a message and texted her. After a few hours I had Arielle text her to see if they found Jake and Tasha immediately responded “Yes.
Then Tuesday evening on the 11th, I found out from one of the golf pros at gator trace, Mike, when I showed him Jake’s picture that he had seen Jake there a week earlier and stopped him because he was walking to the back of the neighborhood where I live and Jake told him he was going to see his girlfriend. I told Mike if he ever saw him again to just call the police.
I also called Fort Pierce Central High School and spoke with the school re source officer (deputy) and let her know what had been transpiring over the summer.
While I was applying for the injunction, Arielle was texting me Jake wouldn’t leave her alone. He was following her around campus, to her pod, trying to see where her classes were, trying to get her to come out and talk to him, he was furious when he saw her with Peyton, Arielle had to shove him off her a couple of times and one time he grabbed her by the arm and she had to hit him to get him off her.
Arielle was texting me this. Then Jake started texting me that I needed to think about what I was doing. That I needed to rethink getting the restraining order and a bunch of other stuff. The clerk asked me to print the texts and bring them back so she could give them to the judge so I did. The judge granted me a temporary injunction. Jake was served at 9:05 that night and at 4:15 a.m. in the morning on the 18th he was in my living room after breaking in my house.
Then I heard metal clink on the tile on the Florida room so I got up and went in the living room and didn’t see anything until I looked to my left and the sliding door was standing wide open. I had chills go to my toes! Then I heard noise from my girls room and Jake stepped out of the darkness glaring at me. I said “What are you doing in my house Jake?!!”
I repeated “What the F are you doing here Jake?! Get the F out of my House!!!” Arielle came out and she said “He was choking my Mom!!” I said “WHAT?!! GET THE F OUT OF MY HOUSE JAKE!!!”
She froze and I saw Jake slowly turn his head and look at her and I screamed at her NOW!!! Amanda ran in the room and locked the door. Jake looks at Arielle and steps toward her and puts his hands out to put them on her waist and she screamed DON’T TOUCH ME!! And started hitting, pushing and shoving him off her. I screamed “GET OUT JAKE! I’M CALLING THE COPS!!” and went in my room to get my cell phone.
I fell into it but caught myself. When I stood up Jake grabbed me from behind and reached around and stabbed me in the throat then grabbed me and slammed me into the wall. I fell and as I was trying to get up he grabbed my face and beat the back of my head into the wall so hard that I finally knew I was going to die if I didn’t do something so I kicked him off me. I rolled over on all fours to stand up.
I was trying to pull the arm he was holding me with off me. When Arielle heard me cry out in pain, not knowing I was being stabbed, she ran in my room and started punching him in the side of the face. He threw me into the wall and grabbed her and started stabbing. She didn’t know she was being stabbed. She just ran off. I was trying to get up. I was on one knee and he stabbed me twice in the right abdomen.
I took my left hand and ran my hand down his hand and grabbed the knife by the blade, held on, and twisted the knife till I got it loose from his hand, feeling the knife cutting into my hand the entire time, then I through with my cut hand and held his wrist. Jake continued to punch me in the head and I took my right hand, while still holding his wrist with the other, and felt my way up to the top of his leg and then reached over and grabbed his dick and balls and squeezed with everything I had.
He stopped punching me, leaned his head against my head and was breathing very heavy. So was I from fighting. He didn’t say a word the entire time he was attacking me until this moment and he said “I’ll let go if you let go.” I said nothing and just squeezed harder. He had his arm around my neck so he finally let go of me and shoved my backwards so I had to let go of him. I fell back into my nightstand. I could see him strut calmly out of my room as if what he had just done was no big deal. I sat up and rolled onto all fours and was feeling for my phone under my nightstand and bed. I found it and held on to my bed to stand up. I could feel blood dripping from my throat and solar plexus.
I could feel it dripping down my body and hitting my leg and dripping down my leg. I hadn’t realized I had been stabbed in the leg. I held onto the wall to walk as I left my room. I could hear loud noises and when I stepped out in the living room Jake came back around the corner with Amanda’s (my youngest daughter who was 12) electric guitar. He swung it by his left side a couple of times and brought it up in the air while running at me.
I had dropped my phone to lock my door. It finally got quiet so I picked up my phone and called 911. I told them I needed police and rescue, that my daughters ex-boyfriend had broke in and stabbed me several times.
They asked if I was at 4045 Gator Trace Rd. I said yes and they told me they were on another line with my children. I asked if they were ok and they said yes, although Arielle had been stabbed several times as well. They said that the police were on their way. I told them I had to hang up and call my best friend that lived around the curve from me (Stan) and they insisted I not hang up. I had moved to the tile floor of my bathroom as not to bleed on the carpet (lol) and put 911 on speaker and texted Stan (at 4:26 a.m.) that Jake had broken in and stabbed me several times.
After they broke the door in, I came out and Amanda came out into the living room. When she saw me covered in blood, she let out a blood curdling scream “MOMMYYYY!!!!” I told her I was ok. I said “see I’m walking. I’ll be okay. I need to go check on your sister.” I was hugging her from my side as not to get blood on her. I went in and sat down on the bed next to Arielle.
She had her feet on the floor but lying back on the bed. She said “It hurts Mom. It hurts” and she was shaking her hand quickly and kept saying “it hurts” so I held her hand and told her she was going to be okay. She pulled her shirt up a bit and I could see a couple of stab wounds. Then rescue came in and began to check us out. I knew a few of the rescue team. I used to massage them. They heard “ex-boyfriend broke in” and they thought it was ex that was a retired lieutenant of the St Lucie County Fire Department. The rescue team whisked me off to Lawnwood Hospital in Fort Pierce. I found out later they had to airlift Arielle to St. Mary’s Children’s Trauma Center in West Palm.
During the time I was fighting Jake and Arielle came to my defense and got stabbed, when she ran away she knocked on her bedroom door and told Amanda “Hurry up! It’s me! Let me in!’ Arielle saw blood on her hand when she knocked. Amanda let her in and they locked the door back. Arielle lifted her shirt and saw she had been stabbed. The blood started oozing out of the wounds. She took Amanda’s phone to talk to 911 and sat down on her bed because she was feeling woozy.
The phone started to slide out of her hand so Amanda grabbed it and continued talking with 911. Jake had got away from me and was trying to break their door in by kicking and throwing his body into it. Arielle had her Uncle Marcus’ pocket knife in her nightstand and had got it out. She screamed at Jake to leave them alone, that she had a knife.
When Jake was trying to break the door in Amanda said she sat for a minute in front of the closet door and screamed every time he hit the door. Then she got up and braced on foot on the door and the other on her box spring mattress while she had the phone in her hand. They both could see the door bowing out from the force of him trying to break it in.
He beat the door knob totally off. Fortunately, he jammed the door trying to break it in. When it didn’t work, he used a card and ran it through the door trying to unlock it. Amanda held the lock as he did this. He eventually gave up and dropped the card, picked up the guitar again, and that’s when he came after me with it.
About an hour after Jake left my house the police found him. He was soaking wet and standing Weatherbee Rd and US1, about a mile and a half from my house. I had been treated stapled up and in my room when the officer got the call. Jake later bragged to the police about how they couldn’t find him. That they were idiots. He had hid in the lake behind my house and every time they came close with the K-9 he ducked under the water (of a lake full of gators).
When his parents came the police station, they were furious with him (I was told). His dad said Jake had “dummied” up his bed and snuck out. His dad also said that he sat up until 3 a.m. to make sure Jake didn’t try to leave and then asked his oldest son to watch when he couldn’t stay awake any longer. Jake’s dad, Gary Looney, later lied under oath in court that he said those things. Good thing its recorded.
I had to go to court for the restraining order on Arielle’s behalf to get the ruling on it, which the judge granted an indefinite restraining order. Then I had to file for a restraining order on behalf of Amanda and myself and then a week later go for the ruling on it. Obviously an indefinite one was granted again.
Two weeks later he was arraigned as an adult and charged with 2 counts of first degree attempted murder, breaking and entering with assault with a weapon, aggravated child abuse, and violating an injunction. The first 4 charges are felonies and violating and injunction is a misdemeanor. When they set his bond hearing, Arielle and I both went (with our staples still in us) and I spoke pleading with the judge not to give him bond. His bond on the felony charges was set at $1,160,000.00.
In June 2016 we had to go to court to get the bond revoked for the felonies. If his bond wasn’t revoked on the felony charges, in August 2016 his family would have been able to bond him out since he was only being held on a misdemeanor, which by law he could have only been held for a year for a misdemeanor. Fortunately, we won. Jake is still in jail awaiting trial. Jake has been in jail for 19 months now. We do not have a trial date yet.
I met Jan a few months ago and spent a lot of time talking to her. Personally I’ve been in hand to hand fight to death and understand completely what this can do to you psychic. I lived through it to tell about it. This will traumatize someone beyond your wildest imagination. It’s one of the most horrible experiences you can possibly experience and hardest to get over You want to talk about nightmares. Took me years to get over. In my opinion Jan was doing terrific mentally speaking. Their are so many aspects to this.
I was so impressed by her commitment to her children and her sheer determination to make it regardless of this horrible event now more than a year ago. BUT Recently. when I spoke to her she was so distressed…. struggling to put her life back together and I became concerned… 1000’s of dollars in doctor bills… the stigma of her and her daughters assault. Jan touched my heart. I’ve lived this and wanted to help.
So I offered. I suggested we tell her story and set up a go fund me account. Most of you know me and this isn’t something I usually do but in her case I’m making an exception. This women needs some help. So I’m asking all my friends If you have a few bucks for a good cause think about giving this woman a hand. She certainly could use it. Click here for the go fund me account. Even $5 or $10 dollars would help her.
I know you are very busy so I will make this as brief as possible. I am writing this blog post as a special request from an amazing woman but before I get into that I would like to share a story with you. I have met you prior to your campaign, you see I was a high roller at the Taj Mahal and you were apparently really close to the area I was in but I was to high and drunk to remember that whole experience.
Sadly this was how I spent a majority of my 20s. I am not going to make light of the past and I am not going to get into the stupid details of my dance with the devil I merely want to shed some light on the purpose of the letter.
I represent 23 million Americans who are suffering from the disease of addiction. I also have been plagued with numerous mental illness disorders,
I am proud to say that neither of these issues have any power over me now. I am instead following a text book move from you yourself, sir you have maintained that it is time for a change and I believe in following the true campaign for a change and I plan on continuing to further my journey.
I am going to introduce you to someone who has been a constant motivation behind my actions. March 24th 2014 for us we probably don’t recall the events that occurred but it is a night that is a constant nightmare that a very amazing woman goes through on a daily basis which brings me to the next point, the voices that are permanently silenced as a result of the evil shit that has made its way to our backyard.
Corruption and greed will always be a motivator for looking the other way and the narcotics will still be accessible but we kind of have a plan in play, sir right now 200 people are dying as a result of our ignorance face it we have one hell of a problem and like baboons we are going to place our lives with the hands of the same place that is receiving overwhelming amounts of funding and the result is the same and more casualties are being sacrificed because we live in a society of vaginas.
I have been blessed with knowing Todd and his family through our mutual friend and curse our addiction my passion for crack and his passion for heroin. I will be celebrating 5 years of recovery and Todd celebrates his third……… The third Angelversary this night is the toughest for me to help my friend Robyn through, you see she wanted me to introduce you to someone who has became a mere number in the books but who was Todd; a junkie? Todd had a tooth pulled and he took his meds he felt a release and a hell took over in the years to come.
Todd was the 28th person who passed away from an overdose that year and if it’s not hard enough she lost her other son six months prior due to a motorcycle accident and now I get to tell you about Jen, imagine losing your twin she doesn’t have to, this is one reality for people who don’t speak out to say we are willing to help each other help ourselves.
I submit a business idea and you can see if the numbers balance out plus it’s a change. I am simply suggesting an alternative to the current situation that is failing. You discussed the economy and promote the reassurance that we can come back, sir right now you are American’s Recovery Advocate, you are preparing for the chance to turn this around day by day and you reassure us that we will be great again.
I have been doing research on the financial crisis and how addiction is affecting our society. Our prison is full of addicts who are already feeling hopeless as a result of getting in trouble also having a record makes it difficult for new opportunities, I introduce you to an alternative to the problem. Operation Second Chance this would take an at risk society and provide a second chance to turn this around and make sure that recovery = reality and at your hands. I propose to take the funding and cut it from pharmaceutical companies to build more facilities, how does the addicts come into play?
I have been working with many people who became united to educate families as well as addicts everywhere that we can come back and with long term recovery promotion sir, two birds with one stone. Actually you might have a grand slam, by funding more facilities we promote the reassurance that we will no longer be scared to say these words drugs tried to ruin me but I took control back.
I am saying that in cutting budget costs providing a solution reducing costs pertaining to the medical portion for a temporary fix that 20 years down the road may be our next problem. I am suggesting that the world is entitled to spiritual freedom and this sir is our hope. Help us begin to help ourselves.
Amanda Romero SFYB Desk Editor
In Memory of Todd Ellis Benoit
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