Hervey Bay's Leanne Esposito with her daughter, Rebecca, who struggled with drug addiction for years.
Hervey Bay's Leanne Esposito with her daughter, Rebecca, who struggled with drug addiction for years.

'Death seemed kinder than my daughter's drug hell'

MY DAUGHTER didn't die but nearly did.

Many times during her 15 drug addicted years, I feared news of her death.

And also felt, at times, in the depths of despair, that death may well release her from the torturous heroin hell.

Somehow she survived until her next fix.

Today I still feel an intense grief and enormous guilt at what is an unmotherly malevolent belief.

It's a terrible thing to admit as a parent that I wished the release from this world for my child and her abject suffering.

As a family we sometimes worked collectively, with a plan, but often divided in our efforts to turn her life around.

Money was spent on the numerous financial bailouts for non-payment of rent, motor vehicle expenses, accidents, court appearances, local and overseas rehabilitation facilities and psychiatric hospitals.

Nothing worked. I am told we could have purchased her first house with those funds.

We naively bring children into our world believing that we as parents can protect them from potential outside threats to their lives.

We provide them with love, the necessities of life, in combination with, but not limited to, a good education and some communication skills, and still we still fall short.

They are all individuals with innate personality traits.

Where one is calm and complacent another is experiential, and engages in risky behaviour.

So how do we save them from themselves?

I did the Triple P parenting program, took my one girl and two boys, to church and sent them to the best schools.

They all played sport.

I was told to keep them busy, not bored.

The sex, drug and alcohol discussions were comprehensive and lively.

Despite our open dialogue, secrets were kept between parent and child.

I'm told it's quite a normal for a child to want to align with their peers as a way of self-actualisation and group identification.

Parents also have their secrets.

My daughter was more of the experiential type.

If you told her not to touch a plate because it was hot, she naturally needed to learn from experience, with the obvious repercussions.

The boys on the other hand were fearful and learnt from observing her mistakes.

At parties she and her friends preferred marijuana to mojitos.

I'm told there was cocaine and ecstasy as well.

In hindsight it is not surprising that her life's path led her into the dark underbelly of the drug world where she would live with bad boys and bikies.

A night in the Brisbane watch-house and a six-month court ordered rehabilitation period still did not cure her affliction.

It got worse. Crystal methamphetamines broke her brain.

She acquired schizophrenia and suffered from psychosis.

These were the scariest times for her, and for me.

Witnessing her in the midst of a psychotic episode is soul destroying.

She becomes less human, more lost, somewhat demonic and possessed.

Alcoholics Anonymous, with their Narc Anon arm went someway to help turn her around. Over the years she'd get clean, study and get a good job but it was short-lived.

The pull of addiction was a constant which she needed to overcome.

In the end it was up to her to choose the people and her path.

Absent a father, who now denies her existence, she has filled this void with a spiritual guide. A guru. A great man who lives here in Hervey Bay, and who has helped many similarly addicted souls.

It seems that once we get well, we all need something in which to believe.

The confidence to believe in oneself is the most important of all.

Today she is happy, well and free of the binds of drug addiction.

Here I have only scratched the veneer of her desperate story.

As a mother and friend I applaud her ultimate strength in the face of adversity.

My biggest gratitude goes to my mother who never lost faith and directed my father to action. She was the soft pillow where my daughter sought respite.

Today their relationship is solid.

Many family and friends have fallen away but those who offered unconditional love continue as our greatest strength.



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