I listened to music, drank my second bottle of wine, and dressed myself in white pants and my silk- orange flower shirt. I wanted to be festive for the holiday. Around 10 am, I was already drunk; every substance was amplified. (I do not recall using drugs, but with my behavior that came next-I had to have taken something else.) I was merely functioning in a black-out state of mind.
"There are two types of blackouts; they are defined by the severity of the memory impairment. The most common type is called a “fragmentary blackout” and is characterized by spotty memories for events, with “islands” of memories separated by missing periods of time in between. This type is sometimes referred to as a grayout or a brownout."
Sidenote: I no longer had Betsy (my car). My stepmother wired me money -a few weeks prior when I had an accident to purchase a vehicle. My daddy approved five thousand dollars. Eric and I went one Saturday-both of us high from Adderall, to make the purchase. I had him sign for it because I did not carry an active- license. It was suspended when I was arrested 10 months earlier from the DUI. I purchased a 2009 Hyundai Sante Fe.
This is what I remember next...
I left my apartment and drove to the nearest Liquor store. I purchased vodka. I left there and made a couple of stops. I vaguely remember ordering a pizza (for the kids) to- go from a local business. Then, I sort-of remember trying on clothes at a boutique. I remember making conversation with the girls that worked there. I showed them pictures on my phone of the kids. I walked out without paying for the clothes. To this day, I do not know why I did that. I had never been a thief and stole. I had plenty of money. That behavior, even while impaired, was very unorthodox. Later, at some point, I was stopped on a busy highway. A lady came up to my window and asked if I was okay. It was like I came to consciousness and panicked. I tried to drive away; my car would not move. (I had drove up on a curb and wrecked the front-end side of my car. My wheel and my rim were completely unsalvageable. I did not know that then.) It felt like seconds later, I was sworn by police officers. A woman cop began asking me questions. I told her I was not under the influence and refused the breathalyzer test. She asked, "Where I was going?" I told her to pick up my kids from school and "they" are after me. I was referring to Eric. (I accomplished nothing on the list I had written) I was arrested on site. I continually was telling the officer I had to pick my kids up from school. I was the only one allowed besides my old neighbor Charlene. I was hysterically crying worrying about my babies. (I had a restraining-order against Eric. He could not have access to the kids or me.) When I arrived at the jail, the lady officer sat me in a chair and grabbed my head forcing me to blow into a breathalyzer. I still was hysterically crying about the kids and how I had to call someone to pick them up. They did not let me have a phone call. They put me in a jailcell by myself away from everyone. I finally calmed down, rolled up in fetal position and waited. I would sporadically get up and look out the glass window from the cell door. I asked for my phone call. I was increasingly getting irritated. I would yell out how I needed to arrange pick-up for my children. I cried. And cried. And cried. Hours later, three officers came to the door escorting me to get my picture taken. I guess they bypassed that process because I was severely impaired and irate. I refused. I told them until I was able to check on my kids and make sure they were okay, "they could go fuck themselves." They all ambushed me down to the concrete floor. I hit it hard. They all grabbed me at various points of my body and walked me to the jailcell. It hurt. I sobbed. My hands and one side of my face was scratched; My knees were bleeding when I rolled up my blue jeans to see the damage done.
One officer, who was genuinely nice walked to my cell. (It was time for the officers to change shifts.) He told me that my kids had been picked-up from daycare by Charlene. I began to cry and told him thank you. He said, "you have to be cooperative so I can let you out to make your phone call." I said, "okay.". He walked away. I laid on the bench and quietly sobbed. It felt like my heart had been ripped out of my chest. All I wanted to do is hold my babies and tell them I was so sorry I ruined their Halloween. I felt like the worst mother on the planet. Right then, if I had a gun, I would have taken my own life. I was breaking. The pain I inflicted on myself; I could not manage any longer. My addiction was out-of-control, and I did not know how to make it stop.
The officer let me out and I completed my intake of fingerprinting and questioning by the nurse. I began to ask if I could get access to my purse. My debit card was in it, and I wanted to bail myself out. The woman at the desk told me to fill out a waiver and someone would get back to me. Noone did. I waited in a filled jailcell of about twenty women. Young and Old. Criminals and Misdemeanor offenders. I did not want to call my mama to hear the backlash, but I knew she would know where my kids were. Her and my daddy's phone number was and still is the only phone numbers I have memorized. Like a little kid, I had memorized the numbers for times of trouble. I made the call. My mama asked, "What in the hell were you thinking? You need help, Hope. I am not coming to get you out. The kids are going to Becky's to stay." I was so angry at my mama. The fact that she let another grandparent (Eric's mother-who hated me) get my children and not her was unforgivable in my eyes. I told her, "How could you let this happen? (Blaming her for my downfall) More words were said between us. I voiced my hurt and my hatred for Eric and his family. All my mama knew was she did not want the responsibility and to get involved in it. What Eric and I had going on was straight out of a lifetime/ horror movie. By this point, all family was tired of mine and Eric's bullshit and drama. If we wanted to continue to live like this; it would not be with our children.
Hindsight, as much as it hurt me and my children to be a part it was necessary for my own healing. I could not get well while focusing solely on them. They were my world, but I could not be the woman God called me to be for them and myself until I had a personal relationship with Jesus. That was not going to happen living in survival mode in Atlanta.
All of a sudden; a fire lit in my butt. If "they" thought, I would let them take my children without a fight; They were mighty wrong- I would burn everything to the ground. One thing is this: You can mess with me. I do not care. (You do not mess with a mama and her cubs. I was prepared for war.)
I was already at the end of my rope; Eric was great at playing the victim (we both were guilty). No one knew the hell he had put me through. I let my 'crazy' fly. (I was like a volcano and one day I erupted.) All eyes were on me and the hell I was putting my kids and Eric through. I was guilty as charged, but we both were guilty of foul play in our marriage. One simply does not go "nuts" without a reason. Especially when I had never had no mental illness or "psychotic" symptoms up until that moment.
(This is why my family was very concerned. The "Hope" that lived in Alabama was not the same woman who returned from Georgia.)
I had to wait 48hrs until I went in front of the judge. With a misdemeanor, the usual protocol is release and come back for your court date. I had one problem: the pending DUI charge from a different county. I prayed the prosecutor would not do his/her job and the judge would not be notified.
The morning came as two officers lined "us" criminally charged women up against a concrete wall. As I waited, my anxiety was increasing. It was my turn for the shackles around my ankles and wrists. I prayed, "God, please let me get released so I can go get my babies." I was walked to a small room. My name was called to go in front of the judge. The judge agreed for release without conditions. The prosecutor spoke up and named my pending charges in Dawsonville County. The judge ordered my release with a special condition. I had to report to the probation office within 24hrs of release to install a breathalyzer on my phone that would alert me randomly through-out the day. If I missed, two or more 'blows' a warrant for my arrest would be issued. I knew right away I was in trouble. There was absolutely no way I would remain sober, and I needed to drive to South Carolina to pick-up my children. Also, I had to figure out how to get my car out of impound. I walked out of the jail and had to find a ride. I asked some random dude in the parking lot to take me home. He did.