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Dear Anthony,

~ January 12, 1999 ~

Today I want to be honest with you even if you won't read this for years. So over the next few hours I will tell you what has been going on. Then I will tell you things as they happen. Maybe that will help you understand why certain decisions were made.

My heart is breaking today, as it has for the past few years. You want your father to come by, but he hasn't in so long.

Yes, he did pick you up on your birthday for about two hours and he did take you to your Grandma's Christmas Day for a few hours, but I am so sad for you. He should be doing so much more than he is.

He tells you that he doesn't have money for child support, but what you don't know is that he makes about $2000 per month, doesn't pay rent, and his '98 truck is costing about $4-500 each month with insurance.

I can't tell you these things right now although I have to literally bite my tongue to keep from telling you. In case you ever ask my why I wasn't 100% honest with you, its because you still love him and I don't want you to ever hate my because I told you such terrible things.

Years ago I asked your father if it were true that speed would make you full of energy while curbing your appetite. Well, that started something I should have left alone. We did speed together every other weekend for about si-8 months before I came into some money from Stella's will. After that I asked him to stay home until after the holidays, we had the money to live on for several months, although the "deal" was that he would go back to work within one month.

Before I knew it, Drugs were a regular part of our life. I quit, not soon enough, but several months before we split up. I believe it was February or March '94 that I quit. I realized that you were ore important to me than staying up all night to clean or shop whatever.

We moved into a house that we were going to buy with the last check from Stella. He still didn't have a job yet, but he was looking. I asked him to stop doing drugs, by now his habit had gotten to be about $3-400 per week. He didn't hear me.

Most nights I let you sleep in bed with me since I was lonesome. I was used to having soeone next to me. You would snuggle up to me in the middle of the night and it was nice having you there. A few times I even woke you up so we could go find your father, but not very often.

When I did something to anger him, he raised his hand to me. Your grandparents will probably not admit to it, but he did. His hand never touched me, but the damage was done.

Around the end of July I couldn't take anymore. Your father had been working a couple weeks, but with the drugs I knew he would lose it soon. The bills were stacking up and I had no way of paying them.

August 1, he left after a fight. I told him not to come back unless he was clean. He did come back several times, in the middle of the night. He always said the same things, "let me come back" but never said he would quit. He would go around telling everyone that I wouldn't let you see him, but he never told anyone that at 3:00am you were asleep. Everyone thought I was just being a bitch.

Around the middle of September I was forced to move out. I had a job at Target, but it wasn't enough. I even went on welfare and food stamps, but still didn't have enough. I would have much rather stayed in the house with you, but I couldn't.

I moved into a room behind David and Lori's house. It made me cry. It was one room with a garage attached for storage. We slept on a bunk bed, you on the top. It was one of those with twin above and double below. There was just enough room for a shelf and the bed, not even enough for you to play.

I'm so sorry, I didn't know where else to go. Your father gave me a total of $125 since August and by the middle of September I couldn't feed you and py for the house, too.

I didn't see it then, but that move started a chain of events that almost destroyed us both.

January 17, 1999