A riveting personal account and a thorough global history of methamphetamine abuse and addiction.
Sterling Braswell was a millionaire—palatial ranch, stock options, and money in the bank. Then he met his high school sweetheart after not seeing her for over ten years. With their love rekindled, they were married.
Life was beautiful. They had no real worries, a lovely son, and a bright future.
Then she started using meth.
The craziness of the next few years would leave Sterling almost completely broke—financially, emotionally, and spiritually—and nearly murdered.
Welcome to crazy town . . .
My qualifications for telling the personal story will become all too clear in the early chapters, but the reader may wonder by what authority I recount the history of meth. After all, my background is in software. The truth is that I began this book in the first place because at the time I initially became aware of the nightmare unfolding right under my nose, there was very little accessible information on methamphetamine. America had not yet awakened to the enormity of the problem, and even the so-called experts – the doctors, the licensed chemical dependency counselors, and (especially) the law enforcement professionals – knew very little about it. These were the people I initially turned to for help, which they were more often than not unable to give.
So I set out to do my own research, and, this being the information age, it was not, as they say, rocket science. At the risk of sounding a bit elitist myself, if a sub-literate, dentally deficient bumpkin can master the delicate and dangerous chemistry of meth production, is it not conceivable that a reasonably well-educated software professional could look up some facts about the product?
I wrote this book because I strongly believe it tells a story that needs to be told. It is an open-ended tale, still unfolding on both the personal and global fronts, even as I write this. But from my perspective, it does have a clear beginning.
The story begins close to home, with someone who was once very close to me. I won’t begin with “once upon a time,” as it has been thoroughly used up. And the vote is still out on whether a “happily ever after” will ever come to pass.
Told from both Carren's perspective and from the perspective of her father Ron, Loss of Innocence shares the shocking story of how a middle-class girl growing up in a stable home could get so lost. A former LA police officer, Ron describes how he went back to being a cop to try to rescue his daughter and how he suffered a heart attack in the street when he witnessed Carren selling herself to a drug dealer; Carren shares the events leading up to her first taste of drugs, and her descent into addiction with moving candour and dignity.
Carren is now clean and sober, and in this frank, compelling book she and her family prove that there can be life after drug addiction.
In this book, Kaye talks about the journey she and her daughter went through together, and how in the end, nothing she did changed the outcome. She shares some articles she wrote in the years following her loss to help people understand what parents go through with a drug-addicted child.
Kaye has also included a number of heart-wrenching writings that Jennifer gave to her to share with others in hopes that they would read about her pain and not have her daily struggles of survival. One passage includes these words of despair and hope:
What have I ever done to you to deserve all this pain and agony? You have taken everything from me. My family’s trust, my family’s sleep, my sleep, my apartment, car, jewelry, etc. But worst of all you’ve taken my sanity, my life, and me. I think of you every day. I even dream about you at night. I’m sure your only thoughts about me are to totally destroy me. I love you yet hate you so much. No matter how hard I fight, you are stronger. I’m 19 but feel 69 because of you. You have robbed me of my childhood. Because of you I have killed, robbed, sold drugs, sold myself, and hurt everyone close to me. You’re a liar!!!! You swore you would make things easier for me. You swore I wouldn’t have to worry about anything. You promised fun and heaven. But all you have given me is hurt and agony and a living hell. This is my life and I’m taking it back. I’m going to win this battle. I PROMISE.
The book is comforting to parents who continue to suffer from shame, guilt, and feelings of helplessness. They will realize they are not alone--and they are not responsible.