“I was four months pregnant when my partner became addicted to ice. Now, I’m living in a shelter.”

It’s a world that I was never exposed to for the first 30 years of my life. I’ve never heard of anyone suffering from addiction – any form of it, be it alcohol or drugs. My parents kept us four kids sheltered from all the dangers that were lurking out there.

It was 2010, at 30 years of age, when I first met my now ex-partner. He was charismatic, generous, loving and full of excitement. I was immediately drawn into him, simply because I wanted to experience an adventurous relationship. I never saw it as a long-term committed relationship which would result in me now being pregnant.

Everyone thought I was the best thing that happened to him because he stayed away from people who were no good for him, like drug addicts and alcoholics. Life with him was bumpy, but we always got through it by participating in healthy activities like fishing, camping, travelling and having barbeques.

As the years went by, I was falling more in love with him. Yet I was very wary of the future of our relationship because he could never settle down with a secure job — until August last year, when his father decided to loan him $200,000 to start his own business. Within two months it flourished and money was pouring in. I quit my job as a journalist and moved to Brisbane to help him.

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Less than a year later, everything went downhill. With the success and overload of work, things were proving too hard for him to handle. That’s when drugs came back into the picture, and this time it was ice. He started getting in touch with a new group of ‘suppliers’ and invited them back to the business premise. One day of ‘trial’ to keep him awake to finish the workload would turn into two, three days, then a week, then a break, and the cycle would continue. His business premise would become a place of gathering for people to indulge in the habit.

I’d have workers call me to ask where he was and none of us could find him. He’d have good days where he’d go back to work but when the money showed up in the account, he would disappear again. Through all of this I stayed, because I was already four months pregnant and had hope he would snap out of it.

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June this year is when things got worse. He accused me of hacking his phone and office computer. Every conversation would be about hacking; he would spend every minute looking into the computer and my phone to find ‘evidence’. Half of his emails were ‘erased’ and he accused me of deleting them. To make him feel at ease, we brought in a tech expert and even went to Apple and the reply we got was ‘nothing’s hacked’. I even told him to take my phone to the police but he didn’t, because apparently ‘the police won’t take his side’.

He installed cameras in the business premise and assumed the workers weren’t being loyal to him. He was fixated on that – looking into the cameras all the time to see what they were up to. He would fire up at me and the workers for no apparent reason on a daily basis. He started to not trust anyone around him, including me, and started meeting up drug addicts and suppliers which was ultimately the reason why I left.

"He took control of my phone, my phone number and all my social media accounts." Image via iStock.

He took control of my phone, my phone number and all my social media accounts. His addict friends, eager to get me out of the picture, created a derogatory Facebook and LinkedIn account and added all my family and friends. Whatever he accused me of doing is exactly what he did to me. I eventually got the police and court involved because he was constantly calling me and accusing me of hacking. I could not have a decent conversation with him because he was erratic. He would be nice one minute then turn into a paranoid person.

In all the six years, I’ve always helped him. Him first, me last. His needs first, mine doesn’t matter. I’ve sacrificed my ambition, my desire to have a social life to be with him because that’s the only way he would stay on the straight and narrow path — or so I thought.

It got to a point where his behaviour was messing with my head, but through therapy I’ve learned that that’s what addicts do – they shift blame. Addicts also don’t change by simply being with someone who is 'good for them'. Addiction develops when feelings and issues are not dealt with. He’s had a troubled past and has gone through a great deal but he would never talk about it or deal with his pain.

He said he lost clients because I apparently locked him out of his email. He said I destroyed his business because I left without helping him.

"Now I’m seven months pregnant and in a shelter." Image: iStock.

What he doesn’t realise is he destroyed my future. I finally decided to have a kid with him after six years because I thought we finally have the stability I so yearned for. But now I’m seven months pregnant and in a shelter.

I have to sacrifice eating out, buy cheap groceries and walk an hour everyday to save money on transportation. But my friend made a good point. He said I should be thankful I have a sane mind, a place to stay, food to eat and Centrelink to help me until I’m stable again and instead of being angry at my ex, I should feel sorry for him because he is lost, alone, in pain and probably crying for help. I’m trying to be understanding but I need to get over my hurt first.

Being with someone on ice is scary, and I have to constantly walk on eggshells around him fearing that a word I say could trigger an explosive situation. There are so many articles out there in recent times about ice addicts who physically and sexually abuse people including their own family members. Ice is readily available and addicts are drawn to fellow addicts which make it harder for them to get help.

This is where my fear lies. I am told my unborn child should have a relationship with her father and I would like my child to know who her father is to give her an identity but I’m fearful of letting her be around him when he hasn’t sought help because I don’t understand how any child will benefit being around someone who is erratic and lost in space.

Why should my child be exposed to an unhealthy, unstable environment? Whether it’s supervised or not, I have my fears as I’ve read enough stories about children being abused and dying under the care of someone who is under the influence. I’d rather bring my child up in a happy, safe environment without a nuclear family. It’s the 21st century, a family could consist of a group of friends, two fathers, two mothers or just grandparents.

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