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The ugly, disgusting and the sick.

Don’t take meth addiction lightly because it is not; wives are being killed, babies are abandoned to die, daughters are being raped, young school girls are becoming sex slaves for a hit of meth, sons are becoming like their addicted fathers, wives are taking the hit too to escape the pain, families are broken, fathers are killing themselves, wives are killing themselves because of depression, marriages break up, families are broken, fathers and mothers are wasting years in prison with kids at social services, houses and shops are broken into, faces are changed, teeth are falling off, people are going mental and straying the roads, you have everything to lose.

Our local newspapers, Samoa News and Samoa Observer are flooded with drug related cases almost every month to weekly at times. The court house is full of teenagers and women and men whose babies and spouses have to come in and listen to them being sentenced. We have limited resources on island to systematically take us through the process of drug addiction recovery, lack of professional and medical rehab facilities. We have prisons with walls and gates that can’t even stop the drug coming in. We have port, post mail and Custom authorities that can only go far with identifying smuggled packages. There is corruption amongst the government and the private sector with dealing and distributing the drug; you don’t know who to trust anymore. There are businesses thriving on island behind dirty drug money that have broken many Samoan families. There is no control. We could only expect crime rates to go up with the rate meth is becoming readily available to our families and friends both here in American Samoa and Samoa. The drug is getting cheaper.

I take my hat off to our support groups I see in the newspapers' classifieds sections, our American Samoa Alliance Against Domestic & Sexual Violence, our SVSG Samoa, all the government programs that are targeting drug abuse and women violence in all areas, all the depression, abuse and suicide awareness challenges on social media etc. Thank you for your continuous efforts in helping our people, especially our women.

I remind our community to educate yourself with meth, learn its addiction symptoms, it’s effects and what it can do to your loved one for your information and awareness and see how to help while you can. Equally important is taking care of yourself on how to cope during the process of the ‘moody days’. Check on your sister, your brother, your cousin, your friend who you know is married to a meth addict. They are just as victims of meth addiction as their spouses who have fallen to it.

I assure you there are uglier things happening in that house. Give them a phone call, a zoom call, a skype call, viber, whatsapp, messenger, facetime, tik tok, send them a meme or something, a GIF, a scripture, a song, a funny video of Ms. Everything or ‘Mikey da man’. Turn up on the front door and have coffee because they need it, just anything to brighten up their day and don’t keep your distance.

Lastly to my dear sister who is driving over that speed limit and thinking of that knife or gun, I know you love him, I really do, but the best you can do for yourself now is to look out for your safety first and for the kids'. I know you have faith and hope but it doesn’t always come easy. Be careful of who you take advice from. Some will say to be patient, some will say to leave, some will say to try harder all out of their love and concern, but at the end of the day, it’s you and your kids that would live the life and know what’s going on in that house, not your advisers.

No one knows you better than yourself and your family.

Know when it's time to stay and when to leave. Listen to the Holy Spirit and discern and pray for wisdom to deal with the situation. Yes have the time to feel the pain, cry it out cry it out, don’t deny your emotions but don’t put the pressure and burden on yourself too much to break you and don’t lose it too. Don’t try to be superhuman, we all have thresholds, limits and breaking points and could only take so much at a time. Separate your heart from your mind and your mind from your heart. The devil will never rest.

How many meth sniffs or puffs would it take to end up a dead wife? How many meth sniffs or puffs would it take to end up a dead kid? Having to read about the 7-year-old child who called 911 (good girl baby) on her father abusing her mother a few months ago here in American Samoa, I feel for this poor 7-year-old girl. Would you want your child to have that responsibility of taking care of you when it should be the other way around? Having to let the kids watch such violence?

Also, having lived through the recent stories of the gas station incident in Samoa where the man burnt his wife and the story of Jessica here in American Samoa, my heart cries out for my lost sisters, this is their voice too and may they rest in peace. Don’t wait for something bad like that to happen to your children or yourself. It took me 6 years, million chances, thousand separations, grey hair, dark eye circles, scars, thousand bruises and scratches and my sanity to realize that I have to look after myself and my 3 kids as priority and grateful to God for never leaving us.

You see sister, I could buy my kids expensive things again. I could save up again. I have time to rediscover my likes again. I have time to go to the outdoors and adventure again. I have time to laugh again and not pretend or fake it anymore. I have time to sleep again. I have time to watch 2 movies in a row again. I have time to go ride at low speed again. I have time to go to the gym and work on myself physically. It’s just having the joy of re-discovering myself again without staying depressed and lonely in my small corner. Turn your trial into motivation and do what you love to do again, whether it be in music, drawing, working out, swimming, dancing, football etc. It would take time to adapt again but keep it going. Surround yourself with positive motivation and an encouraging environment. Keep seeking the Lord and He will never turn from you.

Bring out that roaring lion in you and come back a fighting warrior woman, come back lifting those weights off your back and shoulders, come back better than ever before. Know your worth spiritually in Christ, believe in yourself mentally and execute physically. Find your balance. God turns graves into gardens, ugly into beautiful.

Our trials build us, strengthen us, make us and mold us into who we are. Don’t let anyone’s bad choices in life hold you back from who God called you to become, take care of yourself in the process. They have their own story to tell when God is finished with them. Prayer and hope are never too much to keep holding on to.

The month of April 2020 was known to be the month of sexual abuse awareness here in American Samoa with the Alliance and as we celebrate the new month of May for mental health awareness, may this serve as encouragement to all our sisters out there to come out and seek help.

Sexual abuse can be drug related and mental health is totally affected by it, don’t fall victim to it anymore. Domestic violence extends to all the different abuses not just physical, it is not a monthly awareness but ongoing. I put myself in all my broken and unheard sisters’ shoes and could hear the echo of cries in my walls, the walls of silence and shame I want to break loose now, this time, today, tonight. A night I would have never seen coming 6 years ago, the better me than yesterday. I fall, I get up, I run again.

Here I am oh patient reader and it’s nice to meet you, I'm Dim, thank you for reading this far.

Please share for our women out there struggling through the moody days of their husbands' drug addictions. They need our help.

Happy Mother’s day to all you fighting warriors!

#staymotivated #motivateothers  #stayencouraged #encourageothers #staypositive #buildothers

Romans 5: 1-5

Dimary Krystal Letisha Ulberg, is 31 years old, with 3 children — two girls and one boy. They currently live Tafuna, American Samoa. She is employed as a Senior Fisheries Officer/ Port Coordinator by the Cook Islands Fisheries Field Office of the Ministry of Marine Resources in Cook Islands, based in American Samoa. She gave Samoa News permission to publish her story and the SN editorial board has decided to publish it in it’s entirety — as a 3-Part story — its publication days are Wednesday, May 6, Friday, May 8, and Monday, May 11, 2020. Samoa News believes it’s a powerful story that needs to be told and read in our community that is suffering from ‘aisa’ addiction, where ultimately we are all victims. Faafetai.