Michael Parkhouse

Michael Matthew Parkhouse

Loving, Caring, Artistic, Handsome, Sensitive

His nickname was "Mikey" and he was my son's father and my best friend. We first met as teenagers and we were both involved in drugs. He was in and out of jail including federal prison. I had a crush on him since we first met. I thought he was adorable and he kept me from being ripped off by someone he knew. Several years later, after he had just gotten out of federal prison and I was going back to school at a community college, we hooked up. We decided to start seeing each other. We shared a few weeks of clean time together before he went to a federal drug and alcohol treatment facility as part of his court requirements. I was prescribed pain pills at the time for a car accident that I had two years prior. After I dropped him off at this treatment facility in Philadelphia I got into a car accident. I had taken too much pain medicine and it caused me to nod out in a traffic jam. During a nod I hit the driver in front of me. Fortunately no one in their vehicle was injured but I had totaled my car. Mikey was devastated as he was in this facility and could not be with me. He was always taking care of me. My grandmother died a week after I got out of the hospital and I moved up to my father's place in the mountains, three hours away from where I am originally from and that much further away from Mikey. When he got out of the federal treatment facility he came up to me and moved in. We lived there for about two years. He stayed by me and we both remained clean. The only thing that got in the way was the pain medicine that I had been on for the car accidents I was in. We had had enough of the mountains and decided to move back to Lancaster county. No sooner we came back then we started using again with people that we were friends with. It didn't last long because I went to jail for a retail theft and he had gone to rehab. When we both got out we moved in together again with a friend of the family. Several months later I found out I was pregnant. This was wonderful news to me because I had wanted to have children so badly but was told that it would be difficult for me to have children even if I could because of the endometriosis I was diagnosed with. I went through my 20's believing that I would never have children, and Mikey stayed by my side as I went through depression and back pain from accidents and taking pain pills in front of him but never going out to find drugs for himself. So now I'm finally pregnant. At this time, we are both on MAT. He was on Suboxone and I was on Methadone. It was working beautifully for both of us. After our baby boy was born I decided I wanted to get off of Methadone because we were traveling into a clinic daily to get my dose. I was lugging our baby in the extreme temperature and weather conditions and on public transportation to go a half hour away to this clinic. We had to catch two buses to get there. Mikey was always at our side carrying the stroller and the diaper bag when we got on and off of buses. We were a family. As I was tapering off of Methadone for some reason we decided to do some dope again. This was years after we'd been on MATs. What it came down to was I was able to stop. I was still on Methadone and I could stop the taper from dropping anymore and go back up if I needed. Mikey lost his Suboxone and started being away from home more for longer periods of time. I knew I couldn't just stop while he was still living with me because of people, places, and things. It was too much of a temptation for me. I didn't want to lose our baby due to Children and Youth. I made him move out after discussing it with my mother. It broke my heart to do it and I can still see his face when I told him what was happening. He was so hurt. That wasn't the end of us though. He came back often because he didn't have anywhere to stay and I couldn't stand to think of him being out in the cold or whatever extreme it may have been at the time. All I could imagine was finding out that he died in the woods somewhere because he froze to death. I loved him so much and I wanted him to come back home. I told him if he'd just get help and start working that he could come back home to us. I've thought it over so many times. Was I unfair or asking too much? He was a grown man and at the time he could have gone to his mother's and gotten a job. After several years of being on the street and in and out of rehabs I got a call from the coroner's office telling me that he was found dead. He had just left a rehab with an administrative discharge. He tried calling me but because I had him on speaker phone he hung up on me and died two days later. Both my son and I are heartbroken. He was probably trying to come home to us again and died on the way. I can't let my son lose his mother too. I refuse to leave my son for this disease any longer. I am now on Suboxone and I won't be getting off of another MAT just because I don't think I need it anymore. This is a lifelong disease. I want to be with my family for the rest of my life.

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