In my previous blog post I described how I came to meet a drug addict girl, who I will call “Teresa”, following the theft of my property in downtown Dickinson where I live. In late June, Teresa came walking down the street from the Drug House where she lived, to where I was, working on my vehicle parked on the street beside the apartment building where I live.
At first, I was interested in talking to Teresa, in order to try to find out who had stolen my bicycle in the beginning of June. The longer that I talked to her, I began to notice that she was good looking, in a way that most women in Dickinson are not. She was very thin and muscular, with no body fat at all. But her appearance wasn’t from diet and exercise, it was from drug use and not eating.
Because of the way that Teresa looked, and because she was so forward with me, I was attracted to her, and I wanted to have sex with her. Her whole reason for walking up from the Drug House and talking to me, was probably to see if I had any interest in her, because she needed help.
I knew from talking to the landlord of the Drug House a day or two earlier, that Teresa was likely one of the three people who were being evicted from the Drug House. Teresa told me that she was being evicted, but that she was going to court to fight her eviction.
It appeared that Teresa had no job, no income, no vehicle, and no money. I thought about how I could help her, but I also thought about how much trouble she could cause me. If I allowed her to stay in my apartment, sooner or later she or her friends would probably steal whatever they could from me. Or, she could make an abuse allegation against me, and the Police would likely arrest me and remove me from my own apartment.
I realized that if I wanted to know who Teresa really was, I could look up her landlord’s name on the North Dakota Court Repository website under Civil/Traffic court cases, where he would be the Plaintiff, and she would be the Defendant in a pending eviction court case.
I found Teresa’s real first and last name, plus a second first and last name that she sometimes uses, which comes from her middle name and a previous marriage last name. Using court records, LinkedIn, a wedding registry, company records, and Facebook, I was able to see a very sad and tragic story of who Teresa actually was:
Teresa grew up in, and graduated from high school, in a small town in Indiana. From 2000 to 2004 she attended and graduated from a good state university, receiving a Bachelor of Arts in political science.
While attending university she was employed in business administration, and she continued to have steady employment in business administration after she graduated from university. In her late twenties, with the amount of work experience and long-term steady employment that she had had, she probably earned $35,000 to $40,000 per year.
In 2010 Teresa moved to Virginia in order to attend a business college, to actually get a degree in Business Administration. With her previous extensive work experience in business administration, taking the additional classes in accounting, finance, marketing, human resources, and management, would probably allow her to begin earning $50,000 to $80,000 per year.
Her first semester at this business college in Virginia, Teresa met a fellow student in one of her classes, who had just gotten out of the military. Soon she became best friends with him, later she became engaged to him, and a couple of years later she had two children with him.
Her fiancee that she met at business college in Virginia, I will call him “Jeremy”. Jeremy had a good personality, he was funny, handsome, athletic, and in good physical condition. The photographs of Teresa and Jeremy from this time period at business college in Virginia, both of them about 30 years old, they looked very happy, and very healthy.
When Teresa and Jeremy graduated from business college in Virginia in 2013, soon after that, they moved to Dickinson, North Dakota, which was experiencing an oil boom. Teresa got a job in business administration in Dickinson, with a very large company, her job title was assistant manager. After about a year of working for this very large company in Dickinson, Teresa was promoted to manager.
As manager of this company, Teresa was responsible for the intake of about $200,000 to $300,000 per month, the deposits, the bookkeeping, some human resources, employee management, sales, marketing, public relations, dealing with customers, and more. She earned probably $60,000 to $70,000 per year.
From the civil and criminal court records that I saw, and from her Facebook timeline of photos and comments, it looks like everything began falling apart in approximately 2015. Teresa was no longer with Jeremy, the father of her two children, and it looked like she was no longer employed.
What I saw on Teresa’s Facebook page, was that she was “in-love” with her “soul-mate”, a convicted felon thief, drug addict, and drug dealer from Bowman, North Dakota. In her Facebook photos and comments, and in court records, from 2016 onward, it looked like she became completely immersed in a drug addict lifestyle.
Jeremy was awarded custody of their two children. Teresa was arrested for failure to appear in court, following an arrest for driving without a driver’s license. She was arrested for possession of marijuana. She was evicted by three different property management companies in Dickinson for failure to pay rent. She had four separate court judgments against her for $4,500, $2,000, $1,000, and $1,000.
What was shocking to me, was the contrast between the Teresa that had just graduated from business college, was the manager of a large company earning $60,000 to $80,000 per year, with a new Dodge Charger, with a home, a husband, and two young children, and the Teresa who was homeless, with no children, no job, and walking the streets of Dickinson looking for things to take out of garbage dumpsters.
It is said that a drug addiction is a mental illness. I don’t disagree that drug addiction is a mental illness, but I think that Teresa must have had some kind of mental illness completely separate from trying, using, and becoming addicted to methamphetamine. The reason why I say this, is how in two or three years of using meth, could she not see that she had lost her job, her career, her home, her husband, her children, her friends, and was living on the street, and not want to change? The women’s shelter and rehabilitation is just one mile away.
I couldn’t believe how far Teresa had fallen. But I had to tell myself, how in the world could I help her or deal with her, don’t I realize that her husband, her family, her employer, and her friends must have all tried to help her?
Probably one of the biggest obstacles to Teresa leaving this drug addict lifestyle, is her “soul-mate” boyfriend, who despite being arrested for felony theft and felony drug possession with intent to deliver during this past year, he is not in jail, but on probation. I don’t know when the judges in Dickinson will understand that allowing convicted felon drug dealers to walk around free in Dickinson, is not a good idea, and not helpful to anyone.