A great comedian Robin Williams once said,
"You know you have a drug problem
when you are spending $50,000 a year on snacks !"
I have to admit, I hesitated about posting this piece today by Peter Steele's niece Marie (ha ha .. got it right this time Patty ! ).
Why? I guess it's a sore subject. For the blog, I'm constantly trying to find the boundaries between privacy and memories. Our biggest critics are people who wonder why this blog was created. Are we just airing Peter's dirty laundry or is this a place to talk about memories, feelings, and truths, while keeping a legacy alive? I think I can speak for the sisters and family when I say it's about healing. We are not here to get our 15 minutes of fame like so many others who write on FB about their 'relationships' with Peter. This blog is here to give readers a little glimpse into the background and personality of a conflicted man ... who could be ANY MAN (or woman) -- but in this case, he is the legendary Peter Steele ... (Darcie).
L to R: Peter, Cathy, cousin Susan, Barbara, niece Michelle
Taken at Aunt Pinky's house 1975
So, for this post, I'll have to defer to Marie, as it's her story, and this blog is here to allow people to share:
So alot of people have been asking about Peter's past problems with drug's and alcohol. This to me is a heart wrenching matter. You have to understand. Peter as a teenager occasionally drank, a little here and there! He never like smokers (used to complain to me all the time to quit). Never touched drugs...Until a girlfriend introduced him to it!!!
First it would be: "Please baby..just do a little with me" Then it went to being up all night long, not eating, not sleeping..etc. That was the worst! Some people can do the occasional drug here or there. But other people get addicted.
We lived down the street from my grandparents house where Peter lived downstairs. When Pete was at his worst he would call me at all hours of the night with freaky thoughts. He used to call me and tell me someone was watching him ... or that his house was being watched ... that people were lurking in the bushes or that his cats had bug's crawling on them and now they were crawling on him.
So, I would walk over there and check it out. Nothing. And I would think to myself, what is he talking about? It doesn't sound like Peter.
But, at his worst, I found him in his apt with the windows covered in foil. His computer was covered in foil. When I asked him why, he said it was to block the sound waves coming into the house.
Then he would have me search his cat's for bugs. I would be there for hours. The whole time his mind was racing with thoughts..Ideas..Facts..Knowledge. He would open a history book and talk about some point. Then a math book and show me calculations he was doing to solve some world problem. Then would go over the periodic chart with me.
Believe me, my uncle was a genius to begin with. The drugs enhanced his thought process 100 times more.
As a family (and countless wonderful friends/bandmates) we did interventions on Pete. If you've ever been involved in an intervention, you know how sad it is. We would tell him how much we loved him. How much we needed him to be in our lives. How much we cared for him. How much the drug had distorted his mind. For the longest time, no matter what we said or did, it didn't matter to him. He turned on himself and it was an awful, helpless thing to watch.
After a long, awful, horrible journey to first get him help, then to witness and support him getting better, he finally overcame the drug and alcohol addiction. I knew he was strong. We all knew he could do it. AND HE DID. But just as life is complicated enough, when he did overcome and was ready to move on, he was taken from us. I'am so proud to call him my Uncle everyday of my life. -- Marie.
* * * Darcie's Note: I believe it's important that the medical community find ways to work with families who are trying to help their family members or spouses get clean. During our long process of trying to help Peter achieve sobriety, a million medical and legal doors were slammed in our faces -- until Peter's drug induced behaviors became a real danger to himself and other people. It shouldn't have been that way.
* * *
I saw this really long article and interview with Pete that I thought I'd share. I was trying to find interviews where Peter talks more in depth about Elizabeth (so I can post them here) and we can answer some questions about their relationship. If anyone has any suggestions on articles done about her, leave it in the comment box - gracias (Darcie)