7.21.2011

You Know You Have A Drug Problem When ...

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)

http://www.ink19.com/issues/october2003/interviews/peterSteele.html

41 comments:

  1. Thank u so much for posting this. Its real, raw and part of peter, good or bad. Not talking about this to me would be like ignoring the elephant in the room. Fans and people who care love and admire him knew he had an issue, but from the families perspective I think helps a lot. We all want to know how all of this could have happened to him, and now we know . Its so sad that someone like a girlfriend, who is supposed to love, care and protect peter could be so GD cruel and get him to try it. Yes there is free will, but any of us who truly love a person would keep them as far away from stuff like that. Ugh. I just wanna slap all those enablers. Peters best interests were far from their minds. And here are the people on this blog who would do anything to keep him safe and away from that scene, of course including his good friends andfamily. I know u can't change the past, but im feeling a lot of anger towards that one person who started it all. Perhaps I should feel bad for her. She is either coked out of her mind or living with the fact that she had a large part in peters demise as far as im concerned. A few years ago my ex and I were at a party where there was coke, I don't smoke, drink or anything either. Years ago my ex did a fair bit of coke so he knew what it was like. I was being pressured by others to try it. I was very close to thinking hey its only once, and my ex stopped me. That's what should have happened to peter, and shame on her for not doing the same to such a loving, kind and warm hearted man.

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  2. Peter was always open to his fans about his issues and I admired him so much for that. Even with his issues, to me he was the "perfect" man. He had it all, the intelligence, personality, looks, talent, and a heart of gold. His faults made him more real, and I have a HUGE respect for him getting sober and realizing the toll that his addiction took on his family, friends, and bandmates.
    Big hugs and love to the family! xoxo

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  3. So sad to read how Peter got seduced to start taking drugs and even more... how it effected his mind/life/health.
    It must have been so hard for the family to go through this. My deepest respect for you all!
    And Marie, you are so right to be proud (but I guess that goes for the entire family), your Uncle was one of a kind.
    Much love - Jacqueline

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  4. Hi everyone

    Thanks for share these kind of memories too. Every human being has a side not so good.

    Specially in the issue with drugs, this kind of report can even help people who lives with this problem.

    Thanks for sharing!!

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  5. To the Ratajczyk family, you dont have to answer to one single person as to why you have done this blog. I think it shows what an incredibly close loving family you all were. The effort that is involved with doing this blog, the memories both good and bad it must stir up, the gift of sharing Peter with us...I think Peter is not the only one in the family with a beautiful soul.
    We know about his addiction but prefer to focus on the incredible man behind the drugs and alcohol. I have had many friends and relatives that were also addicts and I wish you didn't have to see Peter like that, you feel helpless and are not sure what is the right thing to do and if they will hate you forever for trying to help them. Peter gave the world the gift of his music but it came at a heavy price for him, drugs and alcohol are everywhere you turn being a musician. Thank god you were there to help him. He was given the opportunity to be clean and sober at the end and he took it. I am very proud of him for that. I have read many many interviews and have not heard or seen much on Elizabeth, he often refers to the woman he loved and lost and thought he would be with forever (I presumed it was Elizabeth?) What year did they break up and why.

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  6. Thank you for posting this story. Sharing such personal matters that peter and your family has been through has to be a touchy non the less hard/difficult subject especially matters that involve peter. It's never easy doing an intervention involving a loved one, and for reasons of your own you did what you believed was the right thing to do and you did out of love for peter. It took a lot of love and courageous effort to help peter over come the demons/addictions that he was trying to battle. I envy all of you for standing together and putting your foot down as a family and for trying to help peter in a time of his life when he most needed you. Thank you again for sharing ....XOXOXO!

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  7. Pete's family,friends,and the band have always had my compassion and understanding.I can't agree more, and understand your fustration, about the sad state of care for those with mental and addition illnesses..I was the sole care taker for my ex who passed away this past winter of liver failure. Going to the TypeO shows was an escape for me during those sad times,but bittersweet due to Pete's illness..and no fan was happier to speak to him and find him sober and well during the last tour. We do our best to help loved ones,but ultimately they must find their inner strength. Sue

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  8. Thank you for sharing this. It sounds like it was a tough decision to do so. Again, thank you and God bless.

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  9. Thank you Marie for that post, and Darcie, and the whole Ratajczyk Family for sharing these incredible stories,photos,memories,and very private emotional feelings with us. I hope it does help you heal.

    I think everyone has been touched by the blight of addiction, whether it be ourselves, family members, or friends. It is such an awful hopeless road to take and follow. The frustration of not being able to help the one you love is soul breaking, but like Marie said "He did it" and was able to have a time of sobriety and clarity in his life. What a gift for him to have that. How wonderful he must have felt that he did it. Although, it was the worst possible ending to his journey. HE DID IT!

    Peace, respect, and the warmest wishes to you all.

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  10. It's difficult to know how hard it would be to get sober after years of abuse. And it's very sad and angering that it only took one selfish person to persuade him to try something that would lead to years of struggle for himself AND his family. I'm sorry for that. He did have it all; personality, talent, looks, a heart of gold, and by far did not need anything to enhance that! But I think it is a great thing that he managed to get sober in the end and that he found the strength to put an end to such a horrible addiction. I agree whole-heartedly with you Darcie, that it must be hard to decide what to write here, what to share and what to keep private. But I've never read a post that sounded like you were airing dirty laundry, it's always been sharing precious memories and sharing with the world the great guy that your uncle was and still is. And Marie, you are so justified in being proud of him! Like NewYearsEve above said, he was one of a kind.
    XXXOOO

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  11. My God! We must be on the same wave length Darcie. I was missing Peter and thinking of how much fun it was when new Type O albums came out and found and read, The Power of Negative Thinking interview with Peter just yesterday! I feel it is very brave and important for you Marie to share what struggles Peter and the family over came in dealing with drugs. Drugs make a person a slave that is trapped inside themselves. Drugs bring out the worst and beyond in people. To read that Peter over came his drug and alcohol problems is more than inspirational to many. This story also shows that drugs affect a whole family when one person has a problem. What a bad influence the ex-girlfriend was to get him to start taking drugs. Peter was a very open and honest person and during interviews he often talked about how he used to be so straight laced and then boom he became a drug addict and that can happen to anybody. He wrote songs about his cocaine addiction and said how he hoped fans would walk with him in his journeys but not follow in his foot steps. He wanted people to learn from his mistakes and I believe some really did. His music and journey in life touched our souls. His influence was only natural since he was so honest about his life and so down to earth with his fans.
    As a fan, I have always wondered who Elizabeth was? I knew she was a girlfriend but Peter thanked her in a few albums and called her his blood and fire. She sounded very special to him. Does he shout out her name in parts of September Sun on Dead Again? That I have always wondered. Is she in the After Dark video walking around a lake with him? Was she his Muse for a while? Please let us fans know. If I come across any old interviews where he mentions her I will send them your way. Thanks so much! Very powerful blog today! Peter would be proud!
    ---Jessica (Black Number 1)

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  12. I can imagine how hard must be for all of you to talk about this subject and for that I thank you very much. But above all things I thank you for making light of what dealing with drug addicts is like in terms of legal matters. We all need to know and be aware of how difficult it is for the families not only to have a drug addict uncle/brother, but to get him legal help.

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  13. I keep thinking about this criticism of the blog that you mention...
    If people could just stop judging so readily for a few moments at least, read the blog post again - focusing specifically on what Peter was experiencing and how he was behaving at that time - then try to see and empathize with the situation that both he, & his family were going through. I mean really try to understand it.
    How difficult and scary it must be to witness, and feel helpless in such circumstances.
    Yet unconditional love spurs action to seek help, whether or not it is fully appreciated and/or accepted by the recipient at that time.
    Interventions ARE very distressing to all, but love and concern are the motivating factors - so clearly evident in today's post.
    I find it hard to understand why people question your motives for the blog, when all I can see here is love & respect for Peter from his family, plus a willingness and kindness to share some of it with others.
    That it helps with healing, is heart-warming to know, and should not be overlooked - everyone copes with the loss of loved ones in their own way.
    So please try not to judge badly, even though it may be far easier than spending a little time considering EVERYONE'S feelings for a heart-breaking situation that, hopefully, won't ever come our way.
    (Darcie, i sent you an email)
    Love and respect <3

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  14. Warning: This will be long.
    I empathize with the Ratajczyk family and with those on this blog who've battled it out in similar situations. Addiction is a bona fide medical problem, and help is frequently witheld by insurance and healthcare providers due to pervasive stigmatization and the 'blame-game' often used to keep people who need help from receiving it, all in the name of cost-management. A recently published book called 'The Compass of Pleasure' details the stages of addiction and the more humane ways the medical community can and should improve treatment methods. It's got a long way to go. As ruthless as that industry can be we may not get there. I do know of one physician who treats addiction as an illness with great success, no matter what the industry dictates, and I will discreetly refer anyone in need who emails me.
    Having had two theories about Pete's predicament, and wondering if it was a member of management in the music industry or a woman he just couldn't say 'Look, just... no!' to, it seemed like the latter was the more likely. His high IQ and appearance put him at a greater risk. Brilliant people tend to have unique problems.
    Having had access to data on drugs through a physician father who truly knew his narcotics, I experimented with illicit substances for only a short stint in early adolescence and stuck to non-addictive hallucinogens after having pre-researched the addictive properties of all drugs, street and commonly used, including caffienne, alcohol and nicotine. There was only one exception, and its the reason I feel so much more for Pete after reading this. I'd always had a weakness for beautiful, funny, creative men with a dark side, still do, and they'd truly looked out for me, protected & respected me, but there was one more perky-mainstream guy who crossed my path in the early '80's who did cocaine and begged me to join him, "Please, baby, just once?" I'd repeatedly refused, pointing out addiction statistics, ordering him to rehab like a tyrant. He kept begging, so I made him set up a video-cam and record it, acquiescing just once. After viewing the tape the next day, seeing what coke did I never touched it or him again. I actually had to say, "If you need this you're not a man, you're just some guy. Never again, and you're fired," days later after burning the tape and flushing the supply he'd left behind.
    That said, it's going to take work to forgive the woman who put Pete in a similar position but sometimes it's the only way. It doesn't need to be because it's deserved, or the offending person is sorry or there's been some sort of atonement or redemption. It's because forgiveness is healthier for the person who does it. Knowing someone else had likely fed upon this woman's weakness too or that she was unaware of the damage she'd do may be a good start, but ultimately, even in the unlikely case that she'd done what she did with malice of forethought, forgiving her would still be the only way to heal.
    It's hard. My family's forgiven an unbelievable number of offenses, so many that filling out a juror's questionaire involves four solid hours of giving details for each 'Yes' box we've had to check off for minor and major crimes we've been somehow associated with. We've stayed together and survived. You have too. Sometimes you've just got to grit your teeth and do it. It hurts more to not forgive.
    Thank you both for your courage and willingness to work so hard to share in ways that you feel a degree of comfort with. I know this was hard.
    With great respect for you both,
    Jeanne

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  15. Thank you so much for this blog! I look forward to reading every single day. Peter was lucky to have such a loving family. Thank you for sharing all of your memories with us.

    Unfortunately, my birthday falls on April 14...not quite a happy day anymore.

    ~Stacy

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  16. I don't see where any dirty laundry is being aired. We already knew about the drug and alcohol problem; he not only talked about it, but the music spoke about it as well. How is this blog any different than someone writing a biography or a memoir? The music already spoke volumes to the fans and already made us feel like a part of his life. We knew a little about Elizabeth, heard of Uncle Lou, knew of his dad passing, knew when his mom was sick, etc. So, sharing these stories with those who care enough to read them is just a way of not only putting yourselves on the road to healing, it is giving us an opportunity to learn more about the man we adore and the people behind him who made him what he was and who loved him so very much. I don't see the harm in that. Besides, what a way to help the healing process during a difficult time! Hell, when I had gone through some tough times, it would've been great to not only have the love and support of family, but to be able to talk about it to hundreds of people and to get their kind words and support as well! There will always be strength in numbers.
    Much love to you all .

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  17. I became a Type o Negative fan later in their careers for some reason when my son was a baby, guess I needed to goth music to calm my soul. I can't express how much these tidbits into Peter's life good and bad have made me feel. I have found that Peter was not only a talented musician but a devout family man and a wonderful person, even with his demons. Thank you for sharing so much...

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  18. Oh my . .what a powerful post!!! First of all, you (the family) are so brave to be doing this. It must be incredibly cathartic to share all of this. I am an alcoholic and drug addict with over 4 years clean and sober. I know the pain, the misery, the sorrow, and what it does to others. Both of my parents are on drugs really bad and I can't even be in their lives right now. I was just like Pete when I was younger, so anti-drug and anti-smoking and all of that. And . .through my teens I suffered from BAD depression and turned to drugs and alcohol to cope. The music of Type O Negative helped me a LOT though, more than I can ever express or explain. I was so proud of myself when I got sober and my life is much better that it was. It is painful to watch my mom and dad (who are Pete's age) slowly kill themselves with drugs and alcohol. I'm sorry for writing so much and spilling all of this; but, it is just so powerful and moving to read about what an incredible human being Peter was and what a family he has . . .he was so lucky in so many ways . . and I am so glad he was able to conquer his demons before his death. I always said I don't want to die drunk or high . . and I don't plan to.

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  19. These are the best memories of someone you both like ... When you tell us the memories of a life as normal as ours, Peter feel in my soul, wanting to breathe and tell me I'm like all of you! I love these stories! Thanks!

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  20. Thank you for sharing this with us. Not knowing Peter personally, all I knew of this great man was what I had read about him. I could not understand how he became addicted to begin with. That question had been bothering me for a long time. Now I know. I think it is important that you shared this. It shows how easy it is for someone to be seduced into trying something they would not normally do. As others have said, I am glad Peter made it to sobriety before his passing. You have every right to be proud of this wonderful man.

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  21. Thank you for this blog. Peter was honest with his fans about the good and the bad. If anyone is giving you a hard time about writing down these memories of your lost loved one, then they just don't get it. Some people live in a fantasy world where Peter is concerned. It's sad that you have to deal with that. This blog is very much appreciated.

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  22. Mike ... we love your attitude. COngrats. Thanks to everyone for their beautiful comments. Much love ...

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  23. I have always wondered about Elizabeth. Was she responsible for him getting locked up? Is she still in touch with your family? Did she go to his wake? How long were they on and off again? Can you post a picture of what she looked like?

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  24. I didnt get to go on here yesterday. it's sad we had to lose a great musician. i'm just glad he was off of drugs, though. i too had a drug problem years ago. from rolling on "e", to dropping acid, smoking weed, and diet pills. in 1999 and 2001 i overdosed on pills. i got to the point that i thought i couldnt take it anymore. which i use to cut myself and burn myself, etc. hopefully its went away from me so i dont hurt myself again. ive loved type o since 1992, and listening to there music while copeing through my on craziness helped out extremely. thank you so so much Marie for sharing this with us. much love to you and your family.

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  25. Once again this wonderful family has shared something with us, the fans that is very personal to them. Marie, Darcie - everyone from the Ratajczyk family- it means so much to me (and I know I speak for all the fans) that you continue to share with us. Most of the stories you have shared have been lighthearted and funny and you shared a glimpse with us of what the real Peter was like. Unfortunately too many people have the drug/alcohol infested Peter in their minds when they "remember" him.
    It only takes one "bad seed" to bring us down. It took Peter a long time to get back up but he did and he would not have been able to without the love and support of all of you. My husband has been sober for just over 60 days now and I see the constant battle that he fights everyday. I have no grasp of that struggle but I admire the strength that men such as my husband and Peter find within themselves to face and battle their demons each day.
    I would be lost without this blog (here come my tears yet again.) I look forward to reading this everyday. Thank you for helping us cope with not having Peter in our lives anymore.
    Renee

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  26. I so look forward to reading the posts every day and I thank you so much for sharing Peter's life with us. I had read the interview just the day before your post came out and more and more I realize how Peter is the male version of me (except for a few of his vices) and it hurts so much to know that someone so similar to myself has suffered so. I can only hope that before his death when he was sober and clear headed that he realized how much his family and fans truly loved him. To me, Peter was the most beautiful person; inside and out, to ever walk the earth and I thank God that I at least got some insight into his life. He will forever be the "Green Man" that has my heart.

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  27. Rosemarie from NY11:29 AM, July 22, 2011

    this story especially hits me hard talking about the use of alcohol or drugs to keep a person like the beautiful man we honor here, Peter Steele. I have lost a beautiful friend (my son's best friend/brother too) 4 yrs ago. My feelings are great and many but I'll only say right now I understand the frustration with the system and doctors particularly. Helping someone when they are clearly addicted to whatever it is, there needs to be more awareness and help available. In our case my son carries a lot of guilt because he was the last one to spend all day w/David day before he left us. My son is tormented why didn't he do this or that he could have saved him. Maybe he could have, he will have to live w/that. We have to find ways to forgive ourselves, we didn't want the loved one to die, God no!! I'm so sorry you lost your brother, your rock, your blood. I understand your feelings. If I could say a magic word to make it all better I would but I don't know that word or I would have used it on my only son. He is devastated, he is lost w/o David. He misses him more than anyone or anything in his life. I can't change this I can only comfort him and be there. That's what I'm here to do for the family of Peter, be here. I understand. This article was so touching. his feelings about family, his manly taking charge, his thoughts his words...looking back he was quite a magnificent man. RAP & Roll, I'm with you on that Peter. His wanting to write a book. You lived a life of a hundred men, you touched all of our lives and we will never forget you. I was playing Unsuccessfully Coping this mng..I love when Peter screams NO!!!!!!!!! I'm angry now, I want him here. I want David here. Oh God please help us cope.

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  28. Hi Darcie/Marie, et al--

    I would have replied yesterday, but my damn computer was down! My mind is racing with a million thoughts, so I don't know how long this will end up being--

    Darcie, when you started this blog you asked for feedback as to what we would like to read about in regards to Peter. If I remember correctly, a large number of people said, basically, "the good, the bad, and the ugly"--as long as you feel comfortable doing it. I can understand your hesitance in regards to posting this entry. I realize there are things you want to keep private, but we all have many sides, Peter too. This just gives us another glimpse into what he was like, and the question of "WHY" pops up again. Many WHYS that I don't think I need to list here....
    I myself am not a smoker, and like Peter, dislike being around people who are. Also, I did occasionally have a bit of alcohol when growing up (what teenager doesn't?) and at times got silly/stupid and realized that I have a very low tolerance for alcohol and decided I didn't need/want it in my life. At one point I also seriously thought about experimenting with hard drugs. This would probably come as a surprise to people who know me. BUT--I would've done it under controlled circumstances. I would've wanted a doctor, nurse, psychologist or psychiatrist, several police officers, several family members there to make sure the drugs were administered properly, with the exact dose given, notes to be taken, etc...I had it all planned. And then I started asking myself "WHAT IF?" What if the doctors/nurse/police are corrupt, what if the information isn't recorded properly, what if I end up addicted, what if, what if, what if....So I didn't do it. And MY ONLY reason for doing it would've been to see for myself how the different drugs interacted on my system, PURELY FOR MY OWN RESEARCH. But horrible things went through my head, so it's something I never did.
    Peter was a sickeningly smart guy, smarter than me I know, so I keep asking myself "WHY?" Why and how could he let someone and something so toxic into his life and let it take control of him? I only 'know' Peter through this blog, but he seemed like a strong person with a strong will and I can't believe he'd let something like this end up running and ruining his life. I don't know who this ex-girlfriend is, but was it purely innocent on her part, or did she have an ulterior motive? Was she trying to bring him down, did she want to see him fail?
    I've taken several astrology/tarot courses over the years, and one of the things that was always repeated was that EVERYthing EVERYbody does on this planet has an effect on EVERYbody else. Think about it, and how somebody halfway across the world could have an impact on your life. It's an overwhelming concept to get your head around, but in this case I keep thinking that if Peter hadn't known this girl how much better and different his life would've been.
    This was difficult to read, heartwrenching. I can only imagine how you, Marie, and Darcie must've felt writing it, with the memories it brought up. It takes courage and willingness on your part to share this with us, and you have both in abundance. Thank you again.
    Love & Gratitude--Patty P

    P.S. I see you got my spelling note Darcie!! :)

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  29. For me your stories have been very helpful in understanding a person so many of us have looked up to. It shows the true person he was instead of images that have been imposed by others. It also helps me, and I'm sure others, get through life and personal struggles knowing that with all life throws at you, you can make it. For me he has become not just my inspiration for playing music, but a symbol of hope and hard work in following your dreams and doing what it takes to reach goals. I cannot thank you enough for what you have shared.

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  30. Some of the most amazing people I've ever known were drug addicts. Yes, were. I'm sorry and I know it's hard to speak of it. He's loved for who he is, not what he is.

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  31. I'm very happy to have found this blog. I love TON, and I've always been very appreciative of how genuine Peter seemed to be. I never got to meet the band, which I am very sad about. Peter really seemed to have a strong sense of integrity to me, which is not something I can say about almost any other musician I've known or listened to. He was honest and realistic, both qualities I admire in any person. I think he seemed somewhat at war with his profession, I think he knew that it was a struggle to resist all of the negative temptations out there but his passion for music and artistic creation and expression were just too strong...which I think defines a real artist. It's something we must do. He inspires my paintings constantly. On the note of his romantic relationships, tho this subjects isn't necessarily any of our business, it's hard not to be curious about a person's private life when they publicly share their feelings with us through music. We are somewhat involved because we felt his pain, his frustration, and his love with him through his music. I have researched a lot on Peter just to figure out details that aren't out there. I do wonder about his relationship with Elizabeth. There are all of these tidbits of publicity of the two of them but no real story to it, just fan theories. It seems she wasn't a very good influence on his life, which does make me sad that a large part of his life involved someone that brought him down. I am happy that his family is so very close-knit and strong. I am sincerely sorry that he didn't have the opportunity to have his own family, because I think it was something he wanted to do...based on some interviews I've seen. One of which wasn't too long before he passed. It's tough not to think of the what ifs, I really wanted to go see them in concert and then he died. I am grateful for the influence Peter and TON have had on my life. When I feel unmotivated, I listen to them and it gets me going. I laugh when I listen to some of their music because I totally get his humor, it's such a nice unique quality with them...to be able to laugh at his very smart sense of humor. Sorry for such a long message, I've never really had an appropriate venue to express my feelings about this band...and I hope it helps the family to know that Peter really truly and positively affected the lives of so many people. When I happen to meet another TON fan...it's like this weird secret bond has been struck that most people don't understand at all. I love it. Thank you!

    -Kristi

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  32. I know I am a little late in the game here, but some time ago I remember seeing an interview Peter did regarding his family and going to jail and all that stuff. Pretty heartbreaking. I don't have the heart to post the link and besides, anyone surfing Youtube can find it and I am sure everybody has seen it. He was pretty "out of it" and blaming family for him being in jail. If I were a journalist, I would have deleted that video and started over with that interview and asked different questions. But unfortunately that is an example what drug use can do. The paranoia and narcisism. When someone is hooked on cocaine or any hard drugs like that, their souls are dead at that point. There is no love except for people like them, and suddenly people who care for their well being and actually love them become the mortal enemy. I was once engaged to a man who was bad on meth and cleaned up. He was clean when I met him and he was a beautiful person, everything I ever wanted! He soon got hooked on coke thanks to some coworkers and got out of hand real quick! He left his job because he thought cops were warching him. He thought I had the house bugged and threatened my life! Finally, after he was missing for two days and came home, I told him to leavd and he tried choking me out! I pressed charges hoping jail time would straighten him out, but he got a slap on the wrist and a little probation and I got an order of protection that was worthless and he was up to his old tricks with his buddies and stalking me in no time!
    It crushes you when someone you adore tells you to your face that you are not worth cleaning up and living for. I have since moved on, out of state with a beautiful man, but I once in a while look back and hang my head. At least Peter found it in himself somewhere that life is worth living and his loved ones are worth loving again. Bittersweet. That is what makes him a hero! "Life is a windshield, not a rearview mirror".

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  33. Thanks for posting this. You can truly love somebody and not be blind to their flaws - I think Carrie put it perfectly. "Loved for who he is, not what he is". I don't believe you're disrespecting his memory by being honest about him - it'd be worse to sweep things under the rug and carry on as if he was Mr. Perfect. Now, I didn't know Peter, but from what I've learned from his music, various interviews and of course, this blog, was that he was remarkably honest about himself and that he didn't like sycophants, I don't think he'd like to have been perceived to be without flaws, even in death.
    I truly commend you and your family for standing by Peter during his addiction. I know first hand just how testing that is and how it hurts to see somebody you adore damaging themselves in that way. It requires a lot of strength and compassion.
    I am happy that his last days were good ones, though sadly short in their numbers. You must be so proud of him.
    I'm sorry for your loss and send the warmest of wishes to you all.

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  34. If anyone wants to see what she looks like when you type in "Peter Steele's Girlfriend" in the search feature it comes up with a 23 second video of Elizabeth and Peter walking in the woods on youtube. I wonder if there was more to that video and where it came from. Maybe it was from the "After Dark" DVD which I do not have yet. Isn't Elizabeth still around? The family should find her and ask questions if they need closure/answers from that particular chapter in his life. Maybe she wants to talk to them but is afraid to come forward.
    As for the naysayers about this blog be like your brother/uncle and remember there will always be critics but being true to yourself and your heart is most important. No one knows what you feel better than you do. If it feels right then do it. If you don't you will regret it later on. I am so glad you came forward to share with us. I felt like Peter was not given enough credit out there (internet, media) for how important he was to all of us. I didn't know he was gone till months after his death. I thought his death would have had more press coverage and there was nothing out there for awhile about it. I felt like I was groping in the dark for answers. He was a such an idol to all of us metalheads growing up in NY. But then again you can't help looking UP to Peter Steele he will always be a larger than life presences in my own life. Thank you

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  35. you cant blame elizabeth for introducing him to drugs. blame peter, blame fate.
    ive known people who were in a relationship with a partner who didnt do drugs but they still found a way to try it. i think its more of curiousity. people dont expect to get hooked or "sucked in"

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  36. This cut deep because I have a brother that's been doing drugs since he was fourteen...so the whole " The government planted a chip in my head and they can hear everything we're sayin'and look out there did you see the pumpkins walking across the yard, now it's hiding behind the tree is totally relatable.it's hard to see someone you love and look up to fall. I also lost a cousin who was like Peter, brilliant to the extreme, and totally devoid of self worth, to drugs and alcohol. It's hard to sit on the sidelines and "watch"...that's why the videos of Pete f'd up makes me sick to my stomach. I've been where you girls have been it's a totally helpless feeling.

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  37. Sending my deepest respect and support to those who've fought their way out of the Catch-22 of addictive substances. That's quite a battle to survive, and it's so easy to fall into it. Telling someone who's introduced one to an addictive drug, left a two day supply behind and shown up three days later, smiling, dangling the drug in the doorway to just 'f'-off is hard, even when one has not succumbed. 'Firing' the dealer who tried to hook me was hard, even when I understood his malicious intent and hadn't succumbed. It took years to forgive that guy. Thanking my lucky stars for having a spiteful streak and drug-savvy family. Not everyone has that sort of dumb luck.
    The abyss Pete climbed out of was very deep. He must've been incredibly strong to have accomplished it.

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  38. First, I want to thank you SO much for creating and maintaining this beautiful blog about Peter. Unfortunately I never got a chance to see TON live or meet them but I've been in love with the music for many years. You put Peter in such a positive light and it makes me happy to know he was loved so much by his family. From what I read above you wanted to know more about Elizabeth. I found this interview from a site called Casket Crew. The site has been around since "95/96."
    He does talk a little bit about his fear of relationships and about his 10 year relationship with someone who I'm sure is her.
    I don't know much about the interviewer and I'm not sure where the girl who runs the site found it from, but if you want more info I guess you could just email her from the site.

    Here is the link to CasketCrew and directly to the interview:

    http://www.casketcrew.com/media/interviews/lesas-interview-with-type-o-negative/

    Again, Thank You for keeping this up. The family stories are so hilarious and heartwarming.

    Heather

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  39. In 1994 I begged my Mother to let me go to my 1st concert, it was Type O Negative & Danzig at Sunken Gardens in SA, TX.... I was SO excited because my escape was/ is music.... and most of all as a 14 year old girl, Peter Steele was, and i hate to use this term but, "dreamy" as far as i was concerned... As a lover of music, I have followed the band ever since and was SO very devastated to learn of his passing... I have also lost a brother to addiction as well as other family members and friends. I watched my Father go through it for years and all I knew was I was doing everything in my power to help. He has had several health issues since getting clean and is a relatively young man... My point in all of my blabbering is that there are so many people out there who understand and have gone through what this family has... KNOW that you LOVED him and stood by him ALWAYS and that is what matters...and I suspect he always knew the same.

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  40. Thanks so much for this piece. Sadly like so many families and friends have to suffer this cross. Peter gave this world something only a few can claim. Those few are eterternal. When we are long gone some person will play and be touched by his music.

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