WAUSAU (WAOW)--Angel Fremming's story started out as a happy one, but took a terrifying turn when she says her dad and ex-step mom began using and making meth.
She says they'd spent their nights getting high in the family's barn and their days sleeping. That left 7-year-old Angel to run the household, caring for her baby sister and five-year-old brother.
"If I wasn't willing to do it, then nobody else was going to do it," says Fremming.
Angel's says her 16-year-old brother wasn't much help; he too, was busy in the barn. "My dad taught my brother how to make meth," says Fremming.
This scenario is all too common for Special Narcotics Agent, Dave Forsythe. He responds to clandestine labs and rescues meth's innocent victims. He sees how parent's put their addiction before their kids.
"You're actually a mother to small children and yet you're thinking I need to get my fix so bad that I'm not as concerned about these kids and I'm going to hide the meth lab in the kids bedroom because the police will be a lot less likely to find it in there," says Agent Forsythe.
Poisonous chemicals can destroy a child's health but the mental and emotional abuse can tear apart their soul. Social Worker, Liz Hinds, met with local children raised by meth users. She says a parent's words can make life unbearable.
"It's your fault, and get out of the way and stay out of the way. It was a sense like not being a person," explains Hinds.
"When I told the counselor that I felt like dying, because I felt like no one was listening to me, she calls him up and he gets mad. And he runs upstairs and he chokes me and he's like, if you want to die, I'll kill you myself," says Fremming.
Parents who use meth in the home give their kids no choice but to feel its dangerous side effects. They can inhale it through second-hand smoke or accidentally ingest it.
"There is a pacifier and it gets into this powder and knocked onto the floor and the crawling baby puts it in its mouth," says Forsythe.
For a child of a meth user, there are no luxuries.
"No birthday parties. Christmas? Absolutely not. That Christmas they did not have one gift because it all went to the drugs," says Hinds.
Buying another fix takes priority over food and proper clothing.
Hinds says users are often on the move partly because rent money goes to meth. "We ended up living in Eau Claire again, in a hotel room with two beds. It was pretty crowded," explains Fremming.
Hinds says, "I think transferring 6 schools in what seven months, makes it very difficult to establish friendships. I think the other part was that they didn't want anyone to know what their life was like"
It can be a lonely world for an innocent child thrown into a home of drugs.
"We were suffering together, as a family," adds Fremming.
If you suspect a child is living in a drug endangered home, experts urge you to pick up the phone. You can make an anonymous call to police or social services and save someone's childhood.
Please click on the link for more information on Drug Endangered Children.http://www.wisconsindec.org/