ICE WAR: Ex-partner of addict opens up
ROCK climbing and beach trips were all too common when a Warwick woman first started dating the man she once loved.
He was thoughtful, cleaning her home in Brisbane after an overseas trip to make sure everything was perfect for her arrival.
"When I first met him it was fabulous, he just had normal values and I just had fun," she said.
The way things began, it's hard to imagine they ended with the woman thrown to the ground and kicked while her partner held their two-year-old daughter.
Ice addiction changed the man from a selfless partner into a paranoid and manipulative one.
The woman noticed warning signs two years into the relationship, when he started having heart problems.
The 29-year-old was pregnant and the man was also trying to cope with an unwell grandparent.
"He was so concerned about being the right father he was pushing himself to work harder and provide," she said.
Over two years the relationship deteriorated, so slowly the woman almost thought it was normal.
He isolated her, snapping her phone and calling her work to tell them she was sick.
She thought ice was the cause and asked numerous times - only to be told lies.
Since the relationship ended in June, he has confirmed he was in the grip of the drug.
"He'd sway from being lovely and nice, then would be erratic and over the top and angry as all hell when he wasn't getting his way."
Being thrown to the floor was the final straw, causing her to reach out to family and then professional services for help.
She moved back to Warwick a few weeks ago having researched ice to try to understand the ordeal she had been through.
She now sees the drug as a coping mechanism for people struggling with aspects of life.
"That drug is not set to one group," she said.
"People think it's kids running amok but I think people would be surprised with how many people are on it."
She says better education is needed to remove the stigma and enable those addicted to seek help.
"They need to make it more an illness because a lot of people don't know how to get off it and getting off is hard and painful," she said.
"It stops a lot of people getting help because they're doing the wrong thing.
"They need to know there's light at the end of the tunnel."