Thursday, March 29, 2007
He's supposed to be getting tested for hepatitis today. I am trying not to fret, and I'm trying not to be angry.
About a week ago, I mentioned the possibility that he could have HIV or hepatitis, and he blew up at me--he found ways to accuse me of being a whore, of being racist, or being unfair to him, of kicking him while he was down...it was a really ugly scene. "You've had other men's cocks inside of you! Maybe you have hepatitis! Maybe you have AIDS!"
As usual, he convinced me that I'd wronged him, that I'd been unfair, and that I was the one who was in the wrong. He told me that he'd promised he'd never shared a needle and that he'd always taken special precautions to protect my health and wellbeing. I tried to explain to him that I was not going to be able to believe him. He'd lied to me about everything in his life, stolen from me, and recklessly disregarded his own health and wellbeing and the feelings of everyone who love him in order to keep getting high, and it was difficult for me to believe that he wouldn't share a needle if it were the only way he could get high. And still, he promised he hadn't done it, ever.
I believed him, and cancelled the test that I'd scheduled for myself for hepatitis and HIV. I'd not intended to cancel it permanently, just to move the test from the Planned Parenthood to the local health department, as the test at Planned Parenthood was going to cost me something like $150, and I'd hoped the health department would be cheaper. I'd really meant to go take care of the testing, but he had been so adamant. I believed him, and put it off.
For the last several days, he has been extremely lethargic. When we had our barbeque on Sunday, after everyone left, he went to bed at 6 and didn't get up until the next day at noon, and that was only with strong provocation from me. I did some research yesteray, and I found a little article on www.heroinhelper.com suggesting that there is a secondary withdrawal after the acute withdrawal...that after the intense period of physical pain as the body cleanses itself of heroin, there is a longer period of psychological recovery that sometimes takes months to complete. I'd thought that perhaps this explained his present state--his weakness and whininess, his seeming inability to do anything.
He has been staying at his parents' house for the last few days, however, and his dad has suggested that he could have hepatitis. His father, who also had messed around with heroin for a while in his youth, had a bout of hepatitis when my husband was a small child. His mother remembers some of that period, and she talked to me about it a little last night. I did a little research on the internet when I got home last night, and apparently hepatitis spreads very easily, and even if he has never shared a needle, he might have shared a spoon, a tourniquet, a filter, or any of the other endless accoutrements of heroin use, and a tiny amount of infected blood could have found its way into one of his needles.
I don't know how afraid I should be for my own health. Apparently if hepatitis is caught early enough, it isn't likely to be fatal or to have many ramifications. We haven't been having sex. We have had sex once in the last two months, and maybe only 3 or 4 times this whole year. However, we were having sex somewhat more regularly before his addiction really spiraled out of control in February, and regardless of sexual contact, we share a toilet. We share a shower. We share a toothbrush when we are at his parents' house or if one of ours is missing or old. We drink and eat after one another. I am certainly at risk if his test turns up positive, and I don't have health insurance...I'm pretty frightened.
Somehow, though, in spite of feeling afraid, I woke up this morning in such a good mood. I was home without my husband or the puppy, and it was so nice to get up and talk to my cats, make breakfast, watch a little television, and get dressed leisurely. My cats meowed, I talked to them, and I pet them and enjoyed their fuzzy fatness. It was nice to have a good morning to myself...however, there is a part of me that is saddened by my serenity. It means I've lost something. I've lost that deep attachment I had to my husband, that feeling that I had the one or two times we spent nights apart. I've lost the urgent need to sleep next to him, the urgent need to feel his body close to mine while I'm resting, the tinge of sadness at waking up alone, without him. I still love waking up next to him, but it's not like it was, and I wonder if it ever will be again.
I hate lost innocence.
I suppose that in the long run it is good for me to realize that I can live without him, that indeed I must be able to since he seems sometimes to be hellbent on killing himself. I have to be able to live alone and be satisfied with myself, be able to soothe and please myself, and I know that I can. I just wish things had been better for him so that they could have been better for us. That deep sense of connection I felt for him was unlike anything I've ever felt for another person, and it really could have been a beautiful thing...
There's a lyric in a Fiona Apple song "Oh Sailor" (how corny am I? Blogging and quoting a Fiona Apple song...), "Oh what a thing to know what could be instead/ oh, what a blessed curse to see..."
I'm going to go listen to that song now.