Tuesday, May 15, 2007

It Hurts.

There's this well inside of me, a reservoir of hurt. I can go to it at any point and pull out an offense and just hurt, hurt, hurt...

Last night, he started picking his face again. We had this plan to go look for jobs tonight, like for real this time, for him, and of course, he started trying to fuck his face up. Every time it's time to go get a job, he does something to make it impossible.

He has asked me to stop him when he starts picking at himself. So I told him he should stop, that we've got to go get a job for him today no matter what he does to his face. He didn't like it that I said that we have to get a job no matter what he does to his face. As if I'm being unreasonable for wanting him to get a job. He threatens to leave me because I nag or complain.

My boss said this morning that everyone she knows whose been with an addict and weathered the storm of getting clean with him or her ends up alone in the end. The addict always wants to get away from the person he or she has hurt...either the addict can't deal with the guilt and needs to start fresh, or the addict is so self-absorbed that he or she really feels wronged by the person who helped. It scares me that I'm going to support him through all this and he's going to leave me because he can't deal with all the things that he's done to hurt me.

Last night, I was lying in the bathtub, trying to relax, and suddenly, I found myself thinking of how he'd been lying to me that insane week when he kept taking more and more money from me...he and his junky friend just driving around all day with my check card, spending all my money on heroin. I don't know how to let those things go. I don't know how to pretend that they don't matter when they just do. I'm still very angry and very hurt.

For the first time in my life, I am in a relationship where I am completely honest. I have nothing to hide from him. It feels good, and it's such a wonderful gift to be able to give to someone. It's the most loving thing I've ever done. And it doesn't matter.

I want honesty, reciprocity, love...real love, the kind that you can feel. In my life, I've had it at moments, in small doses. The first husband loved me, but I don't think he liked me very much. I don't think he respected me. He wouldn't try to stop drinking, at all. He cheated and cheated and made an ass of me. And now, I have this mess.

There must be something so deeply flawed about me that I keep seeking out these relationships with people...with self-absorbed, unfeeling addicts. They love me, but they love to drink or shoot up more.


Wayward Son said...

I've come to understand this about myself. The person I was when I was using is not the same person I was before nor is it the same person I am now. Furthermore, the person I will be in a year will be vastly different from the person I am now with only 5 months of sobriety under my belt. When a person becomes happy and fulfilled after being unhappy and empty, they change. They want different things including people.

On the face of it and from what I have read so far, which is little, this is how I perceive your situation. Whether you realize it or not, your love for this person is enabling his addiction. If he cleans up, it will be something he does for himself. That's just the way it works. People change for themselves and not for others--no matter how much they may want to and there are no exceptions. It only sticks day in and day out when we do it for ourselves. If and when he decides to clean up, he will avoid all the situations that enabled him to use. Your love will most likely be one of those situations.

You seem to be expending a huge amount of energy on changing someone when the only person who can change him is himself.You also seem to be avoiding changing yourself and no one but you can do that. Probably you are avoiding changing yourself because there is no energy left after trying to change him. It can be a viscous circle, no? We have to put our own oxygen masks on first before we can help anyone else. Otherwise, we drown with the drowning, even if we know how to swim. (sorry, I am a metaphor junky)

Regardless of the comfort and support to be found in numbers, we are ALL in this alone. If we don't do our part for ourselves, it doesn't get done. When you decide you are worth it--and you most definitely are--you will do what is best for you. In doing that, you can help others much better because you will be leading by example. You will be showing the rest of the world how to have a fulfilling life and it will be believable because your life will be the proof. It will not be something that, like what I am saying now, is only words. Others, perhaps even your husband, will be able to do the same because of your example. It is almost certain that when you become a better, happier and more fufilled person, you will be the one who has changed and you will be the one who wants something different.

Most likely you have heard all this before. It's pretty universal and one does not even really have to know you to belive that it is true.

I say this with much love. You are being lazy by thinking if your husband would only do the work to change his life, you would be happy. I say this believing you are not a lazy person. I say this because I have been lazy about my own issues and I am not a lazy person. You must apply all your efforts to yourself first. It is hard. It will take a great deal of time. It means much sufferring. But it is the only way to go for any of us to find our purpose, be fulfilled and claim the joyful life we are all entitled to. It is the only way that hard work, heartache and the long effort will pay off--for you, for your husband and for all the others who will see that they too can have a good life after not having had one for so long.

Despite the plethora of platitudes I am offerring up here, I really mean this with all my heart. Become the person you want and that person will want you.


CindyB1 said...

Have you considered going to a therapist? I think it could help you help yourself. When you say, he picks at his face, does he make scabs or sores? This is a form of self mutilation and therapy may could help that as well. Good luck, stay strong!

BlunderingAlice said...

Hey there,
You may know of me from your correspondance with my boyfriend "BlankFrank" on craigslist.
He and I lived together for 7.5 years. When I finally moved out last year (because I knew I would not have the energy to continue giving him the emotional support he needed while dealing with my own health issues), things really changed. I did not feel comfortable with telling him up front that I was going (similar to your earlier posting about taking your husband to his mother's but not telling him about it right now). I felt terrible about doing it that way and the situation did not improve (for either of us) when he was laid off the very week that I was planning to move out. Thus, "Frank" ended up alone and jobless in our old apartment, hurt by me and everything else going on.
Despite this apparent "hitting bottom" last June, it is only recently that he has realized that what he thought of as his "crutch" was actually disabling everything instead of helping anything. During the time between my move and his decision to join NA, we continued to see each other, often as if nothing had changed, other times filled with angry attempts to actually communicate about our problems. (He also got a new job almost immediately after losing the one before). So, despite the huge changes in his life, it really seemed like business as usual with only my attempts to resolve our issues marring things once in a while (at least, that is way I see it).
Not once during any of our talks, no matter how bad the fight, did I say anything about him being addicted. I did tell him that I thought it very selfish of him to use something illegal in the same house that I am raising my child, as the law could take my child from me because of it. Joining NA, getting clean, all of that has been his idea (though I am 100% behind him and thoroughly grateful that he is doing so). And now everything about our relationship seems to be better. We are back to the wonder and joy of our initial relationship and enjoy each other's company and talk about the recovery (both of ours, mine from having a co-dependent past & emotional basketcase present).
But, to tell you the truth, one of the things that I think has helped us both a great deal, is being apart. We live separately right now and we have to make plans to see each other (though surprize visits are welcome). We each are getting to focus on the individual before the relationship, have space in which to do our own things, and the time together is made more special because it is more rare.
Though my basic brushstrokes paint everything as rosy, we are currently working very hard to achieve this beautiful picture (working both on ourselves and the relationship) and I have no idea if something like that would work for the two of you or cause another wound in the relationship. As it is, reading "wayward son's" comment has tickled that little fear of mine that has always told me "the only reason he has ever been with me is because he doesn't think he deserves better. Once he figures it out, I will no longer be desired."

So, this comment is not so much advice as it is my experience. Take from it anything that might help...

thejunkyswife said...

Thank you all for these long, lovely posts.

Aj said...

i would have to totally agree with wayward son. having been the addict and having been the enabler, I can say that everything he said holds water.

the things you are doing to try and help him, to try and get him to change with, he is using those things to manipulate you. i know b/c i have done this and i have had it done to me over and over again. when i was shooting up, when I was using the people i loved it wasn't b/c i didn't love them, it was b/c i knew I could. addicts take advantage of the people that enable them, simply b/c they can.

what really helped me change, and something i have since implemented in my most recent dysfunctional relationship were absolute unchanging rules. for instance my latest boyfriend. i used to go over to his house and he'd be obviously high, i'd be upset, he'd cry, he'd tell me how sorry he was and then he would do it all over again, knowing that if he said sorry and shed a tear, i'd feel such empathy for him that i'd let him get away with anything.

it got to the point where i told him "if i come over tonight and you are high, i am leaving, no crying explaining...whatever...i am just leaving. not mad not sad, just this is going to be the consequence of YOUR decision" so i would go over and he would be high and instead of crying or telling him how dissappointed i was or showing how this was killing me inside, i'd simply get in my car and go. these were the rules. it was really hard sometimes and a lot of times i thought it was easy for him to just watch me go. eventually though, he began to realize that i wasn't playing, and he began using less and less, so as to have me around more and more. i am still not "back together" with him full time, but the time i do spend with him is pretty drama free and he has been clean lately. i am not saying that it is this easy, i am not saying this is the answer. i am just saying that it can be so hard when you love someone not to enable them...but if you stand your ground and go on living your life choosing to do the right thing, time after time, they will notice. they might resent you at first...but they will notice.

i hated my parents for a year when i was not allowed to see my child. but i have been clean now for a year and let me tell you. they did the right thing. it was really tough love, wash my hands of you type of stuff...but today i, clean and sober...i know they loved me and were doing what they thought was best b/c nothing else worked.