Wednesday, June 27, 2007

When There Is No Bottom.

While talking to my husband's sister this weekend, she mentioned how hurt she was that he'd taken her money during the big, nasty epoch of active addiction before I found his needles this past February. He'd told her he needed money to get my my birthday present, a really beautiful ring that I wear as my wedding ring, and she agreed to loan him the money because the sentiment was so sweet. She is younger than him, and while they were growing up, he often acted as her protector, caring for her while their parents were disappearing to get high and attempting to keep her from knowing what was going on. She was really hurt. She's said before that he practically raised her, and his manipulation of her affection and trust was a real violation.

I know my husband loves his little sister, dearly. I know he loves me. But when he's using, he loves heroin more. It scares me to think how the addiction will take him to places he wouldn't have gone before. Before heroin, he wouldn't have done anything to hurt her. Now he will.

Addiction has lead him to pretty scary places, and it makes it very difficult to trust him. I want to be able to trust him, but I've seen him lie so brazenly, cheat the people who care most about him, break laws, and completely disregard his own health and safety. He's been in jail, and that didn't stop him.

Even now when he's not in active addiction, I don't trust him, at all. Because I've seen him go to these dark places, I know that it's in his repertoire. There are certain things that I'd never do simply because I don't want them in my repertoire. I won't cheat on him, for instance, because I've seen the slippery slope of cheating in my last relationship. Once it's started, it's always there, always possible.

When I let myself think of the things that are possible for him, it scares the hell out of me. I try not to think.

The balance you have to strike in living with an addict is quite precarious...I have this idea of being vigilant, but being vigilant over my things, my boundaries, and my self-respect can very easily, on a bad day, degenerate into me fretting over whether or not he's using. When I work to protect my boundaries and deny him things that he wants in order to keep myself from feeling put-upon, it is easy to slip into criticizing him or otherwise acting out about my hurt feelings if I'm having a bad day.

This is hard.

10 comments:

jungle jane said...

yeah. that would be real hard. no-one is more cunning than a drug addict. "monkey on the back" is a really, really good description...

the title of this post is interesting - heroin addiction co-dependence. i wonder about that. but i don't know you well enough to ask more...

longvowels said...

It is very hard. everyday. It's hard for me to hear go through it casue I just wanna fix it for you.
like I know how.

Married to My Ex said...

The nail has been hit on the head. Trust is so damn important and once it has been nearly killed it is hard to bring back to life. Sometimes you don't even want it to because it hurts too much to have it killed again. God, it sucks that I know so much about how you feel when you write this. Maybe I will get another kitten and make myself happy! lol

Wayward Son said...

Trust issues, though incredibly difficult to overcome with addicts, are not in any way limited to addicts. I think you know that. Perhaps that is your purpose here. To constructively learn how to inhabit a place of trust. Perhaps in your next incarnation this will not be an issue if you resolve it in this one. I'm reading The Seth Material by Jane Roberts. Can you tell?

WS

Brain Dead Genius said...

First I'd like to say that I really love your the way your words communicate feelings. I am the addict who for so long was very untrustworthy. I don't want to sound cliche but miracles happen - I have been clean for a few years and simply by working on me, trust has been restored in many areas of my life (Just for today, I trust myself not to go and suddenly screw everything up like I have so many times before). The tables have been turned on me, now I struggle with trusting people that I sponsor who are chronic relapsers - I think I am just trying to protect my feelings, but I just keep reminding myself that (1.) There is power in prayer - I believe that somebody's prayers brought me to this 12 step program & (2) Time (helps) to heal all wounds - given enough time (and good behavior) we can forgive (& forget?) just about anything.

Brain Dead Genius said...

Your words have such an effect on my emotions - i laugh, i frown and i sometimes shudder. I am the miracle. The addict who has regained the trust of many, not all. Despite years in recovery. I sponsor young men who are chronic relapsers and I sometimes have difficulty trusting them - I don't want to keep getting hurt/disappointed. My wife also relapsed a few times and my trust in her was damaged. But given sufficient time and progress on the path of recovery and my trust in my wife has been restored as if nothing ever happened & hopefully the same will happen with the guys that I sponsor (if they ever figure out how to stay on the path).

THE ANiTOKiD said...

It must really be difficult. Hang in there, my friend!

By the way, I just joined your MyBlogLog community! Faved you on Technorati - hope you join my community and fave me back too :)

Added you in my Mama Links blogroll too!

Hope this brings a smile, even a small one....:)

Mabuhay! AnitoKid at www.anitokid.blogspot.com

The link is at http://anitokid.blogspot.com/2007/06/new-friends-and-higher-traffic-via.html

Recovering Wino said...

Think of it this way: you are either in active addiction or you are in active recovery.

There is no in between area...it is all still addiction. If the substance isn't in the picture for awhile, it is still active addiction.

Unless the addict is working towards recovery.

Mary P Jones (MPJ) said...

The dark places that addicts can go in their addiction are scary and crazy. It has been so hard for me to reconcile the good person I know my husband to be with the insane and hurtful things he has done...

E. said...

My behavior mimics that of your husband's so closely it's scary. But it's not just me, it is every addict. We lie, we manipulate, steal, and we even believe our own shit. I think if G wants to gain your trust, if it is important to him as it is to me, he needs to do 2 things, the same 2 things I am beginning to do. First, I am working on myself, I am taking an active role in my recovery, not just being sober, but working on being sane. The second, and most important, is he needs to be completely transparent. This means that he must not hide anything from you, if you wish to read his email, look through his wallet, dig through his personal things, this should be okay. It is incredibly hard to allow someone this freedom, to be completely exposed, but if I have nothing to hide, then I have nothing to hide, and I owe her at least that much.