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.