Wednesday, March 19, 2008


"I don't get any support from you. It makes it hard to recover. You won't let me have any victories. You want everything fixed in the next 24 hours."

I'd gotten home from a long, long day at work, and he told me he'd gotten another part time job. He also told me he'd not gone to the part-time job he needed to go to in order to be able to buy his methadone the next day. I began detaching, lovingly, from the upcoming day without methadone, and said, "That's great. This new job could be a good opportunity. I hope it works out for you."

Apparently, my response wasn't effusive enough. If I'd been doing it right, I would have told him to wait a minute while I ran into the bedroom to change into my cheerleader uniform, and returned to say, "Oh, baby! That's wonderful! You got a job! Wow! Let me pay for your methadone for the rest of this week to celebrate!"

But you see, I've retired my cheerleader attire. After the fourth or fifth job that he diligently went to, filled out an application, and was given a start date that he blew off, I stopped getting very excited about these possibilities. It would be great if he got a job. It would be great if he'd support himself, even in a bigger way than paying for his own medicine. I'd be thrilled to have an actual partner, actually participating in the grown-up work of maintaining our household. If he puts a paycheck in my hand, maybe then I'll do a couple of cartwheels for him. (And really...even's kind of what people do. People put their paychecks in the bank and then pay bills. It's what he used to do before heroin turned him into a large, expensive toddler. It shouldn't be something to celebrate.)

But for now, it's hard to muster up much more enthusiasm than, "That's great. This new job could be a good opportunity. I hope it works out for you." That's the best I can do.

His words hurt me, deeply. No matter how many times I tell myself it's just another tin foil hat, that it's not about me, that he's just talking crazy-ass addict hurts. I know I'm supportive. I know I've been patient for a year, for over a year now, and that the bit about 24 hours is just plain madness. I know I'm kind and compassionate and good to this man...good to him beyond what is reasonable. Knowing these things, I'm still hurt when he says I'm not.

It also makes me afraid. For the first time in a while, he's cobbled together a few weeks of clean time, and I have come to know that his need to blame me, to blame anyone, to turn the energy of his inner turmoil outside and on to the nearest target is a warning sign of relapse. I hope it's not where we're headed.