Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Heartless vs. Worthless

On Wednesdays, I have quite a long day. I work from 8:00 until noon, take a yoga break, and then go back to work from 2 until around 9. I get home, and then I have my online step meeting. It's a long day. I need a lot of sleep, and I protect my sleep like a mother bear protects her cubs.

This morning, my husband wanted a ride to the methadone clinic. I only just found out that he's gone back on methadone, as he'd been hiding it and lying to me about it for a while, so the methadone clinic is a touchy point for me. The car, sleep, and me giving up my basic needs to fulfill his immature needs are all big boundaries. He's got a cold, and he wasn't feeling well this morning, but I have made it clear to him that I am not giving up two hours of my sleep to drive him back and forth to the methadone clinic, which is only a ten minute walk from our house. I'll gladly give him a ride if he wants to wait until I'm awake, but I'm not getting up early to do it for him. No. Never. Not at all. No more. These are boundaries it took me months to establish, and I'm not giving in.

He threw a world-class fit at 6:00 a.m. It astonishes me. I understand he didn't want to walk, but I didn't want to get up. I'm going to respect my wants more than his now, and man, that really pisses him off. He slammed doors, screamed, and broke a picture frame.

I couldn't quite hear what he said as he was slamming out of the house, but it was either, "I guess you'll just be a heartless fucking bitch until the day you die!" or "I guess you'll just be a worthless fucking bitch until the day you die!" I wish I knew which it was.

"Heartless," according to the Oxford English Dictionary, first means literally "Without a heart." I do have a heart, as I feel it beating when I climb stairs or when I get really anxious, so that can't be what he meant. The second definition might be accurate: "Destitute of courage, enthusiasm, or energy; spiritless; out of heart, disheartened, dejected." I'm certainly feeling drained of energy and disheartened. I'm tired of this life. I thought I'd found a way out, but then he came back home. The next non-obsolete definition is: "Destitute of feeling; lacking in affection or friendliness; callous, unfeeling, unkind, cruel." I think this is what he was referring to, if he did indeed say "heartless," and I have to disagree. I'm not lacking in feeling or affection. I'm not cruel or unkind. I may be becoming a bit callous to him, as the soft parts of me have been rubbed raw in his disease, but I've felt my heart swelling and swelling to the point of bursting with all the feelings I've got.

"Worthless," on the other hand, means "destitute of material worth; having no intrinsic value." I am not worthless to him in this way, as I'm his meal ticket. I have a lot of material worth to my husband. The second definition is "Lacking worth or merit; destitute of moral character; contemptible, despicable." I suppose that my refusal to fulfill my husband's every need might make me contemptible or despicable to him, but that seems unfair, as he's not fulfilling many of my needs, and I find him neither contemptible nor despicable.

It makes me sad that my husband is in such a bad place. I'm sorry that he has to say awful things to me. If he dislikes me so much, I wish he'd leave my home and give me some peace. I've offered to compromise with him and to give him an opportunity to show me that he can do better than he's done, but this morning's outburst was really, really ugly. I cannot continue to let him treat me like I'm not worthy. I'm a good woman and a good wife, and I've stood by his side through one of the ugliest experiences a person can go through. I've born the brunt of his addiction's havoc, and I'm not going to go on indefinitely waiting for him to wake up and stop hurting me. I love him, but I can't live this way.