There is a huge part of my life that only people who really know me know about. It is not that I am unwilling to talk about it, because I am willing, it is just that it is not something that I shout from the rooftops. I do not consider myself a private person. I am a huge talker and I love to share my thoughts, that is the counselor in me. There is a period in my life, from the year 1990- 2002 for the most part, that were very influential on my entire life. These years brought me some of the happiest days of my life, great joy, my two oldest children were born! But in many ways they were also my darkest days. The most disappointing days. But they were the days that taught me the most, made me the strongest, and showed me what I was made of. Looking back, I would not change a thing. I believe that what happened to me was a blessing in disguise. In more ways than one.
Unless you have either had a family member that was an addict, or been an addict yourself, it is almost impossible to understand this wretched disease. I want to tell you that I was married to an addict. I have two children with an addict. I escaped that life within an inch of mine, emotionally. Ever since I came through that dark tunnel on the other side (and I still go back in there on some days), I have always known in my heart that I would write about it. That is just me. I have a need to write about my experiences, from my perspective. I have thought about it for many years now, but I have never found the time. And then this blog happened. And ever since I started this blog, probably before, I have known there would come a day that I would work this in somehow.
That time is now. I have hesitated in a way because I know what I am writing is going to be painful for some people. People whom I love. People whom I respect. People whom I don't want to hurt. People who are private people and don't want their personal lives to be public. To those people, I know your pain, and I hope that you will respect my choice. I say to you that I am not going to use names, in hopes of protecting you. There will be people who read this, and who know who we are. But the people who know who we are already know, don't they? They just haven't seen it in writing. But trust me, they have talked plenty about it, maybe not to our faces, but they have. That is human nature.
To the people who are reading this and have lived through the agony along with me, please know that I love and respect you all. But I have to live my life for myself, I have to do what makes me happy, I have to do what I need to do to somehow muddle through this life. I feel that putting this in writing is going to be therapeutic for me. I believe that. I also believe that I have knowledge and experience that will help someone out there who is going through this or has gone through it, or will go through it in the future. I feel that putting this in writing might help someone understand, who desperately needs to understand. It might help a desperate soul go to sleep at night. It might help my children understand one day when they are all grown up. And some might say they never need to know these things. To those people I say they already know. They have lived a lifetime of it so far. They might not know the details, and to a point in their lives they shouldn't know the details. But one day they will be grown adults, and I believe they will want to know, and they will deserve to know, and that they will thank me for putting this in writing. It is part of who they are. It is the fabric of their lives.
So here is what I plan to do. This is going to be a page on my blog. I am going to add to it whenever the mood strikes me to write about it. It might not be in any particular order. A certain memory or experience may rise to the surface for some reason, and that may be what I write about. I need to do this before my memories fade into the abyss. I am not going to advertise this page or promote it. Only people who are actually on my blog and come across it will know it exists. Only people who click on the link will read it. If you are one of the people who are going to be hurt or upset by what is contained on this page, I would suggest that you not read it. If you do choose to read it, get some tissues and prepare to cry. Let it be known that this is going to be difficult to read. It is going to be hurtful, and you might feel like you are living it all over again. This is not rainbows and sunshine, it is the farthest thing from it. It is up to you if you want to put yourself through that pain all over again. I won't apologize for writing this though, because it is my truth, my life, and I have the right to tell my story. It is going to be painful for me to write, I can tell you that much right now. I will shed tears, I will hurt. But I will document this part of my life that I feel needs to be documented. It could not possibly hurt me any more than living through it hurt me, and I am a survivor.
I have discussed this with my husband. He supports me. If he chooses to read this page, he is going to learn things about my life that he does not know. To Jason, I say to you that I love you. In a way, you saved my life. You took in a woman who had two small children, and you gave us love, and a family, and I owe you the world for that. You are the best man I know, and I know that after what I had been through in my life, God sent you to me. You are my rainbow after the storm. I don't know what I did to deserve you, but I thank God for you. I hope reading this will help you to understand me, to see why I sometimes have a hard outer shell. That sometimes happens to victims of abuse. I consider myself one of those. And thank you for supporting me in the things I do in my life. I could not ask for more.
If you are reading this paragraph, you have obviously decided to read about my experiences of living with an addict, loving an addict, and having children with an addict. I don't know why you are here. Maybe it is curiosity, maybe you live with an addict. Maybe you know someone who does. Maybe you yourself are an addict. But whatever the reason, I hope you will get something from reading about my experiences. I hope that you will get whatever it is that you need. If my words help one person in this world, I am good with that. I don't know when I will be back to write more, but I will be back. I believe I am on the brink of putting this behind me in a way that I have never done. I pray that God will give me the words, and the memories, to do justice to what I have to share. Because it is powerful.
Living With An Addict- Part 2
Just to give you some background about myself, I am a middle school counselor. I have my MA in School counseling, and my BS in psychology. I have taken classes about addictions. But my real life experiences in living with an addict have taught me more than I ever could have learned in school. Am I an expert on addictions? Far from it! My goal here is two part: To document a very influential and life changing part of my life- for my children- and to possibly help others who might benefit from reading my story.
I met him in 1990. I did not see the red flags then, and by the time I did, it was way past too late. He told me two crucial lies on the day we met. I found out about these lies a couple of months into the relationship, and I brushed them off. I came to know over the course of years, that he was a chronic liar. I firmly believe now that there were underlying mental and personality issues that went unnoticed or undiagnosed, that lead him down the road he travelled. I am talking about my ex husband.
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Living With An Addict- Part 3
My ex husband is an addict. If you have ever loved or lived with someone who is an addict, this story will seem familiar to you. Every time I come face to face with a family member or loved one of an addict, I see the same look in their eyes. It is the look of hopeless desperation, of powerlessness. Because you can not WISH a drug addict well. There is nothing you can do but watch them destroy themselves. Only that individual can save themselves, if they have the desire and the strength. Most never do. Drug addiction is an epidemic in America today, and I am sharing my story of being married to an addict. As I told you before, our marriage was never good. I am sure there were good times, but after it was finally over, the marriage I mean, there were so many bad memories, and I was so traumatized, that it is no longer possible for me to remember anything good.
I can be a big enough person to say that I was probably not a perfect wife, and I can take partial responsibility for the the fact that we had a bad marriage. Lots of people have bad marriages. But I take zero responsibility for the fact that he turned to drugs for some reason. For as long as I live I will never understand why he did it. He was brilliant, handsome, successful, and had a wonderful family. I will forever feel that using drugs was a choice that he knowingly made. Yes, addiction is a disease. But why does an educated person, knowing that drugs destroy lives, go ahead and start using crack? Yes, that was his drug of choice. Why does someone do that? So, although drug addiction is a disease, I will forever blame him for having this disease because he chose to use drugs. This, I cannot understand, nor will I ever understand it.
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Living With An Addict- Part 4
I keep thinking about where I should go with this true story. There are so many memories jumbled up in my mind. Some of them are fleeting, some are not. The memories, they come and go, sometimes in a dream. One memory that has popped into my mind a few times lately is a time back in probably 1997 or 1998. I so wish I would have kept a diary back then! But in this particular memory, one of my first cousins was graduating from high school. I was going to the graduation, and in the meantime, my husband went over to my best friend's house to pick her up, and they were going to a local restaurant/bar to wait for me. I was to meet them there afterwards.
When I arrived, he was three sheets to the wind. He was acting really bizarre. My BFF tells me that he got into her muscle relaxers! She said he popped several of them! He was in her bathroom and found them and just helped himself. She was not happy about this, she said he never asked permission, he just told her he took them afterward. So he took them, and then he goes out and drinks! I was so mad at him. It was that night that I knew he could not be trusted around prescription medication. We had a huge fight about that, but that was nothing new. Nothing new at all. I am trying to recall these things in some semblance of order, to try to help you understand the sequence of events, or how things started. What were my first signs that there was a problem?
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Living With An Addict- Part 5
If this is the first time you have read this story, you might want to start from the beginning by clicking here.
This is a true story about my experience being married to, and having two children with, an addict. It was the worst thing I have ever went through, and it affected my life for the rest of my life. It changed my children, who they were supposed to be. Everyone has their struggles, but I truly believe that some of the struggles my children continue to have are a direct result of the fact that their father is an addict.
Today I am going to tell you about the worst part, the period of time when I became aware that something really bad was happening. But I still wasn't sure what it was. There were many little things here and there that happened before this, and I have already mentioned some of them. But my memories are starting to fade and get jumbled up, so I am writing about things as my memories come. The downhill spiral became painfully obvious during my pregnancy with my son, who is now 13 years old. I was very aware during that time that something was drastically wrong. At the time, my then husband worked at a bank as a mortgage loan originator, and he was doing exceptionally well. He was a very hard worker, a brilliant man, charming, and successful. But he had a fatal flaw. He was prone to addiction, and everything in his life started to unravel during that pregnancy.
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