AKA – Addiction is addiction is addiction
So, I love me some addicts. And I am one. My drugs of choice are sugar and flour. My first husband took a certain other white substance to addiction, and my current husband is (thank the Good Lord) almost at 5 years clean and sober from drugs and alcohol.
I’m pretty sure it’s that I want to “fix” them.
or at least I did. It took many years of Al-Anon (the 12 step program for family and friends of alcoholics/addicts) and reaching my own bottom to realize that I can’t. I can only “fix” me. I still slip into old patterns. I get scared. When you live in a life that’s constantly chaotic – that becomes comfortable.
I did give up on my first marriage.
When I was pregnant with my oldest I found out he was an addict. Then, I found out he was (still) addicted when I was pregnant with my younger daughter and I was OUT. I felt like being a “good wife” was making me a “bad mother”. I was on the verge of foreclosure and bankrupt. I had no heat, and my daughters beta fish was frozen in it’s vase. We lived in the one upstairs bedroom with a space heater. When a cop showed up and wanted to speak with him, I went to my parents house and asked for help to move me and my daughter out.
I was embarrassed, and felt like a failure.
I felt like I certainly shouldn’t have to ask my parents to bail me out yet again. I had a government job, a house in my name – all the things that on the outside looked like I was “ok”.
I had become a really good faker.
At least I thought I was!!! I’m sure now that there were folks that could see right thru the smile into the wound where my heart used to be. I felt as if I’d failed – Again. I’m not sure why I had this voice in my head telling me I was a failure. That I wasn’t good enough, and never would be… It would be a few more years before I got the answer. So, it will be farther into the story before I share it with you! (insert groaning here). Fast forward a year or so…
I faked the confidence, and snagged me a man.
This man – he was charming. He had these eye crinkles that just showed his smile went deep. He was also an alcoholic, who’s father was an alcoholic. I actually met his dad first, but I want to save that story for another time…
I remember telling my parents – “it’s not like I’m going to marry the guy”. About a month later, he cleaned out my bank account. And I stayed. He cleaned out my kids piggy banks. And I stayed. He went to jail. And I stayed.
I recall a guy telling me when I was uber preggo with my younger daughter – probably 6 months before I met D. – “You’d be a great catch, but you have 2 kids. One can be considered a mistake, but 2 – that’s baggage”. Some friend, eh? But even to this day I remember that… Careful with your words folks… They can cut pretty deep. In fact, I have some apologizing to do for my own harsh words (and again, that’s another post).
The only constant was my job.
Work was something I had control over. I had the ability to make decisions, be fiscally responsible with over a half a million dollars in grants, and eventually manage a department and supervise 4 people. But it wasn’t going to last forever. Of course, now I can see that was for the best.
Next time – Part 4 – Betrayal.
Feel free to share with your friends – I’m starting to think I should have named this series “The Saga of My Life” it’s almost like a soap opera! – We all know someone that can relate!