If you missed part one of my Living With an Addict, you might want to read it first.
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 myself- 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.
I told him from the beginning how against drug use I was, and that it was one thing I would never tolerate. Why did I feel the need to repeatedly tell him this over the years? I have never felt the need to say that to my current husband. I believe deep down I knew. Way deep down someplace that I could not reach at the time. I knew he had an addictive personality. I knew that he lied and I witnessed it over and over again. I also knew that he liked to party. But when you are young, lots of people party, right?
He assured me he had never tried drugs except for pot. That really doesn’t count, right? I didn’t think so, and to some degree, for some people, I still believe that. But looking back, I think that was a lie too. Years went by before the addiction came along. But they weren’t good years, at all. We did not have a happy marriage, ever. There was a lot of him going out without me, and coming home in the wee hours of the morning, or not at all. There was a lot of me begging him and pleading with him not to go out. A lot of fighting and screaming, followed by apologizing, begging me for forgiveness, and a brief honeymoon period. There was a lot of emotional abuse. “I deserved to be beaten, I was a prude, all of my friends think you are such a bitch, why don’t you shut that hole underneath your nose, no one else will ever love you, you are too high maintenance”. Need I go on, or do you get the picture? It was a constant mirage of beating me down and making me feel like I could not do any better. That way, if I felt that way, I would never leave him, right?
I cannot fail to mention that he was brilliant. The most brilliant mind I have known. He was also tall, dark, and handsome. Not to mention charismatic. And the life of the party. And very successful. He made a lot of money. I would have never guessed in a million years that my life would turn out the way it did. Everyone who knew him would tell you the same. They never saw it coming.
The first time I suspected drug use was on New Year’s Eve, in probably 1994. We were at a party. It was a house party some friends of ours were having. I could not find him for a while, so I went searching. I walked into a closed door of a bedroom and there he was. There were people sitting around snorting cocaine. But he was not snorting it that I saw. I completely lost it. He swore to me that he was just curious and never tried it. His friends all swore to me that he didn’t. I insisted that we leave the party, and we did, but not without a huge fight. I went ahead and took his word for it because I didn’t see him doing it. Naive, right?
Not long after that I became pregnant with our first child. It was New Year’s Eve again, and I was almost 6 month pregnant. He wanted to go back to that same party at that same friend’s house. I refused to go because one, I was pregnant, two, I knew there were drugs there the previous year. I begged him and pleaded with him to stay with me and we could do something low key. He went to the party anyway, without me. Are you surprised? To this day, I will never forget how that made me feel. That party was more important to him than his pregnant wife. I would bet any amount of money now that he was already using drugs at that point in our marriage. But I didn’t believe that at the time.
Stay tuned in if you would like to read more about my life living with an addict. You can always find the links to this story on the page titled Living With Addiction. Thank you to those who are reading this story. It is a true account, from my perspective. This was my life.