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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.
To this day, I still feel somewhat in the dark about the details of what happened, because he tried his very best to keep it a secret from me, and he did a pretty darn good job. Because I did not realize what was happening until it was too late. I remember him being very disconnected. He would stay out all night long. He would not answer his cell phone, he would turn it off, he would go out into our detached garage and hole up in there. He covered all of the windows with newspaper, he changed the lock on the door. He would literally stay out in that garage all night long. For the 30-60 days leading up to me finding out that he was definitely an addict, he stayed in that garage all night long every single night. I would go and bang on the door and beg him to open the door and to come in the house. He would ignore me. He became “ill” several times, to the point that he would lie in bed for days and would barely be able to get up. He would say he had strep throat or this or that illness. But the illnesses were to frequent and I thought it was very fishy. I now know that he was trying to stop the drugs on his own and was going through withdrawals.
I would come home from work and find him lying on the sofa asleep when he was supposed to be at work. He would say that he didn’t have any appointments so he didn’t have to be in the office. He was acting paranoid. For instance, a man was walking down the street one day, and he got extremely paranoid. Like this man was out to get us. He closed all the curtains and blinds, and was acting very strange. Like that man was coming up our driveway to kill us all. It kind of freaked me out that he was acting like that. I became very upset.
Mind you, I was pregnant! My ex was a financial genius. He had no debt whatsoever, and he was just extremely good with money. We had a large sum of money invested in mutual funds for the children to use for college. We had very little to no debt. He did not use credit cards, and when he did he paid them off every month. I got the mail one day and there was a discover card bill, which I mistakenly thought was mine. I accidentally opened it, and there was a balance of $13,000.000!!! I was shocked! It was his bill, not mine! When I asked him about it he became very angry and very defensive and would not discuss it. I knew then that there was a major problem. He would never charge that much, not in his right mind!
During my pregnancy, he really could not have cared less about me, but he was still at times maintaining some semblance of normalcy. He still had a job, he still took our daughter to pre school every other day. But over the course of that nine months, things just slowly disintegrated. I remember him being gone all night on several occasions. I remember sitting at the kitchen table just watching for his headlights for hours upon hours. Calling his cell phone until he would finally just turn it off and it would go straight to voice mail. Horrendous fights over him staying out all night. One morning in particular, after he had been out all night, I found a stack of $1 bills. He admitted to having visited a strip club.
I will never forget when my son was born. I went into the hospital to be induced, and we discovered that my son was breech. We had to have a C-section! My husband was so detached that day, like he had no desire to even be there. Like he did not even know me or care that he was getting ready to have a baby. He didn’t want to go down to surgery with me! I forced him to, and he did, but he was emotionally detached the entire time. After my son was born, I was placed on a morphine drip. When I was finally brought up from recovery and given a room, I had a bunch of visitor’s. He didn’t even want to stay in the room with our company or me. He kept wandering off and disappearing. All of a sudden, when my epidural wore off completely, I was in excruciating pain! I have never felt pain like that in my entire life. I started shaking uncontrollably and I thought I was going to die. I had to ask everyone visiting to leave.
My husband did spend the night at the hospital with me, because I practically forced him to. But it was a big mistake on my part because he was not there for me that night. I spent the entire night in the most excruciating pain, and begging him to help me or to call the nurse, or help me turn over or change positions. He became angry at me for disturbing his sleep and told me not to wake him up again, to call the nurse if I needed help. I kept telling the nurse that something was very wrong, and she wouldn’t listen. She kept repeating that she warned me that having a C-section was very painful! In the morning, when a new nurse cam on duty, and I told her what had been going on. She took me off the morphine drip and gave me a pill. My pain almost immediately became manageable. But that night was the worst night of my life and my husband laid on his cot and did not want to be disturbed. I knew that night that he did not love me. Something had changed. He no longer cared about me or my well being. The person I knew was already gone, and I just didn’t know it yet.
By the way, that last paragraph was the moment in writing this story that broke me down into tears. It happens every time I sit down to write another part of this story. So far, I haven’t gotten through one of these without crying, and that last paragraph did it for me. Because in writing those words, I realized how true they were, and that I really never saw the man I married again after that. He was gone, never to return. I no longer knew him. He was not the person I thought he was. He changed, drastically. He left eh hospital the day after my son was born, and rarely returned during my 3 day hospital stay. On the day we were to go home, he was an hour late to pick us up. An hour late to take home his wife and his newborn baby. That is how little he cared. From that point on, he was a stranger to me. But that is not the end of the story, it is really still only the beginning.
Again, thank you for reading my story. This is a story that I have chosen to write about a very painful time in my life. I am writing it for healing, of myself and my children. And maybe, just maybe, someone will read this story who really needs to read it, and it will help them. That is just icing on the cake. I don’t have any set time to add to this story, but if I do write something, it will post on my blog on a Saturday. I write more when I feel like writing more. No time schedule.
As I am finishing up for now, I want to tell you that my ex husband was released from being incarcerated a few days ago. I am not sure how long he was imprisoned for sure, but it was at least 1 1/2 years. As of today I believe that he has been sober for about 20 months, and if that is true, that is his longest time of sobriety in the past 13 years. He wants to be a part of my children’s lives again. He has been attempting to contact them, and he has been sending cards and small amounts of money. It has brought up a whole set of issues to the forefront for them, and they are struggling pretty much right now. They are hurting over it. Because I know that deep down inside of their hearts, they love their father, and they want their father. But they do not trust their father and they do not want to get hurt again. And this whole thing makes for some screwed up kids, let me tell you. My kids are struggling right now. They need prayers, and they need guidance. But most of all what they need is a father who can get his life back, and stay sober, and be there for them. Please pray fro my kids, that they will find the answers they need. Pray for me too, that I will be able to guide them in the right direction and put aside my own feelings about it. But most of all, pray for him. Pray that he will have the strength he needs to remain sober, and to be able to rebuild his life. And to be able to give the children the one thing they truly need, and that is their father in their lives.
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