Saturday, February 23, 2013

Living With An Addict

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.