I want to begin this by saying that I was once a completely normal girl. I grew up in a house with a yard, two parents who were hard workers and a lazy pet dog. I never got into any trouble in school, started working when I was sixteen, bought and paid for my first car at age eighteen, graduated high school, attended college and went to church avidly. I say that to prove a point. Not every girl that is in a relationship with a guy who struggles with addiction is what others judge her to be. I've heard all of the talk. Everyone always thinks that we are on drugs ourselves or from a bad home. Perhaps we were abused as a child or we've suffered from some traumatic loss that has caused us to lose our way. I was none of those things. I was simply a girl who fell in love with a terminally ill man. I had been taught my entire life not to judge others, to help those who need me, to love people in spite of their problems and not to give up on people just because things get hard. And, that's what I did.

By the end of my story you may not fully understand why but, because I still have complete respect for my ex-husband, I am going to change his name. We'll refer to him as "David".

I met "David" in December of 2009 when I was twenty-one and he was twenty-six. I had just been broken up with by my first "real" boyfriend and I felt as though my life was in disarray. We met at church, my home church to be exact. He was visiting with a relative. A few weeks later, January 2010, we started talking more avidly and agreed to meet and hang out. It was then that he told me he had been in prison, was now on parole and in a Methadone treatment facility for his past drug addiction. I was a young, naive girl and hadn't the slightest clue about drug addiction. In fact, I was so naive that I had always thought "pain pills" were things like Tylenol and Aspirin and never fully understood how anyone could be addicted to this. And, once hearing him talk about "Methadone" I had assumed it treated a "Meth" addiction. I'm sure you're giggling at that, it sounds silly just typing it. But, prior to meeting him, I didn't know anyone who had ever even done drugs.

After our first "date" I had decided to myself that I wouldn't venture into a relationship with someone with that background, not because I judged him but because I didn't understand. However, a week after our first date he left a voicemail on my phone thanking me for not being like the "rest" and judging him and looking pass his faults and he went on to say that everyone usually gives up on him as soon as they become aware of his past. Because of this... because I didn't want to be like everyone else... because I didn't want to be just another person to give up on him, we went on a second date. Then a third, fourth.... and in February 2010 we became a couple.

Unlike most situations like this, things didn't deteriorate over time. My life plummeted within weeks. In March 2010 "David" was kicked out of his parents house and had went to live with relatives, he blamed his parents unfair treatment for this. In March of 2010 I started paying for his parole, clothing, food, living expenses and anything else he needed. Unaware that I was ultimately only paying for a habit that had grown fiercely out of control. From March 2010 until May 2010 I watched the person I met and fell in love with become a monster. But I was in too deep. All I had heard everyday for four months is how he "wouldn't" live without me or how he would kill himself if something ever happened to me or how he would just give up and overdose or go back to prison if I weren't there. I had become his anchor and I had sunk to the bottom of the ocean of addiction. The weight and pressure of him needing me was too much to even consider leaving.

He proposed to me in May of 2010 and we were married in May 2011. The things that I experienced and dealt with in that year were- honestly, I don't even have an emotion to describe them. In a year I had seen "David" overdose several times. I couldn't count the times I walked into a room and found him seizing or turning blue from having a seizure and no one being around to help. I had picked him up out of his own vomit and literally picked straws out of his nose and used all of my strength to drag my 230 pound, 6'3" husband to bed. He had gone missing for days at a time. Ripped off drug dealers and called me from remote places to come get him after they had beat him to a pulp. He stole from me, my family and his family. I was selling everything I had plus working as much as I possibly could just to keep the bills paid. I was scraping change to pay drug debts so that we could be safe or so that no one would press charges.

The emotional torment got worse. He would lock the two of us in the bathroom and make me watch him swallow an entire bottle of pills if I refused to drive him places. If I wouldn't give him our bill money he would tell me how much he hated me, how I was just like everyone else, how he hoped I'd see him die and live with it forever. So I always gave in. I just wanted the misery to stop. But, no matter what I did I never could find peace. If I didn't "help" him I watched him writhe in pain and cold sweats while he degraded me and threatened to either harm himself or do something drastic in order to get the money to feed his habit, something that could land him back in prison. But, if I did give in and give him what he wanted I dealt with him passing out in public or going missing for days at a time.

Then, believe it or not, things got worse. In September 2011, only four months after I was married, my husband was arrested. His charges held a potential of 63 years in prison. I was devastated. I spent the next thirteen months in agony. I drove a four hour drive every month to court hearings and a four hour drive once a week for visits. Between court cost, money for him to survive on, lawyer fees and everything else pilling up I lost my vehicle, my home, my job... I lost it all.

By the grace of God all charges were dismissed and "David" got to come home in October 2011. From October 2011 until February 2012 "David" was back to his old self. He was the shy, sweet guy I first met. My marriage was what others said a marriage should be like. He started working, we got a vehicle, an apartment and life was back to normal. I felt loved for the first time in years. Then suddenly, the rug was jerked out from under me once more.

In March 2012, on my birthday, "David" went to run errands and never came home. I went days not knowing what had happened to him or if he was okay. I was staying with my family and everyone was doing everything they could to locate him. I decided to go back to our apartment and stay hoping he'd come back home and everything was okay. When I walked in the apartment I noticed that all of his things were gone. He was okay, but he wasn't coming home. He had left me for a woman that he had been seeing since December 2011. Just like that it was over, he was gone. He called and told me how terrible of a wife I was, how he was so happy to never see me again and other terrible things. He brought his girlfriend by the apartment to live and I was forced to move out and he kept the vehicle. I was devastated.

It took me almost a year to recover. When someone emotionally abuses and manipulates you, it alters your entire way of thinking. In the years that he spent telling me that I couldn't leave him because he couldn't live without me he had also manipulated me into believing that I couldn't live without him. Here I was, a twenty-five year old woman with no home, no job, no means of transportation. Nothing. I couldn't understand how someone could take every single thing I had and put me through torment and then, when everything is looking up, decide to leave. To just quit caring as though I never mattered. I felt used, hurt and worthless. I knew I could never have my old life back. I knew my innocent look at life was gone forever. And, I felt as though no one could ever love the rugged, used up, filthy me that I was now. To die would have been relief at that time.

But, the good news is this, I am okay now. I have my life back together. I have my own vehicle again, my own place, a good job and life. I have life back. If anyone reads this at all I want you to know that no matter what happens YOU WILL BE OKAY. Whether you stick by their side while they battle addiction, if they get sober and things get better, if they get worse, if the relationship works or if it doesn't... you will be okay. I don't encourage anyone to stay or leave. I encourage you to follow your heart but use your head and look out for your well being just as much as your partners. But understand that as painful and hopeless as an experience like this feels you can survive and you can overcome. To this day I still struggle with trusting men. I still feel helpless. I still find myself longing to have someone to "help" so that I can feel like I have purpose again. But I'm getting better everyday. I find myself smiling again for no reason. I am able to enjoy things once more free of worry and grief. I will never be able to take anything back. I can never un-think, un-feel, un-know or un-do what I have been through. But, I can become a better me. I may have lost a lot... I did lose a lot. But I gained so much. I gained strength and wisdom and as time goes on I will get my self-worth back. I will be whole again and you can too.
Naivegirl0963 Naivegirl0963
26-30, F
4 Responses Sep 2, 2014

Thank you for writing this! I'm searching for strength and these stories really help.

Powerful just powerful! You've gave me a reason to keep my head held high and keep marching.

I'm glad that my story has helped you! That means more to me then words could possibly express. Keep your head held high and keep moving forward! :)

Your experience is extraordinary.. YOU have an extraordinary attitude to life. Thank you for being an inspiration to everyone.

Thank you so much! That was incredibly sweet. :)

God love you! You have really been thru it, but you came out the other side! Now go live your life and enjoy❤️

I did! Someone wise once told me that if you walk ten miles into a forest then you're gonna have to walk ten miles back out. Healing is a process and confronting a new beginning is scary. But, life can be beautiful again. Thank you for reading and responding. :)