I Am Finding the Strength to Move On
My boyfriend of 2 1/2 years and I just broke up over the weekend. He is an alcoholic. He won't admit it, but he is. He drank because he was happy or sad or depressed or because he was drunk and wanted to get drunker or because he was sober and wanted to be drunk. He never had regrets, had periods of times he couldn't remember, he was sick and even after a doctor told him that he has early stage liver damage, he didn't stop. He told me he did, but he didn't. I would find bottles hidden around the house, garbage backs filled with empties that he was planning on throwing away when he could get out of the house without me knowing. He hasn't worked steadily since October of 2008 and I was supporting us financially. He spent every penny I gave him on booze. Trying to not give him money didn't help either, he would run tabs at the liqour store or the corner store.
I love him. I really truly do. But I came to a point where I realized that we were behind in rent, car payments, cable bills, everything...and I couldn't keep playing my violin on this sinking ship. Friday I told him to leave. This has happened so many times that he has his whole arguement planned out. We fight, he screams, he tells me he didn't do anything wrong. He sulks, he hides in the spare bedroom, he comes out asking me why am I doing this, I tell him the truth, the same thing I tell him every time, that it isnt fair that he is still drinking and that I am being forced to support it. Then I go and eventually apologize. This time, there were no apologies. I kicked him out. He left Friday, came back for some stuff Saturday and hasn't been back since. I have spoken to him and every time I talk to him he is drunk (or high and drunk, I really have no idea anymore). Last night he called and told me he wants this to be civil. I think he is trying to get into position to try to come home. I told him flat out, this is not his home anymore.
Part of me wanted to save him. His whole life people have turned their backs on him, told him he was worthless, I wanted to swoop in and be his hero. But in the end all I did was alienate my family, my friends..I have lost jobs because I had to always leave to go home to take care of him. I have ruined my credit rating, gotten evicted once and on the edge of it for a 2nd time. I have had my car repossessed.
I love him. And if he had made even one bit of effort to get the help he needed, admit that he has a problem, and go figure out how to fix it, he would be home right now. But he didn't. I hope someday he does admit it and when he does, I hope he lets me know. But I am not taking him back.
I am getting used to not saying we, us or ours and instead saying I and me. That's hard. I thought about how I have no one to call and tell them I am coming home. But then I realized, I didn't call him to tell him that I was coming home because I missed him, I did it because I wanted to get an idea of what was waiting for me at home, was this a good day or a bad day.
For all the women out there who are denying things to themselves be strong. Think about the good times and think if they were really that good. The vacation you took that you have fond memories of, until your remember he got so drunk he fell in the pool and had to be fished out. Think about who you have become since you started dating him, do you recognize yourself? Do your friends and family know the truth, the whole truth, about how things are at home? Would you be appalled if one of your friends was living the life you are?
I am lucky. I have friends and family that never left my side. They knew part of what was going on, but of course I left out the details that would make him look bad or even worse, make me look like an idiot for staying with him.
The reality of the situation is that you cannot help everyone. You have to protect yourself. Do you see yourself in 40 years, married to this man with children? Children who are predisposed to this horrible illness? If the thought of waking up alone scares you, just think about the thought of being a 40 year old widow with your kids at your side, burying your husband who died from cirrhosis of the liver.
I wish you all the best of luck. I am trying to be strong and drawing on the energy from my friends and family and co-workers to do it. I still cry when I smeel his cologne on something in the house or see something that reminds me of him. I miss talking to him every day. But this morning instead of being proud that I got out of bed despite him not being there, I just got out of bed.