Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Why didn't anyone tell me?

(Shared with permission by Margaret Clapp)

Why didn't anyone tell me this was a no-win situation? Why didn't anyone tell me how "supporting my husband's recovery" would destroy my kids? I think they should post some stats of actual long term opiate recovery outcomes at meetings. This is lifetime of descending levels of hell for the families.

Over the past six years, I sold my soul, compromised my identity and values, wasted my savings, irreparably destroyed my self esteem and most horrific of all, damaged my precious daughters. For what? To keep "my marriage together", so my kids wouldn’t grow-up without a "dad". They have a "dad" alright. A "dad" who taught them, by constant example, how to lie and avoid responsibility. This is not life I imaged for myself or my lovely children.

I was never stupid or weak. Just the opposite. I am well educated. I was fit and cute and funny. I worked hard and success came easy for me. I had a supportive family and strong network of friends in a lovely upper middle class neighborhood. Notice the past tense.

In 2005, I discovered my husband had a “problem". He was coming home from work falling down high, pissing in the hallway, sleeping/watching for days, then he went off the wall, screaming, agitated, violent. You all know the drill. I was scared. I wanted to help him. I loved him. He loved me. We had two kids. I would stand by him and he would get through this. After all, we were married for better or worse.

Over the next four years I thought I was insulating my daughters form the chaos of their dad's addiction. He never drove them in car. The kids were busy at school, sports, homework, social events, spent allot of time with grandma. I took on the roll of mom and dad. put on a happy face and took care of business. All the while, demonstrating, through my daily example, how to be a doormat, how not stand-up for your rights, that a wife is not entitled to love, affection or respect, that a wife was a target for blame, that wife should never expect the truth, that lies are tolerated in marriage, that marriage is not a partnership. I allowed this to happen.

Worst of all, they knew. My sweet young daughters knew I was compromising my integrity and self respect for the sake of a drug addict. My kids, by extension, also comprised a significant portion of their childhood for a drug addict. They had no choice. They grew-up in home without trust, without respect.

At some point, I realized that he (my Opiate-addicted husband) was not married to me. The love of his life came in a pill (Oxy, Vicodine, etc). Weren't fathers supposed to put forth effort and make sacrifices for the family? His efforts and sacrifices are for drugs. He wasn't my partner in building a future our daughters. His partner is opiates. His future is getting high.

If you're still trying to be the best wife and mother possible, please stop believing everything will be OK. Every lie you ignore, every dollar missing, every late night wondering when he’ll arrive home is one more chip away from your soul. Your kids are bearing witness to your slow decay.

GRAB the kids and RUN. Why? So you don’t end-up a soulless disaster. Run. NOW. Today. Run for your life. Don’t stop until you are free from the lies and pain of someone else’s addition . Run fast. Run while you still have love in your heart, before hate overtakes your soul. Run.

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