I was in the mood to organize a mess of papers today so I pulled out folders, boxes and files to start the project. My eye caught a glimpse of faded red ribbon - and my heart skipped a beat. My stack of old love letters saved from a lifetime ago.
Its never a good idea for a lonely woman to look back at letters written by men who loved her, adored her, fought over her...but what the heck, I was in the mood. After I read a few I recognized a crumpled piece of paper that had been un-crumpled and written on in pencil. If I could, I'd scan it and share the whole thing here because it fits the topic of my blog:
It was written by an addict to his co-dependent girlfriend.
He told her he didn't deserve all the kind things she did for him - the rides to work, the notes she wrote, the way she made him feel special, the this and the that, the frigging motorcycle she bought him.
He admitted he had never intended for our relationship to become serious but was glad it did because "I learned to love again". He signed it "Luv, Dan".
It was shocking to be reminded of how sick our relationship was. How obviously the addict/co-dependent roles were played. I cringe thinking of how much I loved this man. I think I was 24 and he was 25, something like that. It lasted almost a year. I would have married him in a second. He was my world. The charming, handsome addict.
But I was not his world. His world was cocaine. I had convinced him to go to a rehab after he got so crazy one night that, while I was driving and he was in the passenger seat, he kept threatening to blow us up. He was holding an open can full of gas in one hand and a lit cigarette in the other. He kept lighting matches off the cig and tossing them out the window. Just one example of the crazy things addicts and their girlfriends live as "normal". Drama, chaos, craziness.
I believe in fate and thankfully there was some intervening force that came between us. That's a fancy way of saying he left me for a chick he met in rehab cause she had lots of good coke connections. They fled rehab and he called me from her place to announce he was living with her. She was gross, ugly, icky....I was pretty back then. I was so insulted at the time it never registered to me that he left me for DRUGS not for the other woman.
I smile as I write this because its so similar to what I see the addicts around me doing today. I WAS ONE OF THEM. I WAS A CLASSIC CO-DEPENDENT GIRLFRIEND TO THIS GUY! And to several others, but not as drastic as this.
What I find most interesting is that I was never that way with my non-addict/alcohol boyfriends and I always was the one to leave because (who knows the answer???? they were......boring). I sought out the drama, the chaos, the craziness because with it came the feeling of being needed, feeling alive, being "loved". It took me till I was 40 years old to get myself out of that pattern and stop dating men that were alcoholics (Dan was the only drug addict, all the rest, including Keven's "father" were drinkers).
I don't know what the moral of the story is. I see Anthony and Kelly in Dan and me, and damn it if he didn't leave her for the same reason Dan left me. For both her and I it was a blessing in disguise. It made us so furious that the anger outweighed the pain and we were able to get over the men that would have drug us down for years if we let them. (no pun intended).
So now I am the co-dependent mother of an addict. Its very different, but very similar. Its so much easier to do the right thing (which is usually not doing anything) for Keven because I want him to be healthy, to get better, to have a future. With Dan, I just wanted him, any way I could get him.
P.S. See this guy down here in the right corner? Do you think he resembles Dan the guy in the upper left corner???
P.S.S. I wish I still had that Springsteen bumper sticker, I'd put it on my car, lol.