June 2, 2011

Revealing Old Love Letters


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.

6 comments:

Tori said...

I wish I would have saved some letters especially when I was 24. When I was reading your blog I wondered if we are just naturally enablers? I never really thought much about it until it was brought to my attention that with B I was the Chief enabler and I see a pattern with everyone in my life. Keep peace at all costs....even if it means our own happiness. My Mom was an enabler with me. I never did drugs but I never had to pay for my mistakes either. At all costs my Mom tried to make sure I was happy. I guess be cause I think I turned out well I never saw it as a problem and was just like her with my son. Yikes!

BMelonsLemonade said...

My ex husband and I used together. We got into heroin together, but we both had been using other drugs for years when we first met. I know that chaos well...as I read this, I saw Liam's face, screaming at me from the driver's seat of a U-Haul truck we had been living in the back of. I remember him gunning it, veins popping out on his neck, scarred slightly. He was trying to kill us, and as I sped towards a likely death, anger flashed in front of me rather than my life, and he came to a skidding halt. And then, the dysfunction came bubbling to the surface...I remember breaking down, and crying hysterically. We passed a snowball stand, and he stopped, offering to buy me one in every flavor. (I love snowballs.) As I stood in line, children surrounded me. I looked at my track marks in the sunlight, and I looked at Liam, crazed in the Uhaul. I realized that I would never have children with this life, and I realized i would never have a normal life with Liam. And I bawled and bawled because I realized I would never just be a normal mother with children...

I also look back at codependency and my own addiction, and I realize that I am much happier alone. My anniversary of that long ago marriage was yesterday, and I reflected on it all for a couple of minutes. I have not talked to Liam in years, and I am not really even sure what he is up to. I made a lot of mistakes back then...I was a selfish addict. We both were, and we both made a lot of mistakes. Our codependency weakened me, and it took a long, long time to find that strength again. I thought about what he would think about me today. And I think he would not be surprised. I am responsible for enough with my son...and I am too selfish too give any more of my time to anyone other than myself. And I guess that is how it has always been. And I think that is the only way I can really live without the chaos...to be alone...

I am not really even sure if I bring the chaos on, or if I just always choose people who are chaotic. Sometimes, it is really hard to tell. For the longest time, I thrived on the chaos, and when I sat quietly alone...the real demons came out. The chaos kept them at bay. The drugs kept them at bay. Now that those demons have quieted some, I would rather be alone, and away from the chaos. But, I fear the only way to truly avoid that chaos is to not get involved...

Lori said...

Powerful story. Thank you for sharing. And might I add, coke aside, Dan looked yummy! LOL ...this is coming from a 45 year old mother of three who has been married for nearly 23 years. LOL

Anonymous said...

yummy for a dude that messed up her life. really funny.

Anonymous Mom said...

Anon, you only show up when I talk about BOYS. He didn't mess up my life, my life was messed up and therefore I put up with his shit. But, as you know, I have always had men issues. FYI, I am currently not dating and not interested pursuing a relationship at this time.

BMelonsLemonade said...

Amen, Barb!!! I second that motion.

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