They don’t live with her


When i first got there things were fine.  I was smitten as was she and everything was gonna be ok.

A couple of weeks later, the drinks started to pour; a glass of wine with dinner perhaps and maybe a tot of this or that a little later before bed.

I was not long out of rehab where i’d been treated for opiate addiction.

It is suggested that those with addictive natures abstain from all mind/mood altering substances and this was precisely what i was doing whilst she was drinking; nothing major mind you and i had no problem with that.

The drinks began to pour more often over the next couple of weeks and i was getting a bit bored watching her drink and watch the tv.

“I’m a bit bored, do you fancy going out one night sugar?” i ventured one evening,

“Bored…bored of what?” she snarled back

“Well, of sitting here watching you drink actually” i replied.

The torrent of abuse which ensued was really quite unsetttling and gave me serious pause for thought.

Soon after, concerning some issues she had with her sister from childhood, she got drunk and walked round to the sister’s house and attacked her and her partner, for which she was arrested and charged with assault.

There was no remorse when i went to pick her up from the police station, it was all blame and no accountability.

This was starting to sound familiar.

“Please tell me she’s not an alcoholic” i quietly whispered to myself.

Over time the games with the ex began and she played us right off against each other with threats issued over the phone and so forth.  This game continued all the way through the ten months of our relationship.

There was lovely stuff too and we really were connected.

It then became apparent that she was constitutionally unable to tell the truth, about anything, and i began to feel very insecure.  Who was i attempting to build  a life with here?

I lived with her and was committed to her wholly but suddenly the foundation appeared flimsy, the bottom had begun to decay and cracks were appearing with alarming frequency.

“You’re an alcoholic” i told her one day after suffering another torrent of angry words.

Well, this didn’t go down well at all, and my addictive history suddenly became a weapon to be used to belittle me and weaken my argument,  but i persisted.

A mental health professional once told her “It’s Jack Daniels that’s the problem, it’s got some ingredient in it that sends people loopy, drink whatever you like, just don’t drink that!”.

What do you think an alcoholic might do with a suggestion like that?…

you’d probably be right.

‘Un-treated’ alcoholics are damaged and vulnerable people who use alcohol to self-medicate the damage.  The damage also appears through other behaviours and not necessarily under the influence of alcohol.

She was by now displaying many other behaviours.

I was getting hurt, often and without any genuine remorse becoming apparent.  She did damage limitation very, very well and scurried around the day after some incident on the phone or similar, and said sorry to those involved who always fell for her beautiful smile and forgave her, except that is for her sister, who has not spoken to her in nearly a year and intimates that she never will again.  She recently sold her house and is moving out of the area.

I came to the sad conclusion that my lady was really quite unwell and i was bearing the brunt.  I had a problem though;

I had seen the wonderfully gentle, kind and vulnerable woman these behaviours were designed to protect.

I loved her you see, and understood her completely but she was scared of love and certainly didn’t think i ‘understood’ her if i had the very gaul to suggest she was an alcoholic.

Things got worse, as they do with alcoholism, and i found myself challenging her on how she spoke to me and the lies she told me on an almost constant basis.

Her parents were involved in a few of the incidents and eventually asked me what i thought was the problem.

“She’s an alcoholic” i stated matter of factly.

Working in this field, i talk about this stuff all the time and it is second nature to me, but do sometimes forget what images the term ‘alcoholic’ conjurs up for many people.  The park bench, physical withdrawal symptoms, weakness, poor morality etc.

Alcoholism is an illness…not a moral dilemma, believe me i am quite certain of this.  An alcoholic is someone who cannot control their use of alcohol, and as a result, their lives have become unmanageable.  Nothing more…and absolutely nothing to do with whether they are physically dependent or not.

There is no scientific explanation as to why this condition exists.

Their daughter was very unwell and, i believed, needed treatment and clearly stated this fact.  They were not at all happy with what i had just suggested and so began the decline of the good relationship we had, up to that point, all been enjoying.

When people go into treatment and sift through the wreckage of their lives, certain people  (for this; see parents) may feel they may well be implicated and really don’t want to be, which often causes many people to subconsciously prevent their loved one’s from receiving the help they so badly need, by themselves sinking into denial, and repeatedly stating that the sick person is actually perfectly fine…right up to and including the eventual funeral, where statements such as “i can’t believe this has happened, she was fine just a few days ago” can sometimes be heard…please see my blog concerning this entitled ‘people of the lie’.

I battled on though, weathering a shit storm as i tried to break her denial.  I did the best i could to protect myself from the hurt but could feel myself becoming weaker, less robust and emotionally exhausted.

I strongly suggested she get treatment on many, many occasions.

If she did this anything would be possible with our relationship.

Eventually i attempted to deal with all this stuff via single malt scotch whisky, especially from the Islay region.

This is not a good thing for a recovering addict to do.

I have since been able to wind this back in, but with difficulty and pray that i never get so emotionally fucked, that this seems like a sensible way forward again.

Her friends were no more receptive to the idea that she may be an alcoholic than her parents were.  They smiled and nodded and agreed many times but i am relatively perceptive and the smiles seemed false and the look in their eyes spoke volumes.

It said “this guy is fucking nuts.  What is he doing here anyway?…some ex-junkie levelling accusations at my friend, making judgements… based on what? The guy’s a fucking control freak!”

They didn’t live with her.

She was an absolute master at the art of deception and gave absolutely no indication to anyone else in her life that she was dangerously out of control.  She is extraordinarily beautiful you see and not short of money.  She dresses well and has the most unbelievable dazzling pearl-white smile, which brings light to the darkness, cuts through the gloom and occasions men to pen poetry in the night.

There are some who might argue that beauty is not a thing to be envied: i subscribe to this view.

In my experience, good-looks can often come to the detriment of spiritual growth.  By this i mean that the human qualities of compassion, empathy and unconditional love, care, kindness and concern are often stunted and withered, carefully hidden behind superficial charm and firm ankles.  By simply looking as they do, the beautiful often hear the word ‘yes’ without ever really needing to ask the question.  Communication skills fail to thrive and the skills of reciprocity, bargaining and negotiation from a level playing field often barely exist at all.

The word ‘no’ is so far removed from their world that when they hear it, the beautiful people often genuinely believe that the person who uttered it must be mentally ill and in full flight from reality; challenge is not something they receive with humility i assure you.

Anyone who does dare challenge them are therefore erased from their solipsistic world view and never mentioned again.  Narcissistic traits grow unhindered and their ability to be ‘nice, likeable, kind  and good’ shatters into fragments of personality, so complex, intertwined, deceptive, manipulative and carefully concealed that lifetimes come and go without this ever being revealed…

except in relationships.

Add all this to early developmental trauma and i suggest to you that you have a problem…

or rather, their partners do.

This isn’t an envious spewing forth of bile concerning beautiful people and the unfairness of it all, and clearly i don’t mean all beautiful people, i’m just attempting to convey some universal truths and the almost impossible task i was undertaking in order to ‘help’ someone who had convinced everyone around her that she was fine and that i was mad.

The ‘help’ i was giving was detrimental to my own health and i was sinking quickly.  She had placed me in direct confrontation with four men, situations which all nearly came to blows because that was how her illness manifested itself, in games, with men, with her at the centre enjoying the pain and the chaos, which is highly addictive to her.

I saw some of the games coming, others i didn’t…but always men would be hurt in some way or other.

I wonder which primary developmental relationship this may have reflected?

You’d probably be right here too.

I moved out and told her i loved her, because i understood her but i would no longer accept her behaviour.  I also repeated as i had said many times that if she ever found herself in a position where she felt she needed help, that help would always come from me.

“Fuck off junkie” she replied.

So, after battling and battling and hurting and crying, and pleading and begging, and being attacked in every way imaginable, and putting myself at considerable risk, and my recovery at even more risk and being doubled-over with appalling back pain due to tension and stress, and everyone around her de-constructing my character and integrity and telling her she was fine… “think positive”… seemed the suggestion of choice from most, whilst she was clearly so close to suicide, and me thinking i was genuinely losing my mind on several occasions…

I received a phone call late at night two days ago.

I then made some calls.

By five ‘o’ clock the next afternoon she entered a residential treatment facility and committed herself to, and self-financed, a three month stay to address her addiction to alcohol.

“I’m an alcoholic and i can’t do this anymore and i need help” she said.

“Yes you are…you are an alcoholic” i said for the final time.

I love her and wish her only good things.

Now, please let me get some sleep.

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2 Responses to “They don’t live with her”

  1. ….so much identification, Drummer Boy. Beautifully articulate, as always. I was her, I was you, I am… and always will be, an addict with severe co-dependent tendencies which will manifest themselves the second I lose sight of this. I wish your friend well and pray you will find the boundary which is safe enough for you and respectful enough for her x

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