I should thank my addict ex as the only reason I have the motivation to write this right now is because of him. It’s also ironic that he’s doing this in my birthday week when the rest of my exes/old flames have been in contact either wishing me Happy Birthdays and/or hoping to catch up.
Early this morning I received a few messages from him lambasting me about some tweet I had written that had nothing whatsoever to do with him. Perhaps it was done jovially but it’s hard to believe that when everything done by him is either very calculated or very cruel. We ended up going back and forth, though I was loathe to, and it’s dragged on. Strangely, I don’t feel much of anything about it bar boredom and frustration that he’s still trying to control my behaviour: “Stop writing about me.: As if what I’m doing slanders his very good name. Even if I wanted to, he already beats me to the punch – he defames himself quite easily. That said, the lack of feeling is a consequence of many years of this but it wasn’t always this way – he used to make me feel many things.
It’s classic behaviour of narcissists, sociopaths and domestic abusers to control their victims. “Don’t write about me.” “Don’t tell your sister what happened!” “Why would you tell your friends – you have me?” I don’t mean physically restrain, I mean emotionally and mentally constrict. I’ve had a girlfriend, whose boyfriend she’s STILL with, would call her up every hour while we were together to check on her and freak out if she didn’t get back to him which, let’s be real, is impossible behaviour if you’re doing a Lord of the Rings marathon. Then there are girlfriends with imposed curfews (“He likes to sleep with me!” reads as “He doesn’t trust me spending a night anywhere else,”) or mates with girlfriends who don’t like me hanging out with them because I’m “single”. Yeah, because now he’s with someone I’m just going to lust after a mate I consider a brother? No senso mako.
The addict didn’t do the above with me – funnily enough, he didn’t mind if I went out all night with a guy mate and I certainly didn’t have a curfew. He was at least great in those ways. BUT what he did control me with was his own abusive past plus the alcohol itself. I mentioned in the previous post that I had to stay in contact if he was drinking and an entire night could be upturned in an hour if he had decided to lose himself in the bottom of a bottle of Jamesons. That was the control. I never knew what was going to happen if he started to drink like playing a game of chess blindfolded. I could feel out my own pieces and where they were but I was blind as to where his were and where they were moving. He also hated me talking to anyone else about his behaviour – especially my first boyfriend Ben. He detested Ben and I observed, was jealous and still is in a way, of our incredible relationship. Obviously, he would be as it was the complete polar opposite to his first. He would shit all over Ben, try to turn me against him or ban him from my life, scream at me and guilt me if I left his apartment in tears and spoke to Ben on the phone to calm down. Perhaps Ben was the kind of guy that the addict wanted to be – they made the same amount of money and both had career success but Ben had an incredibly loving, supporting family, an enormous group of friends from high school and university, was generous and sweet and always kind and everyone who met him loved him.
I mean, even I’m jealous of Ben so…
Being controlled like that makes one feel isolated, sad, devalued but most of all alone. I felt alone all the time which is strange to say when you’re in a relationship because, if you’re in a good one as I should know, you suddenly never feel alone because you always have someone on your hip now cheering you on and cuddling you at night. But in a way, that’s what the addict wants – the addict doesn’t want things to change and he wants to extract the same things he always has out of his victims whether it’s love, money or essentials. To do that, he has to make the victim feel alone – sometimes as if they’re the only one that can help the addict. I’ve seen this plenty on Intervention when an addict isolates a parent or sibling who it is hardest upon to finally stand up to the addict and say, “No more.”
There is a finite amount of energy you have – I realised this as I’m feeling crazy exhausted now that I don’t have to deal with this “drama” every week or so. It’s catching up to me; all these exhausted weekends and weekdays dealing with his depression, fetching him things, feeding his emotional turmoil with late nights and suicide watches and angry spats. Exhaustion is a by-product of the impact addicts have in the lives of their victims. You can see it in every face of a parent who has a child addicted to drugs – a kind of world-weariness they shouldn’t have at 40 as if they’ve just been through an internment camp and seen too much. Some of them have – dragging their child away from heroin needles, restraining them from drug inducing seizures or just plain angry screaming at each other. I’ll be clear, I saw it in the face of the addict’s mother and a part of me felt inexplicable sympathy for her. Though I’ve been dealing with this for a few years, his exes and prior friends for more; it was his mother who had been dealing with this for the longest time. Her exhaustion knows no end – I can walk away and so many other have but she cannot. It’s her child and I can’t imagine the guilt and self-blame you would have for yourself knowing that this is who your child is and no matter what have done – it’s likely you can’t stop it. That’s draining if not exhausting in itself.
The addict remarked to me when we were on shaky but good terms before he left that he felt like his mother had given up on him. No relationship between a child and parent is perfect simply because we must accept that both parent and child are human beings and each are capable of being flawed and though a mother cares, she is still her own person. Mine certainly is but within hours of his mother arriving to help him move, as had been the plan for the whole weekend, they were soon screaming at each other, the addict was drinking into oblivion and she left without moving a box. They didn’t come back. I wasn’t there and so cannot say it was strictly the addict’s fault (I fault his mother for some truly terrible things she has done to me) but perhaps the entire relationship is at fault? As exhausted as she is, she cannot give up on her son but as trying as he is, he needs to make it easier on her. I mentioned it a few times on our discussion of the situation – she has her own problems and she’s been through a lot with you. If anyone needs a break, it’s her. But again, it comes down to the addict – if he had his shit together and wasn’t drinking himself stupid every night – it wouldn’t have been a stressful weekend, his mother wouldn’t be anxiety-ridden over him and that fight would likely have never happened. But, as is the case with addicts, it’s always the fault of others and their exhaustion over you is their own problem.
Man, I’m just exhausted writing this article. Dealing with the addict in any capacity makes me yawn.
In general, I’m fairly sensitive. I reminisced in another post that I hate rejection. I mean, nobody does which is why even when I’m out and a guy hits on me, I generally always try to put them down nicely. Or even if I’m telling them off – I do it nicely. That’s mostly to avoid the potential physical drama that might happen from very drunk guys which is a WHOLE OTHER SEXIST ISSUE but let’s refocus. I’m a sensitive gal – that doesn’t mean I cry at the drop of a hat but I’m more emotionally attune to the feelings in a room, I’m hyperaware of them than others are. It doesn’t make for the easiest time but my close friends always find me super empathetic and easy to talk to.
It’s not fabulous when you’re in a relationship with an addict who likes to prey on your sensitivities via their need for things OR what they want when you refuse to get it for them. Luckily, my ex has worn me down with his insensitivity that has led me to become very desensitised. I’ll use today’s messages in fact:
“Lul. Okay! Bye. Read your article by the way. Classy. Maybe don’t drunk text people when you’re calling others out on being addicts.”
(I should clarify, I DID drunk text him but it wasn’t the usual “I’m drunk, let’s hook up” or “I still love you, slag.” It was simply: “Such a waste,” which to be fair I still stick by. It was such a waste of a friendship and relationship. No qualms with me sending that. Also, I sent this on Saturday morning which is now three mornings ago.)
Generally, I guess I’d be upset. I’d be upset that he’s laughing at me (lul), his general sarcastic condescending tone, insulting me by saying that my article explicating my feelings on his horrific behaviour to me was “Classy,” and then reprimanding me. Pushing a lot of buttons.
I felt nothing when I read it. This is why:
– “Lul. Okay! Bye.” He sent the whole thing back so fast. All I took for the whole tone and “lul”, which he uses wayyyy too often especially when he’s really offended, is an exaggerated effort to pretend it didn’t hurt when it does. I learned this over time but when he writes a certain way, as he does in this, I know I’ve really hurt him but he tries to pretend like it hasn’t even touched him a little bit because he’s always got to be in control and cool.
– “Read your article by the way. Classy.” Typical. Stalks me even though I’ve blocked him and I know he would have. I’m not dumb, I’m well aware that the kind of abusive addict he is – he would have kept tabs on me. There’s nothing anywhere on my social media etc to link us since I wiped him clean knowing what he’s like. But of course, I realise the only reason he’s insulting my work which isn’t written terribly or anything, is to dissuade me from writing more. Fat chance, bro. It’s my life and I’ll write about the terrible woman-beater who existed in it for three years.
– Also, “Classy” is a terrible insult. I never try to act classy ever – I’m inelegant, crude and silly. Exactly how I enjoy writing. Something like “Provincial,” would have hurt far worse.
– “Maybe don’t drunk text people when you’re calling others out on being addicts.” I was the least offended by this because I fully accept what I did and realised it was stupid of me which I had admitted to in the previous message. (“Clearly a mistake.”) However, the hilarious hypocrisy in this was that I had recieved a messaged from him at 5 am in the morning, which he said had been a “reply” to my message three mornings earlier. The message? A link to an emo Eminem video.
Perhaps don’t text people back if they’ve offended you so…especially with lame-ass Eminem videos? I know he was drunk at that point because he used to get drunk-emo-wasted, cry about his ex-girlfriend, play Eminem videos especially:
This would be a nice segue onto my next subsequent feeling A – N – G – E – R!!
But the way I became desensitised was to know what lay behind the manipulations and to analyse it rationally. As soon as I realised that everything he said was exemplary of his own inner anger, depression and insecurities – his insults and accusations were dust. Almost like as a child realising why a bully is torturing you is probably because their parents are beating and verbally abusing them at home. Things my ex would accuse me: being unclean, stupid, a drunk, a drug addict, disgusting, not funny, wrong all the time etc. Thinking about it though – I was NONE of those things and he was ALL of those things. It’s weirdly textbook and I’m mad at myself for not realising it earlier. But that’s the point, addicts try to normalise their behaviour (if you accuse me of it, I’ll accuse you of it and then you can’t argue that the behaviour is norm/out of bounds) through insults and distraction. I still find it funny that a guy who kept a box of vomit in his cupboard for over a year called me unclean for leaving some strands of hair in the bathroom.
I wasn’t an angry person before I met the addict, I had a quick temper that would spark but I think by that point I had come to grips with it with very painstaking patience learned in customer service. Unfortunately that all unravelled thanks to constant devaluation, ebbed patience with his behaviour and a hate for him that grew and grew in parallel to the love and care. Anger is a horrible feeling and I see a lot of it everyday in people whether it’s just a customer taking it out on hospitality staff, a mother to a slightly misbehaving child or a drunk boyfriend to his confused, hurt girlfriend. It always comes from a dark place of mistreatment and conditioning and it passes like a disease. Some people have a better capacity for handling than others but for the most part, it’s a hard thing to handle.
I won’t go into too much detail but I’ve spent a lot of time trying to heal the wounds that my anger and frustration at him have made. Mother’s often get the same wounds as their frustration at their child blisters and boils despite the bandages that they apply. The wounds begin with the behaviour but even after the the behaviour stops – they stay infected. This is, I suppose, because it’s now ingrained in you to mistrust, hate and be wary of anyone else who enters into your life and possibly at the unfairness of others – in my case, couples – who have it together and seem extraordinarily happy while you worked your butt off to have come away with nothing but a bitterness and grudge against the very existence of love and faith.
Time is one of those magical things that heals it and new good love is another but both are hard as one takes well, time and the other can be even harder to find than waiting for Father Time to smooth his gravelled hands over the gangrenous limb. Other than that, it’s just mindfulness and an awareness that at least you’re aware. The addict isn’t and their sadness and anger that they’re medicating with their drug-of-choice will last for a much longer time and get worse with every passing day that they don’t face up to it like you are. I try everyday to do better and everyday it gets subdued and I heal. Despite my anger and sadness, I cannot imagine the kind that lives in the addict. I think of my anger like The Babadook – a shadow behind me always like a coat on a hook of the wall but the addict’s is gigantic, enormous, a slovenly Tesuo at the end of Akira. Or Cthulhu.
I just had fun trying to say that word like ten times. I still prefer how I enunciate. KATH-THUL-HU.
It does get unleashed sometimes and this brings me to the last potential meeting between us before he left forever…let’s hope.
After the disastrous Monday, he texted me denying he had been drunk then finally coming around to admitting he was and apologising. I let it go and wished him well. He asked if we could meet, I said fine but there wasn’t much time. On Wed night, he texted saying he was close by to where I lived and would like to meet up EVEN offering to come by my way if that would make it easier. I said, no it’s fine, I can drive to him but would need to meet up later as I finished work late on Thursdays. He said it was fine, HE HAD NO PLANS.
Thursday morning, I get a call but I’m at work so don’t answer. I reply back asking what’s up but don’t hear back till 4.30 pm.
“Nothing serious. I should be back in ____ around 8:30 – 9 if you wanted to catch up then?”
“I’ll be at work till 10. You going out?”
“Staying back late at work?”
“Ok well I’ll be at yours around 10.30?”
“Yeah, I’m fine – just catching up with some old friends.”
“Cool. Well if you’re not up for it later, all good. Let me know.”
I finish work, go home, change, text him that I’m on way. Arrive. Call. Phone is off. Go to door. Knock, speak to his mate and his mate’s friend. They have no idea where the addict is but they do know that he was meeting me tonight. We all try to call him. Nothing.
I lost it. Fool me once, shame on me. Fool me for the fucking hundreth thousandth time.
“So, I’m here. You’re not, you’re phone’s off. ___ and his mate have no idea where you are and no one can contact you. This is absolutely ridiculous.
You’re out and drunk and this is the last chance you get to see me before you go and you fucked it up. AGAIN. You cannot be trusted to be respectful, reliable and not an absolute fuck up to others.”
At about 12.43 am:
“Why did you go there? My phone ran out of battery.”
Why did I go there? Please peruse the messages above, did I not clarify that we were meeting, did you not ask if we were meeting, did you not give me a time when you’d be back. I knew then he was wasted because only when he’s wasted does he completely forget plans made only a few hours previous. Just like on Monday.
Two days later:
“I have nothing to be sorry for, nothing was confirmed and I didn’t even knew you were coming over because my phone ran out of battery. Wasn’t any intention to cause you a problem.”
The insanity of this is well…insane. Again, he asked if we were meeting, I said distinctly “10.30?” and he OKAYED it. I then texted him STRAIGHT AFTER telling him to TEXT ME if he wasn’t able to. And then to say he had NOTHING to be sorry for. Like inconveniencing someone, not letting them know if you’re going to be late let alone not even going to show up… My blood still boils. The absolutely delusion and inept accountability of the addict when he screws with others is sick.
He did eventually send this: “Either way, I didn’t want any bad blood between us and I am sorry for not seeing you. It was honestly not what I planned and if I had any battery I would have called to tell you I was going to be back later.”
At this point, I don’t care. If this had been any of my friends, let’s say Ben, I wouldn’t care. There’s no track record of this nor would there be a roundabout to getting an apology. Ben would have straight up apologised, tried to make it up by seeing me the next day (because seeing me before he leaves forever would be a big deal to your so-called “best friend”) but also he never would have missed the date in the first place WITHOUT LETTING ME KNOW three hours before it.
But this is the addict and he will continually do this to everyone and not care. And he especially did this to me either as some kind of trumped up pay-back for Monday night or just because he’s an A-grade asshole who literally doesn’t care about shanking anyone because friendships and relationships don’t matter until he needs money or cuddling.
Altogether, accumulated in all their complexities and densities of feeling leads to sadness…this is the utmost common feeling that comes of abusive relationships with addicts who manipulate, try you and basically erase any goodwill and belief you have in other human beings. The world is sad enough but it is my belief that addicts just want to immerse you in their own so they themselves don’t feel so alone about being so down.
What’s terrible that I have often observed that it is the most loving, most vulnerable and people with most potential to do good and be good that get sucked into the black hole of emotional death.
More of that in the next post…