Saturday, August 09, 2008

Just Because

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Living with Addiction

I haven't referenced my significant other here in over a year. I basically write this blog as a journal and use it to share pictures and stories with friends and family who aren't close by. My plan is to, one day, compile the entire thing into a physical format to give to my daughter when she is older. I realize that leaving her father out of it entirely, isn't exactly fair. However, I didn't really know if she would remember these early years and realize that he was gone. I believe that she will and she will eventually grasp the entire concept of why he has been gone.

Right now, Sage says Daddy lives in a castle. And technically, it's true. He is in prison and the facility he is in was once a castle. Graymore Castle, to be exact. He has been there for a little over a year for violating his probation. Her father was/is an addict. His drug of choice was cocaine and he could not get it under control. He spent her first Thanksgiving and first birthday in rehab. He managed to stay clean for about two months and then his probation officer kept letting him slide. And THAT, my friends, is where things get kind of fucked up, to put it mildly.

You see, addiction is a disease that entirely takes over your life. AND the lives of those around you. I had attended a couple of meetings at the rehab facility he entered in 2006 and was able to understand the process a little better than I had. It still did not help with the day to day reality of it though.

If you live with an addict, you are constantly on guard. You always wonder where they are, what they are doing and whether you will ever see them again. I lost count of how many nights I feel asleep wondering if that particular night would be the night that I received a phone call telling me he had overdosed and was in the hospital or the city morgue. I was the one left to see the disappointment on his children's faces when he walked out the door ... and when they went to bed at night not knowing where their father was.

There are functioning and non-functioning addicts. He is definitely of the latter and, of course, could not hold a job. He would spend most of his days sleeping off the previous nights binge and would head right back out the door as soon as his "friend" would call to say he had gotten off of work. That left me, not only with the entire brunt of raising four children on my own, but with sole financial responsibility as well. It was a no-win situation.

I knew that he couldn't beat his addiction on his own. I had threatened to leave him, I left, I argued with him until I couldn't argue anymore ... none of it mattered, because addiction is an ugly beast that does not want to let go of the afflicted. I knew he had three choices open to him and I did the only thing I could think of ... I called his probation officer without his knowledge.

I spoke to her for a while without telling her who I was calling about. Eventually, I realized that it was something that I had to do, not only for him, but for his children. I did it to save his life and to protect his children. His probation officer seemed to think she was doing him a favor by letting him slide but she was only enabling him. I told her that his only choices were long-term rehabilitation, violate his parole and lock him up or death. I was not about to have his children bury him, so the only viable option was prison.

He's been there since May of 2007 and will be coming home in October of this year. The closer it gets to his homecoming, the more I worry about how he will handle things when he is back in society. He knows that I will not tolerate a single relapse and that I will leave. He knows his children will likely leave him as well if he were to relapse. I would think that is enough of a deterrant to keep him clean but you would think it would have been previously as well.

I also struggle with whether or not to actually tell him that, ultimately, I was the one to initiate his going to prison to begin with. He does not know. My family knows ... his mother knows ... a few friends know. I think in the long run, maybe WAY down the road, he may be happy that I did so. But right now, not so much. I don't know if he could deal with that when he comes home.

So, internets, if you happen to stumble into this entry ... what would you do? Would you tell him that you had him locked up? Or would you just keep it to yourself and know that what was done was the only way to save him and leave it be?