Matt. I’m a mess. Your addiction has taken such a toll on me and has put a major strain on our once loving relationship. This is the first time I feel so defeated. Nothing is going right this summer. I’m still broken and you are taking advantage of me not watching you like a hawk. How did we get to this ugly place. Both of us ugly. Saying ugly things and doing ugly things. Who are we becoming. I look in the mirror and no longer recognize myself. Where did that happy girl go. The person staring back at me looks beat and so very sad. Like a victim of unending abuse with no way out. Dear God where do I go from here. How can I continue to live with this constant worry and dread of what I will find out next. Not only is Matt using again but now our happy place is in jeopardy. God, I just want to dig a hole, crawl in and disappear. Go to hell you say, well Matt hell is where I live.
Ok girl I tell myself. You do not have the luxury of falling apart. Just by the grace of God a pop up pops up about the price of gold. Hey I think I’ve got a jewelry box full of gold. I’m not a fancy girl I have stuff that hasn’t seen the light of day for years. I run upstairs and grab my box. Like a treasure chest all the gold just sitting before me just waiting to be sold. I gather up the first batch and put it in a baggie. I drive myself very carefully to the store that advertises the best price for gold. I’m a total klutz but can’t even explain to anyone why I am in such a hurry to sell my stuff. So I one handed drive myself and enter the store with my orange cast. Of course I look like a bum as the only clothes I can manage one handed are sweats. I walk up to the counter in spite of the outrageous looks I encounter. I drop my baggie of bracelets on the counter as a very sweet older woman comes to assist me. How can I help, she asks. Well, I broke my arm and can’t work so I need to sell this jewelry to pay my bills. Oh dear, she says how awful for you. In my mind I’m thinking lady you really have no idea. I’m shocked at the amount of the check I’m handed. Feeling like I am just too cool to have once again figured out a way to fix your mess. That was until I hit your bank. I hand the check to the teller and she checks the account number. She looks up, and informs me that this only covers some of the overdraft charges. You need to deposit more to even bring this account to even she says. I feel sick. What the hell was happening. I just sold my jewelry to pay the mortgage and she’s telling me I just barely covered your overdraft. Right now at this very moment I want to slap the crap out of you. What have you done. I race home, my heart is beating out of my chest. I get my laptop and log in as you. I figure out your password pretty quickly, Matt, you are not as smart as you think. Holy shit! Overdraft after overdraft flood the screen. What the hell are you doing with all your money. My mind is screaming. All the bills dancing in front of my shocked face. Matt, I will kill you.
Still pretending I’m you, I add me to your account. That’s right buddy boy I’m gonna watch every dime. I think if you called me that day I would have found a way to crawl through the phone and strangle you. I hated that irresponsible person those pills changed you into. My Matt would never put our happy place in jeopardy. I made several trips back to the jewelry store with more baggies full of gold. I somehow managed to get your account in the black but also made a payment on the mortgage. There was no way I was losing that house.
I was becoming quite the liar. Your addiction was changing me into a person I hated, but because of you I was stuck in a desperate place. I spoke to the person handling our mortgage. Yes, I know we are behind, but my son is sick and I was just made aware of this mess. Oh God I hate myself for lying. This woman thinks you have cancer and I’m gonna let her think that to get us out of this mess. I feel sick as she so graciously accepts my payments on the interest only. Oh God, I’m so sorry to play the cancer card but right now I need sympathy not the crap I would deal with if I said, yeah my son’s an addict. He spends money on pills not bills, so what do you think about that. No, let her think you have cancer. I hang up feeling like the biggest scumbag in the world. Matt, your addiction is slowly killing me, changing me into this person I hate. Survival I tell myself. You must survive.
A week passes and you finally call. You sound subdued, like you’re a pup with his tail tucked between his legs. Matt, what is going on. I spill my guts about everything and demand an answer. Mom, Charlie cut my hours and I can’t pay my bills. Why Matt what is going on. Business is dropping off. People are going home, summer is ending and he can’t keep me full time. Dear God Matt, why didn’t you just tell me the truth. I just sold lots of gold to straighten out your account. All that money thrown away because you weren’t honest with me. Mom, I’m sorry you say. I feel bad enough please don’t beat me up. Ok Matt, we have another dirty little secret. The lady working with me trying to straighten out the mortgage payments thinks you have cancer. Yeah, you heard me right. I’m turning into you. Lying to get exactly what I want. You better act sick when she calls or I will come down there and believe me you will be so sick of me just like I’m so sick of this chaos you continue to bring into our lives.
We work out a plan. I continue to sell my stuff to pay your bills. WTF is going on here, but you have nothing to sell and I will not let you lose my beach house. You tell me the same stuff, oh I’m so sorry , I’ll get better, I’ll straighten up. All I hear is blah, blah,blah. Heard it all before Matt not listening anymore. I might not be able to drive down there and watch you but now I’m in your account. I will watch like a hawk I think to myself and I will fix you from here. God I was always fixing something for Matt. How did we get to this place.
Just when you think you have it all figured out, God or the demons throws a wrench into your plans. I finally got that hot, ugly orange cast off. Thank you God. My wrist is a useless, weak appendage forcing me into physical therapy three times a week. Talk about torture. I keep my mouth shut and let the therapist bend and twist and do whatever needs to be done. I have to get back to work. Now I’m just sporting a sling and feel like a million dollars. At least I have some function and forgot just how amazing a hot shower felt without your arm hanging out the door.
Matt, my plan is to get back to work and work and work until I get your bills under control. I’m feeling like that horrible weight has finally been lifted and your take care mom was gonna get back to fixing. I come home from therapy and grab the mail. Oh something from the hospital. I sit at my desk and open this very formal letter. Holy crap, WTH. Terminated, how could this be. I call my boss, yes, she says. I need you back this week. But my wrist isn’t ready to come hold those tiny babies or start IV’s on little bird arms. Sorry she says I have nurses wanting your hours. Matt, I sit in shock, tears spilling from my eyes. Damn you I think. How could you keep doing this to me. How could you be so irresponsible to let your bills spiral out of control. I’m so wrapped up in myself I don’t hear Ray come in. What’s wrong. I throw the letter at him as if this is his fault. He sits down reading the ugly letter. My mind is spinning. Medical insurance. I will have to pay Cobra on top of all the bills you have so graciously dumped on me. Oh God, I can’t stop the tears.
Ray comes to me. Hey, my birthday is in September. I look at him like what the hell planet are you from you selfish prick. I just lost my job and all you can think about is your birthday. What the hell. Oh don’t you worry I say you’ll still get a present. The sarcasm is spilling from me like a venomous snake. I am done. So F……. done with all the stress and chaos my life has taken on because of your addiction. I’m ready to scream and I hear I don’t want a gift I want you to marry me.
Now I’m really pissed. I jump out of my chair and start shouting. I don’t need your pity. I’m a big girl. I will handle this. I’ve always handled shit all by myself. I don’t want your pity proposal. You look at me like I have lost my mind. I’m screaming and crying and falling apart before your eyes. You grab me and hold me as the sobs rack my body. I love you, I want to take care of you. I want to help you. I have no idea what hell you are going through but you don’t have to do it alone anymore. Let me in. I want to be a part of your life, all of it not just the pretty picture you try to paint for me. Something is happening and you need to let me in. You need to trust me. I am here no matter what. I look at you and think I love you too much to drag you into my dark place with Matt. How do I tell you my dirty little secret. My son is an addict. He wreaks havoc in my life, he makes me crazy, he makes me ugly. How can I drag you into my world. You have no idea what you are asking. I love Matt and will never stop fixing his screw ups. How can you ever understand what I have been living. I love you too much to let you in. A little voice in my head tells me to breath, it’s ok. He’s a good guy, you deserve to be loved. You deserve to have a shoulder to lean on when you are broken. Oh God, help. Can I trust him enough to tell him about Matt. Am I being selfish to think I could possibly be happy in the midst of this nightmare. Oh God, I want so badly to have someone just for me. Someone to lean on, someone to help me feel not so alone in this horrible battle. You are still looking at me waiting for an answer. I take a deep breath, yes I say. I will marry you. Please God let it be ok. I hear no laughter, no demons, just me and Ray sitting together thinking about our future. Please God I pray. Help…….