Tuesday, July 15, 2014

How did I get here?

            In August of 1990, my “husband” was released from prison. I use the term husband loosely, because the only husband I have ever known is the one I am with today. This person was both a parasite and a predator. I thought I was in love with him. I even gave up drinking for him. Six long months of no alcohol to prove I was loyal to him. The seeds of addiction had long been planted in me. I already was obsessed with things. This time, it would be him. I needed a spark, a catalyst to drive me into the spoon. He would soon provide me with both.

            I had completely abandoned the life I had known to be with this man. Left college, left my friends, my apartment for him.  I was so young, so impressionable. I had little experience with men. I had saved myself for my first serious boyfriend, which I did not have until I was nearly 18 years old. I had always been the fat one, the girl with glasses, the smart one. I had thought this man was different than the rest of them. I met him when I was on vacation. He gave me a feeling I had never had before in my life. He was dangerous. He had a tattoo on his neck, big rings on his fingers, and a way of talking that made me feel like I was the only one in the room.

            I should have seen the red flags but I was too young to realize a homeless man with a criminal record and a baby he was not taking care of man not be the best catch. He latched on to me. He needed ME but I never saw it. He needed me to take care of him because that was who he was- a user and a loser and a hustler and a player.

            “Are you going to eat that?” he asked me.
            I smiled and told him “yeah, I made it.”
            He shook his head “you are big enough” he told me “you don’t want to get any damn fatter”.
            I handed him my cheeseburger.
            Of course he was right. I don’t want to get any damn fatter.
             And he was right, I was stupid, despite the fact that I tested out of almost my whole first year of college. And maybe I was a little lazy, despite going to school and having a job. He was right about so many things and I was wrong, wrong.

            “No, you are fucking wrong”, he told me. Yes, I was always wrong.

            And then one day he hit me. He humiliated me and he hit me. He had my name tattooed on his neck. I did not understand. Did he love me, did he hate me?  I HAD to leave him. I had to get away from him. He had just gotten out of prison and spent up all my money on a tattoo business. (Thank God I at least got a bunch of shitty tattoos I had to spent thousands of dollars to get covered up. That relationship was the gift that kept on giving well into my 30’s).

            I went to “visit” a friend when I had a very strange conversation. It was if someone was talking but I was outside myself. I had left my body and someone was delivering this horrible news. YOU KNOW HE HAS BEEN SLEEPING WITH YOUR FRIEND WHILE YOUR WERE ASLEEP. I finally heard her talking but I could not take it all in. “….and by the way pass the drugs” went the rest of that story. I ended up homeless in Louisville, KY. I would go to the bar Discovery and find a place to stay for the night. I was too embarrassed to go home to my parent’s house with my tail tucked between my legs like the dog that had been beaten. It was true. I had the three inch long bruise to prove it.

            I can make an million excuses but I chose the drugs at that moment. That glorious feeling of knowing I truly did not care as the tears streamed down. I was a fat fucking failure and no one loved me, I could not even love myself. It was August of 1990. Three weeks completely charged the trajectory of my life.  Some of you were not even born yet, but my addiction rose to great prominence that day. It over took every element of my life. I went home to Cincinnati. I found a way to forget myself and I woke up seven years later. Every one makes up their own reasons and these were mine 

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