An American Addiction Centers Resource

New to the Forums?Join or

In need of support

Discussion in 'Helping an Addicted Loved One' started by lynn1991, Aug 12, 2016.

  1. lynn1991

    lynn1991 Member

    When we started dating, I was under the impression that my now ex-boyfriend was clean after ten years of drug abuse.

    At the end of November, he lost his job, so he couldn't pay rent anymore. Through a friend, I got him a new job, and he moved in with me.

    In February, I walked into the bathroom and saw a small bag of cocaine on the floor. I confronted him about it. He admitted to what it was, but said he hadn't used at all, swore he was still clean.

    Over the next six months, I kept finding cocaine, meth, marijuana, pipes, and needles. He slowly started admitting more to me. He told me that after he'd moved out of his cousin's house, he started to use again. At first he said it was only cocaine. He said he used "only every couple of weeks". But all this meant he was using before we were even dating, and had been lying to me the entire 14 months we'd been together.

    At one point, he'd borrowed my car (without a license) and ended up a hundred miles away, lost, out of gas, and completely disoriented. He didn't even know where he'd left the car. The patrons at the restaurant where he was waiting for me had called 911 on him because he was walking around the restaurant with a butter knife and acting crazy. I'd been up all night worried about him. His phone was dead, yet he didn't use the charger in the car. He didn't use the GPS in the car to guide him back home. Nothing made sense.

    I read articles and discussion boards and blogs on helping loved ones with addictions. I asked for honesty, above all else. For him to tell me within one week every time he used. That happened once, at the end of July, after asking since February. I insisted he go to NA meetings, but it was five months before he went. I drove him to and from every single one. I disposed of any drugs every time I found them. It got so bad that I was going through his things on almost a daily basis. I feel awful, but I was even going through his texts to find out more information since he wouldn't tell me anything. That's how I found out about the meth.

    Mid-July, he approached me about the marijuana. He made the argument that using it would help alleviate his migraines, and increase his appetite to help him gain weight. Additionally, he argued that it could help him to satisfy his cravings for other drugs and help his recovery. Reluctantly, I agreed that he'd ONLY use one cartridge a week for his e-cig, and he'd do it with a legal medical marijuana card. This was our "compromise". But he continued to get, use, and hide other forms of the drug. And he REFUSED to even consider rehab, since he'd been in it five times before and it didn't work.

    I'd had enough of being lied to. He was leaving the house in the middle of the night to meet dealers. He stole money from me. He was going through my phone calls and emails. His temper was awful and small things set him off. I was always walking on pins and needles. I felt like I had to lie to my own family so they wouldn't worry. At one point he put a hole in the living room wall (and a painting I'd done FOR him) while he was barricading the door to keep me out during a fight. There were times he was convinced I was unhappy with our love life and times he thought I was seeing someone else - all untrue.

    I broke up with him on Monday. I'm a teacher, and I had to protect myself for not only my mental and physical health, but for my career. I didn't want to do it. I love him still, but saw it as the only way for us BOTH to improve our lives.

    I told him he could stay here for a short time while he found another place. But the next morning, he was slamming doors and cabinets, storming in and out of the bedroom where I was hiding from him, looking for something and yelling at me. He was furious, I guess because he thought I'd taken something from him. He wouldn't look me in the eye because I'd broken his heart. I thought he was going to break something. The aggressive behavior made me feel unsafe, so I told him he had to find somewhere else to stay that night.

    Over the next couple days, because he wouldn't give me the key back, he was in and out of the house, supposedly gathering his things. But it never seemed like he was actually taking anything. Finally, I asked him if he actually had a place to stay. He said no. I told him that, again, he could stay here until he had a friend's house to stay at, but he had to calm down because it made me feel unsafe.

    I figured the breakup would probably cause him to use more, and he'd be depressed. Rock bottom, right? Then I found a used needle on the bathroom floor, and I'd already been smelling the marijuana over the last few days. A flask was sitting on the table, and I'd been told he came in to work with slurred speech one day.

    He didn't calm down. After warning him, I called the police. He was throwing things around the house, tearing apart a scrapbook from a trip we'd taken, shaking windows. He'd thrown things off the coffee table, thrown all his clothes throughout the entire house. I was afraid he was going to break something. I was afraid to go back in the house.

    The police came and got my keys back from him. He's not to come back until he has someone with him to move his things elsewhere (all of it) at an arranged time.

    "I can't believe you'd do this to me!" The look in his eyes and the pain in his voice were and continue to be heartbreaking...

    So why do I feel so guilty? I broke the heart of the man I love. I called the police on him, though no charges were filed. Caused him to be homeless, told his mom I was sorry for what happened, and it upset him. I feel selfish, and he always said I acted selfish and never cared about his opinion. He deleted everything from his phone that reminds him of me, doesn't want to keep a single gift I ever gave him. He wants to forget I ever existed. It kills me that the man I love is hurting this much, and thinks I don't love him and lied about wanting him around.

    My head knows it's for the best. My head knows that making him stand on his own two feet is the best way now for me to help him get over his addiction, and that, despite what he says, he has more of a support system than he thinks. My head knows this is the best way to protect myself from physical harm, codependency, and emotional abuse. But my heart feels like I've done everything wrong, like I alienated the man I love and thought I'd spend the rest of my life with. It feels so wrong that he's out on the streets, no car, and embarrassed by me calling the cops. I want to be able to support him still, but he won't even talk to me, and when he (rarely) does, he gives me guilt that he'll be sleeping on the ground.

    Any words of support would be very much appreciated. I'm sitting on my couch, with a roof over my head, food in the kitchen, a steady income, and he's out on the streets with no shower, no food, no bed. Did I do everything I really could? Did I really do the right thing? All of his friends are saying I "could have handled it differently." Could I have? How? It feels like I made all the wrong choices. It frustrates me so much that these people, many of whom I thought were MY friends as well, think I handled it all wrong, and seem to believe I didn't suffer one bit...

    (Sorry for the long post.)
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2016
  2. lynn1991

    lynn1991 Member

    To add to all of this, he just told me that for two weeks before we broke up he'd been looking into detox and out patient programs in the area... Perhaps if he had told me about this, I wouldn't have done what I did. But how was I supposed to know?
  3. hope4usmn

    hope4usmn Member

    Lynn I hear your pain, and understand your torment. I personally think you did the right thing, people using are so erratic, and can be prone to violent outbursts. Honestly, my daughter is addicted to meth, I have seen these behaviors in her, she just flips out, at the time, i don't really think she knows herself what shes doing, or how bad it really is, after she makes light of it, "I wasn't that bad. So honestly I think you need to look out for yourself here, you can't Make him get help, he has to do that, all you can do is encourage him to do so. You having him live with you, a roof over his head, food to eat, money, even to steal, just "you .. to have things remain the same, he has no consequences, cause he knows you will take care of it, as someone told me, You are his Enabler. Yep it hurts, how you can let someone go, let them make their own choices, good or bad, you love them, want to help them, but.... you can't fix this for them, he has to do it, he has to want to do it. Until then I guess he stays on the street, his friends, other people can say all they want, they weren't there, you were, you are the one living with this, not them. So don't listen to them, you did what you had to do for yourself and your own safety, you have to take care of yourself, believe me you do! Offer him support to get to treatment and thats it, he may not live with you while he is still actively using drugs, putting so much at risk for You alone. Please take care of yourself, Love yourself more then his drugs use, and stay strong, its hard but you can do this! I will keep "Hope" for you
  4. deanokat

    deanokat Community Organizer Community Listener

    @lynn1991... Welcome to the community and thank you for sharing so openly and honestly with us. I know the situation you describe is awful and I'm sorry you had to go through it. But I'm glad you reached out here.

    Loving an addict is one of the most challenging things life can throw at us. Addiction is a family disease and it affects everyone who loves the person who is struggling. But we have to remember what Al-Anon teaches: We didn't cause it, we can't control it, and we can't cure it. Only the person with the addiction can "fix" themselves. It doesn't matter how much we want them to change. They have to want to do it.

    I believe you did the right thing. Above all, you have to remember that YOU are the most important person in your life and you have to do whatever is necessary to keep YOUR life on the right track. That is not at all selfish, my friend. So don't let other people's opinions of how you handled things have any impact on you. You did what you had to do for YOU and that's the important thing. You deserve to live a happy, healthy life. That's your right as a human being. You saw yourself becoming addicted to your boyfriend's addiction and it was ruining YOUR life. That's not fair at all. I think you are an incredibly strong and brave woman for doing what you had to do for YOU.

    I don't know if you've read Melody Beattie's amazing book Codependent No More: How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself, but if you haven' it and read it. It's not a long book, but it's filled with incredibly helpful information. It really helped me when I was dealing with my son's heroin addiction.

    Also, you may find some relief by attending Nar-Anon or Al-Anon meetings. Being face-to-face with people who know what you're going through can be very healing. I recommend you at least give it a try.

    We are here to help and support you however we can. You are not alone, so reach out anytime. What you did was super hard; but you are courageous for having done it.

    I'm sending you lots of positive vibes and hugs full of love and light.

    Last edited: Aug 15, 2016
    hope4usmn likes this.
  5. lynn1991

    lynn1991 Member

    Thank you for everything you've said. I'm slowly coming to terms with the idea that I did what I had to, and that things did escalate beyond what I had ever anticipated, but they escalated due to his actions.

    I'm going to a Nar-Anon meeting tonight, and will be going to regular individual counseling beginning Wednesday to help me cope with the guilt and what feels like a permanent loss of the one I love.

    As of now, he has arranged to stay with a friend (I'm surprised it took so long, but pride probably got in the way of him even asking) for the next nine days. That's a huge relief for me, knowing that he at least has a roof over his head, even if only temporarily, though I also know that this will not help him get over the addiction.

    He's been saying so many hurtful things to me, like how he hopes in the future I come across him and his wife and it makes me depressed, and I know it will. He said he felt like he was thrown out like a piece of trash so suddenly, and he would never risk that again with me. I can only hope that it's just the drugs talking, but the fresh wounds make it so hard to comprehend never having him in my life again. He refuses to accept any help from me right now, and I don't know if he ever will. I don't know if he will ever be willing to "risk" being with me once he's clean, if he ever is. And that to me is possibly the hardest thought to think about. I know I should just work to move on, but all the uncertainty of whether or not he'll get clean and whether or not he'll even be willing to talk to me then has me so confused. I'm very much looking forward to the start of the school year so I can just focus on my classes and be distracted from this whole situation...
    hope4usmn likes this.
  6. deanokat

    deanokat Community Organizer Community Listener

    You're very welcome, @lynn1991. And good for you for going to a Nar-Anon meeting and counseling. It's all about self-care and you are so incredibly worth it!

    Addicts are so great at saying hurtful things. They like to manipulate people and make them feel bad. When my son was struggling with heroin addiction, my wife and I couldn't believe the things he would say to us. I believe it is the drugs talking. But that doesn't mean it hurts any less.

    Keep working on YOU. Concentrate on school and bettering yourself. And know that there are people out there who care about you, love you, and support you.

    Peace and hugs.
    hope4usmn likes this.