15 November 2011 at 7:06 am #2423nomoremommyfoodParticipant
Forum moderators – I wasn’t sure if I should post this under "Introductions" or "Friends and Family." Please feel free to move this post accordingly, or let me if I should to re-post, myself.
How does one begin a forum "introduction" when they’ve already written an introduction three years ago – a period of time that simultaneously feels like 30 seconds and 30 years – back when they were 27 and living with a compulsive gambler, from the position of being almost 31 and still (non-literally) living with a compuslive gambler?
I’ve occassionally searched for this site over the past three years, only remembering its orange header. I haven’t gone through all my previous posts but, already, my head is spinning. Plus, my eyes are swollen from crying (compliments of Mike) and I’m waiting for my sleeping pills to kick in).
When I originally joined this site, Mike and I were living together in a cramped room in Chicago with five other people as part of an art gallery. I was 27 and struggling to support both of us working at an independant bookseller. And miserable. Mike was 36, unemployed since 1998, and compulsively betting on horses with whatever spare money I threw him. And also miserable.
VERY long story short(er) – Mike was kicked out of my place when my roommates grew tired of his trantrums and verbal abuse. Having exhausted every temporary living space, he moved to the suburbs and lived with his parents for a year. I was initially devastated, but quickly learned we get along much better when we aren’t’t living together.
Reading my account three years ago, I came upon a post wherein I describe a friend erroneously telling my parents I’d "changed since dating "Mike" and was on heroin." I, of course, was furious at this untrue gossip.
A year after that was written, I was heroin addict. I lost my job, my friends, my reputation.
Five months ago, I cleaned up my act. I went into buprenorphine (Suboxone) treatment, obtained a Master’s degree and fellowship in writing, began directing the gallery where I still live, was appointed director of a community arts collective (sadly, volunteer work for now). The only substances I take are prescribed to me, and taken as directed. I’m slowly working to rebuild friendships and my reputation.
Going through recovery gave significant insight into Mike’s behavior…addiction is incredibly difficult to conquor and, with opioids, we’ve got inpatient detox, a wealth of both 12-step and secular treatement centers, and Suboxone/methadone maintenance. Mikes got nothing but the mixed signals of his flawed mind.
Mike is doing somewhat better. He receives $400 in disability payments and, for the first time in his life, pays rent in an apartment near mine. Yes, he still gambles. However, Mike has no access to either his disability funds or betting money – Mike’s brother controls his finances and gives Mike an "allowance." Sadly, his brother also has a gambling problem, though not as severe.
The situation is far from perfect. Like "harm reduction" for gambling, if that makes sense.
As for our relationship, we’ve been "broken-up/back-together" pretty much continually for almost five years. And, frankly, it doesn’t bother me. It’s not a traditional relationship (nor an open-relationship). I don’t see him every day or even every week and I’m happy with it.
Mike is one of the funniest, smartest, most talented people I’ve ever met. Not to mention honest, sweet (sometimes) and kind – though he prefers his "carmudgen" persona. Yet he only has three close friends (including myself), the three people who always forgive him.
But I can’t stand being his verbal punching bag.
I love Mike and I’ll never turn my back on him. But his newest tactics (accusing me of being high at all time; so brain-damaged, unable to "function in normal society,"; ruining his life by "subjecting" him to my "deranged" behavior) are both blatantly false and blatantly offensive! And he goes on for 6,7,8 hours straight, even when asked to leave.
His attacks always coincide with either a major loss at the track or exhausting his "allowance," and being temporarilly unable to gamble.
If any CG’s are reading – am I correct in seeing this as a form of "withdrawal?"
3-9 days later, either he or I apologize, and everything’s back to normal. This latest onslaught (a few hours ago) left with him screaming, "Never call me again! Never speak to me, again! I don’t want anything to do with you!"
Then, off-hand, while storming down the hall:
"I’ll see you on Wednesday."
I’m not even mad. I understand he’s sick and exhibiting symptoms of his illness. I don’t think he’s even fully conscious of his actions, but on my end, It’s horrifically painful. I don’t know if Mike feels releaved, but I sure as hell feel awful, right now. I’ve worked so hard on improving myself and, to him (if he even notices), all my accomplishments are not only peanuts, but peanuts cracked open by a hopeless-fried-brain-junkie-with-"asperger’s" (no offense to anyone with Asperger’s syndrome, I just don’t have it)-puffy-faced-unattractive-(I quit modeling a month ago)-incompetant-not responsible enough to put on art shows (despite positive press) idiot. Poor Mike is "forced" to clean up the peanut shells of my "downward spiral."
Sorry for the rant, but after he pulls this ****, I gravitate between fury and weeping sadness. And I still love him.
I can’t tell my friends – they’ll just say "dump him." The exact thing people say to Mike when he asks his friends how to help a heroin addict.
Any advice? Thoughts? Similar stories? Consolation?
I apologize for the lengthy post and, if anything, thank you for letting me vent!
— 11/15/2011 8:32:09 AM: post edited by nomoremommyfood.
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