I never minded the crack.
As a heroin addict with an equal love for any pill that brought me up or down it would have been hypocritical, and for someone whose life depended on an intricate structure of elaborate lies,I had a strong distaste for hypocrisy. The problem with the freebase cocaine was that it turned Him into an indiscriminate gutter slut. I probably would have been okay if his unquenchable lust was directed at me. Although with my chemical intake, and the resulting decrease in libido, this would have presented its own unique issues. Fortunately and unfortunately this was not the case. It was strangers that he wanted. As my first real love, I don’t think I will ever love anyone like I loved Him. Most of the time I’m grateful that I’ve never felt the same way about anyone since we said our last goodbyes at the rehab he took me to in Virginia three summers ago, but there are days I find myself wishing for someone to stumble into my life that gives me the same sense of purpose.
My purpose then was to be with Him and only Him every waking minute. Sometimes it felt like I would die if I didn’t get to see Him. Every thought of every day was colored with Him. My friends and family called it obsession, but really what is the difference between true love and obsession? And spare me the Corinthians bullshit. I’m not sure I would have felt the same about Him if the relationship had been what a licensed therapist would call “healthy”. Maybe I was addicted to the chaos and craved the drama of whether he was going to come home or not. At least that’s what my allegedly healthy friends in recovery told me. This was a reasonable theory, but it was trite and never felt like the truth. I wanted to possess Him. I wanted to be on his mind all of the time. If I could have skinned Him and warn Him around like a fine leather coat I would have. Total fucking possession. When the obsession became too much to handle I would reassure myself by thinking “at least it’s not drugs”.
I think my parents probably told themselves the same thing as they looked the other way on some seriously questionable behavior. In the end, my obsession with Him proved just as destructive as the drugs, if not more because now another person was involved. I hear people at recovery meetings quite frequently say that they wouldn’t change their past drug use because it led them to recovery. Not me. I would take back all of my highs if it meant I never had to become an addict, but I would never give back the time I spent with Him. He was the only person I ever dated without a hidden agenda, just pure attraction. There’s something to be said for base human sexuality.
I never planned on hitting Him. I didn’t sit down to a nice dinner with friends and decide the only way the change his behavior was through violence. Like every poor impulsive decision in my life it just sort of happened. The first time I punched Him he didn’t fight back. I think I surprised both of us. I didn’t even realize I was on top of Him swinging my fists until he started yelling, pulling me back from the sea of rage I’d drove into head first when he finally came home from a 48-hour crack binge in Richmond over Easter. Never mind the fact that while he was gone I’d had sex with Jackie, the lawyer’s daughter with the raging pill habit, in the giant king bed we shared that took up the entire bedroom. He didn’t know about Jackie, so in my mind it had never happened. Again, it wasn’t the crack that bothered me, it was the sex with other men that I’m positive happened afterwards.
My infidelity also didn’t count because it had been with a woman. Maybe I was seeing in Him everything I hated about myself. The lack of self-control. The lack of devotion. He came home drunk and soon disappeared into the bathroom to smoke crack. When he came back he sat in the oversized chair in the corner and smugly said with half-closed eyes that “he didn’t want this to be a bad breakup”. That’s when something inside me snapped. I just wanted to wipe that look off his face.
I ended up making Him leave the apartment – that he paid for it – and check into a motel. He said he didn’t have any more money, which made me even angrier, so I gave Him the last of the cash I had in my lock box. I’d spent the rest of it on oxycontin with Jackie while he was gone. The next morning when I allowed Him to come back he had superficial scratches on his wrist, a trick I knew all too well. I told Him he was selfish, and that I didn’t feel sorry for Him. Besides, they were the wrong direction in order to kill yourself, which I made sure to point out to Him. I made Him take our puppy back to the breeder, which I think hurt me more than it hurt Him. Everyone told me I should leave. Deep down I knew it was the right answer. I spent two days ignoring Him before we had sex and made up.
Leaving Him would be like cutting both my legs off. I didn’t think I could survive, and I certainly wasn’t going to use wheelchair ramps for the rest of my life.