Honesty really jives with me so I'm going to let it all hang out. In a
series I'm calling 'There Are No Mistakes' I'll get real about my past,
my pain and my non-mistakes. Let's all grow together, shall we?
I don't claim to be any sort of drug awareness expert but when I was trying to figure out what the hell was wrong with my ex-husband, Jedd, I wish I had had an article like this to help me know what I was dealing with.
Here are 5 of the most predominant signs
I absolutely should have recognized, in no particular order, along with stories of WHAT THE FUCK!!Picking:
A common occurrence with one who is abusing their pain medication (or heroin, meth, and other drugs) is that they will pick or scratch at themselves. Sometimes this results in small scars and scabs on their face and arms. Sometimes, more...WTF:
About a year in to our marriage Tedd began scratching at the top of his head. It started off semi-harmless and quickly morphed into an uncontrollable habit that left him with a giant crater in the top of his head. He picked it so fervently that it never healed and hair struggled to grow there.( I wonder if he's been able to grow hair back in that spot.) He also pulled out all of his side-burns while we were watching TV one evening. Just pulled them all right out.
I know that it is hard to know someone is lying. If it were easy, no one would do it. Here's a little tip to know when someone is lying to your naive, I-believe-you-because-you're-my-spouse, face: If it looks like a fish, sounds like a fish, and FEELS like a fish, It's a fucking fish!
When someone is completely open and honest with you, you can feel that. But when something feels "fishy", it's time to admit to yourself that you are being lied to. WTF:
I came home from work for lunch unexpectedly one afternoon (my fault)
to find that he was also home. What a lovely surprise, right? I knocked on the bathroom door and announced my excitement that we were both home in the middle of the day. I heard a flush, then the water run and then he opened the door. I reached out out for a hug and a smooch but his face was all wet and he pulled away. His excuse was that he just washed his face. It's cool, I've kissed him with a wet face before. Water isn't an anti-kissing agent. Nope, he wouldn't do it. He didn't want to inconvenience me by transferring droplets onto my face. The whole thing felt rather fishy to me but I sat on it. My loving husband didn't have anything to hide, right? No reason not to kiss me, right? I later learned that he had been smoking weed in our bathroom and THAT is what he had flushed.
***Since this dumpster-fire marriage I have learned to call people on any supposed bull shit right away. "Oh, I'm sorry, did I make this awkward by confronting your lie just now? Don't lie to me then how'bout?!"***
Constantly not feeling well:
Being constantly sick or "out of sorts" can be a sigh of drug abuse. When one is high in a situation where drug use is inappropriate (work, school, etc) this person may feign illness as an excuse as to why they aren't acting themselves. Other times the withdrawals will cause actual physical illness. Stomach ache, diarrhea, vomiting, cold sweats and other flu-like symptoms are all effects of withdrawal. WTF:
It seems like I spent 4 of my 5 years of marriage cancelling plans because my husband was "sick". Every trip we planned was ruined by being bound to the hotel room or cancelled all together. Sedd was either high and impossible to deal with or bed-ridden with illness as he withdrew. It was really fun y'all. When I told people we were getting a divorce there were a number of insensitive bastards that asked if it was because I was tired of taking care of a sick husband. I was saddened to feel that, after all of the excellent and patient care I gave him, people thought so little of me. No!! If I had ACTUALLY had a chronically ill husband I wouldn't have left. I left because HE WAS A FUCKING DRUG ADDICT!
Running out of medication early:
This one is fairly straight forward. If one is given a 30 day supply of Oxycontin, that medication is supposed to last 30 days. If it doesn't, there is a problem. Maybe that can even be overlooked in extenuating circumstances, but if it happens every month and that person is going to the pharmacy to get next month's refill early, THAT cannot be overlooked. WTF:
Kedd had developed a relationship with a pharmacist in our area who knew he had a monthly prescription for all sorts of narcotics and could be convinced to refill his prescriptions early. I didn't really know what was happening until Ledd became too sick to do his own dirty work one month. From deaths own hands he asked me to go get it filled early. I did NOT want to. I didn't know much about prescription medication abuse but I did know that this was illegal. And also, it felt fishy as fuck! A large fight ensued and the bottom line was that by not helping him I wasn't doing my holy-union-bound duty to take care of him in his pathetic state. I sat in the car in front of my neighborhood grocery store and cried for a half hour before I finally went in and spoke to his filthy counterpart in crime. The memory of that transaction still makes me feel a little dirty.
Keeping everyone separate:
Drug addicts try to keep everyone separate. If the people in his life don't have contact, they cant talk, can't share notes, and cant figure him out.
I didn't know any of his friends. That isn't normal in such a serious relationship. Maybe I wouldn't have liked them and we wouldn't have hung out, but that wasn't even possible because I didn't know them. And the ones I did know were under the impression that I hated them. Why? Because he told them I hated them so that they wouldn't talk to me. He tried doing this the opposite way once and told me that his friend Shamgela didn't like me. Well, I made that bitch cookies right away and took them to her at work, where we learned that there had been a misunderstanding (imagine that?). She and I started to become friends. Then Dedd brought home weed brownies and said they were hers, knowing my loathing for the substance. He did the same thing with his parents, telling us both viscous lies about the other to make our relationship so damaged that we preferred not to speak during family get-togethers.
Love, trust, and blind acceptance for my spouse could only go so far. At some point, I had to see the signs for what they were. And then run away. Quickly. I hope some of these are helpful to anyone else trying to figure the fishy stuff in their relationship.
Does anyone else have more signs that others should be aware of? Anyone have tips for shedding the naivete?
It took me 5 years post-divorce to finally blog about this but your comments have been so encouraging and the whole process has been very cathartic. Thank you all!!