Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Changes

Last night I committed my husband.

Wow... it seems really strange to say that. I went to the court house, I got a court order, and some friends and I tracked him down and had the police haul him away. Boy doesn't my life suck?

As for why I'm saying this here. First of all this has always been the place where I find solice. I am able to write down what I'm feeling and for the most part feel pretty un-judged about it. If people don't like what I have to say they don't comment and if they do then they leave wonderful feedback. Speaking of which, please leave comments if you can. In fact tell your friends to tell their friends to leave comments. I could use all the positive feedback I can right now. This is going to be a long road.

Secondly, this is my life and my story. I know that a lot of people don't agree with me airing my dirty laundry but people it is my laundry. I have ALWAYS lived by the motto that you can't be embarrassed of your life. If you are than you should change it. I take each day as it comes and I make each decision one at a time. Once I make one I do not look back. If I have regrets than I should have made different choices.

People have often asked me how I live my life like this and I can't exactly explain it. I just know that dwelling in a past that you can't change has never done anyone any good. You can only change the future.

So with that said, let's start at the beginning....

Hi, my name is Heather and my husband is a drug addict.

I have known this for pretty much the entire time I have been with him. Ten years, six months and 6 days. I found out in the way a lot of people find out who have their heads in the sand. Jake was busted. I was 16 and he was 15. He got caught smoking pot in the school bathroom.

From there it has been a roller coaster ride of ups and downs. There have been periods of time where he has been clean. Some as long as six or nine months. But inevitably he always goes back and each time he does the drug he chooses seems to get worse and worse.

Remember back last May when I told you Jake got laid off from his job. He didn't. I lie well to cover up for him. I've had 10 years of practice. What really happened was that he failed a drug test and when they asked him to take another one to prove that the levels in his system were coming down and that he was going to get and stay clean he refused.

Remember what I said about finding out only after they get busted. That was the same here. As is often the case with me. I begin to notice signs but never have any real proof and so I brush them aside until I am slapped in the face with something real and overwhelming.

This time was about two weeks after I found out I was pregnant with Zack. It is amazing to me to sit and look at my little boy and know that he was born healthy despite the hellish time I had the whole time I was pregnant. The summer was filled with days he would be home and nights where he wouldn't. Things would be good for a few weeks and then all of the sudden he just wouldn't come home one night.

When we graduated into the fall things started to get better. I was showing and the pregnancy seemed a little more real to him. However sometime in the early winter it all went terribly wrong again. I found out he was stealing money from his family and then in early January about a week before Zack was born I found out he was stealing from me.

Since that point things have quickly spiraled out of control. I spent much of my time in the hospital alone. Jake always had "errands" to run and somehow they always took longer than he had planned. I suppose I knew then what he was doing but everyone had told me how much having a child would change him. So I figured I needed to give him a couple of weeks to bond with his son and then see how things went.

My husband missed the entire fourth week of my son's life. That's how it went. Every weekend from the time Zack was born Jake disappeared for at least one night. Then the weekend after Zack turned three weeks he just never came back. One day passed, then two and three and four. Finally before I knew it was Friday.

I went to dinner with my mom and when I got done I found myself SO angry that I knew I had to find him at all costs. It took a couple of phone calls and a couple of people who ratted him out but I found him. However he went into someones house and refused to come out so I ended up going home.

The next day he was home. That was February 10th. I was at his mom's house getting ready for his nephew's first birthday party. He missed it. In fact he missed most of that weekend as he slept off all of the drugs in his system.

After that I took his jeep. It had the front end damage and so we didn't think it should be driven anyway. For some reason I have always thought that if I just restrict where he goes it will make it better. It doesn't. All it does is prolong the inevitable.

That next weekend it snowed. He had to have his jeep back to do snow removal and once he had it back he had no intention of giving me the keys ever again. By Saturday night he was gone again. I got home at 8:00 from his nephews second first birthday party and promptly fell into bed. When I awoke at 10:00 he was gone.

He called the next morning about 6:30 claiming he had been stuck in the mud while he was chasing coyotes and since his phone was dead he couldn't call anyone. This was the incident which found him ripping the transmission out of a jeep we had had for two weeks. Since the transmission was broken I chose to believe the story and he came back.

I honestly don't remember what happened on Sunday to make him leave but I'm sure he had some excuse about where he had to be or what he had to be doing. I think he told me he wanted to go work on his jeep. Either way he didn't come home and it was Monday night before I saw him again.

Once again I ventured out and made some phone calls and once again I tracked him down. AND OF COURSE... once again he ended up in someone's house and wouldn't come out so once again I came home. The next day his boss needed him to come to work so I dropped Zack off with a friend and out I went trying to find him. I finally tracked him down and was told that he would be home. At 6:30 he finally showed up.

The next day I decided that there needed to be some changes. Our plan was to commit him then and to this day I am kicking myself for not doing it!! Instead his sister came over and tried to convince him to go himself to get treatment. He refused saying he could do it on his own and she thought she should give him a try.

So Jake stayed home. He stayed at our house and I told him the following two phrases.

"I have gone to these people's houses twice now to track you down and bring you home. I will not do it a third time. If it happens again I will send someone bigger and badder than me."

"If I catch you at their houses again I will have you arrested or committed, it is just a matter of who gets to you first."

And then I prayed. I prayed that I would not have to follow through on my threats and for three weeks it looked like it was working. For three weeks he was home. All last week he picked up Zack from daycare and it looked like they were bonding and things were going well and then this weekend something happened.

I will never know what. I am not a drug addict. I have never even been drunk in my life and I have never even smoked a cigarette so I have NO idea what it feels like to have a craving. However, from talking to the counselors I have gathered that it is an over powering feeling and that you don't think about anything else but getting your fix.

From what they have told me it is not that an addict purposely hurts people they just do what they need to do to get their next high and if that means stealing or lying or whatever they are going to do it. So, when he didn't come home on Friday night I knew I was probably in trouble. On Saturday I had to work and then I had a girls night planned. I knew that he was going to be with a friend of ours so I figured he and Zack would be pretty safe when I went out.

Saturday night he gave me another story and off he went. However, every time I called him he answered the phone. It was different than all the other times he was gone and a part of me was hoping that his story about helping out a friend was true.

Sunday was the final straw. The day that I will forever kick myself for. I had to work on Sunday and Jake was supposed to watch Zack. Never before has he ever taken him anywhere or done anything with him to make me think that Zack would EVER be in any danger. For Jake drugs have always been a night time thing and so I have never really worried about him during the day.

Sunday he decided to break that streak.

Excuse me while I take a brief break to collect my thoughts... writing this down has been harder than I thought it would be. I love my husband, I wouldn't be here if I didn't, but the decisions that he made could have really had some bad consequences. And it hurts. I'm very objective about Jake. I make a decision and I move forward. I don't waller, I don't cry and to most people it looks like I am incredibly strong. I have been trained this way.

Don't take my lack of blubbering on to be a lack of emotion. It's just that falling apart right now is not going to help me keep my job, my house, or my son. It's only going to be me... falling apart.

Okay... back to Sunday. Sunday morning before I left Jake and I had the standard conversation. Do not even THINK about taking your son anywhere where he could be in danger. Stay home, call me if you need anything, I'll be back by noon. To which all of it was answered, "You know I would NEVER do anything to put Zack in danger. I love my son."

Sometime around 8:00 on Sunday morning Jake stopped answering his phone and my heart SANK!! Panic ensued but I tried to stay calm. Finally about 8:45 he answered again and he was at home because I could hear the dogs in the background. He told me he had just run up to Wal-mart and he was back. I asked how Zack was doing and he told me that he had changed him into a cute outfit (which he NEVER does) and that he was doing just fine.

By 11:00 I just had a feeling I needed to go home and so off I went. I knew something was wrong immediately. I opened the door and heard a rumbling upstairs. Then Jake came running down the stairs and immediately went to the couch and grabbed something up and put it in his pocket. I could tell right away that he had done some drug. I could see it in his eyes and the way he talked to me.

I immediately told him he needed to leave and he did. And that my friends is how we got to this point. He put me in the position that I either had to make good on my threat or be the woman who forever just made empty threats. I started with the police.

Since it's an on-going case I don't want to say too much about the circumstances just that I let them have access to my garage to look at an item of property that may have been stolen. They took it on Monday morning. They have yet to figure out if it is stolen but it is no longer at my house so that is alright with me.

After that I went for the commitment. When Jake called me on Monday he said he was going to check himself into rehab. I didn't hold my breath. By Monday night the story I got was that he needed a couple of days to clear his head and then he would do it. Tuesday morning we signed the papers.

After that it was just a matter of finding him. Luckily I have a friend who volunteered to help me. I will never be able to repay the kindness that this friend has showed me. I can only say that he has taken me and Zack under his wing and vowed to help us and make sure that we were safe. At 5:00 he called me and said he was out looking. He had no luck.

Than about 6:00 I got a tip that he was seen at a motel with the word Red in the name. Even though my friend was at home he jumped back in his vehicle with his wife and was out looking again. By 6:45 I got a call that they had found him.

Things after that moved pretty quickly. The police came, the pulled Jake out, they took him to treatment. In the room was drugs and a prostitute. He claims they didn't sleep together, she was just there for the drugs. She claims they didn't sleep together, she was just there for the drugs. Druggies are liers. I will never know the truth and quite frankly I don't care. My husband has a disease and what is most important right now is to get him help. We will figure the rest out at a later date.

So, there you have it... all the gorey details. Please, if you have any compassion for me do not take this opportunity to bash Jake in the comments. As I have said before I love my husband and he is very sick. As it looks right now he will be gone for a few months getting his ducks in a row and where we go from there is our decision... not yours.

I don't need to be judged for my decisions nor do I need to be lectured for them. I just need to tell people so that 1) if there is anyone else out there going through something similar they know that they are not alone and 2) because it makes me feel better.

For now I'm just going to take it one day at a time. There is a song by Rascal Flatts that I am taking my inspiration from. It is called Stand and there is a part in the song that says

You might bend, till you break
Cause its all you can take
On your knees you look up
Decide you've had enough
You get mad you get strong
Wipe your hands shake it off
Then you Stand

That's where I'm at. I'm picking myself up and dusting myself off and trying to stand strong for myself and my son. Chances are that if Jake is gone for more than a month we will have to sell our house and possibly some of our other things but we will cross that bridge when we come to it. We have enough between our tax refund and our savings to make it until about the end of April. That will get me through tax season and let me take a couple of weeks to sort through it all.

One day at a time....

17 comments:

Jess Olson said...

You know me...I am a question asker...

You said....
"I just know that dwelling in a past that you can't change has never done anyone any good. You can only change the future."

My Question....
When do you start seeing your past (10 years) in your future and begin changing the future rather than the past?

Laura said...

Heather, I'm so sorry. I had no idea. You ARE incredibly strong to be dealing with this and working and raising a baby and not falling apart. You did the right thing, and Jake will thank you for it later. I'm glad you're not acting like a pushover. And you're very brave for telling your story.

I could never tell you what decision to make in this situation. I know your actions and decisions will be guided by your love for your son - he comes first.

Lynanne said...

Oh Heather, reading about this brings back many painful memories. I can't claim to know what you are feeling or going through…my story is so different. There are some similarities though…the family stress...the court cases (including a commitment hearing for my best friend/close family member), the sociopath (not a slur – he was diagnosed as such)/felon, the restraining order, working with the cops, preterm labor with my first son…and on and on.

Having been through all of that myself, I am really worried about you. At the time I thought I was strong – I did what I had to get through it. The family member was committed for treatment yet I stood by her. Little by little my world tumbled in on itself. I didn’t notice it at first. I blamed post-partum hormones… the fatigue of having a new baby…the insecurities of new motherhood. I became extremely depressed (post-partum depression they called it – hah!) and didn’t recognize it as such until I was in a very dark place.

I’m not saying that this will happen to you, but please don’t forget to look out for yourself. You’ve probably only scratched the surface of the lies, the manipulation, and the hurt. I am NOT slamming Jake by saying this – it’s a fact of his illness. My ass-vice is to make sure you don't try to be a super woman. Seek out support for yourself – whether it be one-on-one or from a support group. If you don’t feel comfortable doing so at this time, recruit a best friend (or two or three) to watch for red flags from you. Make sure she knows that you will become very good at hiding your feelings – either by denial or fear.

Ugh…I wish I knew the right things to say right now. I hope my comments don’t annoy you. Perhaps I should just leave it at this -- I feel for you…take care and good luck with all that you will face! You are an amazing person for looking out for Jake in this dark hour. All the best to you!

Creative Genius? said...

Good freakin lord woman - what you've been through...and you're still standing! That take a lot of courage and strenght - and you should be proud of yourself.

I agree with Lynanne and please please please get help. There are organizations (some religious, some not) that will help family members of drug addicts... with money, with support, with direction. Please let me know and I can search the internet for options in your area.

I just wanted to add that before you think of Jake you need to think of Zack - as the actions you take are for him as much as for you.

I will not judge or lecture - (as I am NOT on the side of the addict and rarely do I think they'll get better) but know that you are in my thoughts and prayers and I know now that you've started down this road you'll continue to stand up for yourself and do what is right for you and Zack!

spellconjurer said...

Heather, if I were Jake, I'd want no other wife than you. The wife that is loving enough, and strong enough to stand up and fight for him. We all hope for that in our mate. I have a brother who is little different than Jake, and he's left a trail of women, children, and broken hearts behind. Nobody he loved, was strong enough to do what you are doing. I don't blame them either, it's incredibly hard. You never want to see someone you love, be destroyed by disease. There are people in this world Heather that understand exactly what it feels like to love someone with an addiction problem. Maybe you will have to sell your house. That won't take away Zach, or your love, or your job. You keep on writing, and leaning on your friends and your family. The best way you can help Jake and Zach, is if you let people support you, and keep you from breaking when you've bent as far as you possibly think you can.

kreints said...

Where to begin? I am both proud of you and afraid for you. The first commentor could not have said it more true. Please seek some proffesional guidance for yourself. You are not only going through an extreme time, but you are going through it after having a baby. I went through minor post pardom after Henry and I did not have near the stresses that you have right now. I respect your decision to "stand by your man"- however remember that you and Zach are number 1. Jake needs to get better for himself before he can get better for you and Zach. I am always here for you - you know that.

Erin said...

Oh Heather, what a time you've been through. Being a new mom is so hard. Being a new mom and the wife of a drug addict--I can't even imagine. My heart goes out to you.

I've never been through this and don't have any advice, but I'm here reading and supporting you and Zach.

Erin E. said...

I agree with erin, new mom stress is hard enough. I can't begin to imagine what you are going through. Joe and I are here for you. Zack is lucky to have a mom like you.

OldMotherHubbardSharesAll said...

Oh Heather, First let me say I'm sorry I haven't been around to support you.

I agree with what you said about the BLOG being for YOU! I also use my blog for venting and have had people quit talking to me (family that is) because of it and I say FINE! It's mine and I need it right now! Okay enough about my soap box!

I am in awe of that fact that your still standing after all this. I'm so sorry that the joy of a new baby is being blurred by such a rough time in your life! Possibly God gave you Zach to help you through the time it takes for Jake to heal and come home and make friends with his son! Only bash I have to say is "I hope Jake knows how lucky he is to have your love and willingness to see him through so many ups and downs!"

Know I am reading and lifting you up in prayer - May God keep you in the Palm of his Hand!

becky said...

You don't know me from a hole in the ground, but I wanted to come by and to say that you are a brave, brave person.

I wish you and your family the best of luck, and know that people are rooting for you.

Anonymous said...

Heather-

When I read your words, my blood turns cold. I can feel the heightened anxiety and pressure, not to mention the anger and feelings of betrayal. I want you to know that though our situations are very different, they are enough alike for me to truly feel and understand a great deal of your pain. Jake is sick. His sickness is real. Those facts cannotbe denied. Keep in mind that illnesses have a way of being contagious, of spreading. Your number one job right now is to keep you and Zack as healthy and protected from Jake's illness as possible. Yes, that will more than likely mean big changes in your life. Remember that nothing good can come without change. It is obvious that you have great strength, to be truly effective that must be combined with great conviction. You have taken a stand. You have begun to draw your line in the sand. DO NOT MOVE THAT LINE. You are a mother now. Your commitment and bond and love must go to your baby first. Secondly you must take the time and energy to care for yourself. You are your son's lifeline. In utero it was the embellical cord, now that he is here, it it is that promise you make to him each and everytime you look into his eyes. I am your mother. That is a forever deal. No matter what danger comes lurking at our door I will forver take care of you. Physically, emotionally, psychologically. I will never leave your side. I will put your best intrests above everything else. You are my priority. Say that to Zack, love him, hold him, and tell him that. Let that serve as your compass while navigating these rough waters. I have faith in you. You will do what is right. -M

My Reality said...

You are a remarkably strong woman. Both your son and your husband are lucky to have you in their lives.

I will be thinking of you and your family during this difficult time.

Krista said...

I was directed here from Erin's blog. I want to say that it is obvious that you are protecting your son, that is why you have taken this step now when you never have before.

I wish you the best of luck, and continued strength to keep protecting your son if necessary (But I sure hope it isn't)

Tink said...

Oh Heather. Hon, I'm so sorry I didn't check your site sooner! Your post had me in tears. My heart feels like it's in a vice grip. You are so amazingly strong. Don't give up hope. You did the right thing for you, your baby, and Jake.

My Dad was (is?) addicted to drugs. I haven't spoken with him in nearly three years. As a child I went with him to drug houses. I didn't know what they were, just that the people in them were not OK. My father was not OK. I loved him so much and he fucked up everything he touched.

I wish someone had gotten him into rehab. I wish I'd been old enough to understand and tell someone. I wish he'd had someone like you in his life.

I love you girl. My prayers, thoughts, wishes go out to you.

tipsymarie said...

Hi, I came here by way of my reality. I just wanted give my support to you and your post was so powerful. I will keep reading.

Anonymous said...

Thinking of you during this terribly hard time. I am so sorry that you are going through this. Your husband is lucky that you are such a strong woman.

Karen said...

Oh, Heather, how dreadful for all of you! I came here by way of Erin and just want to offer you my support.

I've never been through what you've been through. My mother-in-law is a drug addict (though her drug of choice was usually a prescription pain killer), but she was in recovery by the time I met her. Still, I see the addict behaviour in her sometimes and it's frightening to think of what it would be like combined with drug use.

You are obviously incredibly strong and you're working hard to make your family stable. Please don't forget about you. Ask Jake's doctors if they can recommend some professional support outlets for you. You're going to need it in the coming months.