the day after Christmas

It was the day after Christmas and my youngest daughter and I were nursing our morning coffee after a late night of junk food and binging Netflix. My phone rang its distinctive Duck call ring tone and I walked over to the counter to see who it was. It was my ex. It was a dick move but I chose to let it go to voice mail. I do that a lot. I’m not proud of it. I don’t hate her but I have been conditioned to feel a sense of foreboding when she calls.

Too many years. Too many bad phone calls. Too many uncomfortable associations.

2 minutes later she texted me. Please call me it’s an emergency!

I called her right away. Her boyfriend Glenn was missing. He had been since Christmas Eve.

Do you remember Glenn? I wrote a blog about him a while back. He is the boyfriend that moved in with my ex and caused a family brouhaha. With a history of drug problems, still married with a shit ton of baggage some of us were less than thrilled that they were shacking up. It blew over, like most things do. I met him on Thanksgiving. He was a nice enough guy and I accepted him, if not the situation. My only problem was that I knew, as did my ex, that it would end badly.

It ended worse than anyone could imagine.

He’s dead.

My ex saw his car at a rest stop several hours later. She found his lifeless body in the back seat curled under a blanket. We’re waiting for the autopsy results but we know it was an overdose. The only unknown was how much of what he took.

She is a hot mess right now and I feel terrible. The memory of finding his lifeless body will be burned in her brain forever. Despite all of my animosity towards her I find myself perplexed and frustrated because I want to help. There’s nothing that I, or anyone can do.

She had told him, and herself as if in an effort to convince herself, that if he used drugs while with her that she would throw him out. Several months later, when he was still there, I assumed that he was clean. I now know that he wasn’t. He relapsed several times, disappeared for a few days at a time on benders and then showed up begging for forgiveness. She caved each time. I guess that’s what you do when you love someone.

I drove two hours yesterday to see her. To comfort her. I put everything aside to give her a hug. It was the first time we had hugged, even touched each other since my father’s funeral in 2013. I told her that I would never in a million years want such a thing to befall her. Then I left and drove another 2 hours.

I checked my FB at a gas station on the way up. She had posted a meme about how her life would never be the same and added her own commentary about how no one had ever made her feel as he did and that her life was changed forever by his love and that she will never feel again about another man. As concerned as I was about her I was stung a bit by her post. I spent half of my life with this woman, nearly killed myself trying to support and love her and this is what I see? Part of me wondered if she ever loved me that much.

I quickly reminded myself that it wasn’t about me.

Still, it stings. I guess I will just pile that onto an already heaping shit pile of things that I will never understand. Again, it’s not about me.

Addiction is a powerful thing. More powerful than many, including my ex, will ever understand. Like suicide, it’s the ones around and left behind that get hurt. I take no satisfaction in the fact that I told her she would end up being hurt. Being right doesn’t matter. The damage is done. The pain is palpable. The struggle continues.

All that is left is the cleanup.

15 thoughts on “the day after Christmas”

  1. Damn! God Bill. I didn’t see that coming. Addiction. That’s a tough one. Your ex, that’s a different kind of tough. You are a good man. People grieve in all sorts of ways. No, it is NOT about you… but when will it be? You are taking the high road because you are empathetic, but you still get to feel stung! Wow. Sorry Bill.~k.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Morning Bill. I thought so much about you last night that I was relieved to see this post today ~ I don’t know why..just concerned that you hadn’t posted in a few but I assumed it was the holidays. Now that I’ve read it…the FB post was shocking, it would be to anyone in your shoes and it was insensitive of her (despite her grief) to post something so soon and so self-serving (IMHO); it seems like this will be her “card to play” for a while to come.
    For you…that part of your life is over and you are better off now (at least I think you are) than you were with her. You did a good thing because you are a good person and you set a good example for your children and she’s stuck with herself. Shake the dust off your shoes and move on.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. You showed yourself to be the betrer person Billy, for what it’s worth. I’d have gone bananas after such a posting on FB. A terrible thing to happen though.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. There is a relative in the family that has been a slave to drugs for years, so much so that she abandoned her own kids. So yes, it is a powerfully destructive force. Still, I can understand how you feel. Yes, this isn’t about you, but still. After all the shit she put you through, you did the noble thing by supporting her only to learn once again that you would always suck the hind tit in the love and devotion department far as the ex is concerned. Guess some things never change,.

    Liked by 2 people

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