Friday, February 26, 2016

How it ended - 8/100

I officially broke things off on October 24th, 2014. It was a long time coming but it took really knowing that he couldn't change for me to know what I had to do.

He'd been working in SF for about 6 months and spending the work week renting a room from a friend out there. Prior to that job, he'd spent a year and a half unemployed and living through the money he got from the sale of house he and his sister inherited. Once the house money, which we had planned to use as a down payment on a house for us, was gone, he started actually looking for a job and I supported him until he got the SF job.

I welcomed the time without him. I needed a break from his constant presence, his lack of productivity, his mess and negativity. He hated that we'd be apart during the week and only took the job after I promised I'd look for a new job and that we'd move there. I'd recently shifted my career path and nearly doubled my income and as a fledgling in a new field, unlikely to find the opportunity again, I reluctantly agreed. I thought things might get better with him working. Maybe being productive and earning money would help the depression and resultant alcohol abuse.

They didn't get better. We only saw each other on the weekends. I'd drop him off at the train station on Monday morning and pick him up Friday night. Weekdays were gloriously calm and steady. Quiet, clean, stable. Weekends were unpredictable. Maybe we'd have a good time together and do something fun with friends. Maybe he'd arrive in a mood and spend Friday night drinking, Saturday asleep, and Sunday recovering. It was a crap shoot. I noticed several weeks into the arrangement that on Fridays around 3pm I started to have anxiety. As the end of the work week drew near my solar plexus would tighten, my hands grew clammy and my heart pounded. Strange thing to feel, as most people welcome Friday nights and the weekend with open arms.

There were various incidents over that period of time. One was the aforementioned broken hand (6/100), another was drinking all day prior to and going AWOL during an outing to a choral/orchestral production we went to as a birthday gift for a dear friend. After we got out of the event he could not be found but was calling repeatedly, incoherent, belligerent and when I didn't run to his side after he'd made it home safely, he drunkenly took my car to come find me. I agreed to go home so he wouldn't wreck my car or get it impounded. Another time he got drunk on a Thursday night in SF, fell down the stairs in his apartment and gave himself a concussion. He couldn't navigate the train system so I had to drive to San Francisco and back on a Friday afternoon, which I'd planned to spend with another dear friend who'd lost her brother only days prior.

In September of 2014 he had a trip to Vegas planned with a couple buddies. It meant he'd stay the week in SF, fly out to Vegas from there and fly back to work the week. I had a weekend to myself, and I was glad for it. After 5 months it had become clear that I enjoyed my time without him more than I enjoyed my time with him, and I had no interest in moving to a new city with him. I knew he'd do a number on himself in Vegas and I was thankful to not bear witness to it. He arrived back in SF with major withdrawal symptoms and took himself to the hospital for fear of dying. The doctors told him he had alcoholic hepatitis (inflammation of the liver) and that if he didn't stop drinking he could die. The statistics weren't in his favor.

He went 5 weeks without drinking. Around 4 weeks he said he missed it. Friday of the 5th week he got a second opinion. The new Dr (a psychiatrist, not a gastroenterologist or GP) told him it wasn't hepatitis, just elevated enzyme levels. That night he came home, had a couple friends over, and drank until 8am, just as I was getting up. He had an on call shift that started at 6am and passed out as he got his first call around 8:30. He slept the entire day. I had a lot of time to think that day and something clicked. "this will never change." I thought. The threat of death was not enough to stop this man from destroying himself with alcohol, who was I to think he'd ever stop for me? It was October 18th.

I spent the next week getting my ducks in a row, practically and mentally. I had dinner with my parents to see if they would be supportive. I didn't need it but I knew it would be good to have and I needed to know whether I needed to cut them out for a while. They'd spent $15,000 on a wedding just 18 months prior. They knew nothing of the ugliness I'd endured but still didn't bat an eye; they were behind me 100%. The next day, Friday the 24th, he pressed me about moving to San Francisco with him and offered to get a job in town as an alternative, anything to not be apart anymore. I told him I wouldn't be moving to San Francisco, and that I didn't want him to move back here. I told him he should get a place there where he could take the dogs and that I'd ride out the lease with my cats.

After a day or two thinking about it he decided I shouldn't get to make all the calls. He said he wanted to stay in our house. I confirmed a couple times that I was free to leave, and had an apartment secured 2 days later. I moved out on November 21st and never looked back.

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