Support for Family Members and Friends of Addicts Community
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I feel like a jackass even writing this but I just need someone to talk to about this. My ex and I have known each other since 1969, off and on relationship. We got married in 1998 and I had to file for divorce in 2008 because of his unmitigated crack use. He has had drug/alcohol problems his entire life. He has also had a problem with violent behavior and has been diagnosed bipolar. I have been gradually backing out of his life over the last several years for the fact that he has been unable to stop using, despite the fact that he now has Hep C and end stage cirrhosis. I know he is going to die and he is the last person in my life who knows me since I was a kid. I dont have any children, friends or anything else and I have essentially been out of work for 4 years, going thru nursing school, and graduated in 2010 only to find that no one will hire new grads without experience. My finances are really bad right now. In any event, he has been unable to keep a roof over his head for more than 5 months (I will not allow him to live or sleep here until he shows 6 months of sobriety which he has been unable to do). He gets SSI, Medicaid and food stamps because of his end stage liver disease. When he gets his check on the first of the month, he promptly blows it all on crack, when he gets his electronic food stamps, he goes and finds his drug dealer of choice, buys him groceries in exchange for crack. When he gets kicked out of apartments because he doesnt pay his rent, because the money went to crack, he goes and checks into the hospital and runs up huge bills on Medicaid's tab.  I have tried to talk to Social Security about this but no one will listen. In any event, on July 2nd I called him on his cell phone to see if he was still alive as I keep my distance (usually) but am still concerned. He asked me to come and pick him up so he could get some clean clothes. (His clothes were taken out of here years ago but he periodically comes and dumps them on my deck as he has no place to put them, being homeless. I have asked the police for help but they are too busy and too short staffed to be bothered). In any event, I went and picked him up and he was just coming down off the crack, something that was not apparent on the phone, and he started getting up in my face while I was driving, so much so I could almost not see the road. When we got to my house and after he changed his clothes, he started backing me up against the wall and getting up in my face going on and on about all the things I have done to him over the last 40 years (none of which are anywhere near the things he has done to me, I might add). He had given me $50 the previous day because I told him I needed it and he demanded it back. I gave it to him and then he demanded I drive him somewhere (in an attempt to get money for more crack from the person he wanted to go to). I refused and told him that at $4 a gallon and with no work that I could not do it, especially since he just took the $50 back. Long story short, we got out to my car and he gave me a choice, return a smart phone he had given me several weeks earlier (which I had never asked for) or drive him. I told him I would give him the phone back. I reached in to get it, as it was inside the car, and he grabbed me by the hair from behind and smashed my face into the side of my car, opening up a huge gash just over my right eye and causing facial swelling and bruising. Blood was gushing out of the wound but I knew that if I did not drive him that he would either injure me again or push me on the ground and take my car keys and steal my car.  Well, I drove him and dropped him off and went directly to the sheriff's office and reported it.  Went to the E.R. where the bills totalled $8000, as I had no medical insurance.  The sheriff started emailing him and texting him and he finally returned the call and turned himself in.  It turns out that just after he was put in jail, with a $500 bail that he could not meet, he had to be taken to the hospital because of physical damage done by all the drinking and drugging he had done prior to the assault. He was in there for 7-10 days and must have cost the jail about $100,000 as Medicaid does not cover your expenses when you are incarcerated. From that point on, the jail administration started petitioning the judge to let him out on his own recognizance because they were afraid he would have more hospital bills that would be the County's responsibility. My ex also has a long criminal record over several states with 12 felonies but has never gotten 3 strikes because of timing and the way the law is written. Everyone just keeps letting him out. Anyhow, last week the judge rolled the dice and let him back out onto the street. My ex gave them what I believe is a false address and just hit the streets again, smoking crack. It also turns out that no hospital around here wants to admit him anymore, as they are sick of all his frequent flyer nonsense. So that adage about the 3 ways that addiction ends: jail, institutions or death has now left him only with death as not even the jails want him anymore.  To be perfectly honest, I am addicted to what I thought we once had (or maybe we never had it) and am addicted to the adrenalin rush with all this nonsense.  Anyhow, I called him yesterday on his cell and asked him if he wanted some clothes. I figured I would be in a public place and I would be safe. Wrong again. He had me driving around in circles while he tried to figure out who he could hit on for money (which he never directly said, I just figured it out).  With one side of his mouth, he said he never meant to hurt me and with the other side he was grabbing my right hand, twisting my fingers backwards almost to the breaking point trying to keep me from opening the car door to get away from him and telling me he was going to take my car away from me and run with it. I finally convinced him to go to the hospital and fortunately for me I was able to get away once that happened. He tried calling me to come and pick him up stating they did not want him there (I knew what he really wanted was to get back on the street and resume his quest for crack). I never went back as I realized not only was I likely to get physically hurt, as he kept bringing up all that stuff from 40 years ago and blaming me for everything that is currently happening in his life. I also realized that if I got in the car with him again that he was to do a strongarm robbery and force me to go to the ATM to get out $20 so he could get high. He had mentioned that inadvertently earlier in the day, that I could go to the ATM and get money if he could not find someone to give him $20.  And of course, I am broke right now.  But that would not matter. I just wanted to get all this stuff off my chest. I know I should never have gone to meet him yesterday after what he did, I know I was putting myself in danger but I guess he is not the only one that is climbing a wall of denial.  I keep telling myself that maybe somehow we can get back to the days when we were first married, when he achieved sobriety for multiple years and was a good husband.  I know logically that is never ever going to be anymore. His last stop on this train is going to be death, probably violently, because none of the other institutions will have him anymore, not even the jail.  It is just, after all these years of knowing him, I never thought it would end this way. Thanks for listening.
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