It's OK To Cut an Addict Out of Your Life

It's OK To Cut an Addict Out of Your Life

After I married and became a mother, the money my husband and I earned had to go into raising my daughter. I no longer had any money to give to him. He showed no interest in my daughter — he came to meet her once when she was an infant, stayed briefly, went out for a five-minute “cigarette break” and never returned. I presumed he’d gone off somewhere to score drugs, and I felt so hurt on my baby’s behalf that I clung to her long after he’d left.

When my mother died, he showed up looking disheveled for her memorial service. He left before it was over, perhaps to score drugs, or to go off and get drunk, because by then he’d also become a heavy drinker. A few days after the service, he called me. “You must have inherited money,” he said (which was untrue, as my mother had spent all her money on medical and living expenses), “so can you lend me a big chunk this time, bigger than usual, and I’ll use it to go straight, I promise?”

And that was when I had had enough. Illness or not, he was toxic for me. I didn’t want to see him any longer, and I didn’t want him around my daughter. I hung up and wrote him a letter. “Don’t ask me for money again. If you want to visit us because you care about us, I would love that.” My hand trembled as I wrote, so painful was it for me to tell him this. He didn’t respond, and I haven’t heard from him since. Yes, I understood that he was ill, and that in so many ways he had no choice. But neither did I.

Originally published at Purple Clover

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