I wrote this when I first started my blog. I fully intended to post it at the time, but when it came to it, I bottled it. Its such a personal post and I decided against posting it. I was talking to another blogger today on Twitter and she inspired me to bite me lip, close my eyes and just hit publish. So here goes…
When I was 20ish, I met this guy.
He was funny and always the life and soul of the party. He was different from my usual type – the brooding bad boy type – and I figured he would probably be a better long term prospect than that type. Long story short, we got together, and eventually got engaged and I really thought at that time he was a keeper.
I was so wrong. As we spent more time together, I realised he was the life and soul of the party because he was always drunk. I was young and stupid and figured this was no big deal – life’s about having fun right? We all drank too much then – we were at that age were we went out a lot.
As we grew up, the rest of us (myself and our friends group) grew up. He just got older. We all settled down a bit. We still had nights out obviously, but he still drank everyday.
By this point it was obvious to me that drinking had gotten a hold on him. But I was in by then, I’d made a commitment, and I felt I shouldn’t just walk away from it.
I thought he’d change, it would just take time. I was still naïve enough at that point to think there could be a happy ending. We’d beat this thing together and live happily ever after. My mistake was in assuming he wanted to change. He didn’t, but of course I couldn’t accept that.
It was painful to say the least to watch him on this spiral of self destruction.
Everywhere we went he was drunk – he showed me up in public so many times, and my life became a constant circle of cleaning up his mess, apologising to people for his behaviour, and of course making excuses for him.
I could see the pity they felt for me, and I think that was the worst part. I became that girl people felt sorry for. The girl they talked about on nights out. The girl no one wanted to be. Yet still I didn’t leave.
We fought a lot. I left and came back. I became someone I didn’t want to be – nagging all the time, crying too much, avoiding social occasions – and I couldn’t see a way out. I gave him ultimatums, he ignored them and then I’d get the apology and how it would be different, and of course I gave in.
By then the love was gone.
Some days I actually hated him. We spent less time together because I couldn’t stand to be around him.
By now you’re probably wondering why I stayed. I would be if I was reading this. At that point, I didn’t have an answer to that – I couldn’t even explain it myself yet.
For certainly the last year of the relationship, maybe more, he was an alcoholic. I hate to say that even now, but it’s the truth. He was.
Things eventually came to a head when we went on holiday with some friends. I realised how far out of control he had become and I left again, this time for good.
I became me again. This nagging, down trodden woman was gone.
I look back over that time and realise I never want to be that person again. Ever. She was weak and wet and if I met her I would want to shake some sense into her.
About a year after that, a friend of mine went through something similar. She left and felt really bad about it. We were messaging about it one day. At the time, I thought nothing of it, except from her point of view.
A while ago, I was looking back over some old messages, trying to find a date (like a date something had happened – I wasn’t trying to stalk friends into a date night!) and that thread was still there. I was curious about it as I don’t really see her anymore, so I had a look. One of the messages I’d sent to her said:
“You keep hoping that one day, you will be more important to him than the next drink”.
Newsflash – that wont ever happen.
It was the ones after that got me though. I sent her a message saying:
“Leaving doesn’t mean you have failed, and you are not a bad person for not wanting to stay”.
And that was when I realised. I had stayed for so long not out of love, not because I seriously thought he would change, not because of the commitment I had made, but because in my mind at the time, to leave meant I had failed.
It was only when I told someone else they hadn’t failed that I realised it was true for me too, and that’s when I finally let go.
Now, I’m working on not letting past mistakes affect my future.
Have you ever stayed in a destructive relationship because you didn’t want to fail? Let me know in the comments 🙂