I have a good job. I have a good amount of debt from before I had a good job, but I still make decent money. I should be able to live relatively comfortably…
…but sometimes I go days without eating. Not by choice; but because the addict in my life takes all of my money before I can get my hands on it. I’m lucky I am usually able to pay the bills before he takes it all. Sometimes I’m not.
He even knows that my check clears at 1:30 a.m. and he leaves with my card every payday while I sleep to stop at the ATM. He doesn’t work, mind you. His addiction makes him believe that my money is his money… that he’ll die if he can’t get what he “needs” and that I would be a terrible person to deny him.
I got paid four days ago. I don’t get paid for another ten days. I am starving. All that’s left in the house is a can of peas. Once I eat that, I will have literally nothing. My fridge and freezer are completely bare. I am currently looking for local food pantries. I don’t know what else to do.
I have taken out loans, piled up credit card debt, and handed over my paychecks, and none of it helped. It only made things worse.
Reading that back over makes me feel like an utter idiot, but the conversation is never as cut and dry as, “Hey, can I have all of your money?” Living with an addict – speaking to an addict – is always a complete mindfuck. They tell you they have money coming in somehow… a job, money owed to them… they’ll be able to pay you right back… that they’re going to get help after this last time… that they have a plan… that this will be the last time they ever ask for help… but it never happens that way.
You keep telling them this is the last time you can “help” them… if you don’t stop giving them money, you will lose your car, your home, etc. And they will say they understand, but the second they know you have a dollar to your name, they will begin scheming. They will work you with all of their might. They will twist the truth in so many directions that you won’t know what’s what anymore.
And once the lying and manipulating stops working – once they realize you’re standing up for yourself and refusing to fall for it – that’s when the threats start… threats of suicide, of destroying your home, of pawning your things. My addict even threatened to put my pets outside (my worst fear is losing them).
You will become a hostage.
And that’s what I am. A hostage. A hostage with a rumbling stomach and a broken heart.