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One of the worst things about loving an addict is that if they get sober, they don’t remember their drunken antics. WE do.

This is her story:

By the time I was 20, I had battled drug addiction, been married and divorced, survived sexual assault and birthed a baby without a daddy.

If you said that I was broken when I met him, you’d be right, but there were a few pieces of me still hanging on.

He was sexy and wild and I wanted to be part of that. I was a bad-girl. I was the other woman and played the role well. We did the things we shouldn’t be doing and it was all fun and games. Until we decided to make us a permanent thing.

We married and I settled in. Doing all the things a good mom does. We had a baby together and I got to experience what it felt like to have a partner to help me through it.

I was not alone. But my wild and sexy husband remained wild, and drank and drank and drank. He drank us into debt. He drank away our love. He drank away my life.

Two more babies came and each time I thought it would be better. But it never was. He called me names. He pushed me. He drove drunk. He forgot to pick up our children from school. He ruined birthday parties and anniversaries with his moody, sloppy drunkenness. I tried to leave half a dozen times and every time he said it would be different and so I returned to him. But it was not different. It was worse. It was a game and we were all losing.

One summer day I could not take it anymore and I (stupidly) demanded that it stop. Furniture was thrown at me as my children watched. I pushed him out the door, made him go. My 9 year old son called the police.

He never drank again. He worked hard to be sober, and it’s been 5 years. He is healed, people say. How proud I must be of him.

And I am outwardly pleased, but inside I do not trust. I wait on the edge of my seat for the other shoe to drop.

Will today be the day? Will it all fall to pieces again? I can never be sure. I took my vows, and I stood by him and helped him through his darkest hours.

I suffered through years of agony. I cried along with my babies at night while he was out drinking us away.

I am supposed to forgive and move forward, our lives restored, but I am unable to find this “fresh start” that people tell me I’m so lucky to have. I am not the lucky one.

He is.

I spent too many years fixing him for it all to fall apart now.

But I’m the one with the memories, the nightmares, the emotional scars.  All the deeds that he cannot undo, and the behavior that remains the same, whether he is sober or drunk. I am still mother and father and caregiver and nurturer to everyone but myself.

I am tired of doing this alone.  I don’t want to be a martyr.  I want my life back.

I want to be whole again.