“The ingenuity of self-deception is inexhaustible.”
Hannah Moore

I haven’t had the will to write these past few days but see that it is necessary if I want to face the truth. I discovered that my partner B has been using again. Even after I bought him expensive text books and a backpack for his study, paid for his cancelled and rescheduled doctors fees as well as all of the other daily grind payments. My retrenchment payout, that we have been living off since November last year, will dry up by the time I am due to give birth.

Why did I think things had improved? – He had been exercising regularly, swimming, riding his bike, quitting smoking. However, during his bike rides into the CBD, only 20 minutes ride away, he has been scoring, using and then riding home.

I was devastated, again. Since the truth has been discovered, he has continued to use on a daily or every two day basis (this is moderate for him compared to when he is in full swing). I cried but did not feel the fear that my whole world was going to crash down. I did send some vile messages to him regarding his capacity for fatherhood and the short and long-term damage that he was inflicting on his son (who lives part of the time, with his junkie ex-partner and her junkie partner). Things along the line of he was determining his son’s own junkie destiny, a child lives what they learn and learns what they live.

I knew that put-downs were only going to exacerbate his feelings of self loathing. So on each occasion, I would express my disappointment through my tears but try not to go on with criticism or ultimatums for an extended period. On a positve note, he did actually tell the truth each time I asked whether he was stoned. This is an improvement because it is the lying that has created such suspicion and distrust from me in the past. I have tried to encourage him to tell me when he considering scoring, as it happens but he confessed that he is fighting those thoughts all of the time and we would be discussing nothing else.

We have communicated about it frequently, I think in a way, we both have wanted to pretend it hasn’t been happening as he has been attempting to continue on functioning in other ways. He cooks dinner every night when he gets home from study, he helps me keep the apartment tidy, he is an affectionate father, who spends time with his kids playing and reading every day, is generally loving, caring and supportive of me, as I struggle with depression and my pregnant joblessness.

After each time he used, I would say, nothing has changed, you will be still using by the time I have the baby, this time next year etc. He would reply, I have improved, I am trying, I will keep trying. Every day, the same mantra. One night I cracked and pointed out that I had heard this at least 500 times since we had been together and that the intention was just that. I needed to see some action, obviously wanting to change wasn’t enough. I wasn’t talking about long-term rehabilitation, I wasn’t talking a naltrexone implant, just one thing to demonstrate that he was going to try something different. His words are empty to me now, I want to see a behavioural change. Talk to me about the thoughts as they happen.

At his most recent doctors appointments, he initiated two increases in his methadone from 90mls to 110mls. Once he increases to 120 mls it will almost completely nullify any of the initial rush or high that heroin would give him, which would make its procurement worthless. Interestingly, since the new dosage has come into effect, he has said a number of times out loud, well, I guess this really is it. I gather he may have scored the last few days but not had the desired effect.  

He also went back to his doctor to get a referral to see a psychologist who has specific experience with drug and alcohol addiction.

He studied every day during his holidays (despite having his son stay with us for the majority of the time) and managed to get his three assignments submitted, with only one a day late.

He has been telling me about the changes he is undergoing, as he is not going through a physical withdrawal due to the methadone increase, however, the underlying anxiety and depression is more noticeable. This week, he was nervous about returning to study after his short holiday, whether his examination and assignment results being high enough, he was anxious about his son’s behavioural difficulties and really noticed physical and anxiety symptoms, if he didn’t take his anti-depressants early in the morning. He has tried to explain to me the compulsive nature of using heroin. Once that decision had been made to score, all the other ill-effects were temporarily erased from his memory.
I am losing the fear that our relationship will entirely disintegrate if he continues to use. For the past two years, I have kicked him out many times, only to beg him to return despite what I feel is genuine ambivalence from him at the time about whether he is capable of having an adult relationship with me.

He has been telling throughout each day that he does love me, that he hates himself for what he has put me through. Now, I feel anger but it doesn’t feel like it has to be all or nothing, I am learning to understand that this addiction is a constant struggle for both the person that is fighting the addiction from the inside and the other person not using, that is fighting it from the outside. I don’t want to battle him anymore, just that bloody seemingly seductive chemical.

I am trying not to blame the dealers for supplying him, his mother for having given him money to buy it, his junkie friends ringing him up to see if he wants to score with him, his ex-partner talking about her own usage problems to him on a daily basis. It is entirely up to him whether he resists.  

I have also been less accommodating regarding caring for his son on a full-time basis (due to his ex-partner’s own usage). I have said no regarding requests for money, consistently availing myself to be the key disciplinarian, nanny and chaffeur.

I went for a job about a fortnight ago, with a government organisation that monitors women’s equal employment opportunities and obligations in both government and private companies. I am 7 months pregnant and the contract was for 4.5 months. I was really confident about my ability to do the role and thought it would be a good short term experience. It would have required me to take 6 weeks off work after my caesarian as you are not allowed to drive during that period, purely for insurance reasons.

I explained that I could organise care through my family post that period and I could work from home during that first 6 weeks. Within 5 minutes, they went from being really excited about my experience to the realisation that my birth plans were not going to fit in with their peak period. The irony killed me, this agency is lobbying for flexibility for men and women in the workplace (particularly around family demands/parental leave) and paid maternity leave in Australia.

It was the first time since November that I actually gave up on getting a job before the baby was born. I have literally applied for hundreds of roles ranging from executive level (where I was pitched in my last role) to the most basic adminsitrative positions. I have received every recruitment rejection letter possible and not given up hope! 

Which organisation would employ someone who was about to give birth in two months? A week later, a friend heard about a two month contract opportunity at her workplace and forwarded on my CV for their consideration. I had an interview this week and was told immediately that I could start next week. They have offered me part-time hours, on decent money and have indicated that if things work out well, that there could be further casual work this year, which might lead to a permanent opportunity. It will be working in an area of human resources that I have had little experience in – remuneration and benefits, I have transferrable skills that they will rely on and it will give me some good experience in that area as they are going through huge change in this regard and they are a global medical company, so it is out of financial services (first time for me in 10 years). 

It will also take some pressure off the finances for me, I am completely debt free at the moment, (and want to stay that way), own my car outright and want to save to buy my own home one day. 

My little girl has had a re-occuring, ear, nose and throat infection, so I have spent the past two weeks caring for her, treasuring my last weeks as a stay at home mum. I am due to have my other little girl in late June and she has been kicking me and rolling around in my belly. I think she has finally moved her head towards my pelvis and her feet and bum towards my ribs. The last time I was pregnant I ate much more healthier food but too much of it. This time, I have been eating all sorts of naughty foods, drinking a coffee a day but not eating as much. I feel huge but don’t think I am as big as last time. Last time, I seemed to lose all of the weight I had gained (20 kilos) within 2 months. 

I haven’t felt the fear of the unknown regarding the labour, I have tried to keep the whinging to a minimum, although I notice that when I haven’t had enough sleep I am overly sensitive and emotional the next day. I also haven’t felt the same body self consciousness that I felt the first time, people really do stare at you when you get to the last trimester. Finally it is obvious you are pregnant and not just fat. It is pretty fascinating I guess and it is understandable that people want to check it out, particularly men  who are mostly used to perceiving women’s bodies in relation to their sexual desires, rather than the outcomes.  

As the baby tends to wake up when I would ordinarily go to sleep, I have been staying up quite late, watching late night television, whilst reading through and catching up on my favourite’s diaries. I have spent many nights sleeping on the lounge, the white noise of the television, or music have always been essential for me to drift off to sleep, whereas B prefers silence.

I am looking forward to our sex life returning to normal once I have had the baby. Although my libido is always supercharged, his wanes, partly due to his methadone use but mostly because I think he has hangups about sleeping with a pregnant woman. When we have had sex, he seems to suffer some misplaced guilt about the effects it might have on the baby. If I have an orgasm it utterly relaxes me, particularly in the chi region, why wouldn’t the baby feel that wave of relaxation?

I am due to see the teenage "little brother" that I mentor, this weekend. I tried to contact him last weekend but didn’t get a reply. He is now 13 going on 21. He has changed so much in the past three years I have been working with him. He has gone from being an emo skater boy to a real "lad" now. He is much more brand conscious, dresses like a hoodie, spends much of his free time smoking dope and drinking with his mates, graffitying trains and train stations. He still has trouble reading and is on his last warning from his high school regarding expulsion. He has already been sent to a behavioural school in Western Sydney, where the teacher / student ratio goes from 1:30 to 1:4. Although, this school only held lessons for four hours a day, he claimed to learn more in those few months then he had in the past five years in school. It just goes to show how important it is for kids with learning difficulties to get more personalised teaching that is not stretched to meet the needs of the highest and lowest common denominator in the class.

My major concern is how much he glorifies the idea of ending up in a juvenile justice institution. Having once been successful for a job in one of these institutions in my early 20’s to teach art, I didn’t even last the first day of training. Seeing how these kids lived, the reality of being completely dehumanised, once life had already pushed them to completely anti-social and criminal behaviour through circumstances beyond their control, I don’t think anyone as soft/compassionate as me could stomach how toxic these environments are and not end up broken myself. There is real increase in the lock up rates of adolescents in Sydney now and the statistics are proving there is no corresponding decrease in violent and drug related crimes in this demographic, or decrease in the rates of recidivism.

I guess it is just one individual I am working with now but one day, I hope I have my own world worked out so that I have enough energy to try and lobby for systemic change. I can just see in my little brother’s case how his circumstances determine his destiny. He has a single parent, who has mental health issues, deals drugs for a living and has a criminal record. He is dyslexic, lives in one of the lowest socio economic districts of Sydney and hasn’t been developed the skills to resist the need to impress his peer group. Before he had met me, he had never been out of his own suburb, other than 2-3 trips to the CBD in his lifetime. Although I am an inner city urbanite, he perceives it as a "rich" area, where people walk for pleasure/leisure rather than out of necessity.

Despite some bleak moments, I am feeling quite positive at the moment. I don’t know if its self deception or just self preservation but I am determined to prevail. 

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Congrats on the job, I really hope it is a positive move for you and can help to lift your mood somewhat. I think I’ve said before, but I’m just so amazed and impressed by your strength. If I had any wise words I’d give them but, well, I don’t! Just know there are people here supporting you and here for you should you need them 🙂 xxxxxx

May 1, 2009

congrats on the job. my heart goes out to you, though at the same time, i’m amazed by your determination. and you’re right – it’s key

I remember financing my exhusbands study but he only lasted one day, lol. You deserve someone that cares for you so you dont have to go out to work, I remember working right up til I gave birth too. Youre a really strong women, you’ll get thru this.

May 2, 2009

it took me hundreds of job applications to get a job too… I’m glad you finally got something. And yes, unfair as it is, it will probably be easier to get something you like even better if this gig doesn’t work out once you’ve had the baby. I’m glad the methadone is takign away any pleasurable benefit from scoring. Hopefully that will play a big part in restoring some sanity to your life. *hug*

May 3, 2009

You have a lot on your shoulders at the moment, and I do empathise with you. As you said, it’s not the person that we are fighting and disliking at the end of the day, it’s the drug. It’s like a little devil that lives inside the head of the addict, constantly talking to them and telling them to use!

May 3, 2009

You are stronger than me because I can’t help the put downs. I know it doesn’t help at all, but it’s so hard not to do it. Mark is only on 65mls methadone and he hates it as it just makes him sweat all the time and doesn’t help the cravings. In this country they never seem to give a high dose of methadone though. I was told that 100mls is the limit, and any extra is a waste of time. I suppose

May 3, 2009

it can be psychological though, and if they believe it’s working, that’s fine! Twenty years is a long time to be on the drug, so he’ll find it very difficult to change his habit. Have you ever thought about moving to somewhere quieter where he doesn’t know any dealers? My heart goes out to you. I know the disappointment when you think that they’re getting better, then find out that they’re not!

May 3, 2009

I’m glad that at least he’s telling the truth though. My addict doesn’t know the meaning of the word! And congratulations on getting the job. Just watch that none of your money goes on heroin for him!

May 3, 2009

I have no words of wisdom. I offer only Love as a friend. I hate that you are going and have gone through such a rough time.

May 4, 2009

Good u have a Job Thats important for ones sanity I know from my own experiences

May 4, 2009

RYN. I loved the story about the phone! I would have been laughing as well! I think that sometimes you have to make a joke out of it to save your sanity! The phone thing has happened to Mark as well, but unfortunately it doesn’t take them long to get all of those numbers back!

Ryn: I remember that case you wrote about, I know my sons situation is not dire but Sam could do with a kick up the butt and some basic parenting skills, such a pity society is not equipped for that.

May 7, 2009

RYN. Looking forward to reading your next entry then! Sometimes you just have to laugh, as you can’t cry all the time!

How lovely to hear from you again! You’d slipped off my Favorites list, have just been added back on. I totally agree with your comment re Guantanamo.I’m so sorry that your partner is struggling with heroin – and that means you are too. But it’s really good to know you have a new job, starting today. The very best of good wishes for it; I hope that you find it satisfying and that eventually it gives you long-term employment.

RYN: I understand the “scaredy-cat” feeling. Note I haven’t mentioned Guantanamo or Forced Rendition (sending prisoners to countries where they will be tortured) or anything similar in my latest entry; some Americans are very sensitive to foreigners suggesting that, just possibly, the US isn’t the best country in the world in every possible way. I’ve had a few gentle skirmishes with various peoplein the past; may get another one or two from my latest entry. I wait with interest to see. It’s hard to have one’s deepest beliefs questioned, whether they are religious or political, so I guess I understand where they are coming from. Some people have been taught from childhood that the US is THE land of the free etc. and they’ve seldom met different opinions. Maybe I’m doing them a favour? *grin*

RYN: Yes, all countries have areas where they behave shamefully – and that certainly includes Australia, with our attitudes to asylum-seekers. The refugees I work with here have horrific tales to tell, though usually they just keep quiet. Someone said to me recently that instead of villifying the boat people, we should welcome them, because people with such courage are the kinds of people we needin Australia.

May 15, 2009

RYN Thanks I hope the new budjet is kind to you and the baby I saw many with his problems during my working years at an hospital emergency dept Help him by all means But not at a tremendous cost to your own lifestyle Only he can really get out into the real world by mostly his own efforts and determination Blessings

May 22, 2009

RYN. Yes, I know exactly how you feel with that “one more time” thing. I remember the day before Mark went into long term rehab I went with him to get some new clothes to take with him. All of a sudden the expression on his face changed. He went deathly white and came out in a sweat. He’d seen his dealer sitting in a cafe! After that he said that he had to do it one more time before he went in.

May 22, 2009

He completely lost interest in the clothes and I think he had everything that night, including cocaine which he doesn’t usually take. And it still happens every time he says he’s going to stop. There has to be that “one last time.” I’m surprised at the high dosage of methadone over there. Here we were told that 100mls is the limit and everything over 100mls doesn’t work any more than 100mls.

May 22, 2009

I suppose it could be psychological though. Do you really think that you’ll be able to put up with this for the rest of your/his life? I know that I can’t, and I’ll breathe a sigh of relief once he moves out!

RYN: Thank you. That article is so reassuring – basically says what I’d decided through my own meanderings: “The most common flaw in arguments for a bill of rights is their failure to consider the need to balance rights and responsibilities. No rights ever exist in isolation.” with examples of where a charter of rights can cause problems. I also like his comment that we Australians have “a healthyscepticism about ‘rights culture’.”It’s been a while since you posted an entry; I hope you are ok.

May 27, 2009

RYN. I’m so sorry that you’re still going through such a bad time. It makes me feel angry that he should be like that when he should be concentrating on you and your child to be, but I think that we both know that where heroin is concerned there is no logic. Heroin always comes first. It really makes me feel sad and want to cry (and I do so on a daily basis) but there’s nothing to be done.

May 27, 2009

Heroin rules and only they themselves can do something about it, and most addicts just can’t do it. I feel for them, and I feel for us as well.

It’s self-preservation and hope. Don’t ever think you’re deceiving yourself for feeling those things. I’m excited about the job, and about your baby. I’m sorry about B, but it sounds like he wants to improve, which means that he will. I can’t really offer anything except support and love, and prayer. I truly hope that your relationship works out and that he gets well again.

RYN: I think you misunderstood when I said “pioneering”. Pioneering is the term Jehovah’s Witnesses use when referring to preaching full time– sometimes 50 hours a month, sometimes 70 hours a month. The kind of pioneering you were talking about– I’ve never done, but it definitely sounds like something I would WANT to do.

June 2, 2009

Thank you for such an interesting insight. It’s pleasing to read of the sadness and conclude on a somewhat hopeful note. Congratulations on the new job.

June 3, 2009

Hey, you’re on Reader’s Choice! Fame! Thanks for your notes. My feelings are very erratic at the moment. One minute I’m feeling happy and relieved that I’ve not got Mark round me harassing and bullying, then the next minute I’m in tears because his addictions are so big that he’s going jail and vulnerable, and I’m just worried about what the future will bring. I know that you understand,

June 3, 2009

and do you think that you can spend the rest of your life like this? The life of an addict is so uncertain.

June 3, 2009

RYN. I admire the way that you are managing to not control and not be judgemental. Every day when I get up I’m determined to distance myself from the situation and not do any of these things, but so far I’ve not managed it at all. I always end up trying to control and making comments on his behaviour. Mind you, your partner seems a lot different to Mark who lives like a pig. He sits

June 3, 2009

and does absolutely nothing all day and doesn’t even wash the bath when he comes out of it. Maybe a mother/son relationship is different to a partner relationship, but I know that I am a big part of the problem. That’s why he has to get a place of his own to live.

June 5, 2009

RYN. Thanks for the offer of the books! I have one that you would like to read once I’ve lent it to people here. It’s written by a woman who lives in the south of England, and both of her sons got addicted to heroin. One ended up committing suicide and the othe one came off heroin after the death of his twin, and now leads a normal life.

June 21, 2009

Haven’t heard from you for a while. Hope you’re o.k.!