Perspectives: Victimized By the Addictions of Others
I was only eight years old when my parents separated. The most unfortunate by-product of my folk’s splitting up was Andrew; the man my late mother began a relationship with after the separation.
It wasn’t long after mom began seeing Andrew that he had moved in with us. Before you knew it, he lost his job and never made any effort to find new employment. My mother was an amputee, her sole source of income was from ODSP. Andrew became a dependent adult under my mother’s disability benefits. He spent nearly two decades until my mother’s passing squandering her government supported income, he did this to get drunk everyday. What people don’t know unless experiencing an addict first hand is they are cold and manipulative in order to get their fix, they will lie, cheat and deflect and are unable to care about anyone. My mother was bullied by this man for 20 years into making her support his alcohol and drug addictions. This is the household I grew up in. It distorted me from a young age to believe that such circumstances were normal.
Andrew was a negative man who thrived on spreading his negativity to others. During my youth he would put me down literally any time I displayed interest in any sort of activity, sport, hobby etc. He would always say “You don’t like that… you only like the idea of it.” Being put down in such a way over any subject can take a toll on you without you realizing it. I grew up feeling that I was never good at anything and that I had no real hobbies. I have learned only in recent years that this could be a form of ‘narcissistic abuse’ which in retrospect fits his personality.
Andrew was a thief, he would steal drugs and alcohol and become very angry if you caught him, called him out on it or if he knew you were hiding any beer from him. His addiction was so powerful that he would even steal prescription medication from my bed-ridden mother while she was riddled with cancer.
The ending of Andrew’s influence within my life finally happened in 2017 after my mother’s death. From my mother I was provided the opportunity to continue her townhouse’s lease. Andrew never made any preparations towards his own living arrangements (he had years to plan). There was no way I could be victimized any longer by this man. He needed help, and there was nothing I could do, and I sure as hell wasn’t going to enable his ways.
I agreed to allow Andrew to live in the townhouse for 90 days after mom’s passing, while he tried to find his own living space/income. He finally told me that he had found a place to live, but come the days before his move date, he had not packed a darn thing. I even offered to help him pack.
On the day he supposed to move, I had returned home from work in the early afternoon to find him unconscious in the basement. He had overdosed on pills and consumed a large quantity of alcohol. He had also jury-rigged a device to the wall to asphyxiate himself with. Luckily said device failed. This was the first and only time I have called 911.
I didn’t fully comprehend that Andrew had tried to commit suicide until after one of the first responders showed me the note he had found on Andrew’s person. Andrew would have died had I not found him. I had saved the life of the one person who I wanted the most distance from in the entire world. Afterwards, I got help from my family to pack up all of Andrews stuff and move it into a storage unit. I had the key delivered to him and haven’t heard from him since. Packing his things was grueling as he was also a hoarder. I still don’t feel completely free of these burdens and struggle to not feel guilty about it all. Anxiety hinders my ability to not feel sorry Andrew on a regular basis
But I get a little better every day.