I hear these words a lot. Accompanied by the sound of keys and before I get a chance to ask where he’s going or exactly how long ‘brb’ is going to take, he’s gone.
It used to be that he would take an hour or two at a Dotty’s, which is a local gaming bar. I would call and text asking why was he taking so effing long? BRB means a five to ten minute trip to me but to him it could mean an all nighter at the bar dropping hundreds of dollars into a machine I’ve grown to hate.
There was one night where he said he was going to McDonald’s across the street from us to get me a hot fudge sundae. It would have been a brisk five minute walk but he took the car and guess what? It was the longest McDonald’s run in history. It took two hours and I never got the stupid sundae. Did I mention it’s next door to another popular gaming bar?
Gambling used to be one of our biggest fights. He would feed one twenty dollar bill after another into a machine that would light up, blink a bunch of times and then ask for more. I would watch those numbers on the screen dwindle, feeling my heart sink and unable to comprehend why anyone would take their hard earned money and basically throw it away.
He told me to be more positive because it was affecting the energy of the machine. I laughed really hard at how ludicrous that was which just pissed him off. He actually told me to leave because my negative energy was affecting the machine. These are the moments I have to ask myself if I’m an enabler.
So is living with an addict like babysitting a giant kid? It feels like it most of the time. Some of my good traits have rubbed off on him because he barely gambles anymore compared to last year, but now painkillers have substituted the gambling. And in a big way.
I work, I clean and I pay the bills but not always on time because money is tight. He works too but if I told you I knew where he spends all his money I’d be lying. I know a good chunk of it is on pills and most recently Suboxone. We fight over money a lot because he can’t always contribute his share and this is where I start to feel more like a parent and less like a girlfriend.
I hate it. We fight, I cry, I tell him to grow up, he apologizes, makes more promises and the entire cycle repeats itself. I hug my dogs and my visit my yoga mat daily for sanity because I sure as hell can’t tell my mom.
For now I’ve made a promise to do one nice thing for myself each day. Something for me, independent of him so I can feel normal.