Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Accepting the Incomprehensible

Hearing people talk about Amy Winehouse is eerily similar to the conversations I've had about X. Granted, he's not dead yet, but every time he ends up in jail again, the questions come up: why hasn't he straightened up? When will he ever learn?

I'd lost all hope when I'd left him. That's why I left him. But every time something like this happens, the questions still arise.

My short answer is, I don't know. I'm no doctor, but I'm pretty sure his drug use is a form of self-medication. The most likely cause, I think, is bipolar disorder, but I'm not even sure if it's that simple - and yes, I see the oxymoron in calling bipolar disorder simple. But there are only so many labels.

When others, or even I, wonder why I stayed with him so long, it's because I did know certain things about addiction. I knew it wasn't something I could solve for him. I knew he had to be willing to do the work, and I just kept hoping that this time, it would work. From having children to getting arrested, for all the time I was with him, there was that hope that this time, things would be different. And I did love him enough to have belief in him far beyond any evidence that he deserved it. And even more, I believed in love; that it was capable of conquering all. So yeah, I stayed with him through a lot.

I did reach my breaking point, however. I loved the girls too much to continue to put them through that. And if there was any hope left, it was the hope that losing them just might do the trick.

And with the benefit of retrospect, I know now that all the visits, all the attempts to keep a bond between him and the girls was something I had to do. I wanted to believe that he would fight for them.

He does love them. He loves them the only way he knows how. He loves to hear them smile and make them laugh, and see the adoration in their eyes, but he doesn't know how to give of himself to them.

There are no easy answers. He grew up in a loving home, the rest of his family are healthy, loving people. He had opportunities, and he wrecked every single one of them. He couldn't handle any obstacle. While most of us pick ourselves up and keep going, he never could (or would) do that. He'd give up like I've never seen anyone give up - before or since.

It's still heartbreaking to see a human destroy themselves. Especially when you know there have always been people there to love him, help him, accept him. And it has taken years to truly accept that someone could give up so completely. But I do think that for him, what most of us would find unacceptable, it's not so bad.

I think it's a relief for him to be in jail, to not worry about where he's going to sleep or how he's going to eat. He has always easily made friends, and always does fine. This is enough for him.

I heard some people talking about waiting to get that phone call about Amy Winehouse. I'm never surprised by the phone calls I get that he's back in jail. I will never understand it fully, but I have accepted it.


Anonymous said...

April, I couldn't have said it any better myself. Our exes sound very similar, only mine hasn't gone to jail (yet). He has people who love him and would help him, but nobody is brave enough to make him do it. I tried to be brave, I pushed for him to get better - he didn't want to. After spending four of our six years pushing and pleading, I just gave up. It was his way, or no way. That's when I realized we were over. There was no more happy family or negotiating, there would be no happy ending in that situation.

Pippi said...

I'm sorry, April.

Missy June said...


My former spouse is incredibly self-destructive and I cannot understand all the reasons. It's somewhat baffling to think he would chose all the chaos when some basic life choices would make his own life so much easier - yet he consitently chooses foolish things, unhealthy things. I don't think I will ever understand, but like you have come to accept he just is the way he is. Somehow, he does always manage to keep functioning, holding some kind of job, etc...but dwell on the edge of disaster at all times.

Yes, he loves our children to the best of his ability, the only ways he knows how to.

singlemama.cc said...

I loved Amy.....
But it sure does bring it all back doesn't it. I dread the day I get the call...I don't know how I'll tell the PIT but I guess we'll take it like we always have....one day at a time