Hi there. I thought I’d have a lightsome title because I’m going to touch upon something that’s not as frivolous as Rey’s post. Can you spell s-h-a-l-l-o-w? Just kidding, Rey; you’re my best friend and I love you. 😉
The three of us from the Triple Threat Investigation Agency have been friends for a while now, living together in a nice (still-needs-to-be-fixed) house, keeping busy with cases and volunteering, and enjoying life (its ups as well as its downs).
Recently, I got to thinking about my earlier years—like when I was in my teens and married to a jazz musician with a vice so major, it resulted in his passing. I was young, he wasn’t. I often thought he should have known better, should have done something—gotten help with the addiction, talked to someone, done everything and anything to be free of his “obsession”. It cost him money, self-esteem, friends, and then his life in a fleabag motel.
Given my age—and naïveté, I suppose—and always being on the move, given the country-wide gigs, I didn’t deal with it very well. Constant travel, sporadic sleep, late nights and countless parties contributed to a state of “perpetual un-focus”. I felt useless, powerless, because Chiffre wouldn’t listen to my pleas to stop, to get help. I’m not sure, at the time, I even knew where to find that help. Or maybe I was too scared to deal with reality.
Did I know Chiffre was an addict when we got married? No. Okay, in truth, I suspected, but turned a blind eye. It wasn’t like he was out of control or anything. It wasn’t like he couldn’t function; he played a mean sax and managed to show up on time for every show . . . at least for the first few months we were married. Then, slowly but surely, he started arriving later and later, and the pleasantly-worded “I can handle this, don’t worry, hon” changed to a heated “find someone else to pester, I got this”. He grew more disinterested in things he used to enjoy and lost interest in the marriage; manipulation became part of the daily equation. Still, together we stayed.
I didn’t criticize, but asked, begged, talked calmly (no matter how upset or stressed or depressed I was). I started making excuses and lying shamelessly—for him, for me, for us. Things were lost and broken, much like our marriage. He was a mess, as was I. A friend of the drummer was a social worker and he talked to me one afternoon. He truly cared and his advice was sound and solid. I should have pursued it, made the calls, checked in with support persons and groups, but I was, well, in denial of sorts, I guess. I wished I done as he’d advised. Maybe Chiffre wouldn’t have died alone, with a needle in his arm.
I’ve had therapy since then and have learned that I shouldn’t shoulder the burden or blame. And that might make for another post one day. Analysis can be difficult (very soul-searching) but the subsequent healing can prove a blessing. And I won’t lie; it takes consummate commitment.
I’ve not thought of that dark period of my life too often since moving to Oahu. I regret it, wish it had never happened . . . yet acknowledge that it helped me grow . . . and learn. There’s always is a light at the end of that proverbial tunnel, even if, at the time it doesn’t appear that way. I hate to sound trite, but things do happen for a reason. It’s what we do with that “reason” that counts. We may get dragged down, but we don’t have to stay down. Rise to the challenge, the trial(s) and test(s). You’re/we’re stronger than we think.