Monday 29th December 2008
By the time Steve got back from work, I’d already pretty much done everything ready for The Day, including getting the spare chairs from the loft, fitting the extra table leaf, and cleaning a couple of garden chairs to make up the numbers. The garden chairs were a bit of a pain really cause I had one left to clean, and had almost finished it when I saw a spider web ball under one arm. So I tried to hose it off (I was using a hose then wiping them down), but it turned out there was a spider there, that came crawling out, and it was obviously her spider nest with babies and goddess knows what else there. So I had to abandon that chair, and carefully place it behind the garden table because stacking it would have squashed the spider babies. I don’t even like spiders.
So when Steve got back there was nothing for him to do. Even so, I was a bit surprised when he said he was off to town. I thought all his shopping was done?
‘I was wanting to go to the sales’
‘would it not be better to go after Xmas? The shops will be heaving now, and it’s Xmas eve so they’ll be closing early.’
‘No, I’ll go anyway.’
I could hear a little whispered warning at the back of my head. I ignored it and finished off the last little bits of dusting and so on. Then Small Child and I went to post the last few Xmas cards by hand, and then on to the outdoor carol service. As it turned out, Small Child got too cold and his legs were aching, so we came home early. Still no Steve. I could hear a warning bell tinkling in my brain, but pretended to myself it was Santa’s Sleigh.
Small Child went off to bed, and I had a bath. I was just getting out when Steve got back. He seemed really out of it, staggering around moaning because the shops had been closed. I tried to ignore it, but then he went into Small Child’s room. I extracted him, and then gave him a bollocking. It’s not on, messing about with Small Child after bedtime, even if it is Xmas Eve.
I REALLY didn’t want to believe he’d been taking heroin. But why else would he have been so keen to go up town? We went off to bed quite early really, because he was falling asleep, another big giveaway. When he was in bed I got up to ‘go to the loo’, but in actual fact I was checking his phone. The first text I read was from this arsehole junkie friend of his giving him the number of his dealer – a number Steve had erased from his phone with great pomp and circumstance when he’d decided to stop doing it in Autumn.
I ran upstairs and threw the phone at him, and asked him where the rest of his stash was. He said it was in his coat pocket. We had a huge row, I was SO annoyed that he would bring that crap into the house when he knew all my family were going to be there, and that it was obvious he was planning on getting shitfaced while they were there.
He denied it, said he hadn’t been going to do anything over Xmas, and he hadn’t done any today. I knew he was lying and told him so.
I went back downstairs, found his foil and pipe in his coat pocket, along with what looked like a 20 bag and screwed up the lot. I hid it in a drawer at first, then I thought, ‘fuck it’, and threw it out in the dustbin.
Steve came down about 5am and apologised. I didn’t want to spoil Xmas, so I said it was all ok, but I was getting up now anyway. He went back to bed, and I started sorting out the potatoes and turkey.
The day itself went really well. Small Child opened all his presents, and Steve got up pretty early for him, about 8.30. He asked me where his heroin was, and I raised an eyebrow saying I’d thought he wasn’t going to be doing any today.
‘I was going to throw it away.’
‘I’ve beaten you to it.’
I picked up my mum and dad, and they were getting along fine with Steve, which I think surprised him after the Christening disappearing act on top of the Summer Trauma. Having to combine efforts to extract Doctor Who figures from boxes probably helped (did you know they SCREW THEM TO THE BOXES!).
My sister and nieces turned up, and the dinner was late, but that wasn’t a problem. Everyone drank a lot, and we played some stupid jousting games where you try to knock chocolates off eachother’s spoons. It only took them a few rounds to realise I’d superglued mine on…
Just as it was getting to be time for Mum and Dad’s taxi, Steve dropped his beer on my niece’s duvet (they bring a duvet because someone always gets sleepy after lunch). He was pretty much staggering by this time, and I found it hard to believe that it was entirely down to drink. Though where he’d got anything was a mystery that endures to this day.
After everyone had left (Small Child had gone to his Dad’s), I had a bit of a go at him for getting so out of it, but I wasn’t in the mood for a big row, so it kind of took me by surprise when he just flew at me, pushed me up against the wall and was kind of drunkenly trying to strangle me, but not really being capable of it. I threw him off, and found he’d scratched my arm and it was bleeding. He was coming in for another go, so I kicked him in the bollocks.
I felt a bit bad about it, but I was furious that he’d dared to have a go at me when I wasn’t even shouting at him, or even arguing that much. I pushed him into the bedroom and slammed the door on him, telling him to come and apologise when he’d sobered up and realised what he’d done. That gave me the chance to watch Doctor Who on the iPlayer with no interruptions.
And do you know, that’s exactly what he did. Along with lots of tearful declarations of love. So we ended up watching the Royle Family together, and everything was fine again. Though I was left with a kind of jittery feeling inside. Just too much emotion I suppose.
He’d bought me a second-hand Nintendo DS, which was just what I wanted, lots of stuff from Lush, which is fantastic, and a necklace and some jewellery, kind of Victorian looking, which I really like. Much more thought gone into it than last year. I can’t work out how one minute he can be the perfect boyfriend, and the next he’s a complete idiot.
I realise that now he doesn’t see his junky friends, he has no friends.
Sunday 30th December 2018
I’ve added the photo of me from this Xmas, because when I look at the photo of me from 2008, I look so OLD! I mean, I know the one above is a bit flatteringly blurry (thank you Son!), but it’s what really hit me on that photo from 2008 – I genuinely look so old. Must be what anxiety does to you.
I remembered that Christmas as ‘the last happy one’ – and then I read that we had a stand-up fight. I can’t understand myself at all. I kidded myself that it had been a lovely family Christmas, but it had ended in a physical fight.
The whole reason he was there was summed up in that last paragraph. He’d somehow become disconnected from all his other targets. I was literally all he had left at that point – and I’m sure he saw that as a big mistake at this point, hence him deciding to go back on heroin.
Plus, something you learn is they ALWAYS ruin the happy times. It’s just what they do. Of course he’d take heroin on Christmas Day! Otherwise I might enjoy myself, and where’s the fun in that for him?
But who died and made me the heroin police? The very rubbish heroin police, may I say, as it’s pretty obvious he got the heroin out of the dustbin. But in my brain then, who would go ferreting through all the crud for heroin? Erm, maybe an addict? Wow, I was so naive then.
It’s so weird to read yourself doing things you just wouldn’t do nowadays. Nowadays, there’s no way I’d see the heroin as my problem to solve at all. I don’t want heroin or heroin addicts around me, so he’d have been out the door the minute I even suspected – because if there’s no trust, there’s no relationship.
It doesn’t really matter who is at fault in the ‘no trust’ thing. It’s not fair on anyone to continue a relationship where there isn’t trust, so nowadays the minute I felt the urge to snoop in someone’s phone, that’s the minute it’s done – because either I’m hypervigilant and not ready for a relationship, or I have genuine reason to distrust that person and trustworthiness is a basic requirement in a friend or partner.
If someone had said that to me ten years ago, I’d have been all, ‘WHAAAAT! But that might mean throwing away a perfectly good relationship! You need proof to do that!”
Me Now would reply, ‘think about all the people in your life – the friends, the family, the work colleagues, the exes. How often have you felt the urge to check their phones/snoop (lots of my exes pre-date mobile phones!)? That would be a big fat never – except for the ones who were cheats. And those cheats were operating prior to mobile phones, and yet that feeling that they were up to something was still there – and I was proved correct in the end.
The truth of the matter is that I was a very trusting person who should have listened to my instincts far more. But the lie Steve constantly told me was that I was a suspicious and jealous cow, and I came to believe it.
If I’d been as suspicious and jealous as he’d made out, I’d have found out a lot more a lot sooner.
Instead, here I was, trapped in a massive battle for control – Steve trying to control me, me trying to control him by keeping him off heroin. What a toxic mess.
This year I had a completely happy Christmas, and I hope you did too.