Dig Baton Rouge

The Bitter Lemon

By Holly A. Phillips
Around 4 a.m. June 27, 2013, I dumped my then-boyfriend via text message.

“Come over,” he texted me. “k nvm’. megan!!!!!!!!! awo;eirhao;sidfhapqower[opaiwejr im not urs i guess figuredim not im going back to someone else.”

Drunken text messages like these were becoming too familiar in our relationship. But it was that name, Megan, which made it strike three for me.

Strike one was his DWI. Strike two was a drunk bar fight. The time between strike two and three was simply a waiting game; my head negotiating with my heart.

We’d dated just four months. It was four months that flew by, I met his entire family (including his daughter), we nearly lived together, and we’d already fallen in love. Looking back, it’s difficult for even me to understand how it turned so dark.

In Louisiana, we are no strangers to enjoying a drink; I especially love to drink wine (okay, and tequila and vodka). So, I didn’t think much of it when we’d have romantic “wine nights,” complete with cheese plates, and get drunk together.

But a few months in, things changed from us getting drunk and laughing at silly things, to him being completely plastered and me losing my buzz. He started showing up at my apartment barely able to walk, carrying a Styrofoam cup of Crown that sloshed over the sides as he stumbled.

On those nights, even his voice sounded different. He would pick fights with me over things he swore happened, but I never had any idea what he was talking about. He often accused me of cheating, and would lean back in his chair, to watch me cry.

It was a relationship that happened as a result of being cut down from so many other men in my life. My backbone had crumbled, and he swooped in before I could stand tall.

Ultimately, I should have dumped him way before strike three. But I had to come to that decision on my own; just like an alcoholic has to hit his rock bottom.

“He started showing up at my apartment barely able to walk, carrying a Styrofoam cup of Crown that sloshed over the sides as he stumbled.”

After our breakup, I took to my blog. I wanted to share my story in hopes that others in a similar situation could get out before it’s too late. Oddly enough, one of my blog readers came forward and told me my now-ex had actually been cheating on me (with a girl named Megan) the entire time we dated.

I haven’t talked to my ex since. I know he got fired from his job (for stealing), and I’m sure he’s still dealing with court from his DWI. He attempted to contact me through my blog last winter, but I ignored him.

It’s embarrassing to admit that I fell for someone who treated me like he hated me. I wish I didn’t have to go through it, but that relationship taught me some valuable lessons — mainly, that I’m worth more than that.

What’s scary about dating an addict is that it crosses all walks of life. I’ve got a degree, a good job, am awesome in the kitchen, and have been mistaken for Emma Stone dozens of times. But it still happened to me.

Ultimately, it was my passion for writing that kicked him to the curb. Whether it was anxiety, or drunken arguments, our relationship didn’t allow for sleep. And when my work, and my career suffered, I knew I couldn’t go down with him. It was my only defense against the roughest relationship, ever.

Just a few weeks ago, I saw him for the first time since things ended. We crossed paths in the Albertson’s parking lot on College Drive. I walked quickly; afraid he would say something mean. But he didn’t see me, and I was able to make it inside before anything happened. I was nervous, but I was proud of myself for just moving forward.

It’s hard to believe that a year has passed already. When we broke up, I thought I would never get over him, and now, I rarely think of him. My mind has done me some favors and blocked out the few pleasant moments we shared. Oh, what a difference a year makes.

Read more about Holly’s relationship with an alcoholic on her blog, TheBitterLemon.com.

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Breakout Box:
Seeing the Wrong
Spotting a Destructive Relationship:
1. Don’t be fooled- Abusers, addicts, and the like can lead seemingly normal lives. Don’t be fooled by their surroundings.
2. Watch for Lies- People in trouble often fib over trivial things, just to see how much they can get away with. Bigger lies are on the horizon.
3. Go With Your Gut- If it doesn’t feel right, then it probably isn’t. You don’t need tangible proof to leave a relationship that doesn’t make you happy.

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