~Saturday, August 13, 2011

20 Questions - The Accident

The motorbike accident Scott had. Was he drunk / high on drugs at the time?

Also, it was very good manners of you to send a thank you note for the donation I made towards helping Scott out with his medical bills, but what I'm really curious about is this: did you handwrite a thank you note to EVERY single person who sent a donation, regardless of how small the amount was? -Anonymous

True story. I mailed a handwritten thank-you note to everyone that donated during that time, regardless of the amount and regardless of location in the world. And each letter was unique; it wasn't a form thank you. That outpouring of blog love meant so much to me that I had to do something special in return.

However, there was one person who made a donation who didn't have his name or address on his PayPal account. He merely asked that I forward his donation to an animal shelter when I was financially able to do so. I had starred the e-mail and kept it in my inbox for two years, waiting to thank him one day. This year, I figured out who it was and thanked him accordingly, although he never received a handwritten thank you. And I did forward his donation to a local no-kill shelter.

Really, thank you everyone during that time. Thank you for reading, thank you for commenting and thank you for donating.

Now for the hard part. I don't know, Anonymous. I don't know whether he was drunk or high on drugs. I have my suspicions. He had told me at the hospital, "Thank god I only had one beer," but it turned out he lied to me about anything and everything, so who knows whether that was true. When he was in rehab, he sent me a letter saying he was drinking a case a beer a day that he hid from me. So it's possible.

I didn't know. I hope you believe me on this. I didn't know about the drugs until my friend had sat me down and told me months after I had moved out. She knew the behaviors because she used to do them. I didn't. I grew up in a rich bubble in suburbia where everything was okay all the time. I didn't know that people could drink and hide it. Or that people could do drugs and hide it. Or that people could lie to the extent that he did. I mean, it all sounds so easy. How stupid do you have to be to not recognize someone on drugs? He'd throw up every morning. "It's irritable bowel syndrome," he'd tell me. "It's an ulcer." Who am I to distrust him? I am a trustworthy person, after all.

And this is why my friendship with Mel is so important. She grew up five doors down from me in the same rich, suburban bubble. She understands what it's like to be naïvely out of touch with the real world. The epiphanies we have shared since we went to the same university and lived in adjacent dorms would make others shake their heads. But she understands that naïve part of me because she is the same way. That helps me forgive myself.

If you've paid attention, the moment I found out about the drugs was the moment I stopped using his name. I wiped him clean similar to how Egyptian pharaohs would methodically remove the previous pharaoh's name from temples in an attempt to remove him/her from history. For months I would write only using pronouns, confusing everybody until they read the post label. Then for clarity's sake I started using his initial. But I have never once used his name after that.

The weird thing about the accident that I never told anybody: when he got in the accident, he was coming from the wrong direction. He told me he was going out for something generic: beer or cigarettes or something. I had asked him to stop at a sandwich shop and pick me up a sandwich while he was out. And when he got into the collision, he was not at the part of town where my sandwich shop was. There was no real reason for him to be where he was. So was he out doing something he shouldn't have been doing? It's likely.

A year later, the judge had ruled that both vehicles were at fault.

That accident cost me thousands of dollars. He was suddenly out of work and I was supporting him. He wouldn't look for work because he was recovering. He had medical bills: for surgery, for doctors' appointments, for medications. I wasn't a person to just not pay people and let things go to collections. Then he couldn't find a job he liked. He got fired from here. He got fired from there. He gave up looking for the month of April.

And then I had to spend thousands more to get out of that relationship. I had to break my lease to move out while he was at work. I lost all of my deposits and I had to pay a $900.00 fine. It was the most expensive lesson of my life.


Danielle said...

I think everyone has at least (and hopefully) one expensive lesson. I have one, and it was quite costly. Just because I am a trustworthy person, doesn't mean everyone else is, its a sad world we live in.

LMW said...

Cheaper than divorce, I'd say.

Cheaper than dying because he smashed your skull in or something equally as mortal.

As a total stranger who has read through most of your blog, I'd say you got out fairly cheap.

I couldn't imagine living in the States and having to worry about the medical bills if something were to happen to me or a member of my family.

Best to you for moving on :)

I also agree that it is really easy not to know things about people that you care about - you want to trust them, because you love them...

Emma said...

Feel the same way about the naiveté. It took me 6 months to figure out the guy I was seeing was doing lots and lots of coke. 6 months of weird behaviour, split personalities, odd hours. Didn't suspect a thing.

Because, like you, I'm a GOOD person, who, I like to believe, sees the best in people and doesn't assume the worst.

Of course, when you find out the truth, suddenly you feel very dumb indeed. Suddenly everything makes sense; all the pieces click together. But I'd rather feel dumb and know I try to see the best in everything than be a cynical and suspicious person.

Sarah said...

Emma, thank you for sharing that. You've really helped me feel better about the whole thing.

Bathwater said...

People will fool you, doesn't matter how experienced you are or even if you think you already know the game.

Sometimes we want to believe.

Emily said...

Hi Sarah,

I've read most of your blog as well. It took me two years to realize that my ex was smoking crack. And it was only after he told me about it and admitted himself to rehab. Yeah, I felt stupid. But like you, I came from suburbia where things like that didn't happen. Plus I loved him so much I obviously believed every excuse he gave me. We broke up two years ago and to this day it's still hard to deal with. I still think I see the best in people, but I think I've also learned to be careful who I trust.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for answering my questions. You are so well mannered, it's amazing. Not a lot of people will go to the effort that you went to in order to show your appreciation. Now, that's special.

As for "How stupid do you have to be to not recognize someone on drugs? He'd throw up every morning. "It's irritable bowel syndrome," he'd tell me. "It's an ulcer." "

Hey, I guess I'm naïve too! I had no idea that throwing up every morning is a possible sign of drug use. Don't beat up yourself about it. S was a mentally disturbed parasite who preyed on a vulnerable person like you. And for him to hit you, after all you did for him, shows how rotten and ungrateful he is. It is NEVER okay to hit your partner, though.

You're very strong. I hope you realise that. I can't wait for Mr Right to come and give you the type of geniune love and care that you so richly deserve.

Hang in there girl. Don't lose faith. For every jerk like S or Statham or Clemson out there, there are Valdostas and Schmoozers out there as well. Good men who want a good lady like you.

Keep smiling :)

Anonymous said...

You can tell a lot about men by the way they treat women. You can tell a lot about women by how much of their shit she'll tolerate - quoted from somewhere else...it is so true though isn`t it!

You`ve tolerated a lot. You are amazing, the high road is not easy and you my friend took it.


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