Wednesday, March 23, 2005

One Year Clean

Okay, that's a somewhat facetious title.

It's been a year today since I left Mia. Or did Mia leave me?

I said "You are an alcoholic, and if you aren't willing to deal with that then I am leaving you."

And she said "Bye."

I paraphrase, but that is it in a nutshell.

I wasn't surprised in the least. Everything I ever witnessed of her, Mia virtually never had the initiative to help herself when it came to her well being.


She always claimed she wanted to do something about the first two.

Smoking: She actively refused my help - specifically asked me not to push her on that front. She quit no less than four times in the two years we were together. The longest it lasted was about ten days.
Anti-depressants: She didn't reduce her dose in the last 9 months we were together - she may have even increased it. I asked her repeatedly to talk to me about how she felt. She did once... two nights before we left our apartment - over a month after we agreed we were finished. She asked me to work to understand her position as a Paxil addict... I did have an extended conversation with a licensed medical practitioner about it - one with personal experience. I also asked Mia to direct me to some relevant literature... it never happened. The reading that I eventually did on my own was critical in my determining her alcohol problem. Virtually any book that discusses the problems of depression and/or the side-effects of the drugs that are used to fight it has a section warning about the concurrent use of alcohol. Apparently Mia wilfully ignored those sections. In our final arguments I was accused of never trying to appreciate her problem, and that when I finally set out to do so, what did I do, but go directly to the A.A. literature. I know she wishes that that were true. I know that she wants to believe that I was desperate to find an explanation for why things fell apart.

She's right. Just take out the word desperate.

I've been over this a thousand times in my head, a dozen different ways. I've left a lot of my reasoning out of this. I am totally confident in the essential analysis of my position - the exact specifics are up for debate for anyone who cares.

We don't talk anymore - at all. I tried.

The first two months we lived together I paid her rent in full and never saw a dime of it back. I had no issue with that at the time. No less than four other times in the 15 months we lived together I paid all or a portion of her rent and she paid portions of it back... I don't know that she ever paid 100% of any single month's back.

At least once she made issue of me not supporting her by giving her money. Being virtually broke at the time myself not being an acceptable answer. I often loaned her money and struggled to payday as a result - while she brought home bottles of wine each night.

Care to guess why she couldn't pay the rent?

I was totally willing to lend her a hand on the rent when she was strapped - in my mind it's part of a relationship, helping each other with no expectation of return. I have never specifically asked for the money back - except for when she specifically promised to pay me back, which happened a few times... as I said before, I don't recall her ever paying all of any one month's rent (or other loans) back.

In October of 2003 I lost my job - I was fired for not agreeing to sign a new contract which would cut my pay by about 25%. My settlement covered my November rent. My Unemployment Insurance failed to come in until Christmas Eve. For December rent, it was Mia's turn to cover me. When we started living together, when I paid the first two months rent, we had a discussion about how that was simply part of the reality of a pair of actors in a relationship - there would be times when each of us would have to cover for the other when they were financially down. She actually initiated the conversation. I think she was feeling guilty.

Mia borrowed rent money from her father.

In July this past year she phoned me - the ONLY time after we split that she ever phoned me without me initiating.

"Jody (her roommate) is in financial trouble. Can you pay me back that money you owe my Dad?"

If her father ever phones me for the money I'll consider paying him back. But not until he's heard why he should be asking his daughter for the money, not me.

He's never called. Neither has she.

How much you want to bet that Jody was, at worst, no more financially strapped than Mia?

I've never called her since. Too mad. Too insulted. Too much time wasted on her already.

Now it has been a year.

When someone dies, it is said that the hardest time is the year after - the first time you have to go through all the various benchmarks - birthdays holidays - without.
I suspect the same holds true to relationships.

A few days ago I told Eden that I felt like she wasn't having to compete with a memory as much as she was when we began.

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