Monday, January 07, 2013


I've been a horrible person for a long time.  Selfish doesn't even begin to describe me.  Denial has a lot to do with it.

John had a heart attack in 2010.  It was a Monday morning, and he just got home from a workout with his trainer.  He was overly sore, and didn't feel right.  I was on a conference call with work.  I thought he had just pushed too hard at the work out.  He pulled out this massage device and was working it on his back.  This went on for a number of minutes.

His assistant came to the house, and by this time he thought he should go to the hospital.  The words "heart attack" never came up.  The assistant took him to the hospital while I finished my conference call.  She called a while later and told me that John had had a heart attack and was in surgery getting stents put in.  I headed to the hospital.

John's father and sister arrived and we waited for John to come out of surgery.  When he got to his room, he was bleeding a lot from his groin, where they inserted the device to place the stents.  He got 3 of them.  Eventually they stopped the bleeding and John went through a normal recovery.

I should have taken John to the ER right away.  He could have died right in front of me while I was on the phone.  I didn't.  I couldn't fathom that anything could be seriously wrong with him, so I just brushed it off.

Love -> denial -> guilt

... that's how it works for me.

After his heart attack, he stopped working out.  Maybe 10 months later, I thought we should both start again and we interviewed some trainers.  Just before we picked one, John blew out his right knee while walking the dogs.  That was the beginning of the end and I didn't see it coming.

What happened with the heart attack should have taught me a lesson.  I should have been involved in every medical situation that affected John from then on.  I should have gone to every doctor appointment with him.  I should have been talking to his doctors too.  He was getting meds from one that another didn't know about.  I should never have let that happen.

He had surgery on his knee a few months later, but he started gaining weight the day his knee gave out on him.  He didn't do the rehab on his knee as fully as he should have.  His back became a big problem for him.  He started taking too many pain killers and valium.  I bought a safe to lock up the pain killers, so he's only get what the doctor prescribed, but John was buying them off the street.  I didn't know that.  I should have.  We found all the empty bottles in the closet.  I should have known.

I didn't lock up the valium, and he became completely numb.  He had gotten klonapin from another doctor and mixing the two is dangerous. 

Instead of me taking control of the situation, I just got mad because he wasn't the same John that he used to be.  I became resentful because I worked every day and he often laid in bed.  His business crumbled.  I started paying for most everything.  The housekeeper stopped coming and John told me that she got a seasonal job that paid more money.  The truth is, he hadn't paid her for 2 months.  The Mercedes wasn't stolen, it was repossessed.  John even made up a story about it being seen crossing into Mexico.  I didn't question it.

He hid all of it from me because I didn't want to know the truth.  I became more and more angry and resentful. 

I could have fixed it all.  I could have told John that we'd move into my house in Frisco together.  I could have helped with the financial problems so he could have sold his house (which we lived together in) and saved the 110k equity in it.  Now it's going to be foreclosed.  He wouldn't have needed to work.  He could have just focused on getting his health back on track and worked on losing weight.

I never, not once, told him I loved him.  The truth is, there's nothing in this world that I loved more, and I am such a shitty human being that I couldn't just hug him, tell him I loved him, and bargain with him for the truth so that I could know how to help him.  Instead, I robbed him of any hope.

On our 10th anniversary, he was ill.  He wrote me a message, very sweet and kind like he would always be, and I blew it off.  He showed it to me on the laptop I'm typing this on while we were in bed. I thanked him for the nice message, then rolled over and went to sleep.

This is the last line of his message;


I blew him off.  Two months later, he died.  It was my fault.

All of the pain that his family is feeling is my fault.  The agony I am suffering was caused by me.  I am responsible for it all, because I knew from the beginning that he had been a drug and alcohol addict.  I went to AA meetings with him.  I knew all about how they are.  I ignored all of it and let him slip into a pit of despair, with no hope of coming out of it, and he simply died because of it.

I told this to the therapist last week.  She tried hard to absolve me of my guilt.  MaryBeth tries to absolve me.  The only one that can do that is me, but I know the truth.  I know I could have saved John if I had just told him that I couldn't live without him.  If I had given him hope and a reason, he'd still be here with us.  He wanted me happy at any cost, and if I had just told him that I wanted my John back, the John that I was totally in love with, he would have given that to me.

Instead, I lay here in the bed that we shared, a month after his death, crying and pleading.. but there is no help.  There is no absolution.  There is nothing but my body devouring itself pound by pound, and the most unimaginable sorrow... all while I type this out for anyone to read.

I don't care.  It is the truth.

People tell me that John knew I loved him.  That might be true, but saying it matters.  Actions matter.  What I did is indefensible and I can't imagine that I can ever forgive myself.

I did this to John, and I did this to his family, and I did this to myself.

1 comment:

kris said...

somehow, I never thought I'd out myself as an alanon person - at least not on this blog. I used to go quite a bit. They talk about being powerless over people, places and things.

I am also a fan of Marianne Williamson and I think she says the same thing. When the shit has hit the fan in the past, I've found her tapes comforting.