Submitted by Galileo on
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A Night of Intense Sex
So intense, that I felt absolutely depraved the next day. And my boyfriend Kevin became cold and withdrawn, like he does. I spent the day trying to fix myself somehow, then I walked over to Kevin's house, hoping that a talk with him might help.

The Other Woman is Coke
His friend Christine was there. Christine is a serious coke addict and is always strategizing for a place to sleep or to get Kevin to make a coke run for her. When she comes over it's hard to get her to leave. It's not a sexual relationship, but its based on the dopamine ritual of buying and doing coke, and that they are both performers and used to act together in a troupe. When they are together there is a lot of intense pressured speech between them.

The Dopamine Ritual
We did coke all day. At some point later in the evening Christine mentioned Lily, seemingly in passing. Lily is the name of a woman who almost broke up Kevin and I months earlier because of an incident at a party, after which I was told that because they are all actors, this is just how they are. Lily didn't mean anything by what she had done, and her relationship with Kevin was "purely platonic."

The Downside of the Upside
I stewed for a while, my negative emotions having been triggered by the mention of Lily. Thoughts were churning until the pressure was too great, and I made for the door. I told them I was leaving, but they wouldn't let me go without saying why. So I confronted Christine, telling her I didn't trust her. I didn't trust that her intentions were benign when she mentioned Lily, and I didn't trust that she was being supportive of my relationship with Kevin. "People who suit each other should be cut from the same cloth," she had said to us the night of the Lily incident. I let her know that I thought she had meddled in the relationship for reasons of her own. I was open and honest, I didn't rage or get physical. I was vulnerable and open to her side of things.

He Said She Said
Kevin wouldn't hear any of it. I knew he was thinking of what his group of actor friends would say when word got out that I went "off" on Christine. Since the Lily incident, he felt that they all thought I was a loose canon. In fact, I believe I did really well that night, given what happened, and the fact that we had been doing drugs all night. I dealt with my emotions honestly, and was open to other points of view. Everything in Kevin's "entourage" is done unconsciously--the unspoken rule being that you're not allowed to talk about anything or show your emotions, you're supposed to "be cool," like a bunch of teenagers. These people are well into their thirties...except Lily, who is only twenty-five, and has a lot to learn.

Dopamine Hangover in the Morning
Christine left to go spend the night at Lily's house. Kevin was furious with me and drove me home. I went straight to bed but apparently Kevin had written me an email that night telling me that he believed we would get through this some how. I read this email when I woke up the next day, but by morning he had sent a second email, breaking up with me. I called him. There was no discussion, he had made an executive decision, canceling the trip we had planned for that weekend. And that was how our relationship ended after a year and a half.

Dopamine Levels Back to Normal
Two weeks later there are emails and phone calls and text messages from Kevin, and then comes the invitation to watch a movie at his house. Finally the damn breaks and he is crying on my shoulder. I will not get sexually involved with him again, but we are going to work on a friendship, and the ground rules are: no drugs no alcohol...and that we have to talk about things--there has to be emotional truth to this friendship where there was none in our so-called relationship. And we've started playing tennis now, something new for us.

Upside

Wow, Galileo, that was one of the clearest snapshots of the amusement park ride from hell that addiction can be, complete with all the nonverbal, unwritten contracts, deterioration of communication and breakage of hearts.
It saddens me to know you walked through that, but I am grateful to have read your account. It reminds me who I was and who I am and how different those women are.
I hear you moving toward cherishing yourself. I speak from experience---it's a grand place to build from.
Cariad