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Predicament of the Week
In which Breakup Girl addresses the situation that has, this
week, brought her the most (a) amusement, (b) relief that it is happening to
someone else, and/or (c) proof that she could not possibly be making this stuff
Dear Breakup Girl (I do believe that is the traditional way of starting these
I'm in a bit of a fix. While it may not be anything new to you, it's still
causing me emotional distress on levels I didn't know existed. Here's the
I'm 16 years old, give or take a month or two. 5 months ago, I entered into
my first relationship--an odd thing in this state of society (waiting until my
age, that is), but i've always been waiting for the right person. Anyhow, five
months ago, I asked this person (let's just call her "Sherry," since
that sounds clever if you know her real name) if she would care to be with me.
Remarkably enough, she accepted. And even more remarkably, things were almost
perfect...we grew very close, very fast, and were practically inseparable. I
recall meeting a new friend about a month and a half into this relationship,
and her shock at how long we had been together...she figured we were at least
at the 18 month mark. We even lived together for a brief period, and that
worked out magically. About two months into the relationship (in fact, exactly
two months) I came to the informed decision that this was truly something
special, and that I was now willing to take our relationship one level
higher...thus, I let her take my virginity away. Realize that this was a
conscious decision that I made before the relationship began, and that she
would have been more than willing to do this earlier on...Ijust wanted it to be
something special. And it was.
Moving right along, life was almost perfect between the two of
us...arguments were few and far between, and our affection for each other grew
at an almost exponential rate. I recall the exact day when we realized that we
were really in love, and started saying "I love you" to each other.
Things progressed in this same manner, until about a week after our 3 month
To give you a background on this situation, I must confess that I am
considered rather odd in my social circle for a few reasons...the primary one
being that I am not a drug user. I have tried a couple different things, and
have decided that I like my state of mind quite well just the way it is, thank
you. The only products I use that could be considered drugs are aspirin,
cigarettes, and caffeine. I even refuse to take prescription or cold medicines,
because of their effects on my thoughts.
The problem arose from the fact that my girfriend was a drug user, and
thouroughly enjoyed that part of her life. Now I had learned to cope with her
smoking marijuana and drinking occasionally...after all, almost everyone else I
know does it. Since I didn't exactly like her doing it, she and I agreed that
she would cut back on her intake of these chemicals, and to her merit she
However, there is one particular drug that I have a VERY strong disliking
for, and I asked her if she would promise me to never use it. She agreed. For
reference, the drug is Crystal Meth, and my strongest dislike for it is the
fact that it really prevents you from showing almost any form of emotion, and
that it is strongly addictive. It really tore me apart to see her on it,
because it was as if she wasn't really there, and I finally got her to
understand that fact after much explanation. I won't even go into the permanent
damage it can cause.
Then, the worst thing I could think of at the time happened. She started
using it (the slang for using it would be "tweeking") behind my back.
That really hurt. Then something worse happened. I asked her to stop doing it,
or lose me, and she decided that her addiction was more important than our
love. I count myself fortunate that I did not have access to a gun that day,
because I wouldn't be here writing this letter.
After much talking (I'm talking an 8 hour conversation here) I finally got
her to see how self-destructive she was being, and she agreed to quit. And she
actually did, she hasn't tweeked since then.
To add a further complication, during the brief period when we were
separated (2 days or so), she messed around with some other guy, who happened
to be one of my more hated enemies. This didn't help things. (Note: when I say
"messed around," I mean they didn't get past second base, but
After that, things just weren't the same. She didn't call me as much, didn't
want to be around me all the time like she used to...we fought a lot more...it
just wasn't quite what it once was. On our four month anniversary, we were
planning to spend the day together, and she actually ditched me to go out with
another friend of hers. Things like that had been happening a lot.
Then, about a week ago, on the day before our 5-month anniversary, she
Dumped Me. I saw it coming, but I was, and still am, completely crushed. This
was the most important person in my life for a good 5 months. I don't know how
to cope with it all...it doesn't help that she is my first girlfriend, my first
love, and my first sexual partner all at once.
I don't doubt at all that she was in love with me...don't even try to tell
me otherwise. What I would like to understand is why this has happened...what
caused her to fall out of love with me? And how can I cope with this? I've
found that I've been actually turning to alcohol to "numb the pain,"
and that kind of scares me. I think I have that particular aspect of it under
control, but I'm still in some serious pain here. What can I do?
And please, don't tell me anything about getting help for drug use, because
I know already. Please, don't tell me that I shouldn't have been with her to
begin with, because she's a drug user, because I know that's wrong, whether you
do or not. Please, don't tell me that I don't love her, or that she didn't love
me...I've been told many times that I'm too young to fall in love, and that is
far from the truth. Please, don't preach to me, or tell me to get new friends,
or try to explain to me about drugs...because I don't need to hear it, it won't
happen, and I already know (in that order).
What I am asking you for is to help me understand...and to help me feel
better. Please help...this is the single most painful thing I've ever
experienced in my short life. Please.
God, that's a long letter. I hope you can print it.
Oh, dear. I'm totally sorry about Sherry, and I
totally get why/how the pain is so compounded. Ow, ow, ow, ow.
Okay. I'll be happy to not tell you any of the stuff
you don't want me to. You're right; you don't need to hear -- or do-- any of
that. Breakup Belleruth, who
knows something about these issues, concurs: your understanding of the ins and
outs of substance abuse is actually more mature, sophisticated, and solid than
most.You, actually, are way more fine than you think you are. Believe
Less happily, I'm afraid I may not be able to help you
understand precisely what "caused her to fall out of love." As
Belleruth points out, "With Sherry using, you can't really figure out why
she broke up with you -- but it has to be substance-related. Her motives and
drives are all polluted by the stuff she's ingesting, and that becomes the
primary cause for most things she's gonna do, 'til she cleans up her act. That
kind of using requires a whole social system that is into it too, or isolation.
Hanging with a non-user just doesn't work."
And finally: terribly sad and painful though it may be
for a while, you made the right choice. And, as Belleruth notes,
"Your ability for intelligent introspection is awesome. [That's why you
have the this-time non-dubious honor of being Predicament of the Week. -- BG]
You will make some non-user a great partner." I know this may not help you
feel better at this very moment, so just read it, take my word for it, print it
out and refer back to it later. The pain will fade. Slowly, and not necessarily
steadily, but it will. In the meantime, I know you can be strong, 'cause, well,
you already are.
Breakup Girl & BB
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