"The Backgammon Game" - Illuminating a Dysfunctional Relationship
â€śRelationships donâ€™t just happen. They take work.â€ť I donâ€™t know exactly where I heard that advice but the concept had stuck to my psyche like burs to a cotton sock.
Date: 1/30/2011 9:54:05 AM ( 2 y ) ... viewed 727 times
Excerpted from my Memoir, Fine...ly: My Story of Hope, Love, and Destiny
Chapter Twenty-One: The Backgammon Game
“Relationships don’t just happen. They take work.” I don’t know exactly where I heard that advice but the concept had stuck to my psyche like burs to a cotton sock. I’m pretty sure I misconstrued the guiding principle though because my interpretation evolved into, “Relationships are burdensome and backbreaking. Like war they are only won with blood, sweat, and tears!”
I had taken on this responsibility and would see it through till the end. It never occurred to me that my needs were just as important as Keith’s needs or that I’d lose myself in the process. After all nothing was wrong with me; he was the one with the problems. I believed that I had enough endurance to undertake the fixing of Keith. I’d just have to find the right approach.
Our relationship went into a honeymoon phase after I came home from California. We even took a three-day trip to Florida. We had a good time but every single night Keith felt ill. He’d spend hours in the bathtub sweating out his fever and vomiting from nausea. He said he probably had some kind of virus. It definitely looked that way to me. Oddly he seemed fine during the day. Looking back from a more knowledgeable vantage point I’m sure he was suffering the effects of withdrawal.
After returning home from Florida, as far as I could tell, Keith continued holding it together. Either that or he was doing a good job of hiding his problem. We never discussed his sobriety. I allowed myself the luxury of basking in the glory of our drama-free life. Friends frequently stopped by and in our alone time we played backgammon. I never abandoned my sleuthing tendencies but I didn’t spend as much time worrying.
One afternoon in the middle of one of our backgammon games there was a knock at the door. Keith got up from the sofa then opened the door and greeted a casual friend who was standing there. He led his friend right back to the kitchen, mentioning to me as he passed by that he’d be right back to finish our game. Only a few minutes passed before he walked his friend back to the front door and said goodbye. Then he sat back down and we resumed our game.
About fifteen minutes later I noticed a distinct change in his demeanor. His eyes started looking heavy and his speech slowed down. Within a very short time he started slurring his speech and his eyelids kept drifting closed. There was no mistaking the “Keith on Quaaludes” affectations…
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