Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Caught

I was working with a freelance art director yesterday, we have a huge campaign to create. He's crazy and fun, 50, but doesn't feel like it at all. He's always very friendly, very french, kissing my cheeks, hugging me, squeezing my hands.

Suddenly a good idea struck. I burbled it out, trying to speak as fast as my mind was turning. He laughed and gave me a high five. My sleeve rode up. "What's THAT" he teased, laughing and pointing at my arm. There was my fresh trackmark, I tried to twist it out of view. But it was obvious. His face quickly turned serious and he started to stammer as he realised what he saw. I turned hot, then cold. I couldn't say anything. I looked at my hands. This is it, I thought. It was a strange moment. The truth hung in the air between us. He tried to fill the silence, "I'm sorry. I shouldn't have. Now I'm worried about you. Want a band-aid? Was it good? Do you need to be alone now? This is awkward. Are you okay? Fuck, now I can't think." He swerved from humour to seriousness and back, unsure how to react. "Uh... I'm okay... lets talk about it later," I said, colleagues were near by, I didn't want to make a scene. I forced the hot tears down and swallowed and started breathing again. Somehow, we went back to brainstorming, trying to pretend we weren't both shocked and stiff. But as I gazed out of the window I realized that my future could go in any direction now. My career is out of my hands.

I don't know what drug he thinks I use. He knows I work hard and I'm good at my job. But will he try and save me? If he talks to my boss I'm fucked. Should I say I was just playing on the weekend? Should I admit an addiction? I'm a terrible liar. And if he catches me lying it will just reinforce the idea that now I can't be trusted. I wish I could see into his head. He's such a nice guy, but he's like a big kid, impulsive, friendly... If he lets my secret slip, it will be terrible. It's tempting, juicy gossip because it's so shocking. I'm probably the last person anyone at work would suspect of being a 'junky'. Fuck. I know he smokes weed, maybe takes acid. But shooting drugs? And heroin in particular. It's so taboo.

Should I talk to him about it, or should I act like nothing happened? Advice please. How would you react if you discovered a colleague had trackmarks? I just want him to know I'm still me.

26 Comments:

Anonymous Loxley said...

He said 'lets talk later' so talk later...

Ask what he is going to do...say that you are an addict but looking to come off etc. Ask him whether he is going to tell your boss beacuse you are concerned that they wouldn't understand.

If he is a genuine nice guy then he will understand...if he isn't then...roll with teh punches.

3:48 PM  
Blogger ChapFu said...

honest answer:
if it was a random co-worker, i'd ignore it, but file it under "questionable". if it was close co-worker, who i liked, i'm pretty sure i'd push it. i wouldn't go to the boss, definitely. i might be kind of annoying about it, though.

3:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

tui, i don't feel sorry for you one bit, you're an adult & know what you're doing is stupid and if you get fired you deserved it.. Get help, clean up and stop fucking up your life with drugs and shit.

5:33 PM  
Blogger Mary Blackchurch said...

My mother has a saying that's served me well, 'Behind every door you pass there are problems.' This unfortunately is not only true Tui..but well worth remembering when situations like the one you and your collegue encountered present themselves.

Another saying goes 'We're all trying to get caught at what ails us most' or something like that.

That's why secrets end up destroying many people. It's not so much how others see us..but how we 'think' others see us. Granted addiction is frowned upon..but it's also personal and your word against his. As long as your work has not suffered because of it..then it really is no ones business.


There are many possible underlying things going on here..it's for you to weed through and come up with what you think they might be.

Sometimes when we're found out (goes hand in hand with wanting to be found out), we have this inner need to fess up..to confess..let others know that if somehow they've perceived us as lacking in the past..it's not our fault..there's a reason for it..it's because we're battling a very dark secret and problem all on our own. Especially that you've no real straight friends in this city..perhaps you're unconsciously looking for someone you perceive as 'normal' to tell you it's all right..your are alright.

Should you take this man into your confidence. No one can answer that but you of course..but I wouldn't..for many different reasons but mostly because he's not the person that's going to fix you..only Tui can help Tui do that. More so though because the added pressure on you of being able to trust him with it..will now be passed to him. And can he do it..do you really want to risk that. He sounds nice enough..maybe had deep dark secrets of his own..but work is a work..play is play and can a friendship of trust exist betwixt the two?

Cettainly a small conversation can be hand concerning what happened..a not sure how much time has passed..and if it bringing it up again will in itself be awkward.but saying something like. "I'm sorry if what happened the other day made you uncomfortable..I know it did me. I'm not sure what you're thinking but I don't want you to worry. "Im getting the help I need to get my personal life in order." I wouldn'y go further than that. Heroin is a scary proposal to many people..even the coolest among us.

That's not lieing or telling him your life story.

If it were me who saw it..I wouldn't say boo until I'd spoken to you or ever. But not everyone can resist gossip..that sort of thing (although he's old enough to know better and does sound like an okay guy).

You may want to ask yourself if he's ever gossiped about co-workers to you..gauge it from there.

And ANON..she's not asking anyone to feel sorry for her.

Stay strong sweetie..your life is exactly that..you 'owe' no one an explanation or feelings of guilt...although it may be hard to not feel that way..it's the truth.

{{{{hugs 4 u}}}}

Mary

6:59 PM  
Blogger chelle said...

Just kinda stumbled in here through the blog world and am fascinated. The double life you obviously lead is one I've tried to understand for awhile now.

You sound like a great girl - you're articulate and interesting. If I was your coworker I'd honestly be very concerned but wouldn't say anything unless it could cause a potential immediate danger to others at work. In any case I'd talk to you first to feel the whole situation out.

Hoping everything works out the way it should, all the best.

8:02 PM  
Anonymous loxley said...

In retrospect, Mary's advice seems spot on...ever thought about becoming a Social Worker???

5:50 AM  
Blogger Lx said...

it's none of anyone's business.
unfortunately, "big kids" cannot keep secrets.
i would deny things to the grave.
it's your life--whether people think it's wrong or not.
it's your life.
and ultimately, you'll always be alone; left to decide on your own, left to go through it alone.
you are born into this alone, and you will die alone.
sorry this sounds depressing.
it's none of his business, and up to you to do what you want.

i would deny everything, if you're accused or confronted.
fuck them all.

6:52 AM  
Anonymous loxley said...

el...fantastic advice...go it alone!!!

Seems to have worked well for Tui so far...

I mean, she is in control of her life, has a stable job, stable relationship, stable finances, has managed to quit and abstain and doesn't have any guilty secrets!?!

Hmmmm, maybe not the best course of action. Most of the people that I knwo that have come off and stayed off have done so becuase there are people round about to love, care for, support and encourage them through it. Very few peopel I knwo who take the 'f%ck em all' attitide end up being happy or achieving their targets around reducing their dependancy.

Just my musings...

8:29 AM  
Blogger tui said...

Hmmm... thanks for the advice, all of you. I've always been one to deny everything. Because it seems so unlikely, and I'm important to my work I'm sure they'd prefer to turn a blind eye. They all do drugs at work parties (big bosses included), but pot, or acid, nothing 'heavy'. Mary, you seem so spot on, if I could just say what you suggested and leave it at that it might work. I'm afraid he'd ask more, and I'd say too much or I'd just start crying and seem like I'm in a desperate situation or something. I can't tust my reactions.

I spent the day with him, working yesterday. Everything was normal. We joked around, were silly. Talked about personal things, but not about THAT.

10:36 AM  
Blogger Too Dark Park said...

Hey Tui...

I'm back in Toronto..

I wouldn't put your trust in him. he might seem like a great guy, and he even might seem trustworthy, but he might also feel tempted at some other given time to share what he learned about you for any said reason. because perhaps he couldn't possibly keep something like that to himself, and he'd feel compelled to tell someone else. that's all that needs to happen. the rest will be a snowball effect.

i'd have to agree strongly with Mary... the only person that can help Tui is Tui.

and of course.. i am more than willing to take the time to help you in anyway that i can. i think you're an amazing intelligent person, and i believe you have it in you to find the peace, and strength that you will need to overcome this..

11:06 AM  
Anonymous Stephen said...

I've been reading your blog for awhile now and have been afraid something like this would happen eventually. You've said on several occassions that your their star and are important to them etc. Unfortunately, I've seen many important people get fired right out because of their "secrets" getting outed by co-workers.

I've seen VP's with years of seniority gone in the blink of an eye. One couple was having an affair (one of them was married). One person found out, that person told another and it spread like wildfire. I knew several months before it came out completely. All it takes is for one person to let it slip in front of someone important.

I'm sure your good at what you do or you wouldn't have lasted this long, but unfortunately we're all replacable.

As far as your bosses doing drugs also, a VERY important man of the company was also outed for having an affair, yet that didn't stop him from firing the "little guys".

I say the best defense is a good offense. Get the freelancer fired!

11:10 AM  
Blogger Lx said...

loxley, having people who love you around, and who support you, doesn't mean you do not go at it alone. these people cannot or have not or refuse to walk in your shoes, and so the support they give isn't really support. it's empathy. you must dig John Donne. i happen to believe "every man IS an island" and in the end alone to do or undo whatever he/she needs to. there are success stories, as you mention, but there are also failures from those with seemingly huge support systems. in the end, you're alone. lots of people refuse to believe this truth because it's disheartening. it's nothing but dispair to look into a void all by yourself. and so people step back and gather reinforcements. only, the troops won't carry them into any of it. they'll bow out.

12:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I dont see how your addiction interferes with your job. If you are good at it, then who cares whether you are a junkie or not? However, since it seems to be a big deal - if I were the freelancer, Id use the little peace of information on your lifestyle to my own advantage. Blackmail included.

12:53 PM  
Anonymous loxley said...

el - I understand where you are coming from and I would 110% descibe myself as an island as well. I'm an absolute go-getter, self relaint, self started, highly motivated person cause I choose to be.

However, we are not designed to be islands. We are designed for relationship. The times when I have really, really really struggled with issues I have been helped by others.

just my musings...

1:33 PM  
Blogger The Very Reverend Ace Clemmons, Jr. said...

you need to minimalize this with him. Tell him it was just "recreational" blah blah blah.

even if he doenst want to get you fired- the *knowledge* that he has - might. and you dont know who he may slip that to, unaware.

So - *control* the knowledge he has- Fail-safe it so that if he does slip up- it wont be fatal.

The Very.

1:43 PM  
Blogger Lx said...

loxley, i don't know...we may THINK we're not designed to be islands. i don't know, my opinion is that we fool ourselves many times over that we need others. one of my most hated lines from people is: "he/she completes me."
i think that's total rubbish; no other being can complete one's self. if you have deficiencies, no other person can fix them.

3:46 PM  
Anonymous Loxley said...

el - i agree with you in that no one completes anyone else...that is romantic 'ally macbeal' type nonsense. If anything we grate/rub/bounce/hit/charge aginst each other.

I still maintain however that we are meant to relate...not that all we relate to will help us - far from it.

I also fully agree that no one can fix our deficiences but because we have deficiences...because we are teh way we are and not like others then others can bring a different perspective to our issues...they may even bring insights taht we don't have... they may even bring skills that we dont have. Not that they fix us but that may, just maybe we learn something, take something, something rubs off from them and it helps....

Again, just my musings.

Lox

5:19 PM  
Blogger tui said...

My dad loved to remind me that life is a solitary journey. I'd always argue with him, my best friends or boyfriends woven through everything I did. But now the same friends and lovers are in the past, I understand.

5:47 PM  
Blogger Too Dark Park said...

you have friends now.. and even though in essence, life is a solitary journey... it doesn't have to always seem that way. some people are better at going through life alone, and they would never want it any other way, while others need and enjoy people being close to them, helping them, laughing with them.. crying with them.. this is life. keep in mind that you have people that you can consider friends.. myself included.

6:27 PM  
Blogger tui said...

My mother had a theory to explain why my friendships were always so intense and close, very one on one. Because I was born a twin, but my twin sister died in utero, subconciously, she thinks, I am searching for that closeness again. It was interesting after meeting my boyfriend, to discover that his twin brother died at birth. We sometimes joke about them dating, if they were alive.

7:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

gI have incredible respect for you. I have been reading your blog for a while now, as some others mighthave also. I too hold a secrect that if it gets out, I am in the same position as you. Its not drug related.

I think that you SHOULD bring it up with him asap. If you dont, his mind will go wondering to places that maybe the truth. You need to not tell all though, just something sugary, like, recreational, as others have suggested.

I hope with all my heart that you find happiness soon. I am very much drawn to your style of writing. Its honest articulate and creative.

When you lose that, Ill be worried.

Take Care
Mel

12:43 AM  
Anonymous bethany said...

Tui,

I've been reading your blog for the last couple of days and love it. I'm a 25 year old heroin addict (from England) currently on methadone, I had a similar thing happen to me at work & I ended up losing my job over it, like yours it was a well paid job - I made the mistake of telling a girl i thought I could trust because everything was getting on top of me and I just wanted to talk about it. Anyway, to cut a long story short my boss found out and I left soon after. They did give me the option of having time off 'to sort myself out' but I didn't want to go back and everyone knowing about everything & talking about me...

Do you trust this guy? Be very careful. I've trusted people too much in the past, some people are just very shocked as soon as heroin is mentioned and as you say it's very taboo. I hope it sorts itself out anyway. You need to keep your job if you are not planning on giving up gear in the near future, when I lost my job I maxed out all my credit cards and got loans for drugs and I'm still trying to sort it out now.

Getting on methadone was the best thing I've done - my life is less chaotic, I can work again, I'm getting on top of my debts and I'm thinking clearer. I really miss heroin, I always will but it's not reality. I would take it forever if I could. If it didn't kill my family (and me). In England I get re-hab and methadone free but I donn't think thats the case in America? Anyway, good luck...

Your blog is great by the way

Love,

Bethany x

12:46 PM  
Anonymous scatt said...

I wouldn't bring it up again unless it comes up, if I were you. If it does come up, try minimising it. You could say that you tried shooting up meth but didn't much like it, or even that you'd tried heroin, just to have the experience but that you thought it was overrated.

I had a similar issue last year with a girl at my (then) work who was extremely anti-drugs noticing fresh needle marks on my arms. I initially tolkd her that I didn't wish to discuss my personal life with her, but after she persisted for some time I told her I'd been shooting up speed (which I had, in addition to doing heroin). Not great, but certainly better than admitting to a smack habit. Most people don't want to believe that someone who they know is on heroin anyway.

Whatever you do, good luck! I've been reading your blog for a little while and find your writing compelling.

2:59 PM  
Anonymous Loxley said...

Tui - Hope it works out anyway....been a popular subject to discuss!

4:11 PM  
Blogger History of Madness said...

For L. Ron's sake never NEVER admit to a work colleague that you're an addict. That's not deception, its called BOUNDARIES!!!

He even admitted that he shouldn't have asked. And he shouldn't have. If he's going to mention it to your boss, he will. If he's not, he won't.

But the hard truth of it is that its none of his', or your boss', business. Unless you are asked to give a drug test, you are clear. You are covered by the ADA (americans with disabilities act) because drug addiction is considered an illness. Now if you fail a UA and they have a 'no drugs' policy, then so be it.

But in the meantime, they have to have a really fucking good reason to test you, or they have to prove it was totally random. Most companies will not even go there, and there's even another, better, reason why.

Why? I'm glad you asked. You can get unemployment benefits if you are laid off, of couse, but you can also get them if you are fired or quit for medical reasons. THAT'S why most don't wanna touch the issue.

Having said that, if your performance changes, or you screw around, you are basically giving them a free pass. So just be a good employee like you've always been, and you're in the clear.

But if they do something, find a lawyer. You could probably settle for a good price so your employer wouldn't have to deal with PR issues.

All of that is beside the point, and taking things to logical extremes. Stay cool with whoever saw it, keep your nose clean, and keep your private life private. Its not just ethical, its also a legal issue.

good luck. i'm sure you'll be fine.

4:40 AM  
Blogger tui said...

Thanks HOM, those things are great to know. I know they'd hate to lay me off, because I'm important to them, and I've never done anything even slightly dodgy that would annoy them. If they can turn a blind eye, I'm sure they would. But it's interesting to know it's a medical issue, I never think of it in those terms. Great comment, appreciated.

11:50 AM  

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