Thursday, August 28, 2008

Blog Friends (Allison)

This was a comment from my entry "Not Enough" along with my response to the comment.
I wanted to post it here because THIS is the reason we blog.
So keep on blogging, keep on sharing, keep on commenting, keep on posting.
We are not alone.
We were DESIGNED for community.
We were CREATED for fellowship.

allison said...
I read everything from day one. Your heartache over Mr. M.
I too have a Mr. And this post, every word, is me, except my Mr. has been sober for 5 months because he finally got his 2nd dui and might go to jail soon over it. He was a great husband and is a great father but my heart and mind can't handle him anymore. I wanted to start a blog about it but he is a computer geek and will find out. Your blog is my blog or what it would be mostly. I don't go to therapy. I don't know if I should. I want a divorce but won't because of kids. I thought of cheating but I love my husband and would feel eternal guilt.
So I read your blog and feel everything you do.
You are my new alcoholic husband friend. The first person I know of that gets it. As long as you blog I will be here.
Every post I read touched me and makes me cry. Not because I feel sorry for you but because I feel sorry for me. Your feelings and thoughts and wants are mine. And that makes me cry.
Thank you for sharing and will anticipate your next post. Best wishes and I hope your story ends in a good way.

August 24, 2008 4:50 PM

tearlessnights said...

Ahhh Allison!

Isn't that what our heart longs for? To been truly seen and truly known and truly understood? To know you are not alone? That your heartache and struggles are not so unique?

Even I do this blog anonymously... I needed to do it for ME... to out my heart's cry and heart break and questions and struggles on the page and not have any of my friends and family know how UGLY I can be!!! I am learning though and maybe one day the me on the page (blog) and the me everyone knows will be one and the same (partly why I am going to therapy!!!).

Keep posting.

Love to you sister.

August 28, 2008 8:39 AM

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Thanks Oprah.

This is my second post about Oprah.  
first was in February '08 (when I first began this on again, off again blog) and now, my second post, in late August '08.   I confessed in that blog that I record (on my DVR, which is like "tivo") the Oprah show every day.
I still do.
In my defense, I have it set to record only new shows (no re-runs).  I probably only turn on the TV 4x's a month, and when I do, I usually spend a little time going through my long  list of old Oprahs and deleting 95% of them.  

I delete all the celebrity, Tom Cruise bouncing on the sofa episodes, 
I delete most of the book club ones (although I will read almost any fiction she recommends now - some of my all time favorite reads have been "Oprah books"), 
I delete the "favorite things" episodes, etc.  

I will keep an occasional diet, health, and weight loss episode.
I will keep almost anything Lisa Ling does; visiting prisons, child soldiers, slaves, etc.  (I want to BE Lisa Ling when I grow up!!!)
I kept several shows about cleaning up clutter and about a hoarder... yikes!  This inspired me and I got up and cleaned out my entire hoarding office... ugh!!!
I have kept shows about families in crisis or, as I mentioned on my previous post, about children of divorce.

Anyhow, all this to say...
All this to say WHAT?
Hmmm... all this to say that there are times and circumstances the
Oprah show has value to my life.
And there are times it doesn't.
I guess I am trying to be clear - to protect my own dignity -HA! - that I am not an Oprah groupie and I do not obsessively watch or follow or 'obey' her, but there ARE truly times when I DO indeed glean some wisdom from her show.
I am about to share one of those times.

In my recent post Signs of Strange Behavior, I listed signs I saw and missed or ignored  (DENIAL) that told me that Mr. M was drinking again.
Definition of Denial:
the act of asserting that something alleged is not true
(psychiatry) a defense mechanism that denies painful thoughts
abnegation: renunciation of your own interests in favor of the interests of others

That's why I am thanking Oprah, it was she who opened my eyes and ended my denial (at least on that issue at that time).

This was several (3?) years ago and I think the show was about women who were abused by their husbands or boyfriends.  (I say "I think" because I MAY be blurring 2 or 3 episodes together in my mind, so don't hold me accountable for the accuracy, just go for the meaning, OK?)  Anyhow, one woman had had something severe happen to her at the hands of her 'man'... I think he had shot her face off or something like that.  And another woman had maybe been set on fire by her 'man'.  (Again, I could be combining episodes.)  Oprah was asking them if that had had ANY indication or sign that he was the kind of man who could harm her like that.  Each woman said "no"... "No, he had never done anything" that would lead them to believe he could be a harmful person... But Oprah wasn't satisfied.  She didn't just let them go on with their stories.  She kept pushing in this one area:  when you were first dating, was there anything there that shoed how controlling and possibly violent he might have the potential to be?  "Well, there was this one time when he didn't like what I was wearing and grabbed my neck and shoved me up against the wall and made me go change because I looked like a whore" (or something like that).  "And he didn't want me talking to any of my friends and took my cell phone away"  and...

This was Oprah's point.

There were indicators.  They had had signs.  They had had gut instincts that they ignored.  She was talking to camera and to the audience of millions at home and told them to LISTEN to that tiny, inner voice.  WHAT IS IT TRYING TO TELL YOU?  WHAT DO YOU KNOW RIGHT NOW THAT YOU ARE IGNORING AND NOT LISTENING TO?

And it hit me.
I know that I know that I know that Mr. M is drinking.
No matter what he says, not matter what excuses or stories there are, I know.
I am not crazy.
I believe myself.
It may come out today, it may not come out until next week.  it may NEVER come out, but I believe myself... Mr. M is drinking.

[REMIND ME: I want to write more about that inner voice and how and why we ignore and deny it.]

It was a relief to finally believe me. 
(And the truth finally came out about 4 months later that he had been drinking and lying and sneaking and hiding for about 3 years... but of course, I already knew that... I wasn't crazy... I just needed to believe myself.)

Thanks Oprah.

Signs of Strange Behavior

The post for today copied and pasted from, a blog I really enjoy.
And then I have added my own list below.

This post is about strange behavior of the alcoholic. Some things I should have seen as not "normal." I was lulled into a sense that this is a normal behavior pattern for a person. Below are some of the signs I maybe could have seen and recognized as alcoholism.  As you know, my story is one where I lived with alcoholism for years. I was married to an alcoholic.  Here's the strangest thing. I never knew that my wife - my "qualifier" was drinking. I just grew accustomed to how she was behaving and "just thought" that this - her strange and erratic behavior was normal.

Here are some signs of the strange behavior;
1. Failure at being on time - to anything. I am not compulsive about being "on time" especially outside of the business world. But being late all the time - for anything and everything should have been a "sign" that something was wrong.  By the way, her parents had the same problem with her. She would always be late to everything. And they thought it was "just her."

2. Forgetfulness. Yes, forgetting - a lot. Even forgot to pick her daughter up from school - or was late. Forgot to go grocery shopping - so there was little or no food in the house.

3. Shopping all the time. Another addiction. Forever leaving the house and shopping at the grocery store. It was "just one more thing" at this store or that.

4. Being unorganized - all the time.

5. Moodiness . . . especially at certain times. At 5PM every day she would become the devil. Her face would actually contort - twist - and she would be pissed off at me.
6. Being called a "Control Freak" - is a sign that you maybe controlling. But you are controlling something you don't understand and don't know why. For example, when you start asking questions about why your spouse is going out and you get "none-sensical answers" and you are then called a "control freak" - you may not be the problem, but your intuition is trying to tell you something is wrong and you are NOT listening or you are rationalizing it away. Being called a control freak may be a sign that you are controlling - you are not bad - you are just trying to figure out something that is not making sense. The problem is not recognizing that something is actually wrong.
7. Being controlling. Once you step into trying to control this disease - you lose. You lose your identity and the disease in the other person becomes more powerful in that the disease tells the alcoholic - "See, she/he is a bad person. Let's drink some more."

8. Missing work. Missing planes. Missing assignments. This occurred with Girl Scouts.

9. House a wreck. Car a wreck. I mean a mess. When stuff is scattered all over the floor -clothes or whatever or crud in the car - this is a sign. She was medicating herself away from the reality of life.
10. In my case - our daughter was always being "medicated." It was Motrin this and Motrin that for any pain. I have 4 full bottles of Motrin over my house (I no longer live with my wife and have filed for the big D in hopes that I could/can show some normalcy for our daughter). Our daughter would bring these bottles over in her suit case. I take them out and place them in the cupboard now. She was "in pain." But for some reason, once she was here, the pain was forgotten. I think this may be some sort of transference - my wife medicates herself and she wants to medicate our daughter. As I write this - I am a little pissed about this and would like to figure out what the heck to do about it.
11. Neighborhood women - they were sorta talking about my wife and how "funny" she was. I never "drilled down" into asking what they meant or what they were referring to.

12. Eating habits. My wife would eat a lot. Would these be munchies?

13. She was overly caring about what the neighbors thought of her. She wanted to show she was "perfect" on the outside, but in our home, it was a disaster. No dinners for us. But she would cook food for others who were coming home from the hospital after a baby was born or some event. Their dinner was perfect. Ours, well it sucked or did not exist. A big sign. The alcoholic and the alcoholism does not want to be found out, and wanted to put on a "perfect front." This is very normal in an alcoholic home. Sometimes the spouse of the alcoholic wants to put on the air of everything normal over here. But in reality - the house is screwed. And it - the pretending and denial affects the children - here's how: their gut/intuition is telling them something is wrong - but they are being told "don't worry about it" or "everything is normal" and "don't tell anyone." Puts a big pressure on a little person and makes them grow up confused as all hell.

14. Too many glasses of wine. Kendall Jackson was the affair with whom my wife had. I wonder how may people are drinking to be healthy and in reality - are now alcoholics . . . I really wonder. Who would think an alcoholic could be a white wine drinker?

15. Wife would go MIA for 10 minutes or 30 minutes. Our house was fairly large. So she could hide and drink. Another sign. Duh.

Anyway, these were some of my signs I "coulda," - "shoulda" seen.  I know the focus needs to be on us - but there are some people out there who may be experiencing alcoholism and they are like us - they never knew it or don't know it - and need help to see it

My list:

* Breath smells sickly sweet (vodka, which supposedly isn't supposed to smell at all).  I confront Mr. M about it and his excuses are plentiful and profuse.  He just put a dip (chewing tobacco) in.  And I lie to myself and tell myself maybe he has diabetes or something and that's why his breath smells sweet.  So I would start hounding him to go to the dr. to get it checked out.

* Lying about things... even little things... a LOT.  Getting caught and then making up an excuse or a lie to cover it.  I can't even remember any examples, but I was baffled all the time and was willing to thing that maybe I was crazy rather than see the truth that he was drinking again!\.

* My normally tidy, controlling husband didn't care about mess and didn't get off the couch to participate in life.

* Never getting off the couch.  The hours of sleeping and watching TV in the same position are too numerous to count.

* Sleeping excessively.

* Detachment.  "Elvis has left the building".  He ceased to be present emotionally in ANY part of the family... His body was there, but his heart, soul, and even brain, had truly "left the building".
* Not fulfilling commitments he absolutely would have under normal circumstances.

* Excessive anger over trivial things, like the time he had hiccups that would not go away and he broke down a door and tore the rod out of the closet... weird... couldn't explain it.

* Oh, this is a biggie:  He didn't eat dessert anymore!  When we used to go out to dinner, he could be counted on to always want dessert.  (Sober alcoholics often need & want sweets - to replace the alcohol in their systems, Mr. M was like this.)  Once he started drinking again, he never wanted to eat dessert (at home or out).  he would even say things like "you know I am not a dessert eater!"... and I am thinking "since when".

* Always accuses me of nagging or controlling him.

I know there are more and I will add them as I think of them.  Thanks to Joe at for your healthy, insightful posts, I appreciate you.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Blog Friends - Rhonda McPost

Back in my very first post from February 7, 2008 titled "My Alcoholic Husband", I received a comment that I think is worth sharing and since it was on such an old post, I thought it would likely get overlooked.

Rhonda Mc said

"I know exactly how you feel. I divorced my alcoholic husband of 24 years and regret it. What I can tell you is he is sick and does not choose to be a drunk and we, the social drinker, can NOT fathom that.

"Go get help for your part of the problem. Enabling. Go to Al-Anon really learn what we do wrong as wives of loving alcoholics. He has to want to fix himself and be a responsible adult. J ust as you have to take responsibilty for your actions.

"They are caring loving feeling human beings just as we are and if I can save your marriage I hope you will stop listening to your emotions and get a real grasp on alcoholism acceptance, faith, love for yourself and your husband.

"Think of him as a good friend that is very sick. Do not berate him. I know it is hard to understand but, just keep learning how to be responsible for yourself and leave his alcoholism to him.

"Do not bail him out of jams or degrade him to himself, your families, the kids, frends, or co workers. Do not buy into the denial and lies be aloof and detach with love.

"Trust me, agree with him when he says something... his feelings are just as valid as yours, because he FEELS that way. My ex says I didn't respect him. He is right. How could I? He'd go to bars with the neighbors, been in two rehabs and was sober for 10 years - a "dry drunk" they call it. I nor you are the cause of his drinking we can not cure their drinking and we can not control their drinking.

"Get a life of your own, not for vengeance, for peace of mind. Go to movies get a group of girl friends and play bunco cards whatever.
"Be respectful of yourself and your spouse and your marriage. They are the men we chose to marry and they are good men who are addicted to alcohol because they have something they don't like about themselves.

"If you are like me and have been married 20+ years they are all we know and we have been molded to the way they treat us. This is not normal but, if you change yourself and stop concentrating on him, your life will improve and you have twelve months to get it right.

"I envy you. I don't have that chance I had to divorce as he did not care about me and I allowed his drinking to destroy me and I am having a hard time with the decision I made. I never should've divorced him but, I never should've allowed this to happen to me in the first place. I am a good wife and mother and I deserve respect love honor trust faithfulness committment and fun and you do too. So does he.

"If you want something from your husband tell him lovingly. Hold my hand honey and let's go ... give him a kiss goodmorning and good night tell him how much you appreciate his help and that you are proud of him.

Think about never seeing loving or touching your husband again.   Find that love that God has for all of us. We are codependents we are sometimes sicker than the alcoholic because we are addicted to the alcoholic. 

"I know first hand what you are going through and if I can help you not make the same mistakes I made, then I have done something. 

... "It's painful either way but, learn all you can about alcoholism go to an open AA meeting I learned a lot.   They lie and believe their own lies and until they stop the denial and lies themselves there is NOTHING you can do but, heal yourself and get a sponsor of your own.  Trust me. It works. 

"Keep strong and remember why you married him, because love is deeper thn anything and God commands us to forgive 7 times 70 and wants us to love one another more than anything. 

"God be with you and your husband.   Don't give up... get over the emotions and think with your head.   You are not crazy just an enabling co dependent. They are adults and can get themselves out of their own mess they need wives not Mommas! 

"Now if you have other enablers and they are not willing to stop enabling (as my in-laws weren't) then ask your sponsor for help as we have control over no one but ourselves. I love my in-laws but, they turned their backs on me and I have to accept their denial and betrayal no matter how hurt angry and devastated I am,  if I keep haboring resentment I am only hurting myself.  Stop the negativity and pity party and get the help YOU need for you and your kids. 

"I hope this helped. I am right where you are. Divorce is a cop out and he asked me for a divorce and I gave it to him and I wish I would've never done that and let him file because he never would've had the guts to. How do I know that? He came back after 7 months of partying and when I told him I had filed that was it. I then asked him to work at our marriage and became weak in his eyes and I don't want that to happen to you. If you work keep working,  if not get a job. You do it for yourself and your kids. Not to hurt or punish your alcoholic husband. You both are responsible and need to be accountable for your actions. You are NOT there to point out his flaws. Look at your flaws and fix yourself. Trust me you can always go back to your old ways. God bless you and your family. Rhonda Mc"

Good stuff Rhonda!  Thanks for the comment.
Keep 'em coming!

Me #3 (Cleavage)

I am lonely and sad and feel rejected and unloved. I don't feel good about how I look outside or how I feel inside.

I am fat right now, for me (size 12). Fatter than I have ever been. I don't like how I look in clothes. One thing I think I look good in is lower cut tops. I think my cleavage takes some of the focus off the rest of me. Plus, I believe these cuts are more flattering to my body type and the way I carry my fat. Plus, if I get a little extra attention or notice or interest due to the cleavage (my boobs are much more generous looking when I am fatter... the only benefit of the extra weight), that doesn't hurt my sad, lonely neglected feeling.

Oh, I am not stupid enough to let myself believe - even for a minute - that appreciation of my boobs means love, care, comfort, acceptance, a lifetime of care and companionship... but it is nice for 10 seconds to feel seen & noticed... in ANY way. Again, I KNOW this is not the way I deeply desire to be known and noticed... but it is something and something is better than nothing. Isn't it???
Maybe like a little kid wanting attention, ANY attention, even if it means being naughty and getting in trouble.

And as a "nice" Christian wife and mother, I am not supposed to flaunt my cleavage.
But sometimes I don't really care.
I sometimes make a stab a modesty, but I feel like it makes me look fatter - like I am trying to hide my curves instead of "accentuating the positive".
I want to look 'yummy' instead of fat... delicious.

I want love and care, but apparently, I will take some attention for my cleavage as sloppy seconds.

Not enough?

Mr. M has almost 6 months sober.
What I fantasized about it not bliss.
Not only is there still the daily suspicion and fear of the temporary hiatus shattering, but there is the punishing, grinding of living with a newly sober alcoholic's insanity.
He seems always on the verge of exploding. His moods are ever changing.
His self-absorption is mind-boggling.
His short-temper and pouty hurt feelings over every imagined slight.
His lack of patience when the kids bicker or challenge or question or whine or defy... he has no tolerance or patience and no respect or gratitude for the fact that I have done this alone for months... years.
I can't bear the thought of going on like this, walking on eggshells, hoping, always hoping for more.
He loves me deeply, I know that.
And I love him, its true. 
But I am frightened and grieved that that might not be enough.
Is it possible it is not enough?

Friday, August 1, 2008

The Mountain That Loved A Bird

Dr. recommended I get this book.
I can see why.

If you have a problem asking for and receiving love, care, and/or comfort, I would recommend you consider maybe following Dr.'s suggestion for me, and order this book too.
Used from Amazon, it is actually quite affordable!

I don't need to illuminate the symbolism here... once you get the book, you will just KNOW.

Me #2 (Collecting Friends)

I think I collect & hoard friends the way I hoard stationary.
I LOVE friends.
I need them.
I care about them.
I want LOTS of them.
More than I probably need.
I get my feelings hurt when I am not included in something... even if it is something I don't even want to do.
I want people to like me and want me and need me and think I am fabulous and thoughtful and great... I want them to invite me
to do things and share their hearts with me and let me in to their innermost circle.
I am limited.
There is only one of me.
I only have so much to offer: I have a lot of kids who need me, a job, an alcoholic husband, and a life in mini-crisis almost all the time.

But I want to have them all in my life like a doll collection on a shelf so I can count them... like friends on myspace or facebook.

So very sad...

I guess you could say that I have the blues.
I have been really grappling with sadness.
A heavy, weighty sadness sitting on my heart & shoulders almost all of the time.
It's like a companion that I am becoming used to having accompany me every where I go.
When - for a moment - I am happy or light or free, it almost feels unfamiliar and then it is back, sitting on me again after only a few moments of respite.

My therapy feels slow.
I feel frustrated with my lack of progress.