Saturday, January 28, 2012
Just watched the movie "Warrior".
It is the story of a family torn apart by a father's alcoholism.
The violence and pain separates and estranges the family as the brothers move through life separately - strangers.
They are brought together in an epic "winner-takes-all" MMA battle.
The dad (Nick Nolte) has 1,000 days sober as the movie opens.
He has so much wreckage from his past and his sons - ion their different ways - can't forgive him.
As you can imagine, I had a ton of thoughts and feelings during the movie.
I won't tell the story in case you haven't seen it and plan to, but let's say that I bawled like a school girl - especially during the last 10 minutes or so.
In one scene, I was SOOO angry with the dad. Doesn't his son (now an adult) EVER get to be angry and have feelings? Can't his dad ever be a grown up and let someone else not be ok?
So much pain and hurt and heartbreak and, as I said, wreckage.
So sad. So unnecessary.
I couldn't help but reflect on my own life and the choices I have made and the effects on my kids.
And now I am emotionally drained.
Heading to bed.
Keep on keeping on...
Friday, January 27, 2012
Last night Mr. M and I kind of had a blow out.
We both have a lot of expectations (which are - as the program teaches - resentments in the making). Mr. M was bringing up things like that I bought a dog against his wishes (even though he SAID yes) 8 years ago. He is angry and embittered that he doesn't like how I raise the kids and that he has no say because I "wear the pants".
I told him that I don't WANT to wear the pants and I didn't WANT to parent the kids alone. I wanted to be in partnership with someone but half the time when I turned around, he wasn't there.
He said all I have done since his dirt bike accident in attack him and be angry.
I told him that yes, I am angry but that I also tried to tell him that I GO to the angry place because that is what I know how to do.
So I have TRIED to TELL him that I am scared and sad.
He said he heard my words but doesn't believe me because I am so angry.
He said that if I want him to believe me, I should try crying.
I don't DO vulnerability and neediness easily. And in OUR circumstances, that hasn't been terribly safe either.
I am not a person people meet and feel drawn to protect and take care of - I have a very competent and confident exterior. I seem like I have it all together and don't need anyone or anything. I do not inspire protectiveness or care.
I told Mr. M that I wished he could see past my exterior and take care of me.
This struck a nerve in me and I was crying a lot... tears rolling down my cheeks and dripping off my face.
I am not one to make a big show of this "Look at me, I am crying!"
He wasn't really looking at me.
He didn't SEE me.
He said he was angry Drummer is so out of control and that HE would just kick him out. (If I was the kind of person who did that - kicked people out when they behaved badly, Mr. M would've been gone LONG ago, so he should watch what he wishes for!).
He started crying out of regret for how he was responsible for not being here for all of that.
We started super angry but ended in a more truthful and sad place.
So much baggage from such a long time together...
Wednesday, January 25, 2012
Mr. M is in pain and under slept (due to pain). He is frustrated and angry about his injuries. He is scared that they will not heal well and quickly. He is frustrated being so dependent and not being able to drive. He is baffled that I am angry/hurt/scared over his accident. He is mad I will not give him more sympathy and compassion. He has no clue really why I would think I would need any sympathy and compassion too... I mean sheesh! I didn't get in an accident! He is walking around with this pissed off chip on his shoulder. He is simply a BEAR to have in the house. He is on my last nerve. I am regretting letting him be here, but I didn't see a ton of alternative... and he is NOT drinking (yet... although I suspect that is on the horizon).... and it WAS an "accident". And yet, I cannot muster up a ton of sympathy and I AM exhausted (emotionally) and sad and scared and in many ways - Done.
Last night he and Drummer had a big blow up at midnight.
Drummer has some anger issues. He is very explosive and aggressive. (Drummer is living her this year, working and saving money before he gets married - don't even get me started about my concerns about his anger issues in a marriage - ugh!).
They were screaming at each other. Drummer threw a thing or two. Drummer ended up storming out. He was yelling in the front yard at midnight. (Can you say "white trash"?) A lot of anger was spewing out about Dad's drinking and his anger about that.
Mr. M said he is packing his bags and leaving in the morning (now today). That really WOULD be better. Let's see if he really does it.
I have such mixed feeling about this.
If I really picture my life without him I am so torn.
I am on my own and I know it... no delusions of partnership.
Free to find someone to love again (hopefully).
More peace in the home.
I will be totally alone. (Not I am 75% alone... but that 25% must have some value or I would be gone.)
I don't know how to repair all the stuff Mr. M does... I will have to learn or pay money and hire someone.
I will be 100% on my own financially with no illusion of help. (When sober and living at home, Mr. contributes well.)
No one to share the burden of parenting with occasionally (when he is reliable).
When (if) Mr. M sobers up, he will BEG me to rethink and come back... he will look good and act great and be adorable and cheerful and be the man I always WANTED to be married to. Everything in my will respond to this... I will be DEVASTATED again to have to say "no" to what I wanted all along. I will have to FORCE myself to remember the drinking, the abandonment, the anger, the fear. But I will be irrationally hopeful that THIS TIME he will stay sober and I will actually get what I always wanted in this relationship...
What if no one loves me again?? I love love. I love being married. I love hugging and holding hands (not to mention other stuff :) I didn't want to be single. I didn't want to be alone. (I am so angry and sad to be in this place.
Isn't it weird that this dirt bike accident - not even alcohol related - spun me into this place? Yet, it makes sense because it is highlighting the selfishness and abandonment and self-absorption that is here even when he is not drinking.
Monday, January 23, 2012
Am I just numb or am I starting to accept my sadness as a part of life? (Is it possible it is like if one lost a limb they would grieve and grieve for a while and then start living again and learn to live with that loss in a new way?) Some of both, methinks.
What I didn't mention in my last post about Mr. M's dirt biking accident was that I had just had lunch with a group of 6 girlfriends (celebrating one friend's birthday)... we had stayed and laughed and gabbed so long that I rushed straight from there to meet two other girlfriends for dinner! (I had made several plans since Mr. M was going to be gone all weekend :) I was just walking in to restaurant #2 when Mr. M phoned, lying in a crumpled heap on the desert floor convulsing with shivers from the cold night air as darkness closed in around him and they waited for their buddy to come back with the truck. I expressed my concern and sympathy and made sure he was going to the hospital and asked questions like "Are you OK?????" and "Is there BLOOD?!?" and "Are any bones sticking out at weird angles?". He said he would call back and I went in to the restaurant and had a lovely evening with my friends. (The next night I had dinner with another girlfriend from Junior High and she hung out until 1AM!!) At dinner, I shared with my friends about Mr. M and my anger and fear and grief. Another friend shared how badly their business was going and how hard it is to struggle financially for so long... she cried a bit about how many vacation memories they have not been able to make because they never go anywhere because they are always waiting for "next year" hoping things will be better and they are not.
I have trauma and crisis in my life and so do others:
I currently have a friend whose husband of 26 years left her for an old high school crush devastating their 2 children who are now not speaking to him.
Another friend in my support group's husband has been having emotionally intimate conversations on the phone with a woman whose husband just left her... he thinks he might be in love with her and has told his wife - my friend - that he might want a divorce. their devastated daughter has started dabbling in drugs and sex.
Another friend of mine has a daughter with severe cerebral palsy, an adult son with extreme mental illness (he has been in jail and mental hospitals, he gets on medications, gets better, gets out, and realizes he is fine and gets off the meds only to slip back into the clutches of his mental illness). Meanwhile, her husband has had 2 neck surgeries and is not feeling any better and her mother (85) is having massive health problems and moved in with them!
My other friend's husband is 52 and is having memory issues like he makes her eggs for breakfast and then 20 minutes later of she wants him to make her some eggs... she is terrified for what this means for their family and their young 12 year old son.
One of my friends just lost his 12 year old daughter to cancer...
Need I go on?
There is a LOT of sadness in the world. I don't know a lot, but one thing I can tell you for sure; this is NOT heaven! There is a lot of pain and suffering and grief here on this planet. But life goes on. We can curl up and die or keep living. I am super sad for myself and my circumstances and I am brokenhearted for my suffering friends (and these are just a few of them!). But I am amazed at our resilience and HOPE. We cry together (I am not very good at this but am working on it) and we LAUGH together (I am VERY good at this :)
Oh... how we laugh!!!
And it is healing and cathartic.
It is not fake. We are not pretending we are not sad. We are sad AND sometimes there is humor even in the sadness (Dark humor? The lighter side of grief?) The sadness is true but so is the laughter.
So, while it has been a rough few days (and I have a lot of feelings I am still hashing through with Mr. M's latest escapades), it was also a fun few days... I enjoyed my friends and my kids and yes, even my life. It was - as Dr. would say - "abundant" (full of everything).
Update on Mr. M is that his friends took him to the hospital and dropped him off. He called when he was done HOURS later and they picked him up. He didn't want to ruin their trip so he said he could just stay the 2 miserable days and nights in the trailer while they all went out riding all day. I could've offered to drive the 3.5 hours each way to pick him up, but didn't and only felt 5% guilty (not bad! ;) They brought him home sunday evening. (The kids and I had just finished a delicious mexican meal with my parents who brought dinner over.)
He was a mess... he was sick - they think from eating something bad - and vomiting and the "runs". (I let hims stay the night in case it was a symptom of an internal injury, I am still keeping an eye on him.) His right arm IS broken. We have to take him to the Dr. to have a more permanent cast put on this week. Not 100% sure what is wrong with the shoulder... the Dr. said to wait and bit before having it checked (this seems weird to me?!?!?). His tailbone and back are still killing him. He has deep cuts and scabs on his arms, elbows, and knees. His helmet is thrashed but it seems to have done its job protecting his brain (thank GOD!).
I undressed him and helped bathe him and am letting him spend a few nights. I did a load of his laundry and am being polite. He is terribly sad that I seem angry with him. He just doesn't get it: "It was an ACCIDENT, Babe!" I tried to explain. He says he gets it but he is very self consumed (he is in a lot of physical pain, plus me being mad at him brings emotional pain, plus I think he was quite scared and I am not offering a lot of comfort, which is my usual role... a lot of new stuff going on over here...)
Friday, January 20, 2012
I am angry and posting only to vent.
Mr. M left on a motorcycle riding trip today with some sober friends.
I think I may have mentioned before my torn feelings about this 2nd trip in a 30 day period for him.
On the one hand I am happy for him having sober fun doing something he loves, taking time for himself, and developing friendships with some guys with long-term sobriety.
On the other hand, I feel kind of bitter because he just took 2 months off of LIFE, drinking himself to near death in a motel etc... so I am kind of like "Now is your time to think of others and be around to help your wife and kids who need you".
But then i cycle around to wanting him to have good things and GO and then I am pissed that he is going. etc etc etc etc etc.
(This is an internal dialogue... to HIM, I only said that I had mixed emotions and briefly told him why.)
Anyhow, what I did NOT say was that I am not a big fan of dirt biking.
It is expensive - bikes are expensive and they break a lot.
It is dangerous - the guys like to ride "balls out" as they call it, and even if YOU are safe, a lot of other people drive drunk and crash into you.
So this evening, I get a call from Mr. M.
He says he has crashed and has totalled the bike he bought the day before from a friend (turns out the bike is fine, but this is what he thought at the time). He says he f**ked up his shoulder really bad. He has rocks imbedded in his elbows and knees. One buddy is staying with him, the other one is racing to go get the truck and come back. It is getting dark and they are in the middle of no where. Thank GOD the friend has a GPS and can mark the spot where Mr. M is so he can actually FIND him when he returns with the truck!
The friend come back to get him eventually - after about 1.5 hours of Mr. M laying in the dirt in the dark in the freezing cold.
They take him to the hospital.
he has a broken right arm and a thrashed left shoulder (torn tendons and ligaments, it looks like). His back (he had spine surgery last january) is spasming and goodness knows WHAT injuries are there!
This man has no life insurance and no disability insurance. He is jeopardizing our family again - for sport! (I have forgiven him much when he is in his addiction but to do this in addition feels inexcusable to me right now.)
Now he has a bunch of new medical bills (we have a $6k deductible and then percentages up to $10k).
He is injured terribly - both arms - so he will not be able to work.
Is he going to expect the KIDS (Hacker & Wifey) to nurse him and take care of him?
Am I expected to? I don't want to or intend to, but I feel badly dumping that on Hacker & Wifey (although that is THEIR choice - they can be responsible for themselves and I can be responsible for me).
The kids heard the news and got quite scared and upset (Drummer most of all, poor guy).
Please let me say for the record that I was kind and compassionate to Mr. M on the phone. I said all the right things. I was just not FEELING compassionate. Later in the evening when he called from ER and wanted to talk about the bills and how fast he was going etc., I DID say I was angry and later that I was not paying the bills.
Girlie overheard this (my fault - we were in the car) and seemed mad at me.
I told her I had been nice all evening and was just expressing a little of my frustration.
She said "It is none of my business" and did not talk to me any more tonight.
I THINK she is in shock over and over again by the fear of losing her dad. He has NO IDEA what he does to her, jeopardizing himself like this.
I am not like crazy angry.
I am numb.
I am tired.
I am running on empty.
I have NO margin for this emotionally.
I do not feel compassion... I only want to leave him.
I do not have the emotional wherewithal to deal with his self-centeredness.
Don't know how long he I can do this...
(PS - Don't even get me STARTED on his pain and needing pain killers and my fear of that spinning him down the road of addiction... I don't even want to OPEN that can of worms!!!!!)
Wednesday, January 18, 2012
Maybe I shouldn't be reading this book right now.
Maybe it is "courting" sadness.
Maybe I should be slapping a smile on my face and focusing on the positive.
But that is what I have done my whole life - package away grief and be a "good girl" and not make others uncomfortable.
Suck it up and solider on.
So I am reading it.
And I am BAWLING (ugly faced, mascara running bawling).
And I am laughing.
At things like the "dwarves of grief" which I excerpted here.
It is a woundingly lovely memoir of grief and loss.
It is like an anthem to grief.
A tribute to loss.
I am filled with love for this sweet woman who lost her full term son, Pudding and her willingness to bring us in to her heart and world and share him and her grief with us. It is so intimate... so generous. I love her honesty and I love HER for laying herself bare. I cannot BELIEVE she GOES there. That she remembers this (hasn't blocked it out, is willing to expose it) and will recreate it on the page. Then the fact that she can do it so deftly and lyrically and doesn't use language to distance and protect but to invite and draw in. I am in awe of her writing and her spirit. It is humbling because I am so aware of how out of my grasp this feels - for so many reasons.
But can I just say that if you have ever LOST someone or grieved or suffered, her story (Elizabeth's and Edward's story) will resonate with you. It is so HONORING and tender toward loss and suffering.
I will leave you with one small excerpt from page 132:
"Of course you can't out-travel sadness. You will find it has smuggled itself along in your suitcase. It coats the camera lens, it flavors the local cuisine. In that different sunlight, it stands out, awkward, yours, honking in the brash vowels of your native tongue in otherwise quiet restaurants. You may even feel proud of its stubbornness as it follows you up the bell towers and monuments, as it pants in your ear while you take in the view. I travel not to get away from my troubles but to see how they look in front of famous buildings or on deserted beaches. I take them for walks. Sometimes I get them drunk. Back at home, we generally understand each other better."
I am not trying to make too much of my sadness or to compare it to hers - or yours - but I AM grief stricken over Mr. M's relapse. I feel like 23 years of grief and loss that I have been stuffing are throbbingly present right now, welling up and overflowing after YEARS of being denied. I am facing the LOSS that has accompanied Mr. M's repeated binges and disappearances and thefts and absences and job losses and abandonments (of me and the kids), not to mention the terror of if he would live and how I would be able to provide all by myself. This time as I stop denying and honestly look at my loss and pain, I have come face to face with the fact that I don't know if I have it in me to do this again. I am heartbroken and tired and grief-stricken. I might end up having to get a divorce. This will be a death of sorts - the death of a marriage and of a dream and of the future I THOUGHT I would have. (I KNOW I will have a wonderful future with new dreams, but this one will have died.) If I don't get a divorce, I have to face the fact that in 5 or 10 years (or in 10 minutes), it is highly likely Mr. M will relapse again and I will be blogging these EXACT same thoughts and shock and betrayal and abandonment all over again. Only this time, I will be 47 or 52.
I feel GUILTY and "BAD" writing this because I feel like in Recovery you are "supposed to" think positive and practice acceptance. But although it may not SOUND like it, this grief I am allowing myself to feel IS acceptance. I am accepting myself - warts and all. I am accepting the reality of my past 23 years. I am accepting that if I stay with Mr. M, my future will likely (not certainly) include relapse. And as sad as it feels, it feels kind of good - as I have mentioned - honest.
I am afraid if I am morbid and sappy and negative, YOU might not like me. But then I think SHEESH!!!!!!!! What is the freaking POINT of this blog if I have to be a people pleaser here too?!?!?! For goodness sake, this is my blog and no one has to read it if they don't like the way my mind works or don't like me. I do MORE than enough people pleasing and tap dancing in my off-line life to last a few lifetimes. So HERE... here on my blog, I will run the risk of not being YOUR definition of 'healthy' or wise or loving or accepting or positive or "in recovery" or "Christian" or whatever.
This is MY issue, no one else's... but I started realizing I wanted to edit what I wrote to be more uplifting and inspirational, humorous and insightful - whatever. Then I thought "THAT is not true" to where I am right now. It is not true to me and therefore it is unkind to me. So if someone were to visit and read my blog and not like it or me then I need to LEARN to tolerate my discomfort with that. If that is you, it is OK. You are allowed to not like me or my writing or my emotional place. I am not super emotionally ok with that. But I am not OK with Mr. M's drinking... and JUST like with his drinking, I am POWERLESS over you & your opinions and my life is unmanageable when I fret about it and try to control and manage your opinion of me. So I will ask God to grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change (you visiting or not visiting my blog, liking or disliking my blog, liking or disliking ME), the courage to change the things I can (Me and only me) and the WISDOM to know the difference.
Monday, January 16, 2012
I went out of town for the weekend with a girlfriend.
It wasn't just a pleasure trip but it was still very nice.
We were checking her son back in for spring semester at university.
The 3 of us drove up together for 6+ hours of non-stop gabbing!
We spent a lot of time stocking up the dorm fridge and running errands and hanging out with college kids (adorable!). We ate at many marvelous restaurants including a funky ice cream shop with fun, wacky, creative flavors like "lemon praline pinenut" and "saffron coconut" and "chicory whiskey" and "maple bacon".
It was good to get away and "play".
It was good to chat and be frivolous and not worry about anyone but myself (my friend had to worry about her son, but I didn't :)
It is hard because it creeps into my mind to worry abut Mr. M. He often escalates in drinking behavior when I am gone (a case of the while-the-cat's-away-the-mouse-will-play syndrome???). So it is a TAD hard with my controlling (fear-based) nature to leave and know that is a risk. But it was good to go and to open my terrified grasp and believe that if he is going to drink, he is going to drink. Me being here to guard him might prolong it, but it will only prolong it, not prevent it.
So I can't say that I didn't ever think about it with worry or concern, but I didn't let it stop me from going or enjoying my time. (And I didn't excessively call and check in either :)
I'll call that a bit of growth...
Tuesday, January 10, 2012
I don't want to be a baby whiner.
I want to be a person of acceptance and serenity.
I want to have peace and let go of resentments.
I actually BELIEVE I will get there.
But I also want to to be REAL... I want to truly accept and truly HAVE serenity.
I don't want to do it because I am supposed to or it LOOKS good.
I am a performer/pleaser... I WANT to have behaviors that are acceptable to people so you will love me and want to be my friend and not leave me.
So my whole life I have been a 'good girl' and had the 'right' feelings so I would not make other people uncomfortable (because if I make you uncomfortable, that is NOT pleasing).
I package up my feelings and compartmentalize them then we can ALL be comfortable.
But now, after four years of therapy, I am trying to just let myself HAVE my feelings, even if they are messy or unpleasing or make you uncomfortable.
My husband drank again and I KNOW in my head that it is not personal... he has a disease.
But regardless of all my head knowledge, my HEART is sad. I feel abandoned. I feel unloved and unsafe. I am feeling scared about being alone. I feel scared about my financial future and my ability to take care of my kids alone - if that is how I end up being. I feel scared no one will ever love me again (which is why an affair sounds so nice - a distraction and a balm to my frightened and lonely heart).
So after my 3 mile walk this morning with my friend, I was driving home and talking to my Higher Power. I was asking him for comfort and love and peace for a few friends that are going through extremely difficult things right now and another who is having a hysterectomy this morning. But I know that I personally am feeling FAR from the comfort of my Higher Power right now... I am not sure why... I've got to work through that.
So anyway, this is NOT where I want to be and I WANT to 'snap out of it' and pack it all away like the good girl I am supposed to be, but I do not know how to balance my grief and also live in the present moment, TODAY, which is quite full and abundant:
TODAY - I have a great job that pays ALL my bills... my HP has provided
TODAY - I have a house that I can pay for.
TODAY - the heater in my house just came on and my kids and I don't have to be cold
TODAY - my pantry & fridge are full (well, OK, Bub would disagree... he says I REALLY need to go to the grocery store... but I CAN go to the grocery store and fill the fridge and pantry ;)
TODAY - my kids and parents and siblings are all healthy
TODAY - my family is growing because Hacker got married and Drummer is engaged
TODAY - Mr. M has 7+ weeks sober
TODAY - I have great and loving and supportive friends and family
I know that living in a place of gratitude is one of the ways to get un stuck ("grateful people are happy people")... and even writing that list made me feel better.
Thanks for bearing with my whining.
I am processing.
God willing as I go through my journey here on "the page", it will be a journey of growth and change and LEGITIMATE serenity and peace because I actually GOT there - inside - and NOT because I am faking it so you will like me.
Monday, January 9, 2012
It is so weird;
Every morning I wake up alone in my bed.
The kids are leaving and hollering goodbye at o'dark-thirty.
Shortly thereafter, I get up and get dressed and eat something then meet a friend to walk a few miles.
I get home and work; returning emails, making phone calls, going to meetings, or creating proposals.
Sometimes I will meet a friend for lunch.
Mr. M will touch base and let me know what his day looks like - how many customers he will be seeing that day (usually 1-6 at an average of 60-90 mins. each).
I pick up kids and hang out with them throughout the late afternoon/early evening.
Eventually, Mr. M comes over and we do dinner.
Then he leaves for his AA meeting.
He is usually gone for 2.5 to 3 hours (depending on how far away it is, if he is going to dinner beforehand, if he hangs out and fellowships afterward etc.).
On his way home to Hacker & Wifey's house he calls me to say "hi".
We chit chat a while and then say our "love you's" and "goodnights".
It is so weird... it is like we are dating.
It is hard and sad in many ways (for the kids especially, I think).
But, it is not all bad.
There is something good for both of us in the boundaries and the space and the freedom.
I think it MAY give him more ability to focus on his program.
It allows us to not always be up in each others' kitchens.
And it makes us long for each other a little bit more... I think we are (overall) a tad bit nicer to each other and are on more good behavior.
It is kind of a no-man's land between marriage and divorce and yet marriage (living together right now) isn't currently an option and we are not ready for divorce, so i am grateful there is an alternative.
I wouldn't wish it on any one... but it is working adequately... considering.
Sunday, January 8, 2012
Today is a new day.
The sun is shining.
The air is crisp and clean.
It is blustery.
Mr. M came over before 9, having already gone to his meeting.
I am sitting at the kitchen table reading blogs and nodding in empathy and laughing and shaking my head at familiarity.
Meanwhile, Mr. M is washing windows and singing at the top of his lungs.
Drummer is already at work. Bub & Girlie are still sleeping. (There are remnants of Girlie's Harry Potter baking extravaganza of berry tarts still in the kitchen - and a lingering scent of yum hanging in the air.)
Just since I wrote this sentence, Mr. M moved on to watching Jewel play with and wrestle with and chew her "wiener" (rubber squeaking wiener dog - heehee) and he is laughing and laughing.
We have a clean slate each day if we choose to not hang on to bitterness.
I blog to work through a lot of my deepest darkest feelings so I DON'T have to vent them on Mr. M, but they are still there and I am working on trying to FEEL my feelings and not stuff them or compartmentalize but to really BE where I am. It is not always pretty, but it is helpful... I think I am more WHOLE now than I have ever been.
So today, I woke up and yes, I still have lingering feelings (like the lingering scent of Girlie's tarts) of hurt and fear.
But we both have a new opportunity.
A new day to laugh and love and try, try again.
Saturday, January 7, 2012
Last night Mr. M and I grabbed dinner and then were going to watch a DVD. When we got home, the kids were all home and chatty. So we hung out a while with them. Then it got to be late (10PM). I suggested we retire to the bedroom to watch the movie.
Mr. M said it was getting late. He wasn't sure he was going to watch it now if he wasn't going to be allowed to spend the night.
I KNOW he was just setting a boundary, which is healthy. In therapy with Dr., he had said it is OK for me to set boundaries and honor my feelings, but likewise, Mr. M gets to decide to set his OWN boundaries and honor HIS feeling.
So last night because I wouldn't let him spend the night (my boundary), he decided he didn't want to stay late at our house and get relaxed and cozy then get up after midnight and go out into the chilly night and drive to Hacker & Wifey's house with no parking and park far away and walk 10 minutes then get back home to bed where he is no longer relaxed and ready for bed (his boundary).
I felt a little miffed because to ME, it feels like I am getting punished for him drinking and falling apart to the point when I had to ask him to move out... so now, because he doesn't live here (consequence of HIS drinking), he has to leave late at night and get cold and be tired, so he doesn't want to stay and spend the evening with me as a result. So I get "punished" again and again because he doesn't live here. (On a scale of 1-10, this one only felt like a 2, but our Christmas Eve fight - I posted about it here- was in the same vein and felt more like an 8.)
So it is just all so mixed up and confused.
I am happy (truly I am!) that he is setting boundaries. (I validated this last night.)
This is necessary for his growth and health and hopefully, ultimately will contribute to his sobriety.
At the same time, there is still LOSS in it for me and I don't feel like he is AT ALL yet able to validate me in that.
I am still recovering from the heartbreak that he drank and that my world (and the kids') is all upside down again and I feel frightened and alone and unsafe.
I feel angry that he wants to saunter back in here and act like 7 weeks sobriety is enough to erase the upheaval and terror and abandonment.
I feel hopeless when I wonder "When will it ever be MY turn to have a meltdown?".
He went home last night and got all cozy in his bed and watched a movie then he got up this morning and went to a meeting then came over. I got my 5 1/2 mile walk in with a friend while he was at his meeting and so was feeling great by the time I got home.
I thought that was a nice start to the day.
I wasn't mad.
I didn't think he was.
But now the day has been spent in NEW misunderstandings and bickerings and I feel like BOTH of us are left scratching our heads.
This is SO tiring...
Thursday, January 5, 2012
I wrote in a past post that I have been watching the NBC show Parenthood and overly identifying with a particular storyline with an alcoholic ex-husband (Seth) who shows back up in the lives of his ex-wife (Sara) and kids (Amber & Drew).
I wrote that I had been crying through it.
I have since watched a few episodes with Girlie (16) and she joined me in the tear-fest!
STORY: Character Sara Braverman takes out a loan from her sister to put ex, Seth, in rehab because he has never been willing to do it before and finally is. He goes in and she visits him. This freaks out her whole family because they have SEEN how Sara has no boundaries and gets WRECKED emotionally by Seth's addiction. They don't want to see her OR the kids dragged back into this destructive cycle... especially when the kids are doing well and Sara finally has a successful career AND an awesome new boyfriend. Sara's keeps canceling & flaking out on her new boyfriend (Mark) and he is very understanding but he finally tells her that he can't accept being canceled on any more (good for him!!!).
Sara goes to visit Seth in rehab and the reminisce about old times... memories only the two of them share; their little bungalow, how their daughter lost her first tooth and how afraid she was of the tooth fairy etc. (Oh so familiar!) They were a FAMILY and his addiction stole that from them. And now, suddenly, there is a little hope that this 'family' might be possible if he sobers up... and he is saying he actually wants that now!
He says his visiting hours got extended and asks if she will stay and watch their old favorite movie that is playing, "Vertigo" (they recite a few lines together). She says she can't (because she does not want to cancel on boyfriend Mark). Seth says he understands. Sara is sad to leave him alone and he is sad to be left alone and sits and watches the movie by himself in the rehab.
We had to pause the show to cry. Girlie was crying & crying. Tears were rolling down her face and dripping off her jaw. She really deeply dislikes Seth (the alcoholic) and loves the new boyfriend, Mark but it was KILLING her to see Seth left alone and sad.
"I just don't want him to be alooooooonnnne! He is so sad. I don't want her to stay, but I don't want him to be alone!"
I tried just reflecting her (no advice or fixing, just HEARING): "You don't want him to be alone..."
"That is making you VERY sad..."
She kept crying and crying.
Through sniffles: "I know I am not really crying about the show. I am crying about Dad..."
"You are really crying about dad..."
"Yes... and I just feel so sad for him and I just don't want him to be alone..."
I get it! I was feeling the same way. I wanted to tell Sara "RUN!!!!! Run like the wind... get away from Seth... go back to mark... trust me, I KNOW what it's like... its a never ending cycle... you will never escape..." Any yet I didn't want him to be alone either. Maybe THIS time he would get sober. Maybe this time it would end. Maybe they COULD get back together and be a family...
I again see that cycle of the kids feeling responsible for protecting the alcoholic from the consequences of HIS choices (like I wrote about here).
Alcoholics can continue in their disease SO much longer with good enablers like us! If WE won't do it (enable), they can usually find someone else who will (a parent, a child, a friend, a boyfriend/girlfriend, grandparent, coworker, boss etc.). Addicts are usually very smart and charming and we enablers feel like our love alone can save them and this helps our OWN value and self-worth.
I just trained and handed the baton off to the next generation.
Girlie knows enough to be mad at Seth (on the show) and to want him to go away and that he is not good for Sara and the kids and yet she can't BEAR to see him sad. He has caused years and years of suffering and agony for his wife and kids and now is finally sober enough to realize the pain and suffer the consequences and she wants him rescued from that... and so does Sara... and so do I...
Which is why I am still WITH Mr. M... so I am a kind and loving savior... and he doesn't have to be alone...
Wednesday, January 4, 2012
Our little 10 pound dog "Jewel" loves our whole family.
Girlie feeds her so she is devoted to her in a special way.
She loves to snuggle with Bub.
She loves to snuggle with Bub.
I am the Momma, so she follows me around.
But NO ONE holds a candle to Daddy.
She gets sent to her bed during meals and when we are done eating, we release her by saying "That'll do".
If Mr. M is not home and ANY of us release her, she is out of her bed in a flying leap the INSTANT "That'll do" even BEGINS to pass our lips.
However, if Mr. M is home, I will say "That'll do" and she does not move. She looks away from me and stares at Mr. M with her little stub wagging... utterly intent upon him.
There IS no command except a command from him, when he is home.
"That'll do," he finally says and she hurtles herself from the bed in a nanosecond!
Her little world is crushed when her Alpha is not home.
She waits for him in the front window. She whines for him. She has more anxiety and spends a lot more of her spare time "guarding" the house. I assert myself and show her my dominance and that she does not need to be in control just because her Alpha is gone, but she clearly does not believe me. She PINES for Mr. M in his absence. All is not right with her world when he is gone...
The kids and I all understand how she feels...
Monday, January 2, 2012
Today while at the beach (yes, it has been 80 degrees this New Year's week in Southern CA!!!) Mr. M said he couldn't believe he only had 6 weeks sober. He said it feels like a year.
I kinda get what he means and he IS doing well, but I will confess, it does NOT seem like a year to me!
I am so glad he is feeling strong and confident and good and like this is all behind him, but I am still in shock and traumatized.
I am grieving like someone died.
I am not trying to be melodramatic.
I mean, he only relapsed and relapse is part of recovery.
I know this and yet his relapses are the destruction of our family.
As I have previously outlined:
He doesn't work. (Therefore he doesn't earn ANY income so 100% of the burden is on me.)
He is non-functional.
He is scary and destructive (breaking things, yelling, peeing and vomiting on things etc.).
He doesn't pay his bills.
He drives drunk.
He drinks SO much, so heavily that his liver is disintegrating. (He drinks over a liter of straight vodka a day.)
He drinks as if trying to drown or poison something inside him.
There is not pretending he is a "party guy" or "just hanging out with the guys".
He drinks (guzzles) alone.
When he drinks I do not know if he will ever stop... and IF he does, will it be 3 years from now? (That is his norm.)
When he drinks, I don't know if he will live.
When I dropped him off at the motel back in mid-october, I drove away sobbing my GUTS out because I believed I might never hear from him/see him again. And we didn't even get to say an actual 'goodbye' because he was so drunk all he cared about was getting into his room and getting more booze.
I am sobbing hysterically driving away and he is stumbling to his motel room with barely a glance back. (When he checked in with me each day to tell me he was still alive, he was clear he did not want help yet, but wanted to keep drinking.)
This happened a mere 6 weeks ago.
He is still not living at home (we are talking about the 90 day mark - as he is currently doing "90 meetings in 90 days"), he is still barely able to contribute to supporting the family because not he has his OWN separate rent to pay.
So no... I am sorry if it still seems tremendously fresh and doesn't seem anywhere CLOSE to a year yet.
I don't want to torture Mr. M, but nor can I lie, minimize, or enable. I am broken-hearted, tired, and frightened. I don't want to do this any more. I don't want to live waiting for the relapse that can be part of recovery.
He acted all "butt hurt" that he had to go home tonight (I had let him stay a couple nights over the holiday). I am butt hurt.
I am hurt he got drunk and left us alone again.
I am hurt he doesn't live here.
I am hurt my husband has to leave every evening and sleep somewhere else.
I am hurt (an embarrassed) that Girlie had 6 friends spend the night for New Years Eve and she thought he was leaving without saying good bye and asked "Daddy, are you leaving??? I thought you were staying here!" in front of her friends (who already KNOW what is going on, but still; humiliating! I feel like we are teenagers in an illicit relationship and he has to get home by curfew or something).
So as I crawl in bed, alone... again (and again and again and again ad infinitum), I know how many times I have cried myself to sleep night after night and if Mr. M wants to know something that feels like a year, I can tell him THAT feels like a year...