I met my husband at a bar. He was drunk; in front of me he bet another guy which one of them would take me home that night. I didn't like him. But two months later, after relentless pursuit, i gave in to one day in which he stayed sober. He had the world by its tail, was charming, romantic and kept me on my toes with all of our adventures. But drinking was a constant part of it.
Hindsight is 20/20 and I should have known, but I was love-struck. We married and moved. I got pregnant; he said he wouldn't drink while I was pregnant. That didn't last. After a failed family business and the disappointment of his family in having a baby girl (yes, this is the 21st century, people), he began drinking on the way home and would be drunk by the time he got there. I was young, in love with the person I married (not who he had become), and thought things would get better.
15 years later and many episodes (hidden within the nuclear family) in between, I don't even recognize the person I am married to. I no longer have a partner or friend. I have to take care of him, my two children, the house, the cars. When I address his drinking, he talks about how he should "just die." After a 5 day bender in December (which followed a 6 month period of sporadic drinking and nondrinking after my insistence he needed to stop), I involved our families (his family, all alcoholics basically said it was my duty to get him through this; my family told me to leave the bastard, lol) and told him he had to get help or I and my children were gone. I'd talked to a divorce attorney, set up a separate checking account, and started planning how I was going to start anew with my finances in disarray.
And you know what? He got help. He started going to counseling and addressing the underlying issues. He was prescribed with naltrexone which has been nothing short of a wonder drug. He is 45 days sober. He is starting to help, he is constantly on the go. Fixated on himself - all as he should be. But, I have lost my respect and trust for him. Perhaps even my love. And I'm so, so, mad that he has put me and my children through these past years. And I'm mad at myself that I've put up with all of this when I should have just left years ago. I hate that my daughter panics when I think about using cooking wine in a recipe, or the fact that I can not do some of the things I enjoy because of his issues. I deserve so much more. As well as he is doing, I live in fear for the day I come home to find him drunk, or to get a text from my teenage child that there is an empty liquor bottle in the bed with dad and he's "asleep." I don't know that there is a way to get to a better place in this relationship. Now, he thinks we are ready for couples counseling. And the reality is that even if it helps, one slip up from him would undo all of it.
I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop and be left with no choice but to start over. And I wonder how I do that with all of this baggage. I'm 46 years old and not exactly in my prime.
The alcoholic is, in some ways, the lucky one. They don't see or remember the damage, the looks on their children's faces, or have to answer the questions. They live in their bottle and don't face any of it. The recovering alcoholic is equally as lucky. They have new found purpose, are completely focused on themselves, and think the fact they are sober takes care of any damage they have created.
I'm not sure this is the right place to post this and apologize if it's not. I just am feeling so lost, angry, and traumatized by the havoc alcoholism has brought unto my life and my children's and wasn't sure where else to vent.
A thoughtful moment of prayer for GramyBear who lives near the fire zone in Cali. I nor anyone has heard from her. May she be alright and soon feeling well enough to play along within the group.
Does your family have dishes they traditionally cook every Thanksgiving or Christmas.... like a family recipe or something special they make? I don't do much for Thanksgiving these days, but I used to make a bacon wrapped turkey. And for Christmas I try to make a coconut curried lamb dish with yellow rice and mashed purple sweet potatoes (if family / friends come over). Please share yours.......