The New Year

I think I have posted this video already but it’s just too darn appropriate for how I am feeling and what I want to say for me to not post it again now.

I knew I hadn’t been keeping up with my blogging but I didn’t realize it had been many months since I posted.

Where have I been?

Just the usual places one goes when married to an alcoholic.

Despair.

Despondancy.

Defeat.

I’ve sat down many times to write a post (I can show you all the attempts in my “draft” folder) but I never seemed to strike that vein of writing gold. Everything I tried to write seemed too redundant or tired or pointless. What was there for me to say anymore?

I am married to an alcoholic and my marriage, my days, my life has become about nothing more than surviving from one day to the next.

How many times, how many different ways, could I write that I am dying – spiritually, mentally and emotionally if not physically.

When would you have read enough about how draining and debilitating it is to live with an alcoholic? After all, that’s nothing new I am informing you about.

So the drafts kept piling up in the “draft” folder and the “I need to write a blog post” was pushed further and further to the back of my mind.

And then a man wanted to sleep with me

Ha!

How’s that for inspiration for a blog post?

The semi-short version is this man, let’s call him “Pete” is someone I knew many, many years ago. He was that guy in your life where there was definitely chemistry, a spark, interest on both parties’ part and yet the timing of your two lives just never seemed to be in sync. Or, to put it another way:

I was really gaga for him and he always seemed “interested” but never quite “interested enough” to ask me out.

Well, apparently he finally got interested 15 years later and got in touch with me. Did I mention he has a wife?

He does, as I have a husband, but for several months we enjoyed fun, flirtateous banter via text and a rare phone call here and there. Nothing blatant or obvious but certainly suggestive and hinting at something more. I will tell you honestly, I enjoyed it. I felt giddy and school girlish and alive. I felt like the video!

Over the last few years, I have thought a lot about whether I could have an affair. Not with anyone in particular – just in theory – but now here was a real chance. Risk. Believe me, I never thought this was a question I would EVER be pondering! And I was afraid if I saw him, I might not be able to resist.

The day came when he was in town (he lives out of town but travels for work) and we arranged to meet for lunch. I wasn’t worried about seeing him: I knew I wasn’t going to run off in the middle of the afternoon to find someplace to…

We had lunch, catching up on each other’s lives and then just as we were about to leave, he says to me,

“So next time I am in town, should we get a hotel room?”

WHAT?!! My head screamed but my mouth just stammered something like,

“Uh, I don’t know. How would that work?”

He kind of chuckled and said,

“Just like lunch. Except a lot more fun.”

I was dumbfounded and of all the things I could have said, should have said, I just mumbled something about I’d think about it. Later that night I texted him and said I could never do that. He said that was “ok” and he wasn’t sure he could either. (BULLSHIT!)

If you think I was mad, I wasn’t. I was more incredulous.

And then I just found the whole thing ridiculously funny.

What if he had come into town, taken me out to dinner, made me feel beautiful and wanted? In my mind, that was the scenario I was expecting. And one I feared would leave me unable to resist him. I never dreamed of the two of us leaving our spouses and running off together but I did dream of a good old heart pounding, adreline-rush, secret meetings affair. An affair that made ignited something in me. An affair that made me feel alive once again.

But instead, he says,

“Hey, you want to get a hotel room.”

Charming. (NOT!)

I’m glad. I really am. Had it not been for his awkward, pathetic pass, I may have made a grave error in judgement. The truth is I don’t want to have an affair, though not so much because of my husband. (If he was the only consideration, I’d probably do it sadly.) I don’t want to have an affair because of my children and myself and honestly, his children and his wife. Can you imagine if we were found out? What do you say to your children? I would be horrified to think of them finding out something like that about me, their mother. And what about his wife? There would be a woman out there who hated me. Not that I would blame her but the idea of someone who never met me, someone who is probably a nice person, hating me, really bothered me.

It’s probably good it happened the way it did. It reminded me that everything I seek lies within me, not outside me. The passion, the zest, the quest to live again – I have to get that from me. (With maybe a little help from a music video.)

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The Myth of the “Functioning Alcoholic”

I don’t know who coined the phrase “functioning alcoholic” (probably the same who coined “co-dependent” and “enabler”) but frankly it’s, well bull shit.

“Functioning alcoholic” is suppose to distinguish the falling-down-drunk, smelly, dirty alcoholics who pass out in the back alley while drinking cheap gin out of a brown paper bag from, you know..

The nice alcoholics.

The ones with jobs and cars and a house on a cul-de-sac.

The ones who sip their alcohol from a glass while sitting in front of their kazillion-inch big screen tv.

The ones who pass out in the den or family room or living room.

The ones who shower and wear nice clothes and don’t have to dig for change in order to buy a “tall boy.”

Yes, we need to make sure to not mix up the “functioning” alcoholics with the “real” alcoholics.

The ones who destroy their lives.

And the lives of everyone around them.

The ones who choose booze over family.

The ones who’d rather drink then engage in intrapersonal relationships.

The ones who make up excuses for their drinking, deny the pain of their drinking and vow they could stop drinking “tomorrow” if they wanted to.

They just don’t want to.

Funny, when you describe the alcoholic that way, it’s hard to tell the “real” one from the “functioning” one.

I Just Can’t Do This Anymore

I have to figure something out.

I can’t live like this any more.

I know I’ve said it before.

We all say it.

All the time.

I feel like a fraud.

An imposter.

This blog was suppose to inspire.

Instead as I have languished, so has it.

Pain and misery and unhappiness are legendary muses for creative souls.

But not too much.

Too much and the creative soul is rendered helpless.

I need to find a way…

The way for me.

Why Can’t I Get My Head Around The Fact…

that I have an uhappy marriage?

I don’t know what I expect when I compare my marriage to happy marriages? It’s like someone gives me a big, beautifully wrapped gift but when I open it, the box is empty.

And they keep doing it…

Again and again and again they hand me a lovely, promising present…

And again and again and again I open it up and am shocked, disappointed and saddened that it is empty.

What the hell?

There’s really nothing more to say about it, is there?

He’s distant, detached, unavailable, check-up, not present, withdrawn.

How many adjectives can I use?

How many do I need?

I get frustrated over the things he doesn’t do (like NOTHING!) as if I am justified in expecting normal, happy, healthy husband/marriage behavior from him.

I relive the things he’s done in the past and feel hurt all over again by them.

What good does this serve me?

None of course.

You know those snack-vending machines that have the metal spirals that kind of “spiral” the item out? And the snack can get stuck on the spiral or between the spiral and the glass. So you stand there banging on the glass, trying to tip the machine, even trying to reach your hand up inside the machine (which is particularly futile!) because you are SO HUNGRY and that was your LAST .75 and you JUST CAN’T BELIEVE your peanut M & M’s are so close…and yet so far away.

It’s like there just HAS TO BE A WAY to get them out! This is the 21st century, for God’s sake.

But there’s not. (Which it’s kind of funny that for all our “technical advances” we are still vexed by a relatively “rudimentary” vending machine.)

Eventually you walk away, defeated and hungry.

I need to walk away.

Some Days…

I wake up with an overwhelming sense of love for my life. I feel positive and hopeful and full of potential. I have no idea where these days come from or how these feelings manage to peek out from behind the dark cloud of life with someone else’s alcoholism. It’s the ebb and flow of life, I guess.

A sign that I’m not totally dead inside yet.

The Last Time?

Have you ever (sadly) noticed that often there will be a “last time” for things but in retrospect you never realized it was the last time. I think this happens especially as our children grow up. One day you no longer hold their hand as they walk through a parking lot. Or help them in the bathroom. Or read books together at bedtime. One day it seems as if “suddenly” you don’t race them to the front door or zip up their coats. The last time just happens. With no fan fare or recognition. No celebration or even somber acknowledgement.

Saturday night we all went somewhere together as a family. All of us! This rarely happens these days due in part to kids’ schedules but also due in part to how miserable it is to go anywhere with my husband. There is an undercurrent of tension as we all get ready, all try to get out of the house, all pile into the car. This is before we even GET where we are going!

The drive, or more specifically my husband’s driving, is a whole other issue!

Saturday night as my husband barked at the kids for one thing or another and drove like a madman, I told myself,

“Remember this because this is the last time you ever go anywhere with him all together.”

I’m Just So Tired

I know there is much written about dream analysis and the way I see it is some dreams may have a meaning that is deep and hidden; some dreams may be nothing more than a random composite of the day’s thoughts and happenings and other dreams…

Other dreams are so obvious in their meaning that it hardly takes any “analysis” to decode the meaning.

Last night’s dream was just that sort.

I dreamed I was on a beach and it wasn’t storming but neither was it bright and sunny. There were dark clouds in the sky and the ocean had a great hue to it. I was running along the beach, trying to get to move forward though my dream did not make my “destination” known but I couldn’t get anywhere! I kept running and running and running but stayed in the same place!!

As I said, no deep, probing “analysis” needed.

I am just so tired and I can’t get anything accomplished in my life and everyday feels like a study in futality.

My house is a wreck.

The yard is a wreck.

The laundry is never done, the clothes are never put away and the kitchen is never clean.

There feels like there is a layer of dirt that blankets my entire home.

And, as I am sure I have stated before, my husband does nothing.

And when I say nothing, I mean N-O-T-H-I-N-G!!

And maybe I need to let the laundry go and the dishes go and even the ever-present layer of dirt go but most of all, I wish I could let the anger and the resentment and the constant sense of drudgery go.

Why Am I Even Married?

I don’t know how my marriage got this dead.

Even for an ALCOHOLIC marriage, it seems particularly pathalogical.

I think my husband and I probably exchanged ten words between us tonight.

Ten.

At best.

The kids and I have gone on vacation this summer, to an outdoor concert, to friends’, to the pool, etc. etc. etc. and he has not come with us once.

Not once.

Sometimes there is an excuse – like for the vacation but other times he doesn’t even try to pretend there is a legtimate excuse.

“No,” comes the reply if the kids or I ask him if he wants to go.

The kids ask him? Ha! Who am I trying to kid? They don’t ask him. They accepted his absense long ago.

I don’t even know if I am mad any more.

Maybe mostly just dead (to it.)

The Bliss, The Pressure Of Nothing

Funny how the lyrics of a song can reflect one’s emotions so clearly while the video is miles off. I’m hardly at the young and fearless age – and we won’t even consider what I’d look like from behind skateboarding in a bikini – but the words in this song are spot on when it comes to what I want in life.

What I feel is missing.

My husband is away this weekend and so this morning I was left with the task of getting four kids up and out the door to four different places.

Starting at 6 am! (Who schedules these sporting events?!) As you can imagine, the children for whom rising out of their cozzy beds was due to their sibling’s needs, were none to happy about it. And more than willing to be vocal about it. But as I got whinny or sleepy or whinny and sleeping children up and directed out the door, something magical was happening.

Nothing.

As is no yelling, no tension, no snapping at one another.

It’s shocking – in the most painful way – how much him simply being present negatively affects everyone in the household. And I’m probably the most reactive.

My friend deals with the opposite in her alcoholic husband.

This past weekend he called his children vulgar names and threatend to “beat the shit out of everyone.” This is no small thing to be living with and so I know – I know, I know, I know – that the nothingness which I shoulder everyday may seem like a cake walk when compared to the other alcoholic husband options. But as I told my friend (or did I already write it here?):

It’s not that one of our situations is “better” than another. It’s just the difference between having nothing to eat and only having garbage to eat.

Either way you’re starving.

Why Do We Do It?

My husband is turning 50 in September and I am in the middle of planning a birthday party for him. Nothing huge, certainly not a surprise party but a nice party none-the-less.

A friend of mine friend spent nearly $500 for baseball tickets and his favorite player’s jersey for her husband’s birthday.

Another friend organized a big family trip to Ireland in celebration of their wedding anniversary.

These two friends are also married to alcoholics.

These two friends live with the same uncertainty, the same vitriol, the same anger and moodiness. The same hostility, erratic behavior, verbal assaults and compulsive drinking we all do as wives of alcoholics.

So why do we do it?

Why do we plan nice things and orchestrate nice outings and create nice memories for husbands that are, shall I just say it, not really deserving of such?

Is it for them?

Is it for our children?

Is it for ourselves?

Or is it we just can’t help ourselves?

I think we just can’t help ourselves.

I don’t think we’re door mats or enablers.

I don’t think we’re weak or co-dependent.

I certainly don’t think we are stupid nor do I think doing nice things for someone who isn’t very nice should be viewed in an unfavorable light.

Quite the opposite.

I think that fact that we still do nice things, that we try to stay true to OUR values and OUR beliefs is commendable.

Not condemn-able.

We do it, I suppose, because that’s how we want to live life.