Wednesday, June 28, 2006

The Past - Phases

I have started reading a new book and it took me back to my childhood.

Let me clarify this one thing first. I am a true believer that once a person is of age, he/she is responsible for their OWN actions. I do NOT in any way blame my parents for me. I am an adult, I can think on my own, make my own decisions, and am the only one responsible for me. Anyone that "passes the buck" to blame the parents once they hit adulthood is making excuses. Fix YOURSELF now -- you are free to do so.

My parents are both wonderful people who love me and are selfless when it comes to their children. If it wasn't for them -- I would be lost and I thank God for them and I ask Him to watch over them every night.

My dad is an alcoholic. My mother is an codependent/enabler. My sister, brother, and I all have the traits of Adult Children of Alcoholics. In adulthood this is what we have done -- three classic responses of ACAs.
  • Sister (oldest)-- married the first man that came along to get out, he is an alcoholic too and she has escaped that marriage.
  • Brother (middle) -- graduated high school at 17, distanced himself from family by going to college out of state and still lives out of state.
  • Me (baby) -- married the first man that came along -- made certain he was a member of our church -- tried to get exact opposite of my dad, but got worse. So I divorced, and like my sister -- I then married the first man that came along and he is an alcoholic.
Growing up with an alcoholic was hard. I called them phases :
  • Phase I - he'd drink a few and be fun, tell jokes, dance around;
  • Phase II -a few more he'd get all lovey, dovey -- nothing inappropriate, just he loved everybody;
  • Phase III - beligerent and the "liquid courage" would kick in and he'd want to "talk" about what was wrong with YOU, only real communication we had was when he would "talk" to you in this phase, the talking was usually more accusatory jabs than anything;
  • Phase IV - Mean (not physically but verbally), nothing suited him and no one could do anything right; and
  • Phase V - Self Pity, suicidal, blackouts, destructive, paranoia -- then he'd pass out (thank God.)
Sister and Brother -- I think got out before Phase IV and above were real bad. I endured the brunt being 9 years the younger of Brother.

Mama was born in 1935. Mama's parents didn't drink. From what I know about her childhood they were both wonderful, upstanding parents. I think Mama did say that Papaw wasn't always a real affectionate father, but later on with us grandchildren he was very affectionate and loving. Mama grew up in that generation where you don't disgrace the family. You keep all the problems at home and put up a "front" that you have the "Ozzie and Harriett Nelson" lifestyle at home. And, of course divorce was especially shunned. Mama had a job and mama catered to Daddy's every need at home. Mama is still with Daddy and they do love each other very much. Daddy would ask politely and Mama would jump, he would thank her. But when the drinking would start...

We did not have family discussions. We put it all as I call it "in the back of our heads." That's just something you don't talk about. Mama and Daddy would get up before us kids and Mama would tell Daddy and he would tell her it won't happen again. If we wanted anything (Brother and I) from Daddy we would tell Mama and she'd talk to Daddy about it. I guess Brother and I have NEVER been able to talk to him. Sister says that she and Daddy can talk. I envy this, because I have no idea how to approach him. I do know that Daddy does give the best hugs in the world -- but we never talked. It was always silent comforting from him.

These are issues that I have dealt with in my adulthood. I never learned to communicate. I have the example of the doting wife protecting the family name. I never learned to communicate. Divorce was shunned. I was angry at Mama for not leaving him and leaving me in that situation. Sometimes, I feel it is too late to even try to start to tell them about my pain. He doesn't even remember half of it and Mama gets very upset. I try to learn from my past and fix the things that I think went wrong, trying to say -- hey, I didn't like the noncommunication in our household as a child. So I try to make my home one of open conversation and sharing of feelings. I say "It's okay to be angry at me, just remember when you get over the anger that you still love me." No you don't hate your sister, you hate what she is doing to you right now but you still love her. I try to let them know that their emotions are okay, and if they have a problem with Daddy when he is drinking, they need to let him know and he too has accepted this and even though it makes him feel like shit, he will try to help them through it when he is sober. I can give him that much credit.

Undoing the past is hard -- J****'s past is similar to mine. Healing is hard.
My Sister will cry when she reads this. I love her very much.
I wonder how Brother would react?

I said that Daddy had been drinking in an earlier blog -- well -- he was Phase III. Usually he is Phase II when I pick up the kids each afternoon. I wish we could quit going through these phases. Kids have enough phases of their own, they shouldn't have to worry about someone else's phases.

Just a Suggestion

Thanks to Kerry5 in my Al-Anon chat today for reminding me that the books that I read are only suggestions. I am such a deep thinker sometimes that I try to find a way to make everything the books say be about me. I see this characteristic in both my brother and myself. Mom/Dad call us hypochondriacs because we can both read a medical book that lists symptoms and we will have every illness in the book. One time I justified to myself that I had all of the symptoms of Bubonic plague. Her support was much needed.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

What's That All About?

Ok -- he's out of jail until Friday night. He called me on the cell, I was at my mom/dad's picking up the kids. He asked -- why are you off work early? In that tone, you all know what I'm talking about. I told him -- I'm on my way home, I'll talk to you then.

Got home, he was in the shower, and until I put the kids to bed he was Mr. Mopey, woe is me, pitiful, martyr guy. He mumbled under his breath everytime I said anything. The kids were all over me (snuggling and cuddling), he mutters, "yeah, they don't want their daddy anymore." He helped with dishes, and muttered under his breath. I put kids to bed - D***** didn't want to go down -- J**** said, "I'll go downstairs out of the way maybe he'll go to sleep." Earlier watching TV, "I'll go upstairs and get out of ya'lls way." Constantly -- that tone. Pity, pity, pity.

I told him after kids were finally asleep. J****, I have purposely pulled myself back a step from our relationship to shield myself from being emotionally hurt by you again. I explained to him a conversation that I had had with my father earlier (daddy was "half lit with Old Milwaukee") about the divorce. I let J**** know that yes, we did have a great weekend without him and as it stands the divorce is going through. You are the only one that can give me reason to change this and so far you have made no attempt to keep your family. I think he is finally realizing that his time is short.

Okay -- my dad. Daddy is an alcoholic too. I am an ACA (Adult Child of an Alcoholic). When I walked in the door to pick up the kids, I could tell Daddy had been drinking today. He usually does this a little more excessively when he wants to communicate. J**** calls it "liquid courage." Daddy confronted me about the status of the divorce. I told him that it is still on but that I'm just taking it slow. The lawyer is waiting for me to call him and everything is ready. Daddy, "well you're going to lose out, and lose everything." I think that is referring to the money for the lawyer. Daddy also sniped, "you probably even have it set up that J**** doesn't have to pay any child support." I told him, "No, daddy you are wrong and I don't want to talk about this today with you."

Then when I got home J**** was the spoiled little pouty brat.

I got the book "Women Who Love Too Much" in the mail this weekend and have started reading it today. I'll let you know what I think -- and yes, it already sounds like me, and yes if you are wondering -- we are still intimate, but most of the time it is just easier to "get it over with" than to listen to him whine about it and be all touchy touchy. He's really aggravating sometimes.

My great-grandfather was committed to a hospital for insanity, my great-grandmother too. They say my grandpa was way out there, and my daddy suffers from severe depression -- maybe I got the "nutty gene" too, cause right now, phew -- they are driving me NUTS!!!

Sunday, June 25, 2006

A Peaceful Reprieve

J**** is serving his first weekend in jail and will be back in the morning. He went in at 7:30 pm on Friday night. The girls, D***** and I have had a peaceful weekend. We spent most of the day with my sister yesterday and I've spent lots of time with them, keeping their minds off of their daddy's situation.

Sadly or gladly whose to say, they never mentioned missing their daddy this weekend.

And yes, it has been a very nice weekend - the house is a mess, but playing with them was much more important and I'm doing the laundry as I blog.

I didn't miss him and I am not looking forward to him being back tomorrow. Before, he went into the jail on Friday -- I looked him in the eye and told him to take this time away from us to reflect on his situation and how he plans to recover.

Shame on me - I didn't go to church this morning. I didn't want to hear anything negative or answer any questions, it has been such a nice time. Next weekend will be much anticipated.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Patience -vs- Longsuffering

Alrighty – I’m in a mood today. So – I’ve read the books, sat in on some al-anon, spoke with my counselor, my family wants me to end the marriage, the Bible preaches against drunkenness, and yet feigns divorce… It is all swirling and twirling in my head.
  • One says he’s sick don’t treat it like it’s a sin and that he has to get well. If he had cancer would you be angry with him?
  • One says it is a sin to be a drunkard.
  • One says take care of the children, another support him and the family as a whole.
  • The church says DIVORCE is a SIN. Others say honor your children.
  • Some say to persevere to be longsuffering (the AA literature seems to lean this way) and good things will come when he decides to recover.
  • BHP says to unplug and it will come to me -- thank you BHP for recognizing I have a mind and can make a decision.
So here I go through my feelings about patience –vs- longsuffering. It is said that they are synonymous, but I think there are subtle differences.

I am probably the most patient person you will meet. I understand that the waitress may take a little longer because she’s busy with another table. I don’t mind voice automated answering systems. I can handle three kids all yelling, mommy, mommy, mommy at the same time. I don’t get road rage. I can deal with a drunk. I like that about my personality – I want to be patient.

However, I do not want to be longsuffering. What a horrible word!! In The Grapes of Wrath Ma Job is longsuffering. Job in the Bible was longsuffering: Jas 5:10 Brothers and sisters, as an example of patience in the face of suffering, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. 11 As you know, we count as blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of Job’s perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy.

To suffer due to your patience is that right? To cause others to suffer because of your patience is that right? I think not. I have been patient with J**** and I will remain to be patient in my dealings with him. But, I refuse to be longsuffering. If I choose to be longsuffering I think it will hurt everyone involved, him included. By being longsuffering and taking on the air of martyrdom I do nothing but enable him to keep living the lifestyle that he is living. By being longsuffering, I bring my children “along for the ride.” By being longsuffering, I become a miserable old lady.
* * * * *
Enough of my soapbox:

Update for today:
  • I am in blogging withdrawal here at work – so I’m typing this in Word, emailing it home, and posting it ASAP.
  • J**** did not get home until 8:30 last night. He went to a co-workers and I ended up picking him up (I know enabler). He had been drinking. I fell asleep with F**** and he woke me up around 11:00 ranting and raving that the house smelled like another man’s cologne and that I was having an affair. I told him to shut up that the last thing I need right now is another man and what you smell is a new Air Wick Plug In. (Pretty hilarious when you look back at it.) BHP says that this sort of outburst comes from the alcoholic’s inability to accept responsibility. Since I am unhappy with him and want a divorce he reasons that it is not his fault, so I must have someone else waiting in the wings.
  • J**** called me at lunch today to “hear your beautiful voice” (gag).
  • He reports to jail at 7:00 pm tomorrow night. It’s a shame but I’m looking forward to it. This is why he is charming me today – wants to “get some” before he goes to jail. (wretching profusely now).
Saturday the kids, my sister and I are attending a birthday party at a bowling alley for a little girl in F****’s class. We can’t wait. This brings about a new topic. I am going to start another blog – yes, I am addicted. But this is going to be a happy blog, and in it I will try to showcase the innocence and wonder of my three children.

I will call it IN AWWWW OF THREE. I’ll let everyone know when it is ready.

On my sister’s blog – this is mine and her horoscope – it is timely today: You may feel rushed into something that you are not comfortable with, dear Taurus. Perhaps you just want to relax and stay at home. Or you may yearn to lie on a warm beach, soaking up the sun's rays. Instead, you may find yourself coerced into a plan of action that you simply do not want to be a part of. There is a boisterous, contagious energy that accompanies this plan, making it difficult for you to say no. Remember that the decision is yours.

Yep folks – the decision is mine.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Changes...

Well they blocked blogger at work and other blogs and newsgroups.

Updates:
  • Spoke with J****'s supervisor last night. He's an alcoholic too, but one good thing about alcoholics -- they can be honest to a fault. B**** told me that J**** is stopping and drinking most of the time during the day. And, is on the road to losing his job. He is definitely going to be passed over for his raise.
  • I am coming to grips with this whole thing and am about to let him have the ultimatum and ask him to leave -- if he stays he has to go to AA.
  • J**** is still driving around drinking and driving with his suspended license. It is only a matter of time. What will it take for him to grow up?
  • I sat in on my first real Al-Anon meeting today and it was very helpful and timely. They spoke of changes and how hard it is to accept change. We try to change the alcoholic when we ourselves need to undergo a lot of personal change. Here is the online chat group that I attend -- Miracles in Progress. They are a great bunch of folks.
  • I've pretty much shut myself down here lately, I realize this. Have been letting things go that I shouldn't. So my goal for this week is to get my finances in order and catch up the bills, redo my automatic withdrawals and such so they come out of my bank account, close our joint account and get ready to let him go.
Just thought I'd check in -- nothing major going on right now except I'm doing a lot of thinking and sorting things out. Check out my sister's blog -- Debbie's Home and Stuff. A link to her sight is listed under my blog section. Aren't my great-niece and great-nephew adorable. After reading you will see -- we are a lot alike. Sorry D*****, but it is true.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Timely Websearch

I found a website authored by a professor. He has lots of helpful information on his site. Seemed timely to my current situation -- so here tis...

To let go doesn't mean to stop caring for you, it means I can't live your life for you.
To let go is not to cut myself off from you, it is the realization that I can't control you.
To let go is not to enable you, but to allow you to learn from natural consequences.
To let go is to admit my powerlessness, which means the outcome is not in my hands.
To let go is not to try to change you or to blame you, I can only change myself.
To let go is not to care for you, but to care about you.
To let go is not to "fix" you, but to be supportive of your efforts.
To let go is not to judge you, but to allow you to be a human being.
To let go is not to be in the middle arranging all the outcomes, but to allow you to effect your own outcomes.
To let go is not to be protective of you, it is to permit you to face reality.
To let go is not to deny reality, but to accept reality.
To let go is not to nag you, scold you, or argue with you, but to search out my own shortcomings and to correct them.
To let go is not to adjust everything to my desires, but to take each day as it comes and to cherish the moment.
To let go is not to criticize and regulate you, but to try to become what I dream I can be.
To let go is not to regret the past but to grow and live for the future.
To let go is to fear less and love more.
(Anonymous)

Pretty much puts it all in a nutshell for me -- doesn't it? I've also linked in my books and articles section his article on codependence. WOW -- the definition is me summed up.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Rollercoaster -- DOWN

That didn't take long now, did it? You know that feeling in your stomach when a rollercoaster is going downhill. Well imagine that gut feeling mixed with dread instead of exhilaration. That's how it is living with an addict. I don't think it was alcohol tonight. He says 2 valium. I believe it-- pills make him act the same as if he has been drinking. Just not as smelly. I knew it was happening. When he came home he was antsy. He even (I think) faked a phone call from a friend saying he needed to help B**** move some furniture. BULL. Why pills? Because they get out of your system faster than marijuana (he says three days) and no external evidence.

Saw BHP today. J****'s actions today have reinforced many of her statements. Here's some things that I got from our session:
  • He is not in recovery. This rollercoaster is not recovery. If he says he is going to try. Then he isn't going to do it. Try is unacceptable. Action is needed. He needs to say I will do it.
  • Instead of thinking about what is going to happen to him, I need to think about what is happening to me and the children, and that is NOT good.
  • Chemical dependency is a one way elevator that only goes down and I can push the button and get off of that ride anytime I want (unlike a rollercoaster). He too can get off anytime he wants, but he has to push that button, I can't push it for him.
  • I have lived my entire life with an alcoholic influence and I do not know anything different. I am afraid of the unknown.
  • My mother is pushing me to get on with the divorce because of her experiences and she knows what it did to me and doesn't want it to happen to her grandbabies.
  • I enable him by doing it all myself, the yard, the housework, the paying of the bills, tending to the children, all of it. I'm tired.
  • It only gets worse.
  • I need to use my strongwilled nature (be like G*****) and stand up for my needs and say this is it. "My way or the highway."
She made me say it outloud today, and I could barely do it. "J****, I want you to leave." I tear up just typing it. You know -- my blog may be entitled Estranged & Getting Stranger, but I am actually Estranged & Getting STRONGER.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Rollercoaster -- UP

I've described living with an alcoholic as a rollercoaster ride. Times of abstinence -- good. Times of binging -- bad. Up / Down / Up / Down. Well we are UP right now. Why? Only J**** knows.
  • Going to Jail next weekend could be a reason.
  • Maybe he decided he hit his rock bottom and is going to stay sober.
  • Maybe it's just a time of abstinence and then he'll fall and we will be Rollercoaster - DOWN.
  • Maybe it's because he can't drive and go get alcohol.
But BHP would tell me -- why are you worried about it? That's a lot of Maybes. I can't control his drinking. But always there is this wondering in the back of my mind: Are we done now? Has he started back again? How long will this last? When will he start again?

J**** without alcohol is about as miserable as J**** with alcohol just a different set of miseries.
  • Withdrawal from family by constantly staying in bed in a depressed state.
  • Irritable and short tempered with me and the children.
  • He is down on everyone and thinks everyone is against him.
  • Thinks he should be excused for his reactions to those around him because he's "in withdrawal and really is fighting cravings."
  • Doesn't play with his children or "pull his weight."
  • I become a BITCH.
I know I sound like I can't be satisfied, but I'd just like to know if stability is going to be possible with J**** around or is life with him going to stay all UPs and DOWNs like a rollercoaster. (Get's me to thinking -- this is a pretty sad UP.)

Updates:
  • J**** is also abstaining from all drugs. In order to serve his jail term out on weekends, he has to take a urine drug test. He is abstaining from marijuana in order to do this.
  • F**** spent the night with Aunt D***** and discussed divorce. F**** said it would be best and she's six.
  • He went to church with me again this morning -- it was like pulling teeth and then we took him out for Father's Day lunch.
  • F**** and G***** had their dance recital on Friday night -- see my Flick'r pics of them in costume. As a good friend said to me "Disgustingly Cute." They were the brightest shining stars on the stage that night, at least in my eyes they were.
  • We went to the fair Saturday night there's new pics of that also.
I want out -- but how do I tell him being the enabler that I am? He will literally lose everything: No home, no family, no way to get around. How can I do that to him? I've been taught to forgive as the Bible says, "Seventy times seven." I know what he has done to me, but how... How can I abandon someone that way?

I know -- Do it for the kids, it's not about me, it's not about him, it's about them. I think I need to chat with my Al-Anon friends for a while because it's damn hard.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Comforting Silence

Around midnight last night, I joined a chat room on an online Al-Anon site. People weren't very chatty, but the few comments were comforting. Sitting downstairs alone knowing someone else was out there struggling with the same issues and exchanging feelings and hope was comforting.

Thanks to MsPeeWee, Kerry5, and LittleWing - I enjoyed sharing "Comforting Silence" with each of you and I will be back for sure.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Hate Me------Blue October

I heard this song on the radio today and parts of it really hit home. Especially the second verse.
  • Go here to listen to this song -- Click on the song called Hate Me.


  • Mother: Hi Justin! This is your mother.It is 2:33 on Monday afternoon.I was just calling to see how you were doing. You sounded really uptight last night, it made me a little nervous, and well it made me nervous that it sounded like you were nervous too.I just want to make sure you are really okay and wanted to see if you were checking in on your medication too. You know I love ya!Take care honey I know you're under a lot of pressure. See ya. Bye Bye!

    (Verse 1)
    I have to block out thoughts of you, so I don't lose my head
    They crawl in like a cockroach leaving babies in my bed
    Dropping little reels of tape to remind me that I'm alone
    Playing movies in my head that make a porno feel like home
    There's a burning in my pride, a nervous bleeding in my brain
    An ounce of peace is all I want for you, Will you never call again?
    And will you never say that you love me just to put it in my face
    And will you never try to reach me, it is I that wanted space

    (Chorus)
    Hate me today.
    Hate me tomorrow.
    Hate me for all the things I didn't do for you.
    Hate me in ways, yeah ways hard to swallow.
    Hate me so you can finally see whats good for you.

    (Verse 2)
    I'm sober now for 3 whole months, it's one accomplishment that you helped me with.
    The one thing that always tore us apart is the one thing that I won't touch again.
    In my sick way I want to thank you for holding my head up late at night
    While I was busy waging wars on myself, you were trying to stop the fight
    You never doubted my warped opinions on things like suicidal hate
    You made me compliment myself when it was way too hard to take
    So I'll drive so fucking far away that I'll never cross your mind
    And do whatever it takes in your heart to leave me behind

    (Chorus)
    Hate me today.
    Hate me tomorrow.
    Hate me for all the things I didn't do for you.
    Hate me in ways, yeah ways hard to swallow.
    Hate me so you can finally see whats good for you.


    (Verse 3)
    And with a sad heart I say bye to you and wave
    Kicking shadows on the street for every mistake that I have made
    And like a baby boy I never was a man
    Until I saw your blue eyes cry and I held your face in my hand
    And then I fell down yelling "Make it go away!"
    Just make her smile come back and shine just like it used to be
    And then she whispered "How can you do this to me?"

    (Chorus)
    Hate me today
    Hate me tomorrow
    Hate me for all the things I didn't do for you
    Hate me in ways, yeah ways hard to swallow
    Hate me so you can finally see whats good for you
    ...for you...for you...for you

    What will it take?

    I just don't understand -- look at my flickr pics -- we are a lovely family, they are precious children. Four bedroom house, big goofy dog, broadband internet (that's for you W**** - LOL) How could someone put all of that at risk? Why would you risk losing all of that. I understand that alcohol is a great addiction, need, crutch, but if given the choice -- I would die before I allowed myself to be taken away from my children.

    What will it take to hit rock bottom? I've filed for divorce, he knows I've filed for sole occupancy of the home, and sole custody. He gets a second DUI with jail time, suspended license, probation, and fines. But Friday night he came home intoxicated (six beers he says) and last night he was intoxicated again.

    I know I need to go to Al-Anon but how -- three kids. Mom can't watch them anymore than she already does -- she's 71 and frankly tiring out. I definitely don't want to leave them with him. His family -- no help. I'll look into the online groups.

    This just needs to be done and over with so I can get on with my life.

    Last night's drama -- The girls had picture night at dance class. J**** did not want to watch D***** so my mom came and took D***** home with her (I know BHP - he's not pulling his weight). Picture sessions lasted until 8:30 pm (they were so cute). He did not work yesterday. I guess at some point he went and bought some beer. G*****, my quiet one who doesn't like to talk about it, told me this morning that Daddy hides his "beer'd" behind the building - he told her that is a family secret (OMG). We returned home and J**** was on his way to being drunk. He was on the phone with R***** (nephew-in-law) and was trying to purchase a joint. R***** told him he could get some so J**** was determined that he was going to leave and drive to L-burg on a suspended license, 1/2 way intoxicated, no insurance on his vehicle to purchase a joint. I flipped -- found the beer can and threw it to the ground (it exhumed a pretty fountain of beer) and told him NO you are not taking the vehicle. He said he couldn't handle it -- "just one more day, just one more day, I CAN'T." F**** told him Daddy can't is a bad word (they learned this in Kindergarten). He began to cry and we told him that we love him and we are here and that he doesn't need to leave. F**** is very perceptive, knows more than she should I think and told him, Daddy if you drive you may have to go to jail again.

    She then began to manipulate her Daddy. When he wasn't looking -- she would scrunch her eyes shut and force tears and baby talk her Daddy to please stay. She worked herself up into a frenzy. I proceeded to put G**** and D***** to bed while he talked with her to calm her down -- if I tried to interfere he would scream at me and upset her more. G***** and D***** -- thankfully went down really quick. J**** put F**** in her bed and laid beside her until she went to sleep. I called my sister D***** this morning and told her about it (she has become F****'s confidant) and she is going to pick up F**** to spend the night with her tonight. G**** is at work with me today. D***** is at Granny's house and J**** is at work. He just called me and acted as if nothing had happened that was wrong. My sis told me that what F**** did, she used to watch me do to our Daddy.

    Nonetheless -- F**** accomplished her goal. Daddy did not leave, Daddy did not buy a joint.

    That Gut Feeling - It is amazing how in tune you can be with those you love and live with. While waiting for Dance photos to be taken F**** was playing with all of the other children. All of a sudden I had this sick feeling in the pit of my stomach. A second or two later -- F**** was standing in front of me wanting to be held. I asked her what was wrong and she said, "Nothing." But she looked so sad. I hate that gut feeling. I hated it when I was little too. Yes, we somehow knew -- he's drinking again tonight.

    The Middle Child - I know I don't say much about G****. She is my loner -- she withdraws from the situation. As I noted earlier - she will feed me tidbits of information at times. I try not to press her but I sure do squeeze her a lot. I think her confidant will be her Granny much like my Granny was to me.

    Well -- gonna call the attorney and see what the status is -- I don't know what it will take for him. But seeing my baby like that last night. Well, that's all it takes. Keep us in your prayers, please.

    Monday, June 12, 2006

    The Good the Bad and the Ugly

    The Good the Bad and the Ugly was on TV today. I like to look at Clint Eastwood. But, I digress. That also makes a good title for today's post.

    The GOOD. J**** went to church with us today. I reminded him, even though you don't like to go and you feel awkward, it is a source of rejuvenation for me and I would appreciate it if you would go, if for nothing else, to help me with the children.He hummed and hawed around but he did go and he survived. He says he doesn't see why I needed his help, because they were little angels today. There is something about the presence of a father to make a child be a little more well behaved. Don't get me wrong -- they are good kids, but sometimes three is a hand full.

    The BAD. I hate to be yelled at. I hate yelling in general. I would rather be hit than to be yelled at. So, I know the children don't like it. After church (let's be an enabler and blame it on withdrawals) he yelled at them constantly. Yelling is one thing, but don't curse at my children. He doesn't see it as cursing at them. (Aside -- have you ever seen that episode of Spongebob Squarepants where Spongebob and Patrick embellish with colorful language. Imagine that with yelling.) He uses the ugly words to emphasize. I think they are demeaning and the children become desensitized to the yelling and the language. I can get them to obey me much quicker or even to listen to me better, if I speak softly and calmly. He can yell and yell, and I will say to him, just speak normal to them and they will turn around and respond. I brought the yelling up to him after they went to bed and suggested that he vent his aggravation, anxiety, whatever it is in another venue. I even suggested getting him a paddle ball game. So everytime he was frustrated he could play paddle ball. He laughed and said, I get what you are saying and I will work on it.

    The UGLY. That would be me.The stress of the day, the yelling, the kids cooped up inside on a rainy day all placed me in a foul mood. I finally snapped and let everyone have it. F**** got a talking too about the Golden Rule (I sounded like a hypocrite - yes children learn from example, I know, I know), G***** got an apology for me not taking the time to read to her, and well D***** just got snuggled cause he's small.

    Update on Divorce: Got a bill from the attorney yesterday and have used up all but $380 of my $1250 attorney fee and still don't know where I stand, haven't seen the papers but I think they take a couple of weeks to process (on custody, child support, and occupancy). This blog is called Estranged and Getting Stranger. Estranged because I have filed for divorce and strange because, we still share the same household, he acts as though there is no divorce and sometimes we are like the perfect little family. We are totally f**ked up right now. (Excuse my embellishment.)

    Got to go -- kids are up out of bed -- they want Mommy.

    Gnite.

    Saturday, June 10, 2006

    Hard Hearted

    At church they have used the term (I think it is in the Bible too) of the hardening of the heart. This is when we become desensitized to the sins of the world and we just accept it and no amount of naysaying can make us recognize the sin as something bad and we won't turn away from it.

    Well living with alcoholism, one too becomes hard hearted - think it can also be called denial. We use the excuse, well it could be worst. He's going through a lot. We enable and say -- I just don't know what he'd do if I "put my foot down."

    My mother is hard hearted. I don't want to be that way.

    BHP called it bitterness today. She said you have to become hard hearted to keep yourself from going insane. I cried, and said about my mama, "Bless her heart." I don't want to be that way. She has endured a lot and missed out on a lot by living with her alcoholic. I remember after getting out of the parental alcoholic home I was angry at her and not daddy for keeping me in that situation. I am becoming bitter and hard hearted and I don't like it.

    Yesterday, I said that we would be on the wagon for a while, guess I was fooling myself. J**** came in drunk tonight. Didn't come home until 10:30 pm - he's passed out right now. Says he drank six beers. Don't really care. He's feeling all ashamed and pitiful, I just can't get back to sleep. So this brings me to BHP's question:

    Here goes -- What are you willing to live with and what will you NOT tolerate? Wow, never thought about it this way, but this puts me in a place of control and a position to say, hey you have a choice. I didn't have a choice as a child. Mama made that choice. Now my choice has to be for me and the children. So here goes my list of I will not tolerates: 1) I will not tolerate drinking or drunkenness in my household, 2) I will not tolerate drug use or users in my household, 3) I will not tolerate a disrupter in my household. By disrupter I mean that when he is not home all is happy and calm, when he comes home the calmness goes away and we dance around him and he is grumpy with the children., 4) I will not tolerate an adult who has to be treated as a child. 5) I will not accept less than a 24/7 father figure for my children.

    I also need to work on my own anger issues and ask myself why am I angry and not confront him in front of the children or in an accusing way, but to figure out what my problem or his problem may be.

    Today, I gained and lost hope in our session. I lost a lot of the hope that this marriage will make it, he's not ready to grow up and commit himself to this family. My grandfather lived to be 99, in his eyes he made it to 100 (time in womb, etc.) He always said, don't let anyone fool you, marriage is not 50/50, it is 100/100. Both have to give 100% of themselves to make it work. J**** is not willing to give 100%. But I gained hope that we F****, G*****, D***** and I will be just fine.

    Maybe my heart won't be hardened after all. Thanks BHP.

    Thursday, June 08, 2006

    DUI Update

    Well I started typing and rambled for quite awhile -- oops navigated away from the page. So here I go again -- just thought I'd whine. Actually what I had written before was quite whiny. So going to try to get away from that.

    Here's the DUI update on J**** -- Starting June 23 - he will be serving weekends until his 12 days are up. This is good and bad -- good because he won't miss F**** and G*****'s dance recital. Bad -- because to me -- he's getting off easy and his retribution is a slap on the wrist. Not that any jail is good, but he has served a straight 60 days in jail before and as he says about weekends, "I can do that time standing on my head."

    Question, am I enabling him by taking him to work? He now has no driver's license. So -- I drop him off in the mornings at a co-workers home and he catches a ride to work. Is this enabling or is this just something that needs to be done? Little confused on that point.

    Irony -- His dad is a career alcoholic to the point of having seizures due to the alcohol. Anyway -- he's a sweet man and is an enabler also. He has jumped in and is taking J**** to his court appearances and will be enrolling in and taking the DUI classes with J****. Oh -- yeah -- I didn't mention this, his dad has been driving on a DUI suspended license for two years now. Now these are two smart cookies.

    Catch22 -- I file for divorce, my justification to myself is his addictions. He binges and gets DUI -- now I'm fully justified. Now he's back to teetotaler mentality. Back in 2001 he was sober for 803 days. Did this by withdrawing from world with exception of family and work. Then he had no driver's license, now he has no driver's license. I've been with this man for over seven years, I know him. We are going to be riding the wagon for a while. Am I still justified in the divorce -- cause I'm still bitter and he gets on my nerves right now because of the bitterness.

    BHP's insight -- she told me that when a recovering alcoholic relapses it is 10 times harder to quit the second time. This is why so many people can quit cold turkey the first time, but need help of something like AA the second time. Well, let me reflect on the other side of that coin, it is also 10 times as hard for us codependent, enablers to forgive the second time.

    Flickr -- Check out my Flickr Pics. The whole family is represented in the pics. Here's one of J**** after a DUI wreck with the neckbrace and everything. This is at the hospital and shows how very intoxicated he was. This episode did not lead to him being charged with anything, but did result in a $25,000 hospital bill. Yikes!!!!

    Well -- I have no deep reflections for this post. Will write again when something significant happens. Thanks for the comments.

    Monday, June 05, 2006

    The Real Blogging Begins

    Previous posts have been - me, just copying my electronic journal to this site. Now we will start with an update and what is really going on in my life.

    Oh the shear audacity that I would think anyone would really care or for that matter want to know? But hey, it may make you feel better about yourself and it allows me to get it "off of my chest." If anything, I will share what I have been learning from the psychologist, ways I've dealt with situations (wrong or right) and what I've gotten from the books that I have read and from my reliance on the "higher power" as God is called for those who attend AA.

    BHP my psychologist says that I put too much pressure on myself. Pressure to go ahead with the divorce, she says I'm not ready but that I will get to that point. My lovely friend S**** also said the same thing. Wow -- I could have saved my HMO some money. She is right but the pressure doesn't only come from myself, but from J****, his mom, my mom, and other family members, friends all wanting me to make a "snap" decision. Down deep, I know that this relationship will come to an end, but it is very hard.

    Update on J****'s progress. He went out on Memorial day (real smart now) and got his second DUI. He got off extremely lucky with only 14 days to serve in jail. He is in court this morning, pleading to serve weekends. Of course -- he's not drank since Memorial Day. But -- again, time will only tell.

    The withdrawals from the alcohol and drugs have made him hell to live with and I keep reminding him, that if he can't handle the kids being kids, etc -- go upstairs and retreat, do not yell at them. As I have said, I have asked him to get professional help -- but he won't.

    I too have been irritable and am wondering, why do I keep him around. He is absolutely no help to me. I notice when he is not there the children are more calm, even though they do miss Daddy. I guess this is where they are feeding off of the friction between mom and dad.

    One thing that I am proud of however, is that I did not enable him during the DUI incident. The pretrial officer asked me if I would sign a surety bond to get him out -- I said NO. I am not with him today in court. I have not been party to his getting out of this ordeal. He asked me to help him pay for booking fees on weekends -- I said NO. It's all him this time. I have myself and my babies to take care of.

    One thing that BHP said on Friday at our session that I will not forget and it makes total sense. Whenever I talk to J**** on the cell phone when he is not home (he doesn't drink at home) and I sense that he has been drinking -- I ask him "Have you been drinking?" She said, "Why do you ask? What good does it do? You already know."

    According to the book Marriage on the Rocks , I can't stop him from drinking. All I can do is let him drink and let him be responsible for himself. I shouldn't use his drinking as an excuse for me or the children not to have a life. Just go on and let him do what he is going to do. If he feels left out that is his problem and he can make the choice to be sober and join us or not be sober. But we will have a life, either with or without him.

    Yesterday the children and I went to the library. I just left him at home. Asked him if he'd like to come -- he said he didn't feel like it. I said okay and left it at that . He was not drinking and I did not push him to go. We left - had a great time and brought home 14 library books for them and a book for him (I will read it too) Sober for Good. He can read it if he wants to -- if not that is his loss. Yes, it is hard to take a 6, 4, and 18 month old to the library but you know what -- I did it and we were fine and we even went to the store next door and bought Slushies and signed up for the summer reading program.

    All I want is for our babies to be happy, and I'll keep working on me, if he wants to he's welcome to come along for the ride.

    Saturday, June 03, 2006

    The rest of the story

    May 15, 2006

    Marital Relations…

    In the Commonwealth of Kentucky, if you have “marital relations” it makes the divorce waiting period last longer. J*** is aware of this and he forced himself upon me last night. I kept telling him “NO” and I fought, not to a physical point of hurting him, but enough pushing and kicking, etc to let him know that I did not want this to continue. He did anyway. He did not hurt me physically, kept saying, “kiss me, kiss me.” I actually believe that the harder I fought, the more he enjoyed it.

    What does this do to my divorce? You know he’s going to go and tell his mother and then use this in divorce court. I told the attorney last week that J**** is like a male dog after a female dog in heat. He won’t leave me alone. This is when the attorney said that he will start the proceedings for temporary custody, child support, and exclusive occupancy.

    Up until the “forced marital relations” last night, the weekend was rather nice. J**** came home Friday night around 7:00 pm and admitted that he had consumed a beer or two that day.

    Saturday he was grumpy and shaking very badly from withdrawals from the alcohol. On Sunday, he was completely sober and it was a day that made me remember why I love him. We didn’t do anything, just sat around and played on the computer and let the kids roll around on us and watch TV as it rained outside. But, that evening well – he sort of blew it.

    His mother called and told me that she needed to know if I was going through with this divorce so she could get him an attorney. I told her that by the way he had been acting with his binge drinking, yes. Only he can change my mind by getting help.

    J**** and I talked last night before going to bed and I told him, “One way or another, I am getting away from the alcohol, either by him staying sober or me getting a divorce.” One way or the other it has to be done.

    A lot of this comes down to respect. If he respected himself, I believe it would be easier for him to stop drinking. If he respected me, he would not have forced himself upon me. Marital relations come down to more than the physical – we have a lot of work to do on the non-physical relations of respect and communication.
    May 12, 2006

    Happy Birthday to me…

    J*** brought diapers to the house for D***** last night. He showed up around 8:45 pm while I was putting the children to bed. They were so excited to see him. He told them a story and sang to them and tickled them and yes, he was on the road to being drunk. I fell asleep putting them to sleep and he came upstairs and woke me up. We talked and he was belligerent and aggravating. He didn’t want to stay at the house and wanted to leave, but he still wanted to kiss me goodbye. He told me during the conversation that he’d drink alcohol if he wanted and wouldn’t stop. Not for me, not for the kids, not for anyone.

    He left and went back to A*****’s house. I went to bed.

    F**** woke up in the middle of the night and was angry because I wasn’t sleeping with her. She is starting to get an attitude; she is dealing with a lot of anger lately. I think she is very smart and she knows that things are bad. When J**** came in last night – shame on us, we yelled in front of the kids and they scolded us, mainly me.

    When she woke up, we talked about Daddy having to leave because of the alcohol. She told me that Daddy lies to her about stopping and about his drinking. She sobbed and sobbed and sobbed when I told her that Daddy would be leaving us soon.

    She is having anger issues right now and expressing them toward me. We’re going to have to go and have a mother/daughter day out.

    Am I doing what is right? They love their Daddy so much. When he walked through their bedroom door (even though he was drunk) their little eyes lit up. They were so happy that he was home.

    What am I putting them through? Is it worse to live with alcohol or to live without a father? What a mess.

    I’m 39 today and this is not what I thought I’d be dealing with on this birthday. The lawyer just called and he is going to file the orders for temporary custody, child support, and exclusive occupancy of the home.

    May 11, 2006

    Keep going…

    Well I filed for divorce and he was served the papers on May 9. The attorney messed up his name on the papers, which really made me angry. I originally went to the attorney on April 12 after my last entry in this journal. I came home and told him about what I did. He said he would work on his alcohol problem but that he couldn’t stop everything at once. I went back to the attorney and we drafted a separation agreement and I presented this to J****, he would not sign. From that time we have had good days and bad days – some days very good and amorous, other days very bad. Our agreement was that if he signed we would get marriage counseling and try to work it out. His mother told him not to sign a “damn” thing. So there will be no counseling. Thanks mom.

    He has been drinking almost everyday, there may be a lull of 2-3 days and then a day or two of drinking. He came home on Wednesday the 3rd when I was putting the children to bed. He was drunk, he came in to kiss the children goodnight, and was disruptive, wanting to tickle, etc. He got in the bed with F**** and told her he was going to sleep with her tonight – she said, “no daddy I don’t want you to, you have been drinking.” Here is what transpired. F**** took those precious little hands and held her Daddy’s face between them and said “Daddy, breathe on me.” J**** blew and she said, “Daddy, you have been drinking beer’d. You can sleep with me tomorrow night if you promise not to drink any of that beer’d stuff.”

    I went the next day and signed the petition for the divorce and told him that night. He was served on the 9th and has been on a binge ever since. In my presence he has done nothing but smile since he has gotten the papers, this may be a front or it may be a subconscious way of him showing that he is relieved and glad that this if finally happening. He has told others (A*****) that he is not happy.

    If I could have my way in the romantic novel scenario, this is what I want him to do, I want him to be my knight in shining armor and fight to keep his family, and say to me that nothing is more important to him than me and the children, that he will give up this life of drugs and alcohol and come home to us every night and help me, and be a good example to his children. But, he says he is not ready.

    Yesterday was one hell of a day, and as the great Winston Churchill said, “If you are going through hell, keep going.”

    The day started as usual, I got up and got myself and the kids ready for school and Granny’s house. Before we left, J**** did help me with shoes and we all went our separate ways for the day.

    J**** went to work – it was a rainy day. S**** (his mom) called me and wondered if J**** was working – the rest of the day was spent dealing with her, her quest to find him, and her remarks about the divorce. She will hire J**** an attorney, she will make sure he gets his fair share, this isn’t right, that isn’t right. She called A***** (my niece) and talked about how I am going to pay. But, on the phone with me she is sugary sweet. I did let her know this morning that A**** does not need this stress with all that she is going through on her home front. S****’s making me angry and making me want to fight this thing harder – she’s pushing me to be more determined about this divorce – again thanks mom.

    J**** got home around 3:00 pm – and left again around 4:30 – he said that he had consumed 2 beers. Next thing I know is his coworker B***** is calling me saying that J**** has been pulled over on Rose Hill and the cops will not let him drive. R***** S****** AKA bulldog was driving J****’s vehicle. Local reputation of this man is he’s the biggest crack head in town.

    Later B**** and L**** went and picked up J**** in the “projects” and drove him home. As soon as they pulled up in front of the house, J**** moved to the driver seat and drove away. B**** came back to the house and from his car told me that if J**** is dealing with the crack then he is going to have to fire him. I also found out from B**** that contrary to my belief that when J**** disappears each night multiple times he is not going to B****’s house to smoke a joint. B**** said that when J**** gets off work, he gets in his vehicle and leaves and B**** doesn’t see him until the next morning. So I am wondering where (here lately) J**** has been going for 1 to 2 hours each night. Usually returning before the kids go to bed and again after they go to sleep. Baffling – makes my head hurt.

    J**** ended up at A*****’s house – he called from his cell phone – her and R***** went to find him and he was driving about 35 mph, very drunk and all over the road – they got him to pull over and they drove him home. He had an empty 18 pack of Budweiser in his vehicle and stopped to buy another. He stayed the night at their house. They said he was pitiful and crying.

    Ironically, I had told him before he left, J**** – if you’ll just go upstairs, pack your bags and go to bed. Tomorrow, we can go and sign you up for rehabilitation and then I will stop this whole thing. He said, “I am not ready.”

    He called me at 12:30 am saying he was going to walk out of there and come home. Kept saying – guess I’m bothering you, guess I’m bothering you. A***** woke up and yelled at him to get back to bed.

    This morning I spoke with him and he was still at A*****’s house. A***** and J**** are eating at Chili’s restaurant with K*** for lunch. I am eating popcorn, I had to borrow $10 from my mom to pay for F****’s school lunch, I don’t have money to buy D***** diapers, I don’t have money to put gas in the van for work tomorrow, but he has beer and a nice lunch at a nice restaurant. This man has mixed up priorities.

    I gave him a letter the other day explaining why I am divorcing him. I don’t even know if he has read that letter. He is not trying to reconcile this marriage, he is ready for it to be over (I believe) and if that is so he must move on and stop torturing his family. Home should be the place where you are the most comfortable and happy. Right now it is the place where we are all the most miserable and awkward.

    Oh yeah – reminder to self, thank S**** when all of this is over and done.

    April 11, 2006

    I’m a nervous wreck.

    I usually write on this at night after the children go to bed, but I can’t wait. I need to release. I’m at work right now finishing up my lunch hour.

    J**** finally made it home last night around 2:30 a.m., he said that he went to see his Uncle C**** with L**** and then went to L****’s and got drunk. L**** cut J****’s hair and trimmed his beard. It looked nice.

    J**** came in, came up the stairs and yelled, “Hey woman, come and smoke with me.” His eyes were wild. He seemed in full control of himself, yet you knew that he was drunk. I made my way down the stairs and outside with him to smoke. He then began to tell me how he wanted to end it all, how when I went back to bed, I would find him dead in the morning. He was crazy. Kept telling me he loved me and the kids and that he was no good. Eventually, his ranting woke the girls. With a look of mischievousness in his eyes he said, good, now I’ve got you where I want you. You have to go and put them to bed and I can do what I want to do.

    I convinced him to help me get them back to sleep and he was gentle and sang to them. They finally went to sleep then there was that obligatory give me sex woman thing. F**** woke back up, so I got out of that one. There is nothing in this world that is worst than having sex with a smelly, limp drunk. I told him to stay right there and I’d be back. Thank God, he passed out.

    I know he was manipulating me. F**** asked me “Why does every time daddy goes out he get drunk?” I told her that I don’t know. At one point during the night when she and G**** were up and her Daddy was talking to them, she sat between the bedstand and the bed on the floor, with her little arms around her knees and said, “No, Daddy, I want my Mommy.” J**** scolded the dog and F**** immediately told him “Daddy, No.” and called for the dog to come to her. Boy, she really is beginning to act like me.

    Thank goodness that D***** slept through this whole ordeal.

    G*****, kept it all to herself. She joked with her Daddy and as the middle child, ate up the attention that he was giving her.

    All in all it was one horrible night and I had about 2 ½ hours of sleep.

    When he went to sleep, I turned off the alarm clock and got my Blackberry device, and set the alarm on it. I slept with F**** and D*****. G***** slept in the same room in her sister’s twin bed. Something had told me the night before, to lay out all clothes for the next morning. This was a godsend, as the children woke, I did not have to rummage around and risk waking the sleeping giant. I shut the door to our bedroom so no one would disturb him. Got F**** and J****** (the neighbor child) on the bus and took G**** and D***** to Granny and Grandaddy.

    He woke up a little before 8:00 a.m. and called me on the cell phone. He acted as though he had done nothing wrong. In his conversations with me this morning I have found out that he is now using his credit card to buy alcohol. That some of the checks he has written were to spend time at a strip bar in Lexington and the gist of it all is “he doesn’t think he can stop.” F****, G****, D***** and I can’t continue.

    I want to scream curse words at the top of my lungs. I want to cry tears that would drown this pain. I really want to hit something hard. I want my daddy to hug me without telling me I told you so. I want my children to be ever, ever so happy. I never thought I would be contemplating the option of being a single mother of three.

    How do I protect them if I divorce him? The “system” is crazy, will they be with their dad and him drunk. Everyone says that I don’t have to worry about that. But, I know him, and he would make every effort to see them. I can’t stand the thought of him having unsupervised visits. Sometimes it hurts to be a mother. Labor is the easy part. The pain comes later.

    He is out again. I went home at lunch because he was not answering the phone. Knowing he hadn’t done anything to hurt himself, but God forbid I don’t check. He is gone again and has the dog with him. I just don’t understand he hates that dog. There are also three strange hats in the living room, so I am assuming that L**** is with him again. Guess I’m in for another night of misery. Guess I should get back to work. Wish I would stop guessing and just be strong.

    AAAAAAAARRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHH.

    April 10, 2006

    He’s gone again

    That didn’t last long. He didn’t have the children today and when I came home, he was loud and obnoxious. Guess he decided to break my heart really quick. He’s not home yet and he left at 6:00 p.m., it is now 10:00 p.m. He had no reason to go anywhere, told me of nowhere that he was going. His excuse was he was in DT’s and that his anxiety was getting the most of him and he had to get away. I let him go. He was driving me to the point of an anxiety attack, the kids were screaming and Jessica the neighbor child was here. She is a haughty child and she too was making me nuts by arguing with J****. So, I let him go. Short honeymoon, false hopes and he let me down.

    If he comes in drunk tonight, then I’m taking mama up on it and taking her money. D***** emailed me the other day and offered me the $500 she had saved up so I could divorce J****. The night before, mama said, you don’t have to borrow the money I’ll just give it to you. Both of them, D***** and Mama, have lived this same life. D*****’s children are messed up because of it and I believe we are too, because of Daddy.

    I am almost 40 years old. I lived at home until I was 25. Of those years, Daddy drank for more than 20 of them. I met J**** when I was 32 and have lived with his alcoholism all but 2 ½ years. I’m ready for a normal life and our children deserve a normal life. I don’t want F**** or G**** to marry an alcoholic and I don’t want D***** to become an alcoholic. I don’t want his Daddy to give him his first drink at seven years old when he wins a bet over a football games. It may have been nine. But that is J****’s life.

    I want, with all my heart, for J**** to get well. I love him (the sober him) deeply. He is the person that I can sit with for hours and not say a word, just being comfortable that he is here. To look over and smile, to watch him play on the computer or enjoy a ball game with him, to know he’s in the next room while I am working on a project makes me happy. I enjoy his company. There is nothing in this world that will make you fall in love with a man over and over like watching them play with their children. But I don’t enjoy him when he is drinking and the children don’t like to play with him when he is drinking.

    When he is drinking and plays with them, he is rough. He tickles too hard, he plays too long, he scares them by playing dead, he has even bit them and if they ask him to stop, he becomes angry and yells at them, even saying vile words. I have come home before and found G**** hiding under the bed and F**** watching out the window looking for me. He will NOT watch them alone again.

    Good news, F**** has her first loose tooth. Bottom right center is very wiggly. She had to call Granny S****, Granny M***** and Aunt D** to tell them the good news. My oldest baby is growing up.

    Saturday morning I asked that he let me sleep in, D***** was still asleep. He put both girls in the bedroom with him until I got up at 10:00 a.m. with no breakfast, and no toys just the TV on. F**** kept telling him I’m hungry. He screamed at her and woke me up. “I’m tired of your god-damn fucking shit.” I don’t care how tired you are: I don’t care how much withdrawal you are experiencing: You do not talk to a five year old that way.

    Tonight, he left a glass of tomato juice on the kitchen table. D**** tried to take a drink. Daniel is only 16 months old. D***** spilled all of the tomato juice on himself and the floor. There was no more tomato juice. I don’t remember exactly what he yelled, but he whacked D***** really hard on the bottom. D***** did not understand, he was just trying to take a drink.

    Later during dinner, G***** was trying to get someone to listen to her, F**** and J****** were monopolizing the conversation and more or less egging J****’s belligerence on. G***** screamed and J**** smacked her in the stomach, not hard, but enough to startle the child and “break” her little heart.

    And, yes he’s gone again, practically ran me over to get out the door. Nothing was stopping him. Please, let me have the same determination and let him be gone for good.

    Going to bed now before he gets home. I really don’t want to deal with him. 10:23 p.m.

    April 9, 2006

    Stupid, Stupid, Stupid

    Well, he’s been good as gold. I think this is called the “honeymoon” period. He knows that all I needed was the money and he would have been gone. He hasn’t been drinking. He has smoked pot. He’s helped clean, he’s mowed the yard, and he’s been accessible. He’s been Mr. Wonderful. He still yells and curses at the girls, which I really, can’t stand.

    I’m stupid, stupid, stupid. I should have made him leave. I should have just been done with it. He’s going to fall off again, mark my words. Why do I fill myself with these false feelings of hope?

    I spoke with A***** the other night and she told me that she had lost a little respect in me for putting up with J****. Mama told me that if she knew I needed the money, she would give me the money. Everyone wants me to be done with him. But, again, went to church today. I can’t rightly say, that I have the right to divorce him.

    Oh, I’m so confused. I did a pro/con chart and it is so sad, I can’t think of anything for the pro column. So, why can’t I make him go? He really is a charmer.

    April 5, 2006

    Second Verse, Same as the First

    Well he told me today. “I’m going to lay it all down.” The booze is what he is talking about. How many times have I heard that in the last two years? hmmmm, maybe once every two months. We have had a roller coaster since we moved to W County. He originally blamed it on my moving him 10 miles from his hometown in A County. Then he blamed it on his dad who was living with us at the time. His dad is an alcoholic also, and was sober with us for over six months, then fell off the wagon. J**** says that the disappointment in his father’s backslide caused his backslide. Poppycock.

    But, as I dwell on this the alcohol is major but there are other things that I can’t handle. He will not work. He disdains helping me around the house. He yells at our children and fills them with false hopes.

    He promised F**** a horse when he was drunk. We can’t afford a horse and we have nowhere to put a horse. How in the world does he expect to get her a horse? The poor child has constantly talked about getting a horse since his empty promise, and she is saving her dollars to help daddy buy her a horse. She thinks she is going to go Friday and look at a horse. His idea of taking her to see a horse is having her accompany him and his alcoholic father to Keeneland to see the ponies run. Like I would allow my five year old to go to the track with two alcoholics, that has got disaster written all over it.

    S**** called me yesterday and I told her immediately that I love her and I began to cry. She knew by that statement that I am done with her son. Her immediate comment was “I love you, too. Don’t keep my grandbabies away from me.” She understood. I told her that I felt she was one of the few that could understand, because, she was married to D**** and J**** is heading down the same path as his father.

    I have asked J****, “Do you want to be alone, like your father, when you are in your fifties?”

    He is upstairs right now. He was on a drinking binge from Thursday until last night, Tuesday. He has come home in the wee hours of the morning, except for last night around 9:00 pm. He took the dog with him yesterday and the children and I had no idea. We spent 45 minutes or more searching the neighborhood thinking Scotty had gotten out of the yard. The girls were upset about their dog. When J**** came home with Scotty the girls were still awake. They did not yell and say “Hi Daddy” they yelled “Daddy, where is my Scotty?” “Did you bring Scotty home?”

    During his drinking binge, he has written cold checks on his bank account. Currently, he says he is $165 overdrawn. I have told him, I will not cover those checks. If I do, that makes me an enabler. If I pay for his mistakes then he has no consequences for his actions. He will have to do something to take care of this problem.

    I am the sole provider for this family. He stays at home. He was watching D***** and G***** while F**** was at school. But, I can’t trust him to do that anymore. I have come home on too many occasions and found that he has been drinking. My mother has started watching them again. Mama is 70 years old and has a few health issues. A***** has said that she will help her Granny take care of them if she can. J**** needs to get a job to help support this family or at least support himself, because I cannot support him and take care of our children’s needs and maintain a household anymore. As the “man” of the family, I would think that he would want to take care of us. His mother even wants to understand, why won’t he work? She says he wasn’t raised that way.

    Since he stays at home, one would think that he would want to contribute on the home front. But, I come home from work and nothing has been done to keep the house clean. If I ask him to do chores, he tells me he doesn’t like it and sighs this really annoying sigh. It is like I am a single mother of four children. He says he is depressed. Well, I’m the one on prozac and I know about depression. He is not depressed he is lazy.

    His other addiction is to marijuana. He claims that it relaxes him. But, I won’t give him the money to purchase pot. So, he says he is always in withdrawal and that makes him irritable. His so-called irritability shows in his way of dealing with the children. Constant yelling. G***** has become desensitized to yelling. It is almost impossible to get her attention.

    Another vice that he has is, if someone offers him a pill (pain, sedative, or nerve) he will take it, Xanax, valium, loratab to name a few. Again he will act stupid on these pills.

    When J**** is drunk he is not mean, he is stupid. He is loud. He is extremely annoying. Certain pills make him act this way too. The marijuana makes him a little slow. Being the prude that I am, none are appropriate. His answer to that is, “You knew I was this way when we met.” Yes, I did. At that time, I did not know that I could have children. I made the choice to be with him like that, the children have not had a choice.

    To make a long story short, I have come to the conclusion. It is time to be the responsible parent. Yes, divorce in God’s eyes is wrong, but only He can judge me. He knows my heart and knows that I have struggled with this decision. I do it for the love of my children and as I have written before, God is a Father and knows the depth of one’s love of their children.

    It might take a little while to get the particulars worked out. But, I am done. I need to dot my I’s and cross my t’s. Because, I want custody, he can visit, but until I know he is clean and sober – I will not want him unsupervised. I have told this to D****l and to S**** and A**** and they understand my wishes and agree that that is for the best.

    I love him. I hate him. I hate myself for loving him. I hate myself for hating him. I hope my children won’t hate either of us for what I am about to do.

    I know I have said that I am divorcing him before. But, this isn’t the second verse. “Third time’s a charm.”

    April 2, 2006

    Insignificant

    I feel insignificant, J**** feels insignificant, and J**** thinks that drinking is insignificant. F**** feels insignificant, G**** feels insignificant. Or, are we all just a selfish bunch of folks.

    F**** feels, as the oldest, that she has to do everything and that we don’t pay as much attention to her as the baby, D*****, and as G***** our wild child. She and I had to have a mother daughter talk the other night when their daddy was out until 4 in the morning. She told me that we don’t pay any attention to her. I bought them these books for children with alcoholic parents and one of them describes the different type of children. She is the “perfect” child. Tries to make everyone happy and do everything for everyone. My discussion with her showed me that she is feeling the strain of this “perfect child syndrome” and she let me know that she was tired of it.

    G***** as the middle gets left out. In that book she is described as my loner child. She can just block everything out and not talk. F**** was sick with Strep throat last week and well D***** is a baby. F**** was clingy and had her head in my lap, D******l was also sitting in my lap. G***** appeared content to sit across the room alone. J**** was out giving a “friend” a ride to the pawn shop until 10:30 pm. I discussed the middle child thing with her tonight and asked her what is her favorite cookie? “Oreos” and what is the best part of the Oreos? “the white stuff”. I told her an Oreo isn’t an Oreo without the middle to hold it together and make it taste so good. That is what the middle child is, that special part in the middle that holds everything and makes it all so good. She smiled. We also talked about the ice cream sandwich too. She has told me that she doesn’t like D***** because he pulls her hair and takes her toys. She is a bit jealous of him.

    J****, I believe, feels insignificant because (and I shouldn’t) I tell him that I don’t need him, and that I can take care of everything without him. I do however let him know that it would be a lot easier with his help. So, in this light I have made him feel insignificant, but he has also fueled the fire with a “feeling sorry for himself” attitude. He thinks I don’t pay enough attention to him, that we don’t have enough sex, and that I don’t always (most of the time) sleep in the same bed with him. It is hard being the mom of three with an immature husband. Yes, he is ten years younger than I am, but he is almost thirty. I work full time, he stays home with the kids (and yes, this is my journal so I’ll gripe) and does nothing else but sit with the kids. I come home and take care of the home and he retreats to the bedroom and I sit with the children, I feed and bathe and put them to sleep. What he does do I have to gripe to get him to do. I believe he has given up and says, heck – she doesn’t need me, then “by golly” I just quit.

    J**** feels his drinking is insignificant. He doesn’t see a problem with the drinking. He thinks it is okay and that there is no harm in drinking. But, the problem is that he can’t do it in moderation. He drinks to get drunk, not to relax or quench a thirst. When he returned home Thursday and Friday night of this week in the wee hours of the morning, drunk, his comment is well – I made it didn’t I. It was like he did nothing wrong, because he did not get caught, no one was hurt, and there was no consequences for his actions. On Thursday night he ended up in L-burg at J****’s house and J**** called me at 1:30 in the morning to tell me that J**** was on the way home and very drunk. I did not see J**** until 4:30 that morning and he told me that he pulled in J2****’s drive and went to sleep. On Friday he did not come in until 2:00 in the morning and he told me, he had been driving around and drinking alone all night. These stories are very hard to believe.

    I feel insignificant. I feel insignificant because he has returned to drinking. To me the alcohol is the worst mistress he could have. My father was an alcoholic and I hated it. Now, my children and I are in that situation. I feel insignificant because he will not try to help with the responsibilities of the family, I work, I clean, I take care of children when I get home, he drinks when children are at home or tries to get me to take them to my mother. I pay the bills, I manage the checkbook, I go to the store to buy his cigarettes. I am the enabler? Yes. I feel insignificant, I want to be taken care of and I want to be worth someone’s time to do things for me. I’m tired of alcohol and I’m tired of my entire life being the “perfect child”, the “enabler”, the “loner”, taking care of the “diseased” alcoholic.

    Well, It is 11:11 pm and I need to finish the laundry. Good night.

    March 30, 2006

    Why can’t I trust him to stay sober?

    A lot of my time, in my mind, I worry about J****’s sobriety. I left him home without the children and he stayed sober. I left both children with him today and he drank. We have this neighbor, L****, and every time that he comes to the house, J**** drinks. L**** is an alcoholic. J**** is an alcoholic. Today—I found out that Jason left my children alone with L**** to go and purchase alcohol. This does not make me happy.

    Sometimes, we tend to forget those things that upset us and put them in the “back of our minds.” A***** reminded me of a time in December when J**** went to the courthouse to pay taxes and license the automobiles. He was in there quite a while. He left G**** and D***** in the van, alone. G**** thought that Daddy had taken too long, and she got out of the van and went to the courthouse steps, could not open the door and began crying. A man, whom I do not know, picked her up and took her in the courthouse to look for her daddy. This is very scary. This was during a time when social services was monitoring our family.

    The situation that caused the monitoring was when the school season began and J**** was taking G**** to preschool. He picked her up and had been drinking. The girls at preschool smelled the alcohol on J**** and reported him. The social services worker came to our house that evening and J**** was “tore up.” He made recommendations and made several follow-up visits. He finally ruled it unfounded. But, I knew the truth.

    Others have told me about him drinking and driving with my children in the vehicle. The girls had told me about daddy stopping to buy silver can’s of soda and leaving them (the children) in the van. One rumor was he didn’t have D***** in the carseat and that he was just crawling around on the van floor when J**** was looking to buy some pain pills.

    I don’t know where he is tonight – it is 9:56 pm. I left and took the children with me to dance class and went to the store. He left the minute I was out of sight. I did see him driving down Main Street and he appeared to be “tore up.”

    The stress of worrying about his sobriety has me sick. Both physically and mentally I feel drained. I love my children. I love my husband when he is sober, but I’m getting to the point that I don’t care about him anymore.

    I talked with the girls the other night about their daddy and his drinking. I asked G**** how do you feel when your Daddy drinks, she said sick to my stomach. F**** has asked her Daddy to call me at work so she can talk to me and let me know that she is scared and she has cried needing me to come home. I drop everything and come home. F**** cannot handle the stress either. G****holds everything in like her mother.

    I know I shouldn’t worry, because I should have Faith in God to protect and take care of us. But He understands, He is a Father and I am a mother.