Monday, July 31, 2006

The Husband

Part III of Kicking Myself Hard

I said : My husband -- he's a man, there has only been one perfect man in the world, he's young, I think he's right handsome, he's (ahem) good in bed, he works and brings his paycheck home to me and the children, he's home every night, and he's trying to recover from a drug/alcohol addiction. There are women in this world married to physically and mentally abusive men, women married to men who do not allow them a life outside of the home, women with husbands who are not able bodied. What do I have to complain about?

Many have commented on this blog that I must be a patient person, go ahead and divorce him, he's not going to change, etc.

So, why do you keep him around?

J**** is an alcoholic and an occasional recreational drug user -- mainly marijuana and if he is given a pain or nerve pill, yes, he will take it. When he is in an altered state of mind he is annoying and disruptive to our home life. It got real bad a couple of months back. But, I see him fighting it and fearing the result of a major relapse. He is afraid to lose his family, he is afraid of the emotions surrounding going to AA or asking for help. I understand this fear, those emotions hurt a lot when they have been repressed all of these years and they get brought back to the front of your mind. I understand him because he and I are both adult children of alcoholics. Textbook answers to this adult situation are that the child without proper education on dealing with alcoholism will either become an alcoholic or detest alcohol as I do. This is not an excuse for his behavior but an understanding of his behavior.

But he is of no help to you, so why keep him around?

Last summer J**** was offered a good job in a factory, I asked him to not take the job. My mother and daytime caregiver for my children was not doing well physically. I asked J**** to stay home and take care of our babies. He complied and stayed home with three young children. I would fuss and fume because I would come home and find nothing had been done to keep the house tidy. When J**** was in jail over these past few weekends, you know what, I couldn't keep the house tidy either, three kids are a full-time job. I imagine that the guilt of an unkempt house and me coming home saying, well, what did you do today? Looks like nothing to me, did not motivate him to want to help very much. But, I would hear the kids say, Daddy played pirates with us today, Daddy did this game or that activity. He WAS doing stuff. Yes, he started to drink with them at home and it became a problem. Thankfully, mother was able to begin watching them again, and it was a needed time for him to begin working. He has held this job and works very hard, and gives his paycheck to me. No, he doesn't do a lot around the house, but he works in concrete all day long, he is literally worn out at the end of each day, as long as he keeps the kids out of my hair, I can do most of the stuff around the house and he will (when coaxed) help if I ask. How many women can truly say that their husband does his share of the household chores?

He is not being a father to his children.

I cannot let this be said about him. He loves his children with all of his heart and soul. He is a good father, yet he has an alcohol problem. I secretly watch him while he is watching his children and notice that he beams a proud smile. The look that comes across his face as he looks in wonder at his creation has to be the look that God gave to the world before he rested on the seventh day. It's the little things like -- not eating something he likes because one of the kids enjoys it and making certain they have had their fill before he takes any for himself, or standing in the front yard after hard physical labor all day to watch three children ride their bicycles up and down the sidewalk because Mommy will not let them go out front without an adult, or hearing him get up in the middle of the night and seeing him through the mirror standing in the doorway of his children just to watch them as they sleep, and hearing the children laughing so hard they have to go and pee because Daddy is letting them wrestle him in the middle of the living room floor. No he is not the most patient man in the world and he does have a tendency to yell too much, but a gentle reminder from me and he handles situations differently.

Imagine yourself having three small children and going through alcohol cravings. For most chronic alcoholics this is an opportune time to say, I can't take this and to get drunk. No mother or father is perfect. How is he not being a father to our children? He is there, he attends all school functions, he disciplines (actually not as harshly and fairer than I) his children, he praises them, he corrects them, he teaches them but sometimes he does disrupt them. Think back to your dad, was he perfect, was there something about him that you disliked?

These disruptions are aggravations. There is NO violence in our home. There used to be a lot of yelling, but we are working on that. There is NO physical abuse in our home. Sometimes he plays too rough when he's been drinking, but he has stopped drinking in front of them.

What does that mean, "he has stopped drinking in front of them?"

He does not drink at home, nor does he come home drunk when children are awake. He will drink and then wait until they are asleep to come home

Well, what about Mental abuse?

I think after reading this and going to counseling and participating in al-anon, that I am more guilty of mental abuse than anyone in our household. My post titled "Broken Hearted" is as verbatim as I can get about a conversation between my dad and I. Tone it down a little, keep the accusatory tone but remove the colorful words, keep the bitter sarcasm and the snide inuendos and yes, that is me when talking to J****. I have noticed recently that I am beginning to do it with my children too.

The situation with F**** the oldest and her understanding the alcoholism so well, stems a lot from me being brutally honest with a six year old. I had to remind her last night that she is still a child, then today writing this, I tear up having to remind myself that I have not been treating her like she is still an innocent little child.

Well what about you? This isn't fair to you.

The more I read and understand, the more I know alcoholism is a disease. Would I be scorned for staying with a man that has a different diagnosed disease (cancer, diabetes, leukemia)? Would other diseases disrupt our home? Yes there is a difference I know. But I will NO longer enable his disease. Face it folks, life isn't fair, but my situation could be a lot worse. When I look at his wonderful qualities today versus what we saw when I began this blog, he is growing and I too am growing. I was using his disease as an excuse to make myself a martyr. Now I look past the disease and I see HIM, I no longer use the disease as an excuse not to get out and do things with and for my children. No longer do I say, "poor, pitiful, little ol' me."

Aside from the disease, as a husband, he is a good man. He satisfies me sexually, I still desire him and more so when he is attempting to stay sober. He satisfies me emotionally, he IS my best friend. When I went to the divorce attorney for the first time, he was the one I came home to and cried to and talked it out with. He can look at me and tell my mood and I can look at him and tell his mood. He can finish my sentences and I his. We don't have a lot in common, but if we did -- that would be boring, he has broadened my interests and I his. I know a whole lot more about sports now and he knows a whole lot more about computers. He inquires about my God and I have learned to not take the world so seriously because of him.

We still hold hands, kiss each other goodnight and goodbye, huddle together in the bed, are truly interested in each other's day and are both in awe of our babies.

The purpose of this blog.

I know I blast him a lot on this blog, but that is the purpose of this blog it is my sounding board. What spouse doesn't complain about their partner? I could fill up a book on why I love him. The only reason I contemplate a divorce is the fear of him getting worse as an alcoholic and what it will do to my babies' future. If it weren't for them, I would not even think to divorce my man.

I love J**** and this blog is my tool for working through my issues, it is blatantly honest about my feelings, about things that happen, and it is an opportunity for me to grow. I am ever so thankful for each of you and your concerns and want you to keep reading, and keep me honest. Thanks.

Friday, July 28, 2006


I knew it was coming, just didn't know when. J**** and I had made plans for this Monday to go to AA and Al-Anon sessions together that provided babysitting. My miracles in progress friends told me, when you plan it -- they binge. They are wise and know the ropes, they were right. Last night the neighborhood drunk came over and asked J**** to take him to the store. I said no way, J**** has no license.

I put the kids to bed and out the two drunks went in my van. I fell asleep with the kids and woke up around 10:00pm, looked outside no men, no van.

Sadly, I was more worried about the van than anything else. The only means I have of transportation, car seats, and I had to go to work the next morning. I fretted, fretted some more, got online with my MIP friends and they talked me through it, made me laugh, made me cry.

Then I decided -- kids are asleep, I'll venture to neighborhood drunks house -- around the block I drove in J****'s vehicle (no tags) and low and behold there is my van with J**** passed out in the driver's seat. I push him into the passenger seat and drive my van back to the house. Babies still asleep (thank God, I feel awful for just going around the block and leaving them.) J**** admitted he'd drank whiskey. He came in the house and was very obliging and passed out on the couch. 12:45 am by this time -- I go to bed.

Next morning, he gets up and goes to work. Calls me around 2:00pm, sounds "out of his gourd." Keeps calling me every 15 to 20 minutes until I get home. He also called his dad who came and "wallered" in self-pity with him. He called his uncle, tried to call his mom (she's on vacation), his cousin, me, me, me, and me again.

When we get home, the girls come upstairs after going outside and say "Mommy, I have to show you something." J**** is on the couch. I follow them and they show me Daddy's beer cans and tell me they have shaken the full one's up so when he opens them they will explode on him. Cute, but sad.

I tolerate him for a while and the girls remind him that we have a library program that he was supposed to attend with us. I tell him that he is not going in the shape he is in and to just lay there on the couch and sleep it off. After feeding children, etc, I find 7 beers hidden on top of my china cabinet, 1 in refrigerator hidden, and then another one. The children and I along with a darling neighbor child go to the library program and the twilight festival in town and have a grand time.

We get home and the kids go out back to play. F**** tells the little girl we need to go through the gate, Daddy is drunk and asleep on the couch. I love the honesty of children. G**** says, okay. Earlier F**** asked me, "Mommy, you said that next time Daddy does the bad thing, you and he would part." "Are you going to make Daddy leave?" I told her, I am going to talk to Daddy tomorrow when he is not drunk.

The kids and I play outside until bedtime, then we come in and go upstairs to play because the mosquitos are biting so bad. J**** hollers up the stairs, "WOMAN, there is nothing in this house to drink." So, I make tea. When I open the cabinet to get the pitcher for the tea, there sits another hidden beer inside of the tea pitcher.

While he was sober over this last month, I enjoyed his presence so much. When he relapses, it is like a death of the man that I love and I push myself farther away each time.

I kept doubting the intentions of his sobriety over this past month. Is it because of his desire to be in recovery? Is it because of his desire to want to do right by his family? or Is it just to make certain he stays out of jail full-time until his jail time is done? Well as you can imagine -- I have come to the conclusion it is the latter.

Tomorrow the kids have a pool party for the end of the summer reading program. We will be there -- J****, the choice is his.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Broken Hearted

I'm taking a break from my series to tell about my day today.

I didn't work today. I went to a local research facility to take some physical tests to see if I qualify for their stop smoking study. I then came home, mowed the yard, cleaned up some trash in the yard, and threw some stuff away that was cluttering up the yard. I still need to attack the weeds in my flowers and trim. By the way -- the house is clean (for now). I took a short nap then went to pick up the kids.

Before I took my nap I called mama and asked her if she wanted to bring them to me and spend the afternoon with us. She told me D***** was napping and she sounded like something was bothering her. She said just come down when you are finished and then set me up with a new ISP. I said, ok.

I went to pick up the kids around 2:30 and all seemed well. Sadly, my favorite trumpet vine plant was blown over in a bad storm a couple of nights ago. I told my Daddy about it and asked his advice on how to salvage this beautiful plant. Well, all hell broke loose. (I took this picture of my trumpet vine last week before the storm.)

Daddy blew up -- "Why in the hell are you worried about a damn vine when you've got two junk cars in your driveway and you can't keep your yard mowed? Just cut the son of a bitch down and be done with it. " I told him it is pretty and I like it. "Why worry about something that is pretty? You can't take care of anything, you haven't got a penny to your name, your house is going to need a roof and a furnace soon and you can't take care of yourself. The way you are going you probably won't have a roof over your head." "It is too much for you to take care of and you have no help, J**** isn't going to help you, he has to pay for his fines and then when that is done he will spend all his money on drugs? You aren't ever going to get rid of him and he's no good, he isn't going to stop what he is doing? He's a fucking drunk. You fucked up. I should know, I should know, I've been there. He'll keep going back. You're going to keep screwing around and get fucked."

I calmly asked him to stop talking that way in front of my children. He got up and went to bed to lay down. I got up and went to mama's computer room and began working on installing her internet. I so much wanted to cry, but I didn't -- I was strong. Mama came in and said, "Don't pay any attention to him, he's been on me all day too." I told her "Well, when I called you should have gathered the kids up and came and spent the afternoon with me."

About five minutes later Daddy hollered from the other room for me, asked mama what I was doing, and told me that there were tomatoes on the back porch and to get some before I left. I said, "Thank you, Daddy." He said, "I love you."

I know he is worried about me. Sister and I discussed it and she said that he does that stuff to her too. I told her the part that bothered me most was that I realized when listening to him, that I sound a lot like him when I'm fussing at the kids or at J****. I don't want to be like him.

On the way home we drove by J****'s supervisor's house and saw J**** was still there. Out of courtesy I stopped to see if he wanted to ride home with me and save B**** a trip. He said they were working on the truck and he'd be home in a bit. 6:30pm I call and tell him supper is ready. He still needed more time. 7:30pm no answer. 8:21pm he calls and says come and get me. He sounds fucked up. I've been taking up for him and he's tore up. I gathered up the kids and went to get him, thus the kids got in bed late. I smelled no alcohol on him. He says he smoked a joint.

I asked him, why when you've been clean and sober for over a month did you do this? He said, "I'm an idiot I guess." I just said, I guess so.

The two most important men in my life after my son broke my heart today, and one would be very happy about the other and say, "I told you so."

Saturday, July 22, 2006

The Inlaws

Second Part in my expounding on Kicking Myself Hard:

Here's what I said...

-- All inlaws are kooky and can drive you nuts. But, they didn't raise me. They raised a bunch of different children with different household standards. My inlaws tell me they love me, they love their grandchildren, they agree with me that their son needs help, and they listen to me. Never have they blamed their son's addictions on me, in fact they say I am the best thing that has ever happened to him. What do I have to complain about?

His Dad --
My father-in-law is a very nice man. He's very tall and very thin and not in good health. He's 52 years old. He's an alcoholic and has epileptic seizures due to the alcoholism. D**** is a loving man. He loves his children but is in complete denial of the sadness he caused his children when they were growing up. Right now he calls me his guardian angel because I am the only one that he can depend upon when he needs help. A month ago his son was following in his footsteps, I hope that J**** has decided to take a different path.

Dad/Papaw is trying very hard to be there for the children and I, as limited as his ability to help may be. He's a very affectionate man and when he has been drinking he is ready to have those heart to heart talks. He lives alone in a low-rent apartment in the neighboring town. Currently he is unemployed. His family other than us are all out of state, I believe his is a very lonely life. I also believe that a lot of J****'s unresolved issues stem from his feelings toward his dad.

If he is in ill-health with only a few months to live, as I discussed in a previous post -- then, I can only imagine that J**** and I will be the caregivers.

His Stepdad --
Paw is an ex-felon who served his time for attempted murder. He is now your typical hard-working good-ole-boy. Those who don't take the time to know him would describe him as redneck country folk. I honestly believe he has been the most positive parental figure in J****'s life. He has taught good life lessons and always given good advice. Even though they are not his genetic children/grandchildren, he loves them dearly. He tries to keep his nose out of our business, but is there when needed. Paw can be a bit hot-tempered and there is always that unspoken need in the family to not offend Paw. But I have noticed that when he is angry, it is usually after a quiet man has taken a lot and showed a lot of patience with the ones he loves.

For years J**** has said that he considers Paw more of a father than his own dad.

His Mom --
What can we say about Granny? Where does one begin? 5'1" - 120 pounds of spitfire. She speaks her word, believes she is 1/4 cherokee, is a hippy wannabe, and is hot tempered, collects all kinds of old wierd stuff, is a packrat. She is also your textbook codependent/enabler. She is a pothead - kind of a burnout that constantly repeats herself. I believe that she does not know how to be happy because she is always looking for "drama" and turmoil in her life. Instead of focusing on the happy things in her life, it is all about the misery.

I do respect the fact that she is willing to back up her son and take his side with an unconditional motherly love. She also has figured out that she cannot always believe her son and does understand that I am always truthful and upfront with her. I believe she respects that about me. I also believe that she is jealous of my hold on her son, because he is a true "mama's boy" and that divorce between the two of us strangely appeals to her.
I could blame my husbands addictive state on these people, but as I have noted before, once you are an adult, you are accountable for your own actions. I know they didn't help by being alcoholic and pothead examples. I know that J**** is also an adult child of an alcholic which is hard in itself to handle, since I myself am one.

I am a firm believer that a child should be raised to honor God and they did not raise my husband in a home where God was emphasized. God or as AA would say a HP is a necessary part of coping with this world. I believe my husband would be much better if he found God and filled that emptiness in his soul. He could deal with the addictions and the childhood issues much better with God on his side. Dad/Papaw would be a lot less lonely, Paw would have someone to lean on, and Granny would be a lot less miserable too, if they found God.

Friday, July 21, 2006

A Good Mama and Daddy

This post and the next few posts will be a continuation of the Kicking Myself Hard Post. I will expand on the different elements in my life and take an inventory of how lucky I really am.

Every night when I lay down to sleep, I pray for my mom and my dad. Mama is 71 and Daddy will be 70 in
September. They are both in decent health and I am lucky to have them around. Mama has a weight problem that compounds her diabetes and high blood pressure. She has also had problems with her clogged arteries and such like. Daddy also has a weight problem, has polyps (like Reagan did), is legally blind in one eye and can't see out of the other, continuously in pain because of deterioration of cartilage between his vertebrae, been diagnosed with severe depression, and is an alcoholic. Have you ever heard the joke about the dog with 3 legs, one ear gone, blind in one eye and can't see out of the other? Just call him lucky. Well, that is Daddy. If I ran down the list of all his aches and pains -- we'd be here quite a while. Here's what I wrote about Mama/Daddy in the "Kicking Myself Hard" post: My parents -- yes, I fuss about mama pushing me to do things, and yes, my father is an alcoholic. But, they have always been supportive of me, have always praised me, fed, clothed, and sustained me through my younger life, they made certain that I was raised in the church and had a sense of God in my life. They watch and dearly love my children. There are adult children out there who have lost their parents, or were raised by abusive, non-god fearing adults. What do I have to complain about?

Daddy was raised a "farm boy", loved to till the soil and raise cattle. He became ill and developed a disease where he became allergic to the sun. Daddy had to stop farming and went to work in a factory. Daddy is a perfectionist. A factory is a very imperfect place to work and you lack control of the outcome of the product in such a setting. But, Daddy put aside his desires for farming/carpentry/mechanics to work in this factory and support his family. He was miserable at work - he hated his job. He drank.

Today --
Daddy still drinks, but not near like he did before, he sneaks out to the garage and drinks a couple of beers, comes into the house and takes a nap.
Daddy is always worrying. He worries about Sister, about Brother, and the Baby (me). He worries about Mama, about his six grandchildren, about his dog. Daddy worries about everything. Everytime he sees us -- "Do you need anything?" "Are you okay?" "Are my grand-babies okay?" Oh -- they are his babies not mine - to hear him tell it.

Daddy is proud of all his children. He won't tell us to our faces, but he lets the world know. He's always nit-picking at us. "When you gonna do this...when you gonna do that...why the hell did you do that...what the hell were you know what your problem is....?" That is his way. I take it to heart more than sister, and brother he takes it hardest - he can't stand it. But, I'm coming to terms with it, sister is helping me to understand Daddy.

When Daddy says to me you know what your problem take in every damn stray off the street...your heart is too big. Well, I just turn it back around and say, "Hmmmm, wonder who I got that from?" This usually silences him and makes him smile that wry little smile of his.

Mama was a farmer's daughter in a small town and was swept off her feet by the goodlooking guy from the other side of the county and he was on their football team to boot. Mama stayed home with the first two until they went to school, and worked part-time when I was younger. Mama is a retired cartographer. I mean a real cartographer - no computer generated maps - this is drawing it by hand cartography. She looks at maps today and just frowns because of the lack of workmanship and attention to detail. The World Book Atlas -- that was her baby.

Today --
Mama is retired and repaying Granny for the years of babysitting by watching my children during the day. I hope to repay my Mama one day by watching my grandchildren. What a wonderful family tradition that would be. She is a very good Granny and I don't know what I would do without her.

Mama is an interrogator. If she or Daddy is wondering about it -- by golly, she's going to ask. What did you do today...what did that J**** do today...have you talked to your sister...what is she doing...what is that (insert sister's child) J****behaving...where have you been...and so on. Now these sound like nice little questions, but they have a snippy tone to them with the emphasis on the word THAT. THAT J****, THAT so and so. It's kind of like there should be an expletive after the word THAT...THAT eff'n J*****. And it isn't just one of these questions at a time, it is like the interrogator firing questions at you one after another until you forget what you answered, if you answered, where was I on the night of the 15th, did I kill the butler? She calls every couple of hours with the barrage of questions. I can handle her better than Sister and brother -- he lives far, far away.

Mama is a pusher. She pushes you to do this, to do that, to make a decision, to do what she thinks is best. And she can give you this look (the bulldog face). We are all scared of the look. This look is enhanced by the fact that mama has a slight underbite. She specifically pushes me when she wants me to better myself or my situation. She is pushing me to go on with the divorce.

These are things about Mama/Daddy that I have got to learn to handle. I have told them both and they are set in their ways and aren't going to change. I have to accept them for who they are. Mainly who they are-- are loving, worrying, parents who just happen to deal with their worries in these ways. They are there to help in anyway possible. There are things about each of us that probably annoy someone else. "You've got to take the good along with the bad."
The "complaints" that I have about my Mama/Daddy are trivial. And, if you think about the nature of those complaints - they are pretty wonderful.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Kicking Myself Hard

I have a great life: I have the three most beautiful children in the world, a husband who loves me, parents that support me, a strange but wonderful brother, and the best big sister in the world, I even get along with my inlaws. Outside of the family: I love my job, all my coworkers think I'm a great person (got them fooled - haha), and my boss is way cool. So, what do I really have to complain about?

Lets run it all down here --
  • Three children -- kids will be kids, kids can make you tired, kids will whine and make a mess, especially three young ones. But thank the Lord above my kids are healthy, clothed, fed, smart, and somewhat well behaved. A perk -- they are really cute. There are children in this world with life threatening diseases, there are juvenile delinquents, and kids living in squalid conditions. What do I have to complain about?
  • My husband -- he's a man, there has only been one perfect man in the world, he's young, I think he's right handsome, he's (ahem) good in bed, he works and brings his paycheck home to me and the children, he's home every night, and he's trying to recover from a drug/alcohol addiction. There are women in this world married to physically and mentally abusive men, women married to men who do not allow them a life outside of the home, women with husbands who are not able bodied. What do I have to complain about?
  • My parents -- yes, I fuss about mama pushing me to do things, and yes, my father is an alcoholic. But, they have always been supportive of me, have always praised me, fed, clothed, and sustained me through my younger life, they made certain that I was raised in the church and had a sense of God in my life. They watch and dearly love my children. There are adult children out there who have lost their parents, or were raised by abusive, non-god fearing adults. What do I have to complain about?
  • My siblings -- My sister supports me in all that I do and we talk almost nightly. I have looked up to my brother and held him in awe as the cool big brother that he is. My aunt complains that her children do not get along, they fight and practically hate each other. I can confide in both my siblings and I am able to speak truthfully without fear of them judging me and I generally like to be around them. What do I have to complain about?
  • My-inlaws -- All inlaws are kooky and can drive you nuts. But, they didn't raise me. They raised a bunch of different children with different household standards. My inlaws tell me they love me, they love their grandchildren, they agree with me that their son needs help, and they listen to me. Never have they blamed their son's addictions on me, in fact they say I am the best thing that has ever happened to him. What do I have to complain about?
  • My Employment -- Many people in this world work at a job that they hate. They are miserable and are literally "working for the weekend." I enjoy my job, I help people with their computers and I get to learn new technologies, it isn't a job that is rote manufacturing, but it is a learning job. The people I work with are great too, my best friend is one of the co-technicians - we can scream and yell at each other, cuss each other, then hug in the next minute. My boss, he's great, he says put them babies first, this place will be here when you are done. For what I do, I make a decent salary with benefits. What do I have to complain about?
  • My home -- the Lord has blessed me with the ability to have a nice four bedroom home in a safe neighborhood with good neighbors. Yeah -- it's not the cleanest house in the world, and not the nicest yard in the neighborhood, but it is full of love and it keeps us safe from the elements. The clean part -- well, that's mine and my husbands doing, so again -- What do I have to complain about?
There are plenty of cliche's in this world. "What doesn't kill you, makes you stronger." The Bible says to "Count it all joy to suffer..." I have faith that He will not place more on me than I can bear.

I should be ashamed of myself for complaining about such trivial matters. I should be thankful to the Lord above for the many great blessings that he has given to me. So, I'm going to stop my whining and praise Him for giving me everything that I need and even thank Him for the tribulations that I do have. Because without those trivial trials and tribulations, I may forget my need for the Lord. Thank you Lord, because -- I really have nothing to complain about.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Hot and Bothered

It is 95 degrees in the state of Kentucky. It is not a dry heat as they say in Arizona -- it is a muggy, sticky, icky, yucky hot heat. You ever seen the movie "In the Heat of the Night" well it's that kind of southern hot. It mades you crazy, irritable, and you just want to kill someone or something by knocking it in the noggin with an iron skillet.

Then there's the mosquitoes. They bite and suck the life right of you. Then oh, do they itch!

All you want to do is lie around like an old hounddog on the front porch. I'd rather have a foot of snow on the ground than this humidity.

Why do I tell you this? Because there are some good analogies in the weather and southern sterotypes that I mention and the way I'm feeling about the spouse today.

First of all, the prozac isn't doing its job today -- so I am blah, blah, blah --D***** is cutting teeth and J**** is like always on Mondays -- lying in the bed complaining of a headache. The house looks like a herd of swine has ran through the house. The heat ain't helping. The kids are restless and driving me nuts. We have six kittens and they are wild. I need a break.

Guess I'm just stressed -- I sum it all up this way -- my mom keeps pushing me to do this, do that and I keep having to pull J**** along. Guess I just want everyone to get off of my back and walk beside of me.

Later this evening -- Finally got young'ns to bed and am doing the wash and participating in my online al-anon chat.

I described the weather earlier, because I felt icky, yucky, and hot under the collar. As I listen to my al-anon chat I realize, I shouldn't be this way. But, sometimes he just makes me want to scream. You know what -- I've been feeling sorry for myself all weekend into today. Sometimes, that too is cathartic. But when he got home today, I was mean, I yelled, I whooped him with a pillow, I cried, I was manic. I shouldn't have acted that way and I am sorry that I did.

But, I also started by trying to have an adult conversation with him. He won't talk to me. He turns it around, "why you want to talk? did you do something wrong? " He has this thing that while he's in jail on the weekends, I'm out playing and having a good time, screwing all kinds of men or something. Yeah -- three kids 6,4, and 19 months. Hours of sex, drugs, and rock-n-roll - heh - more like Veggie Tales, chocolate milk, and the hokie pokie.

I actually missed him this weekend and wanted to share that with him and I wanted to let him know how much I missed him. But -- while eating I don't finish my burger -- I say, I am full -- he says "Yeah, I bet you're peter full." Where the hell did that come from? Then I wonder -- why did I miss him? He's such a redneck jerk.

Then after the kids go to bed, he's Don Juan all sweet and wonderful. Yeah - he's clean and sober but he's still rollercoaster UP and rollercoaster DOWN with me. He's driving me nuts. I know this is a whiny post - but that is where I am -- emotional today.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Rose of Sharon

These rose of sharon bushes are growing in my back yard and they inspired me this morning. The words of the song say it all...

Verse 3
Jesus, Rose of Sharon,
balm for every ill,
May they tender mercy's healing power distil.
For afflicted souls of weary, burdened men,
Giving needy mortals health, and hope again.


Jesus Rose of Sharon
Bloom in radiance
and in love within my heart.

Saturday, July 15, 2006


My sister is 13 years my elder and she has two children, that were small when I was a teenager and I still lived home with mom/dad. She would bring them over on Sunday afternoon and when they would leave we would all go "1,2,3...Phewwww." Well, we were at her house last weekend and my children were typical children. D***** spilled a softdrink on the floor, I got it cleaned up, one of the girls got honey on the loveseat, and they were all three just ninety-miles an hour. I know that when we left. Sister probably went, "1,2,3...Phewwww."

Today -- I am going "1,2,3...Phewwww." They have driven me to the point of ????????. I don't even know what to call it.

Where to begin.

We were sleeping good, Mama called at 8:00 a.m. Up got all three and it was on. Last night I had told Mama that some Ritzy-Ritz neighborhood here in town was having a neighborhood yard sale and it might be fun to go. Well -- Mama was ready to go at 8:00a.m. I told her I'd call her and let her know -- because I'd really like to get the house cleaned up today. She shows up at my front door at 9:00 a.m. Let's go (perky too.) The kids were watching a movie, and I was going to start their breakfast. They wanted to watch their movie, but we went with Granny instead. Well, I'd only had one cigarette this morning and I don't smoke in front of Mama out of respect. So, we go "junkin" until 10:30 - me no cigarettes. You can imagine.

Then there's the rich bitch that was too lazy to price her items, I get to her with a cute matching Nike outfit for D*****. Still has a price tag on it. She says $7.00. It has a clearance tag on it for $3.99. I calmly said, "I'll pass." and I left. Now -- I have yard sales, but not to turn a profit, but to get rid of stuff. It is better than throwing it away, getting a little money is a perk. What is left either goes in the trash or to Goodwill. I bet "Mrs. Howell" never has been to a Yard Sale in her life.

We get home, the kids finally get (not breakfast) but brunch from McDonalds. They get to watch their movie and I get a cigarette. "1,2,3...Phewwww."

They are watching a movie -- so I clean the pool (little K-Mart pool nothing extravagant). But it was a job -- D***** helped and they now have a full clean pool. Clean pool = neighbor kids = nothing else accomplished for the rest of the day.

Other highlights - D***** did take a nap but was really clingy, the cats knocked the pizza box off the stove onto the white tile floor meaning I had to mop, D***** pooped in his swimming trunks (not in the pool thankfully, but still very tricky to remove), I straightened up the upstairs TV room just to go into the kitchen to find that D***** had decided to feed the kittens by turning over the bag of dog food onto the newly mopped floor, had to referee between girls and neighbor child several times, countless spills - milk and soda, girls wanted to spend night next door -- tears galore when I said no... do I need to go on or do you get the picture? And the doctor says I don't need nerve pills. Thank God for my prozac.

I'm reminded of a cartoon that the kids watch and at the end they sing, "Hey, JoJo whadaya say, we all wanna know whatcha learned today?" Well here goes...
God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.

Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking, as He did, this sinful world
as it is, not as I would have it;
Trusting that He will make all things right
if I surrender to His Will;
That I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with Him
Forever in the next.

--Reinhold Niebuhr

There's nothing I can do about today's events. "Don't sweat the small stuff" - even though the house looks like I have three small tornadoes, ummm, I mean kids. I might as well be happy about the day - I can't change it and we did have fun: We baked brownies, watched a movie, and played in the nice clean pool. "1,2,3...Phewwww."

You know I still have the divorce from J**** on the back burner. Today -- with him sober would have been a lot easier if he had been here. His being in jail on the weekends has shown me what it would be like without him here. Kids may be calmer without him here, but goodness -- I'm wore out.

Update on DUI/Marital/Alcohol... problems --
  • He has been sober close to 1 month now. It has been nice. But, I'm still wary of his motives. Is he sober for himself and because he wants sobriety or is it because he knows that he has to report to jail each weekend?
  • Wednesday night, J**** was not drinking, but I swear (I've been with him over seven years and I know him) he was on something. He had L**** (neighborhood drunk) and B**** (co-worker drunk) at the house with him all day. When kids and I came home - had to deal with two drunks that were not my spouse. Also, he was trying his darndest to find a bag of weed (which would have been a big mistake at jail time) and was trying to get me to drive them to L-burg to buy some. I said no.
  • Rained most of the week so he couldn't work. He was home alone for four days. I don't think I should have to be worried about cleaning the house on Saturday (my day off) it should have been cleaned, since there was nothing else he could do. His accomplishments those four days: 1) he loaded the dishwasher one day, 2) he cleaned the litterboxes one day. Both of these mind you, I had to ask him to do and he gave me that "1,2,3...Phewwww" sound.
  • J**** had a talk with his father and tells me that his father is dying from polyps with three to six months to live. Last time (4 years ago) his father was dying from liver damage. He only had six months that time too. I asked has a biopsy been done? That was the end of our conversation, he looked at me with that "You cold-hearted bitch look?" He didn't say it, but if looks could kill.
  • We had to transfer all vehicles out of his name because of the DUI. This meant a trip to the DMV. Well -- that was a fiasco. Trying not to enable, I told him to find out what needed to be done and gather what was needed, all I would do was sign the transfer papers. Trip 1 - clerk sends us back home for title, Trip 2 - clerk sends us back home for insurance (he didn't pay his insurance and the card is in his name, card has to be in mine, I won't pay for insurance on his vehicle) so, Trip 3 - clerk sends us back home to get tags off of vehicle -- I leave his ass at home because he is ranting and raving about this process, and I inform him that this wouldn't be an issue if he didn't get a eff'n DUI in the first place. (My al-anon friends are most likely shaking their heads right now.) I get back to the DMV - hand over the plate and then they tell me it is going to cost $29.00. I just paid it - then they ask me about the 1993 Red Thunderbird. So, Trip 4, the next day with him -- I prepare all the logistics and we are in and out in five minutes and it costs $1.00 to do a junk title on the vehicle. Yes I enabled but a gal can only take so much on her lunch hour.
  • J**** goes to court Monday morning to prove that the vehicles have been transferred and to discuss payment of fine with the judge.
  • Wednesday was a day for J**** to see that he too is a codependent. First as I've already said he spent the day babysitting two drunks. His dad (an alcoholic too) was supposed to be at our house by 6:30 p.m. Thankfully, Granny had the girls spend the night with her, because we ended up searching for his Dad and wound up at his Dad's house at 9:30 p.m. J**** did all the codependent things like calling the hospitals and jails. He kept calling his Dad's cell phone to no avail, until he couldn't stand it any longer and had to go search for some peace of mind. It did my heart good to see him acting like me, but it also made me sad to see how one person can affect so many others with their thoughtlessness.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

The Greatest Man I ever Knew

Papaw was born 103 years ago today. He died when he was 99 years and 3 months. Every year on his birthday he would say I'm X number of years and 9 months old today. He was a firm believer that when you are conceived you begin life, when you are born you are already 9 months in existence. So -- HE MADE IT to 100 in his eyes.

He had the most beautiful blue grey eyes you have ever seen and they were full of wisdom. Even though all he had was a third grade education he was the smartest man I have ever known. He read the Bible through at least two times. As a farmer he knew the seasons and the earth's planting and harvesting cycles and could tell you what the weather was like on this day in any given year of his life (this day in 1936 over 100 degrees and the year he was born there was a drought.) He knew everything needed to get by in this world. His dry wit could make anyone smile. People from miles around in the church knew and respected Mr. W*****. I hope to see him again one day.

I have learned many lessons from this man.

Guide, Guard,and Direct Us...

Papaw taught me faith in the Lord because he will not place more on me than I can bear. Never have I seen him out of control, angered or overly worried. His faith in God was unfaltering. Everytime he said blessing before a meal - "Heavenly Father accept our thanks for this food and all the many blessing of life, forgive us of our sins, guide, guard and direct us on through life, in Jesus name we pray, Amen" Even though he was 99 he still prayed for the "aged." He trusted in the Lord. When he was in the hospital, I asked him. "Papaw, what are you going to do when you get out of here? You can come home with me." He looked at me with those soulful eyes and said, "You don't have to worry about that, I know where I am going." He died the next day in the hospital, peacefully.

Every Tub Has to Sit on Its Own Bottom...

Papaw taught me about accountability. I was visiting him one day and I was worried about my husband. I told him that I couldn't get him interested in the Lord and I wanted to know what I could do to save him. "What Papaw can I do?" Papaw just shook his head and said, "There's nothing you can do, every tub has to sit on its own bottom."

There are many lessons and stories I could tell about this wonderful husband, father, grandfather, worker, friend, and child of God. But, I'm not sure there is enough space on the internet to sing all of his praises.

I miss him today, but remembering him today is helping me to recover. To remember that I need to trust in my Lord to help me and those that I love at all times. To pray without ceasing and to accept the fact that I am accountable for myself and I can't live someone else's life for them. I told you he was a very wise man.

I wish he were here today to make me laugh, to hear his happy whistling, to nudge him in church when he dozed off, to sit with him and his silent wisdom, which was usually his way, as he gently patted me on the leg, to take him on long trips and hear him tell about his life, to take him to the cemetery to put flowers on Granny's grave and hear him say how they never had a fight (Granny may disagree).

But, I am happy because I know that today he is walking the street of gold looking down at me and shaking his head and silently patting me on the leg.

7/11/1903 - 10/3/2002 + 9 months

Monday, July 10, 2006

Watch Out for #1

My mother is married to an alcoholic - all the time I was growing up and had an issue that pertained to me versus someone else -- Mama would say "just WATCH OUT FOR NUMBER ONE." I've been online chatting with my MIP buddies tonight and have made a new blog buddy Hoping4More and we are all very selfless individuals. We worry about what is best for our spouses, our children, our parents, but never about ourselves.
  • When was the last time I went shopping for myself? Couldn't tell you.
  • When was the last time I took off work for a day for me? Couldn't tell you.
  • How many times have I traded my dinner plate with the kids or my husband, because they didn't like what they ordered? More than I can count.
  • When was the last time I went out with my friends? Couldn't tell you.
  • How many times in 6 1/2 years have my husband and I been alone without kids? I CAN count them on one hand.
  • Need I go on?
Mama drilled it in my head "WATCH OUT FOR NUMBER ONE." Why didn't I listen? Hmmm. Could it be that other tidbit of wisdom that she gave my husband when our firstborn came along? J**** just remember they learn more from example than from what you tell them. Others say, "Monkey see, monkey do." "Do as I say, not as I do." Mama DIDN'T watch out for number one. She tried to warn me.

My sister went on Hoping4More's wonderful blog "Virtual Therapy" and made this comment:

"I should have left their daddy sooner. Children sometimes grow up and become what they see (my son has). I failed my children. I should not have been so concerned about what I should or should not do. I should have done what was best for them - NOT FOR ME. That was the only option that I had - no other."

Well Sis, I agree and disagree. You DID NOT fail your children you were and are a damn good mama. It was not what was best for you either, you didn't put number one first you were frightened and brainwashed to believe that he was number one. Mama didn't , you didn't, and I haven't. Well, she still doesn't, you still don't and me either. But, we need to. How much you wanna bet that the brother doesn't either?

When I was younger and thought I knew everything, I'd hear mama say "WATCH OUT FOR NUMBER ONE" and would think "Man she's selfish." Because, in church we are taught to love and to be selfless. To experience true joy you must put yourself third? J - Jesus, O - Others, Y - Yourself.

Mt 5:38 Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: 39 But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also. 40 And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloak also. 41 And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain. 42 Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away.
Mt 5:43 Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. 44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; 45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. 46 For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? 47 And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so? 48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

She knew ya'll. She knew. WATCH OUT FOR NUMBER ONE. Because, Hoping4More -- HE IS. Sister -- HE WAS. Me -- HE ALWAYS HAS.

And as for mama -- she still doesn't take her own advice.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Al-Anon Share

I am usually quiet in the Al-Anon sessions, I wanted to share today but we ran out of time. If there had been enough time -- this would have been my share -- if any of you are reading MIP brothers/sisters. Thank you.

While listening to Today's meeting my A called and asked "whatcha doing?"
I told him I am participating in an online al-anon session
"whatcha learning?" I told him what one of you said.
"when I am pointing the finger at him, I am pointing four back at me"
"what does that mean to you?" he asked.
When I'm mad at you I should ask myself why I am so angry and try to understand myself and you.
He says that when I bitch at him -- it makes him feel small and insignificant that his guilt gets worse and he then uses it as an excuse for another drink.
He was in a program once and they told him a craving lasts 7 seconds -- so he'll look at me sometimes when I am ranting and say "7 seconds babe."
If I wait those 7 seconds with him and stop my ranting -- and use the silence to think, my need to rant goes away -- just like a craving.
Believe me! 7 seconds can feel like a lifetime.
Guess his call today was timely -- thank you HP.
I'm learning and he's learning.
Patience is definitely a virtue.
Thank you all for your inspiration to me (My MIP brothers and sisters.)

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Am I Asking Too Much?

My mother says, "He's no help to you." BHP says, "He's not pulling his weight." His mother asks "What is J**** doing?" Me "Laying down." Her "hmmm." Everyone knows and realizes that he doesn't do much of anything around here. Yeah, he works. Yeah, he's been sober for 11 or 12 days, but am I asking too much? Help me with stuff.

I guess what got me really boiling about this is a phone call from my mom yesterday. "Well, if it wasn't so HOT today, your daddy would have come up there and MADE J****..." There is a pickup truck that we need to junk, sitting beside our house. Mama/Daddy are convinced that the city is going to fine us because it is sitting there. J**** just piles junk up in the back of it. It looks pretty bad. I have asked him to move it too. In front of it -- there is an '88 mustang GT that has been sitting since we moved in. It's for sale - cheap - if anyone wants it. Then she says, "Well, honey, it is looking really trashy around there." I tried to explain to her, I know it and if we get fined -- it is his fault. I can't do it all and maybe he will see that he needs to be more responsible. I was brought up that the outside of the home reflects on the type of man. Well, I'm NOT covering for him.

No, it's not a withdrawal thing, or a guilt thing, or a depression thing. It is a him thing. He has always acted like his home is his castle and he shouldn't have to do menial household or just any chores. I know his mama didn't teach him that. However, until I told him that was just plain wrong - his stepfather and his mama did pay him to do stuff for them. Now a little credit -- if I ask him to do something simple like "while you're up, will you get me...?" Or, "Honey, grab me a diaper please -- because I've got a poopy butt to change." he will do it -- grumble a little (which I hate) but he will do it.

So here's fuel to what has got this bugging me today.
  • He went to Jail Friday night, now honestly what do you do in jail? You eat, sleep, watch TV, shoot the bull. Don't kid yourself the detention center here is considered the "Mayberry" of jails in this area. They let them order delivery Pizza - how tough can it be? One of the inmates gave him a haircut and drew a portrait of our children for him.
  • Came home Monday - boss said no work today since Holiday tomorrow. He claims he has a migraine headache and stays in the bed all day. Mows about three strips in front yard, but doesn't feel up to it. So I have a half mowed front lawn.
  • Tuesday - 4th of July - admittedly - it's a holiday -- we had a family day - so nothing productive happened other than being with the kids. A good thing.
  • Today - I'm playing hooky from work. He got rained out at work. He's in bed asleep, I've taken care of kids, got D***** down for a nap, fixed big breakfast (J**** did eat), and am on my second load of laundry and am trying to clean and do all them little things kids can't do for themselves.
I used to do even more and would mow lawn and try to keep all of that up. But, it was more than I could handle. BHP said that by my doing it all I was enabling him to act the way he does. So I stopped doing as much. But today it is really getting on my nerves. I work full-time at my job, and don't stop until I fall into bed each night. And, right now it's not because he's drunk. Am I asking too much?

How this makes me feel. This makes me feel second rate. Like the children, me, our home, our needs are unimportant to him. That his comfort and his wallowing are the most important things that there are too him. When he gets home on Mondays, he looks smugly at me -- like "Is that all you got done?" With both adults working - both should work at home. Am I asking too much?

Sunday, July 02, 2006


I've spent the day with the kids, went to church, my mom came over and visited, IM'd my sister and called my brother. I sat in on the online Al-anon meeting and have been very introspective today.

In the Al-Anon session we spoke of powerlessness. To a control freak, anal retentive like myself this is hard. But it seemed that for everyone to "let go and let God" even the non-alcoholic had to hit a certain rockbottom. That rock bottom for me was when I realized that no matter what I did, he wasn't going to stop because of me. I have called alcohol his mistress. I can't control him, he can't control the alcohol and if he can't control it -- then definitely I can't control it for him. I have to focus on my sanity and raising my babies. This is STEP I.

In church today, the children were "wiggle bugs", D***** was very rambunctious and realized that he was getting grins and giggles from others in the congregation, so he put on a show. The one thing that I did hear (guess it was because I'm in tune to the talk) was one comment the preacher made and that was "...doctors and psychologists today try to explain away alcoholism as a social disease. We should tell it like it is, it is a sin." There are three categories of sin in the Bible -- "Lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes, and pride of life." If you are calling alcoholism a sin, then yes it is -- because the alcoholic lusts after it. A drunkard is a sinful man in this aspect, but so is the wall-street broker going after that almighty dollar, the wife that puts her husband before God because she is addicted to him, can't we say that anything that you put before God is a sin? I'm not trying to diminish drunkenness -- BUT there are other things just as bad. Any time we have no self control we are in someway hurting ourself and others, nicotine, overeating, workaholic, overprotective parenting, and the list goes on... many of these apply to me.

I communicated with both the Sister and the Brother today and seems like we all three have a problem. Well one is we are all having a hard time making financial ends meet, in so doing we have all borrowed money from mama/daddy. In this, I started to think about the borrowing and laughed at us, because Brother and I probably asked mama, who in turn told daddy, and then she wrote the check. Sister probably told Daddy. But one thing all three of us can admit to is the pressure it put on us to ask our folks for help. One of my greatest hangups in life is, I don't want to disappoint them. Now as a mother of three, and living with an alcoholic, I realistically know that it would take a whole lot for me to be truly disappointed in my children. So why the hangup? I'm doing the best that I can and that is all anyone can ask. Again, this is where BHP says -- you put too much pressure on yourself.

Now I'm going to sound like an "old fogey." "Kids today don't know how good they have it, well in my day..." Sister said her day was long because she went to visit her young'ns and she said they were all just "whiney." Her children are my husband's age. J**** is 10 years younger than I am -- good for sex, but bad because of the generational gap. The difference that 10 years can make in the values of an individual - See this post from my sister's blog. She and I have suffered and endured and worked hard for what we have. I think today we try too hard to GIVE, GIVE our kids everything that we never had, but then we don't instill in them the appreciation of getting it. Remember the old TV commercial, "we don't make money, we EARN it." I think we need to go back to that motto with our kids and maybe there won't be that selfish generation of folks like J****.

All in all it has been an enlightening day.

Ok -- I Admit It -- I'm Sick

Okay -- so I've placed all the blame on my alcoholic. This is hard to say, I'll admit it. I am sick too. I am addicted to my alcoholic, to turmoil and drama in my life, to taking care of anyone and everyone that I come in contact with. I need to be needed, who better than an alcoholic. I've got to fix me, I can't fix him, and if I don't fix me -- I can't keep my children from needing to be fixed.

I can't fight the alcohol. I must decide to live with it or without it. I choose to live without it.

J**** has said that he will get a sponsor and go to AA meetings. I so very much want us to live together without alcohol. He has been sober for 8 days now and yes he is in jail this weekend, three more to go. But, damn it -- if you know him, you know why I love him when he's sober!! Please, God my Higher Power, help him to choose to live without it.

Here's the Twelve Steps of AA and Al-Anon

Study of these Steps is essential to progress in the Al-Anon program. The principles they embody are universal, aplicable to everyone, whatever his personal creed. In Al-Anon, we strive for an ever deeper understanding of these Steps, and pray for the wisdom to apply them to our lives.
  1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol-that our lives had become unmanageable.
  2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
  3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
  4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
  5. Admitted to God, to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
  6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
  7. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
  8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
  9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
  10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
  11. Sought through prayer and meditaion to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.
  12. Having had a spiritual awkening as the result of these Steps, we tried to carry this message to others, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.
I guess if I have to analyze it -- I'm on step 4. Stay tuned for a "fearless moral inventory."