A year from hell or the best ever?

  • June 2017 – My father dies.
  • July 2017 – My husband goes into rehab.
  • January 2018 –  My husband is obviously drinking again.
  • January 2018 – I tell him I want a dissolution.
  • July 2018 – He moves out and we get dissolution.
  • August 2018 – I sell my house and buy a smaller one in different school district.
  • September 2018 -my daughter starts a new school her freshman year.
  • October 2018 – I lose my job.

That’s a lot of “stuff” in a short period of time.

So many of my blog posts on this site reflect on incidents that occurred in and around that crazy year of my life.I had every excuse to feel sorry for myself and go into a hole. I didn’t, but that is no credit to me. God blessed me. Every negative incident gave me a new perspective and allowed me to relook at my priorities. I have reshaped and rebuilt. A former colleague respectfully suggested that it might be a mid life crisis. Lol. Easy to be seen as that by outside eyes.

By finding my weaknesses and admitting them, I have been able to help others more. Isn’t that what life on this planet is about anyway?

I like to help people. I think it’s my personal addiction. Most of the time, I find myself helping people problem solve or use their resources wisely. Offering knowledge and support to people who are willing to accept help has been fruitful. I particularly like to help people find happiness. Give me a grumpy person, and I’m pleased as punch to befriend them:-). As a matter of fact, a grumpy guy that had to have been sent my way by God, is a whole lot less grumpy and I’m pleased to be dating him. Thank goodness that helping others is one of the few things God calls on us to do.

In my life before “the crazy year,” my own house was REALLY far from being in order. From the outside, people probably could have perceived it as “perfect.” But they didn’t know reality.

Since the “crazy year” ended, I’ve been able to put most of my house in order (there is still room for improvement.). However, each step I get closer to real order, gives me more opportunity to do God’s work, helping others.

For that, I am TRULY BLESSED

I really hope that calling is tied to the emotional and/or spiritual needs of people, but I’m sure I’ll know it when I see it.

 

He says she’s his highest priority but he’s not walking the talk

My former spouse and I had one child, a very beautiful, smart, witty and caring young lady.  We are so blessed to have her.  She is currently a freshman in high school.

When I first started speaking to my ex about dissolution, he just felt like it would crush her.  His own parent’s divorce took a toll on him, so he felt adamant that she would struggle similarly.  I have not found that to be the case.  She seems to have blossomed with a sense of freedom and relief.

Unfortunately, she does not look forward to time with her dad.  While she loves him, she is in a typical 14 year old mind set and he is still drinking.  As a result, he is still self-centered and isolated.  In addition, he is holding steady at the maturity level he was when he first started drinking…..and so she often thinks she is more mature than him.

Early after our divorce, he just spent money.  Likely, he felt possessions would make him happy.  She watched that and just shook her head.  Perhaps if he would have bought something for her, he would have simmered her down a little, but he didn’t give much thought to that.

Just three months after our dissolution, he starts dating a lady he met online.  After just a few short weeks,  he wants to introduce her to our daughter.  I talk him out of it, thank goodness.   After seeing her pictures on Facebook, I knew my daughter would not be pleased.  She and I both are somewhat conservative, and the new girlfriend looked like she had quite a wild side.  I remember telling my ex that he should suggest to the new girlfriend that she make her profile private instead of public, and he didn’t see anything wrong with her page.

Fast forward a couple months and the girlfriend gets “crazy,” so they split ways.  Ironically, my daughter shared “well she had self divulged that she was crazy, I guess it took him a while to figure it out.”   After the fact, the ex admits that he must have been blinded by the need for physical activity.  She was an alcoholic too, not surprising.  I’m sure they had great fun.  Too bad there were nights when he cancelled out on his time with our daughter because of the girlfriend.  It’s a shame that my daughter realized it….and then over time became grateful for the cancellations.

After girlfriend #1, it doesn’t take long for girlfriend #2.  They had been dating about a month, and our daughter was getting ready for her first Homecoming Dance.  The ex asks me if his new girlfriend can be there for pictures.  I suggested that he ask our daughter.  Our daughter thinks that there is no sensible woman in the world that is gonna meet her for the first time with the ex-wife and ex in-laws present, so she tells her dad “I don’t care.”  Even I think there is no way that she would want to be there even if he doesn’t realize its a stupid idea.   Guess what?  She’s there at pictures.  It should have been a great occasion for my daughter.  It was her night.  It should have been about her…… yet he continues to say that our daughter is his highest priority.

Recently, when he comes to pick her up for one of his days, he tells me that our daughter isn’t real excited to spend the day with him and his girlfriend.  I take the opportunity to tell him:  “she isn’t real comfortable with us dating yet.”  And he says……..wanna guess?……it’s certainly not empathetic…..he says “well I am.”

I recognize that parents should not let their kids make decisions for them.  It’s a fine line I walk in sensitive times.  Here is what I don’t understand:  If his time with our daughter is limited, why can’t he just spend time with her alone?  Or if it is just the two of them, why doesn’t he plan an activity instead of napping or watching something on TV that he wants to watch?

And then I answer myself…he’s an alcoholic.  I can’t change him.  He can’t get out of his own head the “how and where” the next drink will get taken.  He remains on a mission for his own happiness and without the ability to put himself in anyone else’s shoes.  No lie!  One time I asked him what it would feel like to be in her shoes and he honestly couldn’t figure it out or understand what I meant.

So, he knows that single dads should make their kids a high priority.  He knows that’s the right thing to say.  He probably even wants to do that, but he has no idea what it means or how to think of anyone other than himself first.  To those that try to give him honest feedback or suggestions, he finds resentment.  It’s very sad.  I still pray for his recovery so that she can have a relationship someday with her dad that feels “normal.”

 

Yes, I love you, but I’m not in Love.

That particular visit to see my husband in rehab was one that I won’t ever forget.

He was a completely different person.  He had been humbled.  His soul was desperate for love, support, rebirth, and warmth.  He wanted to be as close to me as he could.  He wanted to shower me with affection.  He wanted physical embraces.  He wanted to tell me how wonderful, beautiful, and spectacular I was.

I was cautious, but I’m thinking I may have been different than most spouses in this situation.  I mean….isn’t this the person we have been waiting for and wanting?  He was apologizing and talking enthusiastically about our first date after he was discharged.  In my mind, I was thinking that it was too good to be true and that it was temporary.  I had detached in such a weird way.  When he told me a month prior that he was going to admit himself, I was grateful for his desire to get well, but I wasn’t sure he was doing it for the right reasons.  From all that I had learned, he needed to be doing it for himself, and I felt like he was doing it for me and our marriage.

Torn.  So torn.  He shed many tears that day and so did I.  It was an intense emotional situation, from all that he had gone through in those prior days.  Honestly, it was likely stemming from all we had both gone through for so long.

He sensed my hesitation.  He said, “do you love me?”

My mind flashed back to a conversation we had had a few weeks prior in our bedroom.  I had told him that no matter how hard it may be, that I was going to be completely honest with my feelings.   And so there I was……being asked a question I needed to answer.

“I love you, but I am not in love with you.”  That was my honest answer.

I don’t know if it was the right thing to say or not, but it was the truth.  And with that, I cried more.

And I cry now just typing it.

 

Waiting

Waiting, How Long?

Waiting, Patience is a virtue

Waiting, Anticipation stirs

Waiting, Outcome unknown

Waiting, Requires faith

Waiting, For an answer

Waiting, Builds dreams

Waiting, Eats at you

Waiting, For a sign

Waiting, With a secret

Waiting, While I age

Waiting, Is worth it?

Waiting, Quietly unknown

Waiting., With a hope

Waiting, Without a line

Waiting, Full of fear

Waiting, Happily

Waiting, With a smile

Waiting, Near to tears

Waiting, While I sleep

Waiting, For love

Waiting and waiting and waiting

STOP

One Day…….

One Blessed Day at a time

God is good.

No harm in waiting.

Waiting.

The Journey Begins

Thanks for joining me!

Through my own unintentional experience, healing, and reflection, I have come to the point of starting this blog.

In 2018, after 23 years of marriage, I asked for a dissolution.  I never wanted it to come to that.  My husband was an alcoholic.  Neither of us know how it came to be.  At what point did he lose control of his ability to stop?

We tried everything.  Counseling, clergy support, detox, rehab…..all failed.

I went to Al-Anon meetings.  I found them to be highly supportive, confidential, and educational groups. But I didn’t find anyone who thought  like me.  We had gone to counseling too late and I had already detached.

My perception of Al-Anon was that the spouses in the group believed in finding ways to save the marriage to the alcoholic.  Many pledged that attending Al Anon and working on themselves instead of trying to fix the alcoholic was the secret to the success.  I admired them for their commitment.  They are wonderful people.  Many of them found their own peace and way to “be happy” while being married.  I didn’t find any that were actually “happily married”, though, unless their spouse got sober and stayed sober.

Over the last several years, I have learned a tremendous amount about the social and behavioral reality of alcoholics, both active and recovered.  I’ve learned, and I am still learning, the personal results of being in a relationship with one.  My spouse built a bubble around himself and I unintentionally became a part of that bubble.

This blog is dedicated to my journey of bursting out of that bubble, and finding peace, happiness, and self direction all while preparing for the challenges ahead.  If you have been in a relationship with an alcoholic or are in one currently, I hope you’ll continue to visit this blog so we can learn, support, challenge and praise each other.

If you do not have a support person in your life, I encourage you to look beyond this blog.  There are many resources in your community.  Al-Anon is a great place to start.  Or simply confide in a friend.  All of us need multiple support options.