Rough night

Old 08-28-2010, 09:09 PM
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Rough night

I had planned on writing this whole thing on here about how I’ve now decided that I’m not going to waste my time telling my husband that if he doesn’t quit drinking/get therapy/stop being a jerk I’m going to leave. Why bother? He’s emotionally abusive and drinks every night. From what I’ve read, the chances of him “recovering” from one of those things long term is very slim. Both? Probably not a chance. I’m having a hard enough time mustering up the courage to discuss this with him once. I don’t want to have to do it again. So – Done. Leave. Divorce. If you get better call me and we’ll see but I’m not going to be waiting around.

The way things have been happening for me lately is that I decide something, then worry and stress and second guess myself. I read like crazy, think about it all the time and then suddenly I see I’m right and move on to the next step. So it was just Thursday that I decided I was just going to ask for a divorce right away. I’ve been in the midst of all the back and forth in my head about it and then tonight my son was in an accident. Nothing serious, just a fender bender. He was looking at the street name when the car in front of him stopped to turn right and he didn’t see them in time. He had time to slow down but not stop. Nobody was hurt, minimal damage to the bumpers of the cars, we have insurance.

The problem is that this is the son that is more like me and that my husband isn’t as nice to. I walked in the house and told my husband that Son was in an accident. (he was gone at the time I got the phone call) First question – “What was he doing?” Told him, said there wasn’t much damage, not a big deal. “It is a big deal.” No, it’s not. It was an accident, happens all the time. “Our insurance is going to go up.” Oh. Well. (And yes, I realize that on paper it doesn’t sound like that big of a deal but it’s the tone he uses and the look on his face and… Trust me, he was furious.)

My whole goal was to prevent him from being a jerk to my son. Maybe I’m too easy on my kids but I figure he feels bad enough already. Yelling at him or being mad at him isn’t going to make things better. He wasn’t goofing off or doing anything wrong when it happened. Sure, we can turn this into a learning experience but it doesn’t have to be mean and it doesn’t have to be tonight.

So far my husband hasn’t said anything to my son. He’s drinking like crazy though. I finished dinner and told him it was done when he came in to get another beer. “Don’t have time. I have to pick the $&#^ing grass and weeds in the front yard and blah blah blah blah” Um. Ok. It’s 8 at night and the weeds have been there for weeks but right now, at this very minute they have to be picked so urgently that you don’t have time for dinner. He does this all the time. He’s mad about something so he does things that make his life harder and gets mad about them and complains. I think he thinks he’s punishing me that way. And honestly it used to work because I hate it when he’s mad but I don’t react to it anymore.

So that’s where we’re at right this moment. He’s drinking a beer every 15 minutes and I’m trying to stay up until he goes to bed because I want to be able to run interference for my son if I have to.

And I’m married to this man why? And I am afraid I am wrong to divorce him why? I don’t know that I would have left him much earlier because my kids were younger and would have had visitation with him alone without me there to protect them but I don’t know if I will ever forgive myself for not realizing how unhealthy his anger was earlier and not standing up for them more. I don’t know if I can do this another night but I don’t know if I’m ready yet! I still need 3 or 4 weeks to get enough money saved up. I don’t know where I’ll go if he doesn’t leave. I was hoping to go to a counselor to work out the best way to handle things with my husband to maybe diffuse some of the anger he’ll be feeling and what to say to my kids who don’t think his behavior is a big deal…

I talk like I know what I’m doing and like I’m strong and confident but really, on the inside, I’m scared. I’m scared that my kids will think I’m selfish for leaving their dad and I’m scared I’m going to be broke and have to stress about bills again and I'm scared I'm over reacting and seeing danger where there's not but most of all I’m scared that I’ll chicken out, that I’ll let things just go back to normal like I always do and I’ll never leave…

If you’re the praying sort, could you say one for me tonight? And tomorrow, too? Thanks.
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Old 08-28-2010, 09:21 PM
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same planet...different world
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I am *so* the praying sort.

First things first a hug for you (((Jessijoy)))

Second: is there an Alanon in your area?
it is worth any amount of digging you have to do to find,
then latch onto them if you find them and hang on for everything you got.
I can't stress enough the blessing of having women (and men)
surrounding you who have experience in this,
know who you can talk to if you need anything,
and are so 'hooked into' the recovery community
in ANY area I've ever read about them.

Avail yourself in 3-D of the advantages this organization offers.

you need a plan.
sounds like you're thinking in the right direction,
wanting to put it off until you save up the money.

If you can live that way, and remain safe... I recommend trying to do that.

If you think you're in harm's way -
there's no amount of money worth waiting for when you're in danger.

Get out the phone book
and the newspaper
and find all the ads you can
about shelters, emergency help....
in case things turn dark and nasty when you do state your leaving.

Whether you believe he would turn or not =-
be prepared as if you're sure he will.
Be ready.

And finally, I encourage you to keep posting here.
There's tons of experience on this site,
and these women care... and they listen.

We've been there.
SOME of us... more than once.

You're not alone.:ghug3
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Old 08-28-2010, 09:33 PM
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Old 08-28-2010, 10:13 PM
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I agree with Barb (see if she can put in a word for you with Obama )

You do need a plan. It is so tempting to walk when you think you can't stand it another second, but unless you are in danger, it's much better to plan.

You can prepare to leave. You can still change your mind if you need to, but if you prepare, you won't have to stay because you feel unable to leave.

Hugs and prayers from here.
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Old 08-28-2010, 10:19 PM
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same planet...different world
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Preparing and planning dissipates the fear.

It doesn't remove fear, but it keeps it manageable.
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Old 08-29-2010, 02:12 AM
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hi jessijoy-

i totally agree with the previous advice given: make a plan. you don't have to execute it, but it is always an option available to you. why not see a lawyer privately and understand your legal options? i also think it is a good idea to make your plan totally independent of your husband doing anything. then, you will not be blocked by his inactivity or meanness...obviously, such plan would require that you (and kids) have somewhere else to live for awhile, should he refuse to leave. it seems quite common that they refuse to leave. do you have any family that would take you in for awhile? a bit of space from the madness often is useful to see clearly how mad it is.

maybe a short term plan to get some space from him for a week (a visit to an old dear friend?) and a long term plan to determine an exit strategy.

in my experience, it was best to make my plan without discussing said plan with my alcoholic, until i was ready to execute my plan to exit.

you sound at your wits end. trust yourself.

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Old 08-29-2010, 07:14 AM
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The plan I made included putting money aside in a separate account, gathering all my important paperwork and things I would be heartbroken if I lost, making arrangements with a friend to store said stuff at her house, going to a motel to be alone to sort out my thoughts, asking my brother to put me up for two weeks until I found my own apartment. When the time came when I was ready to go, I was READY to go.
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Old 08-29-2010, 07:45 AM
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Hi Jessijoy - I love your name

There is another thread very similar, actually they are all very similar right?

I think in order to make a plan and put it into action you have to be your most desperate.

To move forward and stop all the doubting and second guessing...

You have to image that your LIFE DEPENDS ON THIS.

What would you do if someone broke into your house - was going to hurt you - hurt your kids. You'd react - immediately. You would fight back as if your life depended on it.

right? what is the difference now? this man wants to hurt you (emotionally maybe physically). Hurt your children. ( is not causing them damage?)

just react - stop thinking so much. Stop being the victim.

The problem is that this is the son that is more like me and that my husband isnít as nice to.
And this just sound crazy - this is his biological child?
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Old 08-29-2010, 11:35 AM
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Thanks everyone for your prayers and hugs and kind words. I am trying to have a plan. I'm a very good planner. So good that sometimes I can plan and plan and plan forever and never actually DO anything. :-) So I'm trying to balance planning with accepting that I'll never have a perfect or complete plan and at some point I'm going to have to trust God.

I might have mentioned this before but my pastor once said that he thinks some women stay in abusive relationships because they don't trust God to take care of them. I'm trying to trust a little bit. I would like to stay in this house, or in this neighborhood until my daughter graduates from high school (3 years) I would like a place to stay that will fit me and my children with rooms of our own. If my husband doesn't leave the house I don't see how that will happen. At first I wanted to trust God to give me exactly what I wanted. Now I'm just going to trust him to provide what's best. Maybe this house, this neighborhood etc. isn't what's best even though it's what I want. All that is just to say that I am working on a plan while trying not to get stuck waiting for perfection.

I have been going to Al-anon, just once a week. I think I might try to go more often.

I do have family who would take me in, they just all live so far away. 45 minutes with no traffic. I could make it work if I absolutely had to but I work at 6 and my daughter has school at 7:30...

I hope I'm just so emotionally exhausted and on edge that I'm over reacting about the immediate danger. My husband has never hit me or physically intimidated me. There have been maybe 4 times when he was really really drunk that I was worried that he might snap but for the most part I have never been physically afraid. He's done things like play "I Used to Love Her" over and over again. Tensions are just so high right now. Normally I would just be sweet and pretend everything's ok. We haven't talked in a couple of months. We just say what we need to to get through the day but that's it. Should I just smooth things over until I'm ready to leave? Will that make it worse though, more of a shock to him? Will it make him more likely to react badly if it comes out of the blue?

More than anything I'm worried about my son. I was thinking this morning about letting go and letting God and just doing what I can do. What I can do is talk to my son, tell him how sorry I am about the way his dad treats him. Tell him that the accident was just an accident, I backed into a parked car once, things happen. That's why we have insurance. Yes, it's going to cost us some money but it's just money. It grows on trees, right? We'll get more. Tell him just to ignore anything his dad says about it. I can make a plan. I can leave this relationship and give my kids a safe home. They are not physically unsafe but it is not emotionally safe to be imperfect in this house. I will give them a place where it is ok to be themselves even though they're not perfect. I can do that. I can be calm and peaceful. I can pray.

Here's what I will do this week:

- I've opened a new account at a new bank. This week I will change my direct deposit information so my checks go to the new account. My checks are sortof extra. I've been using them to pay off our last credit card but am going to save the cash for a little while. I really have to appreciate this more than I do. I'll be getting a large bonus next month so within a month I can have $2000 + saved for down payments etc. I realize not everyone can save so much so quickly. I don't know if I can support myself without child support but this money can also be used to fill in the gaps until things are finalized legally. Thinking about that makes me feel better.
- I will meet with a counselor who specializes in addiction and abuse and have them help me figure out the best way to move forward.
- I will find a counselor who works will teens so that my kids have someone to talk to, too.
- I will make arrangements for emergency housing if we need it.
- I will call some apartments nearby to find out what the leasing terms are, how long the process takes etc.
- I will take family pictures and videos to my moms for safe keeping. The rest of the stuff is just stuff. I will miss some of it if it comes to that but it can all be replaced.
- I will gather important papers and take them to work.
- I will breathe, and take a nap, and read something nice and hopeful instead of reading so much about the negative affects of divorce and abuse and fear and... :-)

Thanks again everyone. I've somehow become so isolated and really don't feel like there is anyone I can talk to. Certainly not anyone who would understand. I'm sure I don't need to tell you how touching it is when people you don't even know care enough to say kind things to you. And thank you for sharing your stories. I've been reading the archives and that has helped, too.
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Old 08-29-2010, 11:39 AM
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Jess, I think you are at a real turning point here. You are ready for change but just not sure how to make that change happen and that's totally, 110%, A-okay!

Nobody knows how all the little details are going to come together or how it's all going to work out in the end, all they every really start with is a desire to change and you have that.

Leave the big picture up to your higher power. You focus on the next safe and right decision for you. If that means detachment and boundary work and a whole bunch of avoidance of him (just what I did) to keep things safe while you squirrel away your money and make a plan to exit the relationship, then that's what works for you.

Sometimes the best move is no move at all. You know what you want but not how to get it. Wait and let the answers be revealed to you. It really does work that way. While you're waiting, work on your recovery tools. Consider the 12 steps and maybe share those with your kids. You may find they have a point of view you weren't expecting.

In my opinion, discussions mean nothing to an active alcoholic. Want to have a discussion with one, do yourself a favor and go outside and talk to a tree. It's just as productive but without the negative nastiness that come with talking to a drunk, and tress are prettier to look at by in large.

Remember, you are ready and open to change and that is 95% of the battle. The last 5% is just logistics.

Best to you!
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Old 08-29-2010, 11:50 AM
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Originally Posted by ChrrisT View Post

And this just sound crazy - this is his biological child?
Yes. It is his biological child. I got pregnant with twins when I was 17. They're very different boys. One is very practical and capable and athletic. This kid was repairing his car using the computer readouts he got from Auto Zone and youtube videos. He did not grow up fixing cars with his dad, he just did this on his own. The other son is quieter, likes to read and write and draw. Is into anime. His friends are different - good kids just a bit socially awkward. You know, the Pokemon crowd. :-)

My husband can't stand it when anyone does things differently than he thinks they should and this son is very different than my husband. If he buys a book or movie or video game my husband get's mad because in his mind that stuff is a waste of money. If he buys a soda at the convenience store my husband gets made because he could have gotten it for less buying a 12 pack at the grocery store. If he eats a frozen pizza at midnight my husband gets mad because he shouldn't be eating so late at night and if he's hungry he should make a sandwich instead. (Um, hello? When you were his age you were getting drunk every night and had 2 kids. Let the kid have a pizza. It's a dollar. We can afford it.) This son doesn't talk back, just listens and then goes to his room. I will step in when I hear it but I go to bed early so am not sure what happens when I'm asleep. He just has no respect for this son.

I don't know how I'm going to repair the damage that's been done to him, that I've allowed, but I will do everything I can.
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Old 08-29-2010, 12:08 PM
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what I didn't see on your list was to consult an attorney.
Do that before you move out.
It may be that HE is court ordered to move out!
And to make support payments.
If you want the legal custody of your kids, want to keep them in the same school so as not to disrupt their lives...

all these things count a study done on divorced women most say they wished they had done it sooner.
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Old 08-29-2010, 12:12 PM
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Hi Jessi-
Sounds like a good solid plan you've got going there! Remember, just like you commented on STBXAH (soon to be ex alc husband!) suddenly needing to weed the yard NOW when the weeds have been there for months - take it easy on yourself- this relationship has been bad a long time and you can take the time to extricate yourself as smoothly as possible.

As far as your teenagers you said "I don't know how I'm going to repair the damage that's been done to him, that I've allowed, but I will do everything I can."

You aren't going to be able repair that damage. Do you know what I mean? Just like we aren't really qualified to help the alcoholic and trying to help them leads to a lot of pain all around, we really can't fix our kids either! Your kids will have to pick this work up and make it their own! But you are setting a great example by taking care of yourself and them and by removing them from this toxic environment. And you can provide them with tools, and support for sure, like AlAteen (Welcome to Alateen), or counseling, and books, and just encouraging conversation and listening, etc.

For me the hugest thing when I was growing up would have been if someone, anyone (mom would have been nice but no way!) had just looked me in the eye and said "This family dynamic is not healthy or normal, and it's because of alcoholism, and it's not your fault. Here are some ways you can learn about it and get help."

I felt so alone and confused (and I have 4 siblings!). When my father would act out aggressively while drunk it really messed with my head, and then mom was there pretending everything was normal all the while she was a seething raging maniac inside! Yuk - that tension!

I know you have struggles ahead, but I really admire you taking these steps and protecting your children! Bravo. Baby steps will still get you where you want to go. And the journey will be shining example of recovery for your kids!

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Old 08-29-2010, 12:16 PM
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One other thing, with respect to the child support.

When you talk with a lawyer (ideally before you leave), you will learn he is obligated to support the children whether you live with him or not. Actually, you are BOTH financially obligated, but if he's making more money and the kids are with you most of the time, they would be entitled to support from him.

Sounds like you have your work cut out for you, but it WILL give you a feeling of much more control over the situation.
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Old 08-29-2010, 06:04 PM
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Holy cow! I can identify with so many parts of your story... staying up late to run interference for the kids, acting tough and all put together but feeling so frightened and confused inside and worried that I will chicken out when I finally do make a decision!

Sounds like you are on the right path. I don't have any advice, but I wanted to lend my support. I am the praying type and I will pray for you and your family.
Love & Hugs, Kerbearz
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Old 08-30-2010, 09:59 AM
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Keep moving forward Jess.

There may be harder times coming. Once your husband gets wind of what's really going on he may get more difficult. Be aware. Be prepared - do the lawyer thing that was suggested. Now is not the time to trust. IMO

He sound a little messed in a lot areas. It's so sad when they take it out on the kids. But I think the way you can help your son is to show him that you don't have to except being treated badly, not by anyone.

It is a very tough situation, but when you come out on the other side - you're gonna know what YOU are really made of. You will be so much stronger and healthier!

Keep posting
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