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new here, advice needed

Old 09-25-2010, 08:40 AM
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new here, advice needed

Hi
my husband is an alcoholic and im at my wits end.
when our son was born 3 years ago - he was at his worst and 2 days before our sons due date, he was arrested for DUI. Our son was born 2 weeks late and we were released from the hospital the day my husband lost his licence.
Since then he has made a progression, getting it down to once a week - which makes weekends miserable at our house. He drinks all friday night and then is hungover and rude to me and sometimes our son all weekend. I'm pregnant again and due halloween and he's backsliding. His anger and depression are worse and i want him in councelling. Last night i got so angry with him, i packed his bags. after he got home, he threatened to kill us. i ended up sleeping in our sons room with his bed against the door just in case. my husband has never been physically violent with us but i don't know what he will do when he's drunk.
I can't continue this, not with looking after 2 kids almost totally by myself. I've caught him lying alot about his drinking - even lied to me about staying out all night - he told me in the morning that he had been at the hospital because he tried to kill himself - he later admitted it was a lie so i wouldn't get mad at him being out all night.
Sorry for the huge post. I'm looking at advice at how i can get him to get help. he won't do the AA meetings - doesn't feel he fits in there. i'm just lost.
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Old 09-25-2010, 08:52 AM
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Welcome to SR...you will meet many new friends here and have a lot of support...there are many here who can share their experience, strength and hope with you.

There are some great stickies at the top of this forum and I invite you to read them.

3 c's

You didn't Cause this
You can't Control this
You can't Cure this

You might want to look for al-anon meetings in your area for face to face support.
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Old 09-25-2010, 08:54 AM
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The threat to kill you IS domestic violence. You can get a restraining order. With that, he would have to leave the house.

I suggest you call your local domestic violence hotline and talk to a counselor, who can help you understand your options.

I also suggest you get to an Al-Anon meeting. The violence and the alcoholism are separate, but related issues. Even though he hasn't been physically violent YET, as you acknowledge, you don't know what he might do, drunk. There is a reason you put the bed against the door.

Nobody should have to feel unsafe in her own house. Moreover, an atmosphere of threats and violence and drunkenness is a terrible way for your children to grow up.

You can't force him to quit drinking, but you can take steps to protect yourself and your kids. Please make some phone calls.
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Old 09-25-2010, 08:56 AM
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If you ever find yourself in a situation like that again I would recommend calling the police.

You didn't cause this, You can't control it, you can't cure it.

You can't make him get help - he has to do that himself and he has to want to.

There are some great stickies with tons of information and help here. At this stage I would advise finding out all you can. There are many wonderful people here who will support you through this horrendously difficult time.
Welcome to SR. I think you have come to the right place.
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Old 09-25-2010, 08:59 AM
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Hi Cayceemae and welcome to SR.

I am new to the site and have been dealing with an AW for 10 years. While I can't give you advice, here were some revelations about myself and my experience:

I didn't cause her to drink.

I can't control her drinking.

I can't save her.

I can only be responsible for myself and my son. I focus on saving us.

There are some great people here that have all been through situations. It helped me a lot when I just went through SR and read post after post after post.

Our prayers are with you.
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Old 09-25-2010, 08:59 AM
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One more thing--I missed the suicide attempt when I read your post. I have worked in the domestic violence field for a long, long time, and suicide threats, gestures, and attempts make the situation far more dangerous. DV experts sometimes use a "lethality scale" to rate how dangerous a DV situation is. Suicide threats or attempts increase the dangerousness--homicide/suicides are, sadly, not that uncommon. It's a short step for some people from being willing to take themselves out to taking the family with them.
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Old 09-25-2010, 09:07 AM
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A call and appmt with your local DV center would be incredibly helpful to you.
Really.
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Old 09-25-2010, 09:12 AM
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911 (or the Canadian equivalent). That is what 911 is for. Whenever someone threatens to kill you and your child or themselves, that is the time to call 911 and get them out of the house. Please, don't take this lightly. There is no way in hell that I would allow myself or my son to spend another night alone with him.
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Old 09-25-2010, 10:52 AM
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I'm so sorry you're going through this.

I bet you'd be surprised at the amount of help out there once you make a few phone calls. Most communities have domestic violence support, and they can help you with the legal stuff, the practical stuff, and counselling.

Most importantly, they can help you get some peace and quiet--either by serving your husband with a restraining order or getting you into a shelter--so that you can breathe again, gather your thoughts, and figure out your next step.

Hugs,
akrasia
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Old 09-25-2010, 12:48 PM
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Last night i got so angry with him, i packed his bags. after he got home, he threatened to kill us. i ended up sleeping in our sons room with his bed against the door just in case. my husband has never been physically violent with us but i don't know what he will do when he's drunk.

I bet this wasn't one of the scenes you ever imagined when you pictured your adult life!

You asked him to get out of the house and he threatened to kill you and his son. So how much more abusive does a partner have to be?

You have a lot on your plate cayceemae! #1 is keeping you and your child and your new baby safe and healthy. Is there anywhere you can go, family or friends? All that bullying and tension and the threat of real violence is so bad for you and your 3 yo.

Reach out to your community for help - we all tend to isolate ourselves when we love an A, it is part of the "family" disease of alcoholism - it makes us all nuts! Keep seeking and accepting help until you feel safe and serene.

Glad you're here. Collectively here on SR we've seen everything so you are not alone.
Peace-
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Old 09-25-2010, 01:58 PM
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thanks

thank you are for responding, it has made a tremendous difference to me today. i have sat down and wrote a long letter to him. his behaviour did trigger all sorts of alarm bells last night. and i have to put a stop to it now before we become a statistic. and no this isn't how i imagined my family would be. this has forced me to really admit what i've known for a long time. he will not change because he has a family who loves him. he has to want to change. we go through the same thing week after week, he goes out drinking, i confront him about it. he freaks out and then sleeps it off. next day after he is busy apologizing and promising to change. I cannot force him to do anything which is the role his drinking has caused me to take - he acts like a child so i treat him like a child. just taking this step has made me feel better and more in control.
this is my list for us trying to keep our relationship
1. no more lies
2. he seeks counseling for his depression and drinking
3.including me in our fiances - i've come to realize that is a form of abuse - he keeps me in the dark about our money to prevent me from leaving and to hide how much he spends on drinking.
4. showing respect to our family by helping out around the house. this would mean acting like a adult and not expecting me to do everything around the house.

i know that by no means this will be a magic cure and no magic cure exists but i hope this will start us in the right direction of a stable, healthy family for our kids.

i will be discussing this with his parents - they have a rental property that has an extra suite that is empty now and if he can't attempt these things, i will tell him, he will be moving into the suite so i can create the stable home our kids need.
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Old 09-25-2010, 02:22 PM
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Cayceemae - Hi and welcome to SR. Sorry you find yourself here but I'm glad you found us. This is an amazing place for support and it sounds like you really need that now. Please keep checking in.

Your list is a good start but I notice that it says nothing about drinking and you say he only has to "attempt these things". I'd like you to consider more specific boundaries and very specific consequences....then you have to be willing to absolutely stick to the consequences you set up or they are meaningless.

You might say something like:

1) I will not tolerate dishonesty of any kind. If I discover that you have been dishonest with me, i will ask you to leave our home.

2) You will attend counseling with an addiction specialist starting no later than next week (or whatever date you choose)(...and make him find the counselor, this is not your task). If you fail to make regular appointments I will ask you to leave our home.

3) I will have full access to all financial records, including passwords and account numbers. If I am not granted such access, I will ask you to leave our home.

4) You will help with housework, such as doing the dishes every night, giving Junior a bath and putting him to bed. If you are unwilling to help then I will ask you to leave our home.

Get yourself a copy of the book "Co-Dependent No More" and read it from cover to cover.

Bless you during this difficult time and for putting your children first.
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Old 09-25-2010, 02:23 PM
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Please add to your "to do" list an appointment with a DV counselor. Not to be negative, but I wouldn't be surprised if there is another incident with threats and/or violence. You will help yourself if you know what your options are. Please do it now, while things are relatively calm. Having the knowledge in advance will help you if you need the information later, when you are too distraught to think clearly. The counselor can help you with safety planning, which is a whole topic unto itself.

Re your boundaries with him (tjp's suggestions are right on) you might add "No more threats of violence. If you threaten me or our child again, I will call the police, and they will remove you from the home and you will not be returning."
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Old 09-25-2010, 02:37 PM
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I agree with your boundary, Lexie, however I would suggest that it doesn't need to be said outloud. I don't think anyone who is prepared to go that far would listen and may be antagonistic. That she has an internally said boundary and can act on it is enough.

Cay - I hope you feel a little easier having found SR. It's a great resource. And listen to tjp - that is a brilliant list and will give you so much more control back in your life which I sense is sorely lacking at the moment.
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Old 09-25-2010, 03:52 PM
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Making a plan is such a huge step!

I think you are off to a good start w/ your list. As tjp said you have to be ready to have some consequences should these reasonable (to us!) requests be ignored.

But I want to put the bee in your bonnet that the more important list for me is always the one I make for myself. The one that is my to-do list and my self-improvement list!

Often times we set a list of "demands" down in front of the A, and then it just turns into more fights when/if they don't meet our "demands," or they find their sneaky way around our demands. Reality is, adults get to choose what they do, for good or ill. Addicts have abused their brains to the point where their free will is 99.9% gone and they will default constantly to their DOC (drug of choice). They may want to be the person we wish they were but until they find recovery they simply cannot be relied on to do what's best for a family, because they cannot do what's best for themselves.

In other words, they often have to choose recovery first, numero uno, before they will choose to take out the trash or share the family financial information!

And my expectations that an A will meet my reasonable demands is what sets me up for rage and trouble and resentment. My expectations, if rooted in denial and not in reality, are what can make the most trouble for me.

That's why MY list that asks things only of ME is so important. Because that is the list that I can check things off, that is the list where the choice to fulfill the responsibilities is all under my control. I can choose a peaceful life away or detached from alcoholic madness. And the A will choose what he will choose.

Peace & good luck. Remember baby steps still get you where you want to go!
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Old 09-25-2010, 04:08 PM
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I think you're right, that the "no violence" boundary should not need to be said out loud. But it IS an internal boundary that needs to be set, I think.

It should go without saying that violence and threats of violence are unacceptable. They are against the law, and it always amazes me that it comes as a surprise to so many abusers that there is actually a LAW that's been broken.
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Old 09-25-2010, 04:13 PM
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Exactly. The law is also a boundary, don't forget. That of society.

If I had 5 wishes, No 5 would be that everyone knew and would invoke the laws of their state. And No 6 that the PTB (Powers That Be) would pursue those same laws.
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Old 09-25-2010, 04:25 PM
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When a person in my life threatens to harm or kill me, I call the police and report it, and I eliminate them from my life. I do not live with people who threaten me. It is very unhealthy for me and my mental health. I expect it is very unhealthy also for you and both your born and unborn children to live with that kind of person.
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Old 09-26-2010, 05:52 AM
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hi cayce-

as one who has also pushed furniture against the door to safeguard myself against a drunk, i can relate to your story. however, the furniture did not keep him from getting in my bedroom.

in light of your recent events, i think it would be wise that you have an "exit plan"...what i mean by this is a plan to exit immediately should you feel threatened again. for me, this was a small backpack with some cash, a piece of paper with important phone numbers, bank numbers, my passport and a change of clothes.

part of my exit plan was also confiding in a friend nearby who agreed to collect me on a minutes notice and i could stay with her.

another part of my plan was removing the rest of my important paperwork from our apartment and storing it with a neighbor...things that would be difficult to replace, like birth certificates, university credentials, etc.

i felt much better once i had my exit plan in place. unfortunately, i needed to execute it but since i had already made my plan, i was able to exit and exit quickly.

i also would recommend that you begin to speak to some people you trust about what is going on in your home. this is not a betrayal of your alcoholic, it is taking care of yourself.

i told the domestic violence people in my town, i told my girlfriend who was part of my exit plan, i told my neighbor below me (in case they heard violence)and i told my family and i told his brothers. this was not about ratting on him, it was about creating a support system for myself.

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Old 09-26-2010, 06:31 AM
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Cayce,

I agree with having a list of your boundaries, for YOU to remember. But for some reason, I fear your sharing it with him. If he got so angry at you once, he may again, and the list could just make him madder.

I feel very strongly about threats against people. especially women and children and unborn children. If you even feel like he is getting angry at you, I would call police, and have a restraining order against him, have a safe place for yourself to go to. all the above advice that Naive listed is great, as well as the other suggestions about calling DV authorities.
it just isn't worth the risk to hope he wont do it again. your little one at three will notice things that are not right, and he can be afraid, of things he does not understand. Of course you know this.
please follow a plan for your safety, and do not give your H the benifit of the doubt. if he is so depressed and drinking and threatening you at any time, that is so wrong, wrong, wrong,and deserves to be dealt with, with your safety in mind.

If he chooses to get well, it will be up to him to get his self inspired to do it. He will only get worse, most likely. do not let anyone do this to you- you dont deserve it!!!

hugs, chicory
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