My ex sober A abandoned our little girl

Old 01-16-2011, 09:51 PM
  # 1 (permalink)  
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Location: Nevada City Ca
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Unhappy My ex sober A abandoned our little girl

Hi everyone,

I am new here..and am looking for perspective and support. My ex, who is 37, had been an alcoholic and drug addict since he was about 14 years old. We were together for three years and had a beautiful, amazing baby girl who is now 2. When I was about 4 months pregnant, his drinking and using got out of control and my life became a horrific nightmare. I won't go into detail here but in a nutshell, it was the most traumatizing, painful, devastating experience I have ever had in my life. I lost my sanity, my money, my health, my car, my friends, my credit, myself, MY LIFE. I ended up joining Al-Anon and have been trying to heal and find myself again.

Long story short-- after hitting an incredible bottom a year ago, he decided he wanted sobriety more than anything. He started going to AA meetings and got a sponsor and after a few months, he was doing pretty well. Things were really going well with our relationship, communication, etc and he was a totally different person-- in a good way. Things really got into a good flow and I was experiencing him on a whole new level. A very tender, honest, responsible and HUMBLE level.

Then, seemingly all of a sudden, he stopped going to meetings. In just a matter of days, he was acting really wierd- mean, cold, aloof, extremely arrogant, almost was as if he was drinking or using again, but he wasn't. Things continued to get much worse. We were fighting a lot and when I would break down and cry and express my feelings he would just snicker at me and ignore me. It was like being kicked in the stomach.

After about a month of this, I told him that I could no longer cope with things. I tried talking to him about his previous commitment to sobriety (that was a condition and boundary of letting him back into my life) and he said that I was crazy, that he didn't need "those meetings" anymore and that he was fine, would never touch a drink again, and that he had it all figured out-- that AA was a simple program that he didn't need to focus on more than once in a while. So, we ended up breaking up. He moved out of our home, and I never heard from him again. No child support. Not even a phone call to ask if his daughter is okay. His parents have not called me either. It's been SO heartbreaking.

THIS is what I am really really struggling with. How a human being who is "clean" can possibly totally disappear and abandon his own daughter?? The shock, the anger, the grief, the disappointment, the disbelief, the rage, the sadness, the confusion I feel is sometimes unbearable.

I live in a really tiny town and one of my daughter's baby sitter actually saw my ex two weeks ago at a bar with his new girlfriend. I heard that he got his one year chip last month so I don't think he is drinking again. But when I heard about him at the bar with his girlfriend, I spiraled into a total meltdown. If he was drinking, it would almost be easier to understand his behavior. I could probably explain to myself why he has totally abandoned our daughter. But he is clean. So what's the possible excuse for this cold, irresponsibility? I constantly pray that I can let this go. And accept that he has denied his little girl, but the pain continues to be intense. As does the rage.

Please help.

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Old 01-16-2011, 10:17 PM
  # 2 (permalink)  
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Dear Sasha:

If he was drinking it would be easier to understand why he does what he does. But it would still be totally unacceptable. Also one thing, how can you be so sure he is sober? I do not think anyone who truly got his or her one year chip would risk it by going to a bar.

Anyway, remember the 3 Cs:

You can't cure him.
You didn't cause his behavior
You cannot control what he does

(Tough to absorb, I know..)

A girlfriend just went through a very similar story.... I have seen firsthand how much pain is involved and I am very sorry you are going through this but remember you are not alone, you got us now and you have your baby girl that really needs you.

Can you ask anyone that might know him, not to mention him to you? these kind of "tidbits" hurt like hell. You don't need to know. And I don't need to know what he is doing now at all, why because what you described already shows what kind of person he is, I don't care if he is drunk or sober, he is a bad person and perhaps Life no longer wants someone as toxic and hurtful as him, to be around you and your girl.

I wish you are open to the idea of therapy as this has helped my girlfriend (and myself) a get those toxic feelings out of your system. You don't have to do it alone! "The grief club" by Melody Beatty is also an excellent book about dealing with change. Very very compassionate and it has some useful exercises. I recommend it. Who is your support system in real life?

I have been out of a really toxic relation 2 years, and I wish I could show you how wonderful life gets. I have received so many wonderful gifts. Those and many more are in store for you, just breathe and take the next step. It gets so much better than this and many wonderful people here have gone through tough stuff yet now live fulfilled, contented lives. I promise you!! it will get so much better. You and your kid deserve peace and joy.

You can do this. Please keep posting and if you have time, check out the "Sticky" section on the top of the forum, lots of useful info in there.
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Old 01-16-2011, 11:13 PM
  # 3 (permalink)  
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If he's in a bar with a new girlfriend then he's drinking.

Not that it's any of your business what he's doing now ... but assume that he is.

He sounds a lot like my ex AH actually. Didn't need AA, no not him. He was cured! he would never drink again! that did last a few years, but he couldn't keep it up, not by himself, and he didn't want AA helping him. He would go to meetings, because that was my condition on him, but he would come home drunk, and his sponsor would say he hadn't seen him at a meeting in months.

How can someone 'clean' abandon his own daughter? well aside from men doing it all the time, I wouldn't assume he's clean. I would bet otherwise, myself. Sad as it is, your daughter may be better off without him in her life.
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Old 01-16-2011, 11:27 PM
  # 4 (permalink)  
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I am not totally 100% sure that he is sober. But during the first 7 months of his sobriety, he would occassionaly go to the bars in our little town (even with other AA guys) to watch bands play. My ex said that there is no way in hell that he would ever drink again, no matter what happened in his life. And he seemed to be very arrogant and boastful about it. So I think he is probably going into bars and bragging to everyone that he is sober and is probably trying to prove to everyone that he is doing well and that he doesn't need AA to be sober and can hang out in a bar with no problem.You know? And yes, his behavior is totally unacceptable-- but for some reason, it feels like it would be a little less painful if he were drinking. Strange..but true for me.

The three C's are a tough one. I obsess A LOT. About what he's doing, who he's with, if he ever thinks about me and our daughter.. if I could have done things differently... My mind goes outer limits wondering if he is riding off into the sunset with this new girl. And if he is happy and doing fine.. while I try to pick up the pieces of my shattered life... This need to obsess is also an incredible challenge.

I am so happy to have found this forum and thank YOU SO MUCH for responding to my post. I will definitely get that book and am going to check into a free counseling service next week. I am so tired of feeling sick and tired. And feeling the hopelessness that I seem to be drowning in. It means a lot to hear that things can get better and perhaps there really is life after a situation like this. It's hard to imagine sometimes because I just feel so, so lost. I lost all my friends over the course of the relationship and have even had a tough time making friends at Al-Anon. I feel like a walking open wound..very raw. And I know I have PTSD, too. I was NOT like this before I met my ex.

I will try to stop people from telling me things in the future. I could have stopped my babysitter, but I didn't. I kept asking her questions about it and kind of emotionally "cut" myself with the information. You know? My town is SOO small, and my ex is extremely charismatic and popular. It's really hard because everybody LOVES him, adores him, fawns all over him..and they believe the stuff that comes out of his mouth... and I am the bad guy.. UGH.

I know in my head that God is probably protecting me and my daughter from my toxic ex. But somehow, my heart and gut still ache with pain and rage. I guess it's also the disappointment that the man I fell in love with and had a few months of a wonderful life with (when he was working a program) doesn't really exist. It's been SO shocking to realize what kind of person he really is. And believe it or not, he actually did have a lot of really wonderul, beautiful qualities. Otherwise, I would not have gotten involved with him. He has an incredibly amazing side to him and he also has one of the darkest shadows that I have ever seen. I have to work hard to forgive myself for not seeing it, accepting it, and getting involved with him. I also cannot believe that his parents have turned their backs on my daughter as well.

Anyways, thank you again for your encouraging words and suggestions. And for listening to me vent! I will hold onto the hope that things will some day get better. *tears* *HUGS BACK TO YOU* ~Sasha
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Old 01-16-2011, 11:34 PM
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He's NOT clean, he just got better at hiding it. When his personality changed, that's when he relapsed.

Thanks and God bless us all,
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Old 01-16-2011, 11:46 PM
  # 6 (permalink)  
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Hmm.. I would think that might be true.. I thought the personality change was because he wasn't working a program any more and had slipped back into old behaviors (even without the drink). He certainly never smelled like booze.. Perhaps he was taking pills. I really don't know. And I guess I never will. And I guess most in recovery would tell me that is doesn't matter because it's none of my business.
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Old 01-17-2011, 12:25 AM
  # 7 (permalink)  
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Sasha, If it looks like a duck and walks like a duck, it is a duck. Chances are your AH is not only lying to you about his drinking, but to his AA group. "I heard that he got his one year chip last month so I don't think he is drinking again." He's, also, lying to himself!

Here on SR we call the lies that alcoholics tell us as "quacking"!

Please stop blaming yourself about getting involved with this alcoholic! It would be nice if all the alcoholics would walk around with a BIG red "A" stamped on their foreheads, but unfortunately, they don't. Alcoholics are like chameleons; they can change their personalities to suit their environments.

You wrote "I constantly pray that I can let this go. And accept that he has denied his little girl, but the pain continues to be intense. As does the rage." Hopefully, after you call the California Department of Child Support Services California Department of Child Support Services > Home some of your anger and pain will diminish!

Attend as many Al-Anon meetings as you, start with the counseling service, and keep posting here on SR. We're here for you! :ghug3 Give your little one a hug from me!

Just my personal opinion. Take what you like and leave the rest.

Love and Peace,

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Old 01-17-2011, 12:34 AM
  # 8 (permalink)  
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I just read your thread and I'm already praying for you.

You are going through something so difficult. How can this man, who you've stood by through hell and back just up and leave you and your daughter when he's all better now?

But I have to say...I don't think he is.
If he's at a bar, chances are, he's drinking.
Nobody would put themselves through that just to "see if they can handle it".

Even if he did it for that reason... he obviously still has alot of issues and doesn't care about himself or his sobriety to put himself in that situation.
And neither does the girl he's w/ for that matter.

I can't imagine how you must be feeling...devestated, confused, world upside down.
I pray you get over this as soon as possible and live your life w/out him.
Because as much as it hurts and as much as you feel like this...he doesn't deserve you.

I put my family through pretty much what he put you through, and my ex fiance was at the end of his rope. I'm hoping I stopped just in time, and if I did..I'm gonna count my lucky stars and do what it takes to make it up to him.

But this guy has issues.
Issues that may never get resolved if he doesn't get some sort of therapy.
Alcoholism plays a huge part in putting ones family through the ringer,
but what you're describing is character, a mans morals and sense of decency.
And it sounds like this guy has none.
Even if he is drinking again...sounds like you lost enough of yourself for this guy. Its probably best to start thinking about life w/out him.

I know its hard to hear but you trully are better off. Its hard to hear right now because thats not the kind of advice you're looking for.

You're looking for answers to your "why" or "how come".
Maybe you already know the answer (you know him best)
and its right in front of you.

Its gonna take alot to get to where you're gonna be ok, emotionally.
But its gonna be worth it in the end.

I wish you all the best...
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Old 01-17-2011, 06:49 AM
  # 9 (permalink)  
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I would say when his mood changed, that's when the alcohol started again, as others have posted. Alcohol changes a person, and he is not the same person he was when he was sober.

I know in my case, it still sends me reeling when I hear my ABF's name mentioned. I find myself wondering if he's okay, what he's up to, whether he's still mad at me, etc, etc. It's best to keep to no contact, it's there not only to protect us from the A's behavior, but also from our emotions attached to the A.

As for everyone else in town thinking he's wonderful, you may want to weigh in on this thread, you're not alone:
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Old 01-17-2011, 06:51 AM
  # 10 (permalink)  
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I am glad you found us, but very sorry for why you had to. Keep your keyboard handy and post as often as you need to, want to, or don't want to. Do as much reading as you can of other threads and the 'stickys' on this forum.

You have found a great place with lots of Experience, Strength and Hope (ES&H) from others who have been or are where you are now.

One thing I would definitely suggest for you and your little one, is get paternity established with the court and get court ordered child support from the Family Court in California. That order will help you at the 'welfare' office to get 'support' for your little one in the form of food stamps, WIC (Women, Infants and Children) medical care, and the state giving you the child support and going after him. It's called CONSEQUENCES for HIS ACTIONS.

In the meantime, please keep posting and let us know how YOU are doing as we do care so very much.

Love and hugs,
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Old 01-17-2011, 11:20 AM
  # 11 (permalink)  
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Ohh, what a blessing to wake up this morning and read all these loving and supportive posts here! Thank you so much to all of you who responded to my post. I can't tell you how much it means to know that others really "get it". It's like Al-Anon at my fingertips! Which is awesome because getting to meetings can be challenging as a single mom with a two year old!

I will keep posting here and I just called a counseling center for help. I will order Melanie Beatty's book today and do my best to hang onto the hope that things can better. That maybe one day, I will have the loving partner that I can share my life with and my daughter will have a wonderful Daddy who will stand by her as she grows.

I am so happy I found this forum. Thank you for your prayers. Thank you for your kind and loving words and wisdom.

And I am going to remind myself as much as I can that these situations are blessings because they bring me closer to God.
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Old 01-17-2011, 12:07 PM
  # 12 (permalink)  
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Single mom of a 2 year old little girl here...also ex-wife to an abusive alcoholic and drug user. In many ways, I feel your pain. In the months following the birth of my daughter, I painfully realized that my XAH wasn't at all interested in our child, unless it benefitted him somehow.

I remember once him asking me to bring DD to this bar he hung out at so he could show her to the bartender there. And I, stupidly did what he asked, so he could show off to his drinking buddies. Come to think of it, he bonked that bartender eventually.

Anyhow, I know the anger, disappointment and frustration you feel. I'm good friends with it. I used to imagine, back when I was pregnant, that my H would want to take our child out for walks, bathe her, rock her to sleep. It was very hard to let go of that fantasy and realize that DD only had me, because her father wasn't ever going to step up. These days, I do my very best to provide an awesome childhood for my daughter and I thank HP that her toxic father isn't around

I hope you can find some insight in Codependent No More; it really did help me realize the toxic pattern my life had been following for years. I also highly recommend counselling if you can find some time for it...It's really worth it to take the time out, once a week, or even once every two weeks, to work on yourself and see the path you've been on.

As for the "reason" behind this abandonment on your XAH's part...well, I'd venture to say that, alkie or not, he has a serious character defect and that your daughter is better off with you as a parent.
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Old 01-17-2011, 12:48 PM
  # 13 (permalink)  
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Welcome, and yes keep posting. You said you don’t believe he is drinking but you also mentioned he is also a drug addict. Sounds like he is using again!

How long has it been since he’s not seen his daughter and also how long since you last had contact with his parents?

What is stopping you from pursuing child support for your daughter?

Not to sound harsh but what good is YOUR obsessing doing you? If he were obsessing about you or your daughter you’d be hearing from him wouldn’t you?

It’s not really shocking to see what kind of a person he really is because that’s what addicts do. There is a stickie called “what addicts do” may be worth your reading.

Are you finding yourself wanting him back? Are you finding yourself day dreaming for the moments of “the nice caring guy”? If you are still holding on to those dreams of him changing into the person you wish he could be, then you will find yourself taking a few more laps in the cesspool misery of his addiction. He is showing you exactly who he is, how he is and what his priorities are and sadly it’s not you or your daughter.

Again I am not trying to be mean or hurtful only real. The longer “we” and I say “we” cause I’ve done it myself, hold onto dreams of what could be the longer our pain and suffering will stay with us.
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Old 01-17-2011, 12:57 PM
  # 14 (permalink)  
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Here's my thinking: It doesn't really matter whether he's drinking again or not. (See LaTeeDa's quote in my signature.) Why he's behaving in an unacceptable way doesn't really matter. When my ex does, I ask myself, "what possible explanation for his behavior is there that would make it acceptable?" -- and my answer to that question, when I'm able to be honest with myself, is always "There is none."

Sobriety and recovery, also, are not the same things. My X is sober. He's working on his recovery. Right now, he's the same angry, manipulative, hyper-sensitive, self-absorbed person he was while we were married -- he just is it sober now. Since he is involved in the care of our children, I have some reason to be aware of his recovery, as it affects the children, but to the extent it is at all possible, I've shut him and his recovery process out of my life. It's his life, his choices.

What you have to remember is that your ex's behavior in no way reflects your value, or your little girl's value. It reflects his self-obsession, his dysfunction. You have a beautiful baby girl to love and raise and enjoy. He's missing out. That's his choice. I wouldn't make that choice, but he is, and I hope you can find a way to let him go and let him make his mistakes without it affecting your balance and joy.
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Old 01-17-2011, 01:22 PM
  # 15 (permalink)  
A jug fills drop by drop
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Hi StarlightSasha
How are you doing today?

It's Melody Beatty not Melanie and I have: "The Grief club" "Codependent no more" and "The Language of Letting go" this last one is like a daily reading and is worth a lot. Her books are wonderful! I am glad you are taking steps to take care of yourself!

I work with XABF and have interacted with him often for the last 2 years, also saw him with a GF almost right away (I think it took 2 minutes) who loves the drink too. That is like the last kick in the gut but addicts are in evasion mode, of course they won't stop to learn something after a breakup. Why would they do it if they are afraid of feeling anything uncomfortable? this has nothing to do with you.

I have been upset, sad, angry and sometimes still are- but last Christmas I saw them from a distance again- and in the end I just felt GRATITUDE for no longer being around him! of course its a very long way and I am not totally there but dettachment gets easier and easier...

It sounds impossible but having to be physically "close" to him or his friends does NOT mean that you have to be emotionally attached. And when you start feeling indifference and lack of interest about his whereabouts it will be so wonderful and you'll realize how strong you are ! its a process though and I am glad you will be speaking to a counselor in real life... and yes the painful experiences in my life have brought me closer to God, to that incredible peace within... I am glad we get to be in this journey together.
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Old 01-17-2011, 01:27 PM
  # 16 (permalink)  
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Old 01-17-2011, 02:11 PM
  # 17 (permalink)  
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It sounds like he is doing a really good job of hiding his relapse from people. Actually, my experience is that the louder they boast about being sober, the less likely it is that they really are. It's amazing how many people around them are tricked by their words, but those who take a close look at their behaviors know better. His behavior is not that of a sober man.

Hugs to you. It's sad how much we hurt for our babies, huh?
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Old 01-17-2011, 04:07 PM
  # 18 (permalink)  
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hey can i add my QUACK??lol

focus on you and your daughter...and al anon...lean towards HEALTHY lifestyle...its ok..its normal to feel this....and trust me it does get EASIER
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Old 01-17-2011, 07:26 PM
  # 19 (permalink)  
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Also Single Mom here.

I think you got the best out of your ExA. Just look at your little girl. There it is right there.

One of my favorite mottos is: "Smart people utilize their resources"

I have to tell you: you are already demonstrating how smart you are. You have reached out to your available resources regarding your own recovery. I can see that you will follow through with making sure your little one is cared for in every positive way she deserves.

My former spouse walked away from me when I was 6 weeks pregnant to be with another woman, with whom he'd been having an affair. Although my former spouse is not an alcoholic, it was quite a time in learning how to be a single mom and how to achieve all the benefits my child deserved. I met my now R?ABF at about the same time (although we did not start a relationship until 2 years later), and that is the 'father' my child has always known. Good guy. Bad illness. This illness progressed until it was clear R?ABF needed to be away from my child. That's where we are right now, 11 years later.

Stay strong. Your daughter will learn a lot from your strength and perserverance.
skippernlilg is offline  
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StarlightSasha (01-17-2011)
Old 01-17-2011, 07:38 PM
  # 20 (permalink)  
To thine own self be true.
Join Date: May 2009
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Sounds like a relapse to me.
I believe you are due some child support.
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