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Old 01-22-2011, 01:22 AM
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My story

Once upon a time I had a best friend. She was my other half, the yin to my yang. In perfect harmony we gave life to a beautiful child and all was perfect. Cookie cutter American dream. A young family, first house, decent job and even a dog. Life was just fine, at least on the surface. One thing is for sure, being responsible for a child won't make everyone grow up.

It might not be as common to see a new mother fall but I have. For five years I've had a foreboding sense that she might not get it. All along I tried to be nurturing, protecting, loving. Don't get me wrong, I'm definitely not perfect. Never was it supposed to be enabling though. What started out as a once in a great while blackout became monthly, then bi-monthly. I began to notice a pattern in the cycle. If I could only not do "this" or say "that" maybe it wouldn't happen tonight. Too often I looked for a reason on my end to fix the problem only to realize later that it didn't matter what I did. The hard part was that these episodes usually got violent. "I can take it" I thought. "When she realizes what happened tomorrow she will never do it again. Besides our daughter is asleep so she won't even remember her mommy acting like this." A sick justification but I'm a man, if it's broken I'm inclined to try and fix it.

Somehow tomorrows apologies became forgotten by the next weekend. Wash, rinse, repeat. I was spending more time covering for her mistakes than I was having fun. Part of me knew that I shouldn't have to live like this but I loved her too much to let "us" down. Oh how I tried to break the cycle. It never worked though. Once a week slowly became all weekend, which in turn became the majority of the week. My reprieve was Sunday's but only if I made sure she didn't get the chance to go to the liquor store on saturday night. It became very toxic. The verbal and physical attacks happened regularly and our daughter was starting to notice.

Around the time our daughter started kindergarten things really started to fall apart. My new job required me to work odd hours (hence this late night post) so I wasn't around to "help" her be accountable at night. The little one began telling me about her mom acting funny when I'm not around. Alcohol was beginning to affect her life as well. I would get home from work at 7pm, she would already be asleep and my wife was either passed out or staggering around trying to be "creative". Any attempt at talking about it was shot down or diverted to all the things I do wrong. I felt helpless to it. One night after an argument she attacked me right in front of our child. I finally reached my breaking point.

For the first time in our marriage I did what I should have done about this behavior, I took a stand. I called the police and decided right then and there to remove our daughter from that situation. It was one of the hardest things I've had to do. I was so caught up in being her protector that I felt like I was betraying myself as well as her. Talk about twisted. I have since filed an order for protection and was subsequently served with divorce papers (a knee jerk reaction on her part). The funny thing is, as much as it hurts to lose my wife right now, things are much calmer. Clarity is returning to our environment and we are no longer walking on eggshells. It's not easy but it could be a lot worse. I still miss my friend though. Sorry for the long read, I just felt like sharing.
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Old 01-22-2011, 03:11 AM
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I'm so glad you shared. You beautifully expressed the tragedy of what alcohol can do to a person and a family. I wish you much peace!
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Old 01-22-2011, 04:11 AM
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Thanks for the late night read.

And for putting your daughter first.
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Old 01-22-2011, 04:47 AM
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Thank you for sharing your story. We have another father here who has a very similar situation; I'm sure he will be along.

Your decision to remove your daughter from an extremely harmful environment at a young age will have profound ramifications to the rest of her life: the way she sees men, what she will accept in her surroundings, what she thinks she is worthy of in a life.

You have given her a chance to VALUE HERSELF and not just be a pawn tossed in the wind of the storm of addiction.

Welcome!

CLMI
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Old 01-22-2011, 05:00 AM
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I'm so sorry for your loss As the alcoholic (recovering) mother of an almost K age child it really hits home. You did the right thing.
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Old 01-22-2011, 09:46 AM
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Sorry you are all going through this--and I mean all of you, including your wife.

Regardless what happens with your marriage, she will continue to be your daughter's mom and you will, therefore, have to continue contact of some sort for at least the next thirteen years or so. You can't control her alcoholism (as you have learned), but your daughter will need sanity and stability in her life.

I strongly recommend Al-Anon to help you with learning to live with (not physically live with, but co-exist with) the alcoholic who will remain in your life for the foreseeable future.

Sounds like she is not ready to quit drinking YET, but there is always hope.

Glad you are here with us--there is a lot of wisdom around these forums.
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Old 01-22-2011, 11:44 AM
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Thank you for sharing. Its a horrible situation for you to be in.

My daughter was nearly 3 when I removed her from my situation. It was funny because she was the reason I stayed for as long as I did. And then the realization that she was actually the reason I should leave hit me like a slap in the face!!

I wish you and your child peace and happiness and hope that your wife will find recovery soon.
YOU DID THE RIGHT THING!!!
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Old 01-22-2011, 01:50 PM
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It's a terribly hard situation to be in, and you are not only a resilient, but a good father, for removing yourself and your child from that situation.

Take care of yourselves. (((hugs)))
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Old 01-22-2011, 08:09 PM
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Thanks for all the kind words and replies. It's nice to be able to vent that out. After about a month of not being involved in her craziness, I'm finally starting to decompress from the toxicity that was in our home. Not having to worry about our daughters safety is huge. Hopefully my wife will start to realize that she can't spin her way out of this one, but I'm not counting on it. At this point I've made peace with the fact that I have no control over her choices. I just hope she wakes up someday soon and makes the right move for once. When we were at court a few weeks ago, her lawyer convinced her to start a 30 day outpatient program. Once we got in front of a judge and she made that intention clear I was hopeful that she was getting it. Then the words "I will do anything for my daughter" came out of her mouth...it's a nice sentiment but the judge had to remind her that she's going to be doing it for herself, not anyone else. I don't know if she has started yet or not and honestly I'm not sure how much I care right now. She's going to have to prove it with her actions as far as I'm concerned because I fell for her words too many times in the past.
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Old 01-22-2011, 09:14 PM
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Thanks for sharing your story. The "wash, rinse repeat" hit home. Ive been doing the same.
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Old 01-22-2011, 09:28 PM
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sounds familiar. Wish I could have been that strong. I always caved in and let her back. Be strong for your daughter. You will both be better off. Bravo.
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Old 01-22-2011, 09:32 PM
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There is a phrase along the lines "you'll know the tree by its fruit" ... one of the things that help me get my sanity back is trying to breathe deeply into the present moment. Trying to guess what will happen in the future, or even today in the afternoon, sometimes is just too much.

Thank you for protecting your kid and for sharing your story. Stay strong. Let us know how you are doing.
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Old 01-22-2011, 10:33 PM
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You have to protect the little one. Mom will either get it or not. She may not be finished with her drinking life or she may be. Time will tell. Lots of drama but the world still turns. You did right.
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Old 01-23-2011, 02:17 AM
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Wow, your post really hit home.
My situation was almost your story verbatim.

I was your wife.

We weren't married but had been together for almost 7 yrs, engaged and living together w/ our 2 kids. My son (from a previous relationship) and our daughter.

I'm not gonna go into detail the hell I put my family through (by reading your post, you know ) but like your wife, I was the reason for my family's unhappiness.

You couldn't have described it better. "Wash, rinse, cycle"
And that's what it was...a vicious cycle.
Trying to convince him that I was done w/ alcohol and that I was so sorry for the mess I had caused was just plain mean on my part.
Deep down, I knew I wasn't done.

He'd plead w/ me to stop. For us, for the kids, for me. He'd write me letters and I'd find 'em when I'd wake up and cry my eyes out. I wanted so bad to not be this person, but I wasn't ready to stop. I didn't want to stop.

Its a horrible feeling hating something so much, knowing its destroying you and your family, yet still wanting it.
Its a constant battle w/in yourself. Until you hit your "enough is enough" point, and realize that you can no longer live like this or want to.
Unfortunately, its happens at different times for everybody. Everybody has their bottom but nobody, including the alcoholic, knows what it is.

My bottom was realizing that there was no more fight (for lack of) in my fiance anymore. No more anger, disappointment, just empty feelings.
He was tired and done.
And I knew if I wasn't sober by the time the seperation process started, My kids and I were gonna be in serious danger.
I knew I was gonna drink beyond any amount I had in the past. I knew I'd get worse and there would be nobody physically there to make sure the kids were ok. It literally scared me straight. My kids had gone through so much seeing their mom drunk and passed out but (and it was my alcoholic reasoning) in the back of my head..he was always coming home and make it all better for them. He'd play, read, and do everything I couldn't w/ them. To me (alcoholic) that normalcy was enough for them.

That was 80 days ago and still going strong and plan to for the rest of my life.

I'm so ashamed and unbelievably beyond words sorry for putting my family through that.
I saw the hurt, devestation, anger, humiliation then finally disgust in his eyes. So I know a little about what you're going through and for that...I'm sorry.

Its great that you got your daughter out of that situation. I dont remember who posted it earlier, but you are showing your daughter how much you love her and what lengths you would go to to protect her. Your laying the foundation for her self-esteem, confidence and how she'll value herself in the future. Alot of fathers out there dont realize that they are the most important person in their daughters lives. They are the first and most important example of a man a girl knows.
You've been surrounded by chaos and on an emotional rollercoaster for a long time. I'm sad to see your wife still hasn't hit her bottom yet and that you'll be going through a divorce, but glad you and your daughter are no longer living in the nightmare.
I wish you and your daughter much happiness and hope your wife finds hers soon.

Take care...Fabi
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