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For me... Progress

Old 04-21-2011, 07:36 AM
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For me... Progress

Remembering we are all at different stages in the process and that this might not be huge for some, it is for me... It's long-- sorry!

Last night AH was to stay home with D5 and D3 bc I was going to al anon. As I was leaving he made several snide remarks. In the past I would have cried, yelled, pleaded, demanded an apology etc... Last night, while I did not leave instantly I DID stand up for myself and very calmly said "mocking me is unacceptable." When he started quacking I repeated that mocking me was out of line and that I was leaving and walked away. Many more comments were made and I left without a word. Had a great meeting & thought about my own actions and when I got home AH asked me to come see him. I walked into the living room, he was glassy eyed and clearly had been drinking. He didn't have anything to say (but had called me in) so I sat for a minute thinking. Then I told him that I recognized that my responding before I left, even if I didn't like what he said, was my own choice and that if I'd created additional drama by responding I took responsibility for that bc what I need to do is deal with how I feel and not talk "at" him about it. So essentially I said sorry for taking the bait bc as much as I didn't like his mocking, I chose to engage and added fuel to the fire.

I said nothing about his drinking and went to bed. 5 min later he was upstairs hemming and hawing and brings up the court date that is approaching and tells me "I'm angry that you've put me at risk through no fault of my own" (I called the police after he assaulted me) and added "there's a lot of things I am unable to be honest with you or anyone about right now bc I can't predict what you will say in court" (aka- if I am honest you might tell the court the truth and since I want you to lie I'll justify lying to you to keep you in the dark)...

In the past I would have LOST IT and been on the fast track to crazy town with this kind of quacking. Last night I simply said "your choice to drink while on bail conditions is on you and whether that comes out in court or not is not my issue". He wanted to go round and round and talked himself into a frenzy for a bit about how the issue wasn't his drinking, his lying, his getting arrested and the bail order but the fact that I might tell the court he's been drinking while on bail conditions that say he can't. THAT is what he's obsessed about. Not his drinking and his own behavior.

I didn't respond to 99% of what he said but did a few times say "no that is not what occured but if telling yourself that is working for you, please continue".

At 10 pm he decided he "needed" to run to work. I went to put laundry in the dryer and on the basement steps were 2 empty beer cans. Can you say bait?

When he got home he came to find me again and lurked around. I did say "I saw the beer cans" and I told him that I wasn't going to flip out as I have in the past and I said that I was concerned that even with a trial looming, he's still acting like he's the one in control and doing things he knows are going to harm him. I am sure I could have said none of this but I said it calmly and he stood there and didn't seem bothered and kept nodding. He started to tell me stories about where they came from and I asked him to stop. I said I didn't want to hear it bc the only person he was fooling was himself with the tales he was weaving. So then I got more of "I have to lie bc I don't know what you might tell the court..." I didn't get upset-- I just said "that's pretty twisted logic and you're smart and know that already". He wanted me to promise I wouldn't tell the court the truth and I told him I couldn't do that. He told me that I'd be responsible for his job loss if he was convicted, the girls financial future etc... I said I was sorry he felt that way and I understood he was freaked out but that the only one in control of what happens in court is him and what will happen will be based on his choices and actions over the past few months. All he said was that it was a mistake to leave the beer cans around where I could see them-- NOT that it was a mistake to drink-- nope, a mistake for me to know about it!

This morning, I go to the barn attached to our house to get a quilt from an antique trunk that I told a woman I work with I'd bring in. Haven't looked in that trunk for years. In it I find empty bottles, beer cans and full beer cans in a bag with a receipt for this past weekend.

I called AH as I drove to work, told him "I found things in the barn. I am not angry. But I can't live with active addiction. I can't be healthy and do what I need to do for me and the girls living together. It's not about you. It's me. I do love you but I hate your addiction and I'm unable to separate the two and that's my issue. This is not what I want to do but it is what I need to do. This hurts and I am sad but it's the only option left for me."

He emailed me a bit ago and told me that he understood I wanted to leave bc I haven't been happy living in the town/state we are in and want what a bigger city has to offer. He said that he feels he's made progress (but also said he is disgusted with himself) but that I want perfection and he can't promise me that. It was all quacking and hopefully it makes him feel better.

I don't feel the need to defend myself to him, explain anymore why I am leaving, try to help him get help etc... I simply said (on the phone as I drove to work) that I can only help myself and change/fix/control me and that's what I am doing.

I called my HR office to get a referral for a family law attorney since the one I have been talking to is a criminal lawyer (who my mil hired on my behalf to help fight AH's assault charge-- insanity) and I need a family lawyer.

I am trying to take this one moment at a time. Call placed to get a referral, told AH my mind is made up. Not sure what tomorrow will bring but for now I'm okay...

I guess I have HP to thank that I went to al anon and had a great meeting and that I went looking for that quilt this morning bc that tipped the scales and helped me see that nothing at all is changing and I don't want to look back at life and have my gravestone read "she was waiting for things to get better tomorrow and did a great job of waiting". I have missed out on a lot of life bc of worry and waiting and hoping. I'm sad and this really sucks and it is really real this time, but I'll be happy down the road that I made this choice now rather than waiting any longer.
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Old 04-21-2011, 07:48 AM
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Originally Posted by wanttobehealthy View Post
I called AH as I drove to work, told him "I found things in the barn. I am not angry. But I can't live with active addiction. I can't be healthy and do what I need to do for me and the girls living together. It's not about you. It's me. I do love you but I hate your addiction and I'm unable to separate the two and that's my issue. This is not what I want to do but it is what I need to do. This hurts and I am sad but it's the only option left for me."

He emailed me a bit ago and told me that he understood I wanted to leave bc I haven't been happy living in the town/state we are in and want what a bigger city has to offer. He said that he feels he's made progress (but also said he is disgusted with himself) but that I want perfection and he can't promise me that. It was all quacking and hopefully it makes him feel better.
Wow - that is progress! I hope that you find some pride in yourself although I know this is very, very sad for you right now. I love what you wrote above. I know he is disgusted with himself - I know my RAH has felt the same way...he has shared this with me on one rare occasion of honesty. Keep that tucked somewhere in your heart...it helps when it comes time to let go of resentments and develop some compassion (I am still working on that one!)

It is your choice. I finally owned that myself and I actually think it made the RAH feel a little better, and it made me feel far more confident and powerful over my life. He didn't force me out of the house. I decided I needed it for me and my kids to have some normalcy. Life with an alcoholic does not foster normalcy.

Stay strong! Way to go!
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Old 04-21-2011, 08:00 AM
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AH has been "honest" a lot and says and has written for years these overwhelmingly self aware letters and I think "wow, to see all of that he has to be headed toward taking that knowledge and applying it" and then the action part never happens and it hurts more than before bc I've been given false hope.

For ex/ a few months ago I get a letter outlining all the ways in which his FOO "taught" him screwed up ways to view the world. In it he outlines the rationalizations he uses to justify lying, projecting, being emotionally distant etc... He sees it all and he outlined it in painstaking detail and swore on our daughters lives he was changing that day and never looking back. And then of course once the words were out that was the end of it. I guess thinking it, seeing it, talking about it is as good as action.

Sometimes I've wished he didn't ever have moments of being who I married- I wish he was the a$$ all the time bc those moments and letters and words that show he really really does somewhere in him "get it" makes his actions so much more hurtful.
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Old 04-21-2011, 08:02 AM
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Progress feels good, doesn't it.
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Old 04-21-2011, 08:08 AM
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Try to look at it this way. You know he has the intellect and ability to view his behavior as inappropriate at the least, cruel at best. What he is missing is the control to overcome the compulsion to drink. He is addicted. My boss once told me, "Alcohol has the power to bring even the strongest and smartest man to his knees"

Giving your AH the space and time to find his own way is a great gift to him. Hopefully he will be able to move forward to the life he obviously wants to lead but can't do it just yet.

You don't have to give up hope, or give up on him, by leaving the marriage/relationship/home. That is also your choice. That's the detaching with love concept. I still love my RAH very much. I don't like him right now - as he struggles through early recovery. I don't like his quacking, and I have lots of resentments and hurt feelings to deal with. But I still love him and pray he finds his way.

This sucks, I know. I am right there with you. It sucks in so many ways, but let me also just say that by living my own life, I am far happier and far less stressed than I was 4 months ago when I drove away with my kids and my dogs and our suitcases. It does get better, one day at a time.
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Old 04-21-2011, 08:18 AM
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Hi WTBH....I wanted to pop in to say "wow". Just wow. You ARE making stupendous progress, seeing through the quacking and attempts at manipulation, and STILL keeping a straight head in the midst of a highly emotional situation. Good for you!
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Old 04-21-2011, 08:28 AM
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wanttobehealthy you will be OK... you are right, its not fair to us to wait and wait..for something that may not even happen at ALL. I see this now 2 years later after leaving an early alkie, nothing at all has changed, nothing. I would have lost 2 more years of my own life.

Keep moving forward! it gets much better.. it really does!
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Old 04-21-2011, 08:41 AM
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You did fabulous!!!! You can be very proud. Moving forward, one step at a time.

You were meant to go in that trunk, that was your HP helping you to know the path to take at this time.

Thank you for sharing. Stay strong, you are gonna be fine.
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Old 04-21-2011, 08:49 AM
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Reading all of this is just so horribly sad. Sad what addiction causes, who it hurts, and what it destroys. The quote " "Alcohol has the power to bring even the strongest and smartest man to his knees" is such a perfect statement. As hurt as I am and as resentful as I am, under it all I feel a lot of compassion for my AH. He looked me in the eye a few months ago said to me " you know I want to not drink". 2 months ago, not fully getting the big picture of what being an addict is,(still not sure I do) I simply looked at him and told him "you know I find that really hard to believe". For those of us who are not addicts it just seems so easy... if we know something is destroying us we just don't do it. End of the story. (WOW light bulb as I was typing this... his addiction is destroying ME and I don't just walk away... CODIE.... BUT unlike him I am doing EVERYthing I can to untwist myself from it). When an intelligent person, who has a full and wonderful life can continue to destroy it even when they know the cause speaks volumes to me on how sick they are. I think this will really help me when I reach the point of letting go of my anger and to forgive. I'm afraid of letting go of the anger and hurt now because it is what keeps me focused. Right now I am not healthy enough to let it go and forgive, because if I do I think I would be sucked right back into the dance.

WTBH the conversations you shared here really gets to the heart of it all. We want to give them the words we think they need to hear, but when we really look at what is being said by the A his world evolves around protecting himself, not taking responsibility for his actions and most of all never really seeing how much harm it is doing to those around him. It doesn't matter what we say, the words will never be the right words, there is no such thing. It just makes me want to scream! You are a strong women and your HP is giving you want you need to make good decisions for yourself. You are well on your road to recovery.
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Old 04-21-2011, 10:59 AM
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OMFG... Just STUPIDLY opened email from MIL. Read first line- hit delete (though it's not able to be permanently removed fortunately bc that is going STRAIGHT to the lawyer)...

"You are causing irreperable harm to AH and his children. You are never going to steal his children away from him. Over my dead body".

#1. Me leaving AH is not "stealing" "his" children.
#2. Far as I recall I gave birth to them (if not then someone explain why I pee when I laugh too hard-- thought that was courtesy of my 2 kids!) so I am pretty sure they are OUR kids
#3. This sure reads like a threat to me.

Keep it up insane in laws. You are building my case for me!
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Old 04-21-2011, 11:07 AM
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You're right on the money WTBH. Keep a cool head, and remember that she's his back-up enabler once you're gone, so he's probably riled her up with tales of how horrid you are. You're in that "wait and see" period where you need to resolutely stay your course and gather evidence as your STBX and his enablers shoot themselves in the foot.
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Old 04-21-2011, 11:22 AM
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OMG...now your MIL is quacking...bottomless threats meant to intimidate you...jeeze what a crazy train, huh?!

Ignore, ignore, ignore...

forward to your attorney...

block her emails...

And press on! Don't let her derail your progress!

OMG crazy MIL's...can't stand 'em...
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Old 04-21-2011, 11:29 AM
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Wow - all of that is huge! Good for you for being so calm and knowing what's right for you. And thank you for posting here.... I used the words from the longer posts to rephrase my own dramatic responses to my ABF so that I'm less a drama queen and more a sensible woman.

Keep breathing. This is the time to really take good care of yourself and the kids.

- Sylvie
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Old 04-21-2011, 01:34 PM
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Just a quick note, I'm so proud of you for getting off the merry go round! And well done not bothering to read the email too, let that crazy kook think what she wants, you know your motives for leaving are pure and your chances for getting it done better than great. Keep saving that stuff!

On a side note, isn't it funny the response we get from them when we apologize for our behavior? You had mentioned in your first post about it, I remember how it felt the first time I did it with my ex, I felt so much better, because no matter what he thought, my side of the street was now clean. It's a great feeling.
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Old 04-21-2011, 01:44 PM
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I'm sure it is REALLY REALLY hard not to throw a fit worthy email back at MIL and spew your side of the story.. and I'm proud of you for not doing it.. cuz I sure want to for you!

Don't engage. Don't engage. Don't engage.

Thank goodness your kiddos weren't harmed while he was apparently 'watching' them, drunk. Thank goodness you have been given the gift to see what the reality of the situation is.
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Old 04-21-2011, 02:29 PM
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You go girl!!! I see you sitting and smiling on that train ride out of CRAZYLAND and you beautiful girls will have a better life for it.
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Old 04-21-2011, 04:20 PM
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Now you know where AH got his need for drama, threats, lies, words with no actual meaning...
Good for you for staying calm..
The only way to win is NOT TO PLAY.

The other day I was trying not to engage with something and I thought "I'll just be who I am, someone elegant, stylish, respectful, able to see reality, someone free and independent.." and well kind of brainwashed myself NOT to play...

I remembered I am not someone who likes to insult or to "compete" and that I don't need to convince anyone or demonstrate anything to anyone. These thoughts are very freeing. The fact others are insulting, competing, lying, or saying downright stupid stuff does not mean I have to become them.

I am Tc999 no longer a chameleon these chameleons are a good reminder for me not to be codependent and not to steal their role!! they already do their "blending with the context" very well!! LOL
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Old 04-21-2011, 04:51 PM
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Thank you all so much.... I might have caved this afternoon walking into this house (he's not here) bc of all that it represents for me and all that it now won't be...

Your posts of encouragement are carrying me forward (along with my own will!).

I grew up in a very religious home (dad was a catholic priest before my mother "stole" him from the priesthood-- the stole is a joke though that's what my grandmother always said). But bc what went on in our family home matched NONE of what my parents preached I've struggled with religion, belief, HP stuff etc...

That being said-- it has not been lost on me today (or in the past week) that Easter is approaching-- a time of rebirth, renewal, second chances at life.... I don't think it's a mere coincidence that I am finally seeing things as they are instead of as I want them to be at this season of rebirth. It's given me pause to think about the fact that clearly there is some kind of HP at work here and I'm just, well, stopping to acknowledge that and be grateful for it... Not a coincidence right?!

Really, thank you all from the bottom of my heart for all the support these past few weeks. This board truly has done more for me than a year of al anon and therapy have... Both al anon and therapy are great- don't get me wrong-- but you all have been amazing!
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