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feeling sad

Old 04-30-2011, 10:47 AM
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feeling sad

I just found a letter from about 5 yrs ago from AH quite by accident and it opened my eyes to a lot that I've either denied or been blind to or both and I just feel really really sad at the moment....

I was cleaning out my attic and found a box of cards, momentos etc... from D5's 1st year of life. I brought it down and "rewarded" myself for all the organizing I did today by sitting and reading through it.

In it I found a few cards/letters from AH that he must have given me that yr as well and that made it into the box.

I read one, just one, letter and I'm embarrassed to admit (but am doing so in hopes it takes away some of the power I am letting this have over me) that I sat here and had a good cry for a bit after doing so.

The letter, from 2005 or early 2006 is all about some event (I don't remember the details) during which he got very drunk, embarrassed me, himself, my family and he's apologetic and talking about how he knows he needs to drink more moderately and how he doesn't want to become his father and how he will never do this again. He tells me that he hates seeing how detached (actually used that word) I appear and that I look at our D as if it's just she and I.

WHY DIDN'T I SEE THE SIGNS THEN AND GET THE HELL OUT OF DODGE??!??!?!?!

Clearly HE saw the signs. I'd like to say I was in denial but I think I was just totally unaware of what alcoholism looked like and chalked it up to a random getting a bit too drunk episode.

His letter is so apologetic and ashamed and talks about how he doesn't expect me to forgive and will I please give him another chance and that this will be the last time he ever does whatever it is he did.

It's sad that these episodes (he got drunk and acted like a fool and embarrassed himself and me) happened so many more times over the past 4-5 yrs that I don't have a clue what this specific incident involved. And it really doesn't matter I guess.

I would not trade having D3 and D5 for anything in the world and if I'd left when D5 was a baby I would not have D3. But knowing what I know now and reading that letter-- wow-- I wish I'd known about al anon back then and wish I'd made very different choices.

It's just a real wake up call to see that this cycle has been going on for years and years. Sometimes, even now, I try and tell myself it's been bad only for the past year or so... But that's a lie. I've been aware and not in denial about how bad it's been for the past yr. but clearly it's been bad for a long time.

I threw away the rest of the letters/cards from him without looking at them. I probably should have done that with this one too-- lesson learned.

I feel a combination of both of these emoticons below (the annoyed one is toward myself fyi!)
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Old 04-30-2011, 11:01 AM
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Good for you, for throwing away the rest of the cards!

I have had moments of weakness when I go back and look at my IMs and emails w my ex. OMG. So many times, did he say, I understand why you have a problem wiht my drinking. I need to get more healthy bla bla

and then all the quacking about the excuses.. I hate where I live. I'm bummed about this. I'm bummed about that. always excuses to drink.

Then there's MY part...CONSTANTLY telling him, I can tolerate the drinking anymore. I can't tolerate the drinking. FROM THE BEGINNING. But I kept tolerating the drinking!!!! For 3.5 yrs, off and on! What was wrong with ME?

I'm only looking at this stuff now because I'm working on writing a novel about the relationship, so I'm using a lot of it. We talked over IM constantly, so it's funny that I have a record of all of this cr*p.

I imagine that at some point after everything is all documented, I will DELETE DELETE DELETE. Every email between us, every IM...I will PURGE it. Right now I'm feeling like I just want to write it all down because I feel like I need others to understand what I did--maybe as a cautionary tale.

But there's a growing sense in the back of my mind that I need to purge myself of him and everything related to him. I'm just not ready to do it quite yet.

Originally Posted by wanttobehealthy View Post
I just found a letter from about 5 yrs ago from AH quite by accident and it opened my eyes to a lot that I've either denied or been blind to or both and I just feel really really sad at the moment....

I was cleaning out my attic and found a box of cards, momentos etc... from D5's 1st year of life. I brought it down and "rewarded" myself for all the organizing I did today by sitting and reading through it.

In it I found a few cards/letters from AH that he must have given me that yr as well and that made it into the box.

I read one, just one, letter and I'm embarrassed to admit (but am doing so in hopes it takes away some of the power I am letting this have over me) that I sat here and had a good cry for a bit after doing so.

The letter, from 2005 or early 2006 is all about some event (I don't remember the details) during which he got very drunk, embarrassed me, himself, my family and he's apologetic and talking about how he knows he needs to drink more moderately and how he doesn't want to become his father and how he will never do this again. He tells me that he hates seeing how detached (actually used that word) I appear and that I look at our D as if it's just she and I.

WHY DIDN'T I SEE THE SIGNS THEN AND GET THE HELL OUT OF DODGE??!??!?!?!

Clearly HE saw the signs. I'd like to say I was in denial but I think I was just totally unaware of what alcoholism looked like and chalked it up to a random getting a bit too drunk episode.

His letter is so apologetic and ashamed and talks about how he doesn't expect me to forgive and will I please give him another chance and that this will be the last time he ever does whatever it is he did.

It's sad that these episodes (he got drunk and acted like a fool and embarrassed himself and me) happened so many more times over the past 4-5 yrs that I don't have a clue what this specific incident involved. And it really doesn't matter I guess.

I would not trade having D3 and D5 for anything in the world and if I'd left when D5 was a baby I would not have D3. But knowing what I know now and reading that letter-- wow-- I wish I'd known about al anon back then and wish I'd made very different choices.

It's just a real wake up call to see that this cycle has been going on for years and years. Sometimes, even now, I try and tell myself it's been bad only for the past year or so... But that's a lie. I've been aware and not in denial about how bad it's been for the past yr. but clearly it's been bad for a long time.

I threw away the rest of the letters/cards from him without looking at them. I probably should have done that with this one too-- lesson learned.

I feel a combination of both of these emoticons below (the annoyed one is toward myself fyi!)
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Old 04-30-2011, 11:07 AM
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Oh I am sure there are still plenty more cards and letters around-- I just tossed the ones that were in that box! I am a packrat (especially with my kids stuff and sentimental stuff) so I don't want to mistakenly mislead and make it sound like I purged everything. Definitely not there yet.

I just really find it astounding that I could have read this letter 5 yrs ago and NOT seen that he was an alcoholic back then. Sometimes I think I must have grown up under a rock given how naive/oblivious I was for a long time to a lot of things.
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Old 04-30-2011, 12:01 PM
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Don't beat yourself up over this, it won't help anything. I found a journal, from 6 years ago, a few months back and started reading my daily entries. That's about the time our (alcoholic) friend came into our lives and it hit me like a ton of bricks. Absolutely NOTHING has changed, nothing. He's still lying, manipulating, working the system to make it work for him. I was blown away. I have been putting up with the same old bs that I was putting up with then and what made me think things were different? How could all that time gone by where I thought things were so different and he was "better"? Denial? Was I too close to the situation? Perhaps just didn't want to see it.

You aren't going to help yourself by beating yourself up, you need to be gentle on yourself. Take it for what it is, really see it for what it is and as with anything, try to learn from it. Use it as a tool to grow and learn and don't forget what you've learned. I've started journaling again and wrote down my feelings, so I could go back and re-read when I begin to "forget" again. Every little "ah-ha" moment will get you closer to the moment when you are ready to move on, if that's what you want/need.
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Old 04-30-2011, 03:40 PM
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The time I spent not having a "clean" life is probably one of my greatest regrets. By clean I mean not cluttered with his issues that affected me.

I just showed our little cottage apartment to a prospective tenant. I told her that my H and I lived there while the big house was being remodeled. It reminded me of that summer. We had a 1 year-old (who is now turning 10) and I was pregnant. The night before his birthday party, a big party in the yard - 75 people, my family in from out of town, H stayed out late at a bar with a friend. I woke at 3 a.m. feeling my bed shaking. He was sitting on the ground where he had crawled in, propped himself up against the bed and was hiccuping/vomiting on the rug of the one-room apartment we lived in with our baby, who crawled around on that floor.

A month later I was in that apartment by myself after having driven 3 hours in the middle of the night (can you say drama?) to get home after we were out of town with friends and instead of going back to the hotel with me and our baby, he went out with friends and got drunk and stoned and forgot that he had said he would call and we'd go to dinner.

I had 2 more children with him. Because it wasn't every night. I wish I had realized that the unacceptable is unacceptable and not dragged us all through the mud for so long.

On the other hand, it's my house now. My kids are happy, serene, pleasant, untormented. There are worse things than being from a divorced home.

But yeah, the years of anguish? Why did I think that was ok?
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Old 04-30-2011, 04:07 PM
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Hugs to you WTBH. I hope that cry was nice and cleansing for you. Sometimes we just need to cry and that is okay. I'm sure your AH knew long before you did that he had an issue. He knew what he was doing and how much he was drinking. You only got to see the fall out from it off and on. I know for me I had a hard time knowing if my AH's attitude issues and self centeredness were because of drinking or just simply because he was asking like a jerk. Hey we all make mistakes and get into bad moods. I sure am not perfect and I have been told all my life that my expectations were too high, so I chalked a lot of it up to him being human and me being unrealistic. My parents marriage was crap too so it wasn't like I could look there for what was normal.

Alcoholism is sneaky. For many it slowly creeps up on us. The A is so good at manipulation (ie the letter you read is a perfect example of that), doing and saying whatever it is that will keep us engaged and willing to keep working on it all. Then we added children to the mix and we get really busy ... we start denying it is as bad as it is. We get controlling and we are told we are nagging, blame is thrown on us and since we are not perfect it feels believable. BUT after years of the dance and watching it get worse and worse over time we finally reach the point of feeling like we are going insane and our relationship feels out of control. We finally reach out for more help since everything we have tried has failed. Thank GOD for alanon and those who have gone before us to help us see the light and give us the tools we need to get back to peace.

I for one am so looking forward to finding that peace. It is not here yet, but I know one day it will be mine. One day it will be yours too. I think even when we find peace of mind there will always be a part of us saddened by all that we lost.
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Old 05-01-2011, 05:53 PM
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Sometimes it's good, to go back and see that nothing has changed, that the fantasy we sold ourselves never existed.
It hurts at first, but it also helps build our resolve, and validate our current feelings now.
I still run into little reminders, sometimes. I have been getting rid of them as I no longer need them, but I did have his "Please Make Bed" note sitting on my dining room table for the longest time. (His version of "helping" me around the house, one day he took off work to write notes abut all the things I should do around the apartment - "Please do laundry" "Please clean floor" "Please vacuum" "Please check for expired vegetables" - and considered himself done. Notice how he took the day off to label everything, but expected me to do all of it after work when I got home for those two hours before bed that night.)
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Old 05-02-2011, 12:44 PM
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Hugs, WTBH. As I decided to file for divorce, I came across an old journal of mine. I'd stopped writing in it because I suspected XAH of reading it (turned out to be an accurate assumption). But I found it last year and sat down to read it one day and was ASTOUNDED by what I had written in there. Details of XAH's drinking and abuse from before we were married, but were living together, that I had completely forgotten. Like being home alone on Christmas Eve because he was out drinking, making excuses to my Mom and her boyfriend for XAH no-showing for dinner....

I don't think I've cried harder in my life than that day when I realized that it had been going on for so much longer than I realized. That had I simply seen the red flags back then....

Good for you for tossing the letters! I sorry that reading the one letter you did read caused so much pain, but IMHO, it also let you see how strong you are for having made it through so much more than you knew.
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Old 05-02-2011, 10:12 PM
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I have mentioned on here finding an old message board post of mine, from 2002(pregnant with middle son) talking about AH's weekend binging. That was right before he did a year tour in S.Korea(left when middle was 5 months old) where he would often call me drunk. there are many times I wish I had just been the cold heartless b**** of a wife that he said I was, and sent him divorce papers while he was over there. But, I didn't. Instead I have nearly 10 more years of journal(online, private only) postings, that all recount the downward spiral he's been on since 2001-2002.

I did though, when cleaning out the attic, find a card he had done up on our first computer, very early marriage. it did make me cry. That's who I want back, but I know he's gone.
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Old 05-02-2011, 10:22 PM
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Sometimes it's good, to go back and see that nothing has changed, that the fantasy we sold ourselves never existed.
It hurts at first, but it also helps build our resolve, and validate our current feelings now.
That is exactly what I was thinking. I have 20 years' worth of sporadic journals, and when I go back and read them, what strikes me is that all of them are about his drinking. Every single entry.
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