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New here, so angry and hurt

Old 05-23-2013, 07:26 AM
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New here, so angry and hurt

Hi everyone
I'm new here, altho I've been reading and lurking for a bit. Finally have the courage to post!

I've been married to my DH for 17.5 years, we have a 14 year old daughter and a 10 month old baby boy

DH has been drinking for the past 10 years, gradually increasing until almost continuously the past two years. He would drink 26 oz of rum a night, almost straight, all alone in the basement. He would only come upstairs to throw things and rage at me about various things, including what a horrible cold frigid wife I was and how he was calling a lawyer for a divorce the minute the sun rose the next day. The next day he would say "oh it was just the alcohol talking" and be upset at me if I took him seriously. My self esteem, needless to say, has suffered a huge hit.

He took his last drink on April 30. He has been attending AA as he feels he needs it (a couple times a week), has a sponsor (that he has not been able to contact lately) and sees an addiction counsellor once every two weeks. He's going thru withdrawal and cravings but he says he's getting better and that he's determined to not drink again. His temper has subsided greatly and his patience is increasing.

That's all well and fine ... but I am having problems. I am so angry and hurt and resentful towards him. I thought that if he stopped drinking things would be perfect but, they're not. I still hear all his words in my head, all those horrible words and the things he did and all his rages. He tells me part of the reason he drank was because he was frustrated with our marriage and he still feels he does all the work here (I am 24/7 primary caregiver until I go back to work in July, then I'll be primary caregiver while I'm home. He never wakes up at night with the baby, feeds him, reluctantly changes a diaper ...)

I have gone to three al-anon meetings but it's difficult with a baby and a teenager who is in a lot of extra-curricular activites that requires us driving her around, plus working around DH's AA meetings, his exercise schedule, etc. I know I should be supportive but it's hard. I know I need to practice self-care but it's all I can do to take a shower every second day, much less have any time to take care of myself.

I know this is a bit of a ramble, and I'm trying to type with a poopy baby in my lap (lol) so I apologize for that. I guess I'm just wanting to know how to move past the anger and resentment and regain some self-esteem.

thanks for listening.
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Old 05-23-2013, 08:34 AM
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Wow - you have a teenager, a baby, and an alcoholic husband?! Talk about the stress trifecta!

Hon, everything you describe is normal, so first of all, try to be easy on yourself.

Secondly, it is IMPERATIVE you find some time to take care of yourself. I love the "put your oxygen mask on first" analogy here. Nothing will function well if you aren't functioning well. Consider more Al-Anon meetings, or therapy if need be. But find support for you. Coming here is a great first step in that direction.

Lastly, I too thought "not drinking" was the answer to my problems. But it was simply the beginning of a long and winding roller coaster ride. We didn't make it, by the way. Some don't. It's why everyone recommends the family members and loved ones work a recovery program too. You've been affected by his drinking all this time, and trust and respect are blown, so thinking you should be grateful and happy is a bit much, right? But you can learn to detach and find strength and hope in your own recovery program.

Keep reading and keep coming back,
~T
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Old 05-23-2013, 09:21 AM
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So sorry for what you are going through...

It is painful to be raged at, told horrible things and then I always found, all the more painful to have the A act as if I were in the wrong to be upset/hurt/sad etc... about those things... He dismissed them as did yours as "the alcohol talking" as if that excused it.

My now xAH went through some brief periods of sobriety in that he was not drinking. But like your husband he continued to place the blame for his drinking on me, and self aggrandizement doesn't come close to describing his perception of what he contributed. Like your husband he believed he did far more than he actually did and his needs and schedule and wants came before everyone else (and still do).

When I was still with him the ONLY times I felt any peace were when I told myself to expect absolutely NOTHING from him (not because that was reasonable or normal but because I knew that was who he was and that to expect him to behave differently would set ME up for disappointment) and went about my day without giving him a second thought.

Of course that never lasted long because without my trying to interact with him he had no one to blame for his moods so he would force interaction so my detachment never lasted too long.

I hope that your AH continues to attend AA and use a sponsor and chooses to heed the advice of the program because if he does then he will focus on HIMSELF and stop blaming people, places and things for his drinking.

Your anger and hurt is normal and to be expected. One of the things I found hardest about living with an alcoholic were all the unwritten rules such as "don't talk about feelings" and "walk on eggshells around the A's feelings". That's not normal and it is draining on us to do.

I am really sorry for you and your kids... hang in there and post here often. It's a great source of support and wisdom
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Old 05-23-2013, 09:46 AM
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For at least the past 2 years, you have dealt with rage/abuse/blame. No one in their right mind would expect you to be over it in 23 days of sobriety! Just because he's sober right now doesn't mean all is well and you just move on. There is alot of damage, and there are wounds to heal. He is sober, but still blaming the marriage etc for his drinking. That's bull. He drinks because he's an A, no other reason. Lots of "normies" have marital and personal struggles, they don't drink because of it. So don't get caught in his blame game. His drinking is his....only his.

So if I do the math.....23 days of sobriety with AA a couple of times a week and a counselor every other week. That means (and I'm guessing)....he's been to 6 or so meetings and has seen the counselor 1-2 times. GREAT that he's doing those things....but waaaaaay early in this process. Most A's are still in a real fog at this point and dealing with the withdrawal effects.

Tuffgirl is right. Put your oxygen mask on first. Find an AlAnon meeting with babysitting. There are also on line meetings. Read some of the suggested readings on here. "The Language of Letting Go" by Melody Beattie is a great daily read for a busy person. It helps to start your day out a little more centered. So is "Courage to Change" which is an AlAnon book.

Be gentle with yourself....
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Old 05-23-2013, 01:27 PM
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I spent a couple of years in "it was just the alcohol talking" mindset. XA's blackouts were increasing.

I had many sleepless nights trying to wrap my head around some of his words.

The things he would say were so very out of character. (or so i thought). He would get so ugly and hateful when he drank whiskey, he became a racist, hated gay people, thought women should be barefoot and pregnant and in the kitchen, he had a negative opinion about EVERYTHING, and even then, I knew he was just trying to trigger me. He needed a response, he needed to engage, he needed to fight and argue.

I used to wonder if somewhere in his ugly words, the answer to why he drank could be found?

Like your situation, he would wake up the next day, and not remember a damn thing he had said. It was all meaningless bullsh*t.

Meaningless for him, I had a headache, my stomach would be in knots, I would be dragging ass all day from another sleepless night, and he'd be all happy and cheery, bringing me coffee, showing concern for my not feeling well, and all I could manage to do was shake my head, mutter a WTF under my breath, and go to work. And by 7pm, the cycle would repeat..............


I do not know how you let go of their painful actions and words. These things just do not evaporate into thin air.

This disease changes us as individuals. I am not the person I was before I was involved with an alcoholic. I no longer have patience and tolerance for bulls*t. When I used to see someone "having too much fun" I would ignore it or laugh, not no more, that creepin feeling of disgust comes over me and I can feel my skin start to crawl.

You have every right to feel as you feel. It is what it is, you have endured his crap for 10 years now, and you have evolved. Things are different now. I think you are getting painfully honest with yourself, and I view that as a necessary step for your healthy tomorrow.
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Old 05-23-2013, 04:13 PM
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Your post is so sad, and I'm glad you found this forum. The small baby, the teen with busy activities, and an alcoholic who resents most everything around him has narrowed your life, and like anyone who is isolated and abused, you have forgotten how to believe in yourself.

We all have different approaches to addiction and what steps one takes to protect oneself and one's family, and all we can do is share our experience.

My experience was with a very intelligent college professor husband who wore a nicely starched shirt and tie everyday and charmed every one of his students in the classroom. And went home every night and started drinking and almost quite literally metamorphosed into a monster. He looked different, he walked different, he spoke different, his energy was vile, and he was dangerous. He was bitter, boiling, he was the most dangerous person in my life and in the life of my little boy and in the life of his 12-year old daughter. He pushed, he threatened, he drove drunk with the children in the car, and he degraded us all with his language and his hatred.

In the morning, empty Vodka bottle on the kitchen counter, he got out of bed, showered, put on that gorgeous college professor shirt and tie and charm, and off he went for another day as Dr. Jekyll.

Leaving behind him in his wake, absolutely shattered, pitiable children and a wife who was still waiting for him to stop drinking and hurting them and her.

I stayed two years in the marriage and I left.

I am astonished how long I stayed. It was only the hope that, surely, tomorrow, or soon, very soon, he would stop drinking and we could all stay together.

My waiting allowed my little boy to be damaged emotionally. It allowed the stepdaughter to get a busted lip from her drunk dad. It left me with tachycardia (I was 28) and nightmares and a fear of sleeping on the second floors of houses which has stayed with me to this day.

So here is my view: mean alcoholics should not be tolerated for one minute. They should be kicked out of their homes and divorced. If they sober up and stay sober for 3 years and make decent and lasting action amends, then maybe they can be marriage material again.

But until then, my feeling is that the consequences of being a mean drunk is that you find your butt on the curb.

It is not yet a month. My bet is he will drink again before three months pass. If he does, you will want to give him another chance because he says he's trying.

But while you are waiting for him to get his act together, your children's lives are being imprinted daily with his chaos. So don't wait too long.

The alcoholic does not get to be the most important person in the family.

(And the line about you being part of the reason he drinks: he took it straight from the alkie playbook).
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Old 05-23-2013, 05:07 PM
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"The alcoholic does not get to be the most important person in the family"

LOVE that EnglishGarden! Thanks for the reminder.
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Old 05-23-2013, 05:15 PM
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"The alcoholic does not get to be the most important person in the family." (EnglishGarden)

^^^ This is the best^^^^^


I do not know why I am still surprised when you read another person's life story, and see so many of the same traits, behaviors, and patterns, repeating, over, and over again.

Maybe they really do have a secret playbook, or a how to RUIN someone's life in 5 easy steps manual...............
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Old 05-23-2013, 05:31 PM
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thank you everyone for your kind words and welcomes. I so badly needed it today.

Stupidly, I brought up the fact that he said again last night that he does too much around here and that is part of the reason he drank.

Stupid, because here I sit, bawling my eyes out again.

Funny how he can be sober and still behave like that.

Somehow, he is able to bring up all the things I do wrong under the guise of "helping our marriage" and when I do I am being "petty". "It takes two to tango" is his favourite phrase, meaning I am always at least half responsible for everything, including why he drank.

Nothing is going to change, and I need to accept that.

So here I will sit and keep quiet, I will not bring it up again. I don't know anymore. I can't leave, no one in my family has ever left their spouse and to do so would make me an outcast, and I promised DH if he worked on being sober I would support him 110%. My family adores him.

On top of it, I know I won't be able to get a chance to have that shower I needed yesterday, because I don't want to leave the baby with him - it would just be another thing he "does" for me.

He wasn't like this when we married, he wasn't like this when our daughter was little ... and it must have been me who made him like this.

who says only alcholics hit bottom.
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Old 05-23-2013, 05:46 PM
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do not give up on yourself!

So here I will sit and keep quiet, I will not bring it up again. I don't know anymore. I can't leave, no one in my family has ever left their spouse and to do so would make me an outcast, and I promised DH if he worked on being sober I would support him 110%. My family adores him.
Please do not allow him to ruin your children. Please.

who says only alcholics hit bottom.
Not me, and I am an alcoholic.
Those of us who have been married to an alcoholic can hit bottom too.
You will miss a chance at self-care (taking a shower) because he thinks he is doing you a favor to watch his own child?

Do the other members of your family who love him so much have to live with him?
Give them a few weeks.

Please read EnglishGarden's post again. And again.
It does not end with him, it will continue to the next generation.
That poopy baby in your lap is the next drunk or married to it.
The statistics sadly bear this out.
I am one of the kids who grew up with a man like your dad.
I still pay today.
I am 54.

Thank god for AA and AlAnon.

Beth

Last edited by wicked; 05-23-2013 at 05:48 PM. Reason: add a phrase
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Old 05-23-2013, 06:22 PM
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Wishful,

If you must stay, then the best action for you and for your children is to get help to reverse the brainwashing. You will need professional help, or close work with an experienced Al-Anon sponsor, to restore your thinking to more clarity and to reverse your sense of self which is being damaged to the core by your life with an emotionally abusive spouse.

Maybe he will actually find real sobriety. Maybe he will actually become accountable.

But the damage has been done. And only you can make the choice to recover the self-worth you have nearly completely lost. Do this at least, Wishful. Because your children, with their intuition and their deep hook into your feelings, they will assume the responsibility, if you do not. They will worry about you, they will feel guilty if they are happy while you are not, they will not be free to fly away and make their own lives. Like most children of unrecovering codependents and alcoholics, they will feel shame and guilt and responsibility which is not rightly theirs.

But if you get help and become well--meaning, a full restoring of your confidence and self-worth--then things will be so much better for them.
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Old 05-23-2013, 06:55 PM
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I am so sorry. You have been through so much, and as the others said, whether you choose to leave or stay it is time to start taking care of YOU and the kids.

I am a mother of 3 (soon to be 4) kids and I have an ABF who cannot drive himself - he lost his license because of a DUI years ago. I work full time as well as part time doing freelance work. I know exactly what you mean about not having time. However, you must make time for yourself, however you have to do it.

Here is what I do. I take my toddler with me for walks to get exercise. When I feel like running, I do it while he naps or after he goes to bed. I found it hard to make friends because I am so busy and because I don't want anyone I work with to know about ABF's problem. So I joined a local Mom's group. Not only can I bring my kids if I need to, but I have an excuse to go out without him, which I desperately need. When I really need to be alone, I have my oldest babysit the other kids.

Sometimes I do not do all of my work. Sometimes the house is a mess. There are times when I just say screw it, I am tired and doing nothing extra today beyond what I MUST do for one of my jobs and driving kids to activities/ABF to work.

You have to do what you have to do, but you need that time for yourself to stay sane and to get some perspective. If you are immersed in the problem all the time, you will never have a chance to reflect on your feelings and figure out what is best for you.

Anyway, I hope that helps a little.
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Old 05-23-2013, 06:55 PM
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Hi, Wishful!

I'm sorry for everything you've been through. It sounds like it's been quite an ordeal.

I'm not making one bit of excuse for how he has treated you. I will say this, though, as someone sober in AA, and who has seen many, many recovered alcoholics. Three weeks of sobriety is not long enough to effect real change. I'm glad he is going to AA and that he has a sponsor. IF he works the program the way it is intended, he should change dramatically over the next year or two. He should start to see his own responsibility for his actions and attitudes and for the harm he has caused. So there is a ray of hope. Never any guarantees.

But REGARDLESS of what he does or does not do, you need a chance to heal and for you and your kids to have the kind of life you deserve. I hope you will be able to make some more Al-Anon meetings. They really do help.

His quitting drinking is only the beginning of the changes he will have to make. You can make changes of your own that will make your life better.

Hugs, glad you are here.
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Old 05-23-2013, 08:15 PM
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Acceptance takes time. Remind yourself of the future ahead of you if he can stay sober and try to forget the past. You will heal over time, just be patient.
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