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New to the board...and facing a crisis

Old 11-02-2001, 04:40 AM
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Jeniax
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Exclamation New to the board...and facing a crisis

Hi, I just discovered this board--can't believe I never looked online for al-anon before! I have attended meetings in the past, but we live in a rural area and the group I used to meet with slowly died off--now it's an hour drive to the next closest meeting.
Anyway, the reason I am posting is because my husband, Dan, is an alcoholic. Over the last 2 years he has greatly improved, but still hasn't quit drinking. He has said he never will. He WILL NOT go to any meetings himself--and I believe he will never change his mind. Claims the 'God ****' turns him off, to put it briefly. He works out of town (builds steel buildings) and over the last week and a half I have become aware that he is drinking every night--I have no clue how long this has been going on--I just happened to call his hotel room twice one night (we talked at 7, then at 9 I remembered something I needed to tell him) and he wasn't there. My warning bells went off and I did the same thing the next night, with the same results. I have been compulsively doing this ever since then, and once I did get him--he was drunk and trying to cover the fact, but we have been together for 10 years now--I know when he's drinking and usually how much--this was in the moderately-to-heavily bombed range. Tonight he is coming home and will be working at home for the next two weeks. I feel like somebody punched me in the stomach--I did not see this coming and if he is used to drinking like that every night the next two weeks are gonna be hell.
I don't know if I can survive another bout with him deeply into the bottle--I have had a lot of strife in my own life over the last couple of weeks--job stuff and a mild depression I have been trying to get over. It's only been about 4 months since I even began to truly trust him again--I had 8 years to build all sorts of walls and defenses (and psychotic behaviors) against the pain this stuff gives me, went thru my own addiction problems to boot, and have only been truly happy to be with him for a short time. It might even be that he started drinking heavily again around the time that I quit thinking he was going to! This makes me feel like I am on the verge of losing my sanity. I KNOW I do not want to start a fight about this, and that is a hard thing for me because I have a low tolerance in the freak out area. Basically I am scared to death of this whole situation!
Does anyone have any advice for me--I know --let go and let God--but how????
I would greatly appreciate any help/support that anyone has to offer me!!
Jen
 
Old 11-02-2001, 05:19 AM
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HI Jen...
Welcome to the forum!
Okay, "psychotic" is a big word. If you really feel your behavior has bordered on the psychotic, forget him and get to a mental health professional in your area for YOURSELF. Most of us are a bit neurotic, and I hope that's what you meant.
Dealing with an alchoholic is a big gig, and if you feel you have your own problems on top of that, you need to start focusing on YOU. Coming to the forum has been a great help to me, as I also have logistical problems getting to meetings.
If you feel like you can't go through this again, then don't. Live apart. I know that's easy to say, but it may be the only way to get the focus off him and onto yourself.
Do a damage assessment. If the negatives to staying with your alchoholic outweigh the advantages, then put your energy into figuring out how to get loose, instead of into how you're going to help him or the relationship.
My dad was an alchoholic. He was the kind that really only hurt himself. He was a good provider and a good dad. Since there was no reasoning him out of the alchohol, we all just learned to stay clear when he became unreasonable. Usually, he was a cheerful drunk. Not all substance abusers have intolerably negative affects, and you are the only one who can assess that.
Keep posting. We care and we want to know what's going on with you!

Smoke
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Old 11-02-2001, 06:02 AM
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Jeniax
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Smoke, I guess I did mean neurotic--like the calling every night thing--and I have a great liking for pot myself, which is not good for me--it messes with my ability to think straight--short term effects are great (it causes the 'who cares' feeling that is so much more pleasant that the 'I care' one in situations like this. I quit some time ago and hadn't thought about it almost at all until I realized what was going on with Dan--It was practically the first thought that crossed my mind. Haven't actually done it though, thank God! And if I wanted to do it, all I have to do is go next door.
I was/(am?) heavily co-dependant for years and over the last 2 better years I did the drink-with thing,but recently I have gotten to the point where I don't want to drink, smoke, or otherwise impair my mental facilities at all. The last few times we have gone out, I;ve gone because someone begged me to, either him or some friend of mine, and I did not enjoy it. I am really scared of the fact that I have lost all interest even in going to the local gathering spot to listen to the band (I used to live to go dance with my friends-alcohol not necessary.) And this disinterest has been going on since long before I discovered the renewed love-affair with the bottle that my husband has been having. So I don't want to drink, etc, at all, when his interest is freshly renewed? This could be bad.

He has to know about the nightly calling--there must have been at least one time (probably more) where he was in the room, but didn't answer because he was drunk. He will be back in town tonight, and he will--
a) not come home (Highly unlikely)
b) come home, but-
1. act like he knows nothing and /or all is normal and fine. (Quite likely)
2. tell me some screwy thing about how the desk clerk accidentally turned off the phone/lost messages/moved him to another room, etc, etc--who knows what, some cover story. (Possible)
3. come in full-blown defensive and probably half in the bag. (Maybe)

I need to decide what is the best way to handle this ahead of time because I do not think well on the fly and I know a raging battle isn't going to solve anything. I have been crying on and off all day, which hasn't happened in years and I am not enjoying the trip down memory lane at all. I am the kind of person who spies a problem and wants to jump right on it and start trying to work it out. I know you cannot work anything out while they are drunk, but for some reason, no matter what I tell myself, or how hard I try to wait for the right time, I end up in a stupid, convoluted, discussion with a drunk because I cannot keep my mouth shut. I hate this, and it has caused SOOO many bad situations to get worse in the past. Impatience, be my middle name. The boys will be gone tonight (8 yr old sleeping at a friends, 12 yr old going skating til 10), so at least they won't be here to observe, which is a blessing, but they tend to help curb my tongue when they are here. I have considered just clearing out for the night, but abandoning him without even seeing what he will do, or hearing his end of it seems unfair.
I can't seem to think straight!!! For years, these Friday night suprise parties were a staple of my life--what is he going to be like when he gets home??--but I haven't dealt with it in some time and I feel like a novice all over again--except with warning this time. I would like to just act like he hasn't had an effect on me this week, that my life is just fine, but honestly, he is my life in some aspects--I don't see hime all week and I can't wait for him to walk thru the door. Right now I wish he would drop off the face of the earth somewhere between Ohio and PA, because any way I slice it, this isn't gonna be fun.
If he acts like there is no problem, I suppose I could too, but now I know what is going on out of town, and even thought it really doesn't affect me--he hasn't drink on the weekends unless we go out, and then not very much--I know that it will start having an effect sooner or later--credit cards charged up--trouble on the job--money disappearing from the checking account before I can pay the bills, it's all guarenteed to start up again if he continues to drink like this. The girls at work don't see a problem with him getting smashed when he is not with me--at least I don't have to deal with him when he's drunk--I should be thankful that he is only doing it while he's gone. I think this sound like sticking my head in the sand, but like I said--I am a problem tackler--no sweeping it under the rug for me, generally.

Sorry this is so very long, I'm dwelling today.

Jen
 
Old 11-02-2001, 06:33 AM
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Hi again Jen.
What's wrong with calling your spouse when you miss them? If you were doing it just to check up, maybe that is a little obsessive. Been there. Force yourself to do something for yourself when you have the urge of the Sherlock Holmes routine. You don't really need the confirmation. You already know what's going on.
As to being unfair about not hearing his side of the story... haven't you heard it all before? Will it offer you any comfort, or will you still be doubtful?
Your friends at work sound a bit naive. If your husband is damaging his health and your financial security, it IS a problem.
I hear you when you say how you miss him, and that he means the world to you. That's where the evaluating has to come in. More plus than negative, or the other way around? Only you can decide how much to trade off.
Acknowledging that you cannot make him behave is not sweeping the problem under the rug. It just frees you to focus your energy on problems you CAN solve.

Smoke

[This message has been edited by smoke gets in my eyes (edited November 02, 2001).]
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Old 11-02-2001, 06:45 AM
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swanky
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Wow, smoke, that's some really good advice, and I'm taking it in, too, because I need it.
 
Old 11-03-2001, 04:58 AM
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Jeniax
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HI again,

Just to add an update, he came home early, sober, and when I asked, told me he was in the room next door playing video games with the younger guys--true or untrue, it was something my freaked out mind would not have come up with.
Anyway, he said, yes, the one night I called he was pretty drunk and he knows that it was stupid cause he was hung over all the next day and it sucked. (65 feet in the air, walking beams hung over doesn't exactly make me feel better, but maybe it reminded him of a few things, too.)
He will be home for the next two weeks and I believe that I will know the truth pretty quickly--if he was lying--to the bar he will go, sooner rather than later. If he does not, he'll be the biggest grouch going, which is another reason I think I was mistaken--he took these 2 weeks off to help his brother build a small steel building (a future beer distrubutor's building ironically) and just for this weekend half his crew from work showed up to help them stand the frame--free of charge. If he had been binging they would all hate his guts at the moment because he has definite personality problems--tends to scream, swear and throw things at people (usually large steel-working tools) when hung over and they work for him for 10-12 hours a day during the week, they're young and think he's scary when he's in a good mood...
So I completely lost it over what could possible have been 1 night of slip up and several marathon Nintendo tournaments!!!
There is a lesson to be learned here somewhere and I think this one was mine to learn. I said earlier that it has only been a few months since I quit waiting for the big fall, and began enjoying this relationship again...so maybe it was I that fell off the wagon more soundly than he did. Boy, am I glad I did not give in and smoke anything when I was feeling sorry for myself--boy would I be feeling like s**t right now!

Take care all- Jen
 
Old 11-03-2001, 05:19 AM
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Hi Jen....
You're struggling with something that I am also having a time with at the moment. When do we let our guard down and trust again? Once bitten, twice shy. I hope this was just a lapse, and not a sign of a relapse. As you said, you will know soon enough.
Please keep us posted. If you have good news, it will give the rest of us hope. If it's not so good, this is a good place to get things off your chest. Thanks for the update!
Smoke
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