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Arrrghh!!! I took the bait!!

Old 11-25-2018, 07:57 AM
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Arrrghh!!! I took the bait!!

[background: I obtained a child protective order last month after AW was arrested for DWI (4th lifetime) and our DS was in the car -- not the first time she's driven drunk with our children, but first time I could prove it in court]

AW: I assume you know we have to be in court this coming Friday? What do you plan on saying? Is it going to be ugly? I can't take away what has happened in the past. I can just go forward with my sobriety. I am doing good with my sobriety.

Me: Yes, I know about court on 11/30. Since neither you nor your attorney were there last time, I'll let you know the judge said that in 98% of the cases involving children she would appoint a guardian ad litem (GAL) to represent the child. Cost is $150 per hour. But, if you and I can agree on an order we might be able to avoid GAL fees and costs.

AW: Sorry, my lawyer told me it was continued last time. I was still in rehab. I am following my attorney's advice.

Me: It was continued over my objection. Nevertheless, the judge said in child cases she almost always appointed a GAL. And the cost for a GAL is $150 per hour. If you're interested in entering into an agreed upon order, I'll send you a proposal. If you you're not interested, then I'll just see you in court.

AW: You know I don't have that kind of money. I guess I won't see my son.

[a few minutes later]

AW: No, of course, I want to see my son.

Me: You know, I get tired of listening to you whine. I have an order now *and* I let you see him with supervision. And I let you call whenever. If you're not interested in working something out that is in DS's best interest, then I'm not going to waste my time. I'll let the court sort it out, damn the cost. Let me know how you want to proceed.

AW: You try not seeing DS for 44 days and see how you feel. Thanks for letting me see him for an hour and talking to him. There is no danger here.

Me: See you in court then.

[stewing for a few moments]

Me: FYI, I didn't see DS for a month because he was [with your brother in a different City/State] He was there because YOU got arrested for DWI while he was in the car. Then YOU were in rehab leaving me to take care of him, keep house, pay bills, with one less wage earner in the house. Try walking in my shoes some time you little narcissist.

Me: Oh and found another one of your "hidden" bottles yesterday.

Me: Not to mention, YOU were going to do your "sober living" house in the [distant City/State where DS was living temporarily] for 90 days or so, but no one seemed concerned about when I could be with him.

AW: OK.

Me: Just amazes me how you think in terms of how stuff affects only you. Poor you. Pity party for you.

AW: No just getting better now. I am sorry things have been so bad for you. I didn't mean to do any of this on purpose.

Me: The relapse rate for a person with 1 year of sobriety is 50%. You have less than 60 days sober. You are a danger to him and to yourself. Which is why you live in a [sober living] house with rules. Rules that if you violate them there are consequences. Our son is entitled to have rules that protect him. Rules that if broken have consequences. I'm sorry you don't agree.

[I feel like the Godfather: every time I think I'm out, they pull me back in.]

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Old 11-25-2018, 08:13 AM
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Mce,

Get it out. Looking at that complicated process would help me keep things straight in my head.

I give the AW a bit of credit for at least wanting to be in the DSs life.

Thanks.
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Old 11-25-2018, 08:32 AM
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I truly don't see it as taking the bait. It sounds to me like you stood firm and probably got things off of your chest that you needed to say.

Hang in on there and good luck at the hearing
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Old 11-25-2018, 08:45 AM
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MCE......dealing with alcoholic thinking is incredibly difficult.....
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Old 11-25-2018, 09:02 AM
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It reads like you engaged, but I think "taking the bait" is too strong. You didn't give in on what is best for your son, and with 60 days sober I think she can afford to hear a different perspective now and then.
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Old 11-25-2018, 09:59 AM
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AW: No just getting better now. I am sorry things have been so bad for you. I didn't mean to do any of this on purpose.
Ugh, like that matters, or even means anything.

Good luck at the hearing. Good to know your child is not with her.
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Old 11-25-2018, 06:08 PM
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I wouldn't say you took the bait.

Progress not perfection. I come in here all the time and confess how stupid I was and engaged with AH or when I go off because I can no longer keep silent.
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Old 11-25-2018, 08:03 PM
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To me, flat out saying to her that she is a danger to herself, and a danger to your son, is the best thing for her to hear. It's very hard to walk that fine line of trying to help her in her sobriety and simultaneously not have resentments (detachment). It's sad when a parent does not see that their alcohol intake is truly impeding the right their child has to be protected. You handled it the best you could, IMO, with plain facts, even in how you described what it was like for you when she entered inpatient rehab (you did not "engage", it sounded matter-of-fact, to me).
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Old 11-26-2018, 06:58 AM
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Update:

AW: Of course I want to work out an agreement to see and talk to DS. I miss him and DD so much. This is so hard to do because of the loneliness but I know I am doing well and the right thing.

Me: Being sober and staying sober is hard for you to do because of the depth and severity of your alcohol addiction.

Your children are not crutches for you to lean on so you can feel "less lonely" as you fight to be and to continue your sobriety. I support your continued interaction with DS (under conditions) not because it will make YOU will feel "less lonely," but because HE is a child and it is my belief that HE will be better off (long-term, short-term, or both) having a healthy relationship with you.. Making sure that the relationship between you and DS is and stays "healthy" and doesn't subject him to harm is MY primary concern.

This may come as a revelation to you, but I feel "alone" and "loneliness" even when I'm with DS and DD. I feel abandoned by you in the duties we have to our children to put a roof over their heads, food in their mouths, education, clothing, teaching good morals, etc. First, you were in the hospital for several months earlier this year. Then, even THAT didn't stop you from drinking. And now, ANOTHER round of rehab, etc. I thought I had a partner in the raising of a family and the making of a home, but it turns out I'm all alone to fight every single day for a roof over their heads, food in their mouths, education, clothing, etc.

You have to learn to deal with "loneliness" and the feeling of "being alone" - even when you're surrounded by people. And you have to do it in a way that causes you not to harm yourself and hurt those around you by drinking and lying to them.

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Old 11-26-2018, 07:14 AM
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Give yourself a break. You say it over and over, you are doing what is in the best interests of your son. Well said. Bad behavior comes with consequences, it's time she face hers.

Big hugs.
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Old 11-26-2018, 12:34 PM
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I get the tough talk aspect and nothing you have said is untrue.

She is attempting recovery, I know that you don't want to jeopardize that, providing all this negative feedback could be harmful right now.

She is not in your face, she is not around the children, it is time for her to be introspective for sure, but with support around her. Perhaps there is family counselling available?

Absolutely not saying that anything you have done or said is wrong, just that it can have the opposite effect of what you want right now, which is for your wife to be in recovery.
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Old 11-26-2018, 02:40 PM
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I think I get where you’re coming from. I have a job (and a personality type) which emphasizes getting the facts from reliable sources, organizing them logically (A therefore B, C is not the same as D, E implies but is not limited to F, etc) and making convincing arguments. My lawyer has more than once told me that I should be litigating for myself because I send him emails which are basically preconstructed affidavits.

I had to learn that all of these skills are of no use whatsoever with an alcoholic. You cannot argue with them. You cannot convince them. You cannot use logic or reason or anything else to shift their thinking or their actions. Their brains will not receive it. All you can do is state your position once and then step away. Maybe after an extended period of both sobriety and recovery they can be receptive and you can have a normal discussion or negotiation. But not in the state your wife is in now.

Learning to step away (“drop the rope”, as they say in Al Anon) was really difficult for me because I do believe in the power of reasonable and fact-based discourse to bring about good solutions. But it doesn’t work here.

So if these interactions with your wife are beneficial to you, in that expressing these thoughts to her brings you some relief, that’s great, but as you know it won’t change her own behavior.

I am not at all trying to be critical - I know very well the Mafia-like qualities of the alcoholic desire to self-justify, self-pity, and generally try to drag you back in.
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Old 11-26-2018, 02:41 PM
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Originally Posted by trailmix View Post
I get the tough talk aspect and nothing you have said is untrue.

She is attempting recovery, I know that you don't want to jeopardize that, providing all this negative feedback could be harmful right now.

She is not in your face, she is not around the children, it is time for her to be introspective for sure, but with support around her. Perhaps there is family counselling available?

Absolutely not saying that anything you have done or said is wrong, just that it can have the opposite effect of what you want right now, which is for your wife to be in recovery.
I hear what you're saying Trailmix and appreciate your comments.

At the same time, she shouldn't "complain" to ME about how difficult it is and how lonely, etc. That's why SHE has counselors, doctors, sponsors, etc.

And, she's GOT all of THAT support 24/7/365 while NOT working a full-time job, having to get dinner on the table for the family, paying bills, being the parent who has to enforce discipline, etc. She gets to concentrate on one thing: her.

And that's great.

But, *I* have been the object of her lies and the subject of her manipulations in the past. Our children have been trapped in the middle.

*I* also am currently struggling and feeling "lonely."

I don't "complain" about my struggles and feelings of being lonely to her -- unless she raises it with me first. I'm NOT the shoulder to cry on about those things -- because the position she is in right now is one of her own making and one that I warned her about repeatedly in the past.

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Old 11-26-2018, 02:52 PM
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I understand why you feel the way that you do—and you do need to take care of yourself so that you can be there for your children, plus do all the heavy lifting required to keep the house going. Rant away, Saint. You need to get it out and off of your shoulders.

Take care.
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Old 11-26-2018, 08:24 PM
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Originally Posted by MCESaint View Post
I don't "complain" about my struggles and feelings of being lonely to her -- unless she raises it with me first. I'm NOT the shoulder to cry on about those things -- because the position she is in right now is one of her own making and one that I warned her about repeatedly in the past.

MCE Saint
Yes, please don't think for one second that I don't get it, I do and it is totally and completely unfair, unbalanced and - yeah you already know.

Just an outside perspective.
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Old 11-27-2018, 07:12 AM
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I have raised this topic so many times. That rehab is all about them, they are #1. I get it, they are the patient. HOWEVER, when you choose to bring a child into this world, you make them #1. It's a shame an addict is unwilling to recognize that. Ugh.
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Old 11-27-2018, 05:28 PM
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Since it's a waste of time and breath to speak to them when they are drunk, it's very, very hard, at least for me, to not take the chance when they are sober to say it as I see it. When I do, especially if I'm vengeful or angry, and usually triggered by some epic ******** coming from their mouths, I'll often do two things starting with telling it like I see it, and then feeling bad that I took the bait and was mean to a woman who I do, in fact, love very much.

The bait, of course, is the epic narcissistic ******** spewing from their mouths. Them being sober doesn't make it any less infuriating to hear.

Good luck to you Sir!
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Old 11-28-2018, 12:20 PM
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Originally Posted by hopeful4 View Post
I have raised this topic so many times. That rehab is all about them, they are #1. I get it, they are the patient. HOWEVER, when you choose to bring a child into this world, you make them #1. It's a shame an addict is unwilling to recognize that. Ugh.
100% ^ - It is a shame and incredibly selfish, and the "single" parent is left with all of the work. We get to deal with the wreckage left by the A's wake. It sucks so feel free to rant and get your feelings out so you can be healthy for your kids. They need you, the professionals can handle your A.
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Old 11-28-2018, 05:13 PM
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Originally Posted by hopeful4 View Post
I have raised this topic so many times. That rehab is all about them, they are #1. I get it, they are the patient. HOWEVER, when you choose to bring a child into this world, you make them #1. It's a shame an addict is unwilling to recognize that. Ugh.
I hope I'm not derailing anything, but during a family counseling thing at AXH's rehab, xSIL reported that the counselor actually asked him about his own childhood. When AXH responded that it was good, the counselor asked about DS's childhood. According to xSIL, AXH responded with DS deserves a good one, too, "I guess."

MCE, as others have noted, I don't hear anything like you took the bait. I don't know if it's the same for others, but I know I was so used to always trying to consider what AXH needed or wanted in order to try to head off issues and relegating what we needed to lower on the priority list, that the idea of standing up for myself and DS felt like trouble and actually doing so felt very like standing at the apex of a mountain and screaming. It wasn't. It was a fairly reasonable response based on the facts and events.
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Old 11-28-2018, 06:42 PM
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Update:

In order to try to avoid GAL and further attorneys fees, I sent AW a rough draft of an Order that I think is fair and protects DS. Briefly, it gives both of us "legal custody" - i.e., AW and I have to consult on major issues such as schools, doctors, major medical decisions, religious training etc. However, it gives ME "physical custody" of DS and her visitations are "supervised." She is prohibited from consuming alcohol or illegal drugs 12 hours before any visitation period. If she successfully completes 12 consecutive weeks of supervised visits, then she can replace the "supervisor" with SoberLink monitoring (before and after visitation). We'll see what comes of that.

Tonight, after she Skyped with DS, we talked briefly. She said "thanks for letting me Skype with him" - which seemed to work better than just a telephone call (because he can see mom). I said "no problem, I think it is important that he maintain a connection with you -- the issue is you drinking around him, etc." I said, I think some amount of time has to pass before you can be "trusted" (not exact words, but that was the gist of it). She said "how much time"?? I said, I don't know exactly, but we've been here at 30, 60, 90 days of sobriety before and it wasn't enough time. She then, very quickly, wanted to end the conversation.

It's just really, really, really frustrating that - it feels to me - that she thinks she should have no limits/conditions on physical contact with DS right this minute. She hasn't SAID it, but its the way the conversation(s) seem to FEEL to me.

This is NOT her first rehab. This is not the first "relapse" following rehab.

I've always said and felt that one year of her sobriety is what is needed to get me to "trust" her again with DS. I know 1 year continuous sobriety isn't a magic number and that a high rate of relapse is possible in year 2; but I think that there has to be a path back to earning some (or a lot) of trust back for addicts with their children.

I dunno - am I crazy???

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