Monday, August 1, 2011

Living with alcoholism: What is the question?

My husband and I fell in love at first site, we saw each other across the room, our eyes met and eventually we floated together like twin clouds. It was magic and it was wonderful, a story dreams are made of…sort of. The fact is that no a matter what kind of fairy tale you are reading or how beautiful the story, NONE of the fairy tales you will ever read take place where we met. Typically they take place in a castle or some beautiful land not in a crowded, loud and smelly BAR. Meeting in a bar should have been my first clue that my husband enjoyed the drink, especially since he was drinking alone but I fell so hard it wasn't something I wanted to think about. But eventually my lack of thought and the evil veil called love got the best of me. He spent the greater part of my first pregnancy drinking, coming home at 6 & 7am , not being there for me when I needed him most. But I stuck it out because I loved him, it was a fairy tale and fairy tales always have a happy ending. But then I got pregnant again, during that pregnancy things were a bit crazy, his drinking once again got the best of him and it put a terrible rift between us that was near impossible to fix. But somehow, Georgia was born and we saw our way with love once again. When I got pregnant with Sophia he had stopped drinking but a few months into the pregnancy some old friends came into the picture and the booze started flying threw the house once again. Our relationship was put on the back burner and the baby and children became his second priority over alcohol. I was rather thankful when my church came back into our lives. He openly accepted the missionaries into our home, he began lessons and stopped drinking and smoking for a year. Our family was so happy, we were finally together, I could trust him again after numerous indiscretions, we were a family. I finally thought my fairy tale was starting to be read but I was wrong because soon the people who had helped destroy the last bit of sobriety marched back into our lives and he fell off the wagon once again. I eventually left the church , mostly because I was ashamed of his behavior and because I actually felt as if I was undeserving of God with a husband who was so adamantly Godless. I felt like his demons were my demons and someone possessed by demons had no place in the kingdom of heaven. He has spent the last year and a half drinking, thankfully he stopped drinking hard liquor which made him mean and forgetful but the hard beer he has been drinking is almost as bad.

They say when you are married it is for better or for worse but there has got to be a point where the worst calls for “enough”. Every-time I need him, when the kids get sick, the day before I have surgery for cancer, the day before we go on family trips and have lots to do, the days when Miriam’s temperature spikes to 104 degrees which is the first sign of seizures, the days we have family plans or simply the days I want to enjoy his company he shows up to the house wasted which makes him useless. I feel like all of the difficult times I am forced to go through alone and it is starting to suffocate me. I see my children growing up in the same home I had growing up, a father who puts drinking first above all else. He knows how I feel about alcohol but he has quit so much, lied so much about so much that I don’t so much think I am capable of loving him anymore. Mainly because , the man I love is hidden behind a giant beer can. His eyes change, he walks different, he speaks differently and he is simply unavailable to us all. I cannot talk to him anymore about anything because no matter what it is it will serve as an excuse for him to get drunk. I have tried in the past to discuss these matters with his family but all they ever say to me, especially his mother is “he doesn’t ever sound drunk when he calls me” even though I can guarantee them that he has been drunk more than HALF of the times he has called them in the 8 years we have been together.

I love my husband a great deal but I am getting tired. With all of the health issues I am having now I feel as if I don’t deserve this anymore. I don’t deserve to be alone even though my supposed partner is sitting with the neighbor putting them back or DRIVING with booze on his way home which he thinks is OK because he is on the “backroads”. It is not OK, not at all! A DWI nearly killed our family once before, what makes him think another one wouldn’t shatter us? But I guess that is the problem, not only does he NOT think but he doesn’t care to think.

What am I supposed to do? Can I continue to pretend I live in a happy home when I live with a husband who needs help but doesn’t care enough about the people that love him to get that help? He is the father of 3 beautiful girls if those girls are not enough to make him quit hurting us what is? All I know is that my days are filled with fear, anger, hurt, betrayal, distrust and just plain unknowing. I wish his family would help me, I wish they would talk to him, help him, reach out to him but they want to pretend it is not happening even though it runs deep within their family. Even though it was some of them that caused the hurt that got him here. How do you help an alcoholic that doesn’t want help? How do you help an alcoholic who is also a pathological liar? Answer is, you don’t! And if the answer is “you don’t” you have to ask yourself a different question which is “how do you help YOU.” The only answer I find when I ask myself that question is summed up by one word “Leave”. But "leave" isn't always the advice you "want" to take even though it is the advice you should take and the only advice that keeps your kids safe.

This post is my "coming out of the closet" of sorts. I am tired of pretending that it isn't a major problem. It is a HUGE problem and it is killing us in every way. So many people would like me to just shut up about it, keep my mouth shut but I am done keeping my mouth shut. I need help and speaking out is the first choice I am making to find my way to normalcy. I Jenna Bramlett am married to an alcoholic!

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