Saturday, May 8, 2010

Beautiful Saturday Afternoon

What I've been thinking about lately;


Kind of a funny mix of things to contemplate. The other night in a flash of inspiration I realized that I needed to put pen to paper to write down some house rules for the kids. I have plenty of rules that I am constantly making them compliant with, but it dawned on me that they likely don't know what they, how can I expect them to know how to properly behave? Really, we don't have any behaviour problems, well, I guess I should say they don't...I certainly do.

Once I hatched this idea, I started the process of thinking about what the rules should be...holy moly, I was lost. Not only was I lost I realized that my "grey" thinking that most things are not black or white was kinda bullshit. There is right and wrong and furthermore we all have to draw lines in our lives about what we will accept and what we won't accept.

At 35 I have not done this. What a revelation. I always thought I was so flexible and could so easily go with the flow, and that this was the way to be. In reality, I have just accepted by proxy whatever crap has come down the pike and worked myself around whatever or whomever I wanted to please. Sure, on a day to day basis I mostly do what I want, but the big things of which I dare to dream I think elude me because I am pathologically tolerant. The big things being a peaceful life, a comforting home, and loving, supportive relationships...I have gone about finding these things in mostly the wrong ways.

Why is it that the most basic tenets of life are the hardest to attain? Be the one that annoys me the most and I realize now why that is so...I have been more of a chameleon than authentically myself. In approaching life this way, I have put myself in a position that I am in constant flux, glomming myself into whatever shape, color or behaviour that others around me expect. But where in this mix are my lines of what I will take and what I won't?? The answer is quite simple...they haven't existed. Deep within me lies the vibrant memory of feeling abandoned and less than...does everyone have this childhood memory or just a subset of people? The techniques I developed as a child to combat these feelings I came to accept as an adult as simply "who I am". But the fact is that they aren't who I really am and furthermore they no longer serve me as an adult. In reality, they hurt me and the people I love the most. My fear of being left behind has caused me to accept behaviour in people that deeply pains me and sets in motion a terrible cycle which ultimately results in a self-fulfilling prophesy. I throw up my hands in frustration and pain and leave the one whom I have allowed to take advantage of me time and again. But I accepted that behaviour at one point or another...and taught them that it was okay because I did not know how to draw that line.

Drawing lines is but one facet of this two headed monster...the other is being a black hole of fear. Fear has made me seek control where I had none and to behave in crazy, needy ways. Bleh.

Okay, this is all I feel like writing today. Will tackle allegiance and freedom later...

Tuesday, October 6, 2009


I'm amazed right now that in the wee hours of the morning that I realize I need courage. I am sleep deprived with a child with the flu, and my concern is courage? It seems a lofty goal.

Since my last post in May life has changed dramatically. I have moved into a house with just me and the kids. Their father is now employed outside of the home. For these past three months, life has been hectic and full of changes. I have spent the time making this our home, and trying to figure out my next move. I know that a divorce is in our future. For a very long time, even long before I moved, I had lost that "feeling", and I just can't get it back. I wondered if a little distance would remind me, but all it did was highlight the fact that we never had a partnership at all. It's a very sad place to be. I don't feel so mournful for myself, but rather for the ways that my children's lives will change. My god, this all just sucks.

But now it's time to go, and I'm frozen. Going to an attorney and filing divorce paperwork feels like the equivalent of climbing Mt. Everest. Lately I find myself laying in bed saying the serenity prayer over and over until my mind quiets enough to fall asleep. I guess that is what some might call prayer or meditation, but it's the first time in my life that I have felt that power. It's nice to know that I really do have the ability to get ahold of the irrational thoughts in my head - sometimes I feel as though I should just recite that prayer all day every day.

I'm holding up progress and letting my fears get the best of me. The unknown. But I suppose we live with the unknown every day - it's just the blissful lack of awareness that leads us to believe otherwise. I just need the courage to lift myself up and move forward.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Any Way The Wind Blows

I can tell that I am in more than a minor funk. I really feel as if I have lead in my behind; a physical reason that I cannot move - and that the energy one would normally use to move their body, has been transferred to my brain to use in the meantime. So it seems lately that I do a lot of sitting in a chair with my brain racing. It's not pretty. I am short tempered and even have physical symptoms to accompany this already poor situation - I think I have some sort of pinched nerve in my back or neck because my shoulders and right arm and hand are almost always feeling fuzzy, like they are asleep. Also crampy and suffering slightly from the wine I had with my mother last night.

I'm a real bundle of joy on this Mother's Day. I know that I have let myself become paralyzed with fear, and I have read literature, I have attended my meeting regularly. I have not yet identified a true sponsor, and the one I do feel connected to has a work schedule that is opposite of mine.

My husband walks around the house and mumbles under his breath about the things he is angry about. I have wanted to scream at him but I have let it go; he is so manic and I am allowing myself to be blown about by his every mood swing. It is so difficult to even realize how much I let that happen, and by the time I do realize, I have largely internalized that feeling of craziness. Last night he sat up waiting for me to come home from my mothers, and when I finally did he told me that he had ridden past my mother's house and didn't see my car there. I had gone to the grocery to pick up items he had requested and then returned to her house and stayed a while longer.

Even though I hadn't done anything wrong, I felt so backed into a corner and guilty as hell. This is a very familiar feeling and I allowed it to keep me up for some time last night. My mind raced, I vaciliated between that feeling of guilt and haughtiness. How dare he accuse me? But I had acted so guilty when he asked where I had been, I was like a kid who had been caught red-handed. I could hardly put together two words without fumbling over them. It's so fucked up. He was clearly angry but wouldn't come out and say what he really thought, but this morning, life is perfect. I'm his baby, his honey. His fear won't let him say what he's scared of either. He knows that right now we are barely hanging by a thread. I hate this bullshit cycle of passive-agressiveness, but as I said earlier, I have a tough time recognizing what I am doing until I'm largely embroiled in a bad situation.

How do married couples learn to make it through this alcoholism-codependancy thing? It seems to me that our decision to marry was based on shifting sands - I wanted an alcoholic to care for and he wanted me to mother him. I don't want to be his mother nor do I need an alcoholic in my life to make me feel good about myself - so what role could he play in my life now? Our children will forever bind us together, but I just can't see how we could ever intereact in a real way with each other. He keeps wanting us to "be like we used to be", but those two people don't exist anymore. I have no feelings of attraction whatsoever for him, and our physical relationship only existed when he was drinking, so it was never healthy to begin with. Outside of our already non-existent physical marriage are differences that also seem too vast to bridge - how to care for and raise our daughter with the challenges she faces (non-verbal, sensory processing) and to properly discipline our bright son who already exhibits an over-developed sense of responsibility. Throw in my father who requires lots of time and a job managing investments and the stress levels are palpable and very real.

My husband has demonstrated time and again that he doesn't want to help me shoulder these responsibilites. They are real and I can't remove them from our lives. Am I to believe that I should spend the next untold years of my life waiting for something that might never change? I did not marry ever thinking that I would divorce; in fact I was one of those people who thought that divorce was for those with a weak constitution - that once you made that committment of marriage that you stayed no matter what! My parents divorced after being married 30 years, and I just swore I was never going to do that too. But when I started to realize what the problem was here with my husband, and I started to really work on me, divorce became a thought I started entertaining.

I just don't know what else to do. I'm in therapy, I'm attending (and begining to really "get" Al-Anon) meetings and taking care of my responsibilities. But I can't make my husband live. How in the hell do you ever resolve an impossible situation. Damned if you do, damned if you don't. If I leave, I worry about the effects on my children. If I stay, I worry about the effects on my children. Clearly, I am getting nowhere in this circular thinking.

And now I bought a house, we're going (me and the kids) and he's staying. If I wanted some change, we'll I've got it coming in spades. Better get the lead out of my ass and quick.

Monday, May 4, 2009

When Does It Get Easier?

I am signing a contract tomorrow to buy a house. I first looked at this house a year ago, and while it was not perfect in every way, I was excited to find a place in our same area with lots more room and fantastic neighbors, and a good deal on the price as well. While I was not yet an active Al-Anoner, as much as I wanted this house, I wanted my husband to participate in the decision making process and I resolved to not make a move without his explicit input one way or the other.

Well, time went on and he never would really make a decision. So I gave up on the house. I would drive by it from time to time and longingly stare. Meanwhile, things really started to change with my husband and I realized sometime early this year that I had to find a way to get myself in a better place, literally and figuratively. At the time I thought divorce was the only option, but fantasized about separate households. The time, the sounded like a great idea.

So, I approached the realtor and started the negotiating process. At the same time, I told my husband of my idea. He was not happy, nor did he share my exuberance for the plan. I told him to take the summer off, to find himself and what he wanted out of his life. When the school year began for the kids we would figure out what the next move would be. It all sounded so good to me.

But now, reality is closing in. What was I thinking? How am I going to do this? How are the kids going to feel? How am I going to feel? I am feeling crushed with sentimentality for the house we live in now, even though I have disliked it from the day we moved here. I have put stupid pressure on myself financially as well. Maybe my husband will find a job and help out.

I just wanted the chance to breathe and see what life holds for me now without making a drastic decision until I had a clearer head. But right now all I feel is stressed and confused. How can my feelings about this situation feel so different now than when I first hatched this idea? I feel like a major fuck-up, and I am judging myself very harshly.

I have forgotten what has brought me to this place. The feelings of loneliness, abandonment, and pain I have felt in my marriage for years. Why can't I remember all the tears and anger that have transpired? My husband is on his best behaviour because he is scared and it is confusing me terribly. Why can't I remember all of the things that have made me felt as if I didn't have a husband at all, but rather another child? I keep telling myself that I haven't done anything that can't be revisited and revised. But why the guilt now? WHY?

I am trying to let go and give some of this to my HP, but I haven't practiced that enough yet...still figuring that one out. But I am trying and I guess that's all I can do. I need some help - can you dear folks share some experience, strength and hope? I need help.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Just An Update

It's been weeks now since my last post. I think nearly every day of wanting to sit down and write, but nothing is coming out. Things have been busy, and lots of changes looming on the horizon, ready or not we all are for them.

On the good news front, I have found and attended an Al-Anon meeting that I really love. I've gone two weeks in a row now, and while that might not seem like much, I am thrilled. I like the group and the good vibes that come out of it. I feel different too; something has taken ahold of me that is spurring me forward - I feel like I "get" what has been going on in my head my whole life. Perhaps the reason I've been so tired and not felt like I've had much to say is because I am like a little sponge right now, reading, reading, reading, thinking, thinking, thinking. I have my stack of ODAT, Courage To Change, Hope For Tomorrow and a Thomas Merton book that I am loving.

I went to the Abbey of Gethsemani yesterday and bought a medal of Lady Gethsemani to remind me constantly of my role in this world and my higher powers role...that is a very big chasm to bridge right now, but I am grateful for the awareness. I also bought it as a birthday reminder to myself of how I am just a baby in this process of recovery. I arbitrarily chose my first meeting a few weeks ago as my birthday, because I needed a marker of time to help me recall that this process and journey is a long, slow marathon.

I have more to add, but my family just awoke and we have a busy morning. My nephew and godson is making his first holy communion. I am approaching this higher power concept from a different angle and as the sun shines in the window this morning, I am joyful. More later...enjoy this beautiful day.

Sunday, April 12, 2009


I sit like a voyeur looking tonight at pictures of other peoples families - some friends, some family. I am jealous and angry. I see pictures of the zoo with kids, on the farm climbing trees, celebrating holidays. The captions are simple, relaying the details of what they seem to think are mundane activities. It sincerely makes me want to scream. Why isn't that my life? Well, it is my life, with one exception - it is me and my kids, not their Dad, not my husband. I have snapshots of others for which I am grateful;, my mom, sister, brother, friends & their kids - but it's not the same and I am just as angry for my kids as I am for myself.

Am I placing too much importance on the events in life that we tend to photograph? I know the trap of comparing my insides to someone else's outsides, but these are not grand galas, tropical vacations, and perfect homes of which I am wishing. It's every day life. The pictures are not perfect, not everyone is smiling and looking at the camera; they are not all "beautiful people" - they are just people who have parents and a spouse (significant other - whatever)who want to live and be a part of life.

And perhaps even sadder is the fact that I know my husband is a good and kind man, well-intentioned. The fact of the matter is that we have different views of what makes a life. Holiday weekends highlight this to me, and something in my bones tells me this may be the last holiday that we spend together. Not once is there mention of what we're doing for the kids for Easter, taking them to see the Easter Bunny, Easter outfits, going to mass, buying candy...nothing.

Last night I sat on the floor of the family room putting together two scooters - the Easter Bunny brought them instead of a lot of candy - and filling eggs to hide. My husband sat in a chair, not five feet from me, and asked after I was halfway through if I needed any help. No thanks. Where was he when I was coloring eggs with a 3 & 5 year old in the kitchen a few hours earlier? Watching TV. This has gone on for so long, that I not only don't want him to help, I really don't want him to even be around. It pisses me off that he gets to enjoy their happiness when he's done nothing to help.

Being compassionate toward him because of his alcoholism is something that I just can't bring myself to do. I have struggled with my own demons and while not perfect, now that I have kids, I won't let this horrible cycle of codependancy and alcoholism continue to affect at least me and my children. Why can't he find a sponsor, a home group, a therapist, a job? If he lived in a world by himself then I might be better able to understand. But he has so much more to live for, and I just cannot, and will not condone this behaviour any longer.

It's easy to rant, hard to follow through. I'm so tired of talking to him and getting nowhere. I'm just plain tired. Maybe some rest and a sunrise service at a nearby Abbey in the morning will help. I need strength to find my way.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Revelations Part 1

I love the transformation that has begun. It seems to happen innocently enough, today as I was having lunch with a friend I had a swift and sudden realization - (wait for it - wait - wait) I have been letting my husbands action and/or inaction control my every move.

I finally see it. REALLY.

I know you may have been expecting something more dramatic, perhaps like the secret of life, but that realization feels like the secret to MY life. I have been pondering divorce and happiness, and how to decide how I will figure out what is the right and best thing to do for me. I have been telling myself that I would wait until the fall when my children are finally both in school, and if by then, my husband had not found a job and/or a program that he was really plugged into, THEN I could leave. To me, that sounded logical. Until today when I realized - gasp - that all of those things (other than the kids being enrolled in school which I have already taken care of) were out of my sphere of control.

Sounds so obvious, I know. I furthermore realized that I was waiting for him to screw up to justify my leaving. Oh lord.

I am amazed at how these things are slowly revealed to me, just a little at a time. As if the universe knows when it's time for me to learn a new lesson. And I am grateful for that. I want to take this new perspective and just soak it in for a while.