Monday, December 22, 2008

This Hurts Me More Than It Hurts You

So, it's midnight. I have spent all day and night working either at the office or at home to prepare for our Christmas dinner tomorrow night with my side of the family. To this point, as with every year, I have been the only one to consider presents for the children, food for the meal, decorating the house, sending cards and the like. Husband did ask this morning what he could do to help, but I struggled with trusting him enough to give him a task that I knew he would complete without behaving like a teenager.

Last night after dinner (which is always an ordeal), we were cleaning up dishes and I was singing a Christmas song, snapping my fingers and just being in a holiday mood. Suddenly, husband turns around and says in his very large voice, "Where the f*** did you learn to snap the wrong way with your fourth finger?" For about half a second I looked at him in disbelief, but then my automatic reaction was to laugh. I asked why he cared how I snapped and he said that it really bothers him, and proceeded to give me a laundry list of absurd things that I do that really get under his skin. Again, I was incredulous and thought about defending my seemingly inncuous behaviours when it occured to me - how awful life must be for him if things that other people do can make him so raw.

This might be the first time I truly have pitied the legacy of alcoholism for him. But it also made me face the fact that he is still very deeply entrenched in his anger and fear - and I think that maybe he's just so used to it that it feels more comforting to him than the kids or I do. He used to say that alcohol was his only friend; now that it's gone he seems to have wrapped himself in his pain and fear of facing the real world. It really makes me so sad for him, for the kids and even a little for myself.

I am very literally at a crossroads. I have asked him to get help. I have told him that I won't continue to live this way. In my heart I know he's not really ready to seek out and accept help...hell, he's told me that he has lost his faith in AA and doesn't believe in counseling. So, I have laid out the consequences for not seeking help and now I have to follow through. It's such a familiar's how I feel when I have to discipline the kids and all the while my heart is breaking for causing pain and discomfort for them. But I am afraid for my husband because I think that the only chance we all (himself very much included) have for some peace and sanity is to get some physical distance between us. He's so comfortable in his discomfort that I don't think he'll ever wake up as long as we keep the status quo.


  1. Peace to you Rosalia. Remember that the disease is cunning and wants you to feel small and insignificant. It wants to force the attention on something and someone else. It will find a way to get you to engage.

    Detach. The person is not the problem - it is the alcoholism. It is the only way I know how to understand the term "Detach with love."

    Peace and serenity is what to aim for in all your actions and thoughts.


  2. Rosalia my husband was and sometimes still is a dry drunk. Just not drinking is not enough. They have to go through a process of their own recovery, behavior needs to change, but not just for him, but also for how I related to him.

  3. I snap my fingers using my fourth finger as well. I can accept that I am a freak of nature, but I tend to see it as one of my adorable little quirks. So . . . .just wondering, how long has it taken your husband to realise this little quality?