and more has been revealed

TGIF! This week was crazy, to say the least.

Last Saturday, I attended my best friend’s sister’s wedding reception. A few months ago, I wasn’t planning on going. It was my weekend with the kids and for some reason, I had just felt like staying home. Well, fast forward to a few weeks ago, and I decided, why not? I dropped the kids off at my brother’s house for the night, got dressed up, and had a blast.

I knew that same night XAH would be attending a friend’s birthday party at a bar, which is why the kids were staying with my brother.

Sunday afternoon, I was home with the kids and my cell phone rang. I didn’t recognize the number, but I decided to answer it anyways. I was shocked to hear an automated voice on the other line, telling me it was a collect call from an inmate at the county jail…yep, it was XAH.

At this point,  I was frantically trying to find my credit card amidst my kids fighting and my daughter crying. Once the call was connected, XAH was on the other end and told me he had gotten pulled over for DUI the night before. This was his 2nd DUI in less than 2 years. He asked me to login to his work email and let his boss know that he wouldn’t be available the next day. He also told me that “I was right” and that he “needs help and has a problem.” I agreed to email his boss for him, mostly because I do not want him to lose his job and my child support.

He called back later that evening and we discussed a bit more what happened. He then proceeded to ask me if I would ever considering reconciling. Huh? I suppose the reason he thought it was appropriate to ask was because he had admitted to me that he had a problem. (Mind you, he’s told me he’s had a problem multiple times before). My response was that I couldn’t discuss that right then.

It turns out, he tried going the wrong way on a freeway ramp, attempted to turn around, then got his car stuck in a ditch. An off-duty police officer was driving by and stopped to check on him. Then she called the state patrol.

I had done some reading on the penalties for a 2nd DUI in less than 7 years and the minimum jail time is 45 days, plus another 30 for violating his probation. I also believe he will have to have the interlock device back on his car for 5 years because he already had to have it on for one year.

The next day, I ended up connecting withe bail bonds person for him and he got out of jail around 7:45 pm. Because his car is still registered in my name, I had to take him to pick it up on Tuesday.

He ended up hiring an attorney that I share an office with to represent him for his DUI. He had his arraignment on Wednesday and was ordered to wear a SCRAM device (which can detect alcohol in his system through his skin) and also get the interlock device back on his car.

The first couple of days after it happened, I was thrown back into the chaos. I was worried about what I would do if he had to be in jail for 45 days…how would I take care of the kids on my own and still successfully run my business? And as much as I tried not to think about it, I couldn’t help but think about his remark about reconciling. Would I love for us to be a family again? Yes. Financially, it would be wonderful. My kids wouldn’t have to be shuffled back and forth to his little apartment.

But then again, there’s just been sooo much bad stuff in our relationship. Although I hope he does find recovery, I honestly don’t have high hopes. After he was out of jail, we talked a few times and he seemed a bit cavalier about his “problem.” Stating very matter-of-factly that he just needs to stop drinking. It also bothered me that he said his mistake the night of the DUI was that he didn’t take an Uber. No, the mistake was that he shouldn’t have drank 10 beers! (His BAC was .22).

One option he has for avoiding jail time and not having a 2nd DUI on his record is called a deferred prosecution. Basically, he admits he has a problem and enters an intensive 2-year treatment program. During this time, he is subject to random tests for alcohol and any other mind-altering substances (this would include marijuana). After the 2 years, his treatment ends, but he still has to stay clean for 3 more years. If he does all that and doesn’t get into trouble, then the charges will be dismissed after 5 years.

I posted on Sober Recovery about this and I’m thankful for the good feedback I get. Most people reminded me to believe actions and that oftentimes, people can be good when they’re being monitored, but then it’s right back to drinking. Another alcoholic remarked that when he was in jail, he was desperate and willing to say anything.

I attended an Al-Anon meeting and decided to get back to some reading. I was pretty exhausted from it all, but finally, last night I slept great and I felt really good today.

I’m sticking to my side of the street this time. I won’t be telling him what he should do or even asking him, for that matter. People on SR remarked that I should keep my distance so I’m not his only resource and I think that’s a good idea. And as they say…more shall be revealed.

Advertisements

my higher power

1253157492_65d2150f94_z

Image Source

I’ve never been a religious person. Growing up, we never went to church or focused on religion. I remember attending some church-type events in college and I thought it was so strange when people were singing gospel music, with their hands held up high in the air and eyes closed.

When The Secret became popular, I read the book and it really seemed to make sense to me…there is a rhyme and reason to why things happen. Everything isn’t by chance. And you really can attract things into your life.

Of course, once I started attending Al-Anon, I heard about putting so much faith into my “higher power.” I honestly never thought much about a higher power. I certainly didn’t have faith in it during all those times I was crying and feeling lonely after one of AH’s drinking episodes.

Well, some recent events have reminded me that there really is a higher power.

Let’s start off with AH’s DUI. He got arrested at the end of January. I’m not sure if I mentioned it before or not, but after he got pulled over, the sheriff called me, asking if I could pick him up. Essentially, the sheriff said he didn’t want to take have to take him into jail. I knew enough at this point that it wasn’t my job to pick him up or rescue him. So, off he went to jail…refusing all field sobriety tests AND all breathalyzers. His night ended at the hospital, where had his blood drawn.

Well, last week, all of a sudden we started getting letters from attorneys advertising their DUI services. I told AH because it seemed weird how they just started coming in all of a sudden. AH’s license still has our old address on it, so who knows if he would get his papers. Well, he checked with his attorney and found out he had been charged on March 26th and was due in court this past Tuesday for his arraignment.

Using my lawyer research skills, I found the complaint online. I was mostly interested to see what his BAC was, since his blood had been drawn nearly 4 hours after he last drank. It turns out it was .15 (about double the legal limit) AND he was over the limit for THC, as well. (AH swears he didn’t smoke marijuana that night, but the test results don’t lie.)

I guess I now feel some type of vindication. I know I probably shouldn’t be feeling that way, but I do. AH cannot say that he’s “not out there getting DUIs.” He now has someone else to answer to about his drinking. I don’t have to be by his side, worrying about what’s going to happen to him or how embarrassed I’m going to be if someone sees he has an interlock device on his car.

I know in Al-Anon they say that by rescuing the alcoholic, we are interfering with our Higher Power’s ability to change things for the better. Well, on this night, I have to believe my Higher Power took over. AH’s tail light had been busted out in the parking lot and that’s the reason he initially got pulled over. Just by chance? I’ve never had a tail light of mine busted out…and in fact, I don’t think AH has before either. And if I had picked AH up? Wow, it’s crazy to think how different things would be today. I didn’t interfere and my Higher Power was there for me.

Now, I do feel a little silly because my husband getting a DUI really doesn’t benefit me directly. Maybe I’m still holding on to the thought that he is on his way to rock bottom so he will really get into recovery? But then again, what difference does it make if he gets into recovery now? Even if he were to truly commit, I don’t think I’ll ever want to be with him again. In fact, if he were to fully recover and get better now, it would almost be a slap in the face to me. Okay, get good and recovered now that I’ve wasted the last 13 years of my life with you.

Anyways, I do truly believe there’s a Higher Power out there that’s looking out for me. I just need to stay true to my own path of recovery and trust him or her to lead me to a happier life.

on boundaries

One thing that almost all codependents suffer from is the inability to set clear boundaries. I know I struggled with setting boundaries throughout my entire relationship with AH. There were times I mixed up boundaries with trying to control/giving him a rule. For instance, I once said my boundary was that in order to stay married, AH needed to be attending meetings, get a sponsor and working the steps. Someone remarked that this sounded more like a rule for him than a boundary for me. They then asked, how would I enforce it? Would I call up his supposed sponsor to ensure he was working the steps?

At last week’s therapy appointment, I posed this question to my therapist. I asked her how I could set clear boundaries moving forward and also asked her about setting boundaries in situations that are not nearly as dire as with an alcoholic. She said getting a divorce is an example of a very drastic boundary. But the example she gave was about dating someone who is always late. She said a boundary in this case would be to say, “That just doesn’t work for me.” I wouldn’t be telling the other person what to do (i.e., you need to make sure you start getting ready sooner, etc.). Instead, I would just be letting them know that it doesn’t work for me. This made a lot of sense. She also said that when verbally giving boundaries, my verbiage should be short. Again, it just makes sense!

In regards to daily life, things are good. I was triggered on Saturday, however. I had decided to post a quote about divorce on my Twitter timeline (hardly anybody I know follows me.) Well, AH’s aunt does and she messaged AH to ask if everything is okay. Apparently, she then told him he’s making a mistake in not getting a lawyer.

I’m not really sure why, but when he said this, it really infuriated me. Thinking about it more, I think the reason I got so mad is that I instantly went to the place of thinking that he had not told her the whole story (i.e., the reason we’re breaking us is that he has a drinking problem, he recently got arrested for DUI, etc.) I guess mentally, it kind of put me back in the middle of the insanity.

Anyways, AH also got defensive and we had a little squabble, but ended up getting over it. Again, I know I can’t control what AH says or does and in the end, it doesn’t matter what anybody thinks. I’m working very hard on getting over the feelings of self-righteousness I have when it comes to AH. It’s a work in progress!

today was a good day

I didn’t get a very good night’s sleep last night because I woke up a few times thinking about all the stuff at work that I’ve been putting off. (More on my battle with overwhelm and procastination later.) However, I had planned on going to the gym after work (more specifically a spinning class) and then an al-anon meeting right after. The morning started out a bit rough and by that I mean, I wasn’t very focused. However, after lunch I found my stride and sat down and wrote out a list of every single case I’m working on right now and what needs to be done. After that, I was actually productive and did some work!

My spinning class was great. I really enjoyed myself and I felt good afterwards. Then it was off to my al-anon meeting, which was great also.

When I got home around 8:45, AH was already laying on his air mattress. You know what’s funny…in the past, I probably would have been disappointed or sad that he was tired and wanted to go to bed (the codependent in me.) But tonight, we chatted briefly and I was actually excited to go downstairs, eat a snack and watch some of my tv shows.

I know there are still tough moments ahead, but I’m living in the present and today was just a good day.

codependency and alcoholism – parallel diseases

Someone posted this on the Sober Recovery message board. It is 1000% true and something that I finally realized.

Maybe if you try and think of codependency and alcoholism as similar problems, then you can understand why it is just as hard to get rid of someone you love no matter how much of a negative influence they are on our lives, as it is to recover from alcoholism.

They are addicted to alcohol and we are addicted to them.

They have denial about how alcohol negatively affects their lives, and we go through denial about how they negatively affect our lives.

They know something is wrong with their lives, but can’t put a finger on it…for a while, and we know something is wrong with our lives, but can’t put a finger on it…for a while.

They have to accept they need alcohol out of their lives for it to be healthier, and we have to accept that we need unhealthy attachment out of our lives before we can be healthier.

You see what I mean?

The steps to getting better are similar as well.

We admit we are powerless over THEM.
We turn inward and become selfish about our recovery.
We stop doing things for others that hurt ourselves.
We rediscover our self worth.
And then, we remove what is affecting our serenity and growth.

the path to acceptance

I haven’t written for a couple of days. Anyways, Friday morning, AH came into the bedroom asking if I had his keys. Of course, I didn’t. He couldn’t find them anywhere. And then he also couldn’t find the spare or valet key. My thinking is that he hid the spare and valet key from me so I couldn’t get into his car. Anyways, after paying locksmith $200 to come unlock his car and then finding that they weren’t in there, he finally found them. He had put them in his backpack. He exclaimed that with all the lack of sleep and stress, he was losing his mind.

We then had a long talk. He had heard me talking on the phone to my brother and I was telling my brother that it was a bit hurtful because AH was acting like he wasn’t upset about us separating…that he was only upset about not being with the kids all the time. AH told me that wasn’t true and to please not tell people that. We then discussed how we are still having the same relationship issues that we had early on, years ago. And even when we got married, he knew deep down it probably wasn’t the right thing to do, but he had hoped we would grow closer. I told him that I was just heartbroken to be losing my best friend. We talked more about how it will be after we separate and he explained that he will still be here for me. In fact, he still plans to come over and mow the lawn, etc.

Of course, I cried and cried. Even though it was overall a good conversation that made me feel a lot better, it’s just a mix of emotions. Sadness for ending our relationship, relief for not having to live with this constant stress and unhappiness, and fear of the unknown. I also told AH that we agree to disagree regarding his drinking issues and we agreed not to bring it up anymore. I had to remind AH about this when he said “I’ve always accepted you as you are.”

Last night, I could tell he was getting agitated by the kids. He decided to go to a meeting. It was a gentle reminder to me of why I can’t be married to him anymore, although he does have many great qualities and I do believe he does truly care for me. As far as his drinking goes, he told me that he’s not drinking now and he will not be drinking around the kids or if he has to drive anywhere.

This morning I woke up feeling TIRED, even though I got a pretty good night’s sleep. I’m trying to remember that my body is using up tons of energy to heal from this trauma and to be gentle with myself. I went to get a haircut then came home and took a little nap. I’m thankful for AH that I could do that. He just left to get groceries and took DD1 with him.

I still haven’t sat down and gone over our finances. I’m hoping to rest up the rest of the day and then hit work tomorrow hard to have a productive week.

update

So, after my last post, I was texting with AH and he told me the credit card charges were not what I was thinking. He said it was an accumulation of purchases. He told me he would email me his bank statement. Then he called and was very matter-of-fact saying that he didn’t have anything to hide and that he was hoping we could handle this all amicably like adults, but now he’s not so sure. I told him I have a right to know what he’s been doing if he expects to be spending time with the kids. I think he also made some mention of this incident is exactly an example of why this marriage can’t work…that he’s a grown man and he can spend his money on what he wants. Me (thinking): “Ah, yes. Thanks for reminding me that you can do what you want without regard for anyone else.” In fact, I was quite aware he felt that way since that’s how he’s been acting our entire relationship. His voice started to tremble and he said how I was trying to take his kids away from him. I just love how the A’s are always the victims. They play that card so well, don’t they?

Anyways, once I saw the yearly statement, I saw that almost all of the charges were from gas stations. Many of them being the exact same price…$4.38, I believe, which is probably the price of a 24 oz. beer. So, while he wasn’t doing what I thought he was with this credit card, instead he was using it to purchase beer behind my back.

I was feeling pretty frustrated because he was playing me out like I was the villain for going through his stuff. And I do know this was super codie behavior, but as we go into the divorce proceedings, I feel I need to protect myself and know exactly what he’s been up to. And lo and behold, I find more evidence of him lying and drinking behind my back. I did text him later to apologize for accusing him (trying to admit my wrongs and make amends, a la Al-Anon.) He said he had a late meeting after work, so he didn’t get home until pretty late. Of course, his demeanor was very cold.

As for me, I had a pretty relaxing evening with the kids. I was happy again because DS5 seemed to be happy and didn’t have any emotional moments. I”m most concerned for him with all of this stuff happening.

I’m going to try to start blogging at night, at the end of the day. I think it’s a good way to unwind and get all of my feelings out. And I’m also going to try to document one thing that I do for just myself each day.

What I did for me today: I washed my face before bed! Seriously, I know this probably sounds horrible, but I have the worst habit of wearing my makeup to bed. It may sound crazy, but something as simple as this is the type of stuff I would neglect due to all the stress of my alcoholic marriage.

 

on detachment

Detachment has always been a concept that I could never quite grasp. When AH would come home and I could tell he had been drinking, my thought was always, “Well, I HAVE to let him know that I disapprove…otherwise, he will think it’s okay for him to do this!” And so, of course, we would get into a big fight and then he would say how sorry he was and how he let me down, etc. I’m sure this would then result in tons of shame, resentment and guilt inside him, which would start the cycle for the next episode of drinking.

Now that I’ve immersed myself in Al-Anon and reading, I think I finally get it. Someone on the Sober Recovery website wrote this about detachment and I don’t think I’ve ever seen it put more plainly or perfectly.

For some the concept of detachment is hard to grasp. Especially if you are the kind of person who is used to having a ‘say’ in most matters. We somehow think we must always “speak up” when our S.O. is doing something wrong and in some cases we do need to speak up in certain situations. Detachment might feel to ‘passive’ for us. But, sometimes it’s not so much a matter of keeping quiet as it is a matter of refusing to engage in something FUTILE. We learn the hard way how to stop wasting our own time, energy, efforts in “reforming” this other person and instead take that effort and put into ourselves and our own fulfillment. We learn that the person in question may never change and become the person we wish they were. We realize that our own happiness is not about *them* and not wrapped up in them.

It’s funny because I went back to an Al-Anon meeting last night that I haven’t been to in ages. I think the last time I was there was in October, just before we were in the process of purchasing a new home, selling our old one, and moving. I shared with what has been going on and especially how I now understand that chastising/nagging my AH is the wrong thing to do and only made things worse. Then I said, “Why didn’t anyone ever tell me this?! Oh wait…they did, I was just in denial.” It’s so interesting how my disease of codependency has paralleled AH’s disease of alcoholism. I would start going to Al-Anon and then stop. I would read the literature, but it really never sunk in…until now. It took me hitting my rock bottom to surrender and start my true path to recovery.

Sidenote: I slept great again last night, although DS5 came in around 2am because he was scared of the wind and rain. For a moment, I thought about how sad it is that when he has a nightmare or is scared at night, I’ll be the only one there. 😦 But my mind is feeling a bit clearer today and I think I’ll be ready to tackle going over our finances tomorrow so we can start to detail how finances are going to work through our divorce.

learning to let go

Near the end of yesterday’s work day, I was feeling pretty good. I was able to be productive in the afternoon at work and then stopped by the store to grab some tomatoes (AH and I were planning on making tacos.) He ended up going to a meeting, so it was just me with the kids, which was fine. I was thankful that DS (5 years) didn’t throw any tantrums and seemed to actually be listening to me. He’s been throwing tantrums at school and seems to be very emotional, which is worrying me a little bit. I talked to him again about daddy moving out into his own place in a few weeks. DS doesn’t seem to really understand it yet, which I think is good. I told him that daddy is still going to be around a lot and that no matter what, we both love him.

AH and I actually watched part of the Downton Abbey finale together, chatting and making small talk. It’s all just a bit strange. AH smoked pot and offered me some. I declined. Even though I used to smoke with him, I decided it’s probably not very kosher to do so when I’ve told him I think he has a problem with it.

At one point, we were talking about our dog and AH mentioned that if I ever go out of town, he could probably smuggle the dog into his apartment and he would keep her. I then said that if I went out of town, he would probably just stay at the house with the kids and then he said, “in 3 or 4 years?”

I don’t know why, but that statement got to me a bit. Even though everyday I can recall things he has done that I am thankful to get away from, I guess that piece of me still remains hoping that we can reconcile at some point. But I know the chances of that happening are very low. I think too much has happened now for me to ever be able to trust him or truly forgive him and not be resentful towards him. And when he mentioned being apart in 3 or 4 years, well, I guess it’s just not something I have thought about. I know I need to be able to let go of our relationship as it is now and avoid future tripping.

I really like this quote about recovery and try to remind myself of it anytime I start to future trip.

Recovery is like driving at night in the fog. You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.

I will say, however, that I have been sleeping pretty good. For awhile, I was having issues where I would wake up at 3am. But the last few nights, I’ve been able to sleep until AH comes in to shower (around 5:30).

defining myself

I had a session with my therapist a couple of hours ago. Of course, I updated her with what’s going on. One thing we discussed is that I was somewhat relieved when I was talking to AH about his trip to Mexico and he told me that he was depressed the entire time and never really even went to the beach. Therapist asked me why this made me happy and my response was that I guess it makes me feel better knowing that he does seem to care that that our relationship is ending. She then told me yes, he does care, but probably in the same way a child would care about losing his mother. Ouch.

Then I told her how this process seems to be hard because a lot of the time I don’t know what he’s thinking. Besides conversations about the kids and making plans for our separation, we have pretty much avoided talking about anything else. She asked me why it matters what he thinks…what could he possibly think or say that would make things any different? I know she’s right…at this point it’s only actions he can take that will make any difference. Then she got around to saying that in all of this, I have to define myself and not let him define me any longer.

So, we spent a lot of the session discussing how I can define myself. That I can define myself without insulting him. For instance, I can say “yes, you’re free to drink and smoke weed however you want, but for my own health, I cannot be around it.” I also took a step towards defining myself yesterday, when I told him that right now, I just can’t discuss the details of our finances or what our divorce will look like. I need to just focus on work for a bit.

I also asked her if she thinks my constant state of overwhelm and inability to ever seemingly be productive and get things done is a result of all the stress and insanity of my marriage to AH. She simply said, “yes.”

This is one thing I am working on. For as long as I can remember, life has been a struggle. I’ve become a big time procastinator, putting things off at work; not having the energy to take my kids outside; being short with my kids; etc. That HAS to end. I can no longer live life this way and I can no longer let AH’s problems define myself or my life.