One of the worst things about loving an addict is that if they get sober, they don’t remember their drunken antics. WE do.
This is her story:
By the time I was 20, I had battled drug addiction, been married and divorced, survived sexual assault and birthed a baby without a daddy.
If you said that I was broken when I met him, you’d be right, but there were a few pieces of me still hanging on.
He was sexy and wild and I wanted to be part of that. I was a bad-girl. I was the other woman and played the role well. We did the things we shouldn’t be doing and it was all fun and games. Until we decided to make us a permanent thing.
We married and I settled in. Doing all the things a good mom does. We had a baby together and I got to experience what it felt like to have a partner to help me through it.
I was not alone. But my wild and sexy husband remained wild, and drank and drank and drank. He drank us into debt. He drank away our love. He drank away my life.
Two more babies came and each time I thought it would be better. But it never was. He called me names. He pushed me. He drove drunk. He forgot to pick up our children from school. He ruined birthday parties and anniversaries with his moody, sloppy drunkenness. I tried to leave half a dozen times and every time he said it would be different and so I returned to him. But it was not different. It was worse. It was a game and we were all losing.
One summer day I could not take it anymore and I (stupidly) demanded that it stop. Furniture was thrown at me as my children watched. I pushed him out the door, made him go. My 9 year old son called the police.
He never drank again. He worked hard to be sober, and it’s been 5 years. He is healed, people say. How proud I must be of him.
And I am outwardly pleased, but inside I do not trust. I wait on the edge of my seat for the other shoe to drop.
Will today be the day? Will it all fall to pieces again? I can never be sure. I took my vows, and I stood by him and helped him through his darkest hours.
I suffered through years of agony. I cried along with my babies at night while he was out drinking us away.
I am supposed to forgive and move forward, our lives restored, but I am unable to find this “fresh start” that people tell me I’m so lucky to have. I am not the lucky one.
I spent too many years fixing him for it all to fall apart now.
But I’m the one with the memories, the nightmares, the emotional scars. All the deeds that he cannot undo, and the behavior that remains the same, whether he is sober or drunk. I am still mother and father and caregiver and nurturer to everyone but myself.
I am tired of doing this alone. I don’t want to be a martyr. I want my life back.
I want to be whole again.
I am still mother and father and caregiver and nurturer to everyone but myself.” <— totally me. Mine doesn't drink at all, but he's the the laziest and most selfish person I know. I totally feel you. xoxo
This post really touched me. This reminds me so much of my dad. I’m so sorry you are going through this. I’m glad to hear he is sober, but you are right – a drunk turning sober doesn’t make the years of hurt and trauma go away. *HUGS*
My second husband put up with me much the way you put up with your husband. Until he didn’t. I have no words of wisdom, no words that can help heal you. But I can say that I understand why you can’t forgive. Living with one of us (addicts/alcoholics) is hell. I can only imagine the strength it takes to survive it, and to stay even now. Addiction and alcoholism are horrible diseases, and I think that even now, 5 years and counting clean, my mother still secretly waits for the other shoe to drop. I don’t know if I could do what you have done, what my mother has done. I respect and admire you for continuing to support your husband.
I hope he figures out what he has in you. And I hope that you find some way to heal, to be whole again.
Well, you didn’t fix him; he did that. And I AM a recovering alcoholic, and I have loved an alcoholic, and what I have to learn and relearn and learn again is that I am not responsible for anyone’s successes OR failures. They own that. You have stood by him and supported him and good for you for doing that-and now, sweet woman, it is time to take care of yourself. You don’t HAVE to be the martyr anymore. I strongly suggest finding an Al-anon meeting; they have and will continue to help ME keep sane!
Learning that you cannot fix another person is something so fundamentally important when being involved with addicts. Or growing up around them. Owning things. I love this. I use that term all the time. I had this conversation last night, actually.
I think Al-anon is a good idea. I have always been afraid of going, as he always made me feel as if I was somehow hurting HIM by going. It doesn’t always make sense, I know this. It is definitely time for me to take care of me.
amaC – i wholeheartedly agree that al-anon may be a real help for you. i had an alcoholic dad, an alcoholic stepfather, and am a recovering addict myself. twelve-stepping isn’t for everyone, but it can work wonders for many people and you really don’t have anything to lose from trying it out. if al-anon isn’t quite your bag, many health clinics or hospitals run free or low-cost group therapy sessions for family/friends of addicts/alcoholics or recovering addicts/alcoholics
The hardest part of living an addict is always waiting for the addiction to rear it’s ugly head. You are not alone! I completely understand this mindset!
Loving an addict is so hard. Mine are my sister and my dad. At the end, before I cut my sister off, I wasn’t sleeping, I was always waiting for the next moment. I finally accepted that that is no way to live, I can love her and not talk to her. I cannot, for my own physical and mental well being, have a front row seat to the trainwreck her life has become. It pains me to be cut off like this but it is healthier and I deserve to be healthy. So do you <3