Sunday, April 17, 2011

What Was I Thinking?

Edited to add:  I wrote this right before Mama Kat's writing workshop prompts came out and it happened to fit perfectly for the "describe a phone call" prompt.  So I'm cheating and using it for that.


This is a tough post for me, but it's something I have to do.  I need to let this all out somewhere.

First of all, here's a little background...
About 13 years ago, I was home from college for the summer.  I was heartbroken from my first taste of love.  I was a 20 year old mess.  After a long, miserable summer I had decided that I just needed to get on with life and start dating again.  That's when I met "S".  To make a long story as short as possible, I fell in love.  We had a very volatile relationship.  He drank.  A lot.  But at the time, so did I (I was in college) so it didn't seem too much of a red flag.  Ok, it was a big flashing neon sign, but I was young and desperate to be in love.  We stayed together through my years in college and then we moved back to my hometown and rented a place together and later he bought us a house there.  When he was sober, we got along great.  He was my best friend and we truly clicked.  We loved to argue have long in depth conversations.  We challenged each other.  I really loved to be around him and it didn't really matter what we were doing, we just enjoyed each other.  And then there was the drinking.  He was a mean drunk.  Not physically.  He never laid a hand on me. (although I was the only thing...there were holes in walls, broken furniture, ect)  But he would yell and scream and rant at me.  All his frustrations would get taken out on me.  In the morning, he would be sorry and 2 days later we would be back to normal.  4 days later it would happen again.  It was a vicious cycle that never ended and left me emotionally tormented.  I wasn't in a unique position...family members of alcoholics deal with this on a daily basis.  I was stuck.  I loved him and cared about him, but I couldn't change him.  Believe me, I tried.  Finally, 6 years later, I somehow managed to leave.  I left fast and without warning.  Basically, I ran like hell and never looked back.  I stopped answering calls and wouldn't tell him where I was.  I felt like I escaped.

I jumped into a new relationship almost immediately.  I didn't mean to, but I think I knew that I would be tempted to go back and being in a new relationship kept me away from him. (I had tried leaving a few times before and always went back)   Leaving him was the hardest thing I had ever done.  I hated him for not being able to put down the bottle.  I hated myself for staying as long as I did.  I hated myself for still caring about him no matter what he dished out to me.  I hated myself for abandoning him and not being strong enough to get us both through it.  I did the only thing I was strong enough to do.  I completely blocked him and the past 6 years from my memory and thoughts and moved on like those years never existed.  I moved on.  I had a family.  I thought I was happy. 

Then shit happened.  My world fell apart

In the months that followed, I tried to find myself and put myself back together.  One night I re-read some of my old journals and came across some entries from when S and I were together.  It all started coming back to me.  In a moment of weakness, I made a mistake.  I called him.  Dumb, dumb, dumb.  I don't know why I did it.  Loneliness, guilt, soul searching...I was just lost and somehow I knew that I would get some answers from him.  So we talked and talked and talked some more.  We fell right back into our friendship and banter.  He made me feel good and I realized how much I missed him.  He told me he grew up.  He told me he changed.  Told me that messing up with me was the biggest regret he had.  I knew it was possible, but unlikely.  But I'm a sucker. We went to a movie.  We texted.  We hung out.  Then, I got scared.  It was getting too comfortable and I wasn't ready.  He said he understood and hoped someday we could have a chance, but he realized that I needed my time and space.  Quite honestly, I just had some little feelings that he hadn't change as much as he led on and I am not putting myself and my daughter through that.  I just won't do it.  I felt guilty (again) though. 

That was over a month ago.  We haven't talked since.  Occasionally I get a text from him, and I have responded with short and to the point replies. 

And then my phone rang.

Last night at 10:30pm, I get a phone call from him.  I answered b/c I hadn't talked to him in awhile and it wasn't like him to call.  (texting is more his style)

He was drunk.  I should have hung up right then, but I didn't.  Dumb, dumb, dumb.  I listened.  I listened to him ramble and slur and beg.  I listened to him confess that I am the only person he has ever loved.  I listened to him call me an asshole.  I basically listened to a flashback of 10 years ago.  I finally told him I couldn't listen anymore and hung up.  He called over and over and I sent the calls to voicemail.  He texted and I ignored him. 

I slept like shit. 

I hate alcoholism.  HATE it.  It has robbed him.  I know that he is an amazing person with a huge heart.  Having a relationship with an alcoholic is like being in a relationship with two different people.  One that you love and one that you hate.  You can't separate the two of them no matter how much you want to.  You can't fix it and it doesn't just go away.  I spent 6 years trying to save him from himself and I almost lost myself in the fight.  Today I'm sad and pissed off.  I'm sad that he hasn't found his way out yet.  I'm sad that he just doesn't see it and continues to self destruct.  I'm pissed that I almost got sucked back in and I'm pissed that I still care.

7 comments:

BloggyDaddy said...

Hi Tiffany,

Boy, alchoholism is tough, I feel for you. I've had to deal with this in my family with both my brother and my grandmother.

First of all, don't beat yourself up for any of this, it is so much out of your control. You care and that is good, but the sad reality is that the there isn't anything you can do to help, he has to help himself and at this point, that doesn't involve you at all, it's all on him. Believe me I tried helping my family members and it never worked until one of them (my brother) decided to do something about it on his own.

You left for good reason and it looks like you've got a little girl who needs you in her life, but not any of his mess. You've dealt with enough to add this back into your life.

I feel for you and it sucks, but I hope some good things come your way soon.

tiffany1377 said...

Thanks for checking out my blog and leaving me some comment love!

I know what you said is true. I am working on trying not to let the guilt suck me back in. I know I can't do anything until he is ready to help himself, but I hate feeling helpless. I really do wish him the best in life.

ChopperPapa said...

Tiffany, let me commend you for realizing what you were about to get yourself into. Most in the same situation would have caved and you didn't, kudos for you.

I can appreciate your position, you care for someone but you can't or shouldn't be with them. That is responsibility, maturity and love. Yes love. Because you love yourself and your daughter enough to never put both of you into that situation.

Don't beat yourself up because you didn't get sucked back in. Your human and your care. You did the right thing for the both of you however.

CP

tiffany1377 said...

Chopper Papa,
Thanks so much for the comment, it really means a lot. I logically know all that, but hearing someone else confirming it really helps. I am going to re-read your comment anytime I start to feel like I should talk to him.

Pumpkin Delight said...

Ditto to what the others said. You've definitely done the right thing. A relationship of any kind with an alcoholic is not easy.

stopped by from mama kat's

Jessica said...

Alcoholism is terrible. I have had many people in my family suffer from it.

Morgan said...

So sorry ... thanks for sharing your heart.

Visiting from Mama Kat's.

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