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What to do now, any advice?
Anonymousjust 4 days ago I had a very dear friend and someone I would work for pass away totally out of the blue, did not know how or why but found out today, when my old man came home today I began to explain what I knew cause I went to the wifes house and took some food so she would have a few meals thinking this has got to be very hard for her, anyway he might have been doing some drinking the nite before cause was a bachelor party of sorts but camping, he woke up in morning but said he was really tired and went back to bed never woke up. now I know he would drink alittle too much cause was in a local guys club that thats pretty much what they do, and maybe his wife had had words with him about his drinking, but my old man says he heard that she is probably why he died cause she was another bitching old lady referring to me of course. he went straight to bed its only 3:00 pm I could tell he had been at a friend of his where he often goes to drink, and I happen to know that this one person who goes there is a gossip and a half and also was affiliated with this other friend who passed. and I don’t trust her mouth. now when he wakes up his mind set is gonna be just that. “another woman kills her man” I have done my best to keep my mouth shut lately but theres no denying I want nothing to do with him. this cituation is very emotional for me, I am not sure I am gonna be able to keep my mouth shut about this, how ridiculous, are these alcoholic men or people that dense. and how do you deal with them, for me he will just take away the car keys the telephone and probably shut off my computer, thats his way of punishing me and I will have no choice but to listen to his diarrhea that spews out of his mouth. some day its gonna get beyond safe, he pushes and pushes yet I have no recourse cause he owns the house the car and we are not married. I have done this for 10 years now I don’t want to go to the extremes I know I am capable of I hate a bully, and this might be my breaking point. I am a good person a kind person but I can only be pushed so far.
AnonymousGayle, how are you doing now? I can relate to this post – my husband is a bully too when he gets angry. He too has taken away the car keys or the Internet cable to punish me and keep me isolated. It’s very sad that these people feel the need to do this – do they really think being an obnoxious, abusive control-freak is going to help matters?
Please stay safe, and keep in mind, that if he becomes violent you should call the police or go to a woman’s shelter. I know you live rurally and don’t have your own car – but the woman’s shelter near me told me they will come pick women up that can’t get to the shelter on their own. Please try your best to take care of yourself.
I too can relate to everything that you have been saying in all of your posts.
You have put up with this situation now for 10 years. Now you have to stop, take a step back.
This is my take on your situation.
1. you have allowed this man to create the woman you are now.
2. you have allowed this man to stop you from living YOUR life.
3. you are not weak he has manipulated you through your love for this man, he would have done this even if he wasn’t a drinker, this is the type of man he is anyway
4. its not your fault that you didn’t see what was happening we never do until many moons later.
5. remember this is YOUR life and he can do what ever he likes in his LIFE.
6. you know now that what you have been doing for the last 10 years is not going to change him
so those points above are brief but you know them anyway, but here are the good points
7. reading your other posts I was under the impression that you had no friends, but you do, you have taken food to a friend who had just lost her husband – how kind and thoughtful of you
8. you say in your posts that you are not married and have no children together GREAT
9. you can get out if you really wanted too – you have no property, no children, however you have YOU and your clothes – if you want to leave ring the Womens Refuge arrange to be collected when he has gone to work, pack your essentials and go. I worked for a Womens refuge,you will have a roof over your head, and then they will help you get a job,training for a job and a new home. But at least while you are there you will be able to have the space from your husband and peace. – Everything you say you want is here for your new life but it wont be with your husband
10 If you don’t want to really leave, then live life for yourself – are you in a church group, are you in a womans group, – get out of the house and meet people
11. ok you haven’t worked for 10 years, start volunteering at your local charity shops, hospitals, schools, volunteering looks good on your CV – get out of the house and meet people
12. how is your health, have you been looking after yourself – dentist, doctors etc
13. are you looking after your appearance – hair cut, dyed are you bothering with your appearance or has it slipped?
14. are you overweight – join WeightWatchers here you will have help with your diet plus again you will meet like minded people, strangers to start but you will be looking after you and meeting people to help with your sanity
15. Do your family or friends say come stay – do you – well do, go stay with family and friends you will be surprised how you enjoy the short break – again to be you – you go back home stronger – I have just spent one night with my daughter and the rest of my family as it was her birthday – he didn’t want to come all the excuses under the sun – I just kept thinking when he was doing the negative talk, I am going, I am going – best thing that has happened to me in a long time- for a brief moment I was free – when we went out as a group I left my phone in the house, I didn’t want to be distracted from the calls that would come in when he had hit the limit on his drinking – and sure enough when we got back to the house I had 5 missed calls and endless texts from loving me to staying I was a tart and did I enjoy the men?? I did not reply I went bed happy I CHOSE NOT TO LET HIM RUIN MY TIME WITH MY FAMILY – now I am home I cherish that time and have made a pledge to myself to do more he wont like it but I don’t stop him doing what he wants to do well actually he just drinks – good for him – its his life if he wants to drink its his choice.
16 Now what you need to do is start living your life – either leave go to the womens refuge and start living you have nothing to lose OR if you stay – stop moaning about him; (believe me I have moaned so much people called me a bore!!!! OMG that is not me well it wasn’t people thought I was a good laugh, etc but now I was a bore- yep I was horrified to hear this and it came from the person I love dearly my sister ( now that was a shock I have gone from a fun loving person to a bore)
I understand that in a relationship I crave for his approval, to make him happy etc I crave affection from him, I crave to loved how I want to be loved – FACT I AINT GOING TO GET IT – I stay because I love the town I live in and I now have some really lovely friends. So I stay and live my life
a. I have put on a lot of weight – am now on a lifestyle change
b. I joined the local leisure centre and go to the classes every night I am no good at them but at least I am off the sofa and I am not spending so much time at home in the negative environment
c. I work 35 hours a week, but my debts are ridiculous so I have taken on a job as barmaid working 10 hour shifts on Saturday and Sundays total 55 hours a week – the alternative is to continue watching him get drunk earlier on the weekends which always ends in endless put downs, I will no longer be in this environment I haven’t left him I JUST CHOSEN NOT TO BE IN THAT ENVIRONMENT WHEN IT KICKS OFF.
d. In the week I have learnt when he starts!!!(even though it is me according to him, screaming bitch from hell – that I have been due to my frustations) so when he starts – I say I am just going for a shower, while in the bathroom I do my nails, shower etc, then when I come out he is still in the sitting room drinking I pop my head round the door and say I am off to bed, if we have rowed before going into the shower I just go straight to bed. ( I have moved myself from the situation, I have no telly in the bedroom, but I have my kindle so I read and then sleep)
e. I am taking control of me and my thoughts, I have been reading The Secret by Rhonda Byrne and then her other book The Secrets Daily Teachings these books I am reading over and over again they have been so positive and made such a difference in the way I think.
f. I am not saying its easy, it isn’t, going on a diet isn’t easy but people do it, and they don’t live with a drinker, going to college, doing homework, new job, new exercise routine, etc is always difficult to start with as its a new way of doing things, but you soon get the hang of it and before you know it it is second nature to you. Change the way you think about life, little steps.
g. my worst thing I do is when I don’t want to go to classes etc is staying in the house and becoming stagnant but if I get my arse out side and go for a walk, in the fresh air, I feel so much better I keep walking, I used to think people knew why I was walking, what I was thinking about nope they don’t, just walk keep walking, feel the breeze on your face, smile at the day smile at the birds, the grass, the flowers, watch the wildlife be grateful that you can do what ever you want its just the thoughts that stop you.
I would love to chat to you in the chat room but when ever I go in, there is never anyone around.
I was under the impression before joining that there were lots of people on the forums etc but as you know there isn’t.
I hope I don’t appear to have come over aggressive, I am just stating the facts, when my sister did to me it was the best wake up call I had had.
She also told me to shut up about it or do something about it (as there is always a solution and moaning about it isn’t a way forward, but action is)
Are you working your way through the workbooks on here? they are really good.
I will check in later today to see if you have replied.
Big hugs to you, you can do what every you want to do.
Speak soon KarenAnonymousKaren, what a fantastic post! Your advice is good for just about anyone here, I think. Thank you for sharing that. 🙂Anonymous
Hello to everyone out there — As you know I no longer post often as I’m too inundated with law school. I just wanted to take a moment to let you all know that there really is life after living with an alcoholic – one that doesn’t want to change. Leaving was the hardest thing I ever had to go through. I was such a mess and yet I still had to be strong for my kids who had lived through so much and were so deeply hurting too, but we are making it through – day by day. I feel like I’m starting to settle in (I moved to a different state) I found a great church and although I can only attend once a week, I look forward to the days when law school is over and I can get more involved. i’ve met some really great people, and made some good friends.
I feel like I have options and that there are so many opportunities in life. Honestly, I feel as if a wet blanket has been lifted from me….the weight of the world is gone (well let’s just say it has been replaced with law school weight – but thats a good weight); I’m seeing a good cognitive behavior therapist who has helped me into looking at my thought patterns and why/how I have them and how to change them –
I’m not saying life is easy. I’m in the middle of the divorce, I have no idea how I’ll pay for my attorney, saying that money is tight is an understatement, I’m still living with others because I can’t afford my own place yet, I do get lonely, and sad….but honestly, I’m so much more at PEACE inside. There’s no fighting, no yelling, no midnight terrorizing, no physical/sexual assaults, etc… I could go on and on about that too, but I’m not because I’m shutting the door on that, and looking forward toward my new door. (and Karen is right, I sucked up my pride and got help from my local women’s shelter and left with whatever we could put in our suitcases, and they bought us plane tickets out of the state.)
Just realize that sometimes we have to walk through the fire to get to the other side.
I too, hoped my soon to be ex, would be motivated to change, to get well, but addiction is too much for him; and as my therapist said, “even if he stopped drinking today and never touched it again, without therapy, he is just a dry drunk;” she helped me realize that as much as I wanted things to work out, we created such dysfunctional behaviors in our relationship that it was an ingrained pattern and habit and it was going to take a lot of mutual work to change those….its why its so easy to have our buttons “pushed” by certain people….
Well not that I like divorce, but I also know that if I can start over at 41, and go to law school with a bunch of 20 somethings and actually garner a little respect…YOU can do anything! DON’T SETTLE for crumbs when the entire pie is available to you.
I will check in again at some point, but I’ve decided that I am not going to renew my membership when it comes up this summer. Money is tight and I feel like it is one door of my past that I want to terminate. Until then, I’ll keep in touch and know that each of you carry within yourselves the STRENGTH, DETERMINATION, CONFIDENCE AND ABILITIES to make something beautiful of your lives. I pray for peace, love and direction for each of you!
TamiAnonymousBless you, Tami. Thanks so much for keeping us updated, and for offering your words of encouragement. I often wonder how you are doing and it’s so good to hear you are well.
Love LauraLisaDitto with Laura from me too Tami. God bless you, and watch over you and your children – it’s truly wonderful to hear how you’re going, and you remain in my prayers. Totally understand that you wont renew when your membership runs out – you have well and truly earned the right to close that door. Love that you are making good new friends – take care, and hope there’s some pleasure in that study too and that it’s not all stress. Love and peace, Lisa
AnonymousThank you Tami. As a new member hearing such words of empowerment and encouragement is so comforting, inspiring and supportive. I’m sure I will re-read your post when I need it. You have achieved so much despite everything so you must be very proud of yourself. Good luck with the rest of your fantastic journey/adventure!
JulieAnonymousThank you everyone! I appreciate hearing your feedback! I’ll check in again in a few weeks. I have mid terms starting on Monday and going for the next 10 days or so, so I’ll buried in my books!
Until then!DawnTami you are an inspiration! I too have thought of you often, so pleased to hear you are getting on well.
XXDeleted userKaren and Tami,
I think you answered the call for positive posts! Thank you both for sharing. My day is already going better.
I think that I have quit posting because it feels somewhat like groundhog day and I feel like I would be repeating myself with posts. I do, however, continue to move forward in life and have created space between me and my D, taking a new job in another state and spending more time with my family. However, I have not completely ended our 25 year relationship. Mostly I am okay, but I still feel a deep sadness that I have been unable to help him resolve his alcohol and mental health issues. His lies are continuous, and I don’t know that he will be able to ever untangle the web of deceit that he has created.
Anyway, to end back positively, I have think I have actually followed most of Karen’s advice in dealing with life. Stepping back and taking back a life of my own (and not feeling guilty for doing so) has made a difference. The drama seems more like a tv show than my real life now!
Self pity party
Things have been a bit better here, he’s still seeing the alcohol team and supposedly working towards a detox, going to AA and so on. Still drinking.
I have bee n really dreading the summer hols, feeling so frightened and unable to cope when I think about it. I have to work through a lot of it and he works nights. He seems to go somewhere on the way home and that seems to be when he does his drinking. I don’t ask as I would rather not know.
I told him my daughter had noticed he had been a bit better lately and he seemed pleased, asked him to try really hard for the holidays. It is just too terribly predictable to say that I got texts from my daughter on the first day of the holiday, saying he came in pissed, stinking of drink, hostile, she didn’t feel safe. I was able to pop home and found myself saying let dad sleep it off, try not to wake him up. What sort of terrible advice is that to give children? So now I know it’s going to be a terrible 6 weeks and I don’t know if I can cope with the state of anxiety.
The most awful thing is knowing that I am largely to blame as I married him knowing he was an alcoholic but got myself in a situation where I felt responsible for him. The first year was awful, with drinking and violence. We moved away from home where no one knew us as he wanted to live down south. I didn’t want to but did it because it was easier to hide it from family and cut myself off from friends because of shame. He went into hospital and mainly stopped for about 12 years, but became addicted to codeine which it took me years to realise. We had 2 lovely children after 8 years of being married and he looked after them and I went back to work after 4 months with each of them as he earns very little. He looked after them really well and was really responsible. 5 or 6 yearsàgo he had gradually started drinking again then came into some money and it has been downhill since then.
Now I am 51 and looking back at my life feeling so bad about all the bad choices I have made. I am skint, friendless, living a lie with my parents and family, children developing problems as a result of stress, living in a house which is falling down. Friends of my age are professors of nursing, directors of nursing, with well adjusted children having wonderful holidays abroad with beautiful homes. I have made such a mess of it all. The only shining light is my lovely children who try to support me, but are showing signs of stress too. So why do you stay with him I ask myself constantly. I have no bloody idea. Some toxic combination of fear, guilt, shame and trying to protect our elderly parents. My only hope is that he will meet someone else or drop deàd. What a nasty thing to say.
I don’t know if being so frank is helpful, it’s just been going around in my head. I realise I will have to muddle through the holidays day by day, coping with what happens. Hope my children get some well earned relaxation and happiness
I am so sorry for everything you are going through. I can’t offer any decent advice but just want you to know you are not alone. We have all felt the same – despair, anger, frustration, helplessness, fleeting hopefulness (that one didn’t last long!), being absolutely crushed to the ground when nothing changes despite the hope and love we invest.
I am going through the same now. In fact, your situation is so similar to mine. We are about the same age (I’m 52), 2 kids (guessing mine are a couple of years older). We don’t feel safe as a family due to his constant drinking interspersed with heartfelt (!) promises that this time he will give up for his family ; there is zero commitment. I don’t think he cares any more, and the hatred he has towards me (his typical rant:’It’s all about YOU! Why doesn’t anyone think of how much I am hurting??’,) . All this despite the fact that I try to help him feel better about himself every day even to the detriment of my own health.
Like you, my husband earns very little and I have to pay the bills; also, like your husband, mine was a good father in the beginning and looked after the kids at home while I worked. Also, like yours, mine came into some money 3 years ago and has proceeded to blow it all and take to the drink pretty much permanently whilst leaving me to deal with the financial consequences.
I also blame myself for getting into a marriage with someone I knew had long-term issues with alcohol in the hope that things would change. I look at my life and feel despair at what I have gotten into – no holidays, debt, a house that is falling down, no friendships (and in my case also, no family). It is a mighty lonely road and thank God for this site. I also look at career opportunities thrown away because I have spent 21 years of marriage ‘mothering’ a selfish bastard who would rather spend all of his wages socializing with a load of strangers down the pub than spending any time with the people who really care about him.
I am seeing a solicitor about divorce and I really want to do this for mine and my children’s sanity, but it will cost me everything I have financially and possibly mean having to sell the house so he can have half of everything because he ‘has to have somewhere to live’ (despite the fact that he has caused and still causes ALL the debt and contributes ZERO financially – so unfair).
Janet, like you I keep going because I have 2 amazing kids who have been through so much.
Stay strong. We are all here for you. We are all in this together.
Much love and hope for a peaceful holiday period.
Hi Allie, thanks for your kind reply. I read what I had written and was worried I sound like a heartless bitch. This life has made me cynical. It seems that we all keep it secret as though we are doing something wrong ourselves, and it seems to happen spontaneously. I’m sure it makes things worse, but it just becomes a way of life, and makes it hard to make friends because you can’t be open with them or ask them to the house. I wonder if I will ever get over being so secretive. It is new to open my heart like that and it means so much to get an understanding reply. Only someone in our situation could understand the fear when you get a hint they are drunk such as hearing it in his voice or how his face is different, or the hostile tone of voice, even if nothing bad happens the fear links to all of the horrible scenes in the past.. My husband certainly doesn’t understand it. Just a text on my phone from one of the children after a certain time throws me into a panic.
We’ve managed so far to enjoy the holidays. Went to a lovely National Trust place, the cinema and beautiful Cambridge. Sadly my daughter doesn’t want to go out anywhere with her father so it can be a bit of a balancing act. It is hard to try and be encouraging to him when he is not drunk as we all feel bitter and bruised by all that’s happened.
Anyway, muddling through. Jan
AnonymousSweet dears, both of you! Gratefully, my children are grown and gone. I feel for you with all my heart. I left my first husband (my girls’ father) when they were 10 and 13 after they asked me if we could leave after their father had just called them horrid names with horrible adjectives ( f-g) as he had so many many times before. They were both crying, holding onto me. That was the last straw as I looked into their hurt eyes.
Sadly, after five years, I met another drinker and married him 18 mos later. You can read about the mess I got myself back into in another post earlier today.
Leaving is very, very difficult I can tell you, but the relief and gratitude that I and my daughters felt was so worth it. Each of us has to decide how far/long we let this continue. And, in the meantime, have a plan. I wish I could say that our guys will change, but it is unlikely though not impossible.
I hold you both dear in my heart and pray for strength, courage and faith for you.
And please, don’t take the blame on this – either for getting married in the first place or for thinking you had anything to do with their drinking or for feeling like you do at times towards them. You are living a difficult enough life without shouldering blame or guilt on yourself that isn’t warranted.
Thinking of you
Trying to be encouraging and to include him in the family when he is not pissed is difficult due to feeling battered and bruised by all that has happened. My daughter asked why we have to be nice to him on a Sunday, when he’s less likely to be pissed, when he has been horrible all week. It is hard to answer. Then he said I’ll be able to come out with you more when I feel better and I bit my lip to stop myself saying have you no conception of just how much damage you have done to your relationship with your kids, they do not want to spend any time with you, are you bloody thick? Fortunately I didn’t say it.
Yes I really know what you mean about having to bite your lip and not be able to say anything about the things he’s said / done because he’s ‘trying so hard’ now!! I guess we really do ‘bottle up’ our feelings so as not to ‘kick start’ another ‘episode’ from our other half. And what happens to us during this? I know I feel so much anger / rage inside which often comes out as sarcastic comments to him. In my case the biggest issue is around money.
As I said previously, he inherited some money and promised me that he would use it to pay off the mortgage (about 85K). Due to his drinking , we have had our home repossessed twice (once in 2002 and then again in 2006). In 2002 he abandoned me and 2 young children leaving me to deal with the bailiffs on my own whilst not even knowing that he had been hiding unpaid bills and final demand notices for mortgage arrears. Me and the kids ended up in a homeless hostel and had to deal with the situation whilst he disappeared for 2 months. I eventually managed to pay back arrears and get my home back using a student loan I had at the time (I had returned to university at the time to retrain as a pharmacist). He eventually came home and I ‘forgave’ him as he was so remorseful and promised to quit the drink. Needless to say, that didn’t last long.
It all happened again in 2006 when I was doing my degree finals; he failed to make bill payments, hid letters for final demands and again we had our house repossessed. Again I forgave and managed to pay it all off leaving myself with a terrible credit history (ok now but crap at the time) and huge mortgage payments due to interest and having to remortgage with a lender who would only help by charging extortionate fees.
There’s a lot more history in between but , to cut a long story short, his mother and brother both died within a year of each other back in 2013 (he hated them both) and he and his 2 other siblings inherited about 100K each. He made me an absolute promise that after everything he had put me and the kids through, he would pay off the mortgage. I told him that if he didn’t do this for his kid’s future at least, it would break my heart.
Now here we are 2 years on. The money is all but gone – mainly on alcohol, also on taxis as he has lost his license and needs to get to the pub . I have managed to get hold of enough money from him to sort out paying for a college course for my son and accommodation costs for my daughter when she goes to Uni in September. Then it is all gone. I still have to pay all the bills. The mortgage has not been paid off as promised and I will probably never own my home so can never pass that on to the kids some day. And yes, he has well and truly broken my heart but I am never allowed to mention the hurt and pain as ‘he knows but can’t do anything about it now, can he???’ I am 52 and stuck in a job I hate working all the hours god sends just to make ends meet because he has thrown away our chance of financial security. But we’re not allowed to mention it or he will go right back to the drink ‘big time’ and he’s doing ‘so well’ this week.
Jan, I know exactly how it feels for you. They are never accountable. The pain and hurt linger and eat away at you inside. I don’t think they will ever ‘get it’ and I agree with Laura that they really are cowards.
Stay strong. Just let it all out here. We all ‘get it’ even if they refuse to.
Well we have nearly got through the holidays, just our family holiday in Scotland to go. I was telling myself we had made it and feeling a little bit of optimism. Today I got a desperate phone call from my children saying dad had come home from his night work, pissed, dropping food everywhere and verbally abusive when they pointed this out to him. I cancelled my appointments and came home. I left a message for my boss and asked a lovely workmate to see a patient for me. Came home to a very upset 13 year old son and a brave 15 year old daughter. He was dipping food in butter and nutella, including sausages. He’s v3getarian so hopefully it will make him sick. He claimed that he didn’t do any of it and blamed the children. Another nail in the coffin of his relationship with them, but too self obsessed to realise this.
He’s having scans , blood tests, vitamin b12. I find myself thinking what does all this tell you? You should stop drinking genius. Again Ihaven’t said it!
Something positive from all of this though. I am so glad I told my friend at work and my boss. I didn’t need to lie which was such a relief. I have told another work friend too, who has problems in her family with mental health and I thought she would be sympathetic, which she wàs. I still can’t tell folk what happens here though. I think it is the shame which stops me.
Thanks for listening, Jan
PS I find his vegetarianism deeply ironic!l
By the way Allie. I meant to say how amazing it is the way you have managed all that debt caused by your husband. It must be such an added worry to you. It is sad to think of how different things could be without pissing thousands of pounds down the drain.
I’m not good at expressing how helpful it is to feel you can let things out a bit after years of keeping it pushed downinside.
I hope things are calm with you.
Thinking of you, Jan
Do you know, all of the posts on this forum are so heartbreaking and it is just incredible what we all put up with – and why do we? Why? It is all so stupid – how can somebody get themselves into the state that these alcoholics do? It’s a drink for goodness’ sake not a life-saving medicine! It’s poison. In more ways than one because not only do they poison their own bodies and brains (definitely in my husband’s case) but they poison everything around them – their homes, their families, their friendship groups – their work relationships – and still they pour the stuff down their throats!
There’s no sense to it at all. Come in, John – explain this to us!
What stops us from being defeated? I don’t know how I’m hanging on in my situation really but something makes me. I know this is the same for all of us. He’s on self destruct and I’m on gritted teeth and worse. Why? Why can’t I just say sod it, had enough, and give up – even emotionally if not physically? It can only be love that keeps me doing this vicious circle of dancing to his tune – maybe for all of us that love is misguided. But we can’t stop loving and hoping because that would make us a lesser person.
I keep hoping for a miracle. Perhaps we all do. Perhaps we’re the strong ones, the fighters, the rescuers and they’re the ones who run away at the slightest pain – trying to find oblivion because they do, really, somewhere in that fog, know what they’re doing. I always think that’s why they try anything and everything to blame it on to us and others – they cannot face the guilt.
Someone, somewhere, somehow has to find a solution to this problem of addiction. For those who live with an addict it is just too heartbreaking to bear.
Oh, for a magic wand…
I keep hoping for a miracle. Perhaps we all do. Perhaps we’re the strong ones, the fighters, the rescuers and they’re the ones who run away at the slightest pain – trying to find oblivion because they do, really, somewhere in that fog, know what they’re doing. I always think that’s why they try anything and everything to blame it on to us and others – they cannot face the guilt.
This is so true, Irene. Well said. I made a topic recently concerning the cowardice I see in alcoholics/addicts. The more I mull this idea over in my mind the more I see it’s true. They are afraid to face anything, so they run away, to the bottle or joint or whatever – and then they are afraid to face the mess they’ve made of their lives so they blame others and go back to the bottle. It’s a horrible, vicious circle and it will never end until they stop it, by swallowing their fear and looking honestly in the mirror. If they allowed themselves to feel that guilt they run from, it could be a catalyst for positive change. But they run from the discomfort of it like a scared child.
I totally agree that they all know, somewhere in the fog, what they are doing. But they push it back to their subconscious and work so hard to convince themselves (and others) that they are innocent victims, because the truth is so hard to bear. I see it all the time in my husband, how he goes to such ridiculous lengths to “prove” that everything he’s ever done is actually my fault. It’s truly a pathetic state of mind.
08 Jul 2015 6:04 PM
It’s taken me nearly a year to make this post.
Even now, I’m not sure I can share my story but I’ll try.
I love my husband, and I hate him. He has a neurological problem – the psychs tell us they can’t sort out his problems until he stops drinking. He can’t stop drinking. They say he’s self-medicating. I’m beginning to see that he’s probably been drinking much more than I ever knew, for years. He’s 65 and like a little old man. I’m 73 and trying to be his full time carer.
There is no end to this nightmare. Every path we go down ends with a brick wall. I feel angry and cheated. I also feel sorry for him. It’s such a mashing of emotions – I hate him when he lies to me and secretes the brandy away. Then I look at him and think he can’t possibly know what he’s doing because if he did he would never do it. He would be devastated at his behaviour and the effect it has on me and our family.
I don’t know how this can end…
09 Jul 2015 7:27 AM
Welcome to Bottled Up. I haven’t posted on here for a long time but just wanted to say hello. I think you have made a very brave first step to improving your life and strongly advise you read as much as possible that John and Lou have written on this site. Also share as much as possible. I did when I first joined and it really really helped me to turn things around.
09 Jul 2015 2:34 PM
Hi Irene – can I ditto Alison’s welcome and words of encouragement. I am so sorry for your situation. Your words ‘I love my husband and I hate him’ resonate with me (and probably with most of us here) – I know the feeling. At the moment I love my husband and I havent smelt alcohol for days (doesnt mean he’s not drinking, just that he’s not drinking when I can smell it or when it impacts on his behaviour around me, although I’d like to kid myself he’s dry at the moment). My heart goes out to you and I pray for hope for you, and for light of some sort at the end of what sounds a dark, bleak and disappointing tunnel. Make sure you look after yourself and if you can, squeeze little moments of joy into your days. Love and peace, Lisa
10 Jul 2015 12:12 PM
It sounds so difficult for you. I hope you find some peace from connecting with others on this site and find also a way forward through this with all the support available here.
13 Jul 2015 8:03 PM
Thank you for your support and good wishes.
I just can’t work out what is happening here.
I don’t know how this can go on really. P is sleeping nearly all the time. Every time he wakes he has a drink. He doesn’t eat. His legs won’t hold him up. I have to buy brandy for him – I know AA would say I’m an enabler but I can’t help that because the alternative is worse – him trying to get out and being unable to walk, collapsing in the street (happened many times), ending up in A & E who send him home because he’s ‘already under hospital consultant’ and tell him the alcohol isn’t helping him, naughty boy. Or getting a taxi driver round to fetch it (which he’s threatened many times but I’ve averted so far).
It’s so hard watching my four grandsons, let alone my daughters (P’s steps), wondering where their lovely Grandad has disappeared to.
I have thought for the last five years that he has Pick’s Disease but I can’t get the medical profession to listen to me. They pass him from one to another or ignore it altogether. I know Mental Health is the worst off service but also I know the alcohol has multiplied enormously since he first became ill and the brandy and his medication, which is supposed to be taken without any alcohol, will probably affect his kidneys. But he won’t listen to me – maybe ‘can’t ‘ would be a better word and yet he was such a very clever, caring, loving, responsible, logical, generous, giving man before all this happened that it really doesn’t make sense.
I wonder if there is anyone out there who has any experience of Pick’s ?
I read all of your stories and cannot believe how brave women are – and men, of course – putting up with the most enormous struggles. I salute you all but if I were young again I would – painful though it might be – take flight while there is still time for you to get out and rebuild your lives…
14 Jul 2015 7:08 PM
Hi Irene, Picks is a form of dementia as I’m sure you know. It would be impossible to do any form of cognitive assessment whilst he was intoxicated. Have you spoken to his GP, as he could have Wernicke’s or even Korsakoff’s? Would he accept a detox on order to see just how he is cognitively? I think it must be worth laying out your concerns to his GP and trying to prevent permanent damage.
Sorry it is so hard, he’s lucky to have you!
18 Jul 2015 10:26 AM
Hi Janet – thank you for that. I’m afraid the medical people are not helping very much. They diagnosed him with a functional neurological disorder three and a half years ago but every person we see says ‘you have to stop drinking’ which he patently cannot – and nobody offers him any help to do that. The drinking has got worse and worse and worse over that three and a half years. Largely, in his mind, because he says nobody can find out what’s wrong with him. Then I tell him he has to stop drinking before they can assess him properly, then he has another drink and so it goes on. I’ve obviously previously read up on all of the conditions you have mentioned – everybody says to me ‘it’s such a complex case because there’s so much going on’ and then they pass him on to somebody else who puts up the drinking brick wall and I’m left to pick up the pieces again.
There is no money going into the mental health system, I understand that, but when you have to wait over 12 months between appointments, when one psychiatrist says you need some psychotherapy but I can’t refer you because you’re not in this area (why were we referred there then?), I’ll refer you back to your GP – and when that doesn’t even happen and eight weeks later you’re still waiting for the report…
Sorry moaning. Just feel totally let down.
18 Jul 2015 11:25 AM
Hi Irene, it sounds terribly difficult and as I said he is lucky to have your backup. Is he being seen by drug añd alcohol team or addaction or such like? I take it you are in the uk. If he isn’t and he is willing he may be able to self refer. I would always chase up long appointment waits. NHS staff are only human and can make mistakes, so shouldn’t mind you nudging them. It is often best to write rather than ring.
Hoping you get some good help, Jan
23 Jul 2015 3:27 PM
My prayers are with you. This journey is one that shows all of us our strengths and courage. You are with people who, although no two stories are the same, understand what you’re going through. Hang in there strong, beautiful woman.
30 Jul 2015 8:49 PM
Hi Irene. I too am older; I’m in my mid sixties. My husband has been fighting cancer and all the treatments that go along with it for the last 10 years. He has always been an alcoholic. A couple of years ago things got so bad that I had to leave. I was gone for around a week. the reason I came back was because he was threatening to shoot himself. He had called my daughter and told her he had a gun to his head. The police were called, I came home and they recommended to me that I go to the magistrate’s office to ensure that he is committed to get help. He had already volunteered to go but the magistrate’s order ensured that he would stay long enough for treatment. I visited him every day and he went to whatever classes he was supposed to go to for treatment but he was not allowed to leave. Each time I visited he acted so in love with me and was so kind and kept promising that he would stop drinking.
When he finally came home he didn’t drink for a few weeks and then he started drinking a beer or two. He kept his drinking from me and I thought everything was going wonderfully. Then one morning very early as the sun was coming up I woke up and went outside to look for him. There he was in his little shop where he has a refrigerator guzzling down a beer. I was devastated and tried to talk to him. I don’t remember how upset I was and how I must have sounded to him but he just said a little beer every now and then isn’t going to hurt him.
It’s been two years. He still doesn’t drink in front of me but I have absolutely no doubt that he is drinking a lot of beer every day. His behavior is rather strange and he stays busy all day long. He visits neighbors all the time helping them. He is also taking a very strong narcotic for his pain throughout the day. Needless to say it’s bad enough he’s drinking and then to take a narcotic on top of that? I can’t imagine what it’s doing to his liver or his brain.
When I say his behavior is rather strange he just start talking and some of the things he says doesn’t even make sense and he just keeps on talking and God forbid I should interrupt. If I should interrupt he gets angry and then I get to the point where I don’t even say anything. What’s the point? I mean he can go rambling on and tell me the same thing three and four times and just go non stop for several minutes long.
And then there are the night meds that the psychiatrist has prescribed for him to take. I’m talking maximum dosage of some very serious medications. I am really scared of what the combination of the alcohol and all these medications are doing to him.
When I try to talk to him about any of this he just makes it out to be me that’s just bitching and me that just needs to chill out. I am way too old and just can’t deal with the idea of leaving all of my things or splitting things up or whatever is involved when you leave your loved one. It just isn’t a viable option for me.
I know that none of this can help you in your situation but please know that you are not alone.
01 Aug 2015 6:15 PM
Thank you so much for sharing that with me.
I think a lot of our experience is much the same. My P drinks spirits, not beer, and all the medications he takes say you should not drink alcohol with them. One of the doctors at the hospital told me that his kidneys would fail if he carried on,
I equate totally with the strange behaviour and talking rubbish. I think, again, is the combination of melds and alcohol. Also, there is thiamine deficiency. Thiamine is vitamin B12 and it’s leached from the body by alcohol or malnutrition and can make people behave very oddly indeed. Thiamine deficiency leads to what used to be known as beri beri and in P this was tracked down very quickly and he takes thiamine daily.
He has been told this week that the Functional Neurological Disorder he is diagnosed with has no treatment. They know what it is but nobody can do anything about it so – this is it. He was so down even I could understand why he needed to drink. But the drink interferes with the brain, as we all know, and the vicious circle continues.
01 Aug 2015 6:24 PM
Sorry, somehow I clicked send before I’d finished.
I think the problem with being older is you have built up a store of ‘how things will be’ in retirement or whatever and the overwhelming emotions are hurt, anger, disbelief – you feel that you have been cheated out of your entire life really – and there is nothing you can do because it’s just too late.
Like you, Linda, I couldn’t leave my home or even leave P – whatever has caused all this even if if it sustained alcohol abuse that I never knew about, he is not the man he was and he is sick and I can’t abandon him because I would never be able to live with myself. So, just like Dory in Finding Nemo, we have to keep on swimming, keep on swimming, and try and not let it take our entire lives away.
Easily said – so, so, so hard to do…
I read all of the posts and I think how brave so many women are – how strong and how caring and – it just makes you cry really…
06 Aug 2015 2:37 PM
Love your quote from Dory Irene – “just keep swimming, just keep swimming” – but with that same attitude Dory had – with that memory thing, it gave her a big advantage in a way – she was living life in the moment. I am convinced that a key to mental health is mindfulness, so let’s just keep swimming in the moment we’re in and hopefully finding small pockets of joy here and there. (Yay Dory!) Love and peace, Lisa
14 Aug 2015 3:31 PM
So sorry you find yourself in this long term situation. But I can relate to your feelings as I am in my sixties, have a long term partner who is in his sixties and with a permanent drink problem. Over the past couple of years or so I have come to realise that he has prematurely aged as other health issues have arisen, and now he looks and behaves like someone ten years older. Whereas I feel that, although obviously I am getting older too, I still have a lot ahead of me and no way am I ready to go into old age pensioner mode!
I can see that the way he is, is not reversible. This is a very depressing influence in one’s life. I managed to get myself my own place to live 2 years ago so we are not together all the time. This is a lifeline for me. But the relationship didn’t break down completely and we still are a couple who spend a fair bit of time together. The most recent spell, of about a month, was on the whole quite good, just one ghastly night when he completely lost it, and I was within a hair’s breadth of literally walking out of his house at 2 a.m. with the dog and my (packed) rucksack, but realistically I faced a scenario of spending a difficult, isolated few hours skulking around town before I would be able to get any transport out of there – not clever – so I hung on, and then of course things at home improved the next day.
The way I am looking at his overall health situation, including the drink, the mental issues and the physical issues, is that he will probably gradually decline from here on and I may as well expect that. I know his health and personality could become a lot better if he stopped drinking and started taking more exercise, but pigs might fly.
Meantime I know I mustn’t let it prevent me from having a good, varied life and being as active as possible. So I try hard to achieve that for myself, it helps take the focus off him in my mind. Have you considered taking mini-breaks on your own just to feel a bit of freedom from time to time?
23 Aug 2015 11:00 PM
Thanks for sharing all of that.
The decline you mention has already happened here – I’m 8 years older than P but he could be taken for twenty years older than me. He’s in a bad way. He has a neurological disorder and, of course, that’s an excellent excuse for needing a drink or many.
In my stress I fell down the stairs earlier this year and tore my Achilles’ tendon. I was supposed to have been fitted with a boot straight away but had to get back because I’m P’s full time carer, then get appointment at the fracture clinic to have it done. So I had to wait 2 weeks. The person I saw could hardly be bothered and decided he wouldn’t put a boot on it, see how it went for the next 6 weeks.
The person I then saw sent me straight to the surgeon who now wants to rebuild the tendon because basically it has grown back with fibrous tissue instead of muscle tissue and my calf muscle has withered but I can’t have an op because I’ll be out of action for six months and how am I going to care for my spouse?
So now, I can’t even walk properly and walking was my great solace – life, eh!
This, too, will pass. Or so I keep telling myself.
What a fix we all find ourselves in – from somebody else’s stupidity!
06 Sep 2015 10:29 AM
So sorry you have the tendon problem to contend with on top of the husband problem. This issue of being a carer is a dead weight on one’s life.
This post is not directly about alcohol just issues arising!
Being a carer – until a few years ago I had a lot of responsibilities over my aged mother, which wore me down; one thing that helped was I joined a carers’ discussion group which ran locally for a few weeks. Have you benefited from anything of that kind in your area? Was good for feeling less isolated and also some practical suggestions/ideas.
Achilles tendon – I know nothing about medical stuff but what I know about life is if I have an ongoing problem I persevere to try to improve things, I worry away at it like a terrier and usually make some progress. With a very long post-op period after further surgery, you would clearly face enormous difficulties BUT…..
1. it should then be a lot better and could give you many more years of walking, which is so important (my mother is now 97… I wish she had had major knee surgery when it was offered a few years ago to save the past 4 years totally immobile in wheelchair unable to do anything)
2. Yes it would mean the domestic arrangements would need complete change but then that could well happen anyway at any point, if you had a fall, dropped dead etc.!
What could you do to further investigate the consequences of the surgery option? Back to GP to discuss its possible impact on you and your situation – talk to different GP in the practice? Back to surgeon to discuss how successful the surgery likely to be? Discuss the surgery option with appropriate social worker regarding how care could be organised for you and husband if you opted for surgery? These are important life changing issues for you so professionals won’t mind you making appointments to talk things through with them even if it seems you’ve already discussed it. You deserve a lot of support over this but sometimes people need reminding of the full scope of the difficulties you face daily.
If surgery option isn’t a particularly good bet, then what more can you do to improve your walking? Ask for more physio advice? Back to GP for more suggestions? Swimming? Don’t let them see you as an old lady, pester them to treat it as more of a sports injury in a younger person who wants to regain a high level of general fitness, after all the fitter you are the better you can cope with everything!
Overall I feel very strongly that you should only consider your own interests regarding your tendon, the rest is logistics. By doing that you are probably doing the best anyway for husband as well in longer term. Best wishes, Judith.