Living a Nightmare

You know the kind of dream where you wake up and you heart is pumping and you are scared shitless and then you think “thank god it’s just a dream!!”?  I feel this exact way except it’s my reality! And it’s awful!!  I honestly feel like I have died a little bit inside.  The person that I married who lives in my house, who is the father of my children, who used to be the most caring, loving person is now a stranger to me.  I am so unbelievably sad.  Let me back up a little.  Last week he and the kids were on April vacation and everything was going ok.  He was good with the kids and I don’t think he was drinking at all.  He tried to be nice to me at times, we had a few civil conversations, a few jokes like old times but much of the time was snippy or even mean(most times without even realizing it).  I really tried to lay off talking to him about recovery and things because he gets annoyed with me.  He told me numerous times that he has no cravings to drink and wants to get healthy. Then shit hit the fan yet again.  I got home from work Monday and found him shitfaced “taking care of the kids”.  The usual pit in my stomach lurched with such intensity.  He of course denied he had anything to drink at all and told me to “lay off” and the usual “you are f:;()$& crazy”.  He also came over to me put his hands on my shoulders, looked directly in my eyes and said “I have not been drinking.” Then smiled this tiny evil smile.  As soon as I pulled in the driveway he was in the shower and immediately brushed his teeth rinsed with listerine and told me to smell his breath obviously knowing I would smell the listerine and not the disgusting brandy on his breath.  The most disturbing thing is that he told me to stay at work longer and if I had he would have driven the kids to Girl Scouts…intoxicated!!  The anger and now sadness was inexplicable.  That evening he never admitted he drank.. He just acted strange and denied it when I asked.  I picked through the trash (a usual occurrence these days) for the reason solely to prove that I was not crazy like he has told me so many times.  I found an ice coffee cup with the reeking, wretched smell of brandy.  The smell now makes me so ill.  The next day I texted him and simply asked if he had drank his usual bottle of brandy and he said yes.  I figured out the amount he consumes is 375 ml which is equivalent to 8.5 beers.  I told him this and he said he didn’t know it was that much alcohol.  Tonight he wasn’t drunk but I’m not sure if he had drank anything… He was acting in this new cold, distant, weird version of himself that I see quite often lately.  Our daughter was crying and having a totally out of character meltdown and he was being really short with her and not supportive at all and I lost it and said ” why do you think the kids are like this?!?”  He then proceeded to lash out at me saying “Don’t you ever blame me for the kids being angry!!” “They are fine when they are with me!”  Then he went on to say “Now you are going to see the nasty side of me!!  I’m done being nice to you, you are going to get the nasty side of me now!!”  I was horrified and started bawling and asked him if he was threatening me?  All he said was “you blame me for everything and I’m sick of it! I try to talk to you and all you do is boss me around.. You never listen.”  Completely in hysterical tears as I think of all I have done to help him over the last couple years, the endless research, finding the best therapists and clinicians, books, etc despite the fact that he has been drunk and emotionally abusive to the kids and I, I can only whisper quietly in between heaving breaths “who are you? You have turned into an asshole?”  I turn and leave in a full on completely uncharacteristic hysterical crying, hyperventilating mess… He does not follow then or later on  to say “oh my goodness I’m so sorry… I love you.”  He putters around for a few minutes and doesn’t say goodnight to the girls or me and goes to bed and falls asleep no problem… My heart is pumping, I’m scared shitless and I try to wake up but I can’t because this nightmare is my life.

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Rock Bottom

Rock Bottom definition per Miriam Webster Dictionary:”the lowest possible level or point”. We hear this used often when people are using alcohol and drugs and reach for recovery or support. “Oh I have hit the rock bottom, I am ready now to make a change!” This seems odd to me because who is to say what really is the rock bottom? I am the wife of an alcoholic and he has been using this word lately. “Seeing you like this is my rock bottom.” He has been sober for 3 days.

I feel like I am at my rock bottom. I feel depressed, lonely, sad. I have a pit in my stomach constantly that really hurts. I worry, I stress. I feel anger and rage at times. I have been through some really rough times in life but this is like no other. Being a spouse of an alcoholic is like NOTHING I could have ever imagined.

If you saw me right now you would have absolutely no idea I feel like this. In fact nobody did until I lost it this morning in front of my husband and said many things that I did not even realize until they came out in word form. Of course he felt bad since most of what I am feeling is in direct relation to his actions related to his addiction. We have two beautiful children, we are both working professionals with masters degrees and very respected in our fields. I make over $100,000 per year and I work in direct patient healthcare so I have much experience with addiction and mental health or so I thought. Nothing could have ever prepared me for this rollercoaster ride!

My husband is in recovery. He tells me he is ready to make a change and “do whatever it takes for me and the children”. If this was a few years ago I would have no doubts he was telling the truth because he never lied and truly cared about my feelings. When he tells me now I believe he wants to change but I don’t believe he is telling me the truth. Sounds weird huh? The problem is addiction makes you a liar, a professional liar, a manipulative liar, and it takes over your personality until it turns you in to something you are not. The people closest to you suffer so deeply no matter the appearance they put on. I am truly scared that he will never return to be the kind, loving, wonderful person I married. I am truly scared.