Whiskey Mug Time Machine #3

So, I’ve been going thru a lot in my marriage. While actively tearing it apart binge drinking and exploding over the past 5-10 years, I have finally hit a bottom. I think. 

My wife finally said she’s thinking about separating. She doesn’t want a divorce right now, but doesn’t want to be married like this. And she has no trust in me. Hard to have a successful marriage when one person doesn’t trust the other. Especially in a high achieving marriage, where we both have high demand jobs. We need to be able to lean on each other and ask for support when we are down, drowning in the aspects that make up daily life. She has been there for me, and I have complained that she hasn’t been there enough because of how much she’s working. And I didn’t begin to see that she felt completely isolated and I wasn’t there at all for her. She doesn’t need me to fix things, she needs me to be there to listen and validate her emotions. But she finally asked me to fix me. Or she’s gone for sure. And she may be anyways. 

So me when I drink. Well, I have always prided myself on my memory. I can remember sports plays from before high school, golf shots years later, my first thoughts when I saw my wife for the first time, her walking down the isle. My kids playing, kissing me, smiles, etc. In detail. It’s amazing. 

And I remember the dark, the shitty, the painful. The moments I thought if this was worth it. The feeling of rejection. Betrayal. Hate. Btw, saying, is this worth it, I’m referring to tough times in life, not ending mine. 

Alcohol is my time machine. And when I’m on that ride, it amplifies everything! Where it takes me depends on who I drink with. High school buddies, our parties are crazier, the plays better, the jokes funnier. They should have made movies about these things. We would be famous. Shit we were amazing. Same with buddies I bar hopped with. The stories are always the same, always better. The girls were always 9-10’s, maybe an 8, on off nights. The casino wins are always bigger. The weekends always crazier. 

And then my wife. At first, when we met, we drank, had fun, no problems. Get drunk, great sex. That was our fun, that was what we did. Movies, dinner, friends. Drinks. Lots of drinks. We competed between each other who drank the most. And sex. It was fun. It was great. 

Then it wasn’t. Obviously that type of relationship wouldn’t last, it would fall apart. And it did. Man it hurt. I honestly loved her. Fell in love with her instantly. It was amazing. And then it was gone. Okay. Everyone has those moments, they lost their love. Drink it away with buddies, you never loved her that much anyways, there’s another girl who will fill that void. She’s probably over there or at that bar across town. Let’s go find her. 

Two points to that. First, I have always wanted that void filled. That void that someone left me, give me the feeling of being wanted by someone. It was a big void, growing larger as I got older. I had always tried to find someone to fill it. If not multiple people. It wasn’t healthy. I see that now. I joked, you always need one in your back pocket. It’s what my buddies did. Girls did it too. It was pop culture. But then there was her. Suddenly, with her in my life, that void was overflowing, that canyon filled. Something was different. Something happened. It felt right. I felt complete. I felt, dare I say, safe. Yea. She made me feel safe. I longed for that. Just keep me safe. And slowly, but surely, she pulled back the layers on me. 

And then it was over. Just that fast. Okay. So it’s gonna be a little harder than other girls. Nobody commanded attention like that last one. No lips felt the same. No body was as perfect. No conversation as easy, as deep. No connection. It all was cold and physical. So deal with it. Oh wait, she’s calling me, hold on, maybe there’s a chance. 

No I don’t hate you” (actually I love you and want you near me right now) “Yea I was planning to come home this weekend” (just tell my buddies I’m working extra) “So what’s going on? You want to have dinner or something?” (Please dear God anything) “I’m sorry?!?! Can I call you back?”

SHES PRENANT! What the fuck! How, well I remember, it was great, but how did this happen! Well maybe we will get back together after all. This may not be so bad after all. 

Hey, sorry. This will work and we will be great!” “Oh, what, so you’re not wanting to get back together? You’re mad at me? Okay I have to go. I’ll let you know when I get back in town.”

Long of short of it is, it was hard. She started seeing someone else. He was married. And she was pregnant with my kid, sleeping with someone else. I was sleeping with other people, getting drunk probably every other night. Trying to dull the pain. Block it out. But it never went away. It got worse. I totaled a truck I had for 4 months wasted as shit one night. No alarms went off in my head I wasn’t handling this well. I’m coping, I got lucky I didn’t get hurt, but I’m bulletproof. It was fine. The truck reminded me of her anyways. Fuck that truck. And I was trying to impress a different girl anyways. 

All those emotions. All that pain. That’s where I go when I drink with her. Not the love making, not the 10’s of thousands of memories since. See we made it work, for 10 years since then we have made it work. But the alcohol hasn’t let me forget. And it takes me back to there. And I relive it, constantly. And make her suffer. She can say sorry, she has, so many times. And I have forgiven her. So many times. Until that 3rd or 4th drink. And it takes me right back there. And she is hurting me all over again. Only it’s not her hurting me. It’s the alcohol, and it magnifies the story, magnifies the hurt. DRIVES ME CRAZY! And I drink even more. And more. And the pain gets worse, my anger gets worse. And I get meaner, and try and test her. 

“I’M LEAVING BECAUSE YOU HAVE NEVER PICKED ME! YOU PICKED SOMEONE ELSE BEFORE, SOME DAY YOU WILL AGAIN! YOU NEVER LOVED ME LIKE I LOVE YOU!”

but it’s really 

“I can’t let go of my past, my pain, my hurt, because im drunk. And even though you have picked me, every moment of every day, for 10 years, the alcohol is controlling my emotions and I can’t let go. And you have loved me thru this. More than I have loved me. And I can’t see it. And I’m gonna hurt you because the alcohol is hurting me. And I’m not going to stop until I drive you and the girls away! Because I’m out of control!”

And I’m out of control. And guess what? I’ve accomplished it. I’ve driven her away. The one who has stood by me, every moment of every day since then, since we got back together. 10 years of moments. Two kids, two masters degrees, buying our first, dream house, vacations, amazing careers, she’s been there. I’ve finally done it. I’m following in the footsteps of my family. Children out of wedlock, alcoholic, under achieving, and then divorced. Hell, I’m right on path. 

All for what? A drink, to relax. Yea, I’ll have one more, I got this. Nothing to worry about here. This time will be different. I won’t go to that place. I can control this drink that has controlled me unknowingly for over 15 years. And just like that, I start to undo what I’ve spent my whole life working toward. 

Just a lil’ fella #2

I had a “rough” childhood, and by that I mean, it was harder on me than I appreciated. I know others have had worse, overcome more, but if you want their story, read their blogs. This is mine. 

I was born as a result of rebelious drunk teenagers. As it was the 80’s and small towns, they “decided” marriage was best for them. Shocker, it didn’t work out. I mean they tried. Dad joined the service, we were moved away from their families, mom tried to work but also care for a child, still as a child. My first blurry memories were of fights, in our small town home just off base. Then came my most vivid memory. Dad riding off on his motorcycle. I was probably 3. And he left. Just rode off, me crying on my moms hip. Wanting him to come back. This plays out still to this day. We had moved already, it was just mom and I in a 1 bedroom apartment. I got the bedroom, so it was normal, but she slept on a pullout couch. He was transferred to the east coast, never to return. So to say I have abandonment issues, yea huge ones.

I remember spending time w my mom, but my strongest memory of all that I remember “talking” to my dad. By that, I mean I got cassette tapes (showing my age, they were what was before CD’s, which were before MP3’s, which was before music steaming) where he would talk to me, and I would talk back to him, only he wasn’t listening. He was just talking. So maybe that is another trigger for me to this day. Again this blog is for me to help me work thru some things. 
So I had issues as a kid. And I would see him every few years, for a week or so during the summer. But he was a single guy, suddenly thrust into being a father for a week, which didn’t go well. 

I’d come home, confused, unsure of where I fit into his life. Maybe that’s why he left. Soon enough, he remarried, moved to Europe, had kids. Years would go by, I’d seem him occasionally. Talk infrequently. But I was going into my teens, and he was my dad. But I didn’t fit into his life. My step-mom made they fairly apparent. And I struggled with that. 

On the home front, my mom remarried when I was 5. My stepdad is awesome, filling in so much, truly showing unconditional love. But I didn’t like him for a long time. He just wasn’t my dad. As I grew up, I began to realize how much he cared for me. I was mean to him, especially after my sister was born. And I have always felt bad for how I treated him, and then personally I set a bar so high to try and impress him. You know the saying, “shoot for the moon so even if you miss, you’re in the stars” well, I read it as, “shoot for the moon, and when you miss, you’ll be stuck in the dark vacuum of space, alone with your failures.” 

I grew up with my parents telling me not to repeat their mistakes, don’t do what they did. They “settled” for their jobs, never happy, because of their circumstances. Well, eventually you read between the lines and realize, their mistake, circumstances are ME! And I feel guilty for it. I don’t know why, but I do/did. Something. I’m embarrassed for the situation I came from. And I had zero to do with it. But I still feel guilty. 

So out of my childhood, my biggest goal is, don’t be my dad. But here’s the catch. I run away from trouble, just like he did. 

I asked my dad, the biological one, once why he left and never came back. “It was better for you, easier for you. I can’t explain it, I regret it daily, but you’ll understand some day.” That really stuck in my head.

That’s why I explode when I’m drunk. I sit back and hold all this in. All these emotions. This anger of being left, the fear of when I’ll see my family again. The hurt of being alone. The pain associated with seeing others being picked. So, if I can avoid you picking someone else by running away, BOOM. It’s my fault then. It’s not someone else picking anything but me. 

So that’s what I do. I push away, tell my wife she is nothing without me. Push her away because I hate her. How could I love someone who has given her life to someone with so many issues? Why should she love me? There is so much better out there, someone who isn’t me. The girls, they would have a dad who is my stepdad. Someone who fills the void I leave. They would have it so much better. “It will be better for them someday” “they will understand then”

But it’s all bullshit. All those things, they really fucked me up. Like really fucked me up obviously. I don’t feel any of those things when I’m not drinking. Okay, sometimes I feel like a piece of shit anyways, mostly because i keep analyzing my past, replaying it, stuck in spots of hurt, both felt and caused. But overall, I can be a great dad. I’m loving, comforting, caring. I’ll go to the end of the earth for those two. I would literally give up my last breath for them. 

And my wife. Man, this whole process has giving me a new found meaning of unconditional love. She has put up with so much shit from me. Liability, emotions, baggage, (which we both have plenty) and hateful actions and words being thrown at her for trying to comfort me. If she stays with me thru this, I will truly owe her my life. Because she has saved me from myself so many times already. And I just want to be there a little for her, to say thank you.

Starting from the bottom. #1

This is the post excerpt.

Well, here goes nothing. 

I am writing this blog as therapy for me. Sometimes I find writing is helpful because I just get to word vomit and not be interrupted. And right now, I need therapy from myself. This blog will probably never be read by anyone, that’s okay. Again, this is for me and helping me thru my demons I am struggling with. 

So here is my story. I’m a middle aged white guy, seemingly successful. 6 figure income, highly successful health care career, married almost 10 years to an equally successful wife, 2 amazing girls. Live in a great neighborhood in Midwest suburbia, country club membership, dogs, kids sports, and overall a life many would dream of. And I’m throwing it all away. It’s slipping away faster than a fat kid on a soap lubbed slip and slide going downhill. 

I’m an emotional alcoholic. And I’m just now realizing it. And it may be, probably is, too late to salvage what I have spent my entire life building. 

The reasons are many, my childhood, my relationships, my parents, and family history. As a medical person, you would think I could have identified this. But we are natorius for being terrible patients. And I couldn’t see the forest thru the trees. 

Drinking for me became social. Mildly my senior year of high school, moderately in college. Then I began using it more and more to cope with stressors of school, clinical work, relationships. 

This progressed during my 20’s, I could drink w buddies, family, my wife. We drank to have fun. Fun drunk sex. And we drank to forget our past. Only I never forgot my past, my hurts, my pain. And every time I would get black out drunk, when I used to be fun, I was now angry. I was back to the pain, abandonment, anguish. Even thinking about it now hurts. Makes my heart race. And I explode. I used to say “I used to explode” but I realize, I still explode. If I go home tonight, have a couple (8) crown and diets, i would explode. I have a sharp tongue. You’ve hurt me so I will cut you with my tongue. That’s how I roll. 

So, for 10 years, my wife put up with this. We would fight at first. The last 5 years, I have had half a dozen outburst. Last year, I was screaming at her in the car. She punched me right in the mouth. I deserved it. I stand 6″ taller than her, athletic and strong. I had almost 100lbs on her. And I grabbed her hair and told her never to touch me again. And she stayed. I don’t know why. But she said never again. And I haven’t touched her in anger since. But a month ago, things were rocky, both busy w the kids and our careers. And she pissed me off. And I got drunk “at” her. Because talking hasn’t got thru to her. She was already emotionally gone. 

So there I was, probably 10 beers, 8 crowns deep. And my filter was off. And my “courage” came up. I’m gonna tell her how much she’s hurt me. I’m gonna show her the wrongs she’s done to me. And I snapped. 

I’m not sure all the hate I spewed. I’m sure it was vial. I’m sure I made my point, again. This time, she would see what she’s done to corrode my soul. She’s the one to blame. And I’m leaving. Im packing my overnight bag, grabbing my gun, and driving off. I’m gone. 

And she sat there, the one to held my hand after surgery, who vowed till death do us part, who beared our 2 angles, who trusted me with her darkest corners of her past, who told me to keep going when I was dead tired from rotations, saying she loved me and thank you for doing this for our family, she just sat there. Not crying this time. She knew it wasn’t “Me” yelling. It was this evil, nasty, angry person, who take over when I drink. And she said, “I love you, I will always love you. But this isn’t safe. Please, for you, for your kids, go downstairs, sleep this off. But if you leave, this is over. And there is no chance of coming back.”

Not “I hate you.” Or “fuck you, you stupid asshole.” No rebuttals or arguements. See, even in my darkest place, she was there for me. And I was too drunk to see it. 

So, here I sit. A month later, sleep deprived, restless, angry at myself. Starting to make a walk I never thought I would be on. Realizing I may be too late. But like she said, she can’t promise anything, she won’t promise anything. But she loves me, and always will. And I ask for her help thru this, which is crazy and selfish I know, but she says she already is. Going with me to my councilor, praying for me, and mostly, not kicking me out, or leaving. So I got that going for me. 

This isn’t the beginning of some “you can do it if I did it” blog. This is a way for me to word vomit and keep myself grounded on where I was at a certain time. So I can make myself see, I’m moving forward or backward. 

So my goals for today. 

Find joy in every day

Give her personal space

Be happy around my kids

And sleep. 

Because I need to work on me, to try and get my family back to the place I have promised them I would take them. And it’s definitely not down this hole.