Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Going to My First AA Meeting. A Mother Speaks Her Truth

***Submitted by Anonymous (please note:  due to the delay between receiving posts and posting them, the "noon today" is not, in fact today. Hopefully Anonymous will send us an update on how she is doing.)

I am going to an AA meeting at noon today.  I am hung over.  I am at work.  I showed up on time like I always do.

My anger and hurt are a twisted tin can of worms.  I am still reeling from the events of last night and this morning. I am confused.  I am hurt.  I am not sure how to unravel my anger at my husband from my need to take ownership of my own addiction.  Why is it always jammed together like this?  Why does he twist it so much?

He came home last night at 2:00 am, slurring.  I was asleep, and had been for several hours.   Earlier in the night  I had a glass with the neighborhood moms (okay I had 2), and then finished off the rest of the bottle alone, watching American Idol and the Housewives of Orange County.  Because it's fun to drink alone (?), because I like drinking.  I like numbing out.  I deserve a break, right?

He came home at 2:00 am slurring.  He was agitated because I am not affectionate enough. Becasue he had cancer surgery.   Because I am not supportive enough. Becasue he does too much and I don't do enough.   I asked him to be quiet and let me sleep.  He kept at it.  What is he angry about?  I am still not sure.  I just know he is angry and he's drunk and this is never good.  It never ends well.   I asked him to leave me aone.  I reminded him that it is not okay to to this again.  To frighten me at 2:00 am with drunken diatribes.  He pressed on. "I guess this is it" he repeats several times.  "I didn't want it to come to this" he repeats several times.   He seems to want to tell me our marriage is over?  That this was my last chance to save it?  at 2:00 in the morning, when I have been sleeping?  This is the time I am supposed to do (exactly what is not clear) something to save our marriage?  And in not doing so, this is my fault?

I beg him to stop in my still somewhat drunk and sleepy stupor.  He.  Keeps.  At me.  I try to placate him.  I lay my hand on his chest to try to soothe him , though I am repulsed by him in the moment.  I don't want to touch him.  I want him away.  He keeps at me.

I take my pillow and once again slept in my 4 year olds sons room.  Like I did less than two weeks ago.

Not again.  We can't be here again.  Not in the new house.  Not since I implemented the "sage burning rule" in which our bedroom needs to be smudged with sage every time he does this.  This was 5 years ago.  We had grown, hadn't we?  How could we be here again.

He has cancer (or had it, as surgery 3 months ago was curative).  His mom has cancer (which is more traumatic somehow for him than it is for me - My mom has cancer as well - stage 4).  He is doing it again.

This morning when I told him I planned to follow through on my threat - That I no longer feel safe sharing a room with him- That I can't share a room with someone who disrupts, harasses me, scares me in that state in the middle of thie night in my own room - he unleashed on me.

"YOU NEED TO STOP DRINKING!'  He shouted in front of the kids.

"YOU NEED TO STOP DRINKING!"  My 7 year old can hear him.  my 4 year old can hear him.  They probably know what this means.  They see the wine glass in my hand almost every night.

"YOU NEED TO STOP DRINKING!"  He followed me through the house shouting at me repeatedly.

"YOU NEED TO STOP DRINKING!"   PLEASE STOP DRINKING!"  He yelled out the patio door as I fed the dogs.

"YOU NEED TO STOP DRINKING!"  He shouted at me as I put on my makeup.  Look at you !  Look at yourself!  Everyone can tell by looking at you!

"YOU NEED TO STOP DRINKING!"  He shouted as I fed the kids breakfast.  He's never done this in front of the kids before.  I think he's still drunk.  He has been a mean drunk, and becoming a meaner drunk by the day.  Doesn't matter if it's wo beers or 12.  He gets that in his system and it gives him permission to rage at me.

"Try not to get a DUI on your way to work today", I snark at him.  It's the one thing I say to lash out.  To hurt him.  He's a mean drunk, and when he drinks enough to have it in his system in the morning, he's meaern than a snake the next morning too.  "Want to see it on video?" he threatens.  He pulls out his iphone.  "I recorded it!" he shouts.  I am confused.  He talks about recording conversations as though this would prove that the problem is ME.  It never makes sense, and it doesn't now.  He finally leaves to go to work.  The house is quiet again.

I am shaken.  Our home is chaotic. This is not what I want our home tobe.  This is not what I want my family to be.  This is hurting out kids.   I need to do what I can to make it less chaotic.

I am scared because I need my numbing juice more than I want to admit.  I am scared because I know I drink too much, too often, by myself.  I don't think I can stop this alone.  I am scared because I am so incredibly lonely and embarrased.  I am embarrased and ashamed that my life is like this.  I am ashamed that this goes on and then come apologies, and then I carry on and pretend my marriage is normal and that my drinking is normal and that his drinking is normal. I am ashamed my husband acts like this.  I am ashamed I allow my life to be like this.   I am ashamed that I am a wine-breathed shadow of a mother.

I am going to an AA meeting at noon today.


  1. I am so sorry that your life is as hard as it is, that you are in the pain that you are in, and that you are lacking the support that you need. I have been there and it feels so lonely.

    I am grateful for you to be coming to terms with your life as it truly is and not as you want it to be. It can be very difficult.

    I am hopeful that you will be able to recognize your need for change and implement the change(s) that are needed. Remember... you can only change YOURSELF... your husband is responsible for himself and his behavior.

    I wish you the very, very best.

  2. Oh my goodness. What a powerful post. I am in tears feeling so, so sad that someone could treat you that way. I hope you made it to that meeting and I hope you can begin to feel some peace. It sounds like al anon could help as well. I know many people who work both programs. Keep going to the meetings and stay strong. Believe you can find peace and you will.

  3. You need Alanon in addition to AA or at least an AA sponsor with a strong Alanon background. The insanity of your marriage will not end simply because you get sober. Unless your husband quits drinking as well, alcohol will continue to erode your relationship. You will need the principals of Alanon to help you learn to detach. There are some wonderful bloggers out here that are dealing with your situation as sober women even though their spouses have continued drinking. Please contact me if you would like to be directed to them.

    Thank you for taking a step in a positive direction. It takes a village to raise a child and its much easier when the children aren't torn apart by addiction.

    1. I commented below, but I just saw this and wanted to let you know I'm one of those bloggers. Here's a link to a post on this exact subject.

    2. I am too! It's a difficult path, but well worth it. Please know that as I read your post it felt like you were describing my EXACT life two years ago. My heart goes out to you. I hope you went to that meeting.

  4. My first thoughts are: You need to get yourself in order...then you can focus on the rest of the family.
    I grew up with parents who drank and fought all the is chaos for a child. {I know you know this}
    I feel for you, I really do. I struggle with my drinking too. I hope for the best for you and your kids, and of course for your husband too. But I think you need to start with you. Take care of YOU.
    You are taking a big step in the right direction.

  5. I second the thoughts on Al-Anon. Many people do both AA and Al-Anon. They offer different kinds of support and wisdom. My heart really goes out to you; you are in my thoughts and prayers.

  6. Sending thoughts and prayers your way.....and much strength to do the next right thing....

  7. You have two separate problems here. The first is that you're worried about your drinking. Well you're doing something about that. You're posting here for support and you're attending AA.

    The second is that your husband is abusive. It is a totally separate issue.

    Your husband also has two separate problems. The first is that he has a problem with alcohol.

    The second is that he is abusive. These things are separate also. Alcohol doesn't 'make' people abusive. Believing that you have the right to abuse your partner makes people abusive. The alcohol is just an aggravating factor.

    Perhaps drinking is a coping mechanism for you. Something to numb out the fact that your partner is abusing you. Many women living with domestic abuse drink in order to cope.

    Domestic abuse isn't just about violence and hitting. It's about emotional bullying as well. You could also go to your local domestic abuse support services as well as AA for some help. I'm a domestic abuse support worker in Britain and I know that if you came to our office and told your story you would receive all the non judgemental support we could offer.

  8. Thank you for being so courageous in telling your story. It touches me deeply. I was once married to an extremely abusive man who drank alcoholically. It's demoralizing, terrifying, and feels hopeless at times. But there IS hope.

    I'm glad you went to an AA meeting (or are going to). If you don't like the first one, go to others. You will find so much loving support and understanding. It can be the first step toward a different life. I would suggest focusing on yourself right now for starters. The rest will come in time.

    My heart goes out to you and I'm sending you blessings of peace. Please continue to reach out and let yourself be cared for. You are loved. xoxo

  9. Thank you for sharing your story as it is eerily similar to my own. You are a courageous woman! I drank to numb/cope and escape the verbal and emotional abuse in my own marriage. I quit drinking on 2/24/12 and although it has not been easy, it has been so very worth it! My heart aches in a very real way for you. I have an almost 3 year old and want better for my family as well. You are in my thoughts and prayers. One day at a time, and sometimes it's just one minute at a time.

  10. This sounds like me and my life with my 2nd husband.... I didn't get it... I got divorced...again...I remarried 2 more times... I still drank... My third and fourth husbands drank... My kids grew up and left home... I finally got it...I went to a meeting... And another and another.... Do it now

  11. I can very much relate to your post. Remember you are stronger than you think.

    "for I know where I came from and where I am going. But you have no idea where I come from or where I am going." John 8:14

    We know ourselves. No matter what anyone else says. We know our good. We know the why. We know where we are going. Even if we have forgotten. God knows too. Keep going.

  12. Oh my goodness, you are not alone. I have been sober for 2-1/2 years while my husband is still drinking heavily. It used to kill me that he was still drinking. But as my AA sponsor told me, your children require one sober parent (of course two would be much better but that isn't happening right now). Looks like you are the one stepping up to the plate. You will start to feel empowered, loved and supported when you walk through the doors of AA. I promise you! You are so worth it! You will grow and know intuitively what to do in situations which used to baffle you. You are going to get your life back.

    Sending a big huge hug!


  13. thank you for being brave and sharing your story. through the grace of god (who I experience in the rooms of AA) I have not had to drink alcohol or take an unprescribed drug since March 23, 2008..... my husband, too, is still out there... i offer prayers of gratitude for all of us!