Saturday, July 4, 2009

Hitting Rock Bottom

I don't even know if anyone reads this blog! If anyone is out there reading this, please encourage me and send me a comment!

I think I had imagined that perhaps this blog might be about my personal growth as someone married to an alcoholic. I suppose I thought it might be an encouragement - something positive. I never imagined the trauma or depths that life could sink to.

My hope has changed - at least at this stage in my life. My hope is that this blog might reach out to others who have some similar experiences and where I might find friendships in a virtual community of sharing. That is my hope. So if that is you - please write to me here. I need the encouragement and support and friendship. I am just going to pour out my heart as it is, without trying to figure out what's right - perhaps you can help me with that - some of my thoughts need correcting. I am at the beginning of a long journey and have a lot to learn. Maybe you can help me?

It's been two weeks since I attended Al-Anon because I have taken up part-time work and it interfered with my attendance to my usual group (I have to go to a different group now). So in all honesty, I don't know how well I was doing not reacting to my husband's behaviour (or trying not to) and so on, and trying not to provoke him. Probably not very well. Which makes me feel responsible for what has happened - even though somewhere in my brain there is another voice saying that perhaps it is not my fault. The perhaps part is the battle - and I can't quite find the truth.

Yesterday an argument (where I told my husband what I thought which was quite confrontational and made him very angry) broke out while at his family's place, and I asked him to take me home. His anger continued in the car - thumping the window with his elbow and raising his voice. Finally saying things like "the only good thing you've ever given me is this baby" (I'm 21 weeks pregnant), and "I hate you. I hated you a week after we got married."

I have to say that I have been building up emotionally for a long, long time. And being pregnant, I am extra emotional. The hurt that I felt when he said those things to me was instant, and I burst into tears - his reaction was to tell me to shut up (from memory) and I told him (while crying) to let me out of the car. He refused several times (we were fairly close to home by this point but it was dark and night time). So I got hysterical: I felt trapped in the car with this man who was angry and saying hurtful things to me that I couldn't bear, and I felt powerless and at his mercy. And I'm quite sure the pregnancy hormones made me very irrational. I started screaming at him to let me out, but he refused. So I opened my car door, screaming at him to stop - he started calling me a selfish b&$%# and that I was going to kill the baby... but I had totally lost rational thought. I just wanted out. Finally, he turned into a side street and parked the car, but not without pulling my head and face over to his driver's side and then yanking my hair hard enough that he could drag me up the street with it. I got out of the car and walked home, and by this time he had driven back and was there before I was, packing up the car with his things. He told me that our marriage was over (he has said that many times before) and "I will never forgive you for what you did."

I was astonished that he showed no remorse, not one word of sorry for hurting me physically. Can't blame it on the drink (he was sober)... And today when he came by to demand money from me, he was still angry.

I am thoroughly devastated. It was one thing to have the husband that I loved to shout at me and to call me names - but to physically injure me is too painful. And if I had the power and ability, I would will this away so that it had never happened and I could carry on living with this alcoholic man with a bad temper.. but I can't pretend that it didn't happen - even though my mind can't even recall the memory fully because it just felt so traumatic at the time. My face is still bruised when I touch it and my scalp still hurts, and I had to take panadol today for the headache I had from him pulling my head and my face. But much more than that, my heart is totally broken and my life is shattered.

7 months ago I married this man I loved - and it was the fairytale wedding followed by the fairytale pregnancy and long-awaited baby on its way! All my dreams have shattered and instead I face pregnancy and parenting alone. My dreams of living and working in an orphanage in Romania seem shattered because how could I take my son away from his father? My Romanian dream that I had put on hold while he studied - 17 years of longing to work overseas in that kind of capacity, just gone.

And who would think that I could long for a man that treated me like this? But what is most painful at this moment is that I have lost him - my friend and companion and lover and husband and partner in life. Yet the moment he hurt me like that, my trust in him was gone, and I felt afraid when he came through the door today to confront me. Afraid of this man I had chosen to love all my life. And in that moment that he hurt me, I feel like it took the decision (about whether to leave him or stay with him) away from me. I couldn't excuse this one - much as I want to find a way to (and I know that if I call him he will find a way to convince me that I am to blame and he is justified in his actions - and perhaps it wasn't that bad!?). As a few have mentioned to me, with any kind of violence in a relationship, it tends to get progressively worse - and just one push or blow to my stomach and my baby could be severly damaged, perhaps even killed.

My heart is broken for me, and for my baby. My baby who never deserved a start to his life like this one. Who deserves a loving family and two parents, is now going to be born to one solo-mother and all the effects that go along with that, including being a child of an alcoholic. I didn't want this for him or for me, and I feel stupid at the decisions I have made and the consequences that has to my little boy and to me. I wanted my husband to be OK, and I thought I could love him despite his issues - but I had no idea that he was capable of this. The man I married is swallowed up by anger and he has become someone I don't know.

When you marry a person, your love for them is so strong it's built to weather many storms - and it's hard to separate from someone who you have that kind of love for. And of course, the only memories you have as you sit alone in your house with only pain for company, are good, beautiful memories of your time together. Like torture.

Perhaps there is in part the co-dependent in me that hates so much to be alone and will do anything to stop the pain of it. But then there's just the real human part of that too - we were not built to be alone. The battle in me to pick up the phone and connect with him just to relieve the pain of being alone and loneliness is very strong - to connect with a man that would hurt me emotionally and physically. It makes no sense - but that's how it is.

My life opens up like an enormous, overwhelming, yawning hole. As big as a canyon. And in that canyon are my fears for the future: Will I have to move in order to be able to survive? Will I have to live with someone just to make ends meet? How will I be able to afford my rent/bills/expenses? What will happen when I have to give up work - how will I get by? How will I manage a newborn baby all on my own? After three or more years of being in this relationship, suddenly I see (and remember) the loneliness of being single - years of it opening up in front of me, except this time with a baby. And who will be my birthing partner now? Will it be this man? This one that hurt me? Will I be stuck in New Zealand for the rest of my life - tied to this man because of my baby? The future looks unbearable to me. Just full of broken dreams and pain and loneliness.

I am full of guilt - that somehow this is my fault - and so I can't face God. I need God so much because I am so lonely and feel so vulnerable and so full of pain, but I'm scared that He is so disappointed with me. That I have failed as a wife in my marriage. Failed my husband, failed my baby, failed God. I feel so responsible.


  1. You are not alone. As you said at the end of your blog, you have god. He is always there. Trust in your relationship with him. Lean on him. Talk to him. He is always close to you.

    And you also have us (fellow Al-Anon members) So many others have gone through what you are going through. You are not alone. We understand. We've been there.

    Also, you are not alone, in that you are carrying a son! A beautiful new life who you will love, and hold, and talk to, and teach. What a blessing that he is coming in to your life at this time. He will fill up your days with a new love that you have never known before.

    I could give you my advice on your marriage. I could tell you my opinion, or what I think you should do, but it is not my place and it wouldn't do any good.

    This is your path. You can choose to walk it or take a different route. You can learn from this experience and use it as an opportunity to grow and expand spiritually or you can let this experience swallow you in pain or suffering.

    In the end, it all comes down to you and your choices. That is what I have learned from Al-Anon. And one of those choices could be to divorce or separate. You do not have to learn to live with an addict. you *can* learn to live with an addict, but you don't have to. And especially not if you are in danger and your child is in danger.

    But what I do know for sure, is that you and your son deserve better than what you are experiencing now. Set boundaries. Protect yourself and your child. Get in touch with your powerful mother instinct and use it-Now. Focus on you and your child. Not him and all of his negativities.

    If you find yourself getting lost in your head and in your thoughts, focus on your child and try to think in the best interest of his needs.

    I was scared to make my husband move out. I thought the children would hate me and resent me. I was so wrong. I terribly underestimated the intelligence of my children. Kids can sense peace and they can sense disharmony. To them, all they know and feel now, is that is sure is a lot happier around here when Dad is gone...and hey- Mom sure is a lot more happier when Dad is gone.

    It doesn't mean they don't love him or miss him, but kids know what's up. They will always choose a peaceful house over a house full of arguing or tension and especially over violence.

    Keep up going to your Al-Anon meetings. They will help re-energize you and give you strength. And more than anything else they will continue to remind you that none of this is your fault.

    I'm thinking of you,
    Hope you continue your blog...


  2. This made me cry. It's awful that you are going through this. Just remember, this is not your fault. You and your little boy will build a life more amazing than you can currently imagine. As I read this, tears streaming down my face, my little girl turned around to looked at me and gave me a beautiful smile. You will have these moments, and they will help you through.

    From everything you have written you seem very wise and intelligent. Not to mention caring and loving. I'm sure you will be an incredible mother. You will be suprised how much your baby can help heal you. The pure innocent love they give you helps everything. Hang in there. Keep writing it all down. Keep seeking support from whereever you can find it. You will get through.