Thursday, August 18, 2016

Things End Up a Bit Too Heavy.

Grief is like the ocean.  The ebb and flow of a tide.  Coming closer and closer until the wave crashes on the shore and then backs away.  Receding into the blackness.  Seeming to disappear.  And then back again, as if it never left.

But what am I grieving?  I don't know.  The breaking of a promise?  The loss of trust?  Am I still grieving for feeling forced from my home?

Me, sans make-up and no sleep for nearly 3 days.  Sadness makes one look old.  It isn't pretty, folks.

I have taken so much criticism in the last 20 months for moving out.  I hope friends and loved ones now understand why I did.  It wasn't that I didn't love my husband.  I did.  So much.  I always will.  I had to leave our home.  There was no other choice.  Our daughter could not be raised in a home where a man treated a woman that way.  Our sons could never be allowed to believe that type of behavior was common and acceptable.

It was not a decision made lightly.  We had several conversations about the possibility that I would move out.  I cried.  He cried.  But he never stopped drinking.  So the children and I had to go.

He helped us move, assembled beds for the children and even accompanied me when I purchased appliances. We have spent much time forging a friendship and many overnights talking until nearly morning.  He is still thoughtful enough to call his home, "our home."

I stopped trusting him long before I moved out.  While he was still drinking, I hated leaving the children alone with him.  My overnight visits started as a way to make sure they were safe.  But they continued long after he stopped drinking.  And we seemed to find a deeper level of intimacy than we had even in the prime of our marriage.  I was truly trusting him again.

So imagine my surprise, my shock, my extreme disappointment when he violated my trust.  He put his sobriety at risk by spending night after night in bars.  He went to parties where getting drunk was the entertainment.  He became sexually involved with a 52-year old crack addict.  These cannot be the decisions of a sober man.

Neither one of us have slept the last 2 nights.  He has spent both nights in my apartment.  Maybe because he is trying to salvage our friendship and somehow convince me to trust him with our children.  Or maybe because he doesn't trust himself to stay sober alone.

We have cried.  I have yelled.  We have held each other.  We have pushed each other away.

I'm not sure what I am grieving.  But I know I am.  Even I am aware of the presence of the emotional stages of grief.

Disbelief:  I cannot believe he did this.
Anger:  I hate him for doing this.
Denial:  There is no way he screwed a crack head, is there?  No way he would bring that mess into our lives.  She isn't really a crack head, right?  (He did. She is.) 
Bargaining:  Lord, if you just keep him sober, I'll do anything.  My kids need their dad.  Please.
Guilt:  If I hadn't left, he would have found sobriety and stuck with it.
Depression:  How do we move forward?  What's the point?

It's all there.  These feelings.  Everything but Acceptance.  I don't know if I can ever accept that he is alcoholic and makes addict decisions.  I don't know if I can ever accept the level to which he has put his own health and the lives of our children at risk.

Grief is like the ocean.  If you're not careful, the tide will pull you under.  I'm hurting, but I'm a fighter.  And even though I find myself far from the shore, somehow I'll Float On.


  1. Perhaps you are grieving for your family and the hope that you would break a cycle of addiction you were born into and thought you could escape. I do not know your grief, but I know grief does not always require or deserve acceptance. Just as forgiveness does not require us to forget. Hope is the only requirement for surviving and your hope has 3 names.