Wednesday, November 04, 2009

20 Years Ago

Sometimes a period of time gets stuck in my mind. So it has been lately. I have been thinking about a time 20 years ago. As for the photo, I knew if I took a cursory glance into my underwear drawer, I would find something of that relationship, and I found this note within a second. Not wanting to drag out my camera, I held it up to the one on my computer and it took this wonderfully symbolic (of the relationship) convoluted photo.

I was sober a little over 5 years. My life was in so much turmoil. I didn't know which way to turn. Into this mess walked Mr. Right. He had come to visit a dear friend who had met him while speaking at an AA event in Australia.

He was sober nearly 8 years. He was so handsome, intelligent, and charming. He was so impressive in meetings - and so funny! Months later I heard a tape of Chuck C. for the first time and discovered that somehow Chuck C. had "stolen" much of my dear heart's experience - years before he had even gotten sober! But by then it was too late for me, I was totally in love.
My friends loved him. We looked so good together! We were both passionately in love with Alcoholics Anonymous. We went to meetings every single day. We talked about AA morning, noon, and night. And we were, as you can see by the note above, passionately in love with each other. Oh, it was an amazing time. For a couple of months anyway.

Within 3 months we left Denver for British Columbia where he could work. He was not a citizen of the United States ( I later fixed that!) and couldn't work here.

Within a few more months we were married. And before a month had passed after our wedding he started hitting me. And it went downhill from there. I won't detail it all here because I have done it piecemeal and it doesn't bear repeating, at least not this morning before work.

He was so "passionate" about AA after we were married that he would actually badger me and start fights with me over things that I had said in meetings that he didn't feel were "correct." He would only hang out with the "right" people in AA, and after a while this required travel. We had already moved from British Columbia to a small town in northern Washington because that is where we had found a great home group. After about a year, he became disenchanted with the folks in this town. We ended up traveling all over the place to find just the right people and he would follow them around. For a while I followed too. After a while, I didn't want to follow. I just wanted to be left alone to be with regular old drunks. People who said the "wrong" things.

On November 1 of this year, 20 years to the day of our first date, he sent me an e-mail (from Thailand where he lives with his next wife) quoting the words from the Elvis Costello song "Every Day I Write the Book." I think I am supposed to understand something about that. I don't really care to sit around and try to figure out what he is trying to say. I wrote him back and told him it was our 20th anniversary. And he wrote back and said "I love you too Mary Christine."

On the day we were divorced, we sat in the Jefferson County Courthouse, and we held hands through the procedure. As we said good bye at the door, I said to him "Good bye B.A., I will love you always." Because, the sad truth is, I always will.

But I will never allow someone to hit me again. And I will never allow someone to badger me over something said in a meeting again. And I will never allow someone to tell me what is "right" AA and what is "wrong" AA again.

Especially not a blogger.

Thank God it is 2009 and not 1989.

YAY!

13 comments:

Scott W said...

Life isn't so convoluted anymore.

Mary LA said...

It is so important to know where we stand and when enough is enough.

dAAve said...

Yayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy!!

Ed G. said...

I'm glad you got free...

I also appreciate your honesty and courage.

Blessings and aloha...

enchantedoak said...

Thank you for talking about such a chilling chapter in your life. It's real and human and victorious.

Kim A. said...

How great a gift it is to be able to surround myself with people that I want what they have. And to know I have a choice.

Namaste (and thanks for sharing)

Gin said...

You & me both sister. No man will ever lay his hands on me again. I sooooo feel this post!

Lou said...

I have gotten cryptic emails. I don't try to figure them out anymore. Often I want to shout out on my blog...I'm just not that deep people, stop trying to read something profound into this!

You sound so comfortable in your skin these days. What a great place to be in life.

Syd said...

I admire you so for standing up and loving yourself. It has taken me years to come to realize that there are different ways of being battered. I am sorry what we as humans do to each other.

Anonymous said...

is their right and wrong AA.?

Mary LA said...

Just wanted to say I have also been taken in by wonderful AA speakers who have borrowed the wisdom! Very funny

Scott said...

I'm just glad you're in a healthier place now, MC!

Mark W. said...

I'm very happy to see folks like me who have been given the strength to do the right thing for themselves and end our abuse at the hand of others.

As for "wrong" and "right" AA I am also fully aware of the people who attempt to promote that cr*p. The first thing they do is convolute the Traditions to suit their personal agendas. It's really very, very, sick!