Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Mid Week

My plan to get out of here exceptionally early to go swimming did now work out.  I woke up at 1 a.m. and stayed awake until nearly 4.  I hate it when that happens.  My mind does not function well in the night.  Everything takes on dark and sinister tones.  I pray, and pray to go back to sleep, but sometimes it takes hours.  When I finally fell back to sleep, I slept until after 6.  Too late to go swimming.  I will try to see if I can get out at lunchtime.  Then I will come back to work with wet hair and no make-up, but that is the advantage of working somewhere so long that you are comfortable enough to do that.

I was talking with someone about my ex-husband yesterday.  Something came out of my mouth that kind of surprised me.  I told her that I had spent so many years paying attention to my own side of the street, trying not to be bitter, or blame others, that I think I became delusional about the true nature of that marriage and the person I was married to.  I had convinced myself that we were divorced only because I made a foolish mistake - getting divorced - in my early sobriety.

Now that he is raising two of my grandchildren, I have to interact with him if I want to see them.  It is so unpleasant that I see them less and less.  He is an old bitter man.  But I remember he was a young angry man - behind a jovial smile and joke that fooled most into thinking he was a "great guy."  He is still hiding behind the "great guy," but does some of the most vile things to my daughter.

Funny, when he did the same things to me, I took responsibility for myself and looked at "my own side of the street."  But when I see him do those things to my daughter, I see them for what they are.  Cruel and cold-hearted.  Lashing back at her and hurting her in the worst possible ways - like bad-mouthing her to her daughters.  The girls are so confused about their mother.  When she confronted him about that, he simply said "I am not going to lie to them."

When my daughter told me that,  I thought about how I have "lied" about him all these years.  To my kids and to myself.  I always tried to paint him in the best possible light -  because I felt my children deserved to have TWO parents.  Unfortunately, he did not return the favor.  Two out of three of my children still see him as the "great guy," and I am the "alcoholic" even though I haven't had a drink for a long damn time and he still drinks every day.

It's weird to realize how much working the program has influenced how I have behaved with my family.  I am not saying it was wrong, but perhaps a bit misguided.  And delusional frankly.

I know who I am.  And I know who my daughter is.  And other people can chose to see that or not.  I have no control over that.

God is large and in charge and I know that all is well - even if it doesn't seem so.


dAAve said...


Annette said...

That all sounds very hurtful. He sounds like a hurtful man. I am so sorry. I am especially sorry for your daughter. How very painful.

Anonymous said...

AAs dAAve said, hmmmmm.

You've hit some of my nerves.

Ouch. Dark and sinister tones at night, being one.

Ouch. Another big one is the term 'great guy.' One of my alcoholics is known as a 'great guy.' His mother once said she doesn't care what anyone says: he's a 'great guy.' The point was made jovially and subtly, both, for my ears. He has not been a 'great guy' behind closed doors. He can be, but not necessarily and not typically. Not for-a-long-time-lately. And though it's usually benign I know, I've come to hate the expression.

As for being delusional? Who's not in some way :) ? Ouch. For what it's worth, two things, Mary Christine. 1- My experience is that AA encourages honesty. Lying for someone else's welfare, as well as dismissing your own real bitterness, might have hurt your program. 2- Maybe what you call delusion was hope - but maybe your hope was in results rather than in yourself. And maybe precarious hope was made worse by the fact that any hope offers no guarantee and didn't in this case.

(Regarding my last paragraph. I care... But if I've crossed any personal boundaries here or boundaries of etiquette, please forgive me and advise me.)


Lou said...

This post addresses a topic I have often wondered about reading "recovery" blogs. I will read of a situation where the other person seems to be clearly wrong, and the recovering person will blame them self. I think this is especially true in Alanon, where we tend to be overly "nice" and people pleasing in the first place. Sometimes others are just plain wrong, but I always examine my own "motives" first. At times, I should be more assertive, instead of giving everyone the benefit of the doubt.

When kids are used in personal vendettas it makes me ill! No doubts in this case.

Great post, good to read your view.

Syd said...

I don't want to hate anyone. And Al-Anon tells us to hate the disease and not the alcoholic. Is he a dry drunk? I can't think of much more hateful behavior than that of a dry drunk. Like Lou wrote, I do take my own inventory and see whether I am practicing the principles with others. Sometimes that means that I walk away from the ones who are hurtful. My sponsor would tell me that it's not my business what others think of me. But it is my business how I think and treat others. I know the caliber of person you are and so do you. And I suspect that your daughters know that as well.

Pammie said...

I believe I know this feeling.
I think sometimes the "looking at ourselves" is the only thing we know we have some control over and so it's an actual action we can take. Because we learned the hard way that we can't do anything about those fools.
What has always distressed me the most in your situation is that the other children still seem to follow his lead. Maybe it's because they know they can't do anything about the fool either.
The fact that he can not see how far "M" has come is just crazy.

Mary LA said...

Insomnia and morbid thinking go hand in hand, so true.

When I sat in women's meetings early on and mentioned the incest, there were women who would immediately ask if I had forgiven my father. As if that was all that was needed. Only one or two women asked if I had tried to have him arrested or charged, if it was possible for him to be sent to prison. For me, the question of justice can't be separated from the issue of forgiveness. My father never asked my forgiveness. I have made my peace with what he did to myself and my sisters but I have not forgiven him. Ongoing incest and his refusal to get help as a paedophile or admit his guilt broke any possibility of relationship between us.

I believe we as victims and survivors have to name and denounce injustice and abusiveness, protest and fight against it. That way lies sanity and healing. There is no excuse for what your children's father is doing.