It was almost 33 years ago when my life changed. I went out on a date with “J” for the first time. We would end up parked in the driveway talking for hours until almost 4 am. Two years later we would marry and start what I thought would be a beautiful life together. It wasn’t perfect. I don’t think it ever is. The one thing that was as close to perfect as possible was news 5 years later that we would be parents. After about two to three years of increasing drinking I knew J had a problem. A few times he tried to quit on his own. It never lasted. I began doing everything I could to make a far from normal life “perfect” for my daughter. When J was sober, he was a good dad. He loved his daughter and that was evident. I would tell my daughter he had fallen asleep when he had really passed out. I did everything to keep him quiet at night to not wake her. When she got into her teens it was harder and harder to make life “normal.”
To make a long story short I finally gave him an ultimatum to actively get help or I was leaving. I gave him about 3 months to seek help – a doctor, a therapist, a rehab just one step to getting help. When the day came, and he had done nothing I was crushed. But I wouldn’t back down. My daughter deserved better. My life with J started out wonderfully. I still love him to this day. Unfortunately, he drank himself to death and our daughter found him dead in his bed.
All the turmoil, the pain, the tears, the drama, the heartbreak… if given a choice I would not change it. Only because it gave me a beautiful daughter who I treasure more than anything. If J were still here and had gotten the help, I think I would have gone back to him. I know I still very much loved the man I married. Trouble was he had drowned years after the wedding. And I couldn’t safe him. But because he gave me my daughter, I am grateful to J forever.
(Sorry this one was so long… it was had to condense.)
Shelia was done with work and headed home. She kept thinking, trying to come up with an errand to run so she didn’t have to go home. She had begun to dread the trip home as her husband’s drinking had gotten much worse, much more and much earlier.
She walked in the garage door and set her purse on the shelf by the door. She didn’t hear anything except the TV on in the living room. She drew a deep sigh and walked into the room. Sure enough, he was passed out in his chair, an empty vodka bottle on the table.
Her first instinct was to wake him up and ask questions and demand answers. She knew now from experience it would do no good. It would just frustrate her, and he wouldn’t remember it in the morning. And it would do no good. Until he admitted he had a problem and wants to work on it; she might as well speak to a brick wall. Besides the more he drank the angrier he would be when she woke him up. She gently placed a blanket over him, turned off the TV and went to the kitchen to make herself a late dinner and cry again tonight.
Written for Fandango’s February Expressions (FFE) #24
For some reason in my years of blogging I seemed to skip over the 17th for some reason. I only found two I had posted. This week I share the one from last year. A poem about the loss of my ex-husband to alcoholism. It was originally posted here.
I wonder if
You still exist
Is your spirit
Still in pain
Do you feel
The least remorse
For leaving her
Without a father
Can you see
The woman she is
In spite of
What you did
Or is there
Nothing but darkness
In your afterlife