Wednesday, August 29, 2012

It works for me

Went to my Tuesday night meeting. So glad that I did. The lead talked about compassion and learning to forgive with love those members of our families that can be and are less than lovable. Her main focus was on her ex-mother-in-law who had just passed away. She spoke about how this woman had mistreated her throughout her marriage. She spoke about the dislike between the two of them and how it had manifested into something painful and ugly. She also spoke about being able to move on after the divorce and she was even able to forgive her ex-mother-in-law all of the slights and problems that she, the MIL had caused her in the past. She said that it felt freeing to do so. Well...... When it was my turn to speak, I let my home group know that I have always been able to play the game I Can Top That when it came to the proverbial Mother-in-law story. I also told them that most of my MIL horror stories could and would make them weep. But I didn't tell them any of my horror stories. What I told them was that I had decided that I could no longer have a normal relationship with her and that sometimes it is ok to walk away from a situation without there being any resolution. Alanon taught me that it was ok to be compassionate to myself, to be forgiving of myself, to like myself enough to walk away from those that were doing me harm. Alanon taught me that it was ok to move forward with my life and that I did not have to drag any unnecessary baggage along with me. That sometimes there wasn't any possible solution for fixing a situation and to stop beating myself up over it. And that has been freeing for me. I don't talk to my MIL anymore and I no longer go over to her house for holidays. It works for me. It gives me a sense of peace to not have to be in her presence. Although I believe that she still likes to stir up trouble with the other family members simply because I am not there. She makes that the issue, my absence, instead of her behavior towards me. Ugh! Not gonna go there! I feel better about myself for having made a big decision. It wasn't easy. I made sure that my husband was ok with my not going over to her house anymore. He said it was fine by him, that he wished he didn't have to go over there anymore either. Ha! Sometimes he does speak the truth to me. The lesson I learned here was that it's ok to let go of something or someone that hurts you. Right now I am feeling blessed that I have done so.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Living in lack

It's strange to me how my husband can live in the same house as me, see the same things, hear the same news reports, virtually experiencing living life together for the last 30 years with me and still.... still, find that he himself lives in a state of lack.  Sometimes the things he says to me are so painful and hurtful. I have to wonder why do I stay with him. He is so miserably unhappy that he finds it difficult to find peace and gratitude in many situations. He often can only see the negative life experiences. There is no joy in this man of mine. Since my spiritual awakening, I am able to  view the world thru a different lens. I see now how there is a certain holiness, say, in a red bird singing on my fence post or the way the breeze looks as it goes thru the trees, or the sound of a baby laughing or rain soaking into the ground. Or how God likes to show off by making spectacular sunsets just for our enjoyment or maybe He does it just because He can. Whatever it is, I feel badly for my husband because he cannot see the holy in anything. He chooses not to go to church with me. He chooses not to go to church at all. He has told me himself that he is mad at God. Mad at the way his life has turned out. I know for sure that he is holding a grudge against me for the intervention that the kids and I had for him. And I also know that he resents me a lot for the things that he says were done to him throughout our marriage. What I can't get him to understand is that we both did things, said things, thought bad things about each other all these years. But it is in the past. I for one, would like to move on to a place of forgiveness, but I know that he is not there yet. Living with a dry drunk is sometimes harder than living with an active drinker. He has all the same bad habits and thought processing of an active alcoholic, but none of the booze soaked thinking or passing out drunk to go with it. He is still so filled with anger and rage. I wait for this cataclysmic eruption that I know will happen one day. I almost can feel it coming....hovering in his mind, lurking behind corners. I turned around quickly the other day to find him staring at me with such a look of hatred on his stunned me. I asked him about it. He said he was just spacing off. Ummm, ya, sure, ok Hon. I'm not afraid of him, it's more like I'm afraid for him. A body can only hold onto to so much stuffed anger for so long before it goes kaplow! I wish that he could learn to let go of some of his anger and pain. I wish that he could see the world thru new eyes and realize that we both have so much to be grateful for. He still mainly thinks about himself and what he doesn't have and what he can buy for himself that he thinks will make him happy. I'm not sure if that is something that I am going to have to learn to live with or if that is something that will go away if he ever gets healed thru AA. Time will tell I guess. In the mean time, I pray for him alot. The good Lord can come thru with an answer any day now. Life lessons and blessings still abound for me daily. I am grateful for every little thing. Peace!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Standing with a fist

In the movie Dances with Wolves, one of the main characters is a woman who was given the Indian name Stands with a Fist. That could have been my name. Should have been my name. I feel like I've been angry my whole life. Angry and standing with my fist raised, ready to do battle with whoever came my way. I was teased unmercifully by my siblings (in my memories, not theirs). I was a tattle tale, buck-toothed, cry baby who couldn't pronounce her R's. I remember being told to say Richard Rabbit Ran on a Raft over and over again by my older siblings. It came out Wichard Wabbit Wan ona Waft and then they would tease me for the mispronunciation of my R's. My little sisters favorite name for me was Bucky Beaver on account of my teeth. As I got older she started calling me "Miss 2x4 Head" because of what my mother referred to as my high and wide forehead (Lolly, you'll always have to wear bangs). I remember my feelings being hurt a lot and my mom telling me toughen up, that I was too thin skinned. I remember feeling lonely and alone in a house of 7 people. I can remember crying a lot as a child. I can also remember my mother singing a certain song to me whenever I did start to cry (which was all the time because of the teasing). The song was by Charlie Pride and the words I remember her singing to me go something like this: Tell me why baby, why baby,why do you cry baby, cry baby, cry baby, cry baby, why? It never made me feel better, it was more of a taunting song. I remember crying harder whenever she would sing it to me. So I don't imagine you will be surprised when I tell you that I married a man who likes to tease me. He always says: "I'm just teasing you. God! Can't you ever take a joke??"  I do like to laugh and I do like a good joke. I just don't like it when the jokes on me or about me, or thinly veiled and designed to humiliate me. Brings back too many bad childhood memories of times that I should have defended myself but couldn't or rather didn't because I didn't know how. I have to wonder.... when did it became ok for me to let people treat me like that? Having my family members making fun of me and no one ever sticking up for me, not even my mom, must have done some damage to my psyche, yes? Or am I just too sensitive? Have I learned to always look for the negative, the hurtful, the painful? Have I always been so full of anger? Have I always felt the need to pummel someone? Have I always had my fists raised and clenched, ready to do battle? When did I become fueled by such large amounts of pure anger? As I've moved along in recovery this past year, I can feel the anger lifting. I can feel myself unclenching my fists, unclenching my jaw, relaxing my tense stance. I can feel myself wanting to trust but still holding back, still feeling afraid of the pain of being made fun of. Now when he teases me, I try to see if I see something sinister behind it or if he truly is trying to be light hearted and joking with me. Now when he gets angry, I try and let it wash over me instead of letting it destroy me. If I don't react then there seems to be no volcanic reaction between us. It's as if by me unclenching my raised fist, and letting go of my anger, it somehow has had an effect on his anger too. Learning to let go of my anger has been a lesson and a blessing for both of us. The miracles of the Alanon program never cease to amaze me.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012


I'm still here. I'm still fine. I'm still a size 12. Still walking the road to recovery. Still walking it alone. Still saying my prayers. Still reading books and blogs. Still doing what needs to be done. Still feeling that all is well within my soul. Still believe that I am still healing. Still like this feeling of being still.

And this was the Bible reading that popped up in my daily reader today after I had posted this.  WOW!
Be still and know that I am God~Psalm 46:10 

Monday, August 6, 2012

Pants on fire

My husbands birthday was last month. In July. So here it is, August, when he brings into the house a six pack of beer and sets it on the kitchen counter. I don't say a word. I only lift an eyebrow at him. (Since the Intervention a year and a half ago, he  hasn't had even one drop of alcohol.) Right away he says that he didn't buy it, that it was a gift from his brother. In my head I can hear the words your brother bought you a six pack?!?! screaming to be released. Instead I gently asked him "Why would he do that ? Doesn't he know that you don't drink anymore?" And the answer I got floored me, blind sighted me, made me catch my breath, hear a hum in my head and swallow my tongue. He says to me, he says " I told him that I couldn't drink anymore because of my diabetes meds, that it causes a bad reaction and makes me loose my balance." Gulp....hummmm...whaaa??? WHAT? WHAT?
Wanna know what I really said to him right then and there???  I says to him, I says " That's not the reason you don't drink anymore!" And he says back to me that the reason he doesn't drink anymore is private and nobody needs to know what that reason is. That it's nobodys business but his. So, let me get this straight.... you told your brother that you no longer drink alcohol due to medical reasons?! And in my head I know this to be a lie. In my head, I also know that dry drunks are sober but not recovered. He has never gone to AA. No treatment at all, except after the Intervention, he went to see a therapist 3 times. Came home after his last therapy session and announced that he wasn't going back to that place. Never spoke about his therapy, or what they wanted him to do, never even tried AA. And I realized, after he told me what he told his brother about the reason for his abstinence, I realized then that my husband is a liar.  Always has been, I guess. Lying about the amount of booze he drank, lying by omission of the amount of bottles we found hidden around the house, lying about where he was and about the amount of money spent. He lies to me about our finances, and about his own health to his Dr. and to his family. And I believe he even lies to himself. What kind of sickness makes a person a compulsive liar? How bad do you have to feel about yourself that you feel the need to lie all the time? What's the purpose of still lying to yourself after you've sat in a conference room with your wife and grown kids and a professional interventionist and been told in a kind and loving manner that you have a problem with alcohol? I'm sitting here still a little stunned. I've been working my program so hard lately. Letting go and letting God and all that, but this....this really threw me. It made me irritated that I am the only one trying to work a program. Neither him nor the kids have gotten any kind of help. So why am I doing it then? What's in it for me if nobody else is gonna get help, why should I? And here is the answer  that popped into my head.....
He wasn't the only one who was lying back then, during his active drinking days. You lied too, Lolly. Remember all those times that you.....well, let's just say that yes, I do remember. And I also remember a saying that my Dad used to say to me- "Once a liar, always a liar". Truer words were never said. And I realized that I don't want to be a liar anymore. Not to my spouse or to myself. I want to be able to look him in the eye and I want to feel good about myself and I want my intentions to be honorable. I want to keep going to my Tuesday night meetings because they make me feel good about my life and my progress in Alanon. And I want to redeem myself for the lies I told in the past. Alanon is my safe place to do that . Even if the rest of my family never gets the help it needs, I know that I am doing what is best for me, what is right for me. I don't want to be haunted by that childrens rhyme that says-"Liar, liar, pants on fire" anymore. Today I learned my lesson about lying and I will bless my own self as I walk alone on this road to a healthier place. Peace!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

The Reader

Once upon a time.....
Reading, for me, was like breathing; IS like breathing. Books are my oxygen. I crave the written word. I love the smell of books, the feel of the pages. No Nook or Kindle for this girl. I need to feel the book in my hands. I love reading at night before I go to sleep, or when it's storming outside, either rain or snow, and I can curl up on my couch or cozy up in my window seat with an afghan and read til my heart's content. But my heart is never content. As of now there are so many books on my nightstand that I can no longer see my alarm clock or my lamp. The pile is now 18 books high. So many topics, so many authors, so much self-help all just waiting for me to "calm my shit" and get started on the road to healing. Except I can't concentrate. There are sooo many good books to choose from. I literally don't know where to start. There is the book by Brennan Manning titled The Ragamuffin Gospel which I started 3 months ago, but then I got caught up in Mark Nepo and his journey through The Book of Awakening. That is one fabulous book, I gotta tell ya. So good in fact that I went to the library and checked out 2 more of Mark Nepo's books- Finding Inner Courage and As Far As The Heart Can See. I wanted his Fire without Witness but our library doesn't carry it. I've noticed that my library doesn't carry a lot of the books that I am craving. Books about going on soul journeys and finding serenity, and God and yourself. Books about gratitude and grief and weight and how to navigate your life so that you no longer need to feel shame or pain or fat or unloved. Books to make you believe in a God who loves you, never left you, and redeemed you by  dying on a cross. Even books about simplifying your life and learning to live with less by craving less (do you think there might be a book on learning how to crave less books?!) In the past I would always finish reading the whole book, cover to cover, before picking up another one. Not any more. If I find that after the first chapter or two that the book isn't holding my attention, then I go to my ever increasing pile and select another one. I am on a mission to heal myself;  my broken, unredeemed, overweight, bossy, angry self. Maybe I should find and read a book on learning to be forgiving of myself first, huh? My favorite sister-in-law-best-friend says I am too hard on myself. But I feel like I have a lot to atone for. She asked me the other day if I had ever heard of a study that asks the questions "What do you think it is like to be married to you? And what is it like to work with you, and to be friends with you?" Oh Boy!!! I instantaneously knew the answer to all 3 questions. And I didn't like the answer that popped into my head.
So since then I've been on a quest to find the "right" book that is gonna help me fix myself.
And wouldn't you know it but it's a book I've had all along. It's sitting right next to me in fact. I read it everyday. Pages are marked and highlighted, corners are folded over, little pieces of paper act like bookmarks on certain pages that speak to me, and passages that I want to remember are underlined. It's my Courage to Change. Who knew? Maybe my HP knew. Maybe God was directing me when he led me to it yesterday morning. That August 1st  reading was exactly what I needed to hear.  So, with the help of my HP,  I am going to continue on my merry way, reading as I go and hoping that I can learn to love and forgive myself, to just settle down enough to concentrate and to be able to read one of those books on healing and learning to love and forgive yourself all the way through to the end. Wish me luck!
The End