embrace the sadness. blar. i will be ok as long as i don't pick up a drink. i don't feel like a drink and i took care of myself today. recognized the uncomfortableness and made decisions that would not put me in an emotional cyclone and followed up with several hours with my best friend so i wouldn't be alone. if you can follow my nonsense the following ill fated grouping of words will hopefully explain.
i am trying so very hard not to associate this time of year to hurt and sadness, but for now, it is associated with sadness. i have hope that in time, the holidays will once again my favorite season of happy chaos.
i have been thinking so much about how i should handle the holidays and my children. my babies daddy asked if we could make a tentative schedule or plans for thanksgiving and christmas time. when i think about it all, i honestly burst into tears and hold my chest. my chest pounds like a hollow drum and the soreness truly makes me ache. the holiday season is about family to me. and yes, there were times when i was in active addiction the drink came first. i am not proud of that, but it is my truth and probably another alcoholics truth as well. i never wanted the drink to be more important yet it was for me. i was not necessarily drunk, i was passed out, too tired, too anxious, hungover or shitfaced. we use to start drinking champagne on thanksgiving morning and by the time i got to my in-laws i was loaded. i believe i have mentioned this tradition in previous blogs. anyway, what do i do without my kids, my family, my whole heart? i was able to say that i would like the kids on thanksgiving morning but i just could not say about christmas eve or christmas day. as i have mentioned in the past, christmas eve usually was at my house. last year it was not because i had relapsed a week or so prior. 'the husband' was hugely upset that he ate christmas eve dinner alone because i was in my room. yes, on paper it sounds so sad and pitiful, and yes, that does sound lonely. it was what i had to do being newly sober again. was it unfair to him, i'm sure it was. was it unfair to ask me to participate in the night and pretend i was just fine and watch him get seriously buzzed and act obnoxious, yes, i'm sure it was. again, the kicker was he never told me until months later. i digress. as i was saying i told him i just couldn't say on those days. he did not pressure me and i do appreciate that very much. what do i do? do i go to the house after they return from family merriment that i know longer get to participate in (can you imagine how painful that is?) and sleep on the couch so i can be there when my babies wake up to see what santa left? do i travel back in time and try to recreate a scene of previous christmas'? how long do i stay after they open their gifts? how healthy is it for me to pretend things are not different. more importantly how healthy is it for the kids? i wanted to go apple picking with them this year and needed their father to come along to supervise and he said no. instead his gf, her children, mutual friends and their child went (they had been going with us every year for years) to the same place we always take the kids. the place i sought out because it had a pretty drive. my god, isn't that sick? couldn't they have gone to a completely different place? not to mention the other couple who i thought were my friends as well went right along with it. i think it is b'zar. my point is, he recreated the almost exact same experience with the kids except i wasn't there. who does that benefit? him or the kids? i might argue it does benefit the kids because that has been the tradition, but i might also argue that changes are necessary to live in reality not in false reality. are you following me? remove me from the picture and insert new woman and tack on two kids. make sense? circumstances and situations are not the same so why pluck out the old and put in the new? why not start doing things a little differently? back to my original point, do i pluck myself out of the dinner, gift giving festivites (which i most definitely would not participate in due to what you have read) and then insert myself back in for the santa set up, and santa wake up then pluck myself out shortly after santa and go back to my apartment? or do i miss the very first christmas morning with them? how are they going to feel that their mother isn't there? i am scared. i am scared that if i just do it so they don't have to feel any change is that putting my sobriety in jeopardy? it really isn't about the way i will feel there, it is the way i will feel afterward. the afterward part is what fucks me up. do i risk my sobriety? am i strong enough? i don't know. no one can make this decision but me and i feel like no matter what i chose i am going to cause behind the back talk (which happens anyway) and hurt feelings. either way it is crushing, but which is the less of the two evils? my apartment won't be decked out like the house is, i don't have anything and i don't really want anything. christmas is about your kids if you have them. christmas won't always be this way it is a moment in time. if i can look at the 'big picture' maybe my answer will come to me.
'the husband' is going to tell our kids that the woman he has had them around is his gf. i know my oldest already knows and my youngest knows there is tension when it comes to her and my middle child, i am fairly certain knows but, i think, is uneasy about acknowledging it. i don't have a problem with him telling them at all (which is considerable growth for me). i am going to bounce back and forth again, so bear with me. i do have concern with overloading them with too much change (hence christmas dilemma). i am not sure why he is telling them now, but my guess and this is just a gut feeling, is that the gf will be introduced to his parents. and this leads me to what happened today.
babies daddy asked if i was going to be somewhere (too many details) and if i wasn',t his gf and her kids were going to go be there. he was nice enough to say that if i had plans on being there, he would tell her not to come because he promises (and trust me when i tell you his promises mean nothing as he has broken so many) that 'we' will always come first when it comes to our children's activities. again, nice of him to say and i did appreciate it. i told him i was planning on going but i was fine with her being there because i knew my kids had been to her kids activities and my kids would enjoy having hers there. are ya'll following me on this? sounds like code talk right? okay, so this morning i go to the house to pick up my oldest and his friend and the husband tells me that his sister and nephew are also going to be there. that put a whole new spin on things. his sister and i haven't really spoken since i have been back. she communicated by letter once while i was in treatment ( i recieved her letter and package the day before i was leaving) and i saw her once at the house while she was babysitting the kids. the 'in person' visit did not go well because of me. i could not look her in the eyes. i just couldn't. i could not pretend that everything was ok and be all huggy and lovey. i am seriously hurt by her. for six long, painful, gut wrenching years, she too was in active addiction. i won't go into detail about her story but i will tell you it was bad. i am in NO way comparing it to me or my battles because you just can't compare at all. we aren't any better or any worse than each other, we are just your garden variety drunks. but those years took a major toll on me, it caused some riffs in my marriage and it dominated my life. i was my inlaws biggest support system, i constantly rallied his family and prompted and pleaded to get them to take action. denial is that families signature color. it isn't a criticism, it is just how they operate. denial denial denial. i was overly involved in my sister inlaws life and in my inlaws. i didn't know that then obviously, all i knew is i didn't want her to die and i was going to exhaust every fucking avenue and then some. it came down to finally telling his parents that if there wasn't an intervention i couldn't be there sounding board and i had to drop out of this all. my stress and anxiety was high. i would go from 0-60 in less than a second and my drinking took off. the irony right? let me drink because i'm stressed out about an alcoholic. i am not blaming my drinking on that situation in the least, it just picked up and started really rolling. part of my progression was to drink as a coping skill. so in the end, i researched interventionist, how to do an intervention etc and we had the intervention. she went to another rehab and between myself and the husband we brought her son up there to visit her on the weekends. when she returned home we supported her a 100%, it didn't mean we forgot what she did, said etc, but we wanted her to succeed and we wanted to support her. i haven't had any, and i mean any support from her. yes, i got a letter/package and yes, i did see her but couldn't look at her and yes, we have texted briefly to say we love each other and yes, she has met and hung out with the husband and his gf. my god. i mean MY GOD. i have never known a family that is so desperate to not deal with anything uncomfortable so much that they are willing to cast aside someone who moved to be closer to them, has been closer to them than her own family, that fought like a mother fucker so that a member of the family's bottom could be raised so they would hopefully be more willing to get help, who has been a constant sounding board and been fairly (i won't say concretely because i am human) non judgmental on others in the family (i always have tried to present another side) so that they don't have to look at 'one of their own'. and i say that because my mother inlaw says 'blood is thicker than water' and i'm the water now. and listen, i just because i wouldn't do that without a damning reason, doesn't mean they won't. my inlaws are hurt because i gave them back a birthday check (i felt hypocritical accepting money from them when i couldn't be around them because they constantly cosign their sons bullshit) and did not accept a table. i didn't want them to stop speaking to their son, i didn't want them to write them off, but for the love of christmas it wouldn't have killed them to tell him he shouldn't invite her up and stay with her during a family vacation they paid for. and it wouldn't kill them to not babysit if he was going to be with her. and it wouldn't kill them to tell him they aren't going to meet her anytime soon. but they will never do that. his sister hasn't done it. one of his aunts (and i thought i was close to both of them) wrote me off because 'she's been talking to patrick....and wishes me a happy life. can any of you imagine what it fucking feels like to lose family? i have been kicked to the curb and why? don't they have a daughter and a niece who has the same disease and stuggled just like me? why am i different? i am different because if they took the focus off of me and looked at their own son/nephew it may get uncomfortable. peace at all costs as my mother inlaw says. peace at all costs. and i am the one who pays the price because peace for them is denial. the husband is going to that aunts housewarming party on sunday and i am going to spend time with the kids. i would make a guess my sister inlaw and the gf are going as well. i don't tell you all of this because i think i am a basket of biscuits, i tell you because i have poured my heart and soul into this family. i didn't just marry a man, i married a family. whether they think that way or not, i did. one brother and sister inlaw who live just a few hours away, are never really around and they just had their first child. my other brother and sister inlaw (the ones that helped save my life) live about 9 hours away, and they are such amazing people. they hold me accountable, but they love me, they support me and they see that i am not 100% to blame in this. they have their own personal issues with things that have nothing to do with me and there is nothing i can do about that. i even tried (still working on that co-dependency thing) to change their minds, because god forbid i don't still try and protect him from dealing with consequences. how sick is that? but they do, they love me and they remember what it was like with my sister inlaw but most importantly they know i am a good person trying to get well.
today, i did not put myself in a shitty emotional position of being around my sister inlaw and the gf. i called then went to my best friends and then i realized i shouldn't be completely alone on thanksgiving so i made new plans. living in the solution is what those actions are called. self care too.