Wednesday, December 12, 2012

PYHO - Here and Now

I'm actually trying to write to contribute to Pour Your Heart Out over at Things I Can't Say on Wednesday, the actual day she posts it.  Even in small things, I'm making progress.  Progress, not perfection - that's how the saying goes.  What do I want to Pour my Heart Out about?  That's the question.  Why don't I just list some things on my mind - that I've been keeping in there, rattling about.  A list seems fun, so here we go (and requires less effort from me today).

1.  Abby will be graduating from college this weekend.  Wow - can I just say how fast time has gone.  We got married when she was going into her sophomore year of high school.  I've seen her change in so many ways, and yet stay stuck in some others.  It's surreal that she is an adult and now needs to find a job and go off on her own.  Now if only her mom agreed!  She's perfectly content to let her live for free at her house, not even asking about her plans.  It makes me so angry.  But, I guess what should I expect?

2.  LT got a suit yesterday.  His first one ever.  He looked so grown up and handsome in it.  Before I know it, he'll be graduating from high school (one hopes...), and be facing his own decisions about what to do.  I'm trying so hard to let him handle what is his to do - grades are not in my control, doing his homework, cleaning his room - taking a shower....ugh!  He's been tested for ADD.  I'm not sure whether I hope he has it so it can be treated, or finding he doesn't have it and all of this difficulty is really his choice.  He is such a caring, thoughtful young man.  I couldn't be more proud of him.  And really, a grade in algebra isn't the definition of him as a person.  It's just got different importance to him that it did to me at that age, or does now as the parent.

3.  Miss Maggie had a HUGE breakthrough this past weekend.  She said something she shouldn't have said to Jack (but it was the truth...what do I do with that??!!).  However, in an unprecedented turn of events, she realized she was really wrong for saying it and came on her own to apologize and seek forgiveness.  It was truly a moving moment for me as a mom to see her finally "get" this piece of understanding about responsibility for her actions/apology that she has struggled over so much.

Jack seems to be through the latest of his dramas.  It's so true that alcoholics can't seem to just be.  To be content, to be normal, to not have some drama going on.  I really can be happy and thankful for my blessings.  Yes, there are burdens, but I choose to see the blessings. 

And me - what about me?  Still fighting this cold and cough, but still seeing the good.  Thankful for a healthy family and a warm home.  There have been times without that, so it's all good.   I'm especially thankful for my parents who are still well and strong and working.  I'm thankful for being able to laugh at the insanity that is my life.  And I'm thankful for being able to laugh with my mom.  She's so fun and funny and we've been through so much.  I'm thankful for their marriage that has lasted over 45 years.  What blessings they are to me, and to their grandchildren.

Now, if I could just find one of those Elves who would put up the Christmas decorations...

Friday, December 7, 2012

Groundhog December

You may or may not have gone backwards in reading my blog (all 5 people :o)), but I just had an inspiration to look at last year's posts.  You may remember this.  I didn't remember until I re-read it, however...I don't need to write a post for what is going on today, because you can read that one and still be caught up to date.  The exact same place, only 9 days earlier.  Just like Bill Murray in Groundhog Day.
Jack is back in the spare bedroom, and frankly, I can't say I'm sad about that.  If he's going to act like an idiot, I'm okay with him doing it away from me.  There was a new development.  Last night when I got home after working late, there was crap all over the bed and floor in that room.  It looked like the closet (which we use for storage of unused items) had exploded.  Then there was a horrible grinding noise.  I went to see what was up - and he was drilling a hole in the closet wall - saying he was moving a shelf.  The shelving system is the type with the pre-drilled holes where you insert pegs and rest the shelf on the pegs.  I'm not sure where you would drill a half-inch hole in that, but okay.  I just said be careful.
Detachment.  Yes, I'm learning to really love detachment.  It is becoming my friend instead of a dreaded stranger.
I will still never understand how he can just come and go with his "participation" in our family.  Next week should be an interesting experience as we have a meal with his dad and step-mom who live about 2 hours away and we haven't seen in 4 years.  I'm sure THAT will be really fun.  At least it should provide good blog material.
Another year older, and getting out of denial and craziness.  Now that is a good thing.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

PYHO - Focusing on What Matters

Over at Things I Can't Say, she is hosting this week's Pour Your Heart Out.  As usual in my life, I'm a day late.  But I love her prompts.  They force me to see what is important in life.  So, I begin my own PYHO today.  Focusing on What Matters
I used to LOVE Christmas.  I mean love everything about it.  As the oldest grandchild, I always helped my grandma.  She had a big family, and as they all multiplied, we would usually have about 50 people - aunts, uncles, cousins for the holiday celebrations.  I would help her get out her decorations, put them up, clean up afterwards.  We'd have baking days when we'd make cookies, days to make cheeseball.  My sister and I always wrapped every gift she purchased for that big family.  We laughed, we had fun. I was always excited to get out the church that played Silent Night - it was made of some weird cardboard concoction that had some spongy snow on it.  It was probably asbestos, but so far we've mostly survived!  My cousin recently posted a photo from her childhood in front of the tree, presents stacked all around.  It brought tears to my eyes.  Five years after my grandma's death, I still miss her every day. 
After the first stop on the insanity train (marriage number 1 - I'm still not ready to discuss that openly), the holidays became dreaded to me.  If not for my kids who were just babies, then toddlers, I would have been happy to not even celebrate Christmas.  But I went through the motions. 
Now that Jack and I are married, it's still not my favorite time of year.  So far, every Christmas, he has had a bout of depression/period of the down side of undiagnosed bi-polar, something that has taken the fun out of Christmas.  I can never do or say the right thing.  I don't put the tree in the right place, and on and on.  I can't remember any Christmas that wasn't covered in a gray cloud.
This year, though, I've resolved to focus on what matters.  It's not about the fact that we don't have one single decoration out or up yet, not about the fact that we are again in that "winter doldrums" with his behavior.  It is about helping others and being God's hands and feet on this earth.  For the first time, I've actually volunteered to help during the community Christmas.  I've done things behind the scenes, but never interacted.  I'm going to do so.  I've been helping in some other ways that help me to remember why we have Christmas in the first place.  And when I do those things, I think of my grandma then.  It's not about the decorations or the color of lights on the tree, it's about people and relationships.  Even if Jack doesn't want to stop drinking and participate in life, I do.  So I'm going to focus on that and go on - Wife Goes On...with or without him.

I hope you'll stop over on the blog and read others' posts.  It is very heartwarming.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

I see the moon

This month has been crazy busy.  So much sadness and hurt in the world, so much going on.  I'm doing well with my al-anon living, even with being sick for most of the last 3 weeks.  Finally feeling better, but still not 100%.  Let's see what my ADD brain is containing for today:
We have been through 4 birthdays, thanksgiving, and now face a college graduation and Christmas.  Meanwhile, I've really been noticing the moon lately.  There is a full moon, a harvest moon even.  It has been big and bright and visible every night. One night I got up at 3:00 a.m., and it looked like there were floodlights on in the back yard.  It was that bright!
Our dear, dear neigbor passed away just last night.  It's so sad, but he was an older gentleman, WWII veteran, ex-POW, and had lived a full, good life.  As I looked up, I thought how many moons had washed their light over his life.  Through the times in a depression era, as a soldier in the POW camp, as his children were born, the days he planted and harvested his crops. 
Our lives ebb and change, and still the sun rises, sets, the moon rises, the moon changes.  That same moon that saw him through those years of trials and blessings will continue to shine on my life too.
For his life, I'm thankful.  And what a blessing to have gotten to know him.

Monday, November 12, 2012

It's the year of Al-Anon

Happy Birthday to me!  I've declared this to be the Year of Al-Anon in my life.  I'm going to be gentle with myself as I seek to NOT get sucked back in to the insanity that is Jack's alcoholism.  He decided to baptize me into the attempt on my birthday, acting like a complete ass, but I don't care.  We had a great lunch with my parents, our kids and the weather was lovely.  Our children need a parent who is sane and present, and to do that, I'm going to have to start acting like I'm getting better, using my al-anon tools and the support they provide.  Whether I feel like it or not!  It's been more trying with more health tests, but in the end, I think stress is eating away at my body.  I'm not willing to give in, nor be defeated by alcoholism.  I know this is going to be difficult.  But life is already difficult.  I will be okay, just for today.  Tears are a part of it, pain is a part of it, but so is joy.  And today, I'm choosing joy.  If you are the praying type, I'd appreciate your prayers for the kiddos and for me.  Even for Jack to see the truth. 

Thursday, October 18, 2012

More of Me

I have been confronted with a stunning realiztion - my kids need more of me.
How can this be?  I live for these children.  I've finally learned to not be all up in the alcoholic crazy every day, but after reading this post: ...Maybe They Need More of You, I realize that I've been removing myself from fully listening and being present with my kids.  As teenagers, they need me now more than ever. I'm sitting here kicking myself for LT's grades in the first 9 weeks.  I was watching them every day, and he seemed to be doing well, so I let it go, and thought he had it all under control.  Well, now after the first grading period, he's NOT doing well at all.  College ?  Hello- is this important to anyone but me?  Maybe I dropped the ball, maybe I shouldn't have trusted him to continue on a path even with my encouragement, etc.  Whatever the case is, I don't feel like I've given enough of myself to either him or to Maggie. 
God gets through to me in lots of ways.  I think that post is one way, and I needed to hear it.  Jack is so far out of my sphere of influence, that it is safe for me to stay detached with love.  My children, however, need me.  They need my presence and attention fully when we are together.  While they need to continue to do chores, do their homework, have their jobs, etc., they need me too.  Now that I know I can take care of me, it's time to take care of what is my part of taking care of them.  Now that I better know who I am, maybe they can benefit from knowing me.
I just hope it's not too late.

Monday, October 1, 2012

We Shall See

Life continues to go on here in the land of Crazytown.  Jack seemed better after I had a little melt down, which is not my finest moment.  I don't know if it's hormones, or nearing menopause or what, but I've really been an emotional roller coaster.  Hopefully some outpatient surgery this week will help in many ways. 
I kind of hate that I broke down in front of him, but really it was just the last straw when I had had it with his crappy attitude.  I am mad at myself for letting him see me that way and for telling him what was wrong.  In the end, I guess it worked out, becuase he was really there for me on Thursday when I had yet another medical issue come to light.  Grace in the small things.
LT continues to work but struggles with one of his classes.  I really don't want him to quit his job, but seriously - hello - college??!!  Anyone interested in attending!?!  Oh well, out of my control.  And really, he's doing better than when he wasn't working.
Miss Maggie just keeps on being her chipper self, except when she has stayed up all night at a sleepover.  Thank goodness she was able to do it and have fun.  And for the first time since she was 15 months old, she took a NAP!!  Woo hoo.  I was beginning to think I had the wrong child!
I finished reading Diane Keaton's memoir.  I highly recommend.  It was really good, and really neat how she talked about her mom. 
Please keep us in your thoughts.  Rough for the kids to think I'm sick.  Should be in and out in a few hours then home.  God has a plan, and I'm going to keep following Him. 

Friday, September 21, 2012

This hit me hard

I just read this post - A Record of Recovery | al-anon journal.  I am just so moved, I want to share it on here.  The author has written a poem, before she found al-anon, that is in words, what my heart has felt.  It has been an especially big pity-party for my husband this week, and I am trying so hard to work my program and leave his disease with him.  It's hard, but I am doing so much better.  My joy in life is not dependent on his mood.  Thank you HP, for staying by me every day, every minute, every second.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

"Come to me all who are Weary"

I loved the freedom of Pour Your Heart Out Wednesday, so I'm doing it again.

As most, if not all moms are, I'm tired.  The last few weeks have brought some issues up and drained my energy mentally, physically and emotionally.  I find myself asking, "when will this end?"!  But then, in the usual way, God sends me a little nugget of truth.  A parcel of wisdom.  So let's take the good view of the world and focus on that. 

"Then Jesus said, "Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.""  Matthew 11:28 NLT.

I love this verse, because all of us moms carry heavy burdens.  Some struggle with a child with special needs, some struggle with a child with substance abuse, some of us struggle with teenager who won't do their homework or clean their rooms, some struggle with the baby or toddler who won't take a nap.  Some of us struggle with children who has cancer and may not live to see the next birthday.  We are carrying heavy burdens.  But thank goodness, Jesus reminds us that He will help us to rest.  I'm so thankful that I have this reminder.  When I give up carrying my burdens and turn them over to Him, I'm relieved of that load on my own.  It's so freeing. 

Some days it is just too much.  Trying to keep myself together, keep the family together.  Not knowing what we will come home to, how much Jack will drink, how he will act.  All the unknowns and the busy-ness of this world.  I'm so thankful to be able again and again to turn my burdens and my worries over to Jesus.  He will help me.  All I have to do is ASK.  Now there is the hard part!

Here is to a week of turning to Jesus and seeking rest.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

PYHO - Healing

I found a great blog today, Things I Can't Say.  She is hosting a linky carnival called "Pour Your Heart Out" Wednesday.  Even though this is Thursday, I'm going to join in.  This is my first ever link-up, so I sure hope I get all the techie stuff right. 

My life seems to be a series of huge mistakes, then learning to see the best of it.  Seeing God working in the midst of it all.  In this case, I really hope I will get to see the best of it.  You see, as you know from reading, I'm married to an alcoholic.  I hope that I will see the best of the expereinces that sometimes hurt to the point of breaking me.  I hope my children aren't going to be screwed up forever by this experience. 
At times, I know I'm much stronger, more confident, more trusting in God than ever by being married to an alcoholic.  There are other days when I see my son's heart break a little more because he can't seem to ever do anything to please his "dad."  This is the only dad he's ever known, and when he was younger, this seemed like a great thing.  But as he's grown older, Jack seems to not know how to parent him.  My own non-preofessional psycho-babble self thinks this is because Jack lost his mom at 16, and was basically left to parent himself from then on, so his memory of what a parent does for a 16 year old boy doesn't exist.  This doesn't really help much when I see LT's heart break. 
It doesn't help when Maggie would like to have a friend over to spend the night, but dad will never agree because it interrupts his drinking schedule, and Maggie doesn't want anyone to know what she lives with every day.  It doesn't help when Maggie tries to give her daddy a hug good night and he says to get away from him. 
I hope some day we can each look at this time and see how God was working and see how we grew and how much each of us learned from these experiences.  Most of all, I hope we can look back together as a family from a sober perspective and see how all of us were healed.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

One Day at a Time

It's past my bedtime and I'm waiting for LT to get done at youth group. He called and asked if he could stay late. I knew there was no school or work tomorrow so I said yes. Jack didn't hear anything but my side of the conversation. However he immediately started his pissy drunk routine (after 5 beers at 8:00 pm. I decided if he's "staying out of it" it being parent to LT, then I'm making decisions based on that until we discuss otherwise. LT has worked hard and deserves to do some fun stuff too  if he wants to be an asshole, that's his choice. I'm being a parent.
I guess I'm mad that he treats me like I'm stupid, talking just below hearing, etc  but really, I'm not playing anymore
Feel free to act like the passive aggressive alcoholic you are. I can't expect a brain-damaged human to responded in a normal way.
Just another reminder - take it one day at a time.  And do what's right for the kids.
I love our children no strings attached.

Monday, August 27, 2012

I finally got it!!

It just came to me - the real difference between Jack & me.  The difference is in how we see the world.  He sees parenting as an optional activity.  You can choose to participate or you don't have to if you don't FEEL like it.  I, on the other hand, feel that once you are a parent - that is a life role.  The role changes as the child matures and ages, but it's not something you can opt out of.  Wow.  In that one key difference in how we see the world, lies the majority of his issues.
I'm not going to complain one bit.  I'm a parent, and proud of it.  I'm a parent to 2 wonderful biological children and 2 bonus children.  Each of them has their own need for a parent, and they are each different.  I'm not going to quit, so Jake, Abby, LT & Maggie - You can count on ME.
I love you all - even if you never see this.
Wife (Mama) Goes On

Friday, August 24, 2012

We are NOT alone

Whenever life seems to hit extra hard, (and by life, let's face it, I mean alcoholic insanity) I never cease to be amazed by how my God, you can call it higher power, mother nature, whatever - it's God for me, works to SHOW me I'm not alone.  I guess that's my hope.  Somewhere out there is a person like I was, who had no idea that sanity and alcoholic husband could exist at the same time, will read anything on this blog, even the smallest tidbit, and realize, hey - other people know exactly what it's like.  I'm not alone.  And it really can be okay.  Ideal, no.  Fantastic, some days.  Okay - lots more often than not - thanks to Al-anon, Getting Them Sober, Al-anon literature (Books), I'm better.  I'm Okay. 
To give you an example, last night, LT asked if he could go to a ballgame next week, on a school night.  Jack reasonably said we'd need to see work schedule and grades before deciding.  In the 16-y-o way, LT rolled his eyes, because he didn't immediately get the answer he wanted (I'm guessing).  Jack went completely nuts and yelled at him, saying he didn't deserve that, and on and on.  LT went to bed, because it was actually 15 minutes past his bedtime, and as he left, Jack said - fine, you decide.  I'm done.  I think to myself - okay - you overreacted.  Whatever.  Today Jack called me at work to tell me he was pissed and he wanted me to know it.  He called to tell me that he is no longer going to be LT's dad, he can now call him Jack, but he doesn't have to leave or anything - HOW big of him.
At first, I could feel that old anxiety, panic, freaking out building up.  I didn't say anything for a few moments, then said I'm sorry you feel that way.  Can we talk about this at home?  He said what's to talk about.  He continued on with dealing with LT is going to make him sick, so he's done being his dad.  I did begin to cry, and told him -I've needed to say this for months, maybe years - that LT is not Jake.  He has not made the mistakes Jake has made, he hasn't had any of the bad things happen (YET) that Jake chose.  Instead of hearing that, Jack said - tell me how I treat him like *H(^.   I repeated that I said you treat him like "JAKE".  He's not Jake.  By this time, I'm fully crying, at my desk, door open; I asked if we could talk at home.  He said okay, and we hung up. 
I'm not going to lie - I cried for a bit, hard.  But then I started repeating the truth and what I know as real to myself.
 - This is not about LT.  This is about me not giving Jack the arguments and drama the alcoholism likes to create, so that he doesn't have to think about what HE is doing to himself and our family. 
- LT has been doing great in school and has a job, and hasn't missed one day, and has already worked longer than Jake ever held a job in his life, and Jack can't complain about that as one of Jake's weaknesses.
- LT is a wonderful young man, caring and kind.  He DOES NOT deserve to be treated like this.  Period.
So I got a book, Al-anon Dilemma of An Alcoholic Marriage.  God directed me to just the right page.  And I quote: I "would have to understand how desperately the guilt-tormented alcoholic needs such weapons (lashing out unreasonably) to bolster his own ego.  When he uses these weapons to attack, it is not because he hates (LT) but because he hates himself and needs to reassure himself that he is not all bad.  He finds fault in the (people) nearest to him because it makes it a little easier to tolerate himself."  (Page 10). Seriously -this book was written in 1971. 
This spoke to me.  It hit me right where I needed it.  TRUTH.  I realized that I need to put this situation back on Jack.  I called and told him calmly that I didn't like his position, but I can understand his frustration.  However, he's an adult, and I am going to respect his position and not try to manipulate circumstances or try to pretend everything's okay and for everyone to kiss and make up.  He sounded shocked when he said okay, but I feel free.  I'm going to continue doing what my job is.  Being the best mom to LT & Maggie (And Abby) that I can be.  His interaction is really irrelevant.  And if I am honest with myself, about 90% of the time, that's the reality we live in anyway. 
I realize this is a bit rambling, but I am claiming this success.  I'm not going to try to get everyone to get along.  I don't necessarily think LT needs to change.  He is doing fantastic in school and at work, and I would love it if he'd stop rolling his eyes, but Abby still does it at 21, so I'm not holding out much hope of that...LOL. 
I finally recognize this as wisdom to know the thing I can't change.
We are not alone.  and we are OKAY.
God grant me the serenity, wisdom & hope again tomorrow.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Day to Day

So many things going on around here, and so much is crazy.  But really - it's just life.  Maggie had a friend who passed away during the first week of school.  It's been a crazy emotional roller coaster.  Again reminds me of the fragility of life, and the fact that I need to keep what's important in the front of my mind and let the rest go.  I can't even imagine what her mom's going through right now. 
Had another friend from work who passed away as well, this week.  I hate cancer.  Can I just say that - HATE it! 
On a better note, Abby is back to college, graduating soon *(we hope and pray).  It is so funny how we see things differently when we are 21 than when we're 40.  Naivete, I believe it is called.  I just want to say, 'get used to it honey'.  LOL.
Drinking continues.  As if that's a suprise.  I went to al-anon yesterday and I'm so glad.  I can't believe how blessed I am with an amazing support network of caring people.  And I don't even know their last names.  I was thankful to be able to share some and also hear some reminders.  What a blessing from God that program is for me. 
We've moved someone for the last 2 weekends, and I'm looking forward to not moving anything this week!  For now, I'm thankful our kids are healthy and strong and smart, we have a home and jobs, and it is a gorgeous day.
What you focus on is what you'll find - search for the good and you see good.  Seek the bad, and it's easy to find.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Good and Blah

We had a lovely time on our night away.  Went to a fabulous steakhouse, shopped a bit, and generally enjoyed the time together.  Of course, there was the usual consumption after, but really - I took what was good and was thankful for it, and was thankful to sleep in the next day.  No one to wake me up. 
Now we're back to the usual routine, for a few days, then the kids start school.  LT & Maggie will be in high school.  It's Abby's last semester of college.  I really don't know how this could be.  I have to say, after the weekend, I really think I'll be okay with an empty nest. LOL.

I've been doing well with my Al-anon and reading the literature, etc. but still, I struggle with HOW can HE not realize that he doesn't have to live this way.  I guess he truly doesn't know any other way.   I've learned a little bit about his extended family, since we never see his dad and step-mom, mom died when he was young.  His grandfather drank EVERY night, in the basement of his home, after work and tried to avoid his grandmother.  HMMMM.  They also had real knock-down, drag-out fights, involving alcohol at holidays, other get-togethers.  This explains a lot.  I have no notion of that kind of thing with my family. We are close-knit, never yell at each other, usually laugh until we cry or pee our pants.  That's more how we roll.  I guess that is what makes me sad.  I miss that.  I miss that my kids don't really know their cousins and great aunts and uncles.  That we can learn so much from them.

Well, this is just a bummer of a post, but that's where I am right now.  Things are good, and will be what they are, but I'm going to keep looking for the best in the world, and those around me, enjoy the sunshine and cooler nights, and read every single chance I get!

Happy S'mores week.  Chocolate will make everything better!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

It's a Full Moon, Mabel

Image found at: Starry Nightsky Events

As per usual, the interesting and odd are going on.  The full moon seems to really influence Jack.  One minute he's crazy quiet, nothing to say; the next, he says we're going away for the weekend.  Alone.  It shocked me, but all I could think to myself was, "well, let's go with this.  It's good.  It may not last, but this can be a good opportunity.  Be glad and grab it."
On the down side, he forgets eating something and yells at the kids for eating it all.  We have converstations and he says the next day - You never told me that.  I'd like to scream sometimes, but I know it won't do any good.

There is a cycle, that's for sure.  Every full moon, it seems.  Lucky for me, there are two this month!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Sometimes the words still sting

This has been a weekend, not unlike many other weekends.  What I have figured out is that even with the most clear-headed thinking, even with al-anon, even with knowing what is true, and having a higher power to  help with every day, sometimes the words of an alcoholic still sting.  I do find that all of these assets I listed above make the sting last a little shorter time, and don't cut quite so deeply, but they still hurt just the same.  I suppose this has been a time of realizing that the alcoholism is progressing, and yes, I am powerless to stop it.  I read a post by Syd over on I'm Just F.I.N.E. and it really hit me.  Knowing that my kids are suffering is hard, but knowing I'm doing all I can to talk about this disease and keep what is real identified.  Ugh - this is hard and I'm not really liking it today.  Even the details aren't that different.  Perhaps what is different is not taking everything personally and realizing that the words are really aimed at himself.  And that's really sad.
God is good and the weather is lovely, so I am going to concentrate on that.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Another hot one

It's another incredibly hot, dry day in the neighborhood.  Seriously, I'm starting to feel like a lizard.  Ick!  Pretty calm here, and that is probably my favorite adjective ever to describe life.  Jack took all three kids to an amusement park and they spent the night in a hotel.  Can you say - happy mama!  They called and it sounds like they're having a blast - so glad to hear that!  I spent the time with a nap after work, snack food for dinner and reading before bed.  It was divine.
Jack's doctor's appointment (what I know of it) went well.  He was not 100% revealing about what was discussed, but he did attempt to cut down on his intake of alcohol for the past week or so.  I don't know what the liver function test results were, but I know he's not going to tell me!  LT likes his job, and I'm so glad.  Unfortunately, I busted him again trying to over-ride the electronics rules and controls, so I don't think the permit will be happening any time soon.  I wish he would learn the lesson about lying v. truth.  Seriously - get it already.
Reading a book, Calling Invisible Women.  It's kind of amusing, but not in a laugh-out-loud kind of funny.  I'm enjoying it, nonetheless. I think people today are missing so much with all of the electronics (yes, memaw has arrived and stolen my blog).  I LOVE reading.  I love how you can be transported to a time and place and forget the world.  It's an escape that TV/movies, etc. don't give me, personally.
Ready to begin a new knitting project too.  I wonder when it's time to retire.  I have too many fun things to do to work all day! 
God's blessings are everywhere - just look!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Enjoying the Journey

Thanks for all your kind thoughts and words.  Anniversary was fun.  Won some money at the casino, which NEVER happens, but it finally did and it's a lot more fun when you do!  Weird how we can spend hours in the car together, have great conversations, and then evening comes, computer comes out, porn invades with beer, and a different person inhabits our home.  Sad on one level, but I feel so much better about life, alcoholism, etc. now than I did 5 years ago. 
It's been good news for kids, they had fun on their excursion, and LT starts his job this week!! WOOO HOOOO!!!  After 5 calls per half day - the kids are driving me crazy spending too much time together.  This should help!  I hope!   Now to get him a driver's permit.  Yikes.  Well, I guess we are bringing them up to be "adults", not children who never leave and don't have their own life....Okay, it's all good.
Finished the book, One Moment, One Morning (or the other way around?!).  It was fantastic, and so true about how one of the characters describes her involvement with her alcoholic BF.  Something you don't often find in books. 
Jack goes to the doctor today.  The blood tests they did included liver function.  I'm anxious to hear if he has anything to say about it. 
Lunch interview for a project, so I'd better hit it.  So glad to see some beautiful clouds this morning with sun shining through.  Reminds me that today is a new day.  New Mercies.  Fantastic.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Happy Anniversary Eve

Well, tomorrow is our anniversary.  For the first time in forever, I have no expecations, and I'm really thankful that I have great kids, great friends, family who love us, and really, a great husband when he is one.  For all the rest, I'm thankful to al-anon for where I am and that I am working on me.  I love this one thing I read that said if it's good for me, it's good for the alcoholic.  That helps me to stay sane, and judge better what is reasonable.  Not just normal, because that can be very skewed in a relationship with an alcoholic. 
I'm reading a fabulous book recommended by Still Me Only StrongerOne Moment, One Morning by Sarah Rayner.  She was so right about the descriptions of the character who is in a relationship with an alcoholic.  I'm not done yet, but it is a great read.  If you are so inclined, look for a my favorite books section soon.  I loved hers and am going to copy the idea (with her permission, and thank you!!). 
I'll let you know what excitement goes on for the anniversary.  In the meantime, stay well, and know I'm praying for you.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Where does the time go?

I can't believe I haven't written in a month.  Time flies when you are having fun, raising teenagers, getting through the day.  I've been working 10 hour days to have a 3 day weekend, and I'm thinking not such a good idea.  I'm exhausted.  Life just keeps moving though. 
I'm excited that LT has made some great progress.  He got a job, he got very good grades (just one small blip, but totally acceptable), and he went to Al-anon with me.  I totally left him alone there, didn't even look at him the whole time, but it was so good to know he was there.  Taking it in.  Sometimes there aren't many guys there, but there was one that day.  He is VERY quiet, but he even spoke then.  God was working.  Afterwards, when I asked LT if he'd go back, he said he didn't know what he was expecting but it wasn't like that, and he wanted to go again.  Can I just hear a Hallelujah!???!! 
Most days, Jack is Jack, and I'm working my Al-Anon program and trying to demonstrate to the kids what healthier looks like (mentally anyway - I'm still addicted to Ice Cream).  I can always tell when he is extra stressed because he becomes locked into a porn obsession and barely speaks to me.  But I go on, because he doesn't control my happiness.  I miss the real guy inside of him, but it's all part of the disease.  On a good note, he's going to a new doctor and told me when the appointment is(ahead of time).   Maybe it's a small step toward a change.  God knows and time will tell.
So sad for my Maggie.  Their youth group trip has been cancelled due to the fires in Colorado.  She is extremely disappointed.  Praying for another opportunity for them to still go on any trip.  Both the kiddos need to have that experience.  Being with other people who love God and aren't afraid to show it.
Abby is home for the summer from college.  She is such a dichotomy (I hope that is the right word).  She's an adult in years, but not always in her neediness/actions.  I guess that is the prime display of growing up as a child of an alcoholic.  She is going to church with me, and that is brining her some peace.  God is working in all of the kiddos. That is good news to me.  I know that there are many who don't believe in God, any god, and that's okay for them.  For me, I couldn't make it through the day without a faith.
Praying for all of those in CO fires, FL waters, and midwest drought.  It's a tough summer.  And a day in the 100s...yikes!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

The Things Alcoholics Say

Last night I was struck by a recurring theme at our house.  When drinking, and more often lately, even when he's not, Jack is nicer to the dog than to any of the people in our home.  He lavished praise on the dog last night, saying he's sorry for talking mean to her, since he realizes she's sensitive.  Well that's thoughtful, but what about the way you speak to your CHILDREN!???!!!!  Do you think they aren't sensitive to your way of speaking/yelling at them? Geez, how un-self-aware can a person be?  The answer to that questions is pretty damn un-self-aware (I'm making up words now - look out Webster).  Just for one day, I'd like to have a recording/camera crew follow us all around, and at the end of the day, without beer, Jack must watch the tape.  I pray I'm living in such a way that I wouldn't be ashamed of what I see.  But that's all I get to control.
School's coming to an end soon.  If you are the praying kind, please pray for LT to get a job.  He needs to be out of the house during the day or evening and receive encouragement and help to build his confidence.  How can it be that in a few days I'll have two high-school children??  Where does the time go?

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Progressive Disease, Progressive Healing

I started this post several days ago, with only the title.  It seems that is the theme right now.  Jack's alcoholism is progressing.  He is continuing to spend most evenings after supper lying down - sometimes sleeping.  This is virtually unheard of in the 7 1/2 years I've known him.  Usually he can't lie still for more than 10 minutes at time without medication, especially to sleep.  At the same time, he's been drinking more steadily, and then the last 2 days, nothing.  It's like he's in this battle with himself.  Very crazy.  And as usual, he's silent and distant when he's having this battle.
More importantly to me, is the fact that I've been seeing this happen, and not taken any of the guilt I would typically pick up about why he is acting so distant.  I KNOW it isn't about me.  I hate that this is how it is.  I would like to be able to talk to him about what is going on.  I'd like him to go to a doctor and tell them what is going on - the truth - and seek help.  But, that isn't my decision. I also feel such a sense of freedom at the same time feeling so sad that he feels he must live this internal battle alone.  I love the person who is underneath this disease, the real doesn't have to be this way.  At least I know that I don't have to be in that state of depression along with him anymore.  That is tremendously freeing.  I'm pretty sure if you've never lived with an alcoholic you probably think I'm and uncaring *itch.  Unfortunately, when you live with an alcoholic, most rules that apply to "normal" relationships don't apply here.  I'm glad you don't know what it's like.  You are blessed.
I will keep going one step at a time, one day at a time, and letting God have control.  His plan is better than mine, and I have faith in Him, and his timing.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

What Amazing Kids

So yesterday was big progress for me and for the kiddos.  I know they are old enough to have done this before, but they haven't.  They rode public transportation from our house to my office to save me an hour of lost work time.  They don't have to change busses or anything, but still, I was a little worried.  They made it fine, and were in my office when I got back from a meeting. Of course, I didn't know they were there, they shouted (quietly) "Boo" and scared the crap out of me, but it made them laugh.  It was good. 
Then, once we got home, they each wanted to put up their own blinds in their rooms, and I decided - why not - they'll ask for help if they need it. I was right there with them and the did it ALL by themselves - each in his/her own room.  I was so proud of them.  I had to give a small bit of direction, but VERY little, and the did it.  I'm glad they had that sense of accomplishment.  I think I'm going to try some more things like this.  It is good to see them growing up and being self-reliant.
Long meeting at work today, not looking forward to it.  Oh well, it will be over before I know it.  Hope you have a great day.  Joyful morning with beautiful sun. 

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Who Knew?

Okay, so we are enjoying the stay-cation very much. But I'm exhausted!  Who knew it would be so much work to have fun.  So far, we've had ice cream at our favorite out-of-town frozen custard, bought blinds for the kiddos' rooms, eaten a great dinner at our favorite restaurant, been to Target and the chiropractor.  We've gotten home at about 8 pm the last 2 nights, and I'm not used to all this running around!  LOL.  But, it has been great to see the kids decompress.   I see what amazing young adults we have living with us.  They really are great people.  Abby will be home tomorrow night, so I'll have to cook, but that's okay.  Maybe it will be relaxing to be AT home! 
Ironically, one of my favorite things has been sending the kids to "bed," and then watching what I want on the television.  So far, there have been no sightings of cops, courtrooms or sports.  I call that perfection.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Freedom - for today

Well, Jack is gone for a few days, and I'm pretty darn excited about it.  He gave me the best hug and goodbye I've had in months.  He even wore his wedding ring. When I get home tonight, it will be so nice to know that the kids will be there, the dog will be there, and we will have a good evening. No one will be drinking.  Yippee!  I may even enjoy a glass of wine one day this week.  Now that's something unusual.  I feel bad, a little tiny bit, about feeling so joyful, but really, it's just a break, and I think we all needed one.
Last week I read a fantastic book, in one afternoon, actually, it's called If You Loved Me, You'd Stop.  It was SO good.  It really captured so much good information in one book about alcoholism.  It gave me some great things to point out, especially to L.T., who seems to get the brunt of Jack's ridiculous expectations and flippant anger.  After the last few weeks, I really do see very clearly that God has a purpose for this time in our lives.  I told L.T. that God will use this for a purpose.  We just can't see what that is yet.
I'm so thankful for good resources, for the help and experiences and thoughts others share, via Al-Anon or other blogs.  I just wish the kiddos had Ala-Teen nearby.  It would be so helpful for them.  I guess they get theirs from me, on good days.
Abby has really been struggling as the semester wraps up.  Between her mom's issues, her brother's guilt-tripping from a federal institution and the alcoholic dad, it's no wonder she's a wreck.  I am so glad she's gone to church with me for the last three weeks, and she wants to go back this week.  It is SO good for her, even for 90 minutes, to hear nothing but positive and encouraging words and music. 
If you are the praying type, please pray for all of the kids. Maggie seems to "suffer" the least, but even she just wants her daddy to hug on her sometimes.  L.T. needs to get his act together and understand that he needs to focus to get through high school and get to college.  He's SO intelligent, it drives me nuts that he's so laissez-faire about his homework/grades.  And at what point did I ever indicate homework was an optional exercise....grrrrrrr!  I hope he will get a job this summer.  I want him to have a positive experience where he can gain some independence and confidence.  Lord Willing!
I'll keep you updated on our excitement this week.  Hoping to get a few house-hold fixes done, and eat some good meals!  That I don't have to Cook!  We'll be the ones
Take Care!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Stopping the bad habits

I'm really struggling with some anxiety.  I'm not sure if it's due to a change in medication or the couple of child-related situations that have happened recently, but I don't like this feeling.  Yesterday I realized that I was freaking out about things that were completely not in my ability  to cause, control or cure, and apologized to Jack for being so stressed lately.  His reaction was to be completely pissy and say that he's the one who receives the brunt of it - even if I'm not upset with him - angry with me. 
First, I cried.  I really just wanted to be hugged, and hear that it's okay - the kids have been draining lately.  But we're okay and we'll all make it.  Instead I got that. 
Second, I thought - wait a minute - What am I doing?  Am I glad I stopped stressing?  Have I made amends as was in my control?  Yes, and Yes.
Third, I got up, went downstairs with a smile on my face and began working on my knitting.  I was in such good spirits.  It felt good.
It is so easy to fall back into the poor-pitiful me attitude of the co-dependency.  I'm so glad I went to my Al-Anon meeting, shared, and got hugs from my friends there.  They even told me how they can see so many changes for the good in me.  That is where I want my validation from - from healthy friends who care.  I like when Jack can do that, but when his disease won't let him, I'm not going to let that stop me from being me and being happy.
Seeking joy.  Every day.  In the every day.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

A brief rant, and some Joy

I've decided that growing up, we must have been lucky to survive to adulthood.  Some of the people I'm around today, seriously, get a life.  You are 21 years old, life isn't always neat and pretty.  People aren't always nice. Things don't always go your way.  Grow up and get on with it. 
This rant was brought to you by the evil stepmother. Thank you for your understanding!

Okay, now that I have that out of the way, carry on.  I love spring, and I'm so glad that everything is blooming.  Lilacs!!  Woo hoo, everywhere.  I have such great friends, and have "met" some fabulous internet people.  God is good, and Joy is where we look for it.  I love this saying, "Joy is always a function of gratitude and gratitude is always a function of perspective.  If we are going to change our lives, what we're going to have to change is the way we see." Ann Voskamp

I'm going to be purposeful today in seeing Joy.  I hope you have some visible to you as well.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Life is Hard

Here we are, almost done with March.  Lately, it's been very hard for me to keep in mind the truth - that God created Jack and LT and that He knows them and has them in the palm of His hand.  I know I'm powerless to make either of their choices for them, albiet in different areas, but the same hard truth remains - they are hurting themselves.  I am not a fan of watching this. It's far worse when it's our son, I must admit.  But I know God has BIG plans for him, and this too shall pass.  I began to wonder what would happen if I did decide it was time to leave.  I know financially, it would be challenging, and I know we would all miss the times when things are good.  But the assurance that we can KNOW what would happen at the end of each day what is that worth?  These are scary thoughts to me.  I truly do believe God has shown me in the past that staying is the right thing to do.  But are these problems with LT a sign something different is needed? 
I wish I knew the answer today.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Rambling rose...

There are so many thoughts going through my mind.  I find that I just want to focus on the positive.  I have had some chances to choose otherwise, and I can't do it.  I see the blessings, and I want to rejoice in them.  This world is so far from perfect, and I am going to look for all the good I can find.  When I find horrible things that I have to face, I will do so and look for what God is doing in that imperfection.  God has a great sense of humor and justice, and I believe that because of all I've seen in this life.  And living with 2 teenagers and almost 2 high schoolers is even more confirmation of that!  They are wonderful children, but have adapted so easily to those characteristics that teenagers are known for.  (Can anyone say rolling the eyes and sighing??)
What do I see today?  How about a list!
- Sunshine and 76 degrees in March  in the mid-west...for about the 4th day in a row.
- Lunch with my BFF - thank you God for bringing her to work here!
- Healthy kids who call me when they get home from school, who want to eat dinner at the family table, who help out at home, even though sometimes reluctantly and needing to be reminded. We are blessed.
- Thank you God for a sense of humor because this insanity that is my life can sometimes be overwhelming.  Thanks for the good sense to laugh when I recognize something for the insanity that it in point, letter from Jake.  To me.  After not seeing me for 5 years.  Maybe even 6.  And he apologizes to me, for what, I'm not sure.  And in letters from him to Jack, there is never any apology, only poor me, what you've done to me.  Makes me want to scream!  But I laugh.  The irony is not lost on me!
This is slightly rambling - oh well.  That's where I am today.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

And trusting God works!!

So yesterday was the "court date" for the reduction in child support.  I didn't really think about it all weekend, I didn't feel worried or scared.  Whenever I did start to think of it, I'd say - God, I know you the outcome, so I'm going to leave it with you.  Once Jack & I got to the courthouse, I was a bit nervous.  More worried about actually being in the same room with the ex (after 8 years) than anything else.  We stayed in the courtroom because every time the elevator opened, I jumped out of my skin.  That was a better plan than continuing to be startled for 20 minutes.  When he and two other people came in, I just happened to look up and out of the corner of my eye, recognized him, although he is extremely swollen from the chemo/radiation.  I instantly started shaking, and Jack grabbed my hand.  When it was our turn, I was able to speak for myself (trying this with no lawyer, as it is what it is, no lawyer will make it different).  He has been awarded SSDI, so that is that.  They provided me with a copy of his award letter, and the kids will be eligible for a benefit from that.  So I guess he gets what he wanted, no child support directly. I didn't ask for back support because it is minimal in the grand scheme of things and I just wanted this to be over.  We waited and moved slowly to get out of the court-room as I didn't want to run into him, but his current wife (CW) asked if we could talk and she had sent him down with the other person - I think his caregiver.  The CW said that they'd been trying to reach me to set up trusts for the children, because he was given 2 years to live in April 2011.  They were using the wrong name at the post office box, so it was being returned.  She also said that ex's parents came into the hospital room in April 2011 right before brain surgery and had ex sign papers saying all his estate would be split between his two brothers instead of going to his wife and children.  All I can say is leopards don't change their spots.  I really got the feeling that CW is being genuine.  She said that she and ex were separated for 2 years prior to him being diagnosed w/cancer.  She came back to take care of him because there was no one else.  I say she's a better woman than I am. 
I ended up taking the whole day off from work so I could go to the Soc. Sec. office.  After a very long time there and a very kind worker (a little shocking, but I'm not going to lie - she was fantastic), she told me the kids would each be getting a monthly stipend from SS, and it totals more than child support was.
God knew this all along.  I'm glad I trusted His plan.  I would have totally screwed it up!
It's a new day, new mercies, and the sun is shining.  Thank you God for your serenity and the prayers to remember it.  And really - Jack was amazing.  That is the man I married.  It was my privilege and honor to have him next to me.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

What Do I Want

I started this blog ever-so long ago.  I guess I did it because I felt so alone and scared and wanted a way to hear what was inside my head, and a way to see the progress I'm making.  But in real life, I can find so much to laugh about. This is almost too serious.  But there are still truthful bits. If you see a difference in posts, I hope you will still see things that help you in some way or that touch you.  I want to find my laughter.  I know it's still here.  I'll just have to let it out to play!

Monday, March 5, 2012

God is Good - All the Time

The past week has been one of the most heart-wrenching for me as a mother that I've experienced in 10 years.  Last time I had such a struggle, my babies were just the victims, and I was in full on protection mode - I simply acted.  This time around - one of those babies had made his own bed at 16, and had to figure out his own way out.  I was pretty powerless to help.  I couldn't sleep, couldn't eat, I had worried myself into a "dither."  And even though I was crying out to God, turning him over to God, I couldn't help the worry.  I tried to talk myself into sense, but it was exhausting.  I have now learned that someone was praying very specifically for me yesterday.  God heard those prayers and provided my boy with some wisdom and God moved through our family.  There was reconcilliation where there was previously much discord.  I'm so thankful that I knew to look to God.  Even as I worried, I knew to turn him over to God.
I can also tell you that I used so many of my skills learned in al-anon. I could feel myself getting freaked out - acting on emotion rather than hearing what was true.  I was immediately jumping to what do I need to do thinking, when really, I couldn't control or cure the situation. I'm exhausted from this weekend, but I can also see the good things.  The answered prayers, the realizing my stinking thinking in the middle of it, and re-directing to the truth. 
It's kind of amazing that I ever made it through a day before Al-Anon.  And this wasn't even a direct Alcohol situtation.  Although really, most of the situations we face are colored by the alcoholic's input.  I'm clinging to the truth - I have to live and let live - even when that person is my child.   I have to let Go and let God - even when that person is my child.  I have to take it easy - even when it is my child.
Okay, let's take on the day!

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Here you go, God....I am giving to you

These days, it almost seems like Jack is the least of my worries.  LT is giving us all kinds of fits, as he is going through the whole teenage thing, trying to find his way in the world.  Worst of all is his LYING.  It makes me crazy.  Last night I resorted to trying to find a book to help me know what to do.  Ironically, it said that teenage boys sometimes lie when they feel they are controlled and can't do anything, so they lie to get to do something.  While that seems backward to me, since we are very careful to reward good behavior with his choice of activities and restrict with bad behavior, choices etc. I can understand how he can think that.  Sometimes Jack's desire to control things makes me nuts, even when I have my Al-Anon thinking on high-alert.  I gave LT up to God last night, said I know HE loves LT even more than I do, and I can't fix this.  I can only encourage, guide and not let him have access to anything electronic for a bit.  When will these children learn that Mom ALWAYS finds out everything.  At least the sun is out today.  That can go a long way to making things better.  I have to learn to live and let LT live, as he has a lot of responibility for his choices right now.  But I am also letting go and letting God.

Monday, February 20, 2012

It's a good thing I know about Al-Anon

Lately, what with the viral illness that seems to be going through our family, most normal activities seem to have stopped.  Thankfully, I've not stopped reading my al-anon literature.  As I described in a previous post, the ex-husband (who I now know was alcoholic, addicted to at least marijuana and other drugs) has filed this paper to reduce the amount he pays for child support.  While my greatest desire is to simply ignore this situation and let it happen however, I will not put the kids at risk to possibly see him, so I trooped over to the attorney office today to see what's what.  Thankfully, I can make use of the "legal aid" type of services available, so the cost for me to go through this is minimal.  I had the 3rd person express to me that maybe his brain cancer is Karma or God's getting even for his actions.  I thought today that I was cold thinking such things, but the people who've said so to me seem like normal kind people, not anyone out to destroy the world or anything.  Soooo, maybe those are sort of normal thoughts in this most ab-normal situation.
I have been reading in Courage to Change, and it has especially been focusing on me looking at what my part in a situation is, my response, my responsibility (or NOT).  I'm trying to keep that perspective in this situation too. 
Then there is Abby, who has been calling so frequently it is weird behavior for her.  Now I find out she has been cutting herself.  I feel especially helpless in that circumstance too.  I've been as supportive as I can, gave her names, info on how to contact insurance for various providers, told her to call anytime, we love her, and then I have to let her go on her journey.  She really has bi-polar like symptoms, but she is a grown-up and has made choices to ensure that we know that. 
In all this, it's sort of like alcoholism, in that I didn't cause it, I can't cure it, and I certainly can't control it! 
Thank goodness I have that thinking to fall back upon when I wake up in the night, as I have, and start obsessing over what I can do.  Which is basically follow through what is mine to do, and leave the rest to God.

So, for today, and every day, Let GO and Let GOD!

Friday, February 3, 2012

Live & Let Live

The reading I did today in Courage to Change (Al-Anon daily book), and it talked about how when you first go to Al-Anon, the program talks about serenity, when all you really want to hear is how to stop the Alcoholic from drinking. I was thinking back to my first meeting(s), and I think I didn't even think about stopping him, I just cried and cried and wanted someone to stop the insanity.  Ironically, the insanity hasn't really stopped, but I've stopped being so influenced by it.  There are sayings in al-alnon, and sometimes with that as well, I'd like to choose how Jack behaves, drinks, etc., but I realize I do have to live and let him live.  I wouldn't want him telling me how to do things, and when he does, I want to scream.  But I've learned that he's entitled to make his own choices, even if they don't match mine - AND a big thing I've learned is I can LIVE.  I can make choices. 

I know it may sound strange if you've never really lived with an alcoholic, but I didn't know I COULD make choices.  It is really serenity building when I step back and decide if I want to act at all, and if so, what course that will take.  I realize I don't have control over his drinking, or a lot of other things in my life, but I do have control over my choices.  What Freedom!  In the back of that same Courage to Change book, I've written "Do you WANT to say No?"  I did that so I'd remember to focus on 1. What do I want, and 2. The answer to some one's request from me does not always have to be a yes.  So empowering.  Here's to a great day for today.  Enjoy the sun if you have it, and the warmth of your home if the sun is hiding.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Thinking About Love

I read a post on Rage Against the Minivan that talked about love, and whether love takes work.  Some, who I would guess are lacking in the age/experience department (that is my opinion there - it is my blog...), say that if it's not flowery, easy, rainbows and unicorns, it isn't love, and it's better to move on.  I suppose if you aren't married, there is lots to find useful in that statement.  However, after some pretty horrific and some fantastic experiences, I say I'm more of the love-is-a-choice boat.  There are days I don't feel very loving toward anyone, Jack sometimes especially.  However, I want to be loving, I love him.  Sometimes it's more of an act it till you feel it kind of day, and sometimes it's fantastic, flowery, rainbows and unicorns.  Even when he's acting alcoholic, I respect him enough to see that he's a person, a child of God who has the free will to make his choices.  Even if they aren't the choices I'd make for him or myself.  Boy don't I sound all healthy and Al-anon ish?  For today.  And really, that's all we have is today.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Progress - Any progress is good progress

The full moon may be 8 days away, but I swear there are cycles that both the moon and Jack have in common.  Thankfully, I have recognized it before, and last night it hit me that I'm making progress in other ways too.  I could see that he'd been having a bad work day - really, and with just cause.  But for one of the first few times, I didn't immediately jump to the conclusion that I had done something to make him be in a bad mood.  He just was.  And frankly, when he came home, I was having my own hissy fit over the failed recipe I'd made for dinner (the second time this happened w/the same dish).  But even that - I realized my part of being crabby and apologized for what was mine - and nothing more.  I feel like that is a huge step for me - a FORWARD step.

I'm so thankful for Al-anon, for the blogs that are out there, the books that are available, and my higher power.  God is good, and I'm so glad He gives me another chance. 

Still no news from the court date - papers weren't delivered yesterday.  I just want it over.  I'd prefer it be over in a way that doesn't require ANY court intervention, but we don't always get to choose that.

LT is having problems getting his homework turned in AGAIN.  I really believed he had gotten the message - but alas, no.  The list of grades is either 100% or 0.  Resulting in a D.  I'm so pissed off, but it is all out of my control.  I can make life electronic free, but I can't make him turn his shit in.  GRRRRRR.  All other grades are A's, but you know the Ds are in the important classes, not health and choir.  I'm trying to keep perspective, but I DON'T understand it.  I'm certainly not a boy and I REALLY don't understand him.  Oh well, God has this in control too.

Just another day....

Friday, January 27, 2012

Just for Today

So yesterday was not one of my favorites, then turned into something better.  As I was walking to work today, I thought - thank you God for new mercies every morning, and that I can start today without the burden of yesterday. 
So let's just get this out of my head - My ex-husband molested my (our -but I don't give him that privilege any longer) daughter at 4 years old.  Thank GOD she was able to tell me in a way that both showed me truth, and that I could act upon at that moment.  He was arrested, given 20 weekends (note 40 DAYS) in jail so he could keep his union job - wasn't that judge so kind. He was abusive to me and to our son.  Since our separation/divorce he has been getting child support taken out of his check every week.  Usually pretty regularly unless there was a shutdown or something.  He does not see them, do to court order, and he has not asked to change it.  again, thank GOD.  Yesterday, I was notified that he has asked to lower child support.  Since there has been NO contact with him for over 8 years, this was a shock to me.  When I called the court to get details, they said he wrote on his own (pro-se) that he has brain cancer and isn't able to work. 
Last summer, his mother wrote to me telling me that he had cancer, and the prognosis wasn't good.  He even sent the kids each a letter, which I have read - they have not.  In it, he said he always thought of the kids on their birthdays and Christmas, but didn't send them presents because he didn't know if "their mother" would let them see the presents.  Honestly, I didn't keep that letter from them because he is angry with me - i kept it from them so they don't have to see what an *ss(#)@ their father is and be hurt again by him thinking of them "on their birthdays and Christmas."  No mention at all of being sorry for what had happened, for breaking up our family, for hurting them. 
At first, I wasn't even sure I believed he had cancer, because it is something they would do to try to gain sympathy.  Now he has testified to court that he has it, but even still...part of me says good - what you deserve, and the other part of me, the one who is supposed to love others like Christ loves feels bad.  I wish I didn't feel the "good" part, but I do.   Really though - It just makes me sad.  And scared.  The thought of seeing him again scares me. 
I wasn't able to work yesterday, and went home to discuss with my husband - thankfully - for that day, Jack was what I needed him to be.  And he had a great idea - I can agree to lowering support, and avoid a hearing.  I NEVER even considered that.  You'd think I'd remember something from law school, working for a court and working for an attorney.  Apparently when my emotions are involved, my brain doesn't engage! 
Just for today, I'm thankful for the kindness Jack showed me.  I'm thankful that even when days are hard, there is the part of him who loves me and the kids, and protects us.  Sometimes even from myself. Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change and the courage to change the things I can, AND the wisdom to know the difference!
One day at a time.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Seven Things

Seven things, in no particular order, about nothing in particular:
1.  I have a friend who turned 60 today.  She neither looks nor acts 60, and 60 doesn't seem as old as it did when I was 20.
2.  The sun should make a daily appearance during winter.  Where do I make that request?
3.  I want to spend all day at home with our best dog, and match her routine - sleep for sleep. 
4.  God sometimes shows us amazing things through our friends, who are sometimes closer than family.
5.  Republican candidates for president are making our president look better and better. 
6. The fact that I typed that last sentence AND believe it, saddens me.
7.  I would like some frozen custard.  It makes everything better.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

When I Look at Today

When I look at today, I see that fresh snow makes the world a prettier world.  Cold days are great for knitting and snuggling under a favorite old quilt.  God is way more forgiving and loving than I deserve.  Children are a blessing but sometimes can drive parents crazy.  I wouldn't trade them for anything.  When I look at today, I see the days are good, but the nights sometimes not.  When I look around - I see a dog who is a member of our family, and who makes me love dogs - even indoors.  I never thought that would happen.  It's not what you look at, it's what you see.

Happy Sunday.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

This has no title....hmmm

It feels so strange to come home to a house with only the kids and dog.  To know that whatever has happened during the day, it will be peaceful.  I do miss Jack, though.  I miss the man I married.  But I'm never sure he's the one who will be home when I get here.  Random thoughts today.  One day at a time, and today I will delight in my peace.
Al-anon is today, but I'm not going to work, so I'll miss it.  I love the people there, those I know only by their first names, those who understand what life is like, those who have helped me find joy and peace, those who have helped me grow.  I'm so thankful for them.  I hope if you are reading this and you have an alcoholic in your past or present, find a meeting today.  It truly will change your life - FOR THE BETTER!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Guilt go away, you are just my disease talking!

So in a couple of days, Jack is leaving for a business trip.  I'm feeling guilty because, even though things, including my new habits, are going well, I am really ready for him to be gone for a few days.  As it says in my "Getting Them Sober" books, that is just my disease (family part of the disease of alcoholism) talking.  So, I reject that guilt.  I'm going to be happy that today is Friday, and ready to face the evening, one day at a time.  It's almost like some days I'm waiting to exhale, and that is such a relief to do so.
On a random note, I got new windshield wipers today, and it is awesome.  Clean crisp it!  I think I'm going to buy some half-price yarn this weekend too.  That will make a fun new project starting possible.  I think I'll actually knit something for myself - after I get LT's hat done...he's patiently waiting!

Thursday, January 12, 2012


Finally, it is snowing in the winter, in the midwest. I'm so glad! I have to say that, otherwise, I'll remember how cold it is, and how much I hate scraping off the car. Oh well, it is beautiful, and that is a fact. It's been a good few days. Good for me in spite of Jack's drinking. For a while he was drinking bourbon instead of beer. Never did that before, and it is very bad -he's not a nice drunk on burbon. But, I stuck with my al-anon thoughts, slogans, sanity, and it worked. I didn't have to attend the fights he was inviting me to! (I just ended the sentence with a preposition. Just so you know that I know I did it....but i'm not changing it. Sorry Ms. Z.)
LT was sick for the past week. I'm glad he's finally feeling better and can go to school. It is not the best time to be missing school in the first week after break! Maggie is doing so well. She gets to go on a trip this weekend with her friends. I'm so thankful that she has good friends where she can go and be away from craziness.
We really had a great dinner last night at a restaurant. All four of us, since Abby is away at school. It's nice to know that we can enjoy times together. Be the family that we get glimpses of. *another preposition - i'm getting lazy. I've started a new hobby and I love it. It's part of my taking care of me project. It's great to learn something new - it's been twenty years, I think since I learned a new skill. And I actually make things. LOVE IT!
For all the times things seemed hopeless, I am so thankful to God for the hope I have every day. In my God.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year

What a loaded statement. Happy.New.Year. When your loved one is an alcoholic, especially your husband, it is pretty hard to find happy on any one day. Especially when it is following a holiday season that is always difficult. I don't know it any other way with Jack. As usual, he is pushing me away, saying he wants to be left alone, because I "haven't done anything" for the last two weeks. When asked what that looks like - he NEVER has an answer. Finally, for the first time, I'm not picking it up. This is about what is going on in his head. This is not about me or what I've done or not done. He can have it. I have refused to beg and plead and want everything to be smooth. I am more peaceful than I've been for a very long time, so he is pushing me to get my typical reaction. I wrote on my hand today "ACT." That is my new Mantra. I want to Act upon what I notice, see, hear, and witness. I don't want to react. Reacting has not had the best outcomes, so I am choosing to ACT. How liberating. I am also asking myself, what do I want to do? Sometimes I'm not sure I even know, so I'd better be asking myself so I can figure it out! This is a grand journey, recognizing that the family of the alcoholic has a disease too. It has lots of guilt. It stinks. But now that I know it, can see the progression of Jack's disease, I'm choosing differently. For today, I'm okay.
Happy New Year to you, may you find a peace that passes all understanding from your higher power.