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!