Friday, January 11, 2013

God at Work, Part 2

Sunday, 12/23, the three children and I head to church, before which the girls try to persuade Jack to go with us to Grandma's.  Nope, he's not going.  We head off to church and enjoy our time.  Upon our return, to check one more time if he'd go with us, we leave him to his sourness and head to grandma's.  While there, we have a great time, but no one mentions Jack - it's so weird that we all know about things being strange, but we never talk about it.  Well, at least not then.  We have a great Christmas, enjoy being with all of the kids and my family.  It felt really good to be able to let it go.  Enjoy the moment, all of that.  When we got home, it was very uncomfortable, Jack being his usual moodswing self, not wanting to talk to anyone, etc.  But my parents had gotten him something that I thought he'd really like.  The kids ran it in, placed it in front of him, and he shouts "Why in the h*#9 would you think I'd want that.  The girls go running off crying, LT rolls his eyes and goes upstairs, and I am pretty furious.  I will say that I was able to say that he was being completely unreasonable, and so he left to "get something to eat," because in this state of mind, he never eats with us, won't eat the food we have in the house, it's all very weird. 
Abby goes home to her mom's house, the kids and I head off to our rooms for bed, and Jack sleeps in the spare bedroom again.  It was shaping up to be a horrendous holiday, once again.
However, this time - God was moving - even in the midst of all the chaos.

Monday 12/24 - We awaken to crabby dad, and Maggie & I begin to prepare our Christmas cookies, rolls, etc.  Mid day, we decide that Abby will come over for dinner that night, as she had plans with her mom's family after our Christmas morning festivities.  Jack continued to stomp around and be generally horrible.  When I tried to talk to him about Abby coming over, he said to eat without him.  I began questioning him, calmly for a change, with what we had done to make him so upset.  He proceeded to say he was packing a bag and going to a hotel so he wouldn't have to "put up" with the "crap" anymore. When I asked what I was doing that he was having to "put up" with, he grumbled un-coherently and stomped up the steps.  Well, in mid jumping in drama, I went up and told him that if he left it was his choice, but that wasn't what I wanted, and it wasn't what the kids wanted.  I told him that families that love each other work things out - they don't leave whenever they want to.  He left, and I was shaking I was so upset, angry, something.  I don't do anger well, so maybe that's what I was and just didn't know it.  I told the kids I'd be back because I needed to calm down.
When I got back 20 minutes later, he was there.  We began talking, and he was being much more calm and reasonable.  I was suspicious, but continued the conversation.  It came out that he was frustrated by LT's lack of motivation, lack of attention to anything (pretty much breathing and being a 17 year-old), but when I told him Families worked things out, it got his attention.  He told me he heard the exact same thing on Jerry Spr*&ger earlier in the day - and he remembered it and wanted to do things differently.  Well, let's just say I'm not one of Jerry's biggest fans, but after this - maybe I can tolerate him from afar!  LOL.  He said he was tired of not feeling like a family (but he still doesn't see that his drinking and his actions drive all of us to seclusion), and he wants to do things differently.  Abby was on her way over for dinner by this time, but afraid to come in the door.  She did, we proceeded to have our Christmas meal, and it was obvious he was doing better, but we were still skeptical. 

It was then that God's hand became real - Jack asked what time he needed to be ready so we could all go to church together.  I may have cried a bit while I was in the shower as we all prepared to go to midnight services.  We sat together, in one row, in church - the last time he was there had to be 3 years ago or more when Maggie had a concert.  It was amazing.  He said afterwards that he was thankful that we were all there together.

God is good, all the time.  And working, even when we can't see.
to be continued....


  1. Oh--I am so glad!!!Maybe the stress of Christmas was getting to him because he knew he wasn't acting like he should and he felt guilty? He still hasn't hit rock bottom yest--hopefully when he does, he will seek out AA? We can always pray and hope, but yes--I see God working.

  2. There were so many things that struck me. You mentioned that everyone felt the stress, but no one talked about it. I remember that when I first became part of my ex-husband's family. There was this fighting at night and all of this drama, but no one said anything and the next day, they would pretend that it never happened. I pleaded with my husband to say something to his father about his drinking. I became frustrated that no one ever did anything about it. I now understand that there is nothing that they could do. Talking to him was pointless. They were living around it.
    The next thing that struck me was the shaking that you experienced. Boy, have I been there. Rage? Fear? I can't explain it. Just feeling so helpless in a situation. It makes you feel crazy. But it never did any good to express it. So I had all of this emotion and no safe outlet. I learned to suppress, suppress, suppress. I think I am just now feeling the anger about my marriage...only 5 years later.
    I am so glad that something sparked him. The fact that he was able to make it HIS idea to return home was good. It made the evening go smoother. Otherwise, he would have felt forced and he would have made the night miserable. Gosh, I remember that. Sitting in church just a bundle of nerves...feeling the hate being emitted from his body. And I also remember the times that he was trying. Sitting in church feeling relief, whether it was temporary of permanent, it was RELIEF and I was thankful for it.
    I love your blog because it really shows that alcoholics act unusually even when they aren't drinking. There was still stress and drama in my house on days that he didn't drink. Quite honestly, my ex wasn't home when he drank, so those days were more peaceful. Until 2am or so...
    Oh, last thing. His feelings about LT. In my opinion (which isn't worth much), it is his excuse. He had to come up with SOMETHING to attribute his behavior. Like my ex telling me that he stayed in bars to drink because I didn't clean the house well enough. Sure, it probably bothered him, but really? Lots of things bother me, but I don't get to shut down. I don't get to make excuses. Only the alcoholic...
    So glad that you and the kids had some peace over Christmas.