Archive for September, 2010

and I’m an alcoholic

September 28, 2010

I went to my second AA meeting today.  And I’ll spare you my reservations about whether or not I am technically an alcoholic, because I don’t want to be the kind of person who goes to AA and starts off with “well I am not really a loser alcoholic like the rest of you”.  My name is Alice and I am an alcoholic.  Let’s get on with the self improvement.

I will say, however, that I have to put up with way too much god-talk at meetings.  I get that god is just a word for the source of strength for these people; I get that your  power can be the group, or reason, or whatever.  It’s just that whenever people in AA talk about god, it is a He.  And in a women’s group, that disturbs me.  More about this later, perhaps.

When I introduced myself, I said I started drinking [regularly] to piss off my ex-husband.  This was an odd thing for me to say because I had never thought about it that way before.  But I that was why I started drinking.  He was a teetotaler, and I drank very rarely myself, mostly for lack of opportunity, but also because it was Very Important To Him and I was  Respectful Wife.  Then later, we had friends who would bring over a 6pack when they came over for boardgame night, and my ex was mildly shocked that Christians drink!  But he didn’t make a fuss.  So that was a nice opportunity for me.

I should pause to explain here that for my ex, we had to do everything together.  This included decisions– as in, anything decided upon by one (i.e., him) must be agreed upon and also executed by the other.  So when he decided he was never going to let a drop of alcohol touch his lips, that meant I had to do the same.  If he had an interest in video games, I did.  If I wanted to fix up the yard, we both had to.  I realize now that this was manipulation on his part, to limit my access to the world without his direction and control.  I had two opportunities in our entire marriage to go out drinking/dancing with The Girls, and he took those opportunities to demonstrate his generosity, that he Let Me go even though he didn’t want me to.

Seriously.  It amazes me how controlling he was.  Most of the stories you hear about controlling and abusive husbands are of the violent or verbally abusive type.  My ex never yelled or hit.  I guess that’s why I didn’t notice for so long.  But once I started noticing, I started carving out areas of my life that I could be free of him.

It was hard.  I was really interested in local foods, gardening, and native plants.  My ex would go on and on (in public and private) about how Supportive he was of me, and how he wanted me to follow my interests.  But somehow, in some weird way, everything was complicated.  Either he would stick his nose in and take over something and do it his way (“helping”), he would offer to help and then fall through, or he would do nothing until it came time to really get to work, and then he’d distract me.

He started being a dick about “our” cell phone, so I got my own.  I password protected it and did not tell him the password— he asked me many times, and when that didn’t work, he peeked to see it. 

Shortly before leaving him, I told him I wanted to have separate bank accounts in addition to the shared one. 

And I started drinking.  I bought this wonderful green tea liquor and had a shot on ice when I got home from work.  I enjoyed his discomfort.  Besides, the stress in our relationship had increased so drastically, and his sexual abuse had become worse, so I had trouble going to bed with him, much less was able to fall asleep when I got there.  Alcohol helped there.

Then after I really left him, I spent a few months or so buzzed– not drunk off my ass or even drunk, but still.

And now I have a rule that I only drink when I am already happy.  But I have been slipping.  Hence the AA.  I’d rather do the 12 steps before I have to go through rehab, you know?


September 13, 2010

I’ve stopped after only an hour of packing to wonder why I want to stop packing.  I am moving tomorrow– if I can get everything in my hatchback, that is.  I have my doubts.  My lizard’s terrarium and my guitar take up a good amount of awkward space, but hopefully I can also fit in two garbage bags of clothes, Indian spices, books, and of course the dog in her travel-box.  Books and desktop computer are going in last just in case it don’t all fit.

The worst part of leaving NorCal is leaving my mom.  Everything else, I think I can handle.  I am moving back in with my old housemates, and this is giving me pause.  I really really REALLY want to be independent right now, but without a job that is pretty much impossible.  I want to live alone and answer to nobody.  I love to be surrounded by friends, but I require privacy.  But the thing is, I am so totally fucked up from being married to a con artist– I don’t even know the extent of the damage yet.  I completely appreciate good advice and guidance, but it is difficult to be gracious about it when what I really want is to just go go go how I want to.  I don’t want to be using my friends and then just take off when I get the job and everything settled.  But of course, that is also exactly what I want on some level– I can’t live on the generosity of my friends forever.

When it comes down to it, I don’t know how healthy relationships are supposed to work.  If a friend needs help and a place to stay, and you can provide it, what does the friend owe you?  Is that a favor?  Is that simply what friends do?  It feels like a debt; how will I repay it? 

I conclude that I need to have a talk with my friends.

since you asked

September 6, 2010

Just a quick catchup for anyone who’s still reading… and for myself, because I really need to write more.

Granma died two weeks ago.  I am still living in her house, supposedly sticking around to help my dad out.  He doesn’t ask me to really do anything, though.  So I have mostly been staring out the window feeling sad, watching Cooking Channel, cooking my Indian food, hiding photos and other family paraphernalia (to make the house a little more neutral– it’s kindof weird to be alone in my grandparents’ house), or throwing granma’s knickknacks out (don’t tell dad– I’m doing him a goddamn favor, considering all the shit gma had, but he’s got a bit of a be-in-charge-of-everything problem).

I inherited granma’s dog.  She is an awesome little friend but doesn’t know how to be a dog.  Working on that.

Still recovering from divorce.  More on that later.

Still recovering from losing my faith.  Much more on that later.

My family is kindof insane right now.  Hard to trust them.  My dad and one sister are addicts (alcohol and pot, and meth), my mom is a classic enabler, one sister is doing fine but in a pretty solid partying phase, and my brother liked my ex-husband a lot and doesn’t want to know why I left, so I don’t exactly trust him right now.  I am trying to focus on supporting my mom and helping her feel ready to escape the place.

And, I am preparing to move back to Southern California.

Gotta get my life together.  I think I am ready now.  Or, I am ready to be ready… somewhere in there.