D was sober for several years. Before that, every time he drank he did until he passed out.
Well, heĎs been drinking again, and I confronted him. I asked him why he was drinking again. He told me it was something for him to do. Hmm.
Yesterday, A came to me and asked if he was drinking. She went to talk to him in the garage (which is where he drinks), and she noticed. Itís not hard to do. He isnít drinking until he passes out, not right now. But he does stagger, and his speech is slightly slurred.
I didnít know what to say to A, but my initial reaction was that I wasnít going to lie to her. I have never lied to her when sheís asked about anything that is important. So, I told her that he was. Her immediate question was why. I told her what D told me. I know she wasnít happy with that answer.
I know sheís very upset and worried. Today she spent most of the day in bed. I know it bothers her. So I asked her if something was bothering her. She said yes. I asked her what. She said that D is drinking. I made it clear to her that she can come to me and talk about her feelings anytime she needs to.
I donít know what to tell her, other than the truth. D told me heís not going to stop this time. This is just another reason I am seriously considering leaving him. I lived with him for many years while he drank. I will not go through that again. I told him I wouldnít go through it again. He said nothing.
There is a reason why A is so upset, and itís nothing I can go back and fix.
I didnít work at all until A started kindergarten. When I went back to work, D and I always worked opposite shifts, so we didnít have to have some kind of daycare arrangement for her. When A was 6 years old, he worked day shifts, from very early in the morning, until 2 pm. I worked 3-11 shifts in the evening. It was a great arrangement.
Until D started drinking again. And I didnít even know, until this one evening. The next day, A told me what happened.
D was drinking that evening. Heíd had enough that he probably could have been arrested for DWI. He told A he was taking trash to the dumpster, which was located at the far end of our apartment complex. Then he got in his car, drove to the store drunk, bought more beer, and drove back home.
He left A alone in the apartment.
When he didnít return right away, she got very nervous. She left the apartment and went down to the dumpsters, but he wasnít there. She was absolutely frantic.
When she told me, all the what ifs ran through my mind. What if he'd been arrested. She would have been alone in our apartment until I got home, around 11:45 at night. What if she had some kind of accident while she was alone. What if someone just came along and took her.
When I confronted him about that, he swung his fist in front of my face, and said I could go, but not take A with me. Luckily, I had a friend who helped me pack some things and go while he was working. I stayed with her until D found out where I was. Then I was moved to stay with friends of my friend, who D didnít know, and didnít know how to find.
Thankfully, I worked a job where I could take A with me to work. And sometimes my friend would watch her for me. I got to spend a lot of time with her, trying my best to help her work through her feelings. I made a point of never putting D down in front of her, because I remember how it felt when my mother did about my father after my parents split.
I ended up filing a restraining order against D, and we went to court a couple of times. In the meantime, we did a lot of talking, D quit drinking, and started going to AA. And we eventually got back together.
Heís been sober ever since, untilÖI donít even know when he started drinking again.
So now I guess A has something all new to worry about. His drinking affected her when she was little. After the incident where she was left alone, she had what I think was separation anxiety. She couldnít be left alone in a room, even with us in the next room. She got very clingy. She would cry so badly that she was almost screaming if I left her room before she fell asleep.
Now, I canít imagine all of the things sheís worrying about.
She asked if we were going to get a divorce. I told her that I didnít know. Iím not going to lie to her, and set her up to think that everything is fine, only to have her feel crushed if I leave him.
Thinking about it today, it seems like all of the problems with my marriage started around the time I was triggered. Itís gone downhill over the past two years. It makes me wonder how things would be now if I hadnít reacted to that trigger word two years ago, and if I hadnít closed myself off to D.
This isnít how I wanted my life to be. It isnít how I imagined marriage would be. And it isnít how I want to be feeling, or what I want to have to deal with while Iím trying to heal. I already have so much that Iím trying to work through.
In some ways I want to stay with him, although those ways are growing fewer as the days go by. In other ways, I feel weak because I havenít gotten the nerve to just walk out the door now. Because most days, I feel like this is all wrong, like I donít belong here, like my life is heading in the wrong direction in a huge way.
On top of all that, A doesnít even want to be around D now. I know I need to take gentle care of her as much as I do need to for myself.