My life as a roller coast. Yes, a roller coaster. It’s a pretty common analogy, but in my case it’s like one of those where you’re pretty sure you’re not gonna make it to the end.
The post prior to this one was a bit cryptic and dark. And it’s all true. There is more truth to fill in the blanks for a full understanding of my life, the roller coaster.
Here it is boiled down to the basics.
- My husband is an alcoholic. In denial and living his disease every single day.
- My husband suffers from major depression.
- My husband suffers from borderline personality disorder.
- My husband suffers from PTSD.
If it were only the first item, I’d get off the ride before it could make another round. That’s a no brainer. When we got married he was not an alcoholic. Our marriage wasn’t perfect by a long shot. There was infidelity (by him), which we overcame and our life seemed to be turning around. A new house, a promotion. We were at our best. Then things ramped up in 1994 when he was involved in a suicide by cop incident.
Our life continued, but I didn’t know we had boarded a ride that was still climbing toward a summit that would plummet us into the fearful unknown and a deep darkness. Alcoholism can sneak up on you. It’s not like one day he drank a couple of beers on the weekends and then a week later he was blackout drunk every day thereafter. No. It was a beer or two, a drink or two at a time over time.
There was something dark and insidious in his past. He alluded to it at one point, but later brushed it off. Beer was a regular resident in the fridge, then he found “good whiskey” and things really started moving. A trip to a neighboring town to play in a poker tournament landed him in jail for DUI. As a cop, he suffered the embarrassment and then he had to begin dealing with why. That’s when we tipped over the edge of the precipice.
A lawyer, a counselor and a horrific revelation and a new mistress, “vodka”, and it all spiraled him into the darkest depression and the heaviest, most dangerous drinking. He isolated and secluded himself by either locking himself in the guest room or staying in our camper at the storage lot. After months and months of this he finally revealed to me he had been molested as a child. You add killing another human and you get PTSD from both incidents and a diagnosis of other mental health issues then you stir in a whole lotta booze and it’s a wonder he survived.
His alcoholism is a side-effect of his mental health problems. I know that. I’ve built fences that keep me safe emotionally, but my fences have weak points. When he shows signs of improvement, a section gets knocked down. As soon as this happens, every time, he spirals down again as soon as he let’s me in and I allow my fence to weaken. Every time.
I love him and I know he needs me. If it were only the booze it would be so much easier, but it’s not. If you’ve read any of my posts you know our daughter Sassy is a big part of this. I know I need to shield her because like all drunks, he is an ass when he’s drinking. She is old enough now, she is aware of what is going on.
My quandary is so multifaceted, it’s like a diamond and just as hard.
- He needs support, but he needs to face his demons and get better.
- Leaving him means visitations and I don’t trust him to take care of her alone since his drinking is worse when I’m not around.
- He has friends in high places. I don’t think he would every play this card, and I think he would agree to supervised visitations if it came to that.
- 32 years of marriage.
- When he’s good he’s really good. A good husband, father, friend, provider.
- Love him
- Hate him
- Know how he is once he commits to something. Like a pit bull; latched on and won’t let go. (Yes the booze is his pit bull now)
- Sassy would be better away from him.
- Sassy would suffer being away from him.
- If I’m being honest here, embarrassment and shame. I’d feel more hypocritical than I already do.
- Etc. Etc. Etc.
I’m committed to the marriage, to the relationship, but realistically when he found whiskey, they became marginalized. When he found vodka, they became ghosts.
My roller coaster has taken me down many teeth shattering curves, death defying drops, dark seemingly endless tunnels and it continues. It never rolls into the station to disembark and find go home. I keep waiting. Sometimes I change track and ride a kiddie version, but it’s still rattling and jarring.
The ride goes on and I can’t decide where, when or if I should get off.
Jason Mraz’s I Won’t Give Up has spoken (shouted) at me since he released it and it fits quite well.