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Then I Woke Up -- A Story of Codependency

Then I Woke Up -- A Story of Codependency

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Published by Rose
A story about living with alcohol abuse.
A story about living with alcohol abuse.

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Published by: Rose on Jan 21, 2012
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07/29/2013

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Then I Woke Up – A Story of Codependency
Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “In my dream I was standing on the bank of the Nile,when out of the river there came seven cows, fat and sleek, and they grazed among thereeds. After them, seven other cows came up – scrawny and very ugly and lean. I hadnever seen such ugly cows in all the land of Egypt. The lean, ugly cows ate up the sevenfat cows that came up first. But even after they ate them, no one could tell that they haddone so; they looked just as ugly as before. Then I woke up.” Genesis 41:17-21The time was limited and I spoke rapidly. I talked about the obsessive fairytale fantasieswhere I would somehow find a way into a different life with another man instead of myhusband, thoughts I could not get out of my head no matter how hard I tried. And Italked about other issues and problems. The purpose of the convoluted ramblingseemed to be to convey two messages. The first being -- I am not evil, and the second being -- I am a happy, joyful person; I am NOT letting people suck the life out of me!He said the things I had been saying revealed some kind of thinking that was so far from“normal” he had trouble connecting at times. He said he had to keep reminding himself to consider my words in reference to MY normal.I told him about how I had been much more crazy during my adolescence and that I
 
thought I had actually made a lot of progress, especially in the past few years. He didseem to at least acknowledge and agree with that.I said that, for the most part, I was someone who was happy and full of energy. He saidthat was because I was “in denial”. He said I should come back on a regular basis for awhile.On my way out, I smiled at the secretary, chatted pleasantly, and left without schedulinganother appointment.I thought about how I had been considering writing a collection of comments on life, asI see it. I was going to call my collection “Through Rose-Colored Glasses”. And Ithought about a conversation with a friend who said that even positive thinking can be a bad thing when taken to extreme. Maybe it becomes the same as being “in denial”. Myfriend had said that sometimes there are things in a person's life that desperately need tochange, but a person can't change those things if they can't even see them.And maybe the insights of others were beginning to make some sense to me because oneevening when I arrived home from work, I took off those rose-colored glasses andtucked them safely away, just to have a brief glimpse of what my family life reallylooked like.When I entered the house, my 11 year old daughter was sitting on the couch. She lookedsad and emotionally drained. She wasn't reading or anything, but was just sitting there.I asked her if she was doing okay and she said, “I'm just tired.”My husband was in the kitchen spilling pancake mix all over himself and the floor. Hecleaned up the mess (sort of) with dish towels and then threw the dish towels on top of the pile of dishes in the sink.He was very drunk. He had been very drunk all week. He kept staring at me or maybeglaring. He began to ask all sorts of suspicious, accusatory questions. I answered themcheerfully.He put a bag of pre-cooked chicken pieces he had gotten from the grocery store deli onthe table. We had fried chicken and pancakes for dinner. He used to be so particular about what foods go together to make a meal, like which vegetables should go withwhich meats, etc. I have no idea what kind of vegetables are supposed to go with pancakes and fried chicken.We didn't have any vegetables in the house anyway. I thought maybe I could buy somemilk this week since I hadn't mailed out some of the checks to pay the bills. Usually I
 
would pay the bills first because my husband seemed more concerned about having foodthan about bills getting paid. He wouldn't use any of his money to pay bills, but hewould buy food if we didn't have much. Lately, though, he wasn't even eating anythinghimself, just drinking.The next day our daughter was upset and said she didn't want to go home after school.We talked about a plan where I would pick her up and take her to my office for a coupleof hours and then we would go to church.But she asked if I thought that was really a good idea, leaving him alone all evening withno one to supervise him. I wondered if that was what she thought she was doing the day before when she was sitting on the couch looking sad and emotionally drained. She was“supervising” him.“It's not our job to supervise your dad,” I said, “and especially, it isn't YOUR job.”I made arrangements for her to spend that night at a friend's house.“Don't let him hurt my puppy,” she said as I was leaving to go back home, “and don't lethim burn the house down . . .”(Based on a journal entry from January 31
st
, 2009)Update:It took another 10 months for me to finally connect with enough strength from God andsupport from other people to be able to follow through with a separation and eventualdivorce. But even then, I don't think I ever could have done it for me. I did it for her. Ihad to!I worried too much about people disapproving of me getting a divorce and I worried toomuch about people disapproving of me taking so long to finally get it done. And Iwould like to believe I am much stronger now. But I find myself experiencing someguilt for sharing this story at this time, when my exhusband is dying, alone in a nursinghome.I have no animosity toward him. He didn't overcome his weakness, but overcomingweakness is a very difficult thing. His wounds from a lifetime of hurt ran very deep.And he did love us, the best he could. He says I promised to be there, holding his hand,when he dies. The nursing home is a bit of distance from my house, but, if at all possible, I will fulfill that promise!

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Rose added this note
sometimes there are things in a person's life that desperately need to change . . .
1 thousand reads
1 hundred reads
Rose added this note
a story about living with alcohol abuse . . .
Rose added this note
It's never too late to make a new year's resolution!
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Storm added this note
A very painful road of discovery and recovering. Your advice is very sound: Get help! If anyone is in a similar situation seek help for yourself and your loved ones.
Rose added this note
So . . . hey, check this out. It MIGHT be x-rated or something!
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