Wednesday, December 12, 2012

In sickness and in health.


I've been married for 20-1/2 years to Bob. It has been wonderful. It has been horrible. And it is over.

Bob has left the building. He's moved out. He's gone.

We have been through a lot together. Over half my life. He has been my family. We were in love for so much of it. But it's different now. He isn't capable of it, and I'm not capable to be without it. Plus, I get so mean and disappointed with him, it isn't fair. He is a good man, and he deserves better.  I am a good woman, and I deserve the same.  We have grown up together, but we have not grown together. We grew apart.

It's hard to be in recovery at different speeds. My counselor at Hazelden said the cards were stacked against us. I did not believe him. He said statistics show that we would either relapse together, or divorce. I thought he was crazy and I was hell bent on proving him wrong. Key word there is, "I."  At that time I didn't know about all of Bob's other demons.  I thought we were just good old-fashioned drug addicts. Remember, I wanted to be the recovering couple that traveled the world, helping others.

Now, I will be known as the bitch who left the mentally-ill, United States veteran. Even though it was something we both wanted.

When I was told to say, "in sickness and in health," I pictured cancer, paralysis, something else. Not life consuming mental illness. I am not the one to handle this. Especially alone.

You see, if he had cancer, or paralysis, there would be more help. People would be more interested in helping our family with his illness. There would be ramps built, fundraisers held, family support. People would come help us fix the damage done here, care for the kids, all of those things. But because he can walk and talk and doesn't need chemo, people think he is fine. Because he can still smile, and go to a restaurant, people think he is fine.

He isn't fine.

And folks with mental illness, don't always want to take the steps to get better, because it seems too hard. So they will tell their family they are "better" or "fine." And people believe it. People want to believe it.

So it all falls on my lap. The kids, the house, the plans, his appointments, the fear, the food, the decisions,the fun, all of it while he lays in bed, skips appointments never goes to meetings and gets medicated. I did not have a partner here, I had a responsibility. And one that was defiant. I can't put my kids through watching this sad marriage anymore.

We need light in our lives. We need a functioning home with things that work. We don't need arguing, pain and resentment. Because as much as I know in my soul that I need compassion and acceptance, I am mostly filled with resentment and rage. I resent PTSD and addiction and what it has done to ME. It has left me a single parent with a very sick man that I cannot be responsible for anymore. I have one life to live. I'm not that girl.

I wanted to make this the best separation ever. But it is obvious that something like that is a dream. I worry about my beautiful kids. I just keep reminding them that anger comes from fear, and it's okay to be afraid.  We are still a family and we both love them. Change is hard, but I am here to help them through it.   And even though it's only been a few days, they are softening their anger. They are sad. I'm so sorry about that.

Separation is hard on them. But so is living with parents who are always unhappy together. I have to show them how to move on in a loving way. I couldn't do that with Bob.

I am still choking on my anger. Because I am scared about money. I have to tell myself not to text him because I always end up spewing how much he screwed me over. Me. The person who is going to be a counselor. I have to take this one day at a time. Yesterday, and the day before, I lost that battle. Today is a new day. I might try giving away my phone.

Did you just laugh as hard as I did? Give away my phone...I'm hilarious.

We will try to remain friendly enough to stay married until I'm done with school. Hopefully this won't be something that will be held against me. I moved my internship up one semester. Originally, I didn't want to do it in the summer, because the kids are off of school. But time is more important, because it means freedom and being able to support myself.

I had posted on Facebook that if anyone won the Powerball, I could use $100,000.00 to get me out of a jam. This is that jam. I would love to move out of this broken down, dark, depressing house and into a bright, fixed, new (to me) house. A fresh start. But I will stay here (even if my in-laws live on my street) because it makes the most sense. My dad loaned us the money for this house, and my credit is shot. I know how very lucky I am to have this place.

I will find a way to get the lights fixed and more put in (it's so dark and depressing here) all the holes patched, walls painted, the trim around the baseboards and new doors installed, the cupboards fixed so I can use ALL of them. The railing indoors is broken, and someone could fall. Closet doors broken. The burnt linoleum replaced in the kitchen. The cut and moldy linoleum in the bathroom. A new shower because I think it leaks. Downstairs bathroom doesn't work. And my washer and dryer moved to the downstairs, holes in the ceiling, holes in the cedar siding, plant some grass, and the lazy susan fixed. Ugh...the list is so long it would take $100,000.00. Too bad Extreme Home Makeover isn't still around. We would totally qualify.

I hope that didn't sound too much like a pity party. I am sad, but also relieved. I wanted him to try and get better so we could live happily ever after. I wanted to help other Vets together and have this amazing life. That is what I wanted, not what Bob wanted or was capable of. We've both overcome a horrible addiction. But he really never wanted to be sober. He did it for me. And he resented me for it. He is sober now, but now it is up to him. I hope he can find some happiness in recovery. And that this split brings us both the peace we deserve for ourselves and our kids. I'm hopeful about my end.






19 comments:

  1. Oh Betsey i am sooo sorry! At the same time i am proud of you. Hang in there girlie! Big Hugs.

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    1. Thanks Amelia. Did I tell you that is my daughter's name? We call her Millie. I should't probably put that on the internet, but I just did:)

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  3. This blog entry is just bursting with emotion-- and deservedly so. Betsey, you are smart, strong and motivated to make a better life for you and your babes. I know you can do this. I know you WILL do this. Cry when you need to, ask for help when you need it and KEEP WRITING. XO

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    1. Thanks Keely. I will. It is hard to not sound like a Debbie Downer right now. But that is where I am at. So I will try to mix in a little hope now and then. But I am glad I have this blog to do this with. I honestly think it helps so much.

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  4. I think you are making the right decision. I grew up with a dad who battled bi-polar and it doesn't make childhood very easy. If you text him to only scream at him, you are only serving your ego and inviting negative energy back in. If you can't cut him off for yourself, do it for your kids. I promise, the sooner you start to choose a healthy life the better things will be for everyone. When we make decisions about the unknown, our fear creates a much worse scenario. If you make the leap of faith, things will start to fall into place. Good luck, I'm sending good vibes out your way.

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    1. You are so right. I failed again yesterday. Today, I will succeed!! My ego is a strong mo fo! He starts it and I feed right in. I won't today.

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  5. I am sorry for the end of your marriage, but I am hopeful that better days are ahead for you and for your kids. xo

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    1. Thanks you very much. I am very hopeful that there will be better days. I know it.

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  6. Thank you all very much. I honestly need to write and spill to get me through this. I feel support from cyberspace. It helps, actually. Maybe that is sad, but it is true.

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  7. Hey Betsey, It is never easy to loose anyone we care about or have cared about. You need to keep the focus on your recovery as your children need a sober parent. It has been along time since we have seen each other but I have very fond memories of your amazing personality and bright smile. My first husband was a recovering addict and acitve member on NA. He lost his battle with cancer 2.5 yrs after we were married. He was an amazing man who went through trining and course work to become a CD counselor. I learned so much from him things are best explained or people best served by those who have been there. I would love a facebook friends request and my husband and I would be happy to help with things you need to get fixed around your place. Lynn Olafson-Dimond

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    1. I can't believe we aren't FB friends already. I will find you on there. I am going to get my house cleaned out and ready. I will let you know what I need help with and accept any I can get. Thank you.

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  8. My heart goes out to you. I know we've never met, but I hope you'll accept a stranger's condolences and prayers. You are so strong, and an inspiration!

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    1. Thank you very much. I am glad I have such great readers and friends that can lift me up.

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  9. "Now, I will be known as the bitch who left the mentally-ill, United States veteran. Even though it was something we both wanted. "

    When I started reading this, about a hundred things went through my mind- but that is not one of them. Not even close.

    I can't imagine how difficult it has been, to be in a marriage like yours- and how even more difficult the decision must have been to leave. I've been worried about you these last few days, since you hinted about this.

    Some will say it takes a big person to stick around and make a marriage work. I say it takes a bigger person to realize that will never happen, and walk away. Ultimately what anyone else thinks doesn't matter, not one tiny bit. You can't save him any more than you can save the entire world. However you CAN save YOU. I'm proud of you for realizing what's most important right now... YOU.

    I could go on and on here- (and you know I could lol) all that I really need you to know is that I'm here to listen. You have my email- should you need an ear.

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    1. Thank you Amanda. You have been a great help with your words.

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  10. I was married for 10 years. We were both alcoholics in recovery. I overcame my mental issues, he got progressively worse and worse. You and I have very similar stories. VERY similar. After he moved out, I bought a few kids books about divorce. The best one was called: Was It the Chocolate Pudding?: A Story For Little Kids About Divorce (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1591473098/ref=oh_details_o01_s00_i03). The kids like the book so much that eventually it became the running joke in our house. They would ask why I was getting divorced and I would tell them it was because of the damn chocolate pudding.

    Kids are adaptable. I just had to keep telling my girls that they were loved and it was ok to feel however they were feeling and that it was ok to talk about whatever they wanted. 2 years later, we are all doing quite well. The ex is healthier (physically and emotionally) than he was the day I met him (which still pisses me off sometimes). Even in the scary times, I have never regretted asking him to leave.

    Love & light.

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    1. Thank you Tina. I will check those books out.

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