When Life Looks Grim, Don’t Lose Hope. When the Sun Goes Down, the Stars Come Out.
Devastating Effects of Alcoholism
Life looked pretty dim at times when I was married to an alcoholic. I was losing hope! Having an alcoholic husband had taken a devastating toll on my body, mind, emotions, and spirit. It also took a toll on our relationship, my relationship with my children, and his professional life. Living with an alcoholic, I was definitely a co-dependent, thinking I was keeping everything stable by not confronting the matter and by not telling others around me how bad it was, or that he even was an alcoholic. For sure, I talked to the children about alcoholism and its effects on the family, but, in many ways, I was accepting it as part of family life. “Not every family is perfect,” I’d usually say.
There was an incident when the police came to the house. They escorted my husband out. I can’t speak of the vile words and threats that spewed out of his mouth with spit as he walked up the driveway with the police. The police informed him (and then me) that he was not to contact me for at least 48 hours giving both of us time to think about what we were going to do. He needed to get sober so he could be civil, and I needed to think about how I was going to lead the next year of my life.
In hope to get some advice from friends, I realized my so called couple friends were not friends at all! What a mind blower this was! It was obvious they wanted to have nothing to do with me expressing their disrespect and indignation that I could actually allow my son to call the police even when my husband assaulted him! No matter what I said, it was my fault right to the end.
“Wasn’t there any way I could get him to quit drinking?” I needed to have more patience. “The police should have never gotten involved. “What did you do to get him so mad?” “I can’t help you. You’re on your own.” You should of. . .You could have. . . is what I received back. Not ONE person or so called friend had a tone of voice that empathized or gave me any compassion. Not ONE false friend even tried to understand. “You made the decision to marry him. That’s what you get.”
A few days later, I sought out a lawyer hoping to get some good advice to what my options were in the event that the abuse got worse. The lawyer told me that I could do nothing. I was married for seven years by this point and he said, several times in the conversation, “You can’t do anything. That’s the thing with women like you. You get involved with men like this and then you expect that you can legally do something.” Once again, I was fucking blown away.
Women Stuck In Abusive Marriages
At that point, I could see why women stay in abusive relationships. Most relationships don’t begin this way. They turn, at some point. Please don’t give me any more advice like I ‘should’ have seen the signs. I fucking well did on our honeymoon!
Wise Words from Children
Later, that evening or the next, two of my sons and I walked up Lonsdale Avenue in North Vancouver getting some fresh air. It was a nice cool summer evening, I remember. We were all in a bit of a shock, but the children could see my fear, not sure of what I was going to do. I guess they could see I was panicking, even though I thought I was doing a good job keeping it all together. Anyways, I must have said something that made them believe that I was losing hope. Just as a doe sees the bright lights as a semi-truck approaches her, my youngest son said to me, “you gotta have hope mom.” I know I heard him clearly the first time, but I said, what? He looked up at me with his big beautiful round brown eyes and said, “even if we lose everything, mom, we still have hope; we still have each other.” His words; my little man’s words brought my shoulders down and gave me a smile. All the fear, panic, and anxiety washed away!