My ex-husband is an alcoholic.
Now, he would never admit this, mind you. And I never saw it. I'd never been around it and didn't recognize the signs.
When we dated, I loved when he would get drunk. That's when he would admit how much he loved me. That's when he couldn't get enough of me and would swoon all over me. I adored him that way.
He didn't do that sober.
About 6 months into our marriage, while on a business trip, he neglected to call me. He always called me when he landed or checked into his hotel. He was always traveling and this was our means of staying in touch. I liked to know he was safe.
I paged him for hours. I contacted his hotel and they said he'd never checked in. His rental car company had given me his license plate number in case I needed to call the police. Eight hours after his plane landed and there was still no contact, I hysterically reported him to the police as a missing person. He finally called 2 hours later, completely inebriated and told me that he lost track of time.
Those first few years were difficult. He would go out to happy hour after work and not return until the wee hours, pale, unable to walk and I'd have to clean up vomit from whatever room he landed in.
He would avoid contact with me when he was like this, leaving me to ponder if he was alive or dead. When he would finally call, I could tell within the first few words whether he'd had beer or vodka and exactly how many drinks were consumed.
Soon I began sleeping in another room, leaving a beer can on my pillow. The alcohol, to me, was his mistress. The alcohol was who he chose over me. I began to resent every time he traveled or every time he would have a drink. I didn't trust him anymore because it hurt too much to try.
I left him, early in our marriage. I told him that I wouldn't come back until he attended an AA meeting. He finally did go to a meeting. He told me that he knew at the meeting that he wasn't an alcoholic and that he wouldn't go back. And I came home anyway.
To this day, every single night that he is out of town on business - which is every week - he will drink until he's drunk. Instead of staying in his hotel room, renting a movie or reading a book, he will go to the hotel bar or some other bar and drink til he's stupid drunk. Then he'll drive...
Gentleman Jack likes to go out, occasionally, to a little neighborhood bar that's about 5 minutes from his house. Its like the TV show Cheers... everyone there knows him. He took me there so I could meet the gang of regulars and to show me that it isn't a long drive back to his house. He frequented this bar a lot before we got involved. He rarely goes there now.
When he does go out, he will text me and let me know who's there and who says hello. He will stay in contact with me so that I don't worry. There have been a few rare occasions that he will go somewhere else, at a friend's insistence. He hates those nights. He'd rather stay in his comfort zone and get to bed at a decent hour.
He will call or text me when he gets home. I am usually asleep but hearing his voice will wake me and we'll talk for an hour. My sleep is disturbed but at least I know he's safe.
There have been a few occasions that he will sense my panic and get upset. He doesn't want to hurt me. He doesn't like to feel bad for enjoying himself. I don't blame him and I don't want him to stop. He so rarely goes out anymore.
The other day, when I felt so ugly?
He had told me, earlier that day, that he was going out on Friday night. I didn't think much of it but after admitting those ugly feelings, he pondered that maybe his Friday night plan had triggered those emotions.
"I know you get upset when I go out. Its the only time I see my friends. And I hardly go like I used to. If you were here, I'd much rather stay home with you."
I know all of that. I trust him.
But still... when he's out, though he's been texting and I will go to sleep knowing that he's having fun, like clockwork I will wake up every hour.
Gripping. Sweating. Panicked. Worried. Out of breath.
Just hearing the words, "I'm gonna go out..." will make me physically sick to my stomach.
I try to ignore those irrational feelings. When he is out and I awake with anxiety, I will text a quick, "Are you ok?" and he will respond immediately. Friday night, he actually called shortly after my panicked awakening. We talked and I told him how weird it was that my body will panic though in my mind, I know he's all right.
He went out again tonight. Two nights in a row and he's never done that since we've been together. He was in a good mood after being with his boys trick-or-treating. He wanted to catch the end of the game that was only available on pay-per-view. Of course, it'd be playing at the bar. No big deal.
We texted all night and I went to sleep soundly.... only to wake up in a panic an hour later. I texted him in my panic, lashing out at him for being out two nights in a row.
I hated showing him my ugly and he reacted to it. He thinks that I don't trust him. He is trying to convince me that he loves me more than anything. He is telling me that he makes a conscious effort to stay in touch, to reassure me, to let me know how much I mean to him. Why am I lashing out? Why am I panicked?
I've realized that I don't trust him. Not to go off with another girl. No... I am afraid that alcohol will become his mistress. I'm afraid that he'll choose her over me.
Triggers..... what am I supposed to do with that?