Ugh. What a terrible weekend. I thought Friday night was going to be fun. I finally had a bit of money to invite people over for dinner. I invited my brother and his family, as well as his best friend and wife. My brother’s best friend, D, owns the house I am living in. I figured this would give me a chance to let them know about my job situation. And also to feed everyone that has fed my son and I over the past couple of years. But as always, the “drink” get’s in the way of a good time.
I went outside with D’s wife to have a beer and a smoke while dinner finished in the oven. She told me right away, “Well, we are going to need to sell the house then.”
I was shocked. “Great, I’m going to be jobless and homeless.” I know that they need to take care of themselves and cut their losses in whatever way they can and she entered survival mode.
She stood there stoically smoking her cigarette, looking at me. “Well, you can come live with us.”
“No. I can’t. If I need to move, just let me know. You can sell the house, but let me tell you, the house next door has been on the market for two years and still has not sold. It has new paint and new carpet. It’s in mint condition. This house needs a lot of work.”
“Well, if you think you are going to move to Atlanta, then we will sell the house.”
“Yes, that’s probably a good idea.”
Thus began my stress for the night. She kept spewing other scenarios, like, we will sell this house so we can buy a bigger house and you can live in the house we are in now. Or, you can stay here as long as you need and not pay any rent. Or, you pay whatever you can for however long you can and when you move we will sell the house.
There were too many scenarios to keep track of. By the end of the evening, she was drunk and telling me again that they would sell the house and I would need to move. My brother happened to walk through just as she was saying this to me. He went outside to tell D that his wife was starting to worry me a little. This began an argument. My brother is not the argumentative type. It does seem, however, that D’s wife is. I walked out of the house with my kid in tow to say our goodbye’s and was confronted by this argument. I tried to calm her down and tell her everything was fine, but she still seemed to want to argue with my brother. She started cursing and yelling at my brother and had no intention of stopping until she heard what she wanted to hear.
Instead of saying goodbye to everyone, I took my kid back inside and left the drunk woman to her own devices. I did not feel like dealing with two stupid drunks in one night.
A few hours earlier, my husband called to talk to our son. He was clearly drunk. He was not paying attention to his conversation with M. He seemed more concerned with what was going on around him and what his friends were saying to him. I abruptly ended the phone call and told him to call us tomorrow.
I think the anxiety finally got to my son. He woke up early on Saturday morning with diarrhea and his stomach was upset. I assumed it was something he had eaten, but he hadn’t eaten anything out of the ordinary. My next assumption was a little 24-hour bug or something. But this bug continued into Sunday. He was waking up early and sleeping light. This is not like my kid. I finally came to the conclusion that he is feeling uneasy about all chaos going on around him. I wonder if that pitiful conversation with my husband and the uneasy conversation with D’s wife gave him a sense of what kind of stress was falling on top of me. On top of us. I’m not sure of what he is thinking or feeling, I just know he is acting differently. He clung to me all weekend and woke up early with me again this morning. I am hoping I can get things back on track this week and relieve him of some of this burden and reassure him that everything is going to be okay. A three year-old should not be thinking or worrying about this kind of stuff. I will get it turned around, like I always do. I really dislike having drinkers around my son. He doesn’t need that around him. I have learned my lesson though. That is the last time I will be having them over for dinner.
J called on Sunday and the conversation again turned to his drinking. I asked that he not call M when he is drunk. “I’m sorry. I won’t do it again.”
“But what do you think of me? Do you think I’m a shitshow? Do you think I’m an alcoholic that can’t hold down a job? I take care of my family.” He was getting a bit upset. All I could think is that he has been conversing with his friends, family or his lover about our situation and this new reasoning came about.
“No. That’s not what it’s about at all J. Let me tell you, you are the most kind, generous, patient person I have ever known. But when you drink, that person goes away. That person I fell in love with is gone. When you drink, come home and start an argument and start calling me names, I get frustrated. I get hurt and angry and I fight back. I am sorry for not know how to deal with it. I am sorry I have never been able to let go of that pain. ”
“And J, all of the crap that has happened in your past, your childhood, all of that has made you who you are. That life you led made you that kind and gentle person. I just know that you are better than that. You are a better person than that. You are such an awesome person, J. You do a disservice to yourself when you drink. You push that good person away to become the mean person that I could not handle. And I am sorry I could not help you and I’m sorry that I didn’t know what to do other than fight back. ”
“What I am grateful for…Your kid isn’t going to know that mean drunk person. He will only see the good parts of you.” By this time, I was tearing up. M was across the yard, happily playing in the dirt, oblivious of our serious conversation.
J finally spoke up. “I’m sorry. I know how I am. I am sorry for all of the things I have done to you. I am just so depressed.”
“And I am sorry about that. If I hadn’t interfered in your relationship with Alison, everything would be fine now. Why don’t you go back to her and try to mend things. I should have left you alone and let you be. You told me you were happier.”
“I told you I was happier? Or my sister told you I was happier?”
“No, you told me. Your sister and Alison told me you were happier. I should have left you alone and let you be.”
“Why did you want me back? Why couldn’t you have told me that in the beginning when I left. Why now?”
“I was just happy to see you growing up and hear that you had stopped drinking. It appeared that you were back. The man I fell in love with was back and I wanted you back. I’m sorry I have messed everything up for you.”
“Yes, I have grown up, a lot. And who says I want to go back to Alison. I miss you guys. I love you guys.”
I didn’t know how to respond to this. I told him that we missed him too. However, the numbness that I felt when he first left was back and invading every ounce of my being. I know it will hurt to let him go for good, but it’s for the greater good. My son and I need stability and peace. My heart needs to let go of any hope for our marriage. The only hope I hold now is for my child. I hope that he grows up happy despite not having his father around. I hope that he forgives and goes on better than I. I hope that his loving and compassionate demeanor flourishes and never dies. I hope he never drinks like his father. I hope we can teach him that he is better than that.