Last night, when J called, I finally asked him why he is so down. I had a feeling I knew what was wrong. His birthday just passed and no one seemed to notice, no one was really there to make it special for him. I tried my best from afar. I sent him a present that I knew he’d like and want and posted a video of our kid on FB singing Happy Birthday. But that’s all I could do. I think it’s enough under the circumstances.
While perusing his FB, I noticed he only had a handful of birthday wishes and none from his family. Most were from distant friends from all over the country. I attribute this to a couple of things. One, on the weekends, people are less likely to check FB and when they do it’s most likely on their phones. The phone apps don’t seem to advertise birthdays and so no one really knows. And two, J has no real friends. I was his best friend for many years. I am still the one that knows him best, and better than he knows himself.
He told me, “I am depressed. No one loves me. No one likes me. I think I am hitting a mid-life crisis.”
“Why do you say that?”
“Everyone is just too busy and no one, not even my family, knows what’s going through my head.”
I wanted to give him a harsh awakening as to why he doesn’t have friends, but decided to wait. He sounded so down. It was difficult to hold back my tears. I hurt for him. I wanted to help him so much at that moment. He’s not ready, though. He’s not ready to understand the impact he has on people when he drinks. Maybe one day he will realize this for himself. I continued the conversation.
“People do love you J. I love you, M loves you.”
He began to cry and tell our son how much he loves him and misses him. My heart broke again. Dammit!
Why can’t he just wake up and realize that his drinking is to blame for the degradation of his relationships. I have witnessed his poor treatment of his family and friends when he drinks. I am not the only person he treats with disrespect. It’s always the people that are closest to him. To my understanding, this is how alcoholics work. And, the conversation continued.
He went on to blame me for how he was feeling. “You threw me away. You didn’t want me. You kicked me out. You don’t love me.”
“I know. This is my fault. We have gone over this, but why do you think I did that J?”
“I don’t know, I was doing everything right. I only drank on occasion and I was home taking care of our son. I didn’t want to move there and I had no support. I had no one when you dumped me.”
WOW! What!? I gave him plenty of chances to help me make a decision about the move. I wanted him to sit down with me to list out pros and cons of a move to Georgia and really put some thought into it. He refused. He simply came home one day and told me, “Let’s do it!” When I conveyed this account of events to him, he told me, “You were going to do it anyway because it’s what you wanted to do.” And, I did. I was seriously apprehensive though. I didn’t really want to leave California. But when I looked at the benefits a move would have for our kid, it swayed me. There were many pros for the move for our son. And for me too. But I didn’t want to do it if my husband did not want to do it. Period. He disagreed with me on that point.
At this point, he is pretty much blaming me for everything, AGAIN. It began an argument, of sorts. I didn’t feel like arguing so I just calmly made points…that I knew would go over his head because he’s not ready to hear it.
I told him, “J, every time you drank, whether on occasion or frequently, you came home and served me some verbal blows that eventually tore me apart. Here is someone that is supposed to love me and all I get are insults and pain. Every time it happened, a little piece of me and my love for you died. And can you sincerely say that you loved me? I don’t think you loved me. You don’t treat someone you love like that, J. Was I supposed to stick around and let you do that to me every time you drank too much?”
“Whatever, you are the one that left me. I stopped drinking when we moved there. I only drank when you bought me beer or my mom would send me money.” Yes folks, I did buy his beer on the weekends when we could afford it. I would buy him a six pack hoping he would learn to drink a few and reserve the rest for later. Yeah, no. He drank them all in a sitting. I don’t recall him buying any beer with any money his mom sent. But whatever. Doesn’t matter.
Ugh! Useless to argue with him. I asked him if he thought that I was the only one that he has hurt with his drunken rants. He had no answer.
But still. I want to talk this all out with him. Calmly and rationally. I want him to understand that he needs to fix his relationships by fixing himself. I do not know how to get through to him. Is it futile to try at this point? I don’t have the answer to that. I know I want to help him. I know he is a good person, if only he knew that, we’d be good.
I did tell him that I was reading Crazy Time right now and felt he should read it too. I told him how much I learned from the book and learned all of the things I did wrong. I apologized. I told him that he should give it a read. Alas, he didn’t hear me and he didn’t respond. Oh well.
The conversation ended and he told me he wanted to talk more and would call in the morning. We will see if he does. I do hope he does because I just want to try to get through to him, help him get on the right track to getting and being better. I know he is feeling pretty depressed and I feel some need or responsibility to get him through this. I am still his only friend and I wish he could see that. But what kind of friend am I if I dumped him, right? I’m sure that’s what he’s thinking and he’s probably right. I know he’s probably feeling left out of the trip I am taking our son on this weekend. It is something we had planned on doing as a family, but J backed out.
But I can’t focus on that today, I am so focused on my child. I have the most awesome surprise for him this weekend. I am taking him to see Thomas the Tank Engine! Even the hotel I booked is totally train themed. He is going to explode when he sees Thomas and the hotel. I can hear his happy squeals and see the jaw-dropping awe on his face already. I have been teasing him all week that I have a surprise for him and he just get’s so excited. I can’t wait! Oh, and I even got the full package so he gets an engineer hat, Thomas whistle and lanyard with a bunch of Thomas charms (or whatever those things are). He deserves this trip and this excitement. He is such an awesome kid! This will pretty much be our last “hoorah”. After this, I will be out of a job and out of money to do anything extra. So I am going to make it extra special!