I took a few minutes today to look back on some of my older posts. The one that had by far the most comments was the one I wrote about how I almost left my husband back in 2009 when he owned a bar. According to my readers, nothing I've written since even came close to the power of that post. So I thought I'd take another trip down Unpleasant Memory Lane and write about the time I really did almost leave. This took place less than a year ago, in October 2011, just a few weeks before we moved out of the McMansion. I can even tell you exactly what day it was: Saturday, October 8. Yom Kippur.
Husband was back to his old tricks. He was drinking a lot, but the real problem was that he would stop at the bar (now under new ownership) two or three days a week on his way home from work. I sat him down once a week or so and tell him that his drinking had become a problem again. He would promise to cut back, but he never did...in fact, he drank more...he'd stay later and later at the bar because he'd be afraid to come home and face me. And he would lie, lie, lie.
Naturally, I was the villain in his story. After all, he was only trying to find peace after losing his business, declaring bankruptcy and knowing that he had driven his loving wife and child into financial ruin. And here I was, standing at the door with an apron and a proverbial rolling pin in my hand, whacking him over his sodden head as he staggered in, trying (yes, pathetically) to act sober.
My life was pathetic. Oh, I know what you're wondering...did I go to Al Anon? I tried it out, but it seemed (at least in my local chapter) like a place you go when you've already decided to stay with your alcoholic loved one. And I had decided no such thing.
The reason I remember that this happened on Yom Kippur is that I was already committed to being busy all weekend because I was in the High Holy Days choir and was going to be helping set up for the pot luck on Saturday night. That meant my family knew that I wasn't going to be around much at all until Sunday. It also meant that he had to be home on Friday, since I had to be dressed and out the door by 5.
At 4:30, he called me from the car. He was almost home...give him five minutes. He's just turning the corner to the subdivision. He'd be walking in the door any minute.
At 4:45, I called him. He didn't answer. I asked Peaches if she wanted to come with me to services. She didn't want to, and asked if she could be home alone for a few minutes until Daddy got home. I should have made her come with me, but she was almost thirteen and old enough to be home for an hour or so.
Naturally, I had my phone shut off during the service, which didn't end until almost 10 PM. Exhausted, I dragged myself home, to see that his car was not in the driveway. My heart sank. If he wasn't home, I promised myself, I was going to leave him, packed or not.
The only person home was a terrified twelve year old, still awake on the sofa. Daddy had called right after I left and promised he would be home in ten minutes, and that they would go out to dinner. I put her to bed and told her that I had talked to Daddy, he was sorry and he would be home soon.
He finally staggered in at 12:30 that night, crying and apologizing for being an idiot. He also assured me that I wasn't to worry; he had left his car at the bar and gotten a ride home.
Boy, was he ever sorry. But this post is long enough. More tomorrow.