“Just the facts, Ma’am”

Fact 1:  Certain types of alcohol consumed by husband lead to his loss of bladder control.

Fact 2: Drunk husband does not care if pants are wet for urine is sterile.

Fact 3: Next day, sober husband does not believe me when I tell him about wet pants.

Fact 4: Several days later, and in the same clothes, drunk husband gets very upset when I ask him quietly to please  change pants for we have company.

Fact 5: Husband then tells me that he does not want to be within 20 feet of me ever again.

Fact 6:  Next morning sober husband wants me to be with him when he skypes his overseas woman friend for the first time.  (I said no thank you)

Fact 7:  I am on a slow train to crazy.

Fact 8:  I am thankful for Lysol Laundry Sanitizer and Clorox Wipes.  Those things are amazing!

Fact 9:  God has given me a peace that passes all understanding.

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A Tale of Two Days

Day 1:  I woke up with a song in my heart.  It was a typical normal day just like the ones that used to be common in my house.  There was no yelling or fighting.  Nobody was passed out on the floor.

I was reminded that I am loved by God, that he has chosen me, and that I can be used by Him in spite of my flaws and scars.

All day long I just felt like bursting into a rendition of “Oh What a Beautiful Morning”.  So, I did that frequently.  It was a good day.

Day 2:  I woke up with a song in my heart.  (Specifically, it was “Good and Gracious King” by CityAlight.)  It was a typical normal day for alcoholics and the wives who still love them.

Drunk husband was in the kitchen yelling and slamming doors because I had asked him to change his soiled pants.  I was embarrassed when I had to inform him that his pants were wet.  I know that, deep down, he had to be embarrassed, also.

All the drama of the moment and my disappointment of his behavior could not drown out the song running through my head.  Throughout the day I generally did not want to break out into glorious singing.  Still, my heart was at peace.  There was a sedated joy inside me that circumstances could not extinguish.  It was a very good day.

Friendship

Dear Facebook Friend,

I have not tried to dismiss you, ignore you, or try to pass myself off as better than you.  I have withdrawn from socializing for several reasons.

My life is full of heartache and is very complicated.  I really cannot handle being exposed to your personal difficulties at this time.  I already have a close circle of friends that tell me the good, the bad, and the ugly about their lives.  I feel as though my plate is full, please don’t give me anything else.

The noise of life is overwhelming at times and I just need a quiet room to retreat to.

If I converse with you, can I tactfully avoid questions and keep parts of my life secret?  Yes, we Christians are supposed to bear each other’s burdens, but there are a few people in my life who are already doing that for me.  I don’t know if it is right for all the Christians in my life to know what my marriage is like.

There is still a sense of shame that I deal with.  Did I encourage my husband enough?  Did I build him up or help to tear him down?  Am I handling my anger properly?  If I had been a better wife would he be this way?

I am angry for the hurt my husband has caused me and my children to go through.  If I talk with you, I might say something terribly unkind and inappropriate about him.  Nothing good could come from that.

Now is not the time for me to be a social butterfly.  It is not your fault.

Sincerely,

your facebook friend

Reacting to a Threat

The other morning my husband was drunk and very angry about lots of stuff.  He was yelling at me because, in his mind, I am the root and cause of all things wrong in his life.  The end his temper  tantrum was, “Fine.  I’m just going to kill myself.  You can have the insurance money and I won’t have to listen to you anymore.”  He slammed the door and stormed off to his mancave.

I had to dash off to work so I did the only thing I could:  pray.  That morning every song on the radio morphed into a prayer for my husband’s heart, mind, and soul.  The entire work day was dotted with quick snatches of prayer.

Now, most days I don’t specifically pray for him.  Sometimes I wonder if I still love him.  It took a potential crisis to stir my heart.

insecurities

It started a couple weeks ago when I overheard my husband tell a friend that I was not obese, but I am fat and it bothers him.  (For over a decade I have been the same weight and a solid size 12.  In the past 3 years I have gained 5 pounds.  Some of my pants are a little tighter around the waist.)  Of course I cannot fit in my wedding dress thanks to genetics, several pregnancies, and menopause.

I can justify lots of things in my mind, but that comment still made me a little depressed.

Every other day the next week, husband decided to tell me that I must be stupid.  One of the times he told me that was when I was trying to think of a polite response to an unkind comment he had made.  I didn’t just want to blurt out the first thing that popped into my mind.

Even though I have several academic honors, can beat the pants off him in a Scrabble game, and can fix stuff around the house that he cannot, I was still bummed out by his comments.

The song that kept popping into my head was from Casting Crowns:  Oh my soul you are not alone, there’s a place where fear has to face the God you know…”   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DjNZf878ISQ

My insecurities are really a form of fear.   To get over them I needed to rediscover some of the depth of the love that God has for me.  Would I let the opinion of my husband mean more to me than the facts laid out in the Bible?

I am greatly loved!

A Return to Folly

For almost a month my husband had cut back on his alcohol consumption by about 75%.  He even did a couple chores around the house this week.  All the talk he did about getting a job soon was looking more and more like it could be a reality.  I still did not believe that he could hold a job, but I smiled and nodded whenever he brought it up.

This morning was a sharp and sad wake up call for me.  9:00 a.m. and husband is so drunk he is stumbling.   I had checked the alcohol supply earlier and noticed that he hadn’t had that much (relatively speaking).  I was so disappointed in his behavior.   The thought kept popping up in my brain that he shouldn’t appear so drunk on that quantity of alcohol .  Is he now “late stage”?  Is his liver past the point of no return?

No time to talk for I had to go to work.  The first song on the car radio spoke what was on my heart:  “God, when you choose to leave mountains unmovable, give me the strength to be able to say it is well with my soul.”  I was able to worship a bit.

Either I have gotten very good a compartmentalizing my life or very good at trusting God’s plan for me.  Perhaps a little bit of both.  Today I was able to do my job without anybody even suspecting that my heart was breaking just a little while earlier.

When I and our youngest child came home this evening, my husband was still drunk, unsteady on his feet, and did not care that he had soiled his pants.  Proverbs 26:11 says,  “As a dog returns to its vomit, so fools repeat their folly.”

I grieve for the man that used to be a good husband and an excellent father.  I ache because our youngest had to see his dad in that condition again.

The verse for today is Hebrews 12:1:  “Since we have such a huge crowd of men of faith watching us from the grandstands, let us strip off anything that slows us down or holds us back, and especially those sins that wrap themselves so tightly around our feet and trip us up; and let us run with patience the particular race that God has set before us.”

God, take away my pride, fear, anger, and callousness.  God, give me the patience to run my particular race.

afraid

I am typically not a deep,  introspective kind of person.  The other day a song on the radio made me suddenly realize that my life was being overwhelmed by fear.  Yes, I know that “God did not give us a spirit of fear, but of love, power, and a sound mind” , but was I living that verse out in my life?   Sadly, the answer is usually “no”.

I choose to not ask my husband to do chores around the house for fear that he will get mad at me.   I don’t  like being thought of as a cranky old woman.

I choose to avoid him and stay in other parts of the house.  I am afraid that I will get angry with him for being so lazy.  I am afraid that he might suddenly feel the need to badger me about having sex.

I choose to not check on him when I first come home from work or when I first wake up in the morning.  What if  he had stroked out or was dead?  If I have to call an ambulance, I don’t want to  desperately need to pee while waiting for them to arrive.  Our animals need to be taken care of before that, also.

I don’t kick my husband out of the house because I am afraid that if he is on his own, he will get drunk and put his life in danger.  He could easily get beaten and robbed or drive under the influence.  If that happened, would I feel guilty for the rest of my life?

I don’t kick my husband out of the house because I am afraid that the cost of him living elsewhere will eat up the retirement savings that we have.  Am I being practical, or am I not trusting God with my future?

Isaiah 41 tell me, “Do not fear for I am with you.  Be not anxious for I am your God.  I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, surely I will hold you…”   I choose to believe that.