Last week I had a sneaking suspicion that my journal had been read. This week I am faced with another option.
Then – 2/22/2004
“I went to see ‘Dr. Brody’. It was good to see her even though I was nervous. I explained what’s been going on the past 2 years since we saw each other last (she was the marriage counselor for ‘Carl’ and I). We talked about how ‘Carl’s’ alcoholism has affected me. She asked what I wanted and we talked about a separation. She said that another option could be to have him stay in the house as long as he followed some rules. If he broke a rule, he would have to leave.
I’ve been thinking about what she suggested; I guess the rules are things that would make it easier for me to live with him. I’ve been thinking it over and I’ve come up with some things:
- He would need to know that I’m ready for a separation but I’ll make this choice if he understands exactly how I feel. We will be living together to raise our children. No expectations at all.
- If he drinks, he’s out immediately.
- We need to discuss alcoholism with the kids and take ‘Erin’ and ‘Dan’ to Al-Anon meetings.
- He needs to work on the house and keep busy.
- He needs to continue to work at his job and not make excuses to take off.
- He needs to have a backup plan for where he would go if this option doesn’t work .
- He has to continue getting therapy and taking care of himself.
- He needs to be accountable.”
Wow that’s quite a list! I now know why my therapist suggested that I try this option; she had known me for many years and, although we hadn’t seen each other for a 2 year period, she knew I was having a very difficult time coming to terms with the decision I needed to make. This was an in-between step; a precursor to the decision to stay married or get divorced. She was providing me with an option that didn’t feel like “all or nothing”. At the time it felt like the right thing to consider.
When I wrote that list, I truly felt that IF he could do all the things on the list then everything would be fine. Denial can play some interesting mind games. I see now that I was once again putting myself in the role of parent and giving my “child” his rules; abide by the rules or you’ll be punished. Except punishment wasn’t being sent to his room, it was leaving his home. I can see now that this wasn’t fair to him or to me; I just wasn’t ready to make a clear cut decision.
Thankfully I had started to attend Al-Anon meetings and was slowly discovering the nature of my wrongs, my character defects, the awareness of my part in things, that I wasn’t a victim and how I had to keep the focus on myself and my own recovery.
Next week – No intention of having this conversation