Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Day 27. The love and relationship solution

Surrounding yourself with positive and supportive relationships

FOUR

Love makes the world go around....unless of course you drink uncontrollably and the effects of this burn your relationships with your family, friends and other important people in your life.  I feel so pleased that i have great loving caring genuine relationships with people. When i would get party drunk, i would never abuse people, or say things i didn't mean that i would regret.  Same same drunk, same same sober.  Have fun, get silly, go to sleep and keep the friendships with those i love and cross paths with intact.
I shared on a few other posts about events that have occurred involving alcohol and my father and ex husband, who i spent 10 years navigating his ongoing alcohol fueled and sober outbursts. I am going to share another story of being on the end of my ex husband's extreme abuse at the hands of alcohol and the reason is, that today is about the affect of alcohol on relationships and i am going on an honest journey here which has involved linking alcohol with pain, rather than pleasure to help us step further away from wanting alcohol in our life. I don't think the linking should be only about my drinking habits, but the effect that someone else's has had on me.

I remember the date.... 8 December and my husband had a work lunch with a pretty boozy crowd.  I knew he could drink and there had been a few things happen before that made my alarm bells ring, but i wasn't prepared for what occurred on this day, but i knew what to expect any other times in the future.... We had swapped a few messages throughout the afternoon and he was his usual kind of jokey self and we agreed that i would drive in and pick him up from the city when he was done. Day turned to evening and eventually he asked me to come and collect him. I got to where he said he would be and he wasn't there, so drove around and found him sitting in a bus shelter. He didn't seem to bad and he got in the car and we started driving home.  We drove about 50 metres and he started screaming at me in this really frightening and aggressive tone and accused me of stalking him all afternoon and night and comparing me to his ex partner. I'd never experienced this before.  I tried to reason with him, that he had asked me to come and get him and he just went even more crazy.  we had to stop at the traffic lights and i was like fuck, i am in fear of my life here and didn't know what to do.  His terror was relentless.

His aggression and anger was unwavering and it just kept escalating.  He then tried to get out of the car and i told him not to as i was driving, so he started smashing his fist against the windscreen so hard and so many times that the windscreen smashed. Can you imagine the force that would be required for this? By this time, i was trying to find a place to pull over as i was scared and still he didn't stop.  When i pulled over, he got out of the car while still screaming at me and i was left in shock. He then turned his sights onto an unsuspecting taxi driver who was watching what was happening and started abusing him and wanting to get physical. There was no point trying to intervene so i drove home and left him there.

I rang one of our friends and asked him to come as i honestly thought my husband would do something stupid to himself or someone else.  I was worried about his safety and put his safety first. I didn't put my own safety first. I should have called the police. I was so scared and didn't have anywhere else to go, so i went home and hid in the spare room down beside the bed in fear that he'd come home still carrying the rage.  Our friend eventually found him down in the local church ground. he had ripped his shirt to pieces and was a fucking raving mess.  We lived in an apartment complex and when he showed up back home, he was still going off his nut and i was watching him trying to be calmed by our friend (the whole complex was watching) as he just kept screaming abuse at me. When he came inside, i didn't know what to expect, but i was still hiding in the room and he was yelling at me to get to bed and to stop being ridiculous.  For fear of further possible abuse while watching him smashing his way through the house, i went to bed and laid there like a rock - to scared to move, sobbing silently in shock and fear, as he hopped into bed and went off into blissful passed out slumber.

Next day, i couldn't bare to be near him and he had NO idea of what had unfolded the night before.  It was like it was my problem, i had caused him to act that way - not the excessive amount of alcohol that he had been drinking for about 10 hours, along with whatever deep seeded issues he had to vent on. He got up, showered and was the good guy again - the loving kind passive aggressive husband - he had moved on, never to give it a second thought - cause for him it never happened. I was so detached all day - i had honestly never had an experience like that before from a man i was living with who supposedly loved me and i kept my distance from him throughout the day as best i could.  I knew if i said anything that didn't comply with his sense of being a victim that more would come my way. There was no apology or offer to repair my car and it just came back to being my fault and his kind words of ......so, this is how you are going to be all day? Like how is my not wanting to engage with you and my verbal account of what happened not a sign that drinking was not a good thing for him or how he treated me.

This was just one of many similar alcohol related incidents that occurred over the years, where i was made to feel like i was the reason that they happened, when in fact i was never the reason, i was the excuse for someone to abuse alcohol and abuse people..... so with today's theme of love and relationships, the impact on alcohol affecting these is very high, very real and all too common place.

In this chapter, we look at why it's important to surround ourself with positive relationships and how to heal damaged ones. We get a realisation that no matter how much money or possessions we have, it's meaningless if we don't have love, relationships and people who we value while we live aligned to our core values. We learn that problem drinking will lead to isolation and loneliness as you begin to shut out the people you love or the people who love you begin to shut you out, so we need to make healthy authentic relationships with others. It's okay to have regrets and be a bit vulnerable and use these to create meaningful connections and we look at how drinking can break agreements with others and ourselves and the affect this can have on your life.

People and relationships are the foundation for living a fulfilled purposeful life, so why would we risk ruining or jeopardising these? Well, i understand to some degree how it happens, but circumstances are different for everyone but i think you definitely have to reach the point of seeing who and what you may lose before you can actually be willing and open to embracing a change.

We did have 5 action items today and they all relate to what impact and damage alcohol has done to relationships. Which relationships do we have to clean up and sort out? Are our current relationships positive and healthy and if not, should they continue? What agreements did we break with ourselves or others? Talk about cleaning up your back yard! The other action item was a visualisation to merge our old drinking self with our non drinking self and combine the good qualities from both of these people into one.

I have to say, i feel pretty happy with my relationships with others, and feel like i can put hand on heart and say that i don't believe i have done something, or hurt anyone through my habitual - not problematic drinking and if i have, i would hope that any person may come to me and let me know so i could apologise.

So, how did the relationship with myself go today?
not enough sleep but that has been the norm through writing about this journey
I feel fresh
Had post work drinks and the whole day seemed to revolve around people's desire to get to that drink
It was the first day along this journey, that i wondered what the fuck i was doing, when everyone else was socialising wine or beer in hand
I did feel a bit flat in the evening
and i still have a bit of a sugar craving.
There is a lot to reflect on Day 27 and this is the last day in the week of mind, body and spirit. One of the topics in today's chapter was about a study of people in their last weeks of life who shared their epiphanies - it seemed that most had the same 5 regrets with 2 of them relating directly to relationships with family and friends and for me, the best times i have and memories I make are with people i genuinely love and who genuinely love me back. Sure memories i make on my own are great, but with others, they are even better and that's why i have made my little friends and relationship mantra above - commitment, caring, cultivation and contact.  And it's a great reminder to tell those who we love and care about, that we love and care about them.  Here's to positive and healthy love and relationships.

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