I have lived with an alcoholic for 18 years. I have 3 beautiful children with him. We were high school sweethearts and at first nothing could tear us apart. Not only was alcohol always an issue he was very controlling. Throughout the years you make yourself believe that one day it will change and he will turn back into the man you fell in love with. But when your children get older and start to realize that the situation you live in is not normal and you see them emotionally and physically breaking down, reality will hit you.
I have gone through physical,emotional and verbal abuse so long that I believed it was normal. That maybe if I did this differently or said something different it would make it better. It never did, it only continued to get worse.
I finally got the nerve up about a month ago to confront the situation wholeheartedly and let him know that me and our children were no longer living this way. And that we have lived in constant fear for so many years. Wondering what kind of mood he would be in, if he was dead. There were so many nights that my children would have to hand feed him because he couldn’t hold his head up. So many nights of finding him on the toilet naked passed out. So many nights of walking on egg shells and learning how to be quiet. So many nights of wondering what room he would walk into thinking it was the bathroom and trying to make sure that one of us wasn’t the makeshift toilet. After you confront the situation you become more self aware of your surroundings and the magnitude of what has occurred.
As heart breaking as it has been, I have found a new confidence in myself. I am becoming my own person and so are the children. We have set boundaries for ourselves and are refusing to let them be crossed ever again. Still a work in progress, but I have faith that God will show me the right path.
Thanks for sharing your story. As always, I recommend that people get involved in the Al-anon program. If are with the alcoholic or not it will be beneficial to participate for a while. Learning how to cope with an alcoholic spouse can bring healing into many different areas of our lives. Alcoholism tears many people and families apart. There is always hope though and it is never too late to start learning how to deal with this devastating disease.