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Picking up the pieces

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Hi y’all, I’m new here. This is long and dear diary-y but I need to get it out, so thanks if you get through it and have a word for me...


I was with my husband 17 years, we had 3 kids. He became increasingly addicted to cocaine and alcohol and increasingly abusive until I fled with the kids and gave him the choice of rehab or us ghosting permanently.


That was the Mr. Hyde.  The Dr. Jekyll was our favorite person in the world. We adored him. The world adored him. He adored us. 


He had been doing well across the country, I thought. There were clues though.  Working and not going to therapy was a big red flag. A relapse in the spring was another.  I knew he wasn’t ready to come home, and I wasn’t ready for him to come home, because of my own issues. But I wanted us. We were so much better in our interactions. We were healing, slowly.  I kept the faith. I could feel him slipping from me though, somehow. 


Anyway, 8 months into his stay, a few weeks ago, we had a text argument. He said he wanted to come home. I was cold, unkind, harsh in my truth. He said he was hurting, he needed a friend... I apologized for not being who he needed me to be in that moment, told him if he needed anything to let me know. He said “ok.” 36 hours after I last heard from him, I got a call from the coroner.


Our whole world shattered. 2 of our kids are old enough to remember all the best and worst times, and one is just grasping the concept of loss.  


And now I’m here. I’ve written this story a million times, deleted it...  but my friend said reach out. So maybe one of y’all can help me make sure I do right by my brilliant, beautiful, children who have been through a lifetime’s worth of trauma in a little bit of time. For us. For their dad who was dealt a terrible hand and forged an amazing life for himself anyway, but who fell to his illness.


Sometimes these children are so angry. I know it’s normal, but it’s hard to manage “I hate my dad/you/my sibling” energy when I am grieving myself. And part of my grief is the deep seated anger I’m still holding, the anger that clouded my love, that complicates my grief. I am working so hard to keep us from going down the path of anger and violence. It killed their dad, in the end. Drunk, he swung at a stranger and fell, hit his head. It almost killed me, before I sent him away.


I’m so triggered when I see my kids reflecting behavior they learned from our interactions as parents. I’m sick with guilt but I’m committed to doing what I can to reverse that learning.


first thing is putting on my own oxygen mask. I’m the most functional fuckup I know. And I’ve had some big fuckups this year so I know I’m off track. I want to wake up and do yoga and draw and read good knowledge and make myself beautiful instead of waking and baking and chain smoking cigarettes and reading trash on the internet. I have so far been my own biggest obstacle, and I am a formidable opponent.


i have an appointment with a grief counselor this week.  


Congratulations, you read this whole saga. Thanks!


bueller? Anyone?

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I did not deal with addiction with my spouse so I won't pretend to understand or give you advice.  I just want you to know that I read your post and my heart is with you and your children.  You took a major step for them when you insisted your husband go to rehab which tells me you have fierce mother instincts.  You will need to dig deep for the sake of your kids and that starts with a healthy mom modeling healthy grief but I can hear how important they are to you and feel that you will surprise yourself with what you can do Tom build a life for you and them.


Keep putting that oxygen mask on, every day, one step at a time.

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