Living With Alcoholism

I am no stranger to alcoholism. Most of my maternal Aunts and Uncles were alcoholics. My only American cousin is recovering. So is my ex-brother-in-law. I probably know a bunch of secret alcoholics too. There is one alcoholic with whom I have to spend a lot of time.

My new boyfriend.

Just to be clear, he does not drink anymore. He went to rehab about seven years ago and hasn’t fallen off the wagon. He’s not a “book carrying” alcoholic. He doesn’t preach. He doesn’t go to meetings. He simply doesn’t drink. He smokes and gets “impaired”, just not with alcohol. I’m proud of him. He saw that alcohol was ruining his life and relationships and did something about it.

Selfishly, I must admit, sometimes it sucks. He doesn’t care if I drink. In fact, he has an excellent knowledge about wines and cocktails and doesn’t give a shit if I drink a bottle or two on a Saturday night. It’s awfully kind of him. What does suck is that it almost puts a very thin invisible wall between us. It separates some of our interests.

Bars are out. I love bars. Dark, empty bars with good jukeboxes. I love a beautiful wood bar with a footrest and a hook to hang your bag. I love to knock back a couple of beers in an environment other than my kitchen. But alas, no bars for him. I mean, why would he even want to go to a bar? Sometimes I almost catch myself saying “Wanna meet at ______?” only to realize what I am about to ask. So no bars for us.

Parties are a huge deal. I get invited to a party, tell him and then the questions roll out. “Is it a big drinking crowd?” “Is it going to be rowdy?” “How long do these parties last?” After the inquisition usually come the assumptions. “I’m really not into large crowds with blaring music and drunk people blabbing all night.” Sigh. Dude, I’m almost 40. My friends aren’t a bunch of heathens, in fact, I’m probably the wildest of any of them. And weddings. I love weddings. So much fun! He recently received a “Save the Date” for a wedding of a guy he bar tends for (I know, funny, an alcoholic bartender) and he agonized over it. I mean, he just wouldn’t stop. “I don’t think I want to go.” So don’t go. It’s really not my scene to be around 400 drunk people swinging towels around on the dance floor. I’ve never been to a wedding like that.  “Maybe I should just send money.” IT’S A SAVE THE DATE!!!!!! STOP IT!!!

Finally, there is the fear. The fear that he may start drinking again. He’s had sips of my wine and I don’t see a problem with that, but the last thing I want is for him to fall off the wagon and his family blame me. I think I’m also scared of what he acts like when he’s drunk. I’ve know him for a long time, but I didn’t know him during his dark days of drinking. I don’t want to know that man.

I love him. I accept him for who he is and what he’s been through and who he has become. I know I can go to a bar with my friends and most of the people in my circle are already married or divorced. I don’t know how to explain it, it’s like wanting to visit a beautiful vineyard with the love of your life and knowing that can’t happen.

I’ll give up the vineyards.

 

 

 

Good Friends and Beach Therapy

Seagate Beach. Brooklyn, NY.

Seagate Beach. Brooklyn, NY.

I was heartbroken and sad this week  (post to come, but I just can’t write about it yet)  and I didn’t want to do much except lay around on my couch or in my bed and feel sad and empty.That lasted for a day and a night until my friend “Big Daddy” stepped in and commanded me to get the fuck out of bed and meet him and my buddies “Mama Lu” and “Chick Pea” at the beach.

I always keep a beach bag packed in my car, so getting ready to head to the beach solo is a fairly easy operation. I just throw on a suit, pack my essentials in a little ziplock bag and bring a bottle of water. I know my friends come fully prepared with food and drink.

I got into my hot car, feeling empty and blue, hit some traffic, thought about my bed and finally got to the beach.  My friends were missing from their easily recognizable “station.” They were in the water and I set up my little spot and lotioned up until Chick Pea came strolling back from her dip.

Chick Pea doesn’t now about the relationship I was involved in as it was clandestine and she and I are not as close as we used to be. It was nice to be around someone who didn’t know about what I had gone through 24 hours earlier and just shoot the breeze. Chick Pea is adorably hot. She’s 5 feet tall, an Italian-Puerto Rican beauty who resembles Jessica Alba, though I find her to be prettier. We chatted for a while and caught up on shit until Big Daddy and Mama Lu came strolling back from their swim. Immediately, Mama Lu gave me a big kiss and Big Daddy offered me food and drink. I couldn’t eat much due to some stomach problems I have, but I love an Icy Coke and he gave me one.

It was a beautiful day! I was only about ten miles from my house, maybe even less, but what a difference I felt laying around on my oversized beach towel than in my oversized bed. The sun felt so good on my face and body and when i finally couldn’t stand the heat any longer, I hopped into the ocean with Big Daddy, floated on my back, talked with only our heads above water and that’s how I began to feel–like my head was just above the water. I wasn’t sinking anymore.

I stayed pretty late and I felt the despair starting to come back as I drove home to what would be my lonely apartment, but I had begun to heal. I have a long way to go as he was an essential part of my life for a long time and as the summer comes to a lazy close, I realize I may not have much beach therapy left, but what I do have are my friends. My irreplaceable, funny, kind and generous friends who have stood by me through all of my madness. I suppose every group of friends needs one madwoman.

I am thrilled to be theirs.

The Five Hundred Dollar Letter

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Some of you may remember how upset I was in my last post “Crying in My Coffee” about my (ex)husband wanting to introduce my little girl to his new girlfriend. You may also remember that as I was having this conversation with him, I simultaneously     e-mailed my attorney. Today I open my inbox to find this:

Dear Mr X,

My client advises that the parties previously agreed that the child would not be exposed to any unrelated persons involved in an intimate relationship with either of the parties during litigation.

Please advise you client to refrain from introducing his girlfriend to the subject child as we would like to avoid motion regarding the same.

Very Truly Yours,

The Best Attorney EVER

Yeah, he charges $500 bucks an hour, but he gets shit done. And $500 is worth its weight in gold for my peace of mind.

Yay Justice!

Crying in My Coffee

Last night I called my daughter to say goodnight to her, as she is staying with her father this weekend. A few minutes after I hang up with her, he calls me back. He wants to talk to me about something. He tells me he has this girlfriend (you might remember her as the “massage girl” from “My funny Divorce.”) I knew they were seeing each other, but he drops this bomb on me.

Him: She’s a very important part of my life and is going to be in it for a long time. I would like her to meet our daughter.”

Me: Absolutely not.

Him: Why? I’m having some people over tomorrow and i won’t introduce her as my girlfriend, just introduce her.

…I open my email and start a note to my attorney and her child advocate with one hand as i hold the phone with the other hand…

Me: “We’re not even divorced yet. She’s still getting used to two homes, she just started Kindergarden–why are you going to fuck with her mind even more? I don’t want her around that cunt. I know who she is. You talked so much shit about her over the years. If you bring that whore near my daughter, expect to see me in court this week.

Him: I want you to understand, she’s a very important part of my life and isn’t going anywhere. There’s going to be a time when they meet.

Me: (Typing and talking) Now is not the time. I don’t want the three of you behaving like a family. I don’t want her to try and be my daughter’s mother. (Now I’m crying…)

Him: Well, this is why I called you. This is co-parenting.

Me: (In my mind: Shut the fuck up.) I already wrote an e-mail to the attorneys about this.

Him: I really don’t think we should get the attorneys involved.

Me: I do. I will. I am.

Him: I’m glad we had this talk. She won’t be meeting her any time soon.

We hang up. I start crying. Why do I have to fight for everything?

I try to go to sleep. I toss and turn and finally drift off as my phone rings.

It’s him again.

Him: I just wanted to let you know that I’m sorry that I upset you and that everything you said about the changes she is going through is right. I’m really sorry I upset you.

This morning he tells me he cancelled the party. It was all a ploy to get this cunt to meet my precious daughter.

I’m still shaken up and teary eyed over the whole thing.

And I got my period.

Fuck.

The Loves of My Life: A Preface to All of the Men I’ve Loved and Lost

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I love love. I love being in love. I fall in love easily and have gotten my heart ripped out of my chest and held in front of my crumpled body, dripping and bloody. I’ve cried. I’ve brooded. I’ve written angry “I hate you” letters, knowing they were really “Why won’t you love me back?” letters.

I’ve mailed them.

I’ve been thinking about about love over the past few months and all of the many men I’ve been with since I was fifteen years old. There have been one night stands, flings, monogamy, marriage, and quite a few affairs. I’ve been thinking about these many men, some of whom I thought I loved, but realize now, I didn’t.

I didn’t love them because my heart no longer aches for them. I don’t care much about where they are, or what they’re doing. They are simply chapters that have been edited from the book of my true loves. I remember them, but not fondly. I don’t long for their touch. My tears, I realize now, were a waste of my precious bodily fluids. My brooding, a waste of my time. The sex may have been good. But it wasn’t love. Just sex.

I get confused sometimes.

But there are a few who remain deeply embedded in my heart, in my soul and in my mind and I know that is where they will always remain, because when I think of them, I feel the aching.

I wonder.

And I want them back.

All of them.