The last time I did this, I was moving to LA to be with the love of my life; now I was moving back to the San Francisco Bay Area to be with my very worried parents. Ah, what a difference 15 months can make!
Last night, I got drunk for the first time in a long time. I love drinking. Safe to say, I think many a fling for me has occurred over a good vodka/grapefruit. But in the past, I couldn’t drink at home.
You see, my fiance (now deceased) was an alcoholic. I couldn’t say it before, nor did many people know… and I definitely couldn’t write about it since my fiance read my blogs religiously. It was the pink elephant in the middle of the room… we both knew it, but if it was mentioned, his heart would harden and he’d close me out even more. Or so it felt.
So for the time we lived together, I walked on eggshells. I knew about it when I moved down, but love blinded me… I thought love could fix it. I never brought alcohol home, never got drunk at home, never gave him the opportunity to see me enjoy it lest he believe I was okay with the vast quantities he consumed.
When I did mention my worries over his drinking, he simply hid it more from me. He would mysteriously disappear into the garage to ‘fix something’ or go to his car ‘to get something’ or ‘take the garbage out’.
As I pack up our house, I continuously note where he hid the bottles: on the top shelves where I can’t reach, under the bed, in a random backpack in the closet, in the garage behind exercise equipment, in a box mixed with paint sample cans.
He had an image to protect, and rarely was drunk in public; but at home, he drowned himself. I would find him passed out at 7pm when I came home from work. It was his dirty little secret, and I helped him hide it. I wanted to uphold my man as the perfect man he wanted the world to believe. Being imperfect was shameful and he couldn’t handle scrutiny.
So we went on, never mentioning it. If I did try, he would assure me there was no problem, he was not like the drunks in A-A, he could handle it, I was blowing it out of proportion, it was my own fault for worrying.
So I drank myself to a silly stupor last night, with my roommates. I threw up like a college freshman living in the dorms for the first time. It was self-inflicted punishment for not calling him out on his addictions; it was guilt for watching him kill himself slowly. It was me trying to understand why he did it as often as he did, and why he had to hide his genuine self from me when all I wanted to do was help him heal.
And in some ways, I understood his infidelity… he saw that I saw his weakness and his shame. At least another new woman wouldn’t see that; she would only know the perfect image he held up to her.
He never could understand that he was perfect in his imperfections in my eyes, because he could only see himself as broken.
So the boxes are packed, and my gut is purged with the extra acid that only too much alcohol can provide. Time for a new start. I look forward to the hundreds of miles distancing me from the pains of the past and inching me towards the new unknown future…