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Friday, March 21, 2008

Alcoholism

Let me start off by saying, this is something I know very little about. Yes, I do have an aunt and uncle who are both "recovering alcoholics" but neither one of them have had a drink in about 20 years. And they were having their issues when I was a very little girl, and I don't remember any of it.
This is not going to be an anti-alcohol rant. I actually enjoy a drink every now and then. I've been known to pick up a pack of Kahlua drinks, or get a margarita, or even share a Corona with Mr. R. In my entire life, I have *never* been drunk, or thrown up from drinking, or driven drunk. As soon as I knew I was pregnant with one of the kids, I stopped with no problem. I have been *tipsy* however, and that is normally from one drink. That's it. And you know what, I like it that way. I don't let alcohol control me, I control it. That's how I roll.
So it always takes me by surprise when I run into someone who deals with alcohol addiction on a regular basis. Mr. R's best friend from middle and high school, is a chronic drunk. In high school, it was funny at parties when James would get drunk. But that was more than 15 years ago. What was funny in high school is pretty pathetic in your mid 30s. Where everyone else grew out of the party mode, got married, had kids, started careers or got jobs, James kept drinking and partying. At this point, James is 35, unemployed, and still living with his mother, who supports him, and his girlfriend, who also supports him.
I guess this is where I come in...I've befriended James' long-suffering girlfriend, Angie.
Angie is very sweet. We actually have quite a bit in common. We are both moms (her son is not James's son, he is from a prior marriage) we are both voracious readers and music lovers. Both in our 30s (but she's 5 years older than me) and both of us have been at our jobs for quite a while. She is also going to college part time at night, and I'm proud of her for that. But the fact that she is subjecting herself to James on a regular basis (they've been together over 7 years) just befuddles me. I mean, WHY?!?!
He has hit her in the past when he's drunk. He won't work. He steals money from her. He takes her car in the middle of the night to do drug runs (yes, he's also addicted to crack). He sleeps all day while she's at work, and then bothers her all night while she's trying to sleep. He will wake her up at 3am to ask her for ten bucks, or to get up and make him something to eat. And if she doesn't do it, he will either hit her, or threaten to destroy her property. So this woman who works full time during the day, and goes to college in the evenings, is not even allowed to sleep in her own bed. He downloads porn on her computer and sends it to MY HUSBAND on his cell phone. When Angie complains about the treatment, he tells her the way he treats her is normal, and she should be grateful to have a man like him. And she...believes this. I don't understand it.
Anyway, we talk every day on instant messenger. We chat about kids, music, sex, James and Mr. R, holidays, work, college...I mean, nothing is left out. We've actually only met three times in person, but we've become very close, and I adore her. I've also...I don't know if counseled is the right word. But I pull out my Bible and type in verses for her when she is having troubles. So I guess that would be counseling. I've talked to her about marriage (basically begging her not to marry James) and how real men treat their women. You know, by actually having a job, and not beating them. Ahem.
Angie comes online yesterday and tells me that James has decided she is not allowed to speak to me anymore. You got that right...we got grounded!!! I am so...outraged! Who the heck is this man who has decided who *I* may or may not spreak with? I am 32 years old, I will speak to whoever, whenever I want! But Angie was all apologetic, about how she will miss me, and all that. And I said, "Angie, you can't possibly be thinking about obeying James on this." And she laughed it off, so I thought we were good.
This morning, she has her out of office on. Looks like she decided to shut me out, because James told her to do so.
I'm sad for my friend Angie, and royally ticked at James for doing this to her. James called Mr. R last night, and Mr. R didn't have time to talk to James because he was dealing with the kids. But I heard Mr. R tell James not to send him porn on the phone again.
I'm so, so, so blessed that my Mr. R is a good, Christian man who loves me, and loves our home, and loves our children, and most importantly loves our Lord. What a life we would have without the grace of God.

5 comments:

Julia said...

Thanks for responding to me down below.

My heart breaks for women like Angie. She probably doesn't think she can do any better, and doesn't want to be alone. I wish she could see what this is doing to her son. I bet her parents were disfunctional and she knows no better way. So sad.

Laurie said...

Having been in a very similar situation (minus the physical abuse) I would say the best thing someone could do for me was to not judge me for staying with my husband and just be available to listen if I needed someone to talk to. We are now living apart, but I hope and pray he will be ok someday. I just can't subject myself to insanity of his addiction on a daily basis any longer (the part about him taking her car in the middle of the night made me tingle all over). It took a long time for me to get to this point though. It doesn't sound like Angie is there yet. I would suggest that someone call the police when he is physically abusive to her. He shouldn't be permitted to hurt her this way and it may jump start something where he is required to get help. She doesn't sound strong enough to do it herself. Just a thought.

Sarah R said...

Laurie, thank you for your comments. I hope it didn't come off that I was being judgemental. I am quite concerned about Angie's mental health and her safety as well. Thankfully, her parents have custody of her son and so he at least is not being subjected to this craziness.
Laurie, I hope your situation improves soon. I'll be praying for you!

Julia, good to hear from you again!

Laurie said...

Sarah,

You didn't come off judgmental at all. I was just thinking back to how I felt when this stuff was going on regularly in my life. It was just so helpful to know there were a few people I could call over and over again who never made me feel funny or judged me.

Thank you and I really enjoy your blog.

Sarah R said...

Thank you Laurie!