All That I Have Written Is Straw. . .

Meanderings of a Catholic Devout

Confronting the Past and Retreating

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Thanksgiving was the best Thanksgiving I’ve had in many years, but I did discover a harsh reality while I was celebrating: at one point or another, even though I’d like to think I’ve overcome it, I have to confront and make peace with my past.

My boyfriend and I went to celebrate a board game night with one of my closest friends the day after Thanksgiving. We spent a glorious day together and it was a rare time when he had a break from work.  So we brought some board games over to our friends place and there would be some drinking going on. But it was actually so much tougher than I thought it would be.

While married, I had a horrible experience with my husband’s drinking. I would spent countless hours at parties for people I didn’t know or didn’t particularly care to know. I, myself, haven’t touched any alcohol since 1993 and have no real desire for it.  I subjected myself to these endless tirades of binge drinking because at first it was a way to spend time with my ex-husband (when we first dated) and later it was about concern for his safety.

More often than not, I was the one who was hurt most by the drinking and partying. Many arguments ensued from these events. I felt neglected. I felt torn between pursuing my own hobbies and caring for my vested interest to make sure he didn’t drive drunk. I felt something similar to how a cuckold feels because I was the one who his friends felt pity for when he would lash out at me in a drunken stupor. I was the outcast because I didn’t play along.

So this weekend, I had a minor breakdown.  As the evening of board games went on, it became increasingly obvious to me that my company had left me behind in their drunken consciousness. We still laughed, but eventually, the drunken humor began to annoy me. I wasn’t sipping on alcoholic energy drinks as they were—I was tired. And then I was reminded that I was the sober one, I was the outcast. I wasn’t playing along.

Furthermore, my boyfriend was a bit critical of my lack of enthusiasm toward the end of our evening (with the end being 3 am).  He reassured me of his support for me, but he was concerned that I didn’t want him to have fun. That’s when I began to cry.  All these harsh memories of the neglect from my ex came flooding back.  That was the accusation, after all, from my ex. It couldn’t be farther from the truth.

Quite honestly, I would be content to never see alcohol again. But I know that’s not  realistic. I understand why people want to drink and I’m okay with that.  I also know that I have to confront these situations as they occur. Perhaps the fear will subside over time. I know there will be times when alcohol is a part of the fun, but I can’t promise that I will enjoy it.

It’s very painful to me internally and I can’t quite articulate that to my boyfriend because I don’t fully understand, for lack of a better word, all that I feel about it yet. I just know that right now, at this moment in my life, it’s painful and it brings back some abusive memories. I will, however, give my blessing (if that’s what he wants) for him to go out and drink and hang out with friends, it’s just that I won’t always be there when that happens.  I won’t always be able to play along, which is better for both of us if we want to maintain trust and happiness anyway. 

When I do go along, it will be because I am emotionally strong enough to handle it.

The point isn’t about him, though, it’s about me. I discovered that I even have these emotions to confront. It seems like such a silly thing to be concerned about but apparently I’m a lot more scarred by my past than I realized. I’m sad that my boyfriend had to find out in such an unexpected way. . .unfortunately, so did I.

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Written by Written Straw

November 30, 2010 at 9:24 pm

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