The last week has been a bit up and down for me. I have found myself reflecting on the concept of life being much like an aeroplane flight. If you missed the post you can read about that here : https://patchworkrainbows.wordpress.com/2015/03/27/family-planning/
I am starting to have a much better idea of what I would like my final ‘destination’ to be – although I’m sure my thoughts and ideas will change along the way as I grow as a person. Also ‘my’ destination will have to become an ‘our’ destination at some point as I slowly start to involve other members of the family.
There are going to be plenty of times when we are going to be ‘off course’. Just this last week I have had two evenings when Daddy has come home at 2 am extremely drunk when he is supposed to be looking after the kids the next morning (I leave for work at 6am). So that’s two extra days off work – which I won’t get paid for, not only that I only received a promotion a month ago – so it’s not exactly a good start. I am also currently sleeping on the sofa because I just can’t cope with his alcohol sweats, snoring and flatulence! So I’m getting a lot of flack for that.
Other times when we are off course include times of stress. These are usually for me when I am tired – taking too much responsibility for kids, not sleeping well due to the above, coping with his drinking, sleeping on the sofa! For Daddy stress mainly boils down to having a bad time at work or dealing with me after he has been drinking! (He says).
Periods of stress then generally lead on to periods of conflict. We have been snapping and back biting at each other since the drinking episodes, things are just finally starting to ease down again, and everything seems to get forgotten about and we carry on – till the next time. Really stuck in a rut with this one…
I also worry about the future. What effect will all this tension have on the children? What am I going to do once they have flown the nest? Are we going to make it?
On a more positive note, I have had some great ‘on course’ moments this last week or so. On the days when Daddy has been able to look after the kids, he has not taken them to the pub with him which is his usual course of action (he doesn’t have more than a pint, but I still don’t like the associations that the kids will think this is a normal everyday activity). On three occasions recently he has actually taken them to the park! Three different parks at that. This is a huge improvement and I hope he keeps it up. I guess some of my being more positive and supportive is getting through somewhere, particularly surprising as it’s been such a dodgy week.
I have also brought up the idea of a family meeting with the kids and they are very excited about it. Daddy’s LIttle Princess (DLP) wants to call it ‘planning’. They do this in nursery and reception class. So DLP has been drawing lovely pictures all week of the activities she would like to do over the Easter holidays. Even Mummy’ s Little Soldier (MLS) has come up with an idea! I know DLP has also mentioned it to Daddy and he seemed to be going along with it! So more progress here.
Our biggest issue is dealing with the 2 am drinking binges. Sometimes I deal with this well, sometimes not. Overall I deal with it much better than I used to. I used to go crazy – shouting and screaming, ringing him until he had ridiculous amounts of missed calls and him eventually turning his phone off. That was when I had serious coping problems and most likely depression.
Since those days I decided to calm down. I learnt about the Circle of Influence and the Circle of concern. I realised I had more control than I thought. I realised I could not change him. I realised that only he could change his addiction – it was out of my circle of influence. Instead I made him aware of the following ground rules for him and myself:
- When I’m looking after the children the next day, he may do as he pleases until whatever time.
- When he looks after the children the next day, he needs to be back by midnight. (He does this more often than not.)
- He needs to get his priorities straight. He can be back at a reasonable time when he has to work the next day. His children should be more important than this.
- If I have to miss work due to him. I will take my lost salary from his bank account. (I control the finances as he once got us 27k in debt.)
- I will not constantly ring him. It does not help.
- I will not confront him when he gets home drunk.
- If I take too many days off work,I may eventually lose my job, he will then be the breadwinner (which he can’t afford). He will need to accept this.
These things have actually reduced the incidences, and I’m extremely lucky I have an understanding boss. If anyone else has any ideas, I would love to here them as I need all the help I can get!
I have to keep telling myself it’s never too late. It has been encouraging to see improvements at this early stage. I keep trying to remember the story of the Chinese Bamboo Tree. At first you see just a little shoot – maybe even for many years, then all of a sudden you will see great growth and strength. I just have to keep trying.