This breaks my heart. My mother has been married to my alcoholic father for 42 years, and for 42 years she has shielded him from the consequences of his actions, because she knows that his consequences would likely include jail, and public humiliation. Hers, more than anything. Even though she knows everybody already knows. Her entire family (LARGE family) and his, too, allow him to behave like a spoiled, entitled, abusive, corrosive dick. They literally have been trained (by my mother’s example) to act as though it’s all perfectly normal. And these are people without any other addiction running through their lives, so for them it MUST seem so messed up. But mom is so sweet, and they know that if anyone makes him mad or holds him accountable, he will take his rage out on her and they think they’re protecting her. And I get it. But let me be very clear: my ex-husband was an emotionally abusive bastard, and it would be easy for me to blame him for my fall down the rabbit hole of addiction, but the truth is an addict is an addict is an addict, and I would have been one with or without him. The way he ended our marriage was abrupt, and cruel, and unforgiving…and it absolutely saved my life. He let me fall. I was homeless, had lost my job, totaled my car, lost temporary custody of my children. I had nothing. As in, NO CHOICE BUT TO PICK MY SORRY ASS UP OFF THE FLOOR AND DO WHATEVER IT TOOK TO GET MY LIFE BACK. Or lie down and die. Every time we make excuses for an addict, or cover their ass, or propagate the “it’s normal” myth that everyone is aware is a lie but they stick their head in the sand, we are decreasing the addict’s chance to recover. It’s hard to see someone you love hit bottom, but what this man had to endure was far worse than that. My father has tried to kill my mother more than once. He beat me senseless when i was a child, regularly. Once, he was mad I got home 5 minutes late and he burned all of my clothes in the fireplace. He has given me a lifetime of scary, horrible memories and guess what? Because we all had to act like everything was fine the next morning, and he is a blackout drunk, he honestly has no recollection of having done most of it. He’s forever asking mom why I don’t talk to him; he feels like a victim. And just to clarify: I don’t hold my childhood against him anymore. I’ve let that go. The reason I don’t speak with my father is because he is still repeating those behaviors today, and I’ve finally learned how to set a boundary. Until he admits something might be off, I can’t put myself or my kids in that situation. And as long as my mother picks up after him, he’s not going to do that. Their dysfunctional relationship is killing them both. It breaks my heart. I’ve seen this disease claim many lives and every one of them was worth living. Alcoholics in recovery are some of the brightest, most creative, funniest, kindest and most compassionate people I’ve ever known and it’s devastating every time one of them doesn’t get to be that person and alcohol wins. I grieve for this man’s loss.

I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up, but I know I want it to be spelled right and punctuated correctly. I guess that’s something.

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