I Still Hate Sunday Nights

Sunday nights meant Monday mornings. In the old days, it was about pulling it together to go to work Monday mornings. It was only a few times I didn’t, I managed to function even at the end of my drinking days.

Same Ole Story
Now I am sober and as I have mentioned previously, I have not changed my job situation.  One reason, I am an owner in the company.  When I got sober I took my partners to lunch and apologized, explained that I was getting help.  They were as supportive as they knew how to be but since that conversation about 2 1/2 years ago, lots have changed.  One thing is, ME.

Truth
Being in recovery, I recognize things I never used to notice.  We are business partners and not close friends. We never have been.  We don’t and never have done anything socially.  I honestly don’t think they are capable of having real friends. Neither of them do to this day.  And of course, when I started going to AA and learning more and more about REAL relationships, the more the “notsoreal” relationships faded from my life.  This is the remaining relationship that I am in because I made a commitment that I am trying to live by.

Lies
One partner put his house on the market and has moved his family about 400 miles away.  At the time, we were told that it was a temporary thing, there were some elder care issues. Once the FOR SALE sign goes up it seems less than temporary.  The sign was up before I knew.  The idea was perhaps growing the business.  To this date, a year and a half later the business is not coming in.  He only criticizes this area and repeats statements that he believes we are backward here.  Then the other one has become a Department Head at a local university and is dividing his time significantly – he lives more than an hour away and recently complained that he is working 80 hours a week.  The 80 hours is not for our company.  I have a hard time feeling compassionate when it is his choice to put his commitment with our company on the back burner and we are supposed to move all our schedules around to accommodate these two men, for meetings, calls, etc.

Third Step
I don’t know how many times I have recited the Third Step Prayer in the parking lot before I have gone into my office.  I manage to get through the days but again, here I am on a Sunday night feeling major anxiety.  They treat me like shit, they treat our employees like shit unless they want something.  I have told both of them things are not acceptable but since I “outed” myself as an alcoholic they have distanced themselves even further than before. I am tired to talking to brick walls.

Test
I know my HP won’t give me anything more than I can handle, but it is hard to reach down and believe that it is all going to work out the way it is supposed to.

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Knight in Shining Armour

The last 3 posts were done in order to explain a situation that happened last week.  As I have mentioned, I was working the Steps and completely out of the blue feelings overcame me.  Writing those posts helped and I appreciate your sticking with me.  This blog helps in so many ways.  I am happy that people read it and I truly hope it gives strength and support to others.   For me, there are good days and not so good days.  Last week was a string of several bad days in a row, all brought about by an innocent contact from someone that rescued me from the abyss I had been living in back in 1978.

Spring

The procedure I had in New York kept me out of the water for a couple weeks and there was a significant blood loss that really wiped me out.  But I swam anyway.  Not particularly well, but I did swim.  I went to practice and went through the motions.  After a month or so, I was physically back to fighting speed.  Since I am a documented asthmatic, we told everyone I had been having a rough patch with asthma and again people accepted it and forgot about the strangeness of the situation.  I stuffed it deep inside. Until just recently, I realized how deep it was.  I learned early how to “fake it till I make it.”

My Brother

My brother is 2 1/2 years older than I am.  The “offender” was his age and one of his high school friends that he had left behind when he went into the military. At the time, he was serving at a base about 5 hours from where we lived.  I told him nothing about what had happened and neither did my parents.  It was not uncommon for my brother to show up with friends from far away places at our house or camp for a home cooked meal or at camp for a party.

In the late summer of that year, on one of his trips to visit my parents and I were at camp.  He showed up with a car full of buddies.  It was a great time of cribbage games and laughs.  I was still swimming and under age, there was no alcohol for me but it didn’t matter, we played guitars and had a great time.

After that trip, my brother showed up with one of the friends he brought to camp at one of my swim meets.  It was great to see him and after that visit, we started writing letters.  Then talking.  I had not been involved in anyone since that Spring and this man was kind, quiet and extremely caring.  Many times, I thought he knew what had happened to me.  I continued to burn up the pool, get through high school and think about college.  My new friend was very supportive, showed up at the occasional meet (after driving for hours) and sat next to me on the bleachers, cheered me on. I always felt safe.

An Item

It was known after a while that we had bloomed into a couple.  Kisses and hugs, no sex.  To think back on it now, I don’t know he did it.  The last thing on my mind was sex, but I could crawl up into his arms and he would hold me close.  One day we were riding in his car somewhere and I just blurted out a very small abstract of what had happened to me before I met him.  I don’t remember what it was exactly but I remember  him saying, “I knew someone hurt you, I felt it.  I want you to trust me, I would never hurt you that way. Ever.”

Geyser

I sat in his car sobbing and trying to apologize for being so damaged. I couldn’t stop crying.  I didn’t unload the whole story. But once I had started, I needed to know what I was saying wasn’t going to cause him to leave me too.  I told him about my father calling me “Whore.”  All he said was, ” Everything is going to be all right.  Just as long as I never, ever meet this guy.”

I started slowly to rebuild my trust and he was the reason.  We dated for 3 years.  There was no sex, he treated me like a china doll.  It was my Higher Power helping me heal, helping me to grow up.  This part of the story is over but there is more that will be told later on that had come to light during my Step work.  The Good News is he isn’t angry at me now and didn’t feel like my apology was necessary.  More on that later.

Cleaning Out the Locker, (Part II)

If you missed the last post, let me give you a quick abstract of it.  I just got finished telling you I lost my virginity getting raped by my boyfriend. The post goes into lots more detail but in case you missed it, I wanted this post to at least make sense.

The Good News

…I managed to get back onto the pool deck.  The Meet was still droning on and no one seemed to notice that I had been gone.  I looked up at the clock and it only been an hour. An hour for my whole life to change and on that evening I had no idea just how much.   In other Good News, my event, the event that I was supposed to swim wouldn’t swim until the morning.

Going Through the Motions

We boarded the bus to go back to the hotel and several of my friends were asking why I was so quiet, I made the excuse that I was tired and that seemed to satisfy everyone,  After a hot shower and a change of clothes I began to feel a little better even though my thighs were aching as well as everything in between.  We all shared rooms (2 double beds meant 4 girls/room) there was no room for tears and I just lost myself in my team mates stories, successes and some tears of their disappointments.  We were on a curfew and everyone was pretty tired. We all worked out and many of us, including me had events earlier in the day.  I went to sleep on my side just wanting things to be “normal” again.

The Finals

As I proceeded to the blocks I looked up in the stands and saw my parents and my aunt, plus the normal swim families that were always there to cheer us on.  I was not ready for this event.  Yet I had trained for months and months.  And in one hour, I had thrown it all away.  The Backstroke is an event that starts from the water.  I tried to clear my mind.  I prayed to God for focus and to restore my edge to compete.  It was a tough race and as I swam I felt an overwhelming sense of anger explode out of my aching body.  I swam like a mad woman.  I won.  I didn’t break the record that I had wanted to, but I won.  Everyone was going crazy. I got out of the water, walked back to the bench, looked up into the stands only to see my boyfriend and his fraternity brothers jumping around and slapping him on the back.  Just as I got to the bench my knees buckled and I just started balling.  I hadn’t noticed him before the race.  I wished I hadn’t seen them after, it was just too much energy and emotion rushing from me.

Girls Cry

My team rushed toward me and helped me to the bleachers, I had torn my bathing suit on the corner of one of them,  being reminded of the events of the day before.  They all were laughing and hugging me and making sure I was okay.  One of my friends was massaging my legs.  I couldn’t stop crying.  After a grueling race, people cry,  it was understandable to them why I was.  Only you, me and my boyfriend in the stands knew the real reason.

Still More to come only it gets “better”

Cleaning Out the Locker, Part I

As I started the step work with my sponsor, I was very aware of the fact that I started procrastinating when the “Going Got Tough.”  But because of my impatience, there was also the urge to rush through things just to say I had done them so I could move on to the next thing. This happened when I may not have been thorough in my thinking.  I could “say” that I finished even though I honestly didn’t.

Dirty Laundry

I have it.  Perhaps you do too. That is why I need to work the Steps to have a method in dealing with those things that caused me to drink, drug or whatever I used in an unhealthy way to escape.  Escape from myself.  Escape from you.  Now that there is no drinking or drugging, how do I live?

A Milestone

When I was 16, I started working.  As soon as I could legally work, I worked.  I met new friends from many surrounding towns.  Now many of these people I participated with on a regional sports team and competed around the state and New England.  Because of my athletic discipline, I was developing physically and had the curves to prove it.  The sport I did was swimming. Swimming certainly allowed for less clothes than let’s say, basketball, but I failed to see that my swim suit showed a young woman and not the little girl I was still inside.

The Job

Because of swimming, school and my job, everything was changing for me rapidly.  I developed some self esteem because I was a good swimmer, held records, friendly and popular.  I developed discipline to go to practice, go to school, go to work.  My friends and I were too busy to get into much trouble.  You may call us Jocks and perhaps we were but I generally view it as we had different goals than other kids and didn’t have a lot of time to get into much trouble.

Boy Meets Girl

At my job, I met a boy from the next town that was 3 years older than I was.  He was funny, he was in college and I liked him.  He wasn’t particularly handsome but he lit up my world whenever I saw him at work.  That was a new feeling for me. He had a car and a license.   I had the same name of a girl that he used to go out with.  They had broken up, he had told me the reasons but it seemed to me that he was on the “sad” end of the stick.

One day after swim practice he picked me up.  We went for a ride out to an island and watched the sunset and talked.  Knowing my father had a very strict curfew, we both knew the time we had.  On that day, our friendship turned into a relationship.  I went from being “one of the girls” to being “his girl.” He wasn’t overly possessive but we became a couple and I felt safe and loved and respected around the whole situation.  We held hands and kissed occasionally.

As our relationship grew, the summer came to a close and he went back to college.  We were still “an item.”  I was a sophomore in High School and he was in a fraternity at a University 2 hours from where we lived.  We only had house phones then,  lots of long distance calls and letters.  Fall meant an increase in swim practice.  Because of my ability as a swimmer, I swam on the Girls Team, practiced with the Boys Team and also with the regional team.  I swam and swam.

Fall Regionals

I qualified for the Thanksgiving Regional Meet to be held at the same University that my boyfriend attended.  I was the leading backstroker for that Meet.  Meanwhile, I was just excited to see my boyfriend, whom I had not seen since September.  Regional events drag on for days.  Lots of down time waiting for your turn. I snuck off to see my boyfriend, who’s fraternity house was just down over the hill from the pool.  It was a Saturday night and when I went into the house in my High School Swimming Uniform everyone was happy to see me.  The whole time I knew I was “sneaking around,” I knew I couldn’t stay long.  Breaking rules wasn’t my normal way of operating so I was pretty nervous.  They ushered me into the House and found my boyfriend.  He along with many others in the house had been drinking.  I had never seen him this way.  And as a swimmer I was not supposed to be around alcohol, much less out of the pool.  I would be ineligible to compete if anyone had found out.

After a big smelly hug and a “I am so happy to see you!!  How did you get away?”  My boyfriend and I left the main dining room and went to his room for a brief “one on one” visit.  The minute I got into his room he grabbed me by the arm and pushed me against the back of the door hard and pressed himself and his lips against mine. I would rather not go into the details of what happened next.  But let’s just say, I didn’t plan on losing my virginity that way.  It was rough and painful.  Even though I begged that he stopped, he didn’t.

He Passed Out

I put my bathing suit back on hoping that it wasn’t torn, the rest of my school uniform and ran the best I could, back to the pool crying.  My legs were shaking and I was aching inside and out.  I snuck back into the locker room hoping no one would notice that I had been gone.  I had broken a lot of rules that would get me in serious trouble but all I could think about was my broken heart and lost virginity.

More later…

Personality Clash

When I first started AA, my focus was on not drinking.  What a surprise it was to me to realize that alcohol was only my addiction and it was me that needed focusing on.  I had counted on alcohol to take everything out of focus, so I didn’t have to think about “little ole me…” *meh*

Gay Men

I love hearing comments from people regarding the fact that it seems that gay men have the most or at least the most beautiful female friends.  And why do you think that is? Gay men are not sexually motivated or attracted to women.  Period.  In my experience with gay men (and I have some awesome gay friends), the relationship between a gay man and a straight woman is pure friendship. There is no pressure on either party to “put out.”  And often with gay men, their interests are very similar to a woman’s interests. There is no sexual tension and no concern of it.  If your best friend is a gay man and you are a female reading this, I am pretty sure this isn’t news to you.

It Seemed to Just Happen That Way

Growing up, I was the only girl in a boy neighborhood.  I learned to climb trees, fish and hunt like all the kids did, I just happened to be female.  After I worked through my 4th Step, I realized a couple dark secrets that I had stuffed away regarding my relationships with older boys and some men when I was young.  It is the kind of thing I wanted to forget about.  One of those inner layers of the onion they talk about.

I always have felt more comfortable with men friends than female friends.  Men seem to settle scores quicker, harbor less grudges and be less emotion driven.  That works for me.  Women seem to be hold grudges, be more secretive and stab each other in the back if they think they can get more credit rather than to cheer on another woman.  That doesn’t work for me.

Now

Most of my friends are male.  My business partners are male and my company is all male.  I am wondering now if there is sexual tension that may exist in this environment that I never realized.  I have not slept with any of my partners nor anyone in my company.  But I have slept with many men looking for acceptance or even power, now matter how subtle the situation may be.  I have also slept with men when I am afraid and lonely.  Some of the sex has been spectacular.  But most of it really wasn’t worth it.  I put on weight in the past few years.  I am thinking now I may have subconsciously done it to be less appealing to my men friends and my potential men friends.  This way I don’t have to say no, because the situation doesn’t arise.  And I am not drinking, so I don’t get drunk and end up in bed with these guys.  No harm, no foul, right?  I guess now it is time for the Serenity Prayer…

The Plug Was In the Jug

There are a lot of things that have been hidden away inside me for years.  I never realized it.  I also never realized that my head was crazy or now someone said “wild mind”  or “monkey mind.”  Now I haven’t been called crazy before and I never really thought that my thoughts were crazy ones.

Been This Way My Whole Life

I didn’t start drinking until I was in my late teens and even then it wasn’t much.  I was an athlete and the first few times it was just because everyone else was at the time.  The crazy drinking times came much later but there was a significant “numbing” and “stuffing” that happened since I was a child.  I am just realizing it now.

She’s Creative

I hated math, I hated my math teacher.  She called me stupid in front of the whole class more than once.  I do not plan on putting her on my 8th step list and making amends at this point any way.  She made it clear to me in the 7th grade that I was a misfit.  I was exceptional in English as well as many other subjects but my poor aptitude in math brought me down in everything.  And I wasn’t an “artist” per se – couldn’t produce something that people could see and tell me that I had talent. I buried all that in my head and developed a personality and learned how to work with people, so I was popular in AA I have heard it as being a “People Pleaser.”

Mom

My Mom was relentless in telling us kids to never tease someone that wasn’t “like us.” Always treat people how we wanted to be treated.  She showed us values, morals, discipline and of course guilt.  Mom was brought up in a Pentecostal environment.  So HELL, fire and brimstone was what she understood.  My grandfather was not a church goer so the religion came from the “women folk” and we stopped going to church when we were in our teens.  But the foundation was there to be guilty for just breathing.  Mom was never violent or overly disciplined us.  Anyway not making fun of other “misfits” in school or otherwise wasn’t something tolerated in our household. You “made fun” of no one.  I learned curiosity about differences and not fear or superiority.

Stuffed Full

My dreams were in color, I didn’t tell anyone.  I knew things were going to happen before they would, I learned that wasn’t something that you talked about at school or the teacher would call home, I really didn’t like that because that would create conflict and I hated that.  Still do.

Where It Ended Up

Alcohol dulled my sense of wonder. I forgot to use colors in my decorating, my dreams were still in color but all the hues were trapped in my head.  This along with everything else is starting to bubble up and out. There is no anesthesia now.  Everything is raw.  Sometimes there are tears and I am not sure why.  I did cry when I was drinking and I didn’t know why then always either.  But then there was a lot of things I didn’t know when I was drinking and when I “came to” and decided not to drink anymore the guilt was unbearable.

And so goes the life of an alcoholic…“One Day At A Time.”