How wonderful finding your website and charity has been
this evening. I identified with so many of the authors and never believed I had
ever been affected by my dear Dad’s drinking which he died from 16 years ago.
Unlike many of your contributors, we would actively encourage discussing drink in our family and it was always pointed out to us children that there were two sorts of drinker. The social wine and convivial drinker with a career and sex life and hangover and the true alcoholic one who drinks spirits in the mornings in tea cups and cannot function or hold down a job or have relationships and has no hangover, for he tops up. Dad was of course, in his eyes, the former. But he died suddenly at 60 having been up all night drinking and not stopping drinking. He could not stop. It gave him the courage to live but ultimately killed him.
I chose my husband and father of my two children very carefully 18 years ago. He drank very little and had no change in personality when he did and did not obsess about where the next drink was coming from. I always felt very calm around him and he did me a lot of good and still
does. Around our family however were cousins and friends who were like my Dad and even worse – I would look on with pity, thanking God that I had not gone that way. As far as I was concerned I could never really drink – felt sick and had to go onto the tea at 10.30.
For this last 4 weeks I became obsessed and felt I had fallen in love with a man I had been working with. An alcoholic and drug user. In denial. It was thrilling. With a beaten up, sweating face and ruined skin. But with an underlying beauty which you could just make out if you peered into his bloodshot eyes, deeply. Again, I was reminded of my Dad. Both of these men having had lovely looks and vulnerable beauty as young men (I knew this from photos of this man).
Both were tormented by feelings of failure in terms of their career, lost opportunity, initial success, promise and could not come to terms with their current position in life. (We work contractually away from home and so it is unlikely we will meet again unless I instigate it).
I fantasised throughout the weeks and he flirted outrageously – and eventually when the contract was coming to an end he kissed me in moonlight and I just swooned – it was as if I was in touch with my childhood, my true self. I ran back to my hotel room and collapsed in what I thought to be romantic rapture.
I knew I could cope with this, I thought – I knew about drink and drinkers. The man is charismatic, fiercely intelligent and wonderful at his job. All such aphrodisiacs for anyone. And considering he drinks every day of his life and Scotch if he can, in fact anything he can get hold of – he can function exceptionally well. He paces himself, he drinks gallons of lemon doused water throughout the day for dehydration…It is what he looks like that is shocking.
I felt I had come home at last, the tearful, maudlin drink talk. He said it was amazing as he felt so comfortable with me but not of course comfortable with the situation (my children and husband). Of course he felt comfortable with me I understood the addict and would unconditionally love him for being one! He gave me bravura and I offered my bed, was willing to give up my children for that night. To stand on the precipice. §He refused and cried and said it was really a great temptation. Kissed me again I mistakenly took this for honour and inner torment.
Maybe one day he said, not to rule it out altogether but he now must go. There was a hidden agenda lurking. His friend was waiting for him on the corner and becoming impatient. Calling persistently on the mobile.
It was bizarre. It was 1am. Urgently needing him – he had to go. I was left alone in an unlit unsafe area late at night in an area I did not know and I did not question it was enormously selfish of him to leave me there alone.
I found out later that the friend is a cocaine user/supplier and they couldn’t wait to drive off into the night and climb the ecstatic highs that coke can bring. They had been getting paranoid with many police around on this Saturday night and needed to move on.
But I was left to fend for myself. It made sense.
Before reading your notes on co-dependence I had definitely considered offering just my friendship from now on, of writing to him and seeking him out, being of help to him in his work and now I see I was needing him to need me. I was delusional. This hurt. I see now that this might have ruined my life forever, I see that it is perfectly normal for child of a drinker to seek out this sort of thrill and be profoundly attracted to this sort of person. Since I have been with my
current partner I have had no interest in anyone but this man. The hardest, most raddled of drinkers I have ever met. His extreme condition filled me with excitement. Awoke a deep need in me.
I am walking away from it now in my head and it is with the help of your insightful website and lots of tears that made me know myself a little more before it was too late. I have just now managed to sleep for the first time in 3 weeks without disruption. I hope this story can be of some help to any of us survivors, Many thanks. Just had to pour all this out.