Lies, lies, lies

Ben Spencer – Apples and Lies

No I’m just digging in the sand, last to empathise, with your lies, lies, lies… True, they all go rotten in time.

Lately, every time Ben opens his mouth, I hear the lyrics to this songBen with his yellow eyes and beer-tinted breath. If I challenge him, he says it’s cigarettes. He pushes his face right up to my nose (because I’ve taken to sniffing him out like a bloodhound). He pushes his face up against my nose as if he has nothing to hide.

I was searching for a CD just now and found an empty beer can wedged under the sideboard… behind his keyboard. I got that distinct whiff while I was rooting through the CD rack, so I looked underneath the cupboard and there it was. It’s like an Easter Egg hunt in here.

I didn’t ask him about it. I tried, but he was out of it, face closed and unmoving. What’s the point, anyway? He’d just say what he always says: “I don’t know where that came from. It must have been there for a while. I can’t remember.”

The truth is, he probably can’t remember. He’s so far gone now, a shadow of a man, a light wind passing through a deserted alleyway. Sooner or later, the coins will be pressed onto his eyes, the stitch into his lips.

Our counselling session didn’t lead anywhere, really. I said my peace, they said they would talk about it… and nothing happened.

They’re waiting for him to own up to his drinking, to be honest with them and himself. He is incapable of that honesty. I expect he can’t bear to hear it himself. He can’t bear to look at what he has been doing – the lies scabbing one on top of the other.

Alcoholics are expert liars because they believe what they say. They will sit there, beer in hand, and tell you that someone else must have put it there, and when that doesn’t work, that they can’t remember how it got there.

He is downstairs, right now, smoking. He isn’t just smoking, that much is obvious.

Does he want recovery? This is the question I ask him. He says yes, of course he does. But he isn’t trying – not at all. He is taking the piss. Still, his mother is willing to pay for private rehab, and I have convinced him to consider it. I gave him an ultimatum. I’m going away for a month with Rosie. If he doesn’t go into residential rehab while I’m away, he’ll have to put up with having his mother here, watching over him. This alternative is so unpalatable to him that he is willing to take her money and go into full-time treatment.

I don’t believe it will make much of a difference. Well, maybe it will in the short-term, but it all depends on how much work they manage to do on his mind. Regardless of what he makes of it, it’s my way of getting him out of our home. It’s a first step towards my freedom. Maybe it’s a step towards his as well.

If he chooses to take it.

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5 thoughts on “Lies, lies, lies

  1. I am so sorry. I was there not very long ago. My ex called me the “beer police.” It’s hard to explain, but you just know. It could be one beer or ten beers. I tried to put my finger on it. You could almost feel his restlessness in the air. I knew that it was coming. And I could always hear it in his voice. Feel it. I knew which days that he wasn’t coming home before it even happened. It was such a crazy time. I felt crazy. He told me that I was crazy.
    He never went to counseling on his own. We went together in a last-ditch effort to save the marriage. At first, I sat in stoic silence and let him tell her his version. I was uptight. I couldn’t relax. I wasn’t fun any more. After our session, I went to my separate therapist and vented. Finally, I had enough. I told our marriage counselor that I was not able to let my guard down because I was living with an alcoholic. He was stunned. He denied. We never went back.

    • How and when did you decide that enough was enough? What you have shared is familiar territory to me – up to a point. Yes, the denials are infuriating, but I keep thinking, at least he is going to counselling, at least he is attending a day rehab programme (even if he is drinking on the side from time to time – or even all the time?). I must be deluded to keep hoping like this.

  2. Everyone told me that when the time came, I would “know.” Of course, they were healthy people in healthy relationships. I was (am) a codependent. I can rationalize ANYTHING. I didn’t end my divorce because I knew. I ended it when he had an affair. The clarity that I have about the alcoholism is completely hindsight.
    I will tell you this…divorce sucks. Divorce from a selfish man sucks worse. BUT I am raising my kids in a healthier environment. I am “lighter” if that makes any sense at all. I’m not living with that shadow of worry. Is he drinking? Will he come home today? If he does, what will his attitude be like? His drinking dictated everything in my world and I didn’t even realize it.
    Whether you stay or you go, focus on you. I didn’t even know what my favorite meal was by the time I left because everything that I did was based on making him happy to keep him from drinking.
    I don’t advocate divorce because, like I said, it really sucks. BUT I will tell you that you are worth being happy. You don’t have to justify leaving. It doesn’t matter if he is in a program or saying all the right things or he turned the corner and is the best thing since sliced bread. If you are not happy and fulfilled. If you don’t feel like you are living your best life. If you are staying as an obligation to help him…re-think your path. Change your focus to YOU. On a daily basis, think “What would make me happy today?” Take him out of the equation. Because whether you stay or you go, this is YOUR life. You are the captain of your ship, and you deserve to steer in the direction of happiness.

    • Everything you’re saying makes sense. I’m sitting here, right now, wondering where he is. Earlier today, he said his care manager thought he was doing really well. And where is he now? Still not home. I’m so accustomed to the excuses. And you’re right – everything I do is determined by his drinking. This even extends to a fear of missing one of his calls. I am convinced that each time he rings, he may be in trouble, and if he’s in trouble, then maybe I can talk him down from drinking. If I miss his call, I feel guilty. It’s crazy. I ask myself whether I want to live like this for the rest of my life, and the answer is a resounding ‘NO’. Turning that ‘no’ into action is the issue.

  3. Pingback: Trust | married to an alcoholic

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