Sunday, February 26, 2006


Never been a fan.

My tastes in alcoholic beverages did not include any clear liquor. Beer (especially Canadian) was my first choice. Red wine was my second--usually an Australian shiraz, although a beefy barolo was sometimes a good choice. And every once in a while, I would crack open a single malt Scotch--my preferance being either the very peaty Laphroaig, or Ardberg, especially on a windy wintry Sunday night like tonight.

I haven't had a drink of anything in more than a year, though. Watching someone you love disappear into a bottle (as well as two different kinds of pipes) will do that to you. Especially since all the booze in the bottles disappeared over the course of several months, but was never drank by STBEW*, according to STBEW. I've never bothered to replace the stuff that turned up missing.

I'm not an alcoholic, nor am I a teetotaler (if anyone still uses that phrase). It's just something I haven't done. Should the situation arise, I might possibly have a drink. But right now, the situation hasn't presented itself, and I'm not forcing the issue.

STBEW has not lived here since August of 2003. That was when she finally decided to do something about her drinking and drug abuse, and checked herself into an inpatient facility. She still has a key, though. She went from inpatient to one halfway house to another, and it never occurred to me to get the key back. Then, when she moved into an apartment, I let her come over, and do her laundry, or watch the kids over here. Even when she told me she wasn't planning on coming back. Ever.

Sometimes, though, I wondered if she was taking advantage of me. I discovered a bag full of another man's clothes in my basement a few weeks ago. I told her that will not happen again. And then on Thursday, I found an empty vodka bottle in the basement.

Vodka was STBEW's drink of choice. It was in a part of the basement that had been rearranged since she had left, so it was not a leftover. Someone, at some point since she left, drank this booze in my basement.

You may think I got angry about this discovery. I did not. I am hurt by it, but not angry. I left the bottle out, and when STBEW stopped by later that day, I asked her about it. No, of course it wasn't her, she said, and how could I even think that, she said, and it must have been from before she entered rehab, she said, or our second son** must have drank it, she said, and I'll just have to trust her.

She said.

I've been running this stuff through my head since then, and I've come to a conclusion: I neither want, nor need, to trust her. Whether or not the bottle is hers doesn't really matter--if she's drinking again, she won't be able to hide it for long. If she's drinking again, things will start to deteriorate for her very quickly. If she's drinking again, it will be a tragedy.

But it won't be mine.

Whether or not she ever takes another drink, or smokes another rock, is none of my business. I can't make it my business. I am taking this incident as a sign that I need to separate myself even more from her. On Monday, I will tell her I need to talk to her. Not 'we need to talk,' I need to talk to her. She needs to hear me tell her to give me my keys back.

My fear is that she will then tell me she cannot watch the kids when after school, or when I work my other jobs.

My response to that will be: OK.

I have no other choice. I can't be part of this anymore. I cannot have an addict in my life.


**Who may or may not be an addict, but certainly behaives like one. Just about one year ago, after he had been out of high school for more than two years, but did nothing but work part-time at a video store, I gave him an ultimatum: Get a full time job by the end of March, or leave. He's gone, and still does not have a full-time job. Until recently, I had let him come over on occasion. That also ended


Blogger Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

I got deja vu...

Didn't you post on thinking about kicking her ass out a while back?

Get to it man, people leech all you have.

6:44 AM  
Blogger Notsocranky Yankee said...

I hope you talk to her today and get that key back! She's been taking advantage of you and you don't deserve that.

1:22 PM  
Blogger Balloon Pirate said...

It gets unbelievably complicated when kids are involved.


2:56 PM  
Blogger United We Lay said...

Hope things are going okay.

4:39 PM  
Blogger Dear Lovey Heart said...

good luck my friend

5:21 PM  
Blogger mal said...

she is drinking again and you do not want her anywhere near your kids.

Do not ask for the keys back, change your locks or have a locksmith rekey them. There is no guarantee she does not have duplicates

I hate to sound hard nose, but it is the best way to assure she does not cause more problems for you and the kids

5:31 PM  
Blogger Guy Wonders said...

"Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results"*

You've decided to do something different. Not everyone in your shoes would have the strength to do that. You've also had good reasons for hanging in there up until now . . .

(*So says Ben Franklin)

9:44 PM  
Blogger Jessica said...

Ay ay ay. I'm with Mallory.

11:37 PM  
Blogger Colleen said...

can't do the vodka man. makes me so sick. one drink and i'm sick.

but, i'm a rum girl and that makes me happy.

hope everything is ok. sending you a hug, mijo

10:37 PM  

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