Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Day 39 - Talking to chips

Life doesn't always go to plan does it? Fear not, I'm still sober, that bit went OK, I got through my crazy sober life yesterday with chips. The rest of yesterday didn't really go as planned. It wasn't bad as a day, but it didn't really go to plan. It was just hard, not bad hard, not life threatening hard, just yukky I don't want to think about any of this, hard.

I had to cancel my first therapy session as I had a family funeral, I wanted to show some support. The addiction support folks understood, but have a 'two cancelled appointments' and your off our list policy so I hope I've not got a strike. I did phone and explain. And so to the funeral. My SIL's Mum, a long long sadly lost battle with cancer. I met her once, a nice lady. She got buried in turquoise and flip flops. A real character. So full of life.

Afterwards, I wanted to sit and have a 'pleasant' catch up with my family over drinks after, at the wake. Well we caught up, mindless small talk for five mins, but then all the usual 'feelings' were there and I ended up snapping and acting like a petulant child. My mother was doing her usual shouting and hissing at everyone out of ear shot of the main group my step-father exploding back at her. My two brothers barking at each other, snide comments, barbs, jibes barely civil. Publically sitting together, close enough to snipe away unnoticed. Are all families like this, not the ones I've seen. Could have been worse I guess, if my sister had been here too, we'd have all had a go at each other.  We're olympic at family bitching sessions.

Its so stupid but I wanted to tell them I'd stopped drinking. I also wanted to say, I've really been struggling with my daughter and her leaving, and ask some advice. I mentioned it a bit (the daughter stuff) and got told very sharply how difficult I was as a child and she'll grow out of it. And, I should be pleased as I'm 'shot' of her now.

Huge, mental slap, thoughts retreat, mouth closes and smiles at the rest of the conversation round the table. Easier to stay silent. Ah families. That cosy and fuzzy feeling. Did I really expect a hold of the hand and 'sweetheart what's up'?  Erm, no.

My mother isn't good at the social stuff, I get that. So she left quite quickly. I told my brothers we should try catch up soon. We agree. Will we, who knows. Empty words? My brothers hug me, my mother hugs my sister in law. I nod to my mother and wish her well. She says 'Happy Christmas and New Year', I'm dismissed until after the new year then am I Mum? Okey dokey. Pointless asking you if you'd like to pop in for a mince pie then next month? How's 2015 looking for me?

Same old, same old. I need to bite my tongue. I'm so hurt.

My SIL is obviously hurting badly, I feel so bad for her. She's lost her Mum, she kept telling me how supportive my mother is and so huggy and loving and kind at least she's got my Mum still she tells me how lucky I am. I just had to smile and say how glad I was my Mum was there for her. And, I am glad for her and for my Mum, what they have 'works'.  She's a lovely lass and I'm glad my Mum has connected with her. I really am. My Mum needs someone.

My inner voice was sulking not at SIL, but at my life, at my old family life. Hmm, as far as I can remember I've had one hug my whole life when I thought I'd failed an exam. ONE. I was 12 and she stood like a board then as she did last year when I tried to hug her after my wedding. Huggy is not what I'd call my Mum. She's about as 'huggy' as a brick wall with glass in it stiff and spikey, unresponsive. Oh yes I have mother issues. And, family issues. Yesterday didn't really go to plan at all. I'd hoped I'd act better. Nope. Sometimes I guess I get jealous and sulky and act like I'm 12.

I never see my family, I can't face it. We've been trying to see each other more (the siblings), but its just not working. Its still 'shouty' and hard. I've been trying to make an effort but, quite frankly, I try for a bit, every now and then, and then retreat into my own corner disheartened. We're too different. I've been trying with my mother too, since the kids were born, but she just isn't interested. Or maybe she just don't know how to be with me or I don't know how to be with her? She's no interest me or in my kids, aside the odd present of money now and again. Never came to see them in the hospital, doesn't remember birthdays, Xmas or anything. She's just not a people person. She doesn't do families, she isn't interested. Sometimes I think perhaps, I'm an interloper, love and family, friends and life is all I live for. I don't care about money, only love.

I'm passionate about my own family, my friends and my own life. I have no room for bad words or apathy. Life is for living and living well and fun.

I left at 16 and made my own way. I made my own choices. My own family, my kids, my husband, my friends, they treat me nicer. Far nicer. I treat them nicer too. I really shouldn't have snapped at my mother, I must apologise today, if not for her, for me. I don't live my life like that anymore. Not with angry words, confrontation and shouting. I should have known better, but each time I see her I try and try, stupid really. I often revert to the angry petulant teenager I was. Its vile. I hope one day she'll open up and we mend it all, other days I'm so angry at how we all are, mangled. Why did that happen.

If you try and talk to her about anything related to feelings she blames my Dad, my alcoholic Dad. The vitriol and malice in her voice spits out like bullets. She left him when I was 12, I'm 46. I feel pain that she's still so bitter and angry, she thinks he robbed her of her life. Its hard to know what her story is. She's remarried now, to a shouty shouty angry man, but he doesn't drink. She managed to get three 'your dad was a fuck up comments' into half an hours chat, the nodding dog (my stepfather) spurns on the rage at the dead man. I feel sorry for her, sorry for my brothers, sorry for her choices, sorry for her life and our 'family' life. Its mangled, been mangled for years and its still mangled. I feel so sorry for her and angry for me, useless emotions, I just want to help her. I want her to feel the love of her family, she's too closed. I don't know why, I can't reach her, I think she's depressed and always has been. I reach out again. And, I've tried again and again. I'm sorry my Dad drank, if that's why she's like this. It seems insane that I drink.

I want to shout and say, look you've four kids, we're here. Lets make this work. You've 5 grandkids, 3 great grand kids, feel the love. We can help you feel better. We can love you. I've tried, nothing gets through. We'll probably not talk again this year. Maybe not until next year, who knows. I always make the first move, I always call first. I don't mind that. Often I'm just pleased she remembers who I am. (Said without malice, but maybe a tiny bit of remorse for myself and my own kids.)

Needless to say I didn't share the 'guess what I might be just like my (dead alcoholic) Dad, but I've managed to stop drinking for now'. Go me!

Nope, didn't feel like sharing, so I drove home alone. Feeling alone. I'm OK with alone, I've felt alone for most of my life. Its safer.

Driving home, rushing home, I didn't stop by a friend, I just wanted to get back to my space, my home. Its empty but I'm OK with that too. Its full of love even when its empty. 

Oddly, I didn't even want to buy wine, all the way home mind thinking, what will make you happy. What will make you happy. You're hungry, angry, tired and whilst not 'lonely' you're alone. I know about HALT so my mind was thinking up solutions. Its a clever thing.

We got chips, me and my bruised ego. Hot steamy, salty, just out the fryer chips. Cheaper than wine too. Right now I don't care about calories.

I didn't have any money left after buying the chips and there was a homeless man selling the big issue. I went to the ATM and got out a fiver 'wine money'. I went back and gave the fiver to him and offered him a chip. 

'Aaw, thank you hen thanks a lot. Keep yer tea hen, have a great night, eh?'

No biggie, I'm not loaded (rich) but I'm not drinking tonight. A fiver hardly seems enough to give, but its what I have 'spare'.

I look at myself and my 'old' family and the lack of support and lack of kind words, the lack of visible love, the shouting and the confrontations, the noise, the lack of respect and think about this man, homeless on the street selling a magazine to survive today, I don't know his story. He doesn't know mine. I'm not sure I know my own story.  Lately I've been thinking so much about my childhood, who know's where that's come from.

I don't miss the noise, the clenched fists the barbs and the 'fuck you' mentality. I don't miss feeling angry, all the time. 

It was hard for my mother I know that. Really hard, so I don't blame her for being so cold. She was just coping, how she knew how to, married to an alcoholic, that can't have been easy with four kids, she left him when I was 12. She had an affair with the shout man she's married to now, aside the shouting she seems happy??! I just wanted something different for my own life. I feel bad for abandoning my own family at 16, so young, but I needed something different. Probably quite selfish of me, when you think about it.

But, today I thought as I walked passed the homeless man, I thought, there for the grace of god go I. I often think this, my life could have really been so different, so much harder than it is now. Another reason to keep on working at the sober stuff.

I know I'm lucky now, in this life, I went home to an empty house with plenty food in, bag of chips in hand, then a hot bath and early to bed with some internet watching about addictions and drink culture from blogs like Lucy's and a lot about Robin Williams and his openness about alcoholism and addiction to cocaine. He's so honest.

He always makes me smile. I'm really sorry he's gone, he looked like such a great Dad. My dad was good, he drank, but to me, he was good and loving, at least that's how I remember living with him.

Sober Mum. I reached out to my own daughter, she texted 'busy, exam tomorrow', that's OK for now, exams are important, her life is important. I just told her I was so proud of her. 

Sober Wife. I told my husband over the phone about my day, he's gently told me he doesn't know why I keep trying, but he understands why I do. Am I OK. Yup, I'm loved here in this life, that's all that matters. 

Sober Girl. I reached out online to the lovely sober forum I'm on and got some virtual hugs, I'm so lucky. I asked a RL friend to chat tomorrow. She'd got in touch late last night and had been drinking (like I would have) and I just couldn't deal with her chatter, which is selfish, she's lovely, she loves me, I love her, but we'll talk today when she's sober. I can't handle drunk right now. We'll talk when she's sober. 

One things for sure, I'm the only one who can change me, to stick to a plan or cope with things when they don't quite go to plan, I do that, I have to cope. Even if that means lots of chips too.

PS Sorry to share, but I promised myself when I wrote this I'd be honest with me and my feelings. I know there are folks who've had a far, far harder time of things than me and I wish them so much love and the strength to find a new life which is right for them. I don't regret my choices, even if they were hard. I know I'm not the only person with family issues. And, they're not as bad as some.

Mostly I'm good now. Well aside the alcohol thing but we're working on that right? xx

I do waffle on, so thank you for getting this far! If you've something kind or helpful to add or just want to say hello. Please drop a line below. I'd appreciate that. Thank you.


  1. This is your space Daisy so you write what you feel comfortable sharing. I've emailed you. I can relate to all of this more than you can ever know. Big hugs xx

  2. Oh, Daisy, sweetheart, if it's not one thing it's your Mother, sorry you had such a crap day, dealing with the family stuff 'raw', is really rough, go very gently on yourself today, you've earned it. QuietlyDone

    1. Thanks quietly done some days anything can set me off.