The following story is a true refection of a young, married woman, who with no fault of hers, found herself in a situation where her husband became a victim of alcohol and drug abuse. She tries to find a reason and searches for help and a solution to the problem. When one reads the story and reflects well its content, one will realise what it actually means to find oneself living with someone who is a drug and alcohol dependent.
Here I am, in a new and confused situation, feeling at a cross road.
What shall I do? – Should I file for divorce or separate him or should I wait?
What shall I do? – Should I seek the help of Family Services or should I wait?
Where is this situation going to take me? How am I feeling right now?
What is this feeling? Is it fear of the unknown? I wonder.
I still have feelings for this man whom I married nine years ago – I still love the one with whom I shared laughter and fooled around the house with as a married couple – a young free spirit full of love. I still love the man with whom I shared my dreams, my hopes, my first love and my first steps towards the unknown. I still love the man who spent Christmas eve expressing his emotions and trying to guess what gifts I got him for Christmas. I still love the man who shared with me the birth of our first born, encouraging me throughout the process and finally exclaiming to everyone in the room “it’s a girl! It’s a girl!” I still love the man who used to visit me at hospital, bringing the children with him and taking care of them whenever I was ill, who cried when he saw me in that state and took care of me, fearing that he was going to lose me forever. Oh God, where is that friend, that soul mate that I loved so much?
Today I look at this man whom I’m living with, tough and cold hearted, a man that hates my body and ignores me except when he wants to fulfill his sexual desires.
Today I look at this man, whom I wish to hug and wrap my arms around him. Instead I find a lost, drunken person. A cold, sweaty person whose arms would not hold when I try to wrap them around me as if I’m an animal trying to keep warm – So I start crying.
I pray to God to bring him back home safe and thank him every time I see him in the doorway. At the same time I curse the same moment that he is back with him not even giving me a glance and slumps himself drunken on the sofa or else swears at me for something frivolous I might have done in that moment.
Alas! Maybe if I love him more, I can help him out of this problem. If only I could help him! Look at me, begging, crying, shouting, getting angry and praying. Look at me blaming his family, God and also myself.
My God when will this story ever end? Sometimes I unload all the pain on God but then I take it all back to carry it by myself again. I love, I hate, I feel ashamed; I close up within myself feeling unloved, unwanted and alone.
But God every now and then, through his love and infinite mercy, finds a way of placing the right people in my path; good people who truly love. He listens to my prayers; He sends me love and peace to help me make it through each crisis. Sometimes I feel Him wrapping his arms around me telling me “My child, you had enough” and I feel uplifted until the next bout of crisis comes along. And once again, I would grab my children and leave everything behind. I feel lost and confused.
I still love the man who is eventually killing himself because of his alcohol and drug addiction, yet I don’t want him to take me down with him and drown me further. I turn to God for help – for the last time, I am ready to help the man I love, this other man who is hidden, buried in the grasp of alcoholism; the man behind this crazy, irresponsible, drunk, heartless individual.
Even if I integrate well within the assistance and proper guidance of Family Services, I will still turn to God to help me go through this road of pain and uncertainty because I trust in Him.
If the man I love, the man who is hidden behind the mask of this heartless individual, pleads for help, both the children and myself will be behind him all the way and help him make it through his recovery. We will thank God for His gift, for giving us back the man, the father we have known, the real man behind that mask.
Yet, should he refuse help, I will take hold of my children’s hand in one hand and the other hand in God’s hand and day by day we will face whatever comes our way, conscious of the fact that the love we lost to alcohol and drugs, gave us the chance to learn, helped us grow and gave us the strength and the courage to go on without the man we love. And through God we learn that the feeling of compassion is always given to those who are truly suffering yet with God’s help, they will survive.