Dark, drunk, times

I’m going to try to write about one of the worst nights in my marriage.  This may help explain why I didn’t really want to have sex with this man, even if this kind of night was the exception.

My son was maybe 2 or 3 years old.  It was winter.  As a family we went to visit some good friends who lived nearby and whose daughters are close in age to my son.  These friends like to drink, as do we.  I was driving, however, so stopped after a couple of glasses.

Everyone except me got pretty blotto whilst our kids played upstairs.  We had dinner and went through many bottles of wine, followed by after-dinner drinks.  It was pretty late by the time we were ready to go.  My son doesn’t do well when he’s tired.  He was acting out, as is normal for a little kid.  I don’t recall the specifics anymore but he probably didn’t want to put on his boots.

My husband, who was completely drunk at this point, got really angry with my son.  He picked him up to stop him from running around.  To me, it looked a little rough.  As he picked him up, he stumbled and careened into a piece of art on the wall, with my son in his arms.  He didn’t knock it over but almost did.

I tried, using a calm voice, to get him to put my son down.  He refused.  I could tell he was angry with me now.

We went outside and he stumbled again.  At the top of the stairs, covered with ice, holding the person most precious to me in the whole world.

I said “please put him down”.  My son started crying, asking his Daddy to let him go.  I said “you are scaring him”.

He lost it.  Screaming at me to never fucking tell him what to do, never challenge him in front of our friends or our son, that I was a completely selfish controlling bitch, etcetera, and if I ever fucking told him what to do again he would fucking kill me.  Or take Isaac and leave me…something to that effect.  My son was bawling, looking at me with fear and confusion in his eyes.  This was not what he was used to.

I completely shut down in these circumstances.  I don’t really remember his exact words, but they were vicious.  I write this I can still clearly see his face, feel that awful tightening in my stomach, remember the fear that something would happen to my son.  Worst of all, that thought of “who is this man…I am miserable.”

I should state that my ex never, ever, hit me.  He probably smacked my son once on the ass out of extreme frustration, and then felt terribly guilty about it.  He was hit a lot as a kid and didn’t believe in it should be a part of child rearing.  He was never physically violent with either of us.  I would not have described myself as abused…but there was definitely verbal abuse at times.  It didn’t happen often, but on occasion, like this one, the combination of alcohol and some built up unresolved anger proved to be a terrible combination.

He wobbled, carried my son down the stairs, my son who was crying and calling “mummy?”  Roughly put him in the car seat and then went and sat in the passenger seat of the car.  I went to my son, did up the buckles, and tried to say soothing things to him that weren’t heard by my husband, for fear of another tirade.

It was a few minute drive to our house.  Of course by the time I got our son in bed, my husband was passed out, asleep.  The next morning was horrible – both my son and I remembering the entire event, and my ex having only a foggy memory of it.  After events like this, I would look at him and feel nothing inside.  Wonder how I could still be married to this person who had occasion to treat me so terribly.  But I had no idea what to do.

I don’t think we ever talked about it, but it is something I will never, ever, forget.

0 thoughts on “Dark, drunk, times

  1. Those kinds of wounds may heal but will always leave a scar, for you and your son. There are certain lines that, once crossed, can’t be re-drawn: Infidelity. Physical or verbal abuse. Losing the Superbowl…

    Seriously though, I’m sorry all of you — including your ex — had to experience that.

    • Thanks, Ned… I appreciate your comment. Unfortunately I have many such scars…not a lot that involve my son, but from earlier on in our marriage. I shut down a lot of things to survive.

      • Understandable. And regrettable. That said, you seem to be in a much better place now, literally and figuratively — and I’m glad to know you are 😉

  2. That is really…. I don’t have an appropriate word, BAD! Mommy protective instincts kick in. I am glad that it never got to physical abuse. *big hug* across the continent from me. You seem to be in a better place now. 🙂

    • I never thought about it that way until one day my mom overheard an argument and confronted me with a similar statement. It was shocking to me. I guess I liked to think “oh I can handle it” versus confronting it was abuse and I put up with it.

  3. I don’t want to like this post 🙁
    I’m very glad your son didn’t get hurt. I completely understand the mother-thing. XOX! Good for you to get out of that relationship!

  4. The human soul is capable of great darkness, Ann… as you can certainly attest.
    I’m glad you found your way out of that particular darkness.

  5. Oh Ann, I can relate to your story 110%. I have quite a few similar stories from my own 25-year marriage. I think another reason I stuck it out was to insure that my kids always had a buffer from their father. 80% of the time he was a good to great parent, but that 20% had some bad moments particularly for my son who is very much like me. Thank you for digging deep and sharing.

    • I’m sorry that you can relate to this. Most of the stories like this from the early parts of our marriage I have completely blocked out. It did get better – but with some notable exceptions.

  6. Ann, I only “liked” this post because I want it to save in my reader. I want (my) Will to see this because he experienced this as a child. It has left a lasting impression (in a positive way) on him and how he treats me and our kids. He limits his alcohol consumption because he doesn’t want to open the door for any issues. He does have anger challenges (you probably know what from) and alcohol would exacerbate them, so he avoids drinking more than 1 or 2 beverages.

    I really feel for you and your son.


  7. Ok. So now you got me on a marathon again Ann. Just so you know. I can so relate to your fear. I however also suffered the physical too. Funny how those things never leave. The last time I had him arrested. My 5 year old daughter had gotten up and was watching. I will not leave her with the impression that it is ok. I would not watch her get into a similar relationship and feel that is how love works. I would have to kill anyone who intentionally physically harmed her. So I sent the only message I could. It is not okay. It is not to be tolerated. It was upsetting to all to have him handcuffed and taken away, but I needed to send that message to both the children. (my son was in attendance for the finale.) The police returned hours later because they didn’t think I would come in for them to photograph my bruised face and black eyes.

    • Marathon on my blog? I’m so sorry lol…

      That’s awful about the physical abuse. I just can’t imagine… well, I guess I can to a point. But having to do what you did, that’s very brave. What is your children’s relationship with their father like now?

      • I worked hard with them, telling them he loved them as much as he is capable of loving another person. ( I just can’t bring myself to lie to them about it, and that’s as near as I could come to a nice truth) and I let them figure it out for themselves. They do not have much of a relationship with him, which, sad to say, is probably best for them. I still worry about him wanting to pick a fight with my son, to prove that he (the ex, not the son) is still a tough man. Fucker. I can imagine him drunk, and egging my son on to try to get him to fight, or defend himself. I have also warned my son of that possible scenario.

        Yes. Marathon on your blog. It seems I just get sucked in on occasion. I am not complaining, just to be clear.

  8. Julie,

    There are elements to what you share that are very familiar with my life. I see this non-existent relationship and know that it can change for the better. But, not necessarily one that would be considered a healthy father-child connection. I have a good connection with my father, but it isn’t very deep.

    Marathon-on on Ann’s blog. Her story and her writing are worth every moment!!

    • Thank you Will. My children are without a doubt better off without his influence in their lives. He doesn’t understand unconditional love, and he isn’t capable of being a good dad, much less a great one. Polar opposite of my own experience with my parents. I thought girls were supposed to marry someone just like their dad? Boy oh boy did I miss that mark! Fortunately, he left early enough in the kids lives that he didn’t do too much damage.

      I get sucked in by Ann. It isn’t intentional, but she just…. mesmerizes me. It is funny, I read her posts differently than the other blogs I frequent. I generally have much more to say, she just makes me keep reading. It’s almost as though it is inconvenient for me to stop reading to say something….

      • Unconditional love is something that very few people (men/women) actually understand. I understand it, but I am clearly not the best at demonstrating it, though it is my everyday goal for my wife and kids. Self-sacrifice. One thing that I have carried with me since the day that I entered military service is that my life is not my own. When I served, I would have sacrificed myself to save my brothers in arms. Today, I would do the same for my wife and kids. It isn’t lip-service. I give of my time to them (of which I have very little). I give my attention and compassion. All of that, yet I recognize that I still fail at something, every day.

        I agree with you that girls should see a good example of what to find in a husband. Boys should learn the right way to treat their bride from seeing their father unconditionally loving (his) wife. I write about this as serving. I love to serve my wife in my daily life and in the bedroom.

        Yes, Ann’s blog is easy to get immersed in. I find myself drawn to the comments/conversation with her in addition to her posts. I do love Ann.

        • “All of that, yet I recognize that I still fail at something, every day.”

          I believe that is called a ‘human existence”. All we can do it keep trying Will. I was fortunate, my parents did teach me unconditional love, along with a lot of other values I believe to be good. I think they taught me how to be a good person. Maybe, since it is all second nature to me, that’s why I am somewhat dumbfounded when I learn of something mean and stupid, or see something ignorant. No matter how small. Why would that person drop their garbage right there? Carry it for a couple more steps and drop it in that can! No? Ok, I will pick it up as I pass and do it for you… If I don’t, I often find myself going back to get it.

What do you think?