Friday, March 19, 2010

Break Up Letter to an Alocholic Friend

Dear friend,

Over the past few months our families have grown close. Our kids get along, our spouses get along, we get along.... It's a rare occurrence for us to find a family with whom we get along so well.

I've enjoyed getting to know you and your family over this time, but as I am quickly finding out, I know you better than you thought, better than I thought, and that is not a good thing for any of us.

You see, you, my friend, are an alcoholic.

At first I thought I could handle it; you didn't seem to change when you drank. You acted pretty much exactly the same as when you were sober. You were funny and smart and considerate and good with the kids. But I slowly began to see the subtle differences in your behavior - and they began to scream at me. Your moods changed at random and you would forget things said in the conversations that took place no less than 20 minutes prior, including promises made to your children.

As much as I want to deny it, I don't think we're going to be able to spend much more time together. Last night was the last straw when you made my child cry over how she ate her dinner. I was happy at the fact that she was eating at all, and eating as much as she was, but you had a problem with the way she took her bites and felt the need to address it.

"We don't eat spaghetti like that at our table," you told her, "and if you can't eat the way we eat, then you're not gonna eat at all."

While you were explaining to her the "proper" way to take a bite of spaghetti she decided to take a drink, which you practically slapped from her hand.

"Pay attention when I'm talking to you!" you demanded and she started crying. Hysterically crying. Having a difficult time breathing crying. It took me twenty minutes of sitting with her and talking her through her breaths to get her calmed down. And then, when she had eaten 3/4 of the enormous bowl of spaghetti you made her and I told her she could get up, in remarks made to your children about their own dinner, you made me feel like a bad mother for not making her finish every bite.

But the thing is: I know I am a good mother. I feel it was what I was born to do, and I won't have anyone questioning that in any way, whether it be outright or insinuation.

I am all for house rules, but my daughter was not eating her spaghetti in any way that was rude or in need of correction. She's 5. So what if she dangles the short bits of noodle into her mouth before the bite rather than have them trail out of her mouth and slurp them back in the way your children were? What harm is she doing?

So long as I am around to parent and discipline my child, I would appreciate it if that is left to me. But as long as you are drinking the way you do, I don't see you having the presence of mind to consider me or my child, as it seems you have little concern for your own children, upon closer inspection, while you are drinking.

Promising your children candy after dinner, then forcing them to go to bed directly after dinner with NO candy and no promise of the candy being made up tomorrow is not cool. I know that to you and me, going without candy after dinner may not be a big deal, but those kids were heartbroken. All three of them cried themselves to sleep last night because you broke your promise. You berated them until they finished each and every bite and then denied them the whole reason they had pushed themselves so hard.

I imagine that it would be difficult enough spending time around an alcoholic for someone who never had to, but I grew up with alcoholic parents and seeing the way you act towards your kids while you are drunk really hits me hard. I feel the need to protect your children from you; but in doing so I am exposing my children to your addiction and the beast that comes out of it.

It is out of the need to protect my children from that monster that I bid you and your family farewell. It will not be an easy split, as Gracie loves your kids, but I can't have her and Kairi seeing that. I would like for them to remain innocent just a bit longer, if possible.

When you are ready for the help you need to dig yourself out of this hole, call me and I will be there. But until then, please leave me and my family alone.


MommyLovesStilettos said...

I'm sure that was difficult to write. *HUGS*

Anonymous said...

Awww, I am so sorry your daughter had to be the blunt end of this. I hope you sent this letter to your friend. I hope she gets it one day, before it's too late to create a better future and relationship. Yes, the past is damaged, but the present and future are often times for change.

I was just wondering, ignorant though, since the children get along so well, would it work out if the children (only) come to your house, or maybe picking them up and taking only them to the park. At least they will have that moment to witness a caring loving person. Often times, it is these moments that breaks the cycle.

Mamma Pie said...

Wow, good for you for seeing it as it is. It's hard to be honest about alcoholism sometimes but ignoring it hurts worse in the long term. Hugettyhugetty hugs.

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