Thursday, January 26, 2012


Why is that when you make a decision to make some changes, to be kinder, to be gentler, more patient, the universe decides to throw the most awkward, infuriating situations your way? Or is it that the situations haven't increased but that I'm just hyper-aware of them when they occur? Because it feels like the universe is shining a spotlight on me and I'm standing there, with this sheepish look on my face, muttering, "Damn it, you didn't handle that well at all, Melinda." Maybe it's a little of both.

There's something heavy on my mind, sitting there like a ton of garbage, about someone whom I care about. It isn't my husband or my children, not to worry. I can't, won't, write about it here. Just that it's there. The situation is what it is, but it's confusing to me. Extremely unsettling. It feels like a severing. And I don't know how to handle it but I don't feel like I've done a good job thus far. This was the first glaring spotlight of the week.

The second spotlight involves the ex. He's an alcoholic. He's domineering. He's extremely frustrating. He rants. He's petty. He's selfish. He's the father of my two daughters and he breaks their hearts almost everyday. He doesn't live in the same state, but he calls them a lot and visits. He's also been very financially supportive of them these last six years. He loves them. When he's sober, he's almost normal. They have pleasant conversations where he encourages them, tells them he loves them. The girls and I have a general rule where we don't answer his calls after 6pm because he's probably drunk or on his way. Lately, the time seems to have moved up to 3 or 4pm. My daughter who's away at college, made the mistake of calling him at 8pm and ended up hanging up on him. He called her back 17 times. She didn't answer. She called me, crying, feeling guilty and I soothed her. I decided to call him and ask him to stop. Tried to reason with him. It started out calmly but quickly escalated to the place where I was holding the phone in front of my face and yelling at it, trying to hurl my words directly at him. He never shuts up when he's drinking. He doesn't listen. He's belligerent. He threatens to disappear and to stop helping financially. And then I hung up on him, the old rage and frustration literally running through my veins like an electrical current. My hands were shaking and my heart was pounding. And after I've calmed down, talked to my husband about it, I think "Damn it. You didn't handle that well at all, Melinda." I know better than to try to reason with an alcoholic in the middle of a good drunk. God, do I know that.

I'm human. I realize that my emotions are going to get the best of me sometimes but I really want to get to that place where there's a whole lot less of, "Damn could have handled that better, Melinda."



Jackie Jordan said...

This a touching, yet disturbing account of an episode not unfamiliar to myself. My suggestion is to avoid any and all contact after 5:00 PM - this may be difficult, but it will reduce the traumatic episodes. My ex-wife was an alcoholic, and when I learned of her using various weapons, e.g., curtain rods, belts and clothes hanger against my girls, I tossed her out in a flash. Good luck, and remember that your children deserve peace, tranquility and serenity in their home, as do all children. Best wishes ...

Dan Kent said...

I can so relate to this. I had gotten to the point where I thought, I have finally conquered anger - I can handle all situations evenly and calmly and then life has thrown curves that have thrown me off balance, and I find myself sometimes reacting in ways that I regret afterwards. The struggle for complete self-awareness and control begins again.

And, by the way, it often happens that way - one situation weighing upon you causes adverse reactions in another.

So congratulations, you are indeed a member of the human race, with a lot of company. As far as I can tell, though through this virtual connection, there is more humanness in you than in a great many (and that's good).

Mark said...

Hey, we all have moments where we say, "I could have handled that better." We're all human, not robots and emotions take over sometimes. Usually it's for a good reason. You're not alone.