It Hurts and Vacation
one of the most amazing things about working in Europe is that you get 25 days of vacation right off the bat!
having worked my entire life in the good ole USA i don't know what to do with myself.
of course i do, i've seen so many beautiful european cities (barcelona, florence, pisa, rome, prage, budapest, etc, etc.) i've also been to a lot of great EU member states due to my work, the most interesting being estonia.
anyway, i decided to take a trip back to the good ole US and see my parents and brother.
it's been really nice and relaxing but part of being an alcoholic in recovery is that you find that those around you trust you a lot less than you would like for them to. it is a frustrating feeling, especially at 37 years of age when your parents are nervous if you take the car anywhere, but you can't blame them, you can't blame those who love you from still having quite fresh scars from all the times you lied to them. as a rational human being i should see this but as a living emotional human being, i had a blow up with my parents about how i felt like i was in a cage. stupid of me, all it did was hurt them and them tell me about the sleepless nights they've spent sometimes wondering what/how i am doing in Austria.
i carry a lot of grief around with me. the greatest grief of course being what i did to my wife. the love of my life. the woman i met as a girl in college, the one who has been with me for almost 18 years (so basically our whole adult lives). and its weird how grief works (at least for me). it's not like i'm spending every day walking around with my head down, moping. no, this grief is far worse. it is acute. it grabs me when i least expect it.
the other day i was at trade joe's with my mom and all the memories flooded up of us going shopping. how happy we were in our happy times. prodding each other, giggling, laughing, loving, just us, in our own little world, safe and secure from anything and everything that this fucked up, non-caring world would throw at us.
and of course while i was in TJ's i saw couples, giggling, laughing, loving, just like we used to; and i just lost it. of course i did the manly cry, where it stayed inside, but the tears flowed too heavily.
then my mom comes up with two jars of milk, asking if i wanted 2% or whole and she saw me, red-eyed, tears cresting around my face. and she was shocked, but then you could see the mother's concern come right after, wanting so badly to make it all better, because that's all that mother's want to do. take away their child's pain. she asked if i wanted to leave, but i demurred, i can't just run from everything....
but that type of pain makes you want to do exactly what you shouldn't and can't...numb yourself, take away the pain through self-medicdation, through a bottle or pills or needles. so i just let the grief was over me, take over my thought process, admonish me, screaming WHAT THE FUCK DID YOU DO, YOU FUCKING SON OF A BITCH, YOU MANAGED TO PUSH AWAY THE ONE THAT LOVE YOU, THAT YOU LOVED, ALL FOR WHAT? FOR FUCKING WHAT.
and then after maybe 15 to 20 minutes it ebbs away. because, thankfully, grief can only last so long until you and your brain and emotions are exhausted to the core.
yesterday when i got out of the shower it hit me again. i remembered how, at the very end of our marriage, when i was so far gone, i would tell the one that i loved that i hated her, that i wished she would FUCKING GO ALREADY. argh...just typing it now. she tells me now that she knows that wasn't me, not the real me. nevertheless i feel like i was the biggest fucking asshole (and i was) to the one i loved and that loved me.
i have lost a lot due to my alcoholism, a whole lot. but the one that sends me into paroxysms of grief is the loss of her. the loss of that matrimonial shield/bubble that picked you up when you were done, deflected the bullshit, and allowed us to love each other. kurt vonnegut describes it best in mother night and really i'm just paraphrasing his words.
but as the pain came as i was drying myself off, it came with a vengeance. all the thoughts, all the reality of what i did and said, balled itself into the pit of my stomach and i did what i have done maybe 1127 times since she left. i dry heave, i hyper-ventilate, i tear my hair, and i scream (internally) and then i cry. a snotty, heaving mess of what remains of this man.
then it leaves me and it leaves me, it leaves a hollow shell of myself, that i then slowly repopulate with the diversions and digressions of the daily rut.
but it hurts. my god does it hurt. and maybe this may never go away. it's okay. i am to blame.