drinking and abuse

ok, so my husband is not a physically aggressive person, usually, and so i don’t really fear any kind of physical abuse from him.  he will make bad “jokes” about things like saying it would really suck if he died, and make comments about death, etc.

emotionally and verbally, is where he makes his mark, so to speak.  when he drinks, though, his true colors really come out.

they say that when you are drunk, you don’t lie.  i know that to be the truth.  things that you would never say sober, come out when you are drunk, and you just can’t keep those things hidden.  i have experienced his drunken abuse many times over the years, usually when i am driving home from somewhere that he has been drinking heavily, and i have not.  that’s when the truth hits the fan.

when he has been drinking, i suddenly become a terrible driver.  driving his drunk ass home.  he will tell me that i am going the long way, “why didn’t you turn there?”, he tells me he could have gotten us home sooner, quit using the brakes so much, and on and on.

but, there are two particular times that really stand out for me.

the first night, we were driving two hours to his parents’ house for Thanksgiving.  he had spent the day with our son at a football game, and when he got home, we were to drive to their house.  well, he drank before the game, during the game, and then drove 45 minutes home with our son in the car.  i told him that he seemed to be more drunk than if he had only had drinks before the game, as he said he had only had a few beers at a bar before they went in.  he got mad and accused me of lying, of telling him that he was a liar.  he told me that he didn’t drink at all during the game (he “remembered” the next day that he had actually drank three shooters of rum EACH half of the football game).  he told me that i was being paranoid that he was too drunk and that he was only “letting” me drive so he could rest.  but, not only did he not rest, he berated me for treating him “badly” the whole way, and then spent part of the way lamenting and almost crying that he wished he could be more generous like his father.  who, by the way, is a high functioning alcoholic.

the next day, when i told him that i was not happy with him driving my son like that, he said something along the lines of, “well, i wouldn’t have driven home if i wasn’t ok to drive”.  this same trip, he was angry with me for not wanting to sleep with him the night we got there (when he had just spent two hours berating me), and gave me the silent treatment in front of his relatives the whole next day.

the other time i remember, also involved drinking and driving.  we went to a concert.  we stopped at a bar before to eat, and then had some beers there, and during the concert.  knowing i would be driving home, i stopped drinking early enough to be good to drive.  he, however, just kept on.  after the concert, the band threw out some guitar picks, and i got one.  i never go to concerts, so this was exciting to me, and i was going to keep the pick.  my husband says, “are you going to give that to K?”, our daughter.  i said, heck no, i’m keeping it.  he spent the next two hours, i kid you not, telling me that i was a “sad” person, to keep the pick.  he always gives stuff like that to her, and why wouldn’t i do the same?  she will be so upset that i wouldn’t give it to her, and on and on.  he told me that i was a selfish parent, and that he ALWAYS thinks of the kids first, and that i just don’t give other people any consideration.  then, he took the keys, and walked away from me in a crowded city that i am not familiar with to find a bathroom.  i waited in the car for a bit, then went to find him.  i thought he would never let me drive home.  i think he was afraid if he gave me the keys, i would leave him there.

all the 45 minute drive home, he railed on me about how he makes so many sacrifices for our family, he works at a job he hates, etc, etc, just so that we can do things like this, and now i was ruining it by not giving her the pick.  then, when i refused to talk to him, he just badgered me the rest of the way home.  i ended up apologizing to him just to get him to stop haranguing me.

i know that i shouldn’t have given in, but i knew that he would never admit he was wrong.  the next day, he acted as if nothing had happened.  no apology, no reference to it, other than to say “oh, did you give her the pick after all?  thank you!”  i did give her the pick.  i wasn’t going to listen to that crap for the rest of my life.

my point, here is that a drunk abuser is still an abuser.  being drunk doesn’t give anyone license to treat you like crap, and then say, well, i was drinking, so it doesn’t count.  it counts. This article is a great explanation of studies and other research done about alcohol and abuse.  it’s concern is more along the lines of physical battering, but emotional abuse is the battering of your soul, is it not?