Shortly after the night from hell, his mother arranged an intervention. All of his family would be included. I kept MJ out of this, but was thrilled for the light on the subject and FINALLY someone in his family open to understanding that though he was some times a fun and entertaining person, he had a dark side to him when he drank. I felt a rush of relief to know that maybe I wasn't alone in the notion that MJ's father was an alcoholic and needed help. I had to secretly pack a weeks worth of clothes for MJ's father the day before the intervention took place. Arrangements had been made for him to be checked into a drug and alcohol rehab center, if he would consent to it. I had to trick him into a trip into the city by saying that we were going to see a mid day movie. When we pulled into the center he was so pissed off that I worried that he would not walk through the doors. He saw his relatives cars and was aware that the people that mattered most in his life we just inside those doors. Once inside, we each took turns reading our prepared letters that had been written to him.
I was hearing things about how he had effected others with his drinking and acts that he had done while under influence. These letters of information were all new news to me. I was taken back by the knowledge that they all knew that drinking was a problem in his life. Why after all these years did I feel like I was the outsider trying to deal with this issue on my own? Alcoholism runs in their family and they have seen first hand just how much it can tear a family apart.
He did not consent to checking himself in, this was no surprise to me. After that he did ease up on the drinking and requested to move closer to his job as the drive stressed him out. Stress, that is laughable, he had no idea what stress was. Being a young mother with a job that did not provide health insurance or a wage that would support herself and a child was stressful. Feeling like you had no options and had been raised with the notion that you work hard and don't ask for help is stressful. Being emotionally pulled back and fourth from one extreme to another from a man that was so much fun to goof around with when he was happy and sober to dealing with the moods of a man needing a drink, that was stressful. Being a child that wanted so badly just to have her father spend time with her, listen to her, watch her play and ask her about her dreams and ideas only to be shrugged off, now that is stressful. In the end, I am suckered in by his promises and we put the house and land up for sale and purchase another house a half an hour away. With the improvements made to house that we sold, we came out making some equity. Before the discussion of what to do with this money, $13,000.00 was secretly spent on a fixer upper airplane. Yes, you read this right, an airplane. He had gone through many expensive hobbies in the past, motorcycles, motorcycle racing, sky diving, baja VW ice racing, remote control RC smaller scale airplanes, scuba diving and adult, high tech go cart racing were among the list. But a full scale airplane took the cake.
I must say that when he buckled down and began to study for his pilots license, he was at least home more and not drinking. MJ was now of the age where she was involved with her friends and school functions. I found a little motorcycle for her to ride off rode back and fourth to her friend's houses.
MaryJanes with motorcycle
We lived out in the country again, and she dreamed of a day that she could live in town. She learned to tune her father out at this point and he took this to be disrespectful. He never did make the connection that respect is earned rather than instilled upon a person. We seemed to settle into an except able relationship of somewhere between roommates and friends. We both went to work, MJ got involved with the swim team as well as cheer-leading and life was
MaryJanes, freshman in high school
Then came the internet and a modem. I was instantly drawn to the whole communication on a screen. I chatted with new people from all over the world, people that found me funny and interesting. A whole new light bulb came on inside my head. For a couple of months I got lost in the world wide web. I basically checked out and became selfish with my time. I had found out that I had something to offer as a person when others actually listened. The time I spent learning how to use the computer and holding conversations with others online made me aware that I could muster up the courage to walk away from a man that I had invested so much time with.
The year was 1998 when I asked MJ's father to go outside and sit on the front porch with me. We sat quietly as I looked at him and told him that neither of us were living up to our full potentials together. I was not happy nor in love with him and I was letting him know that MJ and I were moving out to an apartment in town and I would be filing for a divorce. We did not argue or get upset with each other. We simple wished each other well. He hadn't been drinking in excess the last couple of years, I think he found confidence in himself by studying and
achieving his pilots license. I suppose this new self worth played a role in him easing off the bottle. But that selfish side of him remained, and it was never more evident when he purchased another airplane! Apparently he needed two. One to work on and one to fly.
The damage to MJ and his relationship had been done. Even without excessive drinking he just never could except his role as a father. He had no clue as to how to be a devoted husband or parent. He was a selfish person both sober and drunk, and I could now see that. I did not want to continue living with a man that did not know how to love MJ or myself. I wanted real love. The kind in of love that comes naturally and not forced.
MJ and I moved into a 2 bedroom apartment and started a whole new chapter in our lives.
I wish I hadn't taken so long to wake up to the point of seeing how destructive that man was on our lives. The only saving grave for me is knowing that through it all, I made sure that MJ knew that I loved her. I am quite certain that through all of the years, she knows that my love for her has been steady and constant.
So the lesson learned here for others in a like situation? Don't stay in a relationship for the sake of your children! Get help where ever you can. Pack your bags and run! If you think you are doing your children any favors by staying in a destructive relationship, you are wrong, just like I was. If there are people that care about you telling you to leave, listen to them. They see what is going on! Everyone told me to leave, they could see what I could not, or would not. MJ's father
was never going to change no matter how much love and devotion I could offer. It simply wasn't going to happen. And a note to myself, it wasn't about me or those 10 extra pounds. It was about him and his drinking and his selfish nature.
So what happens now?
Now We Will Find Out,