19 April 2009

The Good, The Bad and the Ugly - Again

My Easter week away has been one of mixed emotions.

First it was oh so nice to be with my dear old mum who never complains and, boy, does she have cause to. She is not very well at all at the moment. Apart from severe gastric pain which needs investigating (booked at the hospital for 13 May) and which causes her to almost double-up every time she eats something, she has severe arthritis in her spine and knees which means she can barely walk or stand. Despite all this, she almost apologises for her shadow and will thank and appreciate for any bit of kindness anyone shows her. We had a great time with me taking her out and about in the car to get a change of four walls from the ones she is imprisoned in most of the time. We had short walks, coffee sprees, car rides to watch gambolling lambs and blue sky, shopping trips, as well as me doing her garden, sorting out some space in a rather over-used junk room and fixing a few odd jobs.

Greg on the other hand was "supposed" to be in charge of things at home, enabling me to go away. Kay was with him at home, as she wanted to revise for her forthcoming exams, so all he needed to do was be the adult in charge, cook a few meals, be on standby to wipe her fevered brow and take her once or twice to meet up with friends when she felt like tunnelling an escape route. What happened was far from that. First he saw it as good practice for her to cook all the meals. Whilst I would agree that she should get a good run at independent living, now was not the time, as she really had a lot of study work to get through and he had nothing better to do than watch TV all day. But more to the point, as soon as my car had disappeared round the corner on its way to my mum's, Greg took up the whisky bottle and did not let off. I could hear it on the telephone in his slurred voice with its deliberate enunciation. I could almost smell it on his breath sixty miles away. Of course he denied it, too emphatically and too argumentatively. Kay on the other hand witnessed it at first hand and had to look after him rather than the other way round. By the end of the week, he was getting slurred much earlier in the day, forgetting things I had told him several times, even things I had written down in day-by-day notes to remind him. On one occasion Kay was distressed because she had to visit a friend some miles away and needed a lift to get home again late in the evening. He was incapable of collecting her and I was sixty miles away trying to sort out how to solve the problem.
And to think he had even put on a concerned look when I was originally leaving for my mum's and ordered me to have a good break and build in some relaxation time. But then he had dashed any hope of that by giving me cause for concern at a long distance over his stupid behaviour.The moment my back was turned. One evening, he kept ringing up to continue an argument long after we had gone to bed and he knew the phone on my mother's bedside would disturb her sleep. He just didn't care or think. My entreaties for him to stop ringing us fell on deaf ears. By the end of the week, I had to leave my mum a day earlier than anticipated as he was again incapable of driving Kay and a friend home at midnight from a party. Just when I needed him to be there for me, while I was there for my mum.

He admits he is drinking again, but only "one or two a day and certainly nowhere near as much as before". He maintains he is in control and promises it will not get any worse. But he said that a year ago and a year before that and a year before that. I have heard it all before. The only person he is deceiving is himself. I can see right through it. In fact I discovered a half-bottle in his jacket pocket yesterday afternoon and it was empty by mid-evening. I just hope he holds off his imminent decline long enough for Kay to do these very important exams in June. The university course she wants requires superhuman grades. She cannot afford his drunken distractions.

After that Greg can please himself and go to hell.

My 22-year-old niece had a bad car accident last week. She was driving back from university on Easter Saturday to spend the rest of the Easter weekend with her mother, when two miles from home she skidded on a patch of grease on the road, bashed into three trees, one after the other and ended up in the middle of the road. Fortunately no other cars were involved and she was able to get out of the car and walk away from it. But here's the rub..... the car was a complete write-off. A passing car stopped and called the police, an ambulance and my niece's mother, who was close enough to get there before the emergency services. My niece was taken to accident and emergency at the local hospital. Apart from cuts and emerging bruises she was allowed home soon after, although it now seems she has belated concussion. There is some suggestion the car may have somersaulted as there were dents on the car roof and my niece cannot recall some of what happened. Her car was full of stuff she was returning home after three years away and was spewed all over the roadside and some of it even landed up in the trees. Most irritating of all, her laptop was thrown into undergrowth and badly damaged, so that the final draft of her dissertation for her university degree may have to be retyped and will miss the deadline she was set.

The terrifying thought of it made me drive like a granny on the way to my mother - much to the annoyance of the car behind me!


Robert said...

Shame you couldn't have had a proper break. Shame your mum missed the last day that you had planned to spend with her. Shame Kay didn't get so much revision. Shame Kay had to look after her father instead of vice versa.

Hopefully Kay will be moving into student accommodation after the summer.

And you will be making some long term plans which exclude Greg...

Strawberry Jam Anne said...

Dear Rosiero - I agree with Robert - it's all shameful. My thoughts are get Kay through and on to university and then look after yourself and your mum and let Greg go .....!

Thinking of you, sending a hug. A x

April said...

Oh dear ... First you must help Kay and then you must think of yourself and make your plans. I hope you can.

Working mum said...

All I can say is I am so sorry for your awful time and I'm still keeping my fingers crossed for Kay. Once she's made it you can deal with him and start creating a better life for yourself.

Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry for you all.

Your lovely girl must be mentally as strong as an ox to be coping with school pressure and Dad and you must be just about run ragged with it all.

Do take care of yourself,


Anonymous said...

You sound like such a great compassionate daughter. By what you wrote you have obviously inherited that from your mother. You are a credit to your mother and daughter. I am positive they appreciate everything you do for them.

What a terrible predicament. The situation is so precarious because you know any challenge to you husband he is going to see as an excuse to indulge. It takes a very strong person to keep a family together in those circumstances.

I really hope the domestic situation improves for you.

Take care,


Nota Bene said...

I read this with an unfolding feeling of inevitability. Hopefully Kay will get want she wants, and then will flourish in her new environment, and you will find time for yourself.

grandmamargie said...

Oh, I am so sorry about all in this post. But I am glad to read that you can "see through" Greg's lies. I'm sorry if that sounds bad, but he is lying to himself. Sending you prayers for you, your Mum, Kay and even Greg.

Daphne Wayne-Bough said...

One step forward, two steps back. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for Kay, and after that I think you know what you have to do. May you find the courage to do it. You've given him every chance, look after yourself and Kay now. A big hug to both of you.

DulwichDivorcee said...

Poor you, Rosiero. It all has a horrible ring of inevitability about it ....big hug x

DogLover said...

Oh, Greg, Greg!

But that's what alcoholics do, Rosiero. Why are you still checking on his bottles and on how much he drinks? Will it stop him drinking? Will it make you feel any better? Of course not. Talk with your Al-Anon group. Please. You owe it to yourself and, especially, to Kay.

And driving like a granny is better than driving dangerously like your niece!

Fat, frumpy and fifty... said...

I too am overwhelmed with weird thought about my drive down to my folks. But I am ignoring them. but thanks for the solemn reminder. I will not drive so fast!

Sorry to hear about greg. It makes my heart go fast when I read this.

ANd apologies for not commenting so much, the move and all..and screwing up the blog list didnt help any..

Reasons to be Cheerful 1,2,3 said...

Oh this is tough for you. I have family experience of this and some idea of what you're going through. My heart goes out to you and Kay.

nuttycow said...

My original comment didn't get through :(

Love to you both.

Anonymous said...

Bugger. I come to your blog so hoping for good news. That drink no longer plays a part in Greg's life and things are rosy in the Rosiero household. I am sorry. You deserved to have a break. You so deserved to spend time away from a man who can't give a shit about his family, not for want of trying but for want of a quick fix.

Sorry also to hear about your niece. How lucky was she! She must be counting her blessings after that but it would be good if the college give her some lee way on the dissertation. I'm sure there will be something they can do in these circumstances.

CJ xx

rosiero said...

Thank you all for your comments. This week has certainly been full of ups and downs, but he is drinking less again, so I am thankful for small mercies.

Doglover - yes, I am still going to Al-anon meetings, so hope that will help. I only stumbled by accident upon the bottle in his pocket the other day, but I often look for confirmation that he is lying to me, when he says he is not drinking!!

aims said...

Oh sweetie. My heart and thoughts are with you and Kay and your mother.