Saturday, May 11, 2013

Running Late

When I became pregnant with an alcoholic, I should have known better. Throughout my pregnancy, he was always running late. I worried whether he would even show up for the birth. Fortunately, we were together, me on top, water bursting all over the bed, a month early.

We made it to the hospital just in time. I was already dilated to 10. Shortly after, he left to celebrate with friends, just for a little while. He returned late. The next day, he didn’t come back at all. The child screamed. He had gas, but I didn’t know it.  I desperately called my first husband and his wife at 3am. They stayed with us until 5, when the baby was finally lulled to sleep.

The next day, he brought an engraved Tiffany bracelet as an apology and left.

He was a shitty father for over a year before he disappeared completely. He came back, sorry. He was always "sorry". When he went to rehab for several months, I had hope. When he stayed sober a year, I married him against my better judgment and had another child.

There were 3 years of sobriety before it started again. 

On our daughter’s second birthday, we had nearly 50 people over to celebrate.  Every time someone arrived, they asked where my husband was. My 5-year-old son had already begun to defend him. “Daddy’s running late. There must be traffic.” My ex-husband turned on the grill and fed everyone. 6 hours later, I finally broke down in hysteric sobs. He never showed. No one could console me.  I knew it would never be "OK". 

The next years went something like this: Confession. 3 months at The Betty Ford Clinic; follow-up somewhere else. Al-Anon meetings. Relapse. Yelling, cursing, and pushing.  Reading more books about his “disease”. AA. Relapse. Therapy. Children waiting.  Dinner, cold on the table. Confirmed affairs. Too many tears. 20 pounds lost. Another missed birthday party. Children waiting, continuously waiting, on their little knees by the front window. He was always, “Just around the corner”. Dignity gone; children suffering. Me: alone, broke and striving to keep our “family” together. 

I tried far too many times. He was always running late.

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