I want to think about something my friend Jill said (2 weeks ago) when we were talking about my drinking. She said if I was happy in my relationship, that she doesn’t think I would have been drinking like I was. I didn’t agree with her when she said it (and I told her as much). I didn’t/don’t want to think Michelle and I shouldn’t be together…that we aren’t great together. Since then, I’ve thought about Michelle’s rage and anger issues…especially since she sent me that letter on the other day. I don’t know why but I’m reluctant to talk about Michelle’s rage and anger issues and how they made me feel. They happened all the time and I’ve lied to everyone about that. I tried to minimize how often it happened and how scared it made me. Here are the some of the greatest hits:
- The reaction she had the night Dad was in town over a woman being rude to her about a friend of Brad getting hurt and needing a bandage…she was upstairs screaming into her hands and a pillow. She was out of control. We actually took a break from each other for a week. I was really freaked out then…it was the first time that happened.
- The time she lost her shit over my ex-wife and the custody issue (I was considering suing for full custody and decided it would be too traumatic on my kids…she disagreed with me). I had to call her mother because I was scared and didn’t know what she was going to do or how to help calm her down.
- When she lost it (over how terrible she thought a friend of mine was to her husband) driving in an Uber from one pub to meet different friends. She was so out of control, screaming and ranting in the car, the driver tried to kick us out of the care in -10 degree weather. I had to beg him to help me get her home. She raged on for hours and into the next morning. I had to sleep in Brad’s bedroom that night.
- The time we had an argument (I forget what happened but I’m sure I was on the wrong end of the argument) and she demanded I apologize. She was literally jumping up and down (at the bottom of the stairs) screaming at the top of her lungs over and over again, “apologize, apologize, apologize!!” I had to leave (my own home) because I was scared of what she was going to do and just couldn’t handle it.
- Another episode where she was so far gone screaming and yelling that I was scared and had to call her mother. She came over, sat with her, and calmed her down while her Dad and I sat out back.
- Her hate filled rant on Facebook about her brother that ended up getting us uninvited to Boston. She was upset and raging about something he posted and ended up calling him a racist amongst other things…it was pretty awful. I asked her to take down the post and she wouldn’t for about 30 minutes. Once her family started calling and texting she did. She ended up completely broken down and tears with me holding her for an hour.
- Arizona this past summer. I sent her away instead of helping her. I didn’t know what to do and I was drunk.
I talked to her about getting help and she just took some pills and said she was fine. My mistake was internalizing all of my anxiety. These events were so stressful. Each new one helped crystalize this was life with Michelle. They weren’t “one-offs”. If I was going to be with her I was going to have to accept that Michelle’s rage, on occasion, would be uncontrollable and scary. I was lying (to myself?) about how it made me feel. She scared me sometimes. I wasn’t afraid of her physically (I’m 6’5” and she’s 5’4”)…it was just fear of how terrible and out of control she was. She would say the most horrible things to me during these “episodes”. Not addressing it compounded my anxiety, increased my need to be controlling (if I control the outcomes I limit my anxiety…right? Bullshit!!!), and increased my desire to drink (to mute the anxiety).
I’m not going to sit here and blame Michelle for this! I am a 40+ year old grown man of above average intelligence. My anxiety, my controlling behavior, and my drinking problem are all on me. They were my reaction to stress and anxiety. Michelle wasn’t the only source of anxiety. On occasion she was the largest…but not the only.
I can say this. My stress/anxiety is always going to be there. I needed to and have learned to handle it in a healthy, productive way (exercise, reading, writing, being with my boys, talking with friends). Fuck drinking…fuck controlling every outcome…fuck me for being so obtuse and stupid for so long!!!