Tuesday, May 14, 2013

So what would Rob say about me?

Rob purchased this T-shirt for our daughter, Siena, in Catalina. He thought it was really funny. Pray tell how I was a princess when I worked like a dog throughout our entire relationship while Bob drank, drank, worked, drank, drank, fished, napped, watched movies, threw temper tantrums, drank, screamed, and drank?
A friend recently asked me what Bob would say about me when meeting a new woman. That was a good question and I think I can answer it quite accurately. Here goes what I'm quite sure he says and my rebuttal.

Rob Says: You're a control freak!
Lizzy Says: Absolutely and completely false.

This accusation from the mouth of an alcoholic is so boring and expected. Pretty much every alcoholic says that their non offending partner (or children, parents, etc) is a control freak. How dare anyone have the audacity of saying their behavior is unacceptable, right?

The reality is, I had no control. Every ounce of control was held by Rob the Great (Alcoholic). Every single thing I did was controlled by Rob's temper tantrums, expected temper tantrum, or a hope that I could somehow avoid a temper tantrum. By Rob's refusal to do almost anything around the house meant that I was worked to the bone, overstressed, overtaxed and, eventually, sick and fighting for my life.

Even the household finances were controlled by Bob because when he came into the relationship, he owed his mother $75,000, had no short term savings whatsoever, an old car, and his 401k/pension from SDG&E. Our entire relationship was spent trying to pay off his debts and his financial obligations for spousal and child support.

Control? The only thing I controlled was the cleanliness of the home. The more chaotic our alcoholic home became, the cleaner I tried to keep the house. To the point that it became an obsession.

Rob Says: You have a hair-trigger temper!
Lizzy Says: I deserve a medal for restraint

When one is getting screamed at, belittled, and emotionally terrorized pretty much every day, I think I deserve a medal for keeping my mouth shut most times. True, after a couple days of silence, I would email or text Rob messages about how I really felt. Mostly that he was a lazy, pathetic, abusive drunk and I hated him.

But I walked away from Rob ninety percent of the time I was terrorized. And for that, I am proud of my behavior. Of course, what I should have done was left his drunk ass as soon as I realized what a jerk he was. Terri, his ex wife, tried to warn me. Kalie, his younger daughter from his first marriage, tried to tell me. I should have listened.

Rob Says: You beat me!
Lizzy Says: No I didn't (and statement taken out of context)

Let's just say this: Rob called the police on me a few times. They came to the home, interviewed us both, and never arrested me, threatened to arrest me, or charge me with a thing. One time they came out to the house, after interviewing the two of us, they waited until Rob packed up and left the home. In this day, police arrest anyone who even appears to be violent in the home. Enough said.

Rob Says: You're a snob and you hate my friends!
Liz Says: I didn't "hate" his friends.

But didn't feel like hanging around people he drank with. Because Rob's a fun drunk when he's got an audience but when he gets home, he's a monster and I get to pick up the pieces.

Rob Says: You were mean to my kids!
Liz Says: See my Brady Bunch post.

Rob Says: You hate my family
Liz Says: Quite the opposite

I actually loved Rob's family. Rob blamed me for being the reason we never went to visit them. Of course, he's a liar. Why we didn't go more often was squarely on Rob's shoulders. I will say that he hated Joanie. He has a complicated relationship with his brother. He's close to him and loves him, but he also believes that Chris tries to copy everything he does and that all Chris really wants to do is maximize his money/profits. In fact, Rob said that one of the main reasons Chris moved his mom and dad into his home was to lock up as much of their assets in Chris' home, thereby cutting out anyone else in the family. While Rob loves his family, he also badmouthed them. I couldn't make up these stories if I wanted to. They are true and I stand by them 100%.

Rob Says: You're not "fun"! 
Liz Says: True as charged

It's pretty dang hard to be "fun" when "fun" means somehow being happy and ok with being terrorized by a drunk husband all too often. I lived in fear, dread, sadness and desperation. It's also pretty dang hard to be "fun" when the entire household responsibilities rested on my shoulders. I was so overwhelmed by everything I had to do, that my life and world were incredibly "un-fun".

Rob Says: You're a terrible mother!
Liz Says: I'm as great a mother as I know how to be.

I sincerely do my best every single day to be a good mom. It is my top priority. Shame Rob can't say the same (his top priority is the pursuit of fun, which is pretty much drinking, diving, fishing, watching movies, naps and going on vacation). I work so hard and sincerely don't know how to do better or more. Whatever, Rob said the same things about Terri. Really, his ridiculous insults are just stupid and tiring (and incredibly inaccurate). Truth is, Rob is just simply a liar and will say anything to inflict pain on anyone who dare get in the way of his pursuit of pleasure.

Rob says: You want me to live like a Mormon!
Liz Says: Big Fat Lie

Every single one of my boyfriends have been non Mormon and they've all been drinkers. But there is a Big.Huge.Flippin'.Ginormous difference between drinking and being an alcoholic. Huge difference. I thought it quite normal that my husband enjoyed a beer here and there. To me, that was normal. I had absolutely no problems with it. Until I realize it was never a "few beers", that Rob the Great (Alcoholic) drank more than he ever let on, that he became abusive when he drank or wanted a drink (unless there was an audience or we were on vacation). And that is a horrible, awful, indescribably unhealthy environment in which to live. We victims live in a special hell made just for us by the abuser (in my case, Rob the Great).

I fled Rob for these reasons:
  • To fight for my health
  • For the emotional health of the younger children (it got increasingly difficult to tell the girls that they should never allow any man to treat them the way Daddy treated me)
  • For the health of Rob. I truly hoped and prayed that he would find himself in a place where he would finally fight to get well of his alcoholism. Two families destroyed by his illness would, I thought, be enough for him to finally try to get well. Nope, not Rob. Counseling and AA meetings are, simply put, not "fun."
Here's a typical email exchange where Rob apologizes for his disgusting drunk behavior and I say how sick of it I am. Yes, I was in a dark, desperate place because of his behavior for basically our entire marriage. I'm telling you, reader, it is a horrible way to live. If you're in a relationship with a "Rob", get the HELL OUT. It won't ever get better but you'll make yourself (the victim/s) worse.

(Warning: My emails to Rob are pretty raw and angry. Ninety percent of the time I saved my vitriol for email or text because, in person or on the phone, I refused to try to talk it out with Rob because it was impossible, There is no way I could get in a word when Rob was using his Big Huge LOUD shrill voice. And, besides, arguing with a drunk or someone who wants to get drunk is just an exercise in futility.)

From: lizzy smilez                      
To: Rob
Subject: Re:                     

Wow- u have finally pushed me over the edge. Strangely it feels FANTASTIC to pull off the gloves. I am gonna have fun with this one. You Fucking touch me, you will regret ever knowing my name. Got it you worthless lazy liar drunk dumb fucking stupid pathetic lowlife fucking asshole????? I fucking hate you
Sent on the Sprint® Now Network from my BlackBerry®

From: Rob
To: lizzy smilez
Subject: RE:
I will not stop by the Brew Co, nor bring influence in the house to you nor the kids in the future.

From: lizzy smilez
To: Stolberg, Robert
Subject: Re:                        
No. You have said this shit of "what have you done for me lately" or "what do you do all day" several times over the last few months. You place Brewco as priority #1 besides work. I am at war with you. If you come home, I promise to make life an absolute HELL for you. You make me sick and I do not love you. You are a selfish, lazy piece of shit sonofabitch and, trust me, home will not be fun for you if you insist on coming home.                         
Sent on the Sprint® Now Network from my BlackBerry®

From: Rob
To: lizzy smilez
Subject: Re:
I hit a hard nerve that I have not in a long time ans was wrong. I was an asshole. I will come home in peace. I am located in San Diego the next 3 weeks and will not travel. I will be home tomorrow night.

From: lizzy smilez                        
To: Rob
Subject: Re:
You don't get it, do you??? NO MORE APOLOGIES. They are all lies. I want a divorce. I do NOT want to live with you ANYMORE. This is HELL
Sent on the Sprint® Now Network from my BlackBerry®

From: Rob
To: lizzy smilez
Subject: RE:
I will not get that way with you ever again. I will be home Tuesday night for 3 weeks. Please do not move forward with Divorce.
I push things to the extreme before making changes. I am sorry.

From: lizzy smilez
To: Bob
Subject: Re:
No. No more apologies and I do NOT want you home unless you are there to pack up. I want a divorce
Sent on the Sprint® Now Network from my BlackBerry®

From: Bob Stolberg
To: Lizzy Smilez
Subject: RE:

I will be home tomorrow night, sober so I can assure you that I will not engage in any conflict. I will be home for the next 3 weeks working from Plaza and will take over walking the dogs, and chores. I am sorry for the escalation last night, it got way out of control. Please accept my apology.