Monday, October 13, 2014

And this is how he lives without a wife

When I was married to Rob the Great (Alcoholic), I did 95% of the household work. That meant managing the bills, keeping the house clean, laundry, walking/feeding dogs and taking them to the vet, shuttling kids around and helping with homework, managing the vacation house that we rented out in Big Bear-- pretty much all of it. Rob, after all, had diving and drinking. Oh, yes, he also had a "Really Important Job" at the local utility company. Which, truth be told, no one works that hard there except the linemen. Rob left work early every day, didn't work hardly at all on Friday (actually, he "worked" from home - wink wink, which really meant working from the BrewCo, the local bar where he slammed back beer and vodka). And, honestly, most of the people who work at the utility company don't really work. It's like being an employee at the DMV. Rob fit right in.

So when I asked for, or demanded help, I usually got whining, drunken screaming fits, and excuses. "You do everything too fast! If you'd just leave it alone, I'd do it!" he'd scream in the famous Rob soprano pitch. Seriously, I wish I had recorded his screaming because you would be horrified and laughing. It's utterly ridiculous.

Anyhoo.... flash forward to my leaving Rob in the wake of my cancer diagnosis and moving to Utah. After being threatened that if I didn't get all my stuff out of the house, he would leave it in the front yard, I decided it was time to head back to San Diego and move my things out. When to do it was not an easy decision. I was in the midst of a stem cell transplant so I consulted with my doctor. Rob was going on vacation to Costa Rica. There was my timing. There was no way I was going to be in Rob's presence, moving my things out of the home while he hovered, screamed, full of bravado. I had my limits and Rob had surpassed his limit with me about four months into our relationship. I talked to my attorney. I could legally go into the home and remove all my belongings without Rob being there. I was, after all, still on the lease and was paying half the rent. I consulted with my doctor. That was a good time for me to travel. While I was still really super weak, driving to San Diego instead of flying was ok. I hired professional movers and off we went.

I rented a car and my dad and I drove. We stopped overnight in St George and stayed with my aunt Saundra. She kept staring at my funny. I wore the worse wig that I owned and had tape-on eyebrows. I looked like Groucho Marx. I also had no eyelashes which I tempted to disguise by drawing heavy thick eyeliner around my eyes. I looked freakish.

We arrived in San Diego late afternoon. The movers were arriving the following day. I forgot my key so I went next door to Crissy. She helped me get in. She told me that Rob left the sliding glass door to the master bedroom open. She also told me that she was caring for the dogs in Rob's absence but he left no dog food and no money and she didn't have money either. Wow, big shocker that Rob would do something like this (I say with dripping sarcasm). I went to the store and bought an enormous bag of dog food. It's hard to do things like buying dog food when there's the new girlfriend to fuck and beer to be had. Lots and lots of beer. Oh, yes, and screaming at me that I am too lazy and I want his money and I should get the fuck back to work instead of trying to get all his money. Except the guy has no money, but I digress.

I walked into the house for the first time and nearly gagged. It smelled so horribly. I looked at my dad and he had his t-shirt over his nose and mouth. What was that horrible smell? I looked and there it was-- mounds and mounds of trash in the kitchen that he couldn't be bothered to take out before leaving on vacation. And in the cupboard were rotting potatoes that I had purchased in early December, some six months prior. Holy hell, how could anyone, even a drunk, not smell this and try to get rid of it? How could even un-sober and dirty Rob be able to live like this?

The sheets smelled so bad- of terrible Rob B.O. and beer.


Rat feces throughout the garage


The movers found nine dead rats that were easily found in the garage. No doubt there were many more.


Mold and clumps of filth on the floor of the shower.


The dogs were horribly neglected.

The house was disgustingly filthy. The shower had mold and chunks of something all over the floor. The sheets on the bed were filthy and reeked of body odor and old alcohol. There were Diet Rootbeer cans all over the pool deck and all over the house. There was ample vodka in the freezer. Clearly he was drinking Diet Rootbeer and Vodka liberally. The floors were a mess. The kitchen filthy. I wanted to start sobbing when I saw the dogs-- they needed vet care. They had horrific fleas and they looked so sad. And the kicker was this-- dead rats throughout the garage in various stages of decay. And rat feces all over the shelves that housed canned food and serving pieces. It was so unsanitary, stinky, filthy and disturbing.

So this is how Rob the Great (Alcoholic) lives without me. If I had waited for him to do anything around the house, the truth was that none of it would have gotten done. Not a thing. Because when there's a choice between drinking and doing anything else, drinking wins the day Every.Single.Time. And anyone who dares try to get in the way of a drinking fest is to be ridiculed, screamed at, resented, and punished. Just like a child. Because most alcoholics have the maturity level of a small child. Stunted development. No coping skills beyond alcohol. How Rob has managed to keep his job is a good question. The only place he could get away with his work ethic and skills is at a utility company, the DMV, or the Post Office. And that's the honest truth.

Which brings me to my Divorced Moms post of today, which is right here. The sadness and desperation of my life when living with that man. My desire to walk away from that life, which I eventually did. Life with an alcoholic is universally a horrible experience.

Hopping Off The Treadmill. Rebuilding Life From The Ground Up
by Lizzy Smith                    
October 12, 2014
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Back when I was married, I was on my way to work, sitting in horrific traffic. I called my mom and had plenty of time to lament about my life.
“I am on a treadmill and I amazing on it. I can go really super fast and while I’m running, I can multi task! I can run holding onto the handles or with my hands in the air. I can talk on the phone or text. I can rattle off to do lists and add more things onto my list. I can read or watch movies. And I get off the treadmill and get some shut-eye and the next day I do it all over again. And today I realize that while I’m a superstar on the treadmill, I’ve actually made no progress.”
And there I had it. Explained as succinctly as I knew how, in all its sordid, boring and tedious glory. I was totally unhappy. I was working like a sled dog and yet I had nothing to show for it. My morning started with waking up early, walking and feeding the dogs, then getting in the shower and getting ready for work. Then waking up the girls and feeding them breakfast and getting them gathered up for school and dropping them off. And then it was my turn to start battling traffic to work—45 minutes of it. That’s when I made phone calls, usually to my mom. Then I got to work and stared at a computer screen all day, feeling more and more like a blob. Windowless, airless, soulless. I made a great income, I had a job that many college graduates dreamt of landing, I was good at what I did. And I hated it.