The following is an excerpt from chapter 4 in my memoir, Saturation.
Something else was going on with me as well, something I didn’t share with anyone – not even myself in a one-on-one, self-talk sort of way. Until my relationship with Dick, I’d managed fairly well as a high functioning alcoholic. When I moved in with him, I took my drinking to an entirely new level – one I didn’t know I could reach. My kids became privy to seeing and hearing things from me they’d not seen nor heard; specifically my uncontrolled rage. Raging out on Dick was easy – I couldn’t stand him. But in addition to this, I became someone my kid’s didn’t know – a stumbling, slurring, aggressive alien. And for this, my heart will never mend. Drunk or not – behaving the way I did in front of my children is not something I can forgive.
When I was very drunk and moody, my kids would call me grouchy. “Mom, you’re grouchy again.” Or “You better wait, Mom’s grouchy.” It’s beyond repugnant for me to share this here, but perhaps reading this will snap a better person into at least thinking about sobriety. I would tell my sons that I was just tired, but tired people don’t behave the way I did and they knew this. My sons were way too smart for such generic lines.
After serious contemplation, I believe I decided then, on an unconscious level, that I had to protect them from me. That’s what any good mother does – she protects her children. But I wasn’t so good. Not by a long shot. So I did the unthinkable …