Mommy Wants Vodka

…Or A Mail-Order Bride

Where The Sidewalk Ends.


I was so tragically glib about how evolved I was; how I’d managed to escape my past unscathed. I called myself the Energizer Bunny, joked that I was made of Teflon, and marveled that someone could grow up as I did and become a mostly functional adult child of two alcoholics.

My home life as a child was far from simple. I pretended my family was like those I saw on television because in the television, the mothers loved their daughters every SINGLE day. Those children had meals cooked for them, had parents they could talk to, parents who took them to swimming lessons, parents who cared about them, parents who loved them no matter what.

They had what I wanted: parents who behaved like parents.

I had the illusion of a family, two parents, a much older brother, some cats and dogs, and then there was me. Caregiver. Cleaner-upper. Parent to myself. In reality, I was alone and I knew it.

I learned what so many of us children of alcoholics do, trust no one but yourself. It became a way of life. Carefully, I constructed a facade that even I began to believe. A life that I so desperately wanted, I could attain if I lied enough about it.

Eventually, I grew up. Waiting for the day when I itched to have a drink, and then another, and then another, I was surprised when it never came. I had a child out of wedlock, a happy accident, I changed my life around to accommodate that of a single mother, then I got married. I had another child. Then another.

I knew that I bore some of the scars of my past–who doesn’t?–but it twenty years for me to realize that I’d grown up to do the precise thing that 8-year old Aunt Becky always swore she never would do: I put myself in the same position that I would have done anything to get out of.

I married an addict.

We always joked about it, The Daver and I, his addiction to his work–Workahol, we called it, back when we still joked around about it–but for the past five years I’ve watched as it went from working to live to living to work.

It was all that he ever wanted to do, work, that is, and that’s where he got his joy, his rush, his feelings of accomplishment, his ego, and we were just periphery. Background noise. Particularly loud and unbelievably adorable background noise, but background noise nonetheless.

As he worked more, he needed more and more to feel that rush, that thrill, and his hours grew until he barely saw us. When we’d dare interrupt him for something like, oh, maybe the HOUSE being on fire, we’d get a terse, snappy reply, and stung, we’d walk away hurt.

I consoled myself that he was working so hard to support us, and when I’d bring it up, he’d swear that he was doing it all for us, but it wasn’t quite the truth. What we needed was a husband, a father, a friend, and someone who didn’t place something else above us every second of the day.

I’d never considered it a real addiction, not like gambling or drug addiction, because it was one of those things that we did, you know, NEED to do.

But there it was, from Adult Children of Alcoholics:

We either became alcoholics ourselves, married them, or both. Failing that, we found other compulsive personalities, such as a workaholic, to fulfill our sick need for abandonment.

When I read that, I dry-heaved, and then I bawled my eyes out. It’s a bitter pill to swallow to realize that your past is never as far away as you thought it was.

I finally brought it up to The Daver, and this time, rather than trying to pass it off as something else; my problem, money issues, whatever, he listened. He listened and he realized that it was a problem.

I explained that I had lived my entire life with addicts, always walking around on eggshells, and that things in our house had to change. I simply couldn’t–and wouldn’t–put my children through what I had been through.

We both started individual therapy this weekend. He’s looking for a balance, and I’m, well, I’m looking to put the ghosts of my past to bed. For the first time in many, many months, I feel hopeful about the state of my union.

Perhaps this is where the sidewalk ends and a road begins.

122 Comments to

“Where The Sidewalk Ends.”

  1. On July 5th, 2010 at 2:09 pm Leslee Says:

    Damn it, woman, you made me cry. I can’t place the blame solely on you though cuzz it’s easy to do these days.

    Good luck. I really hope you guys pull through this. ?

  2. On July 5th, 2010 at 2:10 pm Leslee Says:

    Ugh! Stupid ? is SUPPOSED to be a heart. <3 (I loathe less-than-threeing people)

  3. On July 5th, 2010 at 2:10 pm Wicked Shawn Says:

    I have no words of wisdom, but I can tell you this, you are in a good place when you go to a man and he listens, truly listens and is willing to do what is necessary to make the changes it takes to fix himself for his family.
    Huge hugs and much love going out to you and all of your family.

  4. On July 6th, 2010 at 11:12 am Wombat Central Says:

    I second that emotion.

    Hugs to you, lady.

  5. On July 5th, 2010 at 2:10 pm LizzyDanger Says:

    Aww good for you hunny! Xoxo

  6. On July 5th, 2010 at 2:11 pm Hi, I'm Natalie. Says:

    Jesus. Me, too. (And I just wrote about some of my issues last week. Weird.)

    Thanks for the link to ACA site.

  7. On July 5th, 2010 at 2:12 pm gaylin Says:

    It is a long road but I know you can do it because you are my Aunt Becky! Strong Resilient Funny Brave and dare I say Charming!

    At 50 I too am back to talking to a psychologist. One day at a time can sound trite but it works.

    The interweb is proud of both you and the Daver, keep coming back, it works.

  8. On July 5th, 2010 at 2:13 pm Anthony Augugliaro Says:

    Awesome! Just totally awesome!

  9. On July 5th, 2010 at 2:15 pm Elena Says:

    Incredible, as always. You are so strong to realize and do something about it. It’s horrifying to recognize what you put yourself through.
    While it wasn’t alcoholism for me, the emotional abuse and mistrust of others my father used against us has me questioning my motives all the time. I constantly worry that I’m creating the same environment for my some-day children, even though I’ve found a wonderful man. I can’t help but assume he’ll abandon me, even while remaining physically, and that I’ll become the angry shell my mother was through all those years.
    Much luck to you both as you deal with this. You are a wonderful mother for making the move to fixing it.

  10. On July 5th, 2010 at 2:16 pm Sara @ Life With the Two Says:

    Love and hugs, Becky.

  11. On July 5th, 2010 at 2:16 pm Shel Says:

    You amaze me more every time I read your words, Becky. Best of luck to you and the Daver.

  12. On July 5th, 2010 at 2:18 pm CortGirl Says:

    Oh Aunt Becky! I grew up in a household very similar to what you described. My mother was an alcoholic and I too, wonder if it will happen to me one day. After reading your post, I know that I have married an addict too. My husband works form home, but if I should try and get his attention for a few minutes, you’d think the world was coming to an end.

    We’re here for you. If you need to talk to us, Your Pranksters will be here. I sent you an email on FB. I meant that last part. Anytime.

  13. On July 5th, 2010 at 2:23 pm a Says:

    Well, now, this is a major step in Taking Back Aunt Becky! If you don’t have the relationship you want, then it is absolutely your right to stand up and say “This is a problem. It needs to be fixed!” I’m proud of you, and I’m glad the Daver was listening. Much luck to you both.

  14. On July 5th, 2010 at 2:24 pm Anne Says:

    Good for you, Aunt Becky. I grew up with a matching pair of alcoholics for parents myself; I get it.

    Good luck to you and your family. You’ll both kick this and rock on, I know it.

  15. On July 5th, 2010 at 2:24 pm Andygirl Says:

    best of luck in therapy! I *love* therapy and I’m here to say that if you find the right therapist, it will change your life. but you two have a lot of hard work ahead. but if you do the work, you can really take control of your lives.

  16. On July 5th, 2010 at 2:29 pm Mandy Says:

    Damnit! Why ya gotta go bring tears to a girl’s eye. Daughter of a work-a-holic married to a alcohol/work-a-holic. Oh yeah and mother of 5. Good luck in therapy. :o)

  17. On July 5th, 2010 at 2:29 pm Beth Says:

    It’s so wonderful to hear that you guys were able to talk so honestly about this and that you’re both seeking help. I’m in therapy myself due in part to some similar issues (the fun “daddy drank too much” cliche), so I definitely know where you’re coming from. Good luck to both of you! I think it’s well worth the effort, and hopefully you’ll find the same.

  18. On July 5th, 2010 at 2:31 pm Amanda Says:

    I have to say, I married a man in a similar position, yet not. My husband has cerebral palsy, and is confined to a wheelchair. I knew this when I agreed to marry him, but perhaps did not realize what that meant. In our first year of marriage, I have learned this: I am addicted to taking care of people, and my husband is addicted to having people look after him. He has had his mother take care of him all his life, to the point that he didn’t even know how much his cell plan costs him each month, because she just paid the bills out of his account. To have all of that responsibility dropped on me the day we were married was crushing.

    My hubby has never met the accountant who has done his taxes for the last 5 years. He has no concept of what it takes to run a household. I in turn, have been taking care of myself quite handily for the last 15 years of my life. I expected that my husband would share in the household responsibilities and duties, make joint decisions about wills, life insurance, vacations, LIFE. When I discovered that he just assumed I would pick up where his mom left off, I was floored. I quickly picked myself up and decided I could handle it. This has resulted in several near breakdowns, threats, screaming matches, and more tears that I’ve dried in my life, as I try to explain to him that I can’t deal with this all on my own, and he tries to explain that he doesn’t know how to help me.

    Our first year has been terribly difficult. He’s had to struggle to be able to do things that most of us learn to do in our VERY early 20’s, like laundry and balancing the chequebook. I’ve had to learn that I can’t fix everything with the cleanest house, or the tastiest meals, that I have to ask for help nicely in order to get it. A friend of mine is the wife of an alcoholic, and attends regular meetings. From her I have learned one of the central tenets of the families of addicts is this: You can’t do it all yourself, and you can’t fix everyone. You can’t help everyone. You need to take care of yourself first, or you won’t be there for the people in your life.

    Our first year has been hard, but it’s getting better.

  19. On July 5th, 2010 at 2:46 pm Roschelle Says:

    Kudos for sharing such a intimate piece of yourself with us. And you are NOT alone. But you made it kiddo 🙂

  20. On July 5th, 2010 at 2:52 pm thenextmartha Says:

    Wow. Just wow. Amazing. You.

  21. On July 5th, 2010 at 2:55 pm Zakary Says:

    I love you both.

  22. On July 5th, 2010 at 2:57 pm CycleNinja Says:

    So THAT’S what’s been bothering you lately. I’m glad you’ve BOTH come to that realization, and that you’re both taking the appropriate steps. Gimme a shout if you need anything.


  23. On July 5th, 2010 at 1:58 pm Halala Mama Says:

    Simply put, I am proud of you both.

  24. On July 5th, 2010 at 3:03 pm Krissa Says:

    Awww shit, Beck! I wish so much I was there to give you a hug! And The Daver too!
    I am also SO proud of you! Does that sound patronizing? I don’t want it too. I guess I am just so happy that you are both working to fix something that is, clearly, so broken.
    I will be praying for you and TD!

  25. On July 5th, 2010 at 3:05 pm Jennifer June Says:

    I needed to read this today.
    Thanks to a brave and inspirational woman.

  26. On July 5th, 2010 at 2:06 pm Libby Says:

    It’s hard to deal with the working issue, because it’s prized so highly in our society it’s easy to feel bad about criticizing it. I hope this isn’t a difficult thing to overcome, and that balance can be found.

  27. On July 5th, 2010 at 2:19 pm Chibi Jeebs Says:

    I don’t know what to say. I just want to gather you both close and hug the stuffing out of yous. I’m glad to hear that you’re both working on things: you’ll make it through this. Love you to the moon and back.

  28. On July 5th, 2010 at 2:19 pm Catherine Says:

    Sigh. My heart breaks for the 8 year old you. I truly hope this all works out for you. The fact that the Daver is going to therapy is monumental. When I told my ex we needed to get to counseling his answer was a quick no and by the way, I’m leaving you and the kids. Hugs.

  29. On July 5th, 2010 at 3:20 pm Angela Says:

    Becky, I can tell that things are difficult right now. I can tell from your writing how many different things there are to worry about. 2010 has been a year of changes for a lot of people I know. I am happy that you and the Daver are putting the pieces together, and I appreciate what a hard process this is going to be for both of you. I’ve never met you, but my heart is with you everyday. I will be thinking about you and your family. If you need anything I am here.

  30. On July 5th, 2010 at 2:39 pm Erin Says:

    Becky you are not alone. Ever. In fact, you have fellow children of alcoholics (waving two hands dorkily) who also curse the boozy socialization we learned decades ago.

    Really happy to hear you guys are working so hard to be healthy for your family.

  31. On July 5th, 2010 at 3:41 pm Melissa Says:

    (((big hugs for both of you))) – I think that therapy is the best answer too. I love you both.

  32. On July 5th, 2010 at 2:45 pm Josh Hawkins Says:

    Glad to hear on all fronts. Much love and hugs from across the country.

  33. On July 5th, 2010 at 3:57 pm The Suburban Housewife Says:

    That is great for both of you! My husband was getting dangerously close to becoming a blogaholic, which sounds silly, but it totally consumed him. He was working on his websites at his full time job, when he would get home,and after everyone was asleep. Then, when he was laid off for four months, he was working on it non-stop. He finally came to understand what I was complaining about, and he is so much better now. Fortunately, he does not have an addictive personality, and he can stop bad habits very easily. I wish it were that easy for the rest of us.

  34. On July 5th, 2010 at 2:59 pm Betty M Says:

    Wishing you both well in therapy.

  35. On July 5th, 2010 at 3:00 pm Kristi Dorson Says:

    Good luck to you both, and congratulations for realizing it and taking steps to make it better. This post scares me a little because, as a writer, I see some of that ‘workaholic’ attitude blending into my life. I sometimes find myself snapping at my kids when they interrupt me as I try to work around them, or putting my writing / computer life ahead of them. I struggle for balance all the time, and lately I’m uncomfortable at how much the computer wins. Your post inspires me to take steps to make positive changes for my family too. Thank you.

  36. On July 5th, 2010 at 3:02 pm gally Says:

    Best of luck to you. That’s such a good story, though good probably isn’t the word that my non sleeping brain is looking for.

  37. On July 5th, 2010 at 4:07 pm Kristy Says:

    That is truly admirable you are both doing the therapy thing and actually looking at this head-on instead of ignoring it or making excuses. I grew up with an alcoholic and drug addicted father. My experience was lonely growing up. I now have married a man that tends to be emotionally distant and absent, even though he is the love of my life and a wonderful man, husband, and father. We marry people that we subconsciously believe will help to heal our pasts. At least, that is what I believe. Good luck to you on your journey together to understand it all a bit more.

  38. On July 5th, 2010 at 4:21 pm Queen of the Rant Says:

    I too grew up with an alcoholic mother, and she haunts me everyday. She has been sober for over ten years now, but every time I speak to her, memories flash i my mind like a slide show. I loved this post, and I will get that book, congrats on this big step

  39. On July 5th, 2010 at 4:29 pm Neeroc Says:

    Wishing much strength for you and The Daver.

  40. On July 5th, 2010 at 4:44 pm Princessjo Says:

    I can imagine how hard that must have been to write. I have been formulating a similar post (slightly different problem) in my head for quite some time, but I have struggled with the idea of actually posting.

    You are not alone in having a marriage on the rocks. Thanks for posting this: you have made me feel a little less alone.


  41. On July 5th, 2010 at 4:46 pm jerseygirl89 Says:

    Your strength amazes me on so many levels. Bravo to you and the Daver.

  42. On July 5th, 2010 at 4:46 pm Professor M... Says:

    Incredibly real and honest. I grew up and married an alcoholic and became a workaholic. I see my husband’s side, thanks to your blog entry and am trying to balance my life a little bit using God as my sounding board. My husband is working on resolving his issues in another state while I resolve mine here. Maybe someday, we will both be healthy enough to be good for each other. Thank you so much for an entry that reminded me of where I was, where I am now, and what I hope for in the future. Congratulations to the both of you for your honesty about where you are and your commitment to your future!

  43. On July 5th, 2010 at 3:52 pm robin Says:

    Wow, what a connection you’ve made, and what a great thing you are both doing about it. I wish you both well and will pray for a successful outcome.

  44. On July 5th, 2010 at 4:53 pm Kristin Says:

    I’m so damned proud of both of you. It takes a big person to to admit they need help.

  45. On July 5th, 2010 at 4:54 pm injaynesworld Says:

    Count me as another of the walking wounded. It, too, grew up the child of addicts. I so relate to what you said about trusting no one and only counting on yourself — and the abandonment. Oh yes…

    This is the kind of writing you were born to do. Good job.

  46. On July 5th, 2010 at 4:01 pm Kate Says:

    You can do it, Becky.

    I’m so proud of you for recognizing the problem & doing something about it.

    If you need anything, I’m yet another Prankster who is here for you.

  47. On July 5th, 2010 at 5:39 pm Kimberly Says:

    It is absolutely fantastic that you BOTH are seeking help. That takes courage. Be proud of yourself for that!

  48. On July 5th, 2010 at 5:39 pm Mary Says:

    I appreciate what you are going through. I know my husband, who works really hard, feels that this is how he shows his family how much he loves them.

  49. On July 5th, 2010 at 5:45 pm Pamajama Says:

    Good for you, Becky. There’s nothing funny about not having a partner to share your life with & essentially it’s a very lonely existence. You deserve so much better than that.

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  51. On July 5th, 2010 at 6:12 pm Mommy on the Spot Says:

    You are such a strong person. It takes a lot of guts to take care of yourself. You are awesome!

  52. On July 5th, 2010 at 5:20 pm This Is Mommyhood Says:

    This really hit home for me. I’m gonna go grab a tissue.

  53. On July 5th, 2010 at 5:23 pm melissalion Says:

    What a great post. So inspiring. Thank you for writing that.

  54. On July 5th, 2010 at 6:47 pm Jacquie Says:

    I suspect this will be very hard on Dave. Giving up an addiction leaves a big hole, a big itchy hole, that he won’t know how to fill or scratch for relief.

    You’re doing the right thing. No matter what happens, it’s the right thing. No question. The snowball effect has to stop somewhere, and it was your strong hands that formed the wall.


  55. On July 5th, 2010 at 7:57 pm Kristin Says:

    I have to say two things – one supportive and one filled with a little self-pity party: good for you guys and I am so jealous.

    I have been coming to terms with finally acknowledging that I am living with someone with a significant alcohol problem and bringing it out into the open. The last time I brought up talking with someone it was not pretty.

    I think we may be ruined and I’m not happy. I’m lost and flailing and I don’t know…I wish I could see some light, but I can’t.

    I’m so glad that you were strong enough to call this out and that both of you are strong enough to start looking for help and resolution. I wish you the very best!

  56. On July 5th, 2010 at 7:34 pm Ms. Moon Says:

    Oh, Becky. I understand on so many levels. And I am SO proud of you for recognizing a problem and dealing with it head-on.
    Your life will only be better.
    Funny how no matter what music we listen to, we do the dance we learned at such a young age.

  57. On July 5th, 2010 at 8:59 pm Dana Says:


    Life can be deceptively cruel some times …

  58. On July 5th, 2010 at 9:11 pm Ashola Says:

    Best of luck with therapy, I so hope it goes well.

    I live in fear that my partner will morph into a workaholic. He’s not there yet, but it’s heading past the point where he’s merely passionate about his work and getting to the point of constant focus. Fingers crossed.

  59. On July 5th, 2010 at 9:37 pm Angela Says:

    Best of luck. I’m not even sure that’s appropriate because luck really has nothing to do with it; so instead I wish you all the best. Thank you for your honesty and sharing.

  60. On July 5th, 2010 at 10:34 pm cathyjoy Says:

    YAY for you and the Daver! the hubs and I started therapy a few months ago, half our time is us together and half our time is just me. I have certainly realized a lot – mainly that my mom is to blame as much as my dad for my fucked up life so now I’m workin’ through my anger at my mom. You guys have taken the first step and are gonna come out so much stronger! Y’all are in my prayers!

  61. On July 5th, 2010 at 10:30 pm Vinomom Says:

    I am sure it took a lot of courage to write this. I find it extremely interesting as well – this blog post could be in Psychology Today.

    As another poster said,though, The Daver listened to you. He listened, cared and took action.

    Interestingly enough, I have parents who are the absolute opposite of alcoholics, but I longed for the same sort of things growing up. I think in general, my mom, at least, is what you would call emotionally unavailable. Interesting as well, that I chose a man who is quite similar and it has taken me years (six in all) to break those barriers.

    We all have our crosses to bear and our ghosts to conquer. I give you my utmost respect and well wishes in dealing with yours. XOXO

  62. On July 5th, 2010 at 11:52 pm Dawn Says:

    I know how hard it is to have a “Come to Jesus” type meeting with a spouse. I applaud your bravery at facing the hard truths of your present and your past. We children of addicts have worked hard in the past to keep our lives together. I have no doubt that you will be able to work on your present and future with great success. Sending good vibes and hopes for peace your way.

  63. On July 6th, 2010 at 12:12 am Stone Fox Says:

    i’m sitting here wondering how i can worm my way out of thinking too much about your post. i don’t want to look at myself that closely because it’s hard to admit that despite my best intentions, i am part of a cycle that is repeating. i also grew up with parents who had addictions and i was vigilant about not marrying an addict. which, of course, i completely did. this cycle of addiction shit is so hard to figure out. so go you! for doing what you need to do to be healthy.

    i have two good shoulders and two good ears if you ever need them.

  64. On July 6th, 2010 at 12:13 am Nyx Says:

    Hey Aunt Becky,

    I’m crying for you both. The first step is the hardest – I have no doubt that you’ll overcome this. Good luck dudette.

    My thoughts and prayers are with you!

  65. On July 6th, 2010 at 1:41 am Liz Says:

    I know you will both work on it. It’s hard to face when there’s something that might need fixing. I know where you are coming from. I’ve painted a rosy sugar-coated version of my childhood that I believe most of the time, but every now and then I’ll remember something and realize Damn, I survived that?

  66. On July 6th, 2010 at 2:26 am poosemommy Says:

    Good on you for taking that hard step to start fixing something that was broken in your life, in your children’s lives, in your family. An good on the Daver for being such a good and loving husband to recognize that his good intentions were causing you emotional pain and stepping up to work on fixing it. I know you both have a long road ahead, but I truly believe that accepting that there is a problem and taking steps to fix it is the beginning of healing.
    So proud of you both, as always, your family is in my prayers.

    And Daver, if you are reading this, way to take care of your family – working hard is an admirable trait, but your wife and children need you in their lives. There, in the moment with them. Way to be!

  67. On July 6th, 2010 at 4:54 am Maria Says:

    Brave Becky, for recognizing the problem and for bringing it up with The Daver.

    Brave The Daver, for listening and taking to heart what Becky talks about, and for going to therapy.

    Much love to you both, and crossed fingers.

    My ex had issues, and wouldn’t get help. I felt he expected me to carry his sorrow/anxiety/drinking. Only when I made him leave could I take care of my own issues – I didn’t have the time or energy, he stole it all.
    Now, I’m happier than ever, since I worked on myself. And I found a man who is honest about his issues, and deals with them.

    You will come through this happier and stronger, but it’s a tough journey that has to be done.

    Maria in Sweden

  68. On July 6th, 2010 at 7:15 am Ami Says:

    I’m so, so sorry. Addiction is a crappy, shitty, crummy thing to deal with. And it never ceases to amaze me how many different ways it finds to slink in and fuck things up. Good news is that it can be killed. It can be dealt with. You’re not an alcoholic. You didn’t marry an alcoholic. Those are two huge, gargantuan steps in the right direction (aka towards mental health).

    If you both want to make this work and get through this you can. The Daver sounds like an amazing guy and I know you’re an amazing woman. Together you can beat this. Just recognizing that its there is another huge win, even if it feels like a giant step backwards right now. One step at a time, one small victory at a time you can win. This can be a bad memory and something your kids don’t have to go through because you beat it rather than passing it to them. They’ll learn how to beat the bad things because they saw their parents conquer.

    Just take a deep breath, and aim for the center of mass. 😉

  69. On July 6th, 2010 at 9:06 am bashtree Says:

    He listened! And he’s doing something about it! That’s FULL of The Awesome. I hope you don’t think there’s ‘something wrong’ with you, because there isn’t. Just wanted to put that out there.

  70. On July 6th, 2010 at 9:13 am LindsayLu Says:

    Kick ass. Do it up, Aunt Becky!

  71. On July 6th, 2010 at 9:35 am panamahat Says:

    Good work Aunt Becky. It was a tough call, but you called it, and you’re gonna deal with it. And thanks for sharing. x

  72. On July 6th, 2010 at 10:06 am leanne Says:

    Hugs to you both.

  73. On July 6th, 2010 at 10:10 am Carrie Says:

    I can’t imagine what you must be going through, but I am happy that you have made the commitment to work through it together. Sending strength and love your way.

  74. On July 6th, 2010 at 10:22 am MamaCas Says:

    “In reality, I was alone and I knew it.”

    I almost couldn’t read past this line. That’s a heavy burden for a child. Good for you both, though, for taking the first steps. It won’t be an easy road, but I’m sure it will be worth it.

    Hugs to you.

  75. On July 6th, 2010 at 10:24 am Jess@Straight Talk Says:

    That’s great for both of you. Glad he was open to it.

  76. On July 6th, 2010 at 10:29 am Fran Says:

    Best of thoughts going out to you and Daver as you try to get through this. Once again you have opened up your world to us and I for one feel humbled by your honesty and straightforwardness. We’re pulling for you (((hugs)))

  77. On July 6th, 2010 at 9:37 am Dot Says:

    Wow, I had no idea that things were bad for many, many months. Good for you, and the Daver, that you’re facing this and dealing with it. Workaholism is usually about a lot more than loving one’s job — as in, escaping from dealing with feelings, escaping from dealing with relationships, escaping. Glad you’re not enabling.

    “trust no one but yourself” — a heavy burden to carry. This was how I lived for a long time, and never got to have any help with anything because I didn’t trust the help.

  78. On July 6th, 2010 at 11:30 am choosy Says:

    I read his posts too and it seems like the Daver is a good man.
    And I know you rock.
    Good Luck!

    And thanks for sharing. Definite food for thought.

  79. On July 6th, 2010 at 11:47 am Cynthia Says:

    Seeing that most of the world suffers from some form of co-dependency and knowing that the road to health begins with self-awareness, I am heartened. You get it.

    It can (but doesn’t have to be) a dark and treacherous slog through the backwaters of your life to get a complete understanding of how you came to make the choices you have. That satisfies the need to know about ourselves, but ultimately the solution lies in being able to observe yourself (LOVINGLY) and BE the parent you needed to yourself now. Any Melody Beattie book would help A LOT – NO I DON’T KNOW HER OR WORK FOR HER!!

    I know it sucks, but I’m really happy for you. Besides being a mom (who btw will improve the world by putting out children who aren’t codependent), there is no more worthwhile work.

    Cheers to you Becky,

    C (the Anti-Becky)

  80. On July 6th, 2010 at 12:09 pm Ann Says:

    Wow. Your courage is inspiring, Aunt Becky. It’s never easy to face demons like this, but I would imagine it’s especially scary when you’re also dealing with Mimi’s speech issues. At least, my instinct would be to be terrified of rocking the boat any more for fear it would capsize under me, and I assumed you are like me. But you are NOT like me, you are much stronger and braver than me, and you’re over there saying “Let’s rock the shit outta this boat, I’ve got life jackets for everybody, motherfuckerrrrrs!!!” If you’ll pardon my lameass cliched analogy. My point is that I’m grateful and proud to know you. Rock on.

  81. On July 6th, 2010 at 12:15 pm Mommakiss Says:

    Someone else said it, but bears repeating. That Daver is a good man – to listen and to be willing to work with you.
    Good luck with the therapy. You’re doing the right thing for everyone! Big ass hug from this kid.

  82. On July 6th, 2010 at 12:26 pm Mrs Soup Says:

    Love you.

  83. On July 6th, 2010 at 12:36 pm Inna Says:

    I think the 8 year old you would be very proud of the now-a-day you. 🙂

  84. On July 6th, 2010 at 1:38 pm vanita Says:

    I was also a child of two alcoholics. I hear you so well sista! An only child, raising herself, making mistakes that she tries to now keep her kids from making. I feel your pain. And I too married an alcoholic the first time around. i guess I wasn’t enlightened enough to try therapy or maybe too prideful or maybe so tired of his crap that i didn’t want to try, whatever it was, the moment he got drunk and yelled at my kids, he had to go. I don’t regret because I have a wonderful husband now with two more kids, but I’m proud of you and happy that you didn’t let your relationship go so down the drain that it’s too far to fix now.

  85. On July 6th, 2010 at 1:52 pm electriclady Says:

    Big hugs to you.

  86. On July 6th, 2010 at 2:07 pm Nancy C Says:

    Therapy is good stuff. I’m so pleased you’re doing this.

    My husband can be like this with his marathon training, and believe me, we talk about it a lot.

    Thanks for the nudge if it gets intolerable.

  87. On July 6th, 2010 at 2:59 pm gypsygrrl Says:

    love to you both, my friend…
    your BBFF

  88. On July 6th, 2010 at 4:31 pm dawny dee Says:

    wow. so powerful. and i can relate. the part about waking up and finding you did the one thing you swore you’d never do. for me it was marrying an alcoholic. and when i realized it i was so mad – almost as tho someone had deceived me when i wasnt looking. then angry at myself for how stupid i was. such intense emotions – such earth shattering thoughts. well, shattering to my earth that is.
    and yet so many of us think there are no scars. how foolish.
    but breaking the cycle is the best, hardest thing to do – and with honesty, you CAN do it. hang in there. cant solve a problem if you dont acknowledge it but the trial is sometimes for you both to see the same problem.
    i was able to finally see the unhealthiness and walk away – but i applaud your decision to fight. you’re stronger than you think which is what will allow you to open and be vulnerable. hang in there and stay with it. my prayrers are with you

  89. On July 6th, 2010 at 4:39 pm Amanda@LadyScientist Says:

    I’ll be thinking of you both. None of this is ever easy. Lots of good thoughts your way.

  90. On July 6th, 2010 at 4:58 pm Your Aunt Becky Says:

    I think it’s going to be a long road. But it’s an important road. I need to find my happiness, no matter where it is.

  91. On July 6th, 2010 at 5:08 pm Mwa Says:

    WOW Becky – first of all big hug and then well done for facing truths and trying to make things better. xxx

  92. On July 6th, 2010 at 4:25 pm Amanda Says:

    Becky – Many hugs to you today. You’ve done the hardest step. The sidewalk is just beginning now.

  93. On July 6th, 2010 at 5:37 pm Tracie Says:

    Sending virtual hugs to you. I empathize with your situation more than you know. (Only there will be no reaching out for help in my house.)

  94. On July 6th, 2010 at 5:41 pm Ashley, the Accidental Olympian Says:

    You are already so much further ahead than most.

    Identifying the issue, and not just throwing around those empty comments of, “You need to change,” and doing nothing, you’re both working to change.

    All my thoughts and hopes for the both of you…

  95. On July 6th, 2010 at 5:53 pm Becky Mochaface Says:

    Your courage astounds me.Much love and many hugs!

  96. On July 6th, 2010 at 6:14 pm kbreints Says:

    ((Hugs)) You are a strong woman. I am still around and cheering you on!

  97. On July 6th, 2010 at 6:50 pm Jenn Says:

    I love you.
    I think it’s a step in the right direction. xoxo

  98. On July 6th, 2010 at 6:52 pm Lynette Says:

    Yup, you’re totally not alone. My father is a (recovering) alcoholic. His second wife (After my mom) was also an alcoholic, and I spent a number of years with them. It did horrible, crushing things to my self-esteem that I still have issues with today. My mom was also the child of an alcoholic. WOO, I got it on both sides!

    I’ve spent years trying to overcome the things that I did to survive that environment; the hiding, the fear, the “nothing is ever good enough. Oh, and you’re a girl so you won’t amount to anything anyway. Oh, and you looked at that boy, you MUST be sleeping with him.”

    I almost married a guy… and stopped that in the tracks when someone said “wow, he’s just like your dad.” AIEEEEEEEEEEE. FULL STOP. That was over 15 years ago. I’m more who I want to be now, but I know there’s still stuff in there. There always is. I’m still getting better. I’m working hard to teach and treat my daughter the way I wish I had been, knowing that in my heart, I don’t feel that way about myself.

    It’s a hard road, but it doesn’t have to crush you. OBVIOUSLY. 😀

  99. On July 6th, 2010 at 7:30 pm Coco Says:

    I am thinking of you and Daver both, and I am so happy you’re working on a healing solution together.

  100. On July 6th, 2010 at 10:22 pm Dora Says:

    Again, trying to catch up on my reading.

    Aunt Becky, my dear, have I told you lately that you rock? You are on the road. And you’ve got your walking shoes on. Hoping hard that The Daver winds up walking by your side. He’d be a fool not to.

    Big hug from me and Sunshine. (Soon, soon, soon in person!!!!)

  101. On July 6th, 2010 at 9:24 pm SciFi Dad Says:

    Well fuck, I go away for a week and you go and turn all self aware on me?

    In all seriousness, I’m impressed by both of you for doing this. I could never do therapy because I’d spend the session analyzing the questions they were asking me.

  102. On July 7th, 2010 at 2:36 am GingerB Says:

    Oh honey, sending more virtual hugs and e-mac’n’cheese, guaranteed to dull whatever pain ails you.

  103. On July 7th, 2010 at 10:34 am Brandi Says:

    Aunt Becky, I could have written that. My feet from all the eggshells, and I am so mad that despite my best efforts I find myself where I began. Much love to you today.

  104. On July 7th, 2010 at 11:19 am Miss Grace Says:

    As a child of addiction, I worry about doing this myself.
    I’m very proud of you both.

  105. On July 7th, 2010 at 12:48 pm NTE Says:

    Sometimes I read things like this and I don’t know what to say, because parts of it hit too close to home. Instead of walking away, I’m just going to say how brave you both must be, to have the courage to do what comes next. That’s wonderful, and I hope you can feel how strong you actually are.

  106. On July 7th, 2010 at 1:31 pm MamaSkates Says:

    kudos!!! for approaching The Daver…& for seeking therapy…it takes a big person to do both!

  107. On July 7th, 2010 at 1:54 pm Your Aunt Becky Says:

    I am both excited and nervous. I think it will be…something. Thank you. xoxo

  108. On July 7th, 2010 at 5:26 pm daisybv2 Says:

    Awesome I wish you both the best of luck with the therapy!

  109. On July 7th, 2010 at 9:31 pm moonspun Says:

    Oh Becky, thanks for sharing this….and know that you have many hugs and thoughts of support from me. It seems no matter how much we love ourselves (that’s a struggle, huh?) and our partners, everyone has their inner demons to deal with. Good for you both for taking them on.

  110. On July 7th, 2010 at 9:45 pm Elly Lou Says:

    Admitting it is the first step to recovery, right? Hugs.

  111. On July 8th, 2010 at 1:51 pm Cranky Sarah Says:

    Thanks for sharing this with the world. I often feel guilty about complaining about my husband’s actions – or perhaps more accurately, inactions – because there’s not any kind of abuse, substance, physical or emotional, or infidelity. But this pattern we’re in is still unacceptable, and though I behave in many ways differently from my mother, it did turn out that I married someone like my father – highly self-centered.
    Good luck on all the work ahead of you, I hope you both get the results you want.

  112. On July 9th, 2010 at 9:28 am Suzy Voices Says:

    There’s a fabulous movie by Wayne Dyer that you guys should see called “The Shift.” I think it would be very helpful right now.

  113. On July 9th, 2010 at 2:33 pm Sam Says:

    Dear Aunt Becky, I have been busy with real life this past week and I’m sure you’ve missed my stalking. My bff said after reading the book Adult Children of Alcoholics that he was left wondering if the lady had been behind his couch while he was growing up, and that’s how she knew so much about his life and the way it turned out….I have read the entire book series. You have kicked ass, and will kick therapy in the ass too. (PS I am NOT knocking therapy – I have therapy Tuesday and I can’t wait. Yikes.)

  114. On July 13th, 2010 at 8:05 pm Emily R Says:

    Oh. babydoll. It is a real addiction. I staged an intervention with my husband over a year ago. I made him find a new job that didn’t enable the addiction. Good for you for forcing him to face it.

  115. On July 15th, 2010 at 7:40 pm Kendra Says:

    Congratulations to both of you–on being able to talk about a very real problem in your lives, on the strength to face it together, on taking steps to make sure that your individual problems don’t tear you apart. I sincerely hope that you’re both able to make any necessary changes so that you can enjoy your family better, together.

  116. On August 12th, 2010 at 2:06 pm Stacy Says:

    I don’t know how I manage to find my way back to you usually though a post about your alcoholic parents – I mean I was intrigued at your title because The Sidewalk Never Ends was a book I bought my sister when we called a truce in our late teens.

    I heart you and your strength. Even though you slapped me across the face by saying “trust no one but yourself.” That is brand new to me and I will give it a lot of thought.

  117. On August 12th, 2010 at 3:14 pm Your Aunt Becky Says:

    It’s not, perhaps, a healthy way to live. So maybe you shouldn’t listen to me about that. Hehe.

    Heart you back. HARD.

  118. On August 17th, 2010 at 1:58 pm Stacy Says:

    I guess what I meant to say was that I live like that … And its probably time for me to figure out how not to. If one more person asks me when I’m going to get married I’m gonna ….. Well probably nothing but fume silently … Anyway, it was a good smack you gave me. I’ll have it figured all out one day …

  119. On September 1st, 2010 at 4:22 pm Because I don’t want you in my dreams anymore | Mushroom Printing Says:

    […] It’s called: Adult Children of Alcoholics. Read it. It’s going to be hard as hell to read, but it will help. Talk to someone about this. Join Al-Anon when you’re ready. You’re not alone and you’re not nuts. This is what I’ve written about it. […]

  120. On September 1st, 2010 at 4:31 pm Morgan B. Says:

    What a brave post. Thanks for sharing such a personal story. I can relate to so much of it.

  121. On October 12th, 2011 at 10:40 am What We Talk About When We Talk About Love - Mommy Wants VodkaMommy Wants Vodka Says:

    […] grew up watching her go through crisis after crisis, until she spent most of her days and nights alone in her bedroom. My brother, now sixteen, was off […]

  122. On August 14th, 2012 at 8:41 pm Swan Song - Mommy Wants VodkaMommy Wants Vodka Says:

    […] between us so wide neither can yell across to the other. While I’d once hoped that “where the sidewalk ends” a “road would begin,” it became evident that “where the sidewalk […]

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