A Letter To My Wife

My Dearest J,

This is a difficult letter to write.  I have to try to help you understand my behaviour over the years.  I originally was going to focus on the 6 years that we have been married.  The more I thought about it, I decided that I should start at the beginning of my drinking.  Not just when you were exposed to it.  I remember my first drink like it was yesterday.  I was 2 or maybe 3 years old.  Dad had fixed a drink and left it on the counter.  I guess I thought it was a coke or something.  I took the glass and took a drink.  It was hot and sweet at the same time.  I don’t remember if I coughed or not.  But I still remember the taste.  And I guess somewhere deep down how it made me feel.

I did drink in my teens.  There were negative consequences, arrested once, almost kicked off the football team and stitches in my head.  It didn’t matter.  My 20’s started off rough with a DWI.  Then I got married and went in the Marines.  That was the only issue in my 20’s and 30’s.  I pretty much settled down and became “Normal”.  Sure there were plenty of ups and downs.  But I handled them appropriately.  My 40’s are a completely different story.  You know all about Cyndi’s suicide.  I have never hidden any of the details from you.  That is when the heavy drinking started.

I felt quilty, angry and responsible for it.  I was the one who made her leave.  I made sure Victoria went to counseling, but I didn’t.  I was focused on two things.  Victoria and burying my feelings.  Honestly I didn’t do right by her either, which just added to my guilt.

After that came the biggest mistake of my 40’s.  Tammie.  I was only thinking of myself and no one else.  That was a horrible decision for Victoria.  She had just lost her mother and I hoisted Tammie and Jessie on her.  Victoria and Jessie hadn’t been friends since kindergarten.  In fact, they didn’t like each other, even though they were a grade apart.  And it just got worse.  So here comes more guilt and anger.  Then more drinking.

Granted it wasn’t fair to Tammie and Jessie either.  When I came to rehab the first time, I had zero support when I got home.  A part ofthat was my fault.  I came in with the wrong attitude.  And the environment wasn’t great.  We have talked about all of this I think.  When Tammie filed for divorce and moved out, the guilt, anger and resentment kept building.  So did the drinking.  I tried to stop many times.  Even moved in with mom and dad for a time.  We were living with them when I got my second DWI.  I was on my way to the Glass House for a meeting when I found myself at the liquor store just down the street from it.  I can’t tell you why I stopped there.  All I can tell you is that I did.  After buying liquor and beer I sat in the car crying all the way to Woodson.  Why there?  To apologize to Cyndi.  For pushing her away and not taking better care of Victoria.  Of course she couldn’t forgive me.   That added to the guilt and anger.  And of course more drinking to suppress the feelings that I had no clue how to deal with.  Alcohol became my therapist, for lack of a better term.

When we met 6 years ago, I was still dealing with the guilt, anger and resentment the only way I knew how.  I fell in love with you the day we met.  That is 100% true.  Over the last 6 years my love for you has done nothing but grow.  However the old issues are still there.  You have tried to get me to talk about what is wrong.  I always tell you “nothing”.  When “nothing” couldn’t be further from the truth.  Up to this point I couldn’t forgive myself so how could anyone else?  Since joining Creekwood, I have been praying for forgiveness.  Both from myself, God and you.  I don’t know what sign I am expecting.  I guess I keep waiting for it and keep self medicating.

I have always believed in God.  I just didn’t think he believed in my.  Why should he?  I think that is what changed on Sunday 9/3.  The day I sat reading my bible at random.  Ever since then, I have felt the guilt, anger and resentment being lifted off my heart.  I continue to pray on it every night and day.  I feel it getting better every day.

I hope this gives you some insight into why I have behaved the way I have.  I am not making any excuses.  After much sould searching and prayer this is why.  Beautiful, I LOVE YOU.  And I ask for your forgiveness.

Your Loving Husband,

Robert P.

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