Thursday, October 10, 2013

I Told You So or I'll Save You a Seat: Equally Good Titles And I Can't Decide

Her ex-husband died of pancreatitis, more specifically, organ failure as a result of pancreatitis.  Chronic; necrotizing; fatal.  In his particular case, the pancreatits was caused by decades of drinking, every night, till he got drunk, not a little high, not tipsy, but swaying and pontificating in a voice thickened with bourbon.  He died of pancreatitis and she went to the funeral with her adult children to prop her up, though she didn't really need propping.  His doctors showed up to pay their respects.  At the gravesite, she walked up to them, spoke to them, very clearly and very plainly, so that everyone could hear.  

"He said YOU said it was okay to drink."

Everyone suddenly became very quiet.  The doctors looked helplessly at one another. Turned together and walked away.

Okay, that didn't happen.  Correction, it hasn't happened yet.  But it might.  And it will be horrible.  But inside the horror will be a tiny shred of vindication.  

I told you so.  

How can you say "I told you so" to a dead man?  But "I told you so" will be the motet that will ring out loud like bells at whatever memorial service we end up having.  Presumably he will have enough time before he dies to realize that he needs to make that clear - what he wants us to do about him after he is gone because he would not help himself,

You might think I am a monster for letting this scenario play out in my head.  But it's probably more likely than another fantasy I have where he has an epiphany, goes to rehab, turns into the awesome person he might really be under all the disease and denial. That fantasy is a little scarier even than the dying one.  He goes through all that, does all that work that I've told him for so long that he needs to do, and we get to the other side and I find that I still don't like him.  I learn that I prefer to be on my own.  I don't want to reconcile.

I need him to stay sick so that I have a concrete reason to leave him and stay gone.  An understandable reason.  A forgivable reason.  Not just "she up and left on a whim one day so she could go be happy alone and on her own."  That's the story he is telling.  The sad victim.  Shaking his head and wringing his hands like the weakling that he is.  Like it matters what people think.

Fantasy, the prequel:  He has another bout of pancreatitis and wakes up in excruciating pain.  He gets up to go the bathroom.  He falls.  Hard,  And noisily.  He hits head, he passes out.  The Gamer finds him, calls me in a panic.  I'm there in seven minutes, get him to the ER.   Here we go again.  And I'm the hero.

My online friend teases me.   "That's a very stirring story, Klonnie, but you're no hero.  I saw you in your fantasy.  I saw how it really was.  You didn't go straight to the ER.  I saw you drive around the block about 27 times."
I protest.   "Hey!  I was listening to a 'finish in the driveway' song.  I couldn't pass that shit up."
We laugh and he says, "You're going to hell.  I'll save you a seat."

I mock him.  "You always know just what to say.  Now get out of my fantasy.  You're kind of ruining it."

Dear Reader, smooth your scandalized brow.  This is gallows humor.  My fantasy won't conjure these events.  You can't make things happen by wishing them so, and you know it.   If that were possible, wouldn't we have fixed all this ages ago?  

Still, can you blame me for hoping he waits till I can lose ten pounds?  I've got a black dress that hugs the curves a little too tightly right now, but give me six months and I'll be all set.  See you there.  

I'll save you a seat.


  1. I worked at a bar for years. Three weeks ago, we took a collection up to cremate the other bartender, age 44, that slowly internally bled to death in ICU for two weeks because she didnt even slow down after several hospital stays and warnings that she would die if she didnt quit drinking. She was "just fine" one day, and her daughter found her on the floor with 80% of her blood on the carpet that night. Good luck.

  2. Careful...lest we forget Mr. Horrible Client and how his day turned out after your mental machinations.

  3. My brow is not scandalized and I have a sweet love for the idea of gallows. Stories play out in my X is in his third go at rehab....luckily he was my X before all these epiphanies came to pass, because as long as I held him up he never had to fall....and thankfully this was before my daughter was old enough to be truly damaged...only slightly and I deal with that guilt daily. But realize everyone teachers everyone how they want to be treated....I deal with the ghosts of pain and the inner demons....the big Z helps but my mind is its own little mystery...peace sister.

  4. I completely understand where you're coming from. I married my first addict/alcoholic when I was 25 and left him a year and a half later. The guilt almost crushed me when he threatened suicide but of course, they are too narcissistic for that and he went along the same path until he landed in prison for a few years. He's out now, and wants to friend me on FB (that'll be the day.)
    I married my 2nd addict/alcoholic when I was 32 and we were together for 10 years. He left me this time, and blamed me for the marriage eroding although he was hiding his cocaine addiction all the while drinking like a fish. (my fault my ass) Luckily, this time I did not believe it was my fault (thank you Al-Anon!) and he's probably back to drinking and doing God knows what. One piece of advice - never feel guilty about leaving. If you have reached "your bottom" in that relationship, it's time to get the fuck out and take care of yourself. You're not going to make them stop, not. gonna. happen. I'm just glad that he left me before killing himself so I don't watch it this time. He did try to kill himself once, that was enough for me. I don't own a black dress for a very good reason.

  5. I love your fantasies...and thought out possible scenarios. I do that frequently with my ex who is an addict. It doesn't make me a bad person, it makes me a better person for walking away - but still fantasizing for him to get help - without expecting me to come back. We've not been together for 10 years and we have a 12 yr old son together. I'm referred to by him as an addict because of my 7 years and counting prescription to Klonopin. Nothing has gotten better with him, and doubtful it will. But everything has gotten better with me :) The fantasies also help me cope with talking to my son about his dad when jaw dropping questions are being asked...because you know...12 year olds are smart enough to see that there is a problem, and not because I told him....he can just see it now...but still doesn't quite understand....yea. I didn't sign up for this shit (IDSUFTS) is one of my favorite sayings. You can run with it if you like. Beautiful writing as usual.

  6. I've thought the exact. same. thing. Eloquent my dear.

  7. Sounds like my life, only his addiction isn't alcohol.

  8. I call shotgun! Because my ex doesn't have a drinking problem, but reading this? I kind of wish he did. I fantasize about things like his soul blooming back to life like the flowers in E.T. Or prostate cancer. Not enough to kill him, though. Just enough to take the "wind out of his sails".

    I can't believe I just typed that.

  9. I hear you, Girl. Save me a seat, too!

  10. Oh how I remember those days, only it wasn't pancreatitis for him; I remember wishing he'd stop breathing in his sleep (could I put the pillow over his face without anyone finding out?) or fall down the steps, or get hit by a car, or, or, or...Oh yes, I remember the days.

    The last was the day I drove him to the emergency room and let it be known he had a choice; he could live to see his children again, or he could continue drinking, I really didn't care which. I would not stop if I found him lying broken and bloody in the streets. That was 10 1/2 years ago. His kids are 12 & 14 - they don't know him, they don't remember him.

    I'm with ya, drive around the block - hell, park in the parking lot and make his sorry ass walk.

  11. 2.5 years with a prescription Rx user...but even better <> he was and is a narcissistic sociopath. Increasingly abusive but slowwwwlllly. We dated. I moved and was closer - started seeing behaviors...he put on a good show... I was going through family shit - big time and was caught off guard and didn't know and then... last summer was yelling.... moved in Nov. 2012 - end of it. Irony (know you love that)... I got a job as clinical director and directing program curriculum for male offenders of DV (domestic violence). Went to group sessions to observe clinicians....things started sounding familiar. It was all in my face. (Getting over feeling stupid) And I have dealt with triply-diagnosed population: HIV+, substance abuse and mental illness.... in NY. A lot of good that did.

    Started to bruise my hands, threatened to hit, strangled me, threatened to kill me... finally, finally, finally.... I called the police June 30 and I have a Final Protective Order.

    Had pics of the bruises but my 1 year old laptop's hard drive suddenly crashed. Have to send it to a company to get it read. Now. I'm healing.

    I'm making changes and he has acted childish when I ran into him in a parking lot.

    Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.... cycling moods...ugly to his kids, ex-wife tried to warn me in Feb. was very nice to me - no sarcasm. Found out history of mental illness in family. No more projects for me.... I'm sad about having allowed or staying too long.

    I hear ya. It's exhausting. Klonnie - get rid of the black dress. Don't go back. You'll drown with him and trust me - no amount of meds (for you) will work. I have decreased the amount of meds since I moved out July 13.

    The court awarded me residency of his townhouse and he had to stay in a hotel until the hearings were over. My friends moved me. I registered for a firearm. I did the paperwork - 120 days wait. I did research and friends who are gun enthusiasts (no not fanatics) educated me. Now I will take classes with NRA instructor. And since I deal with the courts, probation, etc because of my job - I let the State's Atty know what I was doing. I can only have the firearm in the home - no conceal/carry.

    Be done Klonnie. I have the fantasies of perfect justice but I rack it up to PTSD and I just redirect my mind and I'm training it.... being happy...relying on family, therapist and my own Scorpio determination.

    I don't know if this helps. I'm here for ya too. Paying it forward. We all laugh, gallows humor, listening...xoxo

  12. it's easy for any one of us to say "be done with it"

    but love is love. even if it's twisted and distorted and broken and crumbled. and connection is connection. and connection with children is connection exponential. and love that is broken can be hate too.

    and none of that is intended to read like "therefore you should work it out" or "you're right you are blameable" it's more meant to say that, sad as it is, love does not now and never has conquered all. oh, how i wish it did.

  13. is my truth. I set a limit on my man of 5 years on 1/27/12 ... less than a week later he was dead. Shot his Dad --or whomever pulled that trigger in that struggle over meds ...none the less he killed himself with a BAC of .32. Not a good scene.
    Has changed who I am from my toenails to my read head.
    I miss my man. I have found others; none quite the same. I too, play scenarios in my head.
    The reality is, you don't want a family of victims from your ex's lifestyle. You want to create at least an opportunity for health, and open doors and being authentic. You are doing that, and that's why I follow and applaud you.
    Let go of the guilty honey. It serves nothing. Own the opportunities presented.... they are your lifeline now.

  14. "That fantasy is a little scarier even than the dying one. He goes through all that, does all that work that I've told him for so long that he needs to do, and we get to the other side and I find that I still don't like him. I learn that I prefer to be on my own. I don't want to reconcile."

    This was bowled me over. This is where I'm at RIGHT NOW. Nice to know I'm not alone.