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Unread 08-12-2009, 06:25 PM   #101
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Hi R.Lee,

Based on what I know about alcoholism, I agree with your statements. I probably made too close of a connection between alcoholism being a disease and "beating it" - but in my opinion, recovering alcoholics have beaten down the disease and have dealt with issues, and in that way -they have beaten down the disease of alcoholism into something that is mangable, albeit a day by day fight. I hope my comments did not come off as disrepectful.

I guess my frustration wtih my STBE is that he COULD try and do something about his drinking, but he has chosen not to.. and now I"ve made my choice.

Thanks again for your comments.
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Unread 08-12-2009, 08:57 PM   #102
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1418, I take no comments here as direspectful. Who am I to judge your situation. I only try to offer suggestions. I try not to take any comments personal. I'm only trying to give help to the suffering alcoholic & the victems of their behavior. Giving back what was so freely given to me.

The alcoholic has got to want to get sober for themselves. When the alcoholic still continues to drink they stand the chance of GIVING AWAY EVERYTHING. Not loosing everything, GIVING IT AWAY.

I used to think that when I got sober I would never have the choice to drink again. That never drinking again idea kept me away for many years. It was too big of a mountain for me to clime. I now look at being sober as a daily reprieve from drinking. If I don't stay on top of my thinking I may chose to drink again. That is the reason I use the power of a 12 step program so I can continue to live a proper kind of life. I could not do this alone. I need a support group. Good luck, R. Lee

Last edited by R. Lee; 08-12-2009 at 09:03 PM..
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Unread 08-13-2009, 01:07 AM   #103
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Hi 1418,
I understand what you are saying, and yes, as Rlee says if one thinks in terms of never drinking again - it is like climbing a mountain ! it seemed so unattainable in the beginning for me. But break it down and it is doable.
Maybe that is what prevents your STBE from getting help, he feels overwhelmed, but this is not your responsibility, you gave him info, you offered to help him, after that it is up to him, ( except when it affects his visitation with your son).
But, as you said, most people do learn how to live without alcohol and deal with underlying issues, and yes life without alcohol can be managable and even fun ! There rae so many options for treatment, I am sure there is one that fits his needs.
It is unfortunate that your STBE does not believe that yet.

Is there any possibility his family will intervene or will they enable him ? I ask because his issues with alcohol will continue to impact your son, and imo- that will need to be dealt with.
Are the ballgames over yet ? I hope he is moving on - esp with the guilt trips! Hang in there, enjoy yourself , you worked hard to rebuild a new life ! Take care, Carly : )
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Unread 08-16-2009, 02:44 PM   #104
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Hi Everyone,

I heard from a friend yesterday (#1), who mistakenly thought another friend had already told me this - but she had not.. Anyway, friend #1 told me that my STBE was in a bank about 2 weeks ago drunk. It was 2:00 in the afternoon.

I called friend number 2 and asked if it was true (friend 1 tends to exaggerate), Friend 2 was very put out that I called her, but finally admitted that yes, STBE was in the bank at 2;00 in the afternoon and smelled of alcohol, but she couldn't tell if it was from th enight before or from that day.

I thanked friend 2 for telling me the truth. Her husband is supposedly good friends iwth my STBE. I told her that if her husband is really a friend, he will tell my STBE to get help, because that way it isn't "the nag" telling him he has a problem. I also told her I would understand if she and her huband choose not to say anything - that you really have to care about somebody in order to take something like that on. Now that I am typing this is sounds like a guilt trip - but I didn't mean for it to sound that way.

Anyway, I told her that after the divorce is final, I would consider organizing an intervention, but until that time, I'm not doing anything and Im' staying away from STBE.

I also told her that if he drinks and drives with our son, that I will come after him with everything that i have and I will squash him like a bug. My sole job now in life is to keep my son safe and as happy as possible.

What a disappointment. I guess my STBE is goign to have to lose more than his family before he admits he has a problem. This sucks.
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Unread 08-16-2009, 06:56 PM   #105
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Hi 1418,

Well it sounds like your suspicions about his drinking are confirmed. If these friends are people you trust then I guess they told you because they are also concerned about you , and everyone's safety.
I think it would be helpful if his friend would talk to him, some people feel it is none of their bussiness, but when you care about your friends, then telling them that you are concerned about something like an alcohol issue is part of the territory of being a caring , true friend. imo.
The baffling part of this equation is the fact that his parents do not see this, or are enabling him, or in denial- maybe all ? I know alcoholics become masters at covering our tracks so to speak. But, from what you have posted about the in laws - I wonder if they have dropped by unannounced and how he explains things.

I think you have a solid plan, your son's safety being first. Have you consulted an attorney about how to handle visitation?
When the time comes for an intervention, it is suggested to seek professional help, it takes the sole responsibility of dealing with his family/friends off of you and may result in a more successful outcome.

I am worried about your STBE, I am sure he loves your son, but my concern is that if he is drinking at 2 in the afternoon, and driving, this is just not a good sign. It begs the question, is he able to abstain during visitation?
There is never a definitive answer to what will your STBE wake up call be. There are success stories everyday. I pray that he will be open to help, but if he refuses, then you and your son's physical and emotional safety need to be secured, IMO. Do what you need to do.

I hope you were able to salvage your weekend, and that your son is doing well. Hang in there, keep us posted. Take care, Carly : )
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Unread 08-17-2009, 02:04 PM   #106
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Don't take this the wrong way, but an alcoholic will not suddenly develop a conscience just because he has to drive.I am sorry for the emotional damage your STBE is inflicting on you and your family.I remember when I was around nine years old, my father being drunk behind the wheel and falling asleep.I had to grab the steering wheel or we would have crashed. This wasn't a one time thing- it was everytime.
It is a severe disappointment that your STBE will have to lose so much- who knows how much more it will take for him to come around.I commend you for putting you and your son first-often the family becomes as sick as the alcoholic- you have accomplished so much for your family already. Just keep your head up and be proud of yourself. Stay in touch and keep talking about your feelings!
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Unread 08-17-2009, 10:40 PM   #107
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I am worried I'm not doing enough to protect my son. I am going to call my attorney tomorrow and find out what else I can do to protect our son. I am thinking, after the divorce is final - if I organized an intervention - with his parents AND his friends... then I would have a community watching out for my son and his safety.

I am feeling like I'm not being strong enough because I'm not demanding sole custody or legal whatever... From what I understand it is very difficult to prove somebody to be an unfit parent. Maybe I offer my STBE more money and ask for sole legal custody. Maybe I could buy him off... and then have more control over our son's future.

Thoughts?
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Unread 08-18-2009, 12:57 AM   #108
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hi 1418,

I know this is frustrating. If I remember correctly, when you first moved, your STBE had stated that he stopped drinking though you suspected otherwise. Things were not good when you were with him, he refused any form of help. imo - it stands to reason his alcohol issues are progressing.

I am not sure about the legal aspects, I suggest find out what all of your options are.

Sole custody is an option to explore but long term how will this affect your son? The tough part imo - is that your STBE is still your child's father, safety issues aside, you need to remember, whatever happens, do you think he may long for a connection with his Dad ? You know your son best.

A dear friend of mine has sole custody because her ex never bothered to show up at ANY of the divorce proceedings. However it has not been easy, yes, they are safe but the emotional toll has been rough at times. It has been 8 years he still has not sought help, has been in/out jail, DUIs, etc...

Would his parents fight you ? I hope not !
I would think that your concerns should be made clear and on the record. But seek legal advice, because I think it is best to explore every avenue.

None of this is fair. I hesitated to even bring any of this up, on the one hand I don't want to upset you but then I did not know if you had considered long term feelings your son may have if you sought sole custody/extricated him from your life.
I know you are smart, and am condfident you will do what is best for you and your son.
Sending thoughts and prayers your way, keep us psoted, take care, Carly
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Last edited by CarlyO; 08-18-2009 at 01:03 AM..
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Unread 08-18-2009, 10:47 AM   #109
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Hi Carly,

Thanks for your comments, and you did NOT upset me. I am not going to try and keep my son away from my STBE. My purpose for going for sole legal custody is that then I would have the power to stop my STBE from visitation (I think) if my STBE got into serious trouble drinking. My plan would be to keep the 50/50 placement, but I would have sole legal custody.

I am going to call my lawyer.

THANKS
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Unread 08-18-2009, 01:31 PM   #110
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Hi 1418,

I honestly was worried, you have so much to deal with and I did not want to add What Ifs - to your plate. I wish I had more answers, I worked for CPS but that is a different court than divorce. Keeping in contact with your attorney is the best thing you can do - imo.
My friend, I spoke of is also a social worker. She knew that providing as much consistency and stability was important. Which you have been doing from the beginning. I know you mentioned you have a counselor if you think he needs one. Again, good idea, just in case.

She has always told me if any of experiences with her ex can help anyone to share it. I remember during the process ...
her attorney asked the ex or his lawyer , for a Statement Of Admission, maybe you could ask your attorney about it ?
It is a list of questions that the ex was supposed to answer about drinking, substance misuse, etc... you have x amount of days to complete it and return it to the attorney, the x never did. This did not bode well for his case. They also had his record with the DUIs, and other legal issues he had. So, her request for supervised visitation on her terms was granted.

In the beginning, there was some visitation, but usually resulted in him not showing up which was a huge disappointment, it hurt. They moved away, he has never driven 4 hours to see her and now there is minimal contact. She did try her best to include him to no avail.
The questions and distress started when friend's child began school, I think she wanted so much to have a father, she wanted what the other kids had, or "thought " the other kids had, ( we all know, no family is perfect ) she even begged "Mom" to get married so she could have a Dad. Needless to say she is waiting for the right person.
That was a rough time but they got through it, have settled into their new life and her daughter has friends and family who love her dearly.

She seriously considered forgoing everything, child support, if he agreed to sign away his rights, but her own parents insisted this was not a good idea, because they had hoped he would one day seek help. To date he has not. She still considers it to this day. A few years ago she started getting child support, he had been in and out of jail. But in this state - it is handled through the CS Office, she does not have deal with him directly, which is good.

I hope some of this helps, I write this with a heavy heart knowing that you and your son have been through so much and are ready for this to be over with. Keep pushing ahead, talk with your attorney, maybe even the members of Al anon would have some suggestions, they know what you are going through, have made tough decisions,could support you.
Keep us posted and take care, Carly
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Unread 08-20-2009, 10:41 AM   #111
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Last night was NOT fun. I went to pick up my son from football practice. My STBE was there (he stays for all the practices). I looked for him (STBE) finally saw him (this is a football field with 100+ kids on it - all dressed alike, with scrimages goign on and parents scattered about - and it was misting out).

I find my STBE, smile and wave, and go stand next to him. He started out friendly and then started making the comments. His first one was, "You don't even know which one is (our son), do you?" The truth is - I didn't. There were 20+ boys, all approximately the same height, all wearing the exact same uniform. My STBE pointed out our son.

Then he said something about, "Well maybe you should show up and watch a practice once in awhile" with an accusatory/jarring tone. My response was, "that was unecessary." I became quiet, because I could tell it wasn't going to be a very good evening.

My STBE continued to make wise cracks, which I ignored - but they were all hinting at the fact he does way more for our son than I do and he knows our son much better than I do, etc. He also kept on making sounds like, "I can't believe you" - a "huff" sound and then shook his head.

When practice was over, my STBE walked away. I waited a bit and then walked over to where he was standing. Our son came over, we both greeted him, etc..

Just before our son came over, my STBE snapped, "Oh, and I'm doing fine by the way- thanks for asking."

When I was walking to the car with my son, my son was saying something about wanting to go to his father's home to pick up a video game. His father and I both said he didn't need it (it was already 7:00 pm and by the time we got home, ate, showered, etc.. it would be close to bed time). My STBE said something about "Mom doens't want to spend much time with me anyway buddy" as he was walking away. I'm not sure if our son heard this or not - I don't think he did becuase our sone was yelling, "Bye Dad, I love you."

This morning when I dropped off our son at his father's house at 8:25 am - his father was still in bed sleeping. Our son walked into the house the back door and let me in. Our son jumped on the bed and tried to wake up his father - who didn't wake up. We waited a few minutes - I used the home phone to get my name off the phone bill - which hasn't been paid in 2 months - and then we tried to wake him up again. This time - he woke up.

What a complete and utter LOSER! He may spend more time with our son, but that is because he is a LOSER and doesn't work.

School starts on 9/1 - which should make things better, because the drop offs and pick ups will not involve interacting with one another. Most interactions should be limited to the phone.

I also figured out (can't remember if I mentioned this before or not) that my STBE is somehow reading my text messages of my cell phone. I don't know how (AT&T swears it is not possible) but I really think he is based on comments he has made to me. I put a new password on my cell phone account, but I think I'm going ot have to get a new number and carry two phones.... UGGGGGGGGGGGG!

I really hate alcohol. I don't even know my STBE anymore. I have no feelings for him. I used to consider him a friend. Now - I think he is completely pathetic and a complete LOSER. Saying things in front of our son that are demeaning to me - NOT acceptable.... all for the mighty bottle.

I continue to look at houses, but last night I was thinking - if I were driving to a home (as opposed to a secured apartment), I'm not sure I would feel safe. My son really would LOVE to be in a house where he can run around in a yard and in teh basement with his friends - but I just don't know... I haven't found a home yet that I like but if/when I do - I am wondering if I will even make a purchase. I'm not sure if I will be safe.
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Unread 08-20-2009, 07:05 PM   #112
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Hi 1418,

The catty remarks made by your STBE are very passive agressive -imo. The remark about not seeing him on the ball field is a bit ridulous, it IS Difficult to find your own when they are all running around , wearing uniforms!
Unfortunately, he is miserable and taking it out on you.
You sound like you are handling it well by staying calm, doing what is best for your son, and not reacting when he tries to push your buttons.

I agree with you, I hate what this disease does to people, families, loved ones - it is insanity and destruction when we are trapped in the midst of it.
Unfortunately, until your STBE realizes he has a problem and gets help, then continue with your plans, and keeping you and your son as safe as possible.
You deserve to be happy and safe, please do not lose sight of that!

I hope you have made some leeway with he legal issues, I know it takes time, but keep pushing forward and hang in there.
Take care, Carly : )
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Unread 08-20-2009, 09:23 PM   #113
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1418, This is off topic about alcoholism. I suggest you contact your attorney & see if you should be buying anything he will be aware of until your divorce is final.

When he starts talking down to you why not walk away. You don't get into a pi--ing match with a skunk.

Best of luck, R. Lee
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Unread 08-21-2009, 03:17 PM   #114
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R.Lee
I don't agree with you - my post specifically has to do with an alcoholic STBE and his crappy behavior. BTW - I saw him last night after calling him and confronting him about his horrible behavior on Wednesday evening... which I believe was due to his drinking because Thursday morning he was still "sleeping" at 8:25 am. No doubt in my mind he was a mean jerk Wednesday evening due to drinking. Thursday night he was a kind person and he was clearly sober.

The fact of the matter is - when a person is drinking but they don't slurr or have other obvious signs of being under the influence (with the exception of being mean, etc.) it is tough to have enough confidence to confront the person. I have heard from other people in the community that have smelled alcohol on him at strange times, but he doesn't appear (physically) to be under the influence so they don't confront him.
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Unread 08-22-2009, 09:26 AM   #115
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Your STBE is most certainly using your son to get back at you.All the wise cracks and comments under his breath are really direct attacks on you, and his alcoholism is the fuel that gives him this voice.The self pity is a classic sign of the disease.He is an example of the Jekyll and Hyde persona that alcoholics acquire.
Confronting a person who has a drinking problem is never easy, but I would never recommend doing so if you know they are under the influence (whether they show signs of it or not).You will not be on even ground. Those times when he is kind and clearly sober, that is when you want to speak from the heart and make your plea for them to get help.
I just want to ask, how did your son get to practice? Did your husband drive him there? If he did, what would have happened if he would have been pulled over? This is one reason confronting your husband while he is sober may be warranted. No, I am not saying you should stop your son from being with his father- I am saying that talking to him about your son's safety is important.
My daughter is 14 and has visitation with her father every weekend.He is an alcoholic and has been battling with it most of his life.I helped him get into treatment, found him AA contacts, but he never stuck with it, and wanted to do it on his own.Months went by, and my daughter came to me saying she did not want to go there anymore because of how he changed when he drank.He has made many positive changes over the past couple of years, so I lied and told him we had other things going on and she could not visit.He ended up calling me to tell me it was not fair to him to not let her come over his house etc. I had thought in my mind,"Enough of this- I have to be honest!" So,I told him his drinking was the reason she did not want to be around him, which he claims he suspected. I contacted a old friend in the program and her Dad went back to meetings. Because I am remarried I feel it is necessary for me to have boundaries and not get too involved in his battles anymore, but because my daughter's well being is at stake- I will provide him with the resources to get help.What he does afterwards is up to him.I hope he stays sober this time, but we have been through this over and over and over.I can tell you that my daughter will not be going for visitation if he is drinking anymore because she deserves better.I have worked very hard to change her life for the better and if I could change, then so can he.
I just wanted to share a little of myself, so you realize I do understand, and I am glad you are coming here to talk about your feelings!
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Unread 08-24-2009, 08:24 AM   #116
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Thank you for your comments. I really appreciate you sharing everything in your post. I contacted my attorney regarding how to handle a high functioning alcoholic... She told me at this point, there really isn't anything I can do. Unfortunately, I need to wait for my STBE to mess up.

You asked what would have happened if my STBE would have been pulled over while taking our son to football practice (and my STBE had been dirnking). I really hate to say this, but I think it would be a good thing in the end, because the court may be able to force him into treatment. We also live in a small community - so m STBE would be embarassed, and I hope that too would force him to get treatment.

Now - getting pulled over while my son is in the car.. I think it would be terrifying for my son. THe only thing I can do is be there for my son if/when this happens. I just pray every day that my STBE gets pulled over prior to hurting himself or anybody else for that matter.

For those of you out there who are considering leaving an alcoholic. Please DO NOT use this post to tell yourself, "see, I can't do anything anyway" wrt not being able to get full custody of my son.

Leaving was the best thing for me and I also beleive for our son. We have a much better relationship and although I do not see him every day, when we are together we have a ball. My son keeps asking for cable or dish TV... I am not going to do that. Part of what makes our time together so much fun is that there isn't much to watch on regular tv.

Although dealing with my alcoholic STBE will never go away, I must tell you that every day I gain perspective and I know leaving the relationship was the right thing for me.

I also want to express how grateful I am for this board. The support and input from others dealing with similar situations is invaluable!!!
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Unread 08-24-2009, 06:33 PM   #117
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You are welcome from my end.Sometimes it is nice to have someone to share my trials with too.The hardest thing with my kid's father is that I want to hate him and write him off- but then he really puts in the effort and does well for awhile and I will feel bad because I know how hard it is for him.I think of my daughter and how she would be devastated to not have her Dad in her life.She is so torn, just like me.I am constantly wondering if I am doing the right thing for her.All I know is that she is alot happier with him in her life than she ever was without him.In teaching her about boundaries, she is learning that she does not have to stand by and watch him destroy himself, we're just lucky he is "trying" to change I guess.Like I said, it never seems to last long before he screws up, I guess having good moments is better than none.
Anyways,
I hope you understand why I brought up the driving with your son situation. For both your sakes, I too hope he gets pulled over for DWI before anything serious happens, and yes he would have to at least attend a weekend in house alcohol education program.They usually host them at hotels.Any help would be a good start!
And I agree 100% that you leaving was the best thing for you and your son.Children are often silent victims in these situations, and it is not til they become adults themselves that issues rise from the ashes.I believe that as your son grows up he will respect you for your choices. They cannot help but feel torn as children, but as with my daughter- they start seeing the disease for what it is, they learn about separating it from the person they love.
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Unread 08-24-2009, 07:16 PM   #118
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1418 View Post
R.Lee
I don't agree with you - my post specifically has to do with an alcoholic STBE and his crappy behavior. BTW - I saw him last night after calling him and confronting him about his horrible behavior on Wednesday evening... which I believe was due to his drinking because Thursday morning he was still "sleeping" at 8:25 am. No doubt in my mind he was a mean jerk Wednesday evening due to drinking. Thursday night he was a kind person and he was clearly sober.

The fact of the matter is - when a person is drinking but they don't slurr or have other obvious signs of being under the influence (with the exception of being mean, etc.) it is tough to have enough confidence to confront the person. I have heard from other people in the community that have smelled alcohol on him at strange times, but he doesn't appear (physically) to be under the influence so they don't confront him.
1418, Sorry I did not see your reply to my post until now. I was speaking of my suggestion of contacting your attorney may be off the topic of alcoholism. Sorry my suggestion was not clearer. Good luck, R. Lee

Last edited by R. Lee; 08-24-2009 at 07:25 PM..
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Unread 08-26-2009, 06:19 PM   #119
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1418

I want to say that you sound really good. You sound strong, content and at peace right now and I'm sure it's been a while since you could say that. You are finding your way through this mess and making all the right decisions. I know there are many who are paying attention. While your day to day isn't easy....I'm hoping it's getting easier.

Thank you for sharing your story.

SLynn
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Unread 08-28-2009, 12:37 PM   #120
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Hi 1418,

Just checking in with you. I hope everything is going well.
Take care, Carly : )
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Unread 08-28-2009, 04:20 PM   #121
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Hi Carly!

Our court date is just a few weeks away! Who knows if my STBE will mess things up or not with the court date, hopefully things will go smoothly for the sake of our son.

This weekend there is a big community festival all weekend long. I know there is a beer tent on Saturdya. I'm not sure what they have going on this evening. I have our son starting this evening, so I suspect my STBE will party it up this weekend. I just hope he stays safe. I know it isn't my problem anymore... but it is just hard not to be concerned about him. I am hoping to get through the weekend wihtout a phone call from detox or from the police.

I will check in with you later. Thanks again for your note!
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Unread 08-28-2009, 09:37 PM   #122
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Hi 1418,

Yes, I do hope you have nice and quiet weekend ! We are here if you need us.
Take care, Carly : )
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Unread 09-01-2009, 10:26 PM   #123
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Well, we got through the weekend without an incident. Today was our son's first day back at school. It was only orientation, but the three of us were all there. I ended up tearing up - it was difficult filling out all those forms with the two addresses...

My STBE was so kind and supportive - when I was tearing up he gently told me to go out into the hallway and he handled things while I got it together.

I called and left him a vmail later on in the day thanking him for his kindness.. THAT was short lived!

I made photocopies of all the handouts and brought him the originals at our son's football practice tonight. I could tell before I even got up close to him that he had been drinking. He was chewing tobacco and was spitting all over.

When I got up close to him, I could smell the alcohol on him. I gave him the documents and I could tell he was already angry. I told him I was leaving ( it was 6:45 pm, I had not eaten at all and I needed to get to the grocery store so I have food that our son will eat when I pick him up tomorrow from school).

My STBE was miffed - and I left. I called my Mom to tell her about the 'incident' and before I could even talk to my Mom, my STBE was calling. He said something about me being in a hurry and would it kill me to spend 5 minutes watching our son's practice? How I didn't even know which one our son is on the field...

I stated that I told him I had not eaten yet that day and needed to get to the grocery store. I asked him why it is so important to him that I watch our son's practice? He said that it isn't important to him, but it is important to our son.. but then he said that he thinks it is becuase I can't stand to be around him. He was rambling on and I finally yelled into the phone, " LISTEN TO ME - IT ISN'T ABOUT YOU!!" I told him that I am trying to hold down a job, get food on the table and more, and that I will be there for games and that it is just practice. My STBEs response was, "Well ____, it is always something isn't it. That's okay, we are fine, it is just fine." I said goodbye and we hung up.

I know the situation defies logic.. but why in the world would you consume something that makes you so incredibly nasty? I have to believe he started drinking today to get away from something... but instead of making him feel better, it seems he is so nasty and unhappy.

Now the guilt part of it... I didn't know if I should go back and make a scene and try to give our son a ride home.. if I should call the cops and have him picked up for drunk driving... what to do? What in the heck do you do in these situations? Maybe I will call Mothers Against Drunk Driving and ask them what they suggest. I just don't know what to do...

So frustrating - just when I think there may be hope for him - that the old him is coming around - he drinks and the alcohol releases this incredible LOSER.
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Unread 09-02-2009, 01:09 AM   #124
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So if I understand correctly, you knew your ex was drinking at your son's game and is driving with him in the car afterwards?

Did I miss something??

I hope that I did because I'm surprised that you would be home and not out there protecting your son.
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Unread 09-02-2009, 10:39 AM   #125
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Idolcrush,

How nice it must be for you to sit back and judge.

I just got off the phone with the National Mothers Against Drunk Driving. Basically they told me I have to sit and wait and observe him driving, then call the police and have him followed. I can't call the police simply if I THINK he has been drinking.

I also discussed my divorce agreement with National MADD and they told me what I have in my agreement is good wording, etc..

Until my STBE really screws up, I am limited in what I can do.

I am calling him this morning to ask him if he was drinking last night, and let him know that I am onto him.
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Unread 09-02-2009, 12:19 PM   #126
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When it comes to the safety of children you needn't, 'sit back and wait till there is hard evidence'. I am a court appointed child advocate and it is not acceptable to allow your children to be in a car with someone who you know has been drinking. As you stated in your post, you smelled alcohol on him??

What were you afraid of? Making a stink? I'm probably the only one who is going to address you directly without the sugar coating...Last night you had a responsibility to do something to ensure the safety of your son. I'm not sitting back and judging, it's a fact.
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Unread 09-02-2009, 08:15 PM   #127
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I agree with idolcrush. Look at the example being played out no on the news. The mother driving the wrong way on the expressway killing herself her daughter & several more relatives. Pot & alcohol in her system.
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Unread 09-02-2009, 10:08 PM   #128
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1418,

Hi - I also agree with Idolcrush and R. Lee.

If you wait until he really screws up it could be to late.

You need to take action if you suspect someone will be operating a Motor Vehicle while under the influence, especially if it involves your child - regardless of who is involved.

You can offer to take your child home.
Contact a friend, mother, father, neighbor of his/yours to take the child home.
And yes follow him if need be and contact the police to handle the situation.

Don't wait until he really screws up - it may be too late by then. Imagine the worst thing that can happen to your child at the hands of a drunk driver and then realize it happens to others, for real.

I have an acquaintance that works in law enforcement. He told me once that of all the people he arrested for DUI there were a handful that he knew had used alcohol. He could smell it(alcohol) although they did not appear to be visually impaired, speach not slurred etc. He was amazed at their blood alcohol levels. They were blowing .23's, .28's etc. I'm not saying this is the situation here. Something to be aware of and consider.

The safety of your child is paramount - he is too young to protect himself.

Regards
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Unread 09-03-2009, 10:53 AM   #129
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Hi 1418 - Just checking on you.

I wanted to respond to some of the feedback you got after you posted the latest incident with your STBE.

Everyone has the right to give feedback, it is appreciated and helps everyone.
This was a serious issue, which is why 1418 posted her questions in the first place.
1418 had already posted that she felt guilty, was asking what to do, and during this entire process of leaving her STBE has not been clear on what her rights were, so I understand her actions - ones that she clearly posted she felt guilty about.
Of course no one wants a child to be in danger, and I hope something worthwhile has come out of these posts.

This forum is meant to be a safe place where people can learn about addiction, share/ vent, support each other.
I do not want anyone here to feel they are being judged, it defeats the purpose of forum.
That being said , facts are facts and we do try try to educate as much as possible, which is why the entire site of Addiction Survivors is dedicated to providing educational and supportive information as well as links to other sites that may be useful.

Ultimately it is your forum, that is what makes it work. I hope everyone takes feedback with the spirit in which it was intended: Mainly , that people care about you and your family /loved ones enough to give you some solid advice.

1418, I hope you will post an update, I am glad you contacted MADD and others, and that your attorney will give you advice on how to proceed in the future.
Hang in there and take care, Carly
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Unread 09-03-2009, 10:54 AM   #130
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Points well taken. Thanks for your posts.
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Unread 09-03-2009, 11:32 AM   #131
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Hi - I just wanted to make sure you were ok. Please know , You are a valued member of this forum.
I think when you we are in the midst of everything ( dealing with an alcoholic) we can sometimes second guess ourselves, was it alcohol?, was it from the prior night ? He is coaching - he is not stumbling around. What do I do ? It is insanity.
But when in doubt, just take your son with you and tell your STBE why, then the burden of proof ( that is not drinking ) is up to him.
I hope you can find what legal rights you have, so you will not have to live like this, especially if he gets visitation.
I hope your week is improving. Carly
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Unread 09-03-2009, 12:46 PM   #132
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Hi All

I just want to support what Carly has said and hope that everyone continues to feel 'free' to discuss whats happening in your lives. This is a passionate subject and rightly so. Good points have been made on all sides.

1418, you've educated yourself and are exploring your rights. Each day we live amongst alcoholism, there is a new lesson to learn. That's what this forum is all about, too.

Idol, excellent points and thank you for your participation, too. As a child advocate, you may be able to guide 1418 to some 'rights' she may not know she has??

So much can be learned from this discussion.

SLynn
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Unread 09-03-2009, 02:39 PM   #133
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Since I’m a paralegal I am unauthorized to advise anyone about their legal rights but as a court appointed child advocate I can say that 1418 is the more responsible parent and must exercise her duty to protect her child from harm and/or abuse. This may cause some upset in others and there may need to be some reorganization but, 1418, you will find the support you need and will feel better about setting more appropriate boundaries with your ex.

I know how hard this is. I’m having a difficult time drawing the line with my own alcoholic ex. I want him to have a relationship with our son but I feel guilty; I feel guilty about allowing my son to have such a dad but then I feel guilty if I take his dad away.

When I read your post the other night I immediately saw the dangerous position your ex put your son in. Your ex is so desperate to control and manipulate you that he is not only using your son as bait but now he is risking your son’s safety to achieve his task. He knows that if you smell alcohol on him you are stuck either because you will have to address it (which gives him the opportunity to aggressively abuse you) or you will walk away (which is passively abusing you). Where are his limits? What price is your son going to pay?

1418, my post was strong but it was intended to empower you for your son’s sake.
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Unread 09-03-2009, 03:10 PM   #134
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1418 I believe what Idol is talking about with regard to your ex driving while intoxicated is called Child Endangerment which is not only a serious issue but is also a crime. You must alert the appropriate sources to what is occuring and I recommend researching child endangerment laws in your state.
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Unread 09-03-2009, 03:38 PM   #135
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I'd like to ask a couple questions....NOT related to any particular person....on what a parent should do and what a parent can legally do. I hope Idol may have some answers or perhaps LegalAide. (Welcome to the site, BTW...)

If you already talked to an attorney about your spouse drinking and they say you have to wait until they 'mess up', can you legally stop your spouse from having their child on their visitation day? Does the fact that they endanger the child trump the visitation schedule?

Do all states have different laws when it comes to this?

Does the child ever have a say in what they would like and if yes, at what age?

Can you withhold a child completely from a parent with no real proof? What constitutes proof?

Just a couple things that crossed my mind. I appreciate your responses.

SLynn
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Unread 09-03-2009, 03:56 PM   #136
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Hi Everyone,

Thank you all for your posts. I am going to talk with my attorney more about child endangerment laws and what I can/should do. I will admit that I felt a bit beat up on with some of the posts and I shut down from the site for a few days, but at the same time it gave me some things to think about. I still think knowledge is power and I am going to educate myself on the laws in my state.

I also appreciate Carly and SLynn's posts. It is so crazy when you are in the middle of your own storm, and it is difficult not to second guess yourself. However, I am convinved I was put here on this earth to be a good mother to my son - and i am going to do whatever it takes to protect him as necessary from his own father.

I wish that darn SOB would admit he has a problem and get help.
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Unread 09-03-2009, 05:07 PM   #137
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SLynn,

To address your post: I can verify that the laws are different in every state so LegalAide was on key by recommending researching your own state laws and available resources. A great place to get info would be Child Protective Services.

1418, I'm sorry that you felt beat up by my post. If it is any consolation, I would have addressed my best friend or daughter the same way. I hope this helps.

-Idol
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Unread 09-03-2009, 05:30 PM   #138
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Hi, I apologize If it seemed I was piling it on. My concern is for you and your child. I had read all your posts and was not judging you, I have no right. I think you are an incredibly strong person and wish you nothing but the best. Please do not take this as criticism.

I look at the issue two fold. There is a legal obligation to do the right thing and then there is a moral obligation to do the right thing. The two do not necessarily go hand in hand. The law is not proactive in cases like this, they are reactive, acting after a damage has been done.

You need to act proactively until the law catches up with him. You do have options, please realize that.

Wishing you well.

Regards,
Dave
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Unread 09-03-2009, 10:57 PM   #139
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1418, I don't want you to think that you are being piled on by my posts. I only make suggestions. A person can use them or ignore them as they wish. I'm not offended when someone disagrees with my suggestions. I'm not that important. I'm no expert just a recovering alcoholic.

I want you to feel free & safe to post here. You comments are welcomed by me.

Smelling alcohol on someone who is going to drive with or without a child in a car should be reported to the police. It does not matter that the alcohol you smelled was from the night before. Let the police stop him & give him a breathalizer. I'm a retired police officer. When I stopped someone & smelled alcohol on them & they blew over the limit it did not matter when they drank it. They could kill someone else. I was responsible to take them off the road.

I wish you the best 1418. R. Lee
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Unread 09-04-2009, 12:14 PM   #140
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Last night I had a conversation with my STBE regarding our son in general. He made some threats regarding custody (as in - I shouldn't have it). How messed up is THAT????? He seriously questions MY ability to get our son off to school in the morning, get him fed, etc. Unreal.

Thank you all very much for your postings. You make very good points and I think your support AND firm messages made for a very powerful combination. I am more confident than ever that I need to trust my instincts and when I think there is an issue I need to confrom my STBE. I know it will be incredibly difficult, but I would do anything for my son.
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Unread 09-04-2009, 01:59 PM   #141
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1418,
1418,

You mentioned "Knowledge is Power". I agree. Let me continue on that thought...

Knowledge is Power,
The Power is Yours

Regards
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Unread 09-04-2009, 09:25 PM   #142
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Hi 1418,

You are a strong woman, you have already been made difficult choices and a glad to hear you will trust your instincts, tap into your iner strength and know you have support here. Even when he tries to turn things on you, in reality, he is the one that needs to prove himself a responsible, safe parent. The sad thing is that I know from things you have posted before, when he is not in the grips of addiction, he is a good father but that is not what you are dealing with now. Stay strong, hope the weekend goes well, take care, Carly
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Unread 09-09-2009, 12:23 AM   #143
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Hi 1418,
Just wanted to say hello, how are you ? ..... hope all is well. Carly
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Unread 09-10-2009, 02:57 PM   #144
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Hello 1418

It's been a few days and just hope things are going ok for you.

SLynn
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Unread 09-10-2009, 03:19 PM   #145
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Hi Everyone,

The divorce is final! I am soo happy! My ex was completely terrified I was going to go for full custody. I told him I wasn't pursuing full custody at this time, but he needs to get himself together and NOT drink around our son. I told him if (when in my opinion) he doesn, I will bring the full force of everything I have against him. He was terrified.

I picked him up for the divorc hearing, expecitng him to be in the bag, but he wasn't. He handled himself well, and I was the one crying my eyes out as we drove back.

Since that day, he has been much more calm and relaxed. I don't expect it to continue, but I will take it and enjoy it for now. I hope now that he is on his own, he can find a way to make things work.

The judge was really good and lectured us both on not bad mouthing each other in the prescence of our son, etc.

As I type this, I'm sure many of you out there are thinking that I have my head in the clouds, but I am a hopeful person - and I am hoping for the best, but really expecting the worst.

I feel like a huge weight is off my shoulders!!!!!!!!!

Thank you for listening!!!!
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Unread 09-10-2009, 03:36 PM   #146
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1418

Live the moments when you have them! Sometimes they are few and far between. I don't feel like you have your head in the sand....you know the game. Congrats on the divorce and hope this is a new beginning for both of you. I can hope, too.

SLynn
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Unread 09-10-2009, 04:02 PM   #147
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1418, Congratulations on your new life. As far as you having your head in the clouds. I don't judge. This is a big burden off your back. Contine to move forward. R. Lee
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Unread 09-11-2009, 12:04 AM   #148
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Hi 1418,

I am Happy you are happy ! You set the necessary boundaries with him, he now knows what is at stake. Enjoy the peace you have now. If he crosses those lines in the sand, you know what to do.

People find recovery Everyday, so yes, there is always Hope. I have always hoped he would seek help, for the sake of himself and your son.

Hope you have a PEACEFUL weekend ! Take care, Carly : )
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Unread 09-24-2009, 07:26 PM   #149
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1418

Hoping your having peaceful days.

SLynn
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Unread 09-24-2009, 11:32 PM   #150
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Hi Slynn,

Thank you for your warm wishes. I think things are going pretty well - everything considered. Work has been insanely busy which is a very good thing for me. It makes my days fly by.
Things with my Ex are going fairly well. I still don't trust him. the "sneaky" behavior doesn't go away (he continues to track how much time I spend with our son versus how much time he spends iwth our son). I don't think that will go away unless he starts putting his life back together.

I have heard that he is back seeing his "special friend" . It is a bit strange because I'm not jealous or anything like that. My only concern is if he brings her around our son AND if what I have heard is true (she is a partier, her house is in foreclosures, etc.)....

Other than that, not much is new in my life. I continue to visit this site because it has helped me so much. I hope my experiences can help others as well. I see myself in some of the posts being made by others.

It is so difficult to listen to your inner voice/your gut/yourself, but I find so much strength now by trusting myself and NOT trying to dismiss my feelings. I see others in the posts struggling to listen to themslves, and when youare with an alcoholic, the manipulatino and the complete focus on the alcohol makes things so confusing. I just hope others can begin to trust themselves. It is sooo empowering!

Thank you for writing and for caring!!!
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