Well. I finally put my money where my mouth is and have booked and paid for two tickets to the UK in June/July next year.

By coincidence, it is 9 months away. The same time as the gestation period for a new human life.

I’ve been in contact with my little brother around dates and us planning him taking leave while I am there.

I am grateful I’ve been in contact with him before hand as he’s let me in on some goings on that I have not been aware of.

Over the years, I have built up a victim fantasy that my little brother (he’s 40 actually so he is not that little) and my Sperm Donor Dad have a wonderful relationship and poor little me (by means of immigration to South Africa) has lost out on my father’s love.

I was the daughter that got away. The one that would be close to my Dad. I thought we may be similar. And somewhere deep in my heart I felt we would connect. What with him owning a motorbike company and me riding a bike.

Ah…….but this is the wonderful DVD box set that I have built up in my mind. Where I am stage centre victim and there is a happy ending in a cloud of bike exhaust fumes

Little brother has filled me in on the difficulties around his past and present relationship with my Dad and summarises as ” Dad has pissed off most of the people in his life and abandoned all of his children at one point or another. He needs a good kick in the bollocks”.

Little brother – last we spoke – was not sure he even wanted to include Sperm Donor Dad in his life anymore due to past hurts, let downs and all round bad parenting skills.

*Poof* there goes the fantasy. 30 plus years *poof* all in one go.

I have 9 months to lower my expectations of my Dad down to ground zero. 9 months for it to sink in.

I always thought the reunion after 20 years would be the nail in my healing coffin and I could lay to rest most of my abandonment issues, but it would appear I will just have to be facing up to the reality that my Dad is human. And a fickle one at that !

We are all sick puppies

Posted: September 21, 2013 in Recovery

I have not been to a bad meeting for quite a while.

I will refrain from disclosing any more details as “what is said in the meeting stays at the meeting”.

But for a person to be told that they are not welcome back at a particular meeting is unacceptable and I am thinking of making a formal complaint to the bigger cheeses.

Said person did not deserve this sort of treatment and the bearer of the slap in the face is a repeat offender is my eyes.

Saying that, I did go to the meeting with a totally open mind and with not a speck of historic malice in my being.

Luckily the person who was told they are not welcome back is an old timer like myself and it will probably not rock his world too much.

Just a mini post to remind myself that we are all as sick as each other. Just because someone is chairing a meeting or is passing out the money bag does not maketh that person saintly and above acting like a dick.

This is why we are called recovering adult child or alcoholics……not recovered.

download

I can understand why some people would try and convince someone that they are not an alcoholic. If that person was a big drinker themselves and they missed their drinking buddy. That their relationship was based on their escapades together at yonder party place.

I can understand if it gets bought up in the middle of a ho down heaving party. They are a few merry drinks down and they want you to just be your old self and join in on the fun and not be a wet blanket

I had an experience this weekend – in the cold light of day – not a party in sight – where a long time friend was quite adamant that I am not an alcoholic. That he had known me for 30 years (true) and that I am definitely not an alcoholic (untrue if you know the correct definitions) and this stopping drinking lark was taking it to the extreme.

Said moderate drinker friend was cleaning his swimming pool when I popped in to say hello so there was no party going on and it didn’t need to be addressed within the first minute of conversation like it was.

It was like he had been waiting for the chance.

I am still abit confused as to where this came from.

Perhaps it was been playing on his mind.

I am a little irritated that it has taken me years to step up to the program and get to the point where I am comfortable saying “I am Diddy and I am an alcoholic” and from left field there is a friend who is not happy with my diagnosis and new lifestyle.

As a side bar issue, this friend’s best male friend is someone who I think is an alcoholic. A right ball of fun. But yes. A piss cat. So perhaps he really really likes his mates to be alcoholic ?

What benefits are there to a person to having an alcoholic friend ?

Why is it an issue if they stop drinking ?

Does it put the alcoholic friend in their place lower than them in the pecking order of life ?

Are alcoholics exciting to be around ?

Are they entertaining ?

I don’t know.

I is just pondering.

monotony

Feeling in a low space lately.

I just feel there is nothing exciting or stimulating on the horizon.

Except for a steam train local trip booked for a Sunday in November – and far off plan somewhere late next year to visit long lost brother – there is nothing planned for the rest of the year. Hell bells, for the rest of my life !

The weeks seem to fall into each other. A droning monotony of getting up, ferrying Teenie to school, going to work, fetching Teenie (who looks and acts like she would rather pull all her eyelashes out that spend even a minute with me) going home, cooking a meal (with some hidden veggies in for Teenie) and going to sleep.

All the while this being watched by an unappreciative teenage audience who is only too happy to point out my evident and imagined flaws on a minute to minute basis.

A sober Grounds Hog Day (did you see the movie back in the day?)

Having my own problems with having a positive outlook on life – I seem to have bred a miserable teenager. Trying to remain upbeat and chipper is a battle of my own, but add in a vortex of teenage misery and hormones – it’s a daily challenge.

It seems nothing I do is right in the eyes of Teenie. I feels like I have barely got my head around my overly critical parents and I am – minute by minute – faced with a critical teenager.

On the upside, I do realise that I feel so un-inspired and stimulated because I function well under chaos of any kind.

And now that chaos is gone.

Particular favourites being dating unsuitable men, moving around alot, rebellious behaviour such as partying and drinking when I should be a responsible parent/adult/employee/person/partner/driver and all the resultant drama and chaos that can follow – Porra being mad at me because I got drunk, feeling embarrassed because of getting drunk at the work party, worrying about what I said or did, passing out at my own birthday party after it had barely started, driving drunk, having hazy suppers out with Teenie’s grandparents.

All those actions and repercussions took up alot of energy. Like a survival mode. And now that I am not throwing my energy into those men, moving, drinking, being on the water wagon, drinking again and mopping up emotional messes – I feel lost.

I have lost the craziness that used to light that fire under my ass and keep me going. Dare I say, I like being abit crazy ass. It gave me a personality or more so that was my personality I hung on to. It gave me excitement, it gave me zing, it gave me a life.

For so many years, I was another persona with alcohol and the associated life that goes with it.

I see other fellow’s gratitudes or people’s Facebook posts and updates, and I think, hell, how did they get so happy, fulfilled and content. Where am i going wrong ?

Take away all those behaviours I had and I don’t know who I am.

rock bottom

I have been not able to get to any meetings this week because of lack of babysitting.

Teenie has been feeling very floppy and – dare I say – exhibiting signs of low grade depression. I’ve just googled “lack of energy in teenagers”. Not much info except she should get 9 hours sleep a night. Which she does. She tends to shuffle around, shoulders hunched and sparks of excitement and energy only seem to surface when around friends on the weekends. I am surmising this upturn of mood based on recollections and must make a mental note to watch her mood over this weekend when her mate comes over.

Although on the one hand I do not want to be helicopter parent, I must take into account her depression history, our past and the family history around bi-polar, addiction, depression and anxiety. She is on medication for anxiety and ADD and has been for about six years. There are some recent signs of body hate (“I have fat legs” “my feet are too big”) which concern the hell out of me.

Back to lack of babysitting – although Teenie is 14 years old and many of her peers would probably stay at home on their own for an hour or two, Teenie doesn’t. She refuses to stay even 5 minutes on her own. We live in a secure complex and have our own alarm and armed response and panic buttons and what not. Our complex has an electric fence around the perimeter and we have neighbours either side.

When Teenie was a small child, there were some instances when I would drink excessively, usually a one women party, escape the world for an evening, eventually get to bed and pass out (I am amazed always made it into bed. Kind of like the miracle of your handbag getting home with you after a big piss up out!) In the midst of a particular nervous breakdown, I was also on strong medication and sleeping pills as well. I never heeded the warnings about mixing anti-depressants, sleeping bills and what not with alcohol.

Poor little Teenie would wake up in the night and – calling me and getting no answer – and would think that she was abandoned and alone.

I cannot say how often this happened. It could have happened once, it could have happened twenty times. I’m not proud of it at all and it disgusts and shames me that I did not have the awareness not to do it. I do not know what I was thinking or – more so – what I was not thinking. Perhaps I thought she was little and it was OK.

The fact that Teenie was always a restless sleeper should have been a huge frikking hint that if I was passed out – that she would need me at some point in the night.

But no, I would chuck wine down my throat while we watched Survivor. Her Tuesday night treat. We would sometimes light a fire with the help of Hairy Hannes (who kept a cooler box of my favourite bubbly Pongraz in his car) and make hog dogs on the fire and wear silly head scarves in support of our favourite tribe.

Then after she had gone to bed and I was going through one song per CD and scattering CDs all over the place – if I had run out of wine (more often than not) – I would run up to the corner shop to get more Mommy Juice. At 10 pm at night.

One morning, a neighbour three houses down asked me what was the problem the night before. Teenie had been screaming the house down. Me in my pisscat state had not heard a thing.

Teenie remembers that night to this day, 9 or so years later. She ran around the house screaming, thinking she was alone. She tried to rouse me and thought I was dead. The poor mite went back to her room and cried until the morning. She only realised I was alive when my alarm went off the next morning and I woke up.

She could have broken her neck on my stairs.

This is the only spoken-out-loud time, but I cannot say how often it happened.

We have spoken about it over the years and I have blamed or put it down to being on sleeping pills.

The bottom line is that the effects of being a piss cat mom is that my now half adult child has an ingrown fear of being left alone in the house.

The paradox of having a teenager who doesn’t like me alot of the time – is that she is not happy with a babysitter either. She wants Mom to be home.

So home I happily stay – even though I am missing my favourite meeting tonight – because after all I am the cause.

therapist

I have been fantasizing for many moons about visiting my country of birth and hooking up with sperm donor and my little brother.

He was around two when our parents divorced and they did the barbaric thing and split the siblings up. Girls with my mother and boys with my sperm donor. I left England when I was 12 and we have seen each other a handful of times.

I cannot remember how it came about and who instigated what, but we wanted to skype so we swopped numbers over email and used what’s app to connect on a time and date to be ready to skype.

To cut a long story short, we whats app on a regular basis and it has been easier (as it is) to open up over messaging. I’ve told him I am in AA. He has told me he also had drinking problems and has a sober date of about three years ago and his liver was starting to shut down yadda yadda. It’s been heart warming for me because he often initiates the contact (puffs chest up like a pigeon).

So the theory that alcoholism is in ones genes has been proven by my strange family tree. We did not grow up in the same environment, not with the same parents, let alone the same country and we are both alcoholics.

Shall we meet half way he joked.
Well I’ve been kinda looking for flights says me.
I will help you ! I am so excited he says.
Sleep on it ! I will help you pay too he says.

All I needed was a little nudge and a validation. It didn’t take much for me to start planning a trip and getting flight quotes, checking out my leave, emailing school about school holidays. I do not want to accept any money from my brother, but I just wanted either him or my Dad to just offer. To put their money where there mouth is.

It’s all very easy to glibby say yeah come over. It’s not a drop in for a Sunday lunch, bring a rice pudding. It’s three months or more worth of single mom take home pay to get my ass over there .

All I have ever wanted was someone to be excited (really excited) to see me and I seem to have found that in my brother. Probably because we seem to have lots of commonality. I say probably because I am wary that any tom, dick or diddy could make a connection over a medium such as messaging or email. Face to face could be very bloody different and that worries the heck out of me.

I wasn’t terribly fearful of this trip when I shifted my brain cells into parting with some of my bond money. I need to book in the next week or two. Until I emailed Sperm Donor to tell him I had been chatting to Little Bro and it was likely I would be gracing pommyland with my sober ass on such and such dates.

I received a reply back that Little Bro had been on the phone to Sperm Donor to chat about my upcoming trip in 2014 and that – on an unrelated issue – they had an argument and could I keep Sperm Donor posted on my trip via email because Little Bro and he are probably going to be speaking anytime soon.

WTF ?

I have come to realise, that this time leading up to my trip for a family reunion is a God send and me knowing about potential heave ho’s is a huge blessing. This time is largely going to be about adjusting my fantasies. Scaling them back to a large degree. Perhaps to nil expectations. Mixing in a huge dose of reality. Adding a huge dollop of love and tolerance and what can I do for my unknown family rather than what can they do for me.

Dorset here I come !

tomatoe

Porra and I rarely fight, but today we are not on speaking terms. Well. That is not entirely correct. I am on speaking terms with him, but he is not on speaking terms with me. The joy of BBM and what’s app and whatnot is that you can see when someone has seen your message, but chosen not to respond.

I was in a single parents group therapy session after work yesterday from 5pm – 6:30pm. Being anally prepared, I had beforehand already gone to the shops and got the evenings supplies of bread, milk and chocolate. So they were ready in the boot so I could get a cold Teenie home straight after the meeting. It ends rather late and she is already stroppy enough about sitting in the waiting room for me for an hour and fifteen minutes without another half hour shopping expedition thereafter. Supper was ready in the fridge. Just needed a burst in the microwave to warm it up.

A favourite day because Beauty the Domestic Goddess had visited in the day and cleaned beautifully and probably made the house smell as good and clean and fresh as it can ever get.

Just before the meeting I get a message that Porra is going to grace my home with his presence.

Now. I don’t like sudden changes or people throwing curve balls into my schedule. Porra’s schedule is not to come to my house on a Tuesday, but a Wednesday.

Bottom line. I am in a bad mood and – after I have done my mothering for the day – I just want to be left alone on the couch watching crap British soapies, sucking on my Twisp and my chocolate alternatively.

I am not in the mood for Porra making a mess in the newly clean kitchen and moaning about my choice of TV.

Sitting in the meeting – my phone is on vibrate – I can hear my handbag shaking like a jelly on a trampoline. Sigh !

My head starts to get angry. I know Porra has forgotten where I am. I know Porra is phoning to find out where I am.

The irritated part of me (not the lovng and tolerant persona I am trying to aspire to) thinks “for fecks sake. Just let me have a session in peace !!!”.

After the meeting – on checking my phone. Sure as dammit, there are missed calls and various messages with a final plea to please bring tomato paste home.

My knee jerk reaction (and the one I wihtout a thought followed) was to reply “No. I have already been to the shops before the meeting. Teenie and I have supper in the fridge”

I arrived home to WW III with Porra shouting loudly that getting a tin of tomato paste was on my way (it wasn’t) and Porra does this for me and that for me, I am a bitch, I am selfish and yadda yadda blah blah fishpaste.

I do realise I was a tad selfish and could have gone and got him a tin for his supper, but – you know what – at the time – I did not take kindly to this curve ball in my schedule and him just pitching up at the last moment when his schedule allowed and demanding I go back to the shop for the third time of the day. It was not a demand at the time, but by not following the instruction it has turned into a command that I did not follow (gettit ?!)

I said sorry about 20 times and agreed yes I was selfish. I’ve left it at that. We had a few fake conversations during the evening (i.e. I spoke, he grunted) and we slept in the same bed together (not touching of course!)

I sent him a kissing smiley this morning and a question mark. Which was read, but not responded to (thank you what’s app for your technology!)

I would usually get all disturbed about it, but I have learnt that I’ve done my best to make amends and make things right and the rest just needs time. I cannot hurry up the peace making alone.

Giving me the silent treatment is passive aggression and immature.

Let’s see how this pans out.

In some ways I lead a double life.

I have (as I am sure many of us do) hidden my alcoholism and more so, my AA involvement at from the people at work. I have not mentioned a peep. I sometimes want to share what I did the night before or explain why I am dashing off at lunch time to get a 1kg of coffee, 2.5kgs of sugar and 3 litres of milk. I usually tell a half lie and say I was at church the evening before or I am on duty for coffee at church.

My colleagues must think I spend a helleva of time in cold mouldy smelling church halls and am in the running for a place at  the local nunnery.

So my life of meetings, readings, sponsor, sponsees, fellowship and prayer are all private. Keeping all my recovery and growth to myself and watching what I say takes effort and I am thinking – fuck it – stop living two seperate lives.

<side note – I would have no qualms about sharing my shit when drinking. Vomit out all my dark and dirty secrets one time. Sexual abuse, I kissed a girl, cocaine use, my current  sex life or lack there of. Nothing was sacred!>

I am thinking of just coming out with it. Slipping it into the conversation at the kettle on a misty Cape Town morning. Hey. Guess what ? I am a piss cat!

<like they did not notice at the Christmas party!>

Not sure if it is a bright idea or not.

I am only ready to come out with it now that I have a significant amount (well for me a significant) of soberity under my belt.

My previous two dabblings with AA, I don’t think I was serious and hadn’t fully accepted I was an alcoholic and I relapsed (a biggie quite spectacularly at the Christmas work function).

The only downsides I can think of coming out of the closet is that if I am off work – sick or similar – that it will be assumed that I’m hungover or that co-slaves will think I am on the juice if I go to the loo too much.

Mmmmmmm. I ponder.

I would never have thought I would have got to 8 months sober, but I have done it. One day at a time. Reminding myself each day when I wake up that I am an alcoholic.

Because I am not a vodka on the cornflakes alcoholic, it was easy to deny for many years that I was an alcoholic. Because my yard stick for alcoholism was my child’s view of what I saw about my step-dad’s and my mother’s alcoholism (a little toot before work, midnight vomiting), I could slot myself into a perhaps-I-have-abit-of-a-problem, but-not-alcoholic category.

I thought a life without alcohol would be like having a leg amputated. The first 90 or so days were the most difficult. I was sensitive to alcohol in all of my environments. Wine adverts on restaurant windows jumped out at me when I’d driven past hundreds of times with no such jumping out of wine labels. I’d never noticed actors in soapies drinking before. Now  I did.

Going to dinner or socialising around friends who were drinking was very difficult (this is when I took up smoking again which really really helped instead of sitting there like a virgin lemon. Bring on the smoking !)

What has helped me is knowing the following about alcoholism:

it doesn’t matter how much I drink, it is how I drink it (fast and on an empty stomach thank you very much)

if I drink more than I intended (hell yes!), I may be an alcoholic

if I crave more alcohol once I start drinking, I am an alcoholic.

A misconception of mine was that if I were a true alcoholic, I would list after alcohol all day, every day and be a rehab candidate. This was not my experience. Yes, on a Friday morning I would look forward to my Friday night binge, but I wasn’t waking up thinking about it on Tuesday or Wednesday. I did get pissed now and then in the week when the opportunity came up, but I didn’t actively pursue it (but sometimes a bottle of wine fell down my throat during the week. you know how that happens).

My obsession or craving for alcohol only really kicked in once the first drop was past my lips and I could usually hold out for the weekend.

Towards the end of my drinking (after Porra being embarrassed about my drunkenness and/or passing out once too often), Porra kept an eagle eye on my abnormal drinking and I would have to pace myself in front of him. I remember eyeing out other diners wine glasses to check where they were in their consumption so I could speed up (hopefully, but never – I was always far ahead) or slow down (white knuckle it through that me dears).

Porra accepted a consumption of three big glasses of wine at dinner. And that was it. Time to stop now Diddy.

He has no understanding on the need to continue guzzling.

After 3 glasses, I would get slightly slurry in speech and Porra would moan. My only choice then would be to shut up and say the bare minimum for the rest of the evening lest Porra supersonic hearing picked up some slurrrr burbling in my voice.

Walking from the car to the house was always monitored closely by Porra. Any wobbles were duly commented on and a black mark against my piss cat status made.

But being an alcoholic I would get sneaky. Some pearls of sneakiness being

….drinking more by putting more wine in my coffee cup when we got home from dinner

….., taking slugs of neat rum from his prized bottle of Captain Morgan rum when he was upstairs (it always amazed me his bottle of rum lasted him a whole damn year !)

…….going to visit the granny next door (with some lame excuse to Porra) who always always offered a wee glass of wine (so I would relieve her of a bottle of wine).

……….encouraging my family to have dessert or more food so I could drag out supper and get more vino down my gullet

On reflection – I do not regret going sober for one minute.

<I  have left this post although in hindsight I think it is pretty crap!>

Teenagers want to be in a pack at the weekend.

Teenagers want their friends and not their family.

Teenagers main loves are their phone, clothes, hair and their besties.

Being a mom of a teenager means I am a walking ATM cash dispensing machine and a chaffeur. I find I spend most of my weekends chaperoning 14 years olds who are not quite old enough to be on their own so I am floating around teenagers who don’t really want me in their space.

Being a mom  also means opening my home and psyche to other teenagers that I may or may not enjoy the company of.

Enter  stage left – Daughter dear’s bestie is such a child that gets up my nose of late.

I do not enjoy being with them when they are together.

We spent time this past weekend with two of Daina’s friends. The Friday afternoon was very pleasant with one friend Sam.

And then arrived Princess Friday night.

Princess and Daina together are horrible.

They act indulged. They scream. They act like the Kardashians when they are together.

Money is no object at Princess’s Palace and she doesn’t quite get it that I did not win the Lotto last week. Some gems of out of indulged princess’s mouth of late are….

“Why do you always take me to dodgy places ?” (not true, i admit I don’t take them to the Mount Nelson though)

“Buy me Kauai now!” (please ? Can’t you have something cheaper ? Isn’t the movie and popcorn, slush and choccie combo you are getting in five minutes going to do ?)

“Lend me R200 so I can buy this and that (when she’s just blown her own money on a R500 jersey and her i-pad cover)”

“I think you’ll find most children eat !” – in response to me saying no to a third eat out foodie treat of the day.

“You should buy a new house, you need more space” (Oh thanks, I hadn’t noticed)

I have no solution to Daughter dear’s ongoing love affair with her bestie and the uncomfortable feelings it gives me.

I like children to have manners and to understand limitations with treats. I like children not to act bratty. I like children to know the value of money. I like children to accept what they are given and not ask for more and more and more.

My natural reaction is to limit times that the child is in my space.

My natural reaction is to set up “play dates” (don’t know what else to call it….teenagers don’t exactly have play dates) with Daughter’s dears other friends that I like and encourage those relationships.

My natural reaction is because I feel the child is a bad influence on my child to cut the child out slowly and hope the intense long standing friendship dies a slow death.

I doubt it will.