Saturday, August 13, 2011
It's a trap...
As I was reading the comments to my last post, I realized that I had fallen into a trap much like the kind you see that has a big hole in the ground covered with brush. The prey is lured toward the covered hole and eventually falls right in.
Since Riley has only been drinking beer, his outward appearance has been less “drunken like” than it was when his drink of choice was vodka. This beer thing is new to me since he has never drank very much beer in the entire 40+ years that I’ve known him.
The trap is that he appears to be able to have a conversation. His head isn’t weaving about while he’s trying to focus and the physical appearance is that of someone who has only consumed just a couple of beers. So the brush over the trap is set by means of the first bit of conversation.
The unsuspecting non-drinker is lured into an attempt to have a deeper discussion. It may start off with just a couple of innocuous questions, like: “What are your plans for today?” and at first Riley gives understandable answers. That only deepens the hole under the trap. Before you realize it you’re right in the middle of the brush and you grasp at the walls of the hole as you fall into the dark.
Such has been my conversations with Riley lately. Thanks to my readers comments, I see that clearly now. He may only be drinking beer, but the result is the same. It just isn’t as obvious now. If he had an alcohol meter on his forehead, it would register as overfilled. What a wonderful thing that would be!! -- A little meter that the non-alcoholic could use to determine if today was a good conversation day. Of course it would NEVER be a good conversation day when a person drinks in excess every single day of his life. So why bother at all?
I think the reason we try is because we sometimes still see that person that used to live in that body. I try to connect with the reasonable, loving, responsible person that was. In the case of the end-stage alcoholic – that attempt is futile.
Riley is brain-damaged and is unable to make rational, logical decisions. He has lost touch with his feelings so he feels that he has never had any. Maybe he felt too much. Maybe he has known all along that his actions were depraved. Maybe he drinks as a means to medicate himself against feeling anything.
For me, believing that he is anesthetized is far more acceptable than the things he has been saying lately. It makes sense to me and I need logic in my life. The problem isn’t in having an overpowering love for Riley that keeps me from seeing reality. I lost that loving feeling for him a very long time ago. The problem is in my attempts to include the father of my children and housemate to be something more than a person who needs my caretaking. It appears that he doesn’t really need caretaking at the moment – but that is a faulty perception based on outward appearance only.
Reality – I must remember to live in reality. It takes four years of absolute sobriety for the brain to be alcohol free. It has been less than a year since Riley’s last detox and he has drunk beer every day since. So thinking that he is capable of reason and logic is unreasonable and illogical on my part.
I think being out here in the country with so little human interaction is getting to me. I think the loneliness is making me try to have meaningful conversations and gain a connection to whatever human is in my sight. Riley is the human that I see every single day. He has become my target for breaking the monotony. This is clearly a very huge mistake. I must not except or initiate conversations concerning feelings or anything else that is subjective to my life or my household. If I need a true listening partner I must turn to Carrot or
or any other sane and sober person who truly loves and understands me. Georgia
This morning Riley and I discussed Days of Wine and Roses which lead to a discussion about how far the movie industry has come in terms of technology. We discussed actors who are capable of being both the hero and the villain. It was a good conversation. There was nothing personal about the discussion. It was just two people talking over coffee. I very much enjoyed it.
However, I will not let myself be lured into that brush covered trap of thinking that the movie conversation could lead to a deeper, more meaningful conversation. If I stick with the movies and not the feelings, I’ll avoid falling into that deep, dark hole.
at 7:13 AM