Friday, January 20, 2012
Biding my time...
Thank you everyone for your concern and support. I have taken to heart all your advice and suggestions and I have come up with a plan. I also want to thank my friend, Gill, for being the cornerstone of the plan he helped me create.
Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. Using that definition, I am the one who is insane. I continue to try to get Riley to understand reason and conform to societal rules. The insanity is that I often think I’ve gotten through to him. I have not and I will not ever achieve my goal. It’s insane for me to try.
I never expect that Riley will choose sobriety. I never anticipate that he will come to me and tell me he wants to go back to rehab. On this issue, I am a realist. I don’t fight it or push for it anymore. We are way beyond that point. Riley is way beyond that point.
Riley is dangerous. He has no concern for the health or safety of anyone else. He wants what he wants and will use any means to get it. If someone gets hurt along the way, then that person should have stayed out of his way. If the person who gets hurt happens to be Riley – he doesn’t care as long as he gets what he wants at the moment. Like a toddler throwing a temper tantrum, he wants instant gratification.
Riley is a self-imposed captive in this house because his drinking prevents him from being able to be with other people. I am his keeper and because of that, I am the one he hates. He sees me as a road block to attaining the elusive instant gratification. He has no choice but to take his anger out on me and, since he is not physically abusive, he turns to passive aggression. It’s really not his fault. He’s just trying to survive in the manner that he wants.
The past three days of frustration, elevated blood pressure, headaches and tears, are my fault. His drinking is not my fault – my expectations are my fault. I was so relaxed when I came back from OBX that I forgot to regain my “Riley’s keeper” persona before I entered the house. I was not objective and forgot about the past repeating itself. I let my guard down. I allowed myself to argue with a man who no longer has any logical reasoning ability. It’s like me trying to convince my potted mums not to go dormant for the winter. Those mums are on auto-pilot. No matter what I say, they will be ugly until spring.
In the past, Riley has always just let me do the things that needed to be done because he knew I was “taking care” of him. He was always a little paranoid, but for the most part, I can just tell him I’m doing something and he has been OK with that. But, things have changed. I believe his brain is so damaged that he now sees me as a threat. He is conflicted. He wants to get away from me because I’m not letting him do what he wants, but he also wants to stay because he knows I’ll keep him safe. It is a true contradiction and if I were Riley, I’d probably be expressing mercurial emotions just as he is doing.
Don’t misinterpret my post as feeling sorry for him. There is none of that here. He created his own mess and now he has to deal with the consequences. He has been vocal to everyone about his intentions to drive while drunk and also to do whatever he pleases in spite of the laws or rules. He isn’t to be pitied and I have very little compassion for his situation. And that situation is going to get a lot worse for him.
When I called Gill, I just wanted to come by his office and drop off a copy of the new workbook. But, I also asked if there was any way he could help me with getting Riley’s driver’s license revoked. Gill is an addiction counselor who works for the State of
. He evaluates drunk drivers and offers a treatment plan. He also conducts classes and groups in his office. Both Riley and I have known him for more than 30 years. North Carolina
During our phone call, I told Gill that I needed to find a way to keep Riley from driving, even though I was taking him to DMV to get his car registered. I told him I was considering filing an order of incompetency. When he offered to help make that happen, my energy was renewed with the knowledge that I now had an ally.
He told me to call the last hospital where Riley was a patient and have them fax over whatever was in the medical records. Then, he would have a meeting with Riley and ask him some questions to determine where he stands on the issue of sobriety as well as the level of his drunkenness. We would gather the information and put it into a court-friendly format. It will take some time (maybe a couple of weeks) to gather all the info and create a concise evaluation. But, it will be worth it.
Right now, I’m just a wife making accusations. With Gill at my side I am a woman who has explored the options and done her due-diligence. My opinions become facts. I have validation.
After getting the car taken care of, we went to Gill’s office. It wasn’t like a regular counseling session. It was less formal. Riley didn’t understand that he was being evaluated. Riley was just having a conversation with an old friend. I was in and out of the office and, for the most part, I kept my mouth shut. Gill had Riley blow into the breathalyzer and he blew a .18 – twice the legal limit.
A couple of hours went by when Riley became fidgety because he had not had a drink in several hours. He was more agitated and confrontational. It was time to end things for the day. But, Gill asked Riley to come back on Monday when they could have some one-on-one time with me out of the room. Riley agreed. In the back of my mind I was thinking on Monday I could file the incompetency papers and have my nails done or just sit in the little bookstore/coffee shop. I could do something without worrying about what Riley was doing. That was a huge relief.
Things were quieter in my house last night. I won’t say peaceful – just quieter. I feel less chaotic, more focused and less likely to expect anything from Riley except illogical, disjointed reasoning and thoughts. I will do my best to try to find some humor in his contradictions. I will agree with whatever he says because to do anything else will just wind up the Merry-Go-Round. Just because I am agreeable doesn’t mean I’m going to act on anything he says. I’m just buying time, buying a peaceful household until Monday.
at 7:00 AM