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Providing non-judgmental and non-criticizing support for family and friends of end-stage alcoholics through one-on-one coaching, support groups, blog posts, workshops and public speaking.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Insanity at sunrise...

I spent three days in the Outer Banks visiting my grandson’s family. I was supposedly making the visit to help them move into their new house. I DID help with putting things away and watching after the babies while they did the really hard stuff. But, spending the time with my great-grandchildren was helping me far more than helping my grandson.

On the morning of the second day, I woke up and found out Riley had called me seven times during the night. I called him to ask what was wrong. He just wanted to tell me that Jax was almost out of food and that I needed to buy some more Diet Coke. Ohhh… OK… I reminded him I would be stopping at the grocery store on my way home. There were many more calls during my visit and each one was about some mundane thing that amounted to nothing.

I returned home late Tuesday afternoon. Riley asked if he could unload the car for me and I told him, NO. I would take care of the car. I had brought in his vodka and the cat food. There was nothing in the car that couldn’t wait until the windy rain stopped – even if that were a day or so.

Riley wanted chili dogs for dinner, but I knew I would not feel like cooking so I had picked up some Chinese take-out. I knew it wasn’t chili dogs and that could be a problem, but we hadn’t had Chinese food in a long time. Besides I got him a dish that had lobster in it, so he would probably like that. As soon as I had gotten in the house and took my bag to my room, I got started on fixing his plate. He liked the idea of the take-out and I thought to myself, “Good. I won’t get any flack from not fixing chili dogs.”

The next morning Riley joined me in my office as he usually does. If I’m lucky we will have a relatively decent conversation before the insanity kicks in. But, I was wrong. Insanity was already there staring at me from across the desktop.

The minute he sat down, Riley asked how our money was. I told him I hadn’t checked the bank account yet, but was sure everything was fine. I let him know that I bought groceries for the kids and a few odds and ends they needed for the new house. He seemed to think that was a good idea. I thought the money subject was covered and I could go on to other things – like writing my blog post and working on the website. And I did just that. Riley left the office and I thought he had gone back to bed.

It was just about 30 minutes later when he returned to the office and asked if I had checked the money. I figured he just didn’t remember what I had told him previously. I reiterated everything I told him earlier. He seemed satisfied with my answer and went back to his room. But, he returned again and told me I had to check the money.

My first thought was, he must have spent some money and didn’t tell me. He must have figured out how to get into the account or use the debit card. Something was up. I went to the bank account and everything was just as I had said – it was fine. No weird expenditures. No unexpected debits or credits. I informed Riley how much was in the account and that everything was fine. Once again, I thought I could get back to my day.

Next up on Riley’s agenda was why I hadn’t gotten dressed yet. I was still in my big T-Shirt and was comfortable. I saw no need for to get out of my comfort zone before 10:00 AM and if I didn’t get dressed at all – so what? I told Riley that I had decided that I wasn’t going to do anything at all today except rest. I knew that he was not going to leave me alone long enough to get any work done. But, he didn’t like that. He wanted me to get dressed. Instead I went to my room and shut the door. I needed to get away from him for a while.

About an hour later, Riley was sitting at his computer when I opened the door to my room. I was met by the neighbor’s dog – in the hallway of my house! When I looked outside I saw the front passenger car door standing open. WHAT??!! I shooed the dog out and closed the car door.

It was time for Riley and I to have a sit-down. I asked him to join me in the office and he complied. I asked what was going on. He looked at me in confusion. He said I needed to get dressed and everything had to be brought in from the car – NOW! He was yelling at me that things needed to be done NOW. Dinner had to be decided on. Grocery needed to be bought. The frig needed to be cleaned out. My laundry needed to be put away. WAIT A MINUTE!! He is not to EVER do my laundry. He just wanted to help. He didn’t understand why that was so upsetting to me. I cringed and told him there was “nothing that needed to be done that couldn’t be done later.” Nothing was that extremely important. He countered me and then asked – “Why are you so angry with me???”

Then it hit me. It was the 18th of January. It was Riley’s self-imposed deadline date for getting the car registered or he would have all the direct deposits stopped. I tried to be evasive while attempting to get him to say what he really wanted. When he said that there were errands to be run, I asked what errands?? He informed me that the car had to be registered today. I told him it was not in his best interests to have the car registered. A gigantic round robin discussion ensued, ending with me picking up the phone and calling the Sherriff’s department. I put the call on speaker and asked Riley what his intentions were with the car after it was registered. He clearly told the officer that he was intending to drive the car – drunk or sober. He stated he did not care about the other people on the road. He said that if drunk driving was such a big deal, he would have been given a lot more tickets, since he had only gotten ONE in the past ten years.

The officer told me to take him off speaker and so he could talk to me privately. He told me I needed to have Riley committed as being a danger to other people. He would be put in a 72-hour evaluation and then forced into rehab. I thanked him for his advice, but explained that at Riley’s stage a non-medically supervised detox would be paramount to a death sentence for him. I also told him, he had been declined admission to all the rehab facilities and nursing homes in a 200 mile radius. The officer told me he understood my frustration and to please call if I needed someone to come out and offer assistance.

Riley didn’t leave it at that. My frustration was growing and he knew it. So he pushed some more. I felt a constant bombardment by Riley of what I thought I should be doing and asking over and over – why I was so angry with him. He stated that he was just trying to take care of business and make things easier for me. He couldn’t keep the neighbor’s dog out of the house and left the door open when he was “helping” me get the car emptied. He was being considerate by doing my laundry. He was just trying to keep things on track by reminding me of the things that needed to be done.

When I had been pushed to my limit I screamed at him to leave me alone!! That’s when he told me I was crazy. And that’s when I knew exactly what was happening.

Riley was angry that I had been gone over the weekend. He wanted my undivided attention. And since he was not one to lie on the floor and kick his feet – he used passive aggression to make his point. He does it all the time – I don’t know why it took me so long to recognize it. He will push me by doing things he knows I don’t want him to do and when I finally lose my temper, he looks at me in amazement like my head is spinning around while perched on my neck. Then, he is never to blame for anything because he is always calm and never raises his voice.

I told him I would be spending the rest of the day and night in my room and to not bother me for anything even if the house were burning down. I told him to heat up the left over take out and closed the door behind me. That’s where I stayed until this morning.

It’s quiet. He’s still asleep and I can get this written before the insanity begins again. I’m back to day one of this blog – insanity is only a few minutes past sunrise.


Syd said...

Linda, it does sound as if both of you would be better off if Riley did go into the 72 hour hold. It's my understanding that this is done in a hospital so surely there would be precautions for his severe alcoholism and medications prescribed to aid with detox. It seems crazy that this goes on and on--how much more can you take without compromising your health to the point that you become seriously ill? I hope that your time on the Outer Banks helped give you a reprieve, but it sounds as if it wasn't enough of a reprieve.

Ms Kay said...

I agree with Syd here . This isn't just about Riley and the danger a detox may cause him - this is about you and the danger you could be in if he keeps deteriorating . He could burn the house down or anything . Hope you are okay x

Ann said...

The 72 hour hold is medically supervised. My stepson was 'committed' several times for detox and evaluation. He always had a Dr assigned to him, and had follow up appointments scheduled when he was released. He never kept the appointments, but was closely monitored while in the locked ward.

Gerry said...

I think that it was best to ignore his ultimatum for that date and see what happened. My guess is that with law enforcement's reaction to what he was willing to say to them, Riley is eventually going to drop his plan to have a car at his disposal registered to him, but this is part of the battle to get him to accept where he is now in his drinking. I have found it necessary to call in law enforcement several times with my ex husband who was prone to violence under the influence. I think alcoholics tend to go in cycles with their efforts to prove they can still live normal lives and do what they used to do. When my dad died at the age of 64 of a heart attack he was facing having to go to court on a drunk driving charge that caused a bad wreck, all his fault. He was facing fines and the probable lifting of his license to drive at all, and when sober he had been driving everywhere with a right to drive to 'work' stipulation on his license. I think the bad wreck in which the steering wheel nearly penetrated his chest and the worry about going to court in which he was going to perjure himself about everything he had a fatal heart attack. So it's hard to tell how long the deterioration will go on. But it is certainly unpleasant for you to deal with now. You have to be able to tell when the police need to be called in for your protection.

Beth said...

I can so feel your pain Linda. My A is like a dog with a bone over things he wants, no matter how insane. He drives me crazy! The passive aggressive stuff is always present too. I really agree that you should consider the 72 hour commitment, if nothing else than for peace for yourself.

I'm so sorry you're having to deal with this, and just know that you are always in my thoughts.

Karen E. said...

My mothers drivers license expires in March. She is not with it enough to know this. It will not be renewed. This makes it easy for me. My atty says I need to add my name to her vehicles titles as POA. Then renew the insurance in my name (it expires on the 25th this month)..all good timing. Keeping the vehicles in her name and adding mine keeps me from going over the $ limits set in POA and no tax implications for me. Not sure this helps your situation but wanted to put it out there. Her not being "with it" has its advantages..youve got to look for them where you can find them.. Good luck.