Saturday, August 13, 2011
The Core of Amends
I drank, from my first drink at age ten I could not stop myself from wanting more. I got drunk that night and off and on over the years as teen ager every now and again when the drink was available it would happen.
So the fact that I was alcoholic was established pretty much early on. As much as I was not a regular drinker until age 19 the alcoholism was pretty much cast in stone.
When I did become a regular drinker, it was with a vengeance. Days in the Military as a young officer in an era where the armed forces was pampered in a country where the young men became part of a military fighting culture at young ages. This made for an organisation where a can of Beer was cheaper than a can of Coca-Cola.
Couple this with a very conservative Dutch Reformed Christian upbringing where even watching movies with an age restriction of 2-10 years old I was unthinkable. Keep in mind that these age restrictions was placed on everything that the Nationalist party of the time did not ban outright. And the chances that any child of the era could grow up freeing their minds to alternative thought processes was basically impossible.
It certainly was the case with me. I ended up being a Sunday school teacher and firmly believing masturbating is wrong and profusely prayed for forgiveness every time this happened.
I think what I basically want to say is that I became alcoholic even before I ever had the chance to define myself as a human being. I never figured out for myself exactly what I was and how I regarded life and the act of living it. I drank, and during these drinking years never grew up. As we alcoholics stop growing emotionally when we drink and there is basically no time or effort to want to discover yourself, we just keep on existing.
This was most certainly the case with me, and I most certainly had a basic idea what it was that I liked and what excited me and what drove me as a human being and much later on at the age of around 35 only started forming my own opinions around religion, however I never ventured into the arena of discovering any of these things as the alcohol just made sure that I kept hiding myself, the core me from the world.
The fact was that I knew on some level that I was a polyamorous, kinky atheist, I just had not added the label of alcoholic officially as well.
Through these years I found a degree of happiness and fell in love with a woman that became the centre of my crappy universe. I formed my life around her, and at times showed her bits of the thing I thought I might be but never all of it as the alcohol stopped me from finding this person in myself.
So the day came when my long standing secondary relationship with alcohol came to an end. That was the 10th of November 2008.
That was the day I started discovering myself, that was the day I had to start facing the core of what defines me as a human being and what made me want to survive and live.
Over the next two years I plunged myself into subjects that I knew were things that I could not, or wanted to identify with. For a few months I plunged myself into finding out everything about alternative medicine for the reason that my wife had had an affair with a Homeopath. A long standing one which in a way saved my life. It still made me research everything surrounding the subject where I became a kind of lay expert in refuting the efficacy of any alternative medicine.
I followed this up with religion and specifically the one that I grew up in and soon came to realize that I was atheist, that I could not identify as a Christian and that I did not believe in what the religion stood for.
I then found a sub culture of kink and BDSM, which in itself was a journey that opened my mind to people in this world more than I think anything else ever would or could. In short I figure out I was kinky, and pretty much that this made me tick sexually.
Through this I found out about polyamory. It started out as a process where I justified my wife's un faithfulness, and I still believe that I am wrong in this. As she maintained throughout that she never stopped loving me. That she even loved two men at the same time. However that may be, I figured I was like that too, that I could love more than one person at the same time. A committed love and a love that would not judge.
However it became clear soon, that as they sometimes say, love is not enough. Because through this all I changed, the person emerging from eighteen years of drunken life. Was not the person that went into it, or even resembled the person that I had been before.
My wife was married to a different person totally. She still loved this person, but did not know him. She understood the things he did but could not agree with the things he did or identify with them. She stayed and shared a life and even understood him as she watched and supported and cried with me every step of the way through the fight of staying sober. My sobriety became our sobriety. My life however and what I became was not us anymore.
She knew me, as she supported me in ways that most men can only dream to get from their wives, she made sacrifices and changed her life for me. But through all of it I emerged for the first time as the core person that was even hidden throughout childhood, through a whole life until the age of 37.
She moved out a few weeks ago, I believe that she deserves her time for herself. I believe that she deserves happiness. I believe that she deserves a life.
My sweetheart, I have changed. What I represent in this world has changed. But through 11 years with you at my side my love has not changed. We can find what works for us.
I have done things to you when I was drinking and I have done things when I have been sober. I can not change the past as much as I wish I could. But I can say that I want to make amends. For the drinking and the sober years. And all I need is to know how I can make it better as you are the one person in this world that has suffered the most at my hands. And the person that deserves my amends the most.
For that I will always have regret and resentment towards myself. And can only hope that I will be given the opportunity to make it better.
I love you, as much as I love my sober life and our son.
The Godless, Kinky, atheist Alcoholic.