When I decided to publicly out my struggle with anorexia, I promised myself I would be honest and truthful, setting aside any shame and embarrassment in efforts to heal myself and hopefully help others. But I don’t live on a deserted island and there are people who have had an impact on me, people that I love, respect and admire so sometimes I struggle in writing publicly about my experiences. How do I authentically share my story while being respectful of those whom do not wish for me to share theirs? Most importantly my husband, Marc.
Marc is a very private person and although he has been supportive of this blog, he doesn’t completely agree with my desire to speak so openly about my battle. I respect that, and we are working through it as I go.
Throughout the years Marc and I have been together, there has been one consistent thing that has, at times, brought us together and almost torn us apart. I knew when I went to Marc’s apartment for the first time twenty-two years ago and saw a table made out of empty wooden cases of Henry Weinhard that drinking was a part of Marc’s life and I, having just come off of my post-divorce wilding was no teetotoler myself. I have described in previous posts our shared love of icy lemon drops at the local pub, Spanish coffees at our favorite beach bistro and outings to local vineyards to sip fine wine. There was a time we enjoyed drinking together.
When we had kids that shifted for me. My alcohol consumption, slowed way down for a variety of reasons, pregnancies, and breast feeding being the two obvious ones. Also as the business was growing and Marc was traveling more frequently, I was often solely responsible for two little humans and I was sure the minute I had a sip of wine one of them would have to be rushed to the ER for a head bump and the doctor would smell Kendall Jackson on my breath and, well, yet another reason alcohol took a back seat. Then of course the calories. Anorexia aside, I have always been someone who would rather eat my calories than drink them. It all added up, and over time alcohol just took a backseat.
As my drinking slowed, I noticed Marc’s did not, nor was he responsive to my request that he slow his alcohol consumption. It began to bother me. A lot. I became very focused on how much he was drinking at home, and how he was acting when he came home late after a night out at a club listening to music.I would fire questions at him on his drinking, how much have you had to drink? Have you been drinking beer or scotch? “Who were you with?”(I was much more on alert when he was with the group I had labeled his “drinking buddies”). The more focused I became on Marc’s drinking, the more I believed he began to hide it from me. At the time, I did not make the connection that Marc’s behavior was triggering some of the stuff from my childhood. But my old behaviors were emerging rapidly. Like with my mom, I became hyper aware of anything that seemed “off” that would signal he had been drinking; the look in his eyes, the cadence of his voice, the way he held his body. And more often than not, I was pissed off with what I saw (and heard) and I, at times loudly, let him know it. I would accuse Marc of drinking too much and he would deny it, saying I was punishing him for my mom’s behavior. Around and around we would go. I felt like a crazy woman. Was I making it up? Was I creating a problem where there was none? Was my perception skewed from my own childhood in an alcoholic home? My gut instinct was screaming at me, LISTEN WOMAN, YOU ARE RIGHT, YOU ARE NOT CRAZY, but as we know, I was never very good at listening to my gut.