“How did you not know Dad was drinking?”

I’m really dumb in some things.

May 2020

How did I not know that Hillbilly was drinking… my daughter asked me as she is processing some stuff from childhood. She was talking about something I told her that Hillbilly told me the night everything came out, the night I tried to give him a hint I was going to leave in a few months but my hint was a grenade. I began looking for places to live within 48 hours of that grenade and moved out from a marriage of 28 years within two weeks.

So that was the night I learned that Hillbilly had drank throughout our marriage. And no I had no idea. And yes that is fucking weird.

All I know is what he said that night as I have not had an extended conversation with him about anything since February 6, 2013. He said he had to tell me that there were many times that he’d drink when he checked the cows, then when he came home and I went to kiss him, he’d push me away in some fashion.

I do not remember this. I know that I was not close with him, nor happy with him basically ever but divorce was not what you did. You hunkered down, especially after you had children. But honestly it was never a good relationship. Never. Not even in dating. Sigh.

I was, and still am in many ways, a very naive person. I grew up in the time of Little House on the Prairie and The Waltons on the three channels, oh four… don’t forget PBS lol. There was no You-tube or social media to provide a window to the world. My parents never drank, ever. They had one set of friends who we saw once or twice a month on a Sunday who also didn’t drink.

My best friend’s dad drank but I wasn’t there that much and he was such a jovial drinker.

I was ignorant, truly. Now if I had smelled it on his breath or seen the cans I’d have known but he hid these. It wasn’t that hard to do because he worked full time at the factory and then worked on his farm three or fours hours a day. We were together so little. I do know other couples who live like this, together but separate.

When I did find out around year hmmm… 20? I don’t know, I asked him to stop and he said okay. I was very much involved in church and was not having it. Then I looked out the window one day and saw him drinking in the outbuilding behind the house. I was livid. I told him to quit or I’d tell his mom. Isn’t that funny? I knew that’s the only thing that would make him stop, he didn’t want his mom to know. He said he would. He didn’t. He just hid it better. My daughter told me she found cans everywhere but didn’t think a thing of it, places I didn’t go or use… a trashcan in the garage, behind his truck seat.

The last few years of the marriage I thought it would be healthier for all involved if he drank in the open. He refused to saying it would hurt the kids. I disagreed saying things you hide hurt people. I never convinced him. He was still hiding the level of it from me.

Looking back that physical and emotional pushing away he did turned our marriage down a road we never recovered from. But really guys we are probably two of the most incompatible people you’d ever meet. We dated less than two years before we married. I wasn’t pregnant. He literally rode the fame of football captain to get my heart, then sex and a feeling of belonging in those scary first few weeks I had at college held it then bam we were engaged and my parents were awful and I married him to spite them in many ways. Yesssssss I was an idiot. I got three babies whom I love with my whole heart out of it so it wasn’t “wasted.” They always remind me, “You wouldn’t have us!” if I’d chosen differently.

Photo by Alex Knight on Pexels.com

4 thoughts on ““How did you not know Dad was drinking?”

  1. It’s taken your growing to this ripe and delicious age for you to really see these things. I am the same with my ex, to whom I was married a similar amount of year. What is so weird though, is that now, he might as well be a street lamp for all I care. Not only does he mean nothing to me, but he is fairly distasteful in my eyes now. Where did all that love go? I know that after 15 years and I started having my two babies, I fell in love with them, and out of love with him. So common. Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. God yes. How can our journeys be so similar?!!! I fell so hard for my babies too and learned what love is. Gracious I laughed at the lamp post comment. I still have a little hope to meet you when you come to the states! If it happens and we can figure it out!

    Liked by 1 person

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