Sometimes she would desire her drink so bad she would scour the cupboards for whatever she could find. She just had to have one. Because I didn't like her drinking, I wouldn't keep us stocked with any alcohol. There would be a couple of bottles with something in them - Bristol Cream Sherry (for cooking), sometimes that sauterne cooking wine from the food sections, a bottle of home brew her Dad gave me (serious white lightning) - that sort of thing. Nothing that was really a drink you can enjoy.
She would need her drink and she would finally pull out one of those and have a shot. And then bitch at me when I got home that there was nothing to drink or that what she had chosen sucked (the implication being that it was my fault she was not well served). often she would pour herself this drink while she was on her friday off (every two weeks earned day off) and in the middle of a cleaning frenzy. She would announce that she deserved a drink. I have always hated the deserve a drink thing. You either want one or not. It is not a reward or an entitlement. That sort of attitude - deserving a drink - strikes me as someone with a drinking problem.
Did I mention she would never buy alcohol herself? She did a couple of times in the 20 years when we were going to someones place, but otherwise I would be dispatched to buy any booze. Not her.
With sweets she would scour for anything that would fulfill her need. My raisins (cooking) were never safe. Not dates, not dried fruit, not anything. Not even nuts. Hell, she'd even drink the juiceboxes and fruitbars I would buy for the kids' school lunches. Then I'd be short of juiceboxes or have to make an extra unplanned trip to the store to get new ones. That really made me mad - we had a couple of fights about juiceboxes. I figured she could at least be considerate enough to leave me enough for lunches. i would compensate by buying a swack of juiceboxes (then i'd get bitched at because they took up too much room in the pantry...).
Lots of times she would whine or otherwise inveigle me to go out at midnight to the corner store and buy something for her sweet craving.
The kids tell me that things haven't changed and that she still will score their stuff that they have bought for themselves and just eat it. Or that they will beg her to buy something for them - they will have one or two (like twizzlers) and then in the morning or the next day they will discover she has eaten the whole package.
The stbx would either whimper and whine or bag at me when there were no sweets in the house and she had a craving. To be nice to her I tried to make sure we were usually stocked. Then she would rip into me - especially after she gained some weight - that by buying these sweets I was making her fat. That I was to blame. I pointed out she could choose not to eat them. Her response was that I knew she had no self-control when sweets were in the house. I got sick of it and less inclined to buy them for her as things degenerated in our relationship.
Several times she ordered me to not buy anymore sweets because of her weight gain. Then she would get mad "I know I told you not to buy any, but that was then. I want some now."
I actually took a little pleasure in saying no. I told her if she wanted any she could put on her shoes and go buy them herself when she'd try to get me to go for a midnight run. Yeah - she'd do anything to avoid having to go get it herself. Even on shpping trips i would actually have take the stuff she wanted off the shelf and put it in the cart. She just couldn't admit to herself that she wanted/needed it.
Yeah - she would do anything. She'd raid the fridge for leftover rice and the closet for my raisins and make pseudo rice pudding with milk and sugar in the microwave.
There was lots of times she could have made something, but it would have taken time. And when she had a craving she wanted it now. Right now.
One time she had nothing that could be substituted. So she started searching the freezer and finally found a bag of six-month old sweetened coconut (from christmas baking). She pulled it out and started eating that.
As a side note, the above behaviour is consistent with addictive personalities and their behaviour. Especially being prepared to take any kind of poor substitute for their need...
She called me at work today.
She had gotten the letter from my lawyer about not talking to the kids about suicide or abandoning them.
She was oh so apologetic.
She started telling me how tough she had it and how she knew she made mistakes and blah, blah, blah. That her life was in a shambles since I left and she had no control over her emotion and this and that.
I told her she needed to stop feeling sorry for herself and to start acting like an adult. That it was wrong that she would put the kids in a situation where they would have to call me because they were frightened.
She agreed but then headed off on the difficulties she was having with Son.
He constantly confronts her about her bullshit. Daughter has started doing so as well. stbx is bizarrely erratic and the kids call her on it. In that way they are taking stand where i didn't. I would always try to find some accommodation for whatever. The kids don't. Daughter said to me "I'm just not as nice as you, Dad." Son said "You always try to make things better and worry about other peoples' feelings. I just don't care. If someone is pulling some kind of mass faggotry I call bullshit!" (he's 16...)
Anyway, I was trying to reasonably work through some of the things she was saying about son and her problems. I was trying to make life less difficult for the both of them.
This ended up taking about 45 minutes...
I eventually ended the call because it was really going no-where.
When i got off the call I was in fine spirits and was actually kind of pleased that i had said some of the things i had said. i knew it had gone on a little long, but that is just an automatic by-product of dealing with her, so i didn't think much of it.
I was talking to Smitten on the phone later in the afternoon. I talked to her about some of the conversation, and how it had gone. that i was ok with it all - it hadn't rattled me like most stbx conversations do.
She said that it was positive for me personally that i had said the things that i did, but that she was sorry to say the extended conversation probably fed into the stbx's wants and needs.
i was all "huh?"
Smitten pointed out that the fact that she could keep me engaged and interested in talking to her for that long would have just fed into her needs cycle. that she knew she had been caught out on a major no-no with the lawyers and she was scouting out how i would react. that she was making sure i was still in exactly the place she wanted me - still willing to talk.
that because i was probably the only person in the stbx's whole life who took the time to listen to her and be truly interested in her, that the stbx got plenty of the warm fuzzies she needed from me. and that by keeping me talking she was feeding a need for warm fuzzies that i provide.
that set of statements hit me like a ton of bricks.
because it's true.
and i knew it immediately.
Smitten heard in my voice that i was a little rocked and said "I'm sorry to say these things, but I'm saying them from a professional observant standpoint, not as a girlfriend"
stbx isn't getting it from the guys at work, her family, or boyfriend bob.
she knew from past experience that she couldn't get me to engage on any other issues. only the kids. so that's where she went.
i will quote fromMonday, June 18, 2007 thoughts on garage conversations
i've been trying to figure out why stbx-Mrs_C would still drag me into the garage for those goddamned conversations even though i told her they were killing our marriage and our relationship.
i remember when i told her that in extremely strenuous tones she said (from really fast post, May 12, 2006:
another thing she said the other day - she said: "even though things have been really bad i have felt more connected these last three weeks on an emotional level than i have in years because of the emotional outpouring during our discussions."
then she said:
"i'm almost like a bad kid looking for attention. i'm deliberately provoking clashes because of the intensity of emotion that swirls around them."
that book i got - Surviving A Borderline Parent - talks about people with stbx-Mrs_C's behavioural characteristics. One of the things it talks about is the fact that they cannot generate enough feelings of self-worth within themselves. They rely on others for their feelings of emotional self-worth.
6 month old sweetened coconut from the freezer
an addict in search of a hit. willing to take any substitute, no matter how poor a substitute it may be