Archive for June 11th, 2008

Ending things with Steam was easy when doing it over voicemail.

Actually, no, that would have been heartless.

A while ago, I left him a voicemail while he was at his son’s Boy Scout thing, just saying “No, I am not coming tonight, let’s talk later.” And he took it as “Never gonna see you again.”

He assumed right. But I didn’t SAY that on the voicemail. I was going to say it in that phone conversation LATER.

What drew me to the point of feeling confident this time that I will stick to this?

Well, my children’s faces.

He’d invited us out on his boat for the day, go out, check the lobster traps, anchor at the beach and spend the day. The girls were so excited as was his 9 year old son. It was a gorgeous day.

And I am not sure what I was hoping for.

But he cracked the first beer at 2pm on the beach. And by the time 5pm rolled around, we were packing up and I opened the cooler and saw eight empty beer bottles. I also knew he didn’t eat anything since earlier that morning.

When we arrived back at his place, he cracked open another beer.

And then we all went to dinner (I walked directly to my car and got in and said “I’ll drive”) and there, he had more beer.

He can tolerate his alcohol pretty well. But watching someone drink it like water on a hot day at the beach, well, that is a little disconcerting. Especially since he was driving a boat. Especially since he had a woman and three children with him.

His behavior changes after a few so you can imagine what an extra few will do. He’s mostly a “happy drunk” but any sort of drunk around my children or in a situation that could be dangerous or illegal is not okay, happy or not.

Blue had a hard week that week and was throwing little fits here and there. On the beach, she was doing a few things that were instigating fights with her big sister and I had asked her to stop. But she didn’t. I picked her up and asked her to sit on her towel. She would not. I tried to gently push her down and Steam stood up and picked her up and sat her on the towel. She got up and ran away while he yelled (yes, yelled, only I yell at my kids) “You had better stop this behavior or you will NEVER come on my boat again, EVER!”

Now, that is something a thirteen year old would say to an annoying younger sibling. Not a forty year old man to the five year old daughter of the woman you presumably love.

The harshness in his tone and words was not okay. During the day there were little things like “Would you PLEASE move out of the way so I can get by?” (to the children loudly and in a frustrated and angry tone) and “Why don’t you just STOP it?” And then he would take another swig of beer.

When we were driving the boat home, I stood next to him, ready to take on the wheel if something were to happen. All the while, he is waving and yelling at passersby about the beautiful day, how many lobsters he brought up, and swearing at boats that were going to slow for his liking.

When we docked, I climbed out of the boat and stood there waiting for him to go get his trailer. The kids sat in the boat, waiting and he grabbed me and started to (try) to make out with me and pushed up against me and then pulled at my skirt (almost off) and looked at me as if he was going to take me right there in front of the kids and the dock master. He was not happy when I pushed him away.

In town, we walked into a pizza place for dinner and their air conditioning wasn’t working properly and he yells “How could you NOT have your air conditioning working? We’re leaving. SORRY!” and he stormed out. We went to another place that had ac and sat down to eat. The whole time, he was the loudest in the place (and it was a noisy place) and people were looking at us and looking at me and looking at him and the children and although I could care less what people think usually, I was completely embarrassed and afraid.

And then the real winner was when at the local Dairy Queen. We were in line with the rest of the townspeople and placed the order for the kids and I made a comment about how I don’t care for soft serve. And at the top of his voice he yells “yeah, you like it HARD!”

It was like a whip had cracked and there was complete silence. I turned around and walked over to the car and got in and sat and waited for him. We dropped he and his son off at home and I haven’t seen him since.

I don’t mind drinking. And in fact, going out to eat and drinking with him or heading to a bar for a while is really fun, but we walk there and moderate it with food and time and do not have the children with us in a situation that could be dangerous, even without the alcohol.

But months before, I had been following him home in my car from New Hampshire in my car, in a snowstorm. His son was in his car with him. When we arrived home a brutally long hour and a half later, he carried three empty bottles with him from his car and upon questioning him about it, he admitted to drinking them while driving home. In the car. In a snowstorm. With his son in the back seat.

He said it would never happen again.

When we talked after the boating incident, he promised, it would never happen again and I suddenly realized that he doesn’t get it.

He said he was anxious about us and the day and so he drank.

And then he said that all I needed to do was stop him after his second beer and “suggest” he has some water or a coke and some food. And my response is “I can’t be with someone who can’t make that decision himself.” And it was especially clear when I asked him “had I not been there, would you have drunk the same amount if it were just you and your son?” And he said “yeah, probably.”

What strikes me funny is that he was always talking about wanting to be a family and helping me with the kids, babysitting them if I need to work. And the truth of the matter is that I don’t trust him with my children. I spent an entire day wrapped up in trying to protect them from his behavior, from seeing him drink from the brown bottle, from reassuring them that the things he said to them, he was “just kidding”.

(note: As a rule, I never drink in front of my children or when they are in my care. With “D” after they are asleep, I may have a glass of wine with dinner, but that is it)

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