Woke up this morning to the sixth or seventh version of the guy’s anxiety and indecision over signing the union list today for roll call. He’s 40 days sober, basically what they call in 12 step “dry drunk” because without the constant anesthetic of meth, dope or alcohol, he’s back to the traumatized, confused, blindly impulsive, clinging and lost inner child he’s been all his life. And every time he tries to get a sponsor, or get help, it goes badly, only confirms he can’t trust anyone or the world.
My one major beef with 12 step is all this “just get a sponsor and work the steps” mojo like they grow on trees. In ACA they say “slow down, breathe, ask for help”. There in lies the rub: asking for help from strangers who are as sick as you. How in the fuck does that ever work? Clearly it does for some people, proof is the actual folks in the rooms who make it and can tell the story, get and have sponsors they continue to be connected with. The only sponsor that ever helped me was one who was worse off than me, and would shelter me when I couldn’t be home with drinking crazy guy. I’ve never “done the steps” and had the recovery that is supposed to happen, so it’s hard not to assume it will never happen for me, no matter what I do.
I found myself tapping into deep rage this morning, irritated by the mendacity of the guy’s infantile emotional floundering over the same stuff I listened to for hours yesterday. He doesn’t want to work for the union anymore, having fallen off the world again in sober isolation, regressed back to abandoned, abused child, unable to imagine or remember what it’s like to be actually working, having somewhere to go during the day where you belong. At such times he ping pongs between trivial decisions as though tomorrow he will have no where to sleep and nothing to eat, because that is what happened to him numerous times, thanks to his insane and insufferably abusive family.
One of the real reasons I’ve stayed with the guy and supported him all these years was that he has always tried to work, always gotten back up again time and time again, and got his fucked up self out there to work. He has braved incredibly difficult, abusive job conditions, over and over again, only to have to leave situations and then deal with new, unknown ones again, sooner or later. Being in the union stopped the endless, obvious exploitation of him as a carpenter, from local, small time contractors who’d use him, pay him too little, and drop him, but it has continued the nightmare of chronic insecurity, masking it with the structure of organized labor. Despite everything wrong with him, despite his long abuse of and dependency on me, he is a talented, hard working, brilliant carpenter who deserves a decent, well paying, sustained job.
While raging because he got up, played the same broken record and blindly obstructed me from using the bathroom so I could get the trash and recycling out, I tapped into my own despair and rage over the same issue: Never being able to get sustained work where I felt I belonged and was safe. What’s up with that, GOD?
When I was younger I believed in a sort of natural selection: that if I couldn’t make it, I would just die, or kill myself, because that was the natural order of things. Then I didn’t make it, but I didn’t die, and I got tired of trying to plan my suicide and facing just how much nobody would care if I did kill myself. I kept on keeping on, continued to continue. And now I’m going to massage school. Doing something I never could imagine I could make a living from. I still don’t understand why I’m here, and if there is a god, what it’s got in mind for me. Deep down, I’m still really angry about my guy and my life. Despite everything, we NEVER deserved this fucking, endless mess. I hate it, and I hate living the LOSER life.