Monday, February 22, 2010

One Year...

I know I haven't posted a lot this past year on things that are very, very personal.
This past year has been a doozer baby, ups, downs, inclines, complete crashes, big ups, stumbles and falls.

Last winter Karlio and I went through what would be probably the worst time of our married life.

One day in particular will always stand out in both our minds, and that would be the day I threw my weddings rings hard in his face, screamed that "it was f'in over", and proceeded to have divorce papers drawn up the next day.

That day was last February, February 19th to be exact.

Know how I know?
Well, it was that day I told him I would rather be alone for the rest of my life then to live with an alcoholic. I then kicked him out of our home.
No, I didn't help him pack, I didn't care where he went, as long as he was not near me and our kids.
I was pissed, heartbroken, confused, hurt and so angry that a stinkin' bottle of beer was far more important to him then his family.

He did leave that day. He cried and surprisingly enough, I cried even harder. To this day I don't know why...maybe because I realized that this was the day that was officially the death of our marraige.

I never told anybody about this, although a few people figured it out when I set my Facebook relationship status as "It's Complicated".

As far as all others, life was still a bowl of cherries.

That same night, after pleading with him for weeks, and hinting constantly that our marraige was in trouble, I asked him again to go find an AA meeting.
I never thought he would, but surprisingly enough, when you get to the very bottom of your life and there is honestly no place to go but maybe to an early grave, he went.
He went, crying like a baby, and found a man named Jim. I have never met him, but I will one day. I would love to thank him personally for saving Karlio, and saving our family.
Jim took Karl under his wing like they were best buds their whole life.

Now, I'd like to say all things went super great after that, but fairy tale endings don't exist here, not yet anyway.

Eventually I let him move back in since money was so tight. The kids missed him terribly, I still didn't.
I couldn't bring my self to admit that I still loved this man with all my heart. I believed that he went to AA to please me, to tide me over until he could mess up again.
I believed he did it to shut me up basically.

WOW...was I ever wrong!

Not only did he stick with it and go everyday, but he read from his book everyday. He prayed...yea, he PRAYED everyday, several times a day, can you believe it?
He made amends with the people who he had hurt the most, his children and me. The kids were easy, I was till being a super bitch hard ass. Yes..I'll admit it.
He would tell me all about "the promises".
The what? OK, yeah..promises, promises that we would be so very blessed if he continued to stay sober. As if I believed that, right?
LOL...wrong again, that was my bad.

Everyday I saw changes, small ones. A lot of time though I saw a man who was now sober and had no clue how to be. I hear it's part of the process.
He became clingy and controlling, not in a mean way but more like a stalker who swore if I ran down the the store for milk, that I was off cheating on him.
That drove me insane. I remember one day getting into a screaming match with him about that, after being accused for like the hundredth time and telling him to "just go freakin' have another beer".
I have to admit, and even he doesn't know this, that part of me wanted him to start drinking again so that I could leave him, without any regrets, that way I could keep my heart from getting broken all over again.
But, he stood his ground and said to me "I am the only one that can make me stop drinking again, not you, not anybody and I WON'T DO IT".

Right then I had a very good feeling I had finally met my match.

OK, I told him....prove to me that you can change and I will hold up on the divorce.
This was at the end of February and I gave him the beginning of April as a deadline, my decision as to whether I wanted a divorce or not. Either way, whether he stayed sober or was my decision.
We shook hands on it. There was no kissy stuff going on back!

I remember going to work everyday, I hated my job. It would have been OK if my boss wasn't such a sleaze, but I figured, it's getting us by I have to do what I have to do.
I hardly ever saw the kids. Coming home was so stressful, the kids would go to bed and I would retreat to my bedroom...only to be followed like a puppy by Karl, who would not let up on forgiving him.
I would boot him out and have him sleep on the couch.
He wrote me letters, he bought me flowers, he played my love songs, he did everything right...but I just could not budge, like I said, the heartbreak was bad and I felt if I kept ignoring him it would eventually go away.

One day, at the end of March I was sitting at my desk at work, trying so hard to concentrate on what I was supposed to be doing when I got an IM from him on my Facebook. He had "real important news and wanted to share it with me over the phone, could I talk?"
Yea I said...I guess so.

The good news was that he was just hired moments ago by a huge local construction company. He would have his own office, his own shop and he would alone oversee a ton of Mack dump trucks and a few semi's, and had overtime every week. Even better, his salary was to more then double!!

Yeah, you could say I was pretty shocked.
These promises he kept talking about, maybe they are real?

Anyway, he went to work everyday and man he LOVED it!! He was like a little kid playing in the sandbox only now his trucks were life size. He was so proud and even now, his boss and all his drivers love him. things started to roll along and about a week later I was sitting at my desk in tears cuz of something that had happened at work that day and when I left for lunch, I never did go back. I knew I could find something else, but Karl..well, he had other plans. He wanted Mama back with her babies while they were still in school. He wanted to put our marraige back together, he wanted to prove that he meant business.

It was around this time that we started going to the beach a lot. It was our way of "getting away".
I have to admit, it was awkward at first because in all our years together, he has never once wanted to go to a beach or do anything as a family, Lord only knows it would have taken him away from football/NASCAR Sunday, and of course the fridge full of beer.
At first we would pretty much ignore each other, each taking walks alone, barely speaking.
Then one day we walked together, one day we actually held hands, one day we jumped off the dock leading out to the ocean, into some woods and made out like two 17 year olds.

We learned how to have fun again and we learned to love again...that is what all those spring and summer beach trips did for us.

Soon after even better things started happening.
Our kids were so happy, more happy then they had ever been, they were finally not afraid to talk to their Dad. They saw their parents laughing instead of fighting. It was great. :0)

On April 11th 2009, Karl's birthday, we all went out to dinner...our favorite Chinese buffet place and we really had a great time.
I caught myself taking about maybe one day renewing our vows. Of course, you know he loved that idea.

April 19th, 2009...our 29th wedding anniversary.
He played our wedding song set to a whole bunch of cute clip arts and I have to say, that did it for me..I couldn't take it anymore, I really did love this crazy man.
He begged me to go out to dinner with him and we did. When we came home I told him to go outside and start a small fire, not to question...just trust me.
He did and I went outside, holding his "gift". It was our divorce papers, I told him to go ahead and toss them in the fire, we wouldn't be needing them after all.
I think he was a little surprised, but I told him "If God can trust you to do the right thing and give you this awesome job, then who am I not to trust you as well?"
And just like that, the papers went up in flames while we both watched silently, holding hands and knowing without a doubt, this was a new start.

Now, I be lying if I said everything has been awesome, there have been some crazy days but 95% of them have been wonderful.

Those "promises" I mentioned?
They do exist.

We have a new home, a new car, we can finally live life without worrying everyday about the next dollar.
I have been spoiled tremendously this past year. *wink*
He is well liked and respected at his job and community.
Material things are not all we have, we have the gift of a brand spanking new marraige, a new spiritual devotion towards each other.
We have fun where we once had boredom.
Laughter now lives where the tears used to.
We are family once again.

This February 20th {he had to work late on the 19th} we celebrated, as a family, Karl's one year sober anniversary. The three kids and I went with him to his AA meeting and watched as he told his story and got up to receive his "one year gold coin".
I couldn't but laugh a little when I saw him giving advice to others.
"Don't Drink. Go To Meetings".

When we came home we had that big ole Italian feast I told you I was making {homemade sauce, meatballs, ziti}. And for dessert, a little something made by Kaysha, a carrot cake {his fave} with cream cheese frosting.
The extreme amounts of sprinkles were my idea cuz I thought it would look awesome as a photo. LOL!

OneYearDad 002 copy

Congratulations Daddy-O, you did it like you said you would and we are all very proud of you.

OneYearDad 008 copy

PS. Thanks for hanging the rest of those pictures in the kitchen today. :0)

Kim and the Mini K's



Brandi said...

What a lovely story... So glad everything worked out for your family. Congratulations to Karl for his "1" year of being sober. Way to Go! May the next year be one of happiness, love, faith, growth, and more fun times.
Brandi N.

Anonymous said...

Kim, I never comment, I think I have one or two times, but have followed you all since caringbridge. What an awesome testiment to what God can do in someones life and marriage. I am so thrilled for you all! Congratulations to you all!

Someday, maybe even today, God will use this to help someone else, and to give them HOPE!

Wishing you all the best,

Amy said...

Wow Kim, that's one incredible story! I'm so happy that you and Karl have worked/are working so hard on your marriage.
Congratulations to Karl and to the rest of you on his 1 year sobriety...that is quite an accomplishment.
Thank you for sharing such a personal and inspirational part of your lives with us blog readers.
Many, many blessings from this northern K-Krew to the southern one!

Shiela in NY said...

WOW, Kim & Karl! What a great update!!!

First of all, I want to say CONGRATULATIONS, WAY TO GO, and AWESOME JOB to Karl!!! I have known more than one alcoholic in my life and you are so right ... it's ONLY up to the alcoholic to want to quit drinking. Same as smokers or someone that wants to lose weight. Only YOU have control. I even tell that to our son that's diabetic. He's a Type 1, which means he has to control his diet and take insulin every day. HE is the one that controls the food that goes into his mouth and he's the one that works with his insulin so he's the one that controls his overall health. I would not know what it takes to overcome what you have, Karl, but from what I understand being an alcoholic takes lots of discipline and I'm SOOOO proud that you made the one year anniversary!!!

Kim, what a hard road for all of you, but how very happy this story has turned out!! "Once an alcoholic, Always an alcoholic" but you know that since Karl has been able to go a full year without anything he's definitely changed his life around! Sadly, the alcohol takes over the life of the individual and it's got to be so difficult, knowing the loving soul you fell in love with, and had your children with, has a foreign substance controlling his thoughts and actions. I loved how you stood your ground, worked hard to get through this, and came out stronger in the end!

Amd to the rest of the K-Klan: I can only imagine the difficult road this has been for ALL of you, but I also know how important family is to each of you and your Dad is someone to be very proud of! Just like he's always been so proud of each of you!! I can imagine "family time is more fun" and, among other things, your dad has taught you what perserverance is, and how important "family" is. I'm so proud of your dad, and for each of you for hanging in there!!!

Kim, and Karl, it takes gutts to spill your story to ALL of us. Congrats on getting through this, and just think: your story could possibly help someone else out!!! Kim, I sure hope you get to meet the guy who helped Karl so much!!!

Thanks for sharing your story!! You KNOW I love you all like family!!! :)

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on being sober for one year. I know your family is very proud.

Cindy in Tennessee

Anonymous said...

Well I knew something was different but naturally didn't know what. Congratulations to Karl & all of you. I went through the same thing many years ago -28. Thursday we will celebrate 32 yrs of marriage. Somebody gave my husband his 1yr coin. He calls it his lucky coin & finally drilled a hole in it & it's on his key ring.

Margie M

Anonymous said...

Oh my - what a story! Way to go Karl on your 1 year anniversary, here's to many, many more of those anniversarys. Kim you have such a talent for writing, I wish I could write half as well as you. Have you ever considered writing a book? You all are such a beautiful family and an inspiration to so many, I hope to some day meet you all
Hugs from a once again snowy Missouri,

GirlyMomma said...

Boy, I'm on a roll...two comments in a row. You know what? It IS a lovely story.
Karl looks 'different' in the picture. Healthy and strong...and peaceful. This really made my day to read...inspiration!!!
Kelley in TX

Anonymous said...

Kim, this gave me goosebumps! Congratulations!

The Foster Home said...

Thank you so much for sharing that story. I love the ending. I have been reading your blog for a while now and have never commented and today I just had to. Thank you again for sharing this part of your life.

Anonymous said...

Kim, I don't usually comment, but your story today really hit home for me. I too, am married to an alcoholic, who just had his 8 year sobriety anniversary this past January. I know how hard it is to forgive, but Karl, like my husband, knew what a good thing he had, and knew that he had a problem with alcoholic. Forgiveness takes time, but as each day passes and the trust is re-established, you will be able to forgive. I'm happy for your family as well. I wish the best for you and Karl in the future.

A faithful reader in Minnesota!!

Anonymous said...

Kim, I've been lurking and reading your family's story since Kody was, oh I dunno, about 8? Not knowing y'all in person, you had me conpletely shocked today when I read that Karl was an alcoholic. As deeply sorry as I was to hear that, I am SO, SO HAPPY that he is recovering and just earned his ONE YEAR COIN! Karl dude, you ROCK! I am SO proud of you! Congratulations to the entire "K Family!"

Anonymous said...

Wow! I normally don't comment (I have been a follower since caringbridge) but this is an amazing update! The thing I love about your blog is that you are so real, and this post just proves it and that is why you guys are so loved by all your readers/followers. Big hugs to all of you and congratulations to Karl.


Linnae said...

Dear Kim and Karl,

I rarely write but today I had to ... if I can see through the tears running down my face. On October 31, 2004 I made one of my most difficult decisions and that was to give up the bottle. Five years and some months later I can truly say it was a decision I've never regretted. My kids love me again!! Karl, I am so proud of you and urge you to continue doing what you are doing -- read the book, go to meetings, don't drink. Another 24 hours and another and another ... congratulations from your AA sister!!

Anonymous said...

I've been following your blog since Kody's First Holy Communion, but I don't often comment. I HAVE to comment today.....Congratulations Karl on your one year, and to Kim for standing by your man. My husband and I had dual addictions that led us both to rehab. We were given a 5% chance to stay sober, and to stay married. It is now 23 years later and we are still together and both still sober......Not a day off the wagon! You can do this......One day at a time.......

Donna said...

Congratulations K Family on your new beginning. It is a relief to know that there are still success stories out there--that marriage is not just something you throw away when it gets rough. Good for you Kim, for knowing when to stand up and draw the line. Good for you Karl, for seeing what was really important and giving your all to get it back and make it better.

Sherry Vasquez said...

wow....thanks for sharing Kim.You have been through alot.Happy 1st anniversary are truly blessed with a beautiful wife and kids.Never forget that.May God continue to bless your family.Someone who cares in Hemet. Sherry

Anonymous said...

Kim, thank you for your honesty. I know how hard it must be to share personal details of your life on your blog, but you really do reach other people in a positive way. My daughter is in rehab right now and it has been one of the most difficult experiences our family has ever had to go through. We are at the beginning of this fight and I don't know how things are going to turn out right now, but your post gives me hope. Thank you.

annieb said...

pure awesomeness...thank you for sharing such a beautiful story...I, too, could tell something was different...didn't know what, but could feel the happiness in your rock...and not drinking looks good on look younger ;o)

tricia said...

Congratulations Karlio! Kim,&kids...what a great support team!

Dottie said...

Wow Kim,

Awesome story and so happy to know that in the end it all worked out....THE K CREW rocks!

Are you back on facebook cause you are GONE on my friends list! Have been for a while......

Anonymous said...

Wow...I commend you for such a personal and powerful post! Thank you for sharing. Kim, you write so well. You should ALL be proud of yourselves for being such a strong family. I'm glad things are starting to look up for everyone!!! Congratulations on your 1st anniversary...may you enjoy many, many more!!!!!
Liz, NY

Amy said...

Like OMG Kim!!! This was an awesome blog to read today. You all deserve to be happy and I'm so glad your doing it together. I pray that things will continue down this path. Thanks for sharing your lives with all of us out here in cyber-land.

Anonymous said...

First, thank you so much for sharing what is a very personal and private story, it took alot of courage for both you and your husband.And second congratulations to Karl who did the hard work of staying sober for the love of his family, it is truly 1 of the hardest addictions to overcome, but obsv.its possible and with great rewards.
best wishes.
Donna, ny.

hanamae said...

Kim: Thank you so much for sharing your story. I know it will bless others as it blessed me this morning when I read it. I lived with a father who was an alcoholic and while I loved him dearly, it was difficult. You are giving hope to so many. God can do anything! Way to go Karl! Way to go K family!!!

Anonymous said...

Congratulations to each of you for your committment to your family, to each other and to new beginnings. May this next year be even better.

cheri said...

Congrats to Karl and the entire family. My brother just celebrated 11 years of sobriety and it is a work in progress. It took him many times in rehab and meetings (he actually liked rehab....a place to eat and sleep while the state paid for it)! He is now 11 years sober and we couldn't be prouder of him. It was hard on the whole family but we did will you. Good luck to him and good luck to the entire all deserve praise. He had the easy part...he could drink through the had the hard part of having to actually live it and see it.

Dot O said...

Kim, I am sorry this past year was as rough as it was. You are a brave woman to be able to bare your soul to us.

Although your family is always in my prayers, I will be adding some special ones in there for Karl - for the strength to get through this every day. I want to be here when you post on your blog about his 40th year of sobriety.... I will be old but still be following your story....

Nancy said...

You guys made me cry.Congrats to all of you for making it thru some very tough times and especially Karl-the love of you're family is an awesome thing.I am so happy for you all!!

Anonymous said...

Dear Kim, Karl and the entire K family,

Kim I have followed your story for such a long time but was totally shocked by your recent post. My heart goes out to each of you and while my prayers are always with you, I will your challenges and blessings.

I too was married to an alcholic but Karl, he was never able to choose us over the alcohol. Sadly not even my promise to divorce him could match his desire to drink. God bless you Karl - it is one of the most difficult challenges anyone can face and we are all proud of you.

Kim, you and your entire family continue to touch our hearts and inspire us. It took real courage to share something so very personal but I know God will use the K family story to help many others, just as He has all along.

God bless you!

Sea52Jay said...

Kim, I so remember those days when you were at work and we IM'd on Facebook during the day and you only hinted at bits and pieces but I knew it was bad. You were miserable at work and miserable at home, I felt so helpless for you. I am so glad that this story had a happy ending. Darkest hour is before dawn! Much love, CJ

Anonymous said...

I read your update yesterday but found it a bit overwhelming to reply to. I came back today because I want Karl to know how proud of him I am. We quit drinking just shy of 20 years ago. The first few years were the hardest but now it's much much easier. We know we have TOO much to lose. And being married for 21 years makes us realize that had we continued drinking, we probably wouldn't be married. When we drank, we got VERY dumb! Quitting together helped us.

Kim and family, kudos to you for staying with Karl during the hard times. I hope you can all forgive him for the pain his drinking caused over the years.

Kim, thank you for having the courage to share the very personal and painful story of your family. I'm sure you've helped people in ways you'll never even dream of.

Prayers and hugs to the WHOLE K Family!

Connie F-G

Anonymous said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you for this... For sharing your struggles and your triumphs. I started reading Kody's Caringbridge a couple of years ago... I have prayed for you all often but I don't think I have ever commented.

But I had to let you know how much your post has meant to me today... My husband and I are in a similar place to where you were a year ago. Our issues have nothing to do with alcohol, but certainly feelings of betrayal, mistrust, emotional abandonment. I am feeling like you did then... We are currently separated and he is doing everything he can to show me he has changed... but I'm just waiting, anticipating the next fall-out, the next screw-up. Because they always seem to come. And if I anticipate it and know that it will come... I can't be hurt again...

Today you have given me hope for my marriage... something I desperately want to have. We have two small children and I want things to work out as much for their benefit as for my own.

Sorry this has been so long... I just had to let you know how much this post has helped me... that it has given me hope.

I will continue to pray for you and your family... I will probably go back to lurking status, but will try to comment more often... Thank you again, and God Bless,


Jenner said...

Kim, thank you for sharing your story. Karl...CONGRATS man! You flat out ROCK! Love, Hugs & Prayers to all the K's!
Jen from WI

(OMG.. the word I had to type here for verification is "damshts" - LOL!!!!)

Anonymous said...

So happy that things are going so well. Funny, but even though I never met you, I knew Karl would do anything for you and the kids. He is such a special husband and father and I am in tears right now. So happy for you.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing your story, I try and check in often and tried going back to see about your new home and now I know. May God continue to bless all of you.. How awesome that you shared this part of your life journey. I am sure it was difficult to decide to do but I am thankful you did.
Congrats Karl on 1 year!!!!!!
Hugs from Iowa,

Anonymous said...

Kim - Im a little behind in reading about you guys - but today Im so glad I did. I have been following you all since your caringbridge days...time flies. Your stories always amaze me,sometimes they make me laugh, sometimes I cry but always make me thankful that you share your story and your family with all of us. Congrats to Karl for 1 year sober..its a lot of work but he did it. After all the challenges God has given you as a family - you make it thru stronger then ever. Hugs to all of you - now if you could just send some sun to our snowy PA - that would be wonderful :-)

Love Us Muller's (Patty & Steve)


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