Change? No, thank you.

I hate change. Like, despise it. I know most people are not too keen about making changes, but I think I have a harder time than most adapting to them. From big things, like where I live, to little things, like what I eat, I tend to just stay consistent and static. I could probably eat the same thing every single day and be perfectly okay with it (grilled cheese!).

I am in a long-distance relationship and he is willing to move to my house so we can be together. It’s exciting, but also really scary because I have been living alone for almost four years. When it comes to my living situation, I really notice my reluctance to change. I think it is because I have never been 100% happy or satisfied with my prior living arrangements and living alone has been a very pleasant experience. Four years ago, I went through a complicated divorce. That was a huge change in itself, but I made the decision to buy him out of our house, mostly because I just was comfortable here. So at age 30, I became a divorced, single home owner. It is really hard to think about all the changes and compromises I would have to make if I was living with another person. I like being able to eat Eggo waffles for dinner and talk to my two cats like they are human and leave dishes in the sink for days (if I sound like a crazy cat lady…I kind of am…but the cool sexy kind, not the grungy bathrobe kind-lol).

I do know, though, that the reason I like living alone and why I really DETEST change is that my life is predictable. And that, my friends, is the opposite of what life was like living in a house with an alcoholic. Every day, I never knew which version of my dad would walk in the door after work, which one we would eat dinner with. When he first started drinking heavily, my father was like Jekyll and Hyde and it was really scary and unnerving. Forgetting to empty the dishwasher was no biggie one day and the end of the world another. By the time I moved out at 22, my dad had become much more predictable…he was just drunk and mean most of the time. But for many years, I walked on eggshells trying to keep the peace at all costs.

And now, my house is calm and quiet and even though it is lonely at times, it is safe. And I am not sure I am ready to give that up, even for love.

7 comments on “Change? No, thank you.

  1. I am the same way. I like everything to be in place and to be predictable because it just wasn’t that way when I was growing up. I sometimes wonder if that part of my personality could ever change. I doubt it!

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  2. I guess I have kind of become set in my ways. I really do not like to be the kind of person who “blames” things on my childhood and my dad being an alcoholic, but there are clearly connections. Let’s look at the silver lining…I am definitely someone that my friends can always count on because I am dependable and I am guessing you are the same way!

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  3. Ohhhhhhh maybe that’s why I like living alone. Very interesting post. And by the way, let me join the group with a trifecta: alcoholic father (died in October 2012 from complications due to Alzheimer’s, having turned into a sweet mellow old man), alcoholic oldest brother (died in April 2012, cirrhosis and hepatitis), alcoholic middle brother working hard on killing himself with the alcohol, until the intervention on December 29, 2012. I’d gotten tired of all the dying and had to do something. So far, so good.

    I too, live alone with two cats. Lots of asshole boyfriends, many of them alcoholic, but never married any of them. Fifty in May. Holy $hit. Maybe I’ll meet a good man who will convince me living alone isn’t the way to go.

    I’m glad I found your blog. When I get past my grief, I’ve got some stories about my dad’s pre-Alzheimer’s days–his functional alcoholic days.

    Ella

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  4. Thanks for writing, Ella- sounds like you have gone through some terrible experiences and I am so sorry for your losses. I am glad that you were able to reach out and help your brother so that hopefully he can be a part of your life for a long time. I am definitely going to read your blog and I hope that you do share more of your stories- you never know who is out there reading them and who you might be helping. Life is funny that way.

    Glad you didn’t marry one of the asshole alcoholics! So many COAs do and I find that so crazy, but then again, I thought as long as I married a man who didn’t drink, I would be happy and that didn’t work out as planned!

    To be honest, my boyfriend now does have a bit of a problem with drinking and I think that is a huge part of my reluctance to have him move in. He isn’t abusive or mean like my dad, but I just can’t sit in my family room and watch someone drink every night- I will lose my mind!!!

    So for now, it’s just the cats and me and we are a happy little family 🙂

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    • Thanks, DNT. It was a rough year, but things truly are looking up. I like reading blogs of the recovering alcoholics. They restore my hope.

      It sounds like you have good reason to be wary. And long distance move in. Tough to undo that.

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  5. mindofshoo says:

    Wow amazing post! It was like I wrote some of it! I can certainly relate to the Jekyll and Hyde father as a kid. He was always drinking and so unpredictable. It would have easier if he was just always a mean drunk. Egg shells? I prefer to call it a mine field on most days!

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  6. @UB: I’m glad things are getting better. And I agree about recovering alcoholics…my best friend’s mom has been sober for many, many years and I am so proud of her (but it is a little bittersweet because I don’t see my dad ever stopping.) Yea, about the move-in…not to sound selfish, but he is the one willing to take all the risk and move into my house. I feel like if I can “undo” my marriage, I can probably survive anything now!

    @Mind: Yea, mine field is probably a more accurate description! It’s amazing how there are these common characteristics when it comes to alcoholics. Although I wouldn’t wish my experiences on anyone, it is nice to know there are other people who understand.

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