Thursday, August 11, 2011


I recently blacked out in front of Bart. I can't say I've never been blackout drunk before, but never in front of Bart. It was a milestone for us.

It's comparable for me to some people when they first peed with the door open in front of their partner. Or the first time they talked about their deepest darkest secrets in front of the one they love. There are some boundaries you hold sacred for a good part of your life and never let anyone share.... why?

I feel like the only thing separating the first open-door pee and the secret from daily life is the fear of shame. We worry about what people think, no matter how secure we are. I know someone who has been married long enough that she should be able to fart in front of her husband, but she still doesn't. I've farted in front of Bart for as long as I can remember... it all comes down to how much shame you feel in the embarrassing act. I'm ok with farting. I'm not ok with blackouts - apparently.

I have never done this in front of Bart, but not because I've never been drunk in front of my husband. I've been very, very, very drunk. Decidedly drunk, and unabashedly so, in front of him. That's not what embarrasses me. There have been gregious losses of self-control on my side. Even though he is a bastion of self-control, he never criticises my lack therof. What feels weird about this is that it was unexpected. I wasn't too drunk. I wasn't out of control. In fact, during my blackout, I ran the show as usual.

What is troubling is that I'm upset about the way it makes him feel. People who witness a blackout are like the quiet participators in any act that takes place. They don't know until the next day that you weren't at the helm. They find out when you talk about what took place the night before and they see the look of terror on your face, the terror of not having any idea what they are talking about even though you were fully conscious and there were photos.

 I'm sad that he has to witness the terror. I have plenty of excuses why I had to black out that night, to numb the pain of burying a loved one, to unburden the weight that I'd been carrying that week, to suck some beautiful gluten into my body since I'd starved it for 6 days of the life-giving poison. But they are excuses.

I'm sad that he saw it, but more than that, I'm sad that I feel compelled to apologize. A girl should be allowed to get lost, if that's what she needs. She should be allowed by everyone - including herself - to check out and let someone else drive. But I'm so dutiful that I can't allow that to happen unless extreme circumstances force me and when it does, all I feel is guilt. I'm tired of guilt running both of our lives.

Good news is that I'm the same person blacked out as I am fully intact. Guess I'm doing a good job of living honestly.

A marriage milestone for us. More personal pain for you. We still suffer the consequence of the of protestant work ethic - GUILT.

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