Excerpt from Licking Honey Off a Razor Blade by Valerie Grimes, CHt
Chapter 9 Florida Break (Up)
A book on alcohol dependency and alcohol addiction written by a hypnotist
When family expectations of you are to be perfect all the time and you have hit bottom, it is hard to have your family see you that way. That’s why Florida is such an attraction.
No one knew him there and he could be in his natural element, the ocean. I think Sal was a dolphin in a past life.
He stayed with a friend in an apartment in Ft Lauderdale. He had to sleep on the couch but having the freedom of the ocean balanced that out. He loved to fish. Growing up in Tampa, minutes from the Gulf Coast the beach was his respite. I was happy for him to be able to get away.
Away from the physical contact with me, he was able to see how much I cared for him. I saw his faults and loved him in spite of them and his financial situation. He also wondered why it was so hard to just let me love him, to open up and relax into us. It was in Florida that Salvador did let go of a little of his stubborn nature. He decided that even if he never saw me again, he could feel the love I had for him. And knew that he was lovable. That comforted him in a new way.
I missed him but focused on a goal to increase my running speed and I did, also took much pleasure in eating the vegetables from my garden. My hypnosis practice was doing better, and I was creating new boundaries for myself. Perhaps I was strengthening for his return.
He was gone a month then called to see if I could pick him up at Love Field Airport. I wanted to see him so I agreed. My heart quickened as I pulled into the passenger pick up lane.
There he was in his ‘sexy planned attire’ plaid shorts, white v-neck tee, flip flops and a backward cap plus that sexy crooked smile. I jumped out of my car and ran toward him. He picked me up and kissed me hard and said, “Let’s go to Gloria’s, princess. I’ll buy you dinner,” as he flashed a wad of cash. I smiled.
At the restaurant he talked about getting well and looking for work again, he was speaking clearly and was interested in what I was doing with my clients and my practice. We ordered two meals, two beers plus a shot of Tequila for him and while we were waiting on the food he ordered another one. The meals came, and then the shift occurred as he turned to the next table and said, “Keep it down, we are trying to have a quiet dinner here.”
He banged his fist on the table for emphasis and knocked his beer over into his tamales.
I wanted to slide out of the chair and under the table. The restaurant was so noisy, no one seemed to notice, except for the table he was addressing. I made eye contact with him and I guess he realized he needed to calm down or I was leaving. He apologized to the table, ordered another beer as the waiter cleared his beer-drenched plate away. I finished my meal and we left. On the way to his apartment, a two-minute drive, I started in on him, “Sal, I can’t believe I went out in public with you again. I can’t depend on you to be normal and just enjoy a meal and conversation.”
He quickly shot back, “Well I can’t depend on you. I don’t trust you. You keep leaving me.” He continued to make it my fault, “I’ve been gone a month and was ready for you to be my girl. I took you to dinner and paid for it and now you are mad at me.”
“I’m mad at you because you nearly got into another fight in public. It is embarrassing to me.”
He whined, “Well that man needs to respect me and not talk so damned loud.”
He never takes responsibility, I thought, as I pulled up front and opened my trunk so he could get his luggage. I really didn’t want to leave, but I knew I needed to send him the message that I wasn’t going to reward his behavior. I pulled away leaving him on the front step of his apartment. Observing him in the rearview mirror just standing there, head down, my heart sinking.
He called me on the way home, “Princess, I want you to understand that I am beginning to feel comfortable with you, but it isn’t really comforting. So I stir things up. That is what I’m familiar with. Nobody cares, nobody is there for me, people are always turning on me.”
“Sal, I love you in spite of your behavior.”
“But you turn on me. You leave me.”
“I am just protecting myself. I hated leaving you there.”
“Then why did you? You don’t love me. Come back and show me you care.”
“I’ve got to go; Diane is calling.”
I explained what just happened, “I know I love him with all his faults, but getting clearer on how important my mental health is. I needed to leave to protect me, but I get that guilt shit from him for doing it.”
Diane listened patiently and then said, “Let’s have lunch next week and we can talk about it.”
I couldn’t wait to get home and open that bottle of wine. I needed to escape.