Originally from Holland, today’s guest now resides amongst the rolling hills and endless vineyards in the south of France. Annie welcomes Marietta, who shares her journey to a naked life. Marietta was once a victim of narcissistic abuse and used alcohol to quiet the demons. She’s now liberated from the grips of drinking and she’s happy to share her story, including how she deals with those people who don’t support her.
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Well, when I had my first glass, I think I wrote it was my first glass of wine when I was about 10 or 11. I was born in the ’60s, I’m 58 now, and it was just in the period that in Holland things got a little bit easier. There were less boundaries. My parents tried to be very modern and tolerant, so they allowed us with Christmas or with party to have the odd glass of wine. But before that, I had an aunt who was a bit cheeky, and she gave us a stuff called, in Dutch you call it Advocaat, but it’s a sort of egg punch. I think I was even smaller than 10 years old when I tasted alcohol for the first time.
How It Felt
It made me giggle. I found it very interesting to join the adults, of course, and I was very shy as a girl and very insecure. I felt that when I’d had a few glasses of wine, or one glass, even, it made me giggle and I could make people laugh. All of the sudden I wasn’t shy anymore. That was my first experience with alcohol. More than anything else it made me giggle and laugh.
At 18, I went to University. I met a guy who drank a lot and I fell in love with him. Although he had a drinking problem, I thought I could make him happy and make him not drink so much by just making him happy. Of course, that didn’t work and the only thing that was the result of that was I started to drink a lot with him. We stayed together for quite a while and we had children together. The thing is, before I got pregnant we drank almost every night in large quantities and he could drink until he dropped. That caused problems between us, of course.
Reason To Stop
When I got pregnant there was no problem at all in stopping drinking or when I was breastfeeding it was easy because you know what you’re doing it for. Yeah, that was not a problem at all. Finally, the marriage didn’t work and we split up after 14 years. I was alone with my boys who were small then. Waking up from what I now see as a very toxic, narcissistic relationship, when I was alone and the boys were in bed. I was so panicky. Panicked from the post traumatic stress disorder from this narcissistic relationship. I had flashbacks and I didn’t know how to handle it. Nobody spoke those days, it was in the 90s, nobody spoke about narcissistic abuse. It wasn’t as known then as it is now.
Drinking To Numb
Then, there was the wine. When I was alone at night I drank to ease the flashbacks and to ease my panic. Drinking to numb helped
because you get so numb you don’t feel anything anymore. At the same time, I was a teacher then and it was very hard because I came to school with a hangover and then you know, taking care of quite difficult classrooms with a hangover and a headache and not feeling well, that was very hard. After some time, I met a man who hardly drank. That’s the husband I’m still with and that’s now 23 years ago. I found that very attractive about him because he was always himself. He was never different. I’d never seen him drunk, actually. Still have never seen him drunk.
We got together and I was quite happy. He was so stable that I could, how do you say that? I could handle my memories and my flashbacks better than when I was with him. But still, I was still quite insecure and it was me, in fact, who brought the alcohol into our couple. We ended up sharing a bottle almost every night, and sometimes more. I even was so eager in getting enough wine that when he went to the toilet I made sure that I topped off my glass to make sure that I got more than my share of the bottle. I can say that now, but I was really ashamed, but I know people do that.
Still Drinking To Numb
The wine got me. Anyway, I got in a very stressful situation with my ex-husband and I realize that I really had to be sober for my children. I started to take alcohol breaks. Went to AA. I was living in Holland then and I went to an AA meeting. When I came it was a meeting where they did step #1 of the 12 steps and everybody told their story about being powerless regarding alcohol and having lost all control and so on and so forth. For me, that’s not the case. I haven’t lost all control. I just use alcohol to dim my shyness or to ease my demons. It’s drinking to numb. I have never had cravings during working hours. Never had shakes at the time when you usually have your first drink. Never, ever had a blackout, even. I thought I’m not that bad. At the same time, that’s a trigger because when you think oh, okay. I’m not that bad. I’m not an alcoholic like they are.
Did you find yourself drinking to numb emotional or physical pain? I did too. Start reading This Naked Mindto learn how to stop.
Learn what happened when Marietta stopped drinking to numb and what her life looks like now!
Special music thank you to the Kevin MacLeod Funkorama (incompetech.com)
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