So, Mom. How are you feeling about
I go in different cycles.
I would say sometimes I’m really angry.
Other times I’m really sad...
I feel like I’ve worked really hard to
keep our family together and so-
I’m angry that Mike pulled the family
apart so bad.
With his alcoholism, with his
addictions to all sorts of different
things. It’s... been really painful.
Yeah, I feel like there was...
I feel like a lot of that experience has
It was like you tried to protect me from
that as a kid. So I didn’t even really
realize like how bad Dad’s alcoholism
or anything like that was. I just was kind
of confused as a kid until like he went to
rehab basically. I didn’t- I didn’t really get
Yeah. Until he would acknowledge
it, it was more me covering up and
making sure that the family continued
to have a house and have food and have
medical care, and I just never let him
Because... I didn’t trust him to be Mhm. safe.
But once he went to rehab, it made it
more front and center because now
he would acknowledge it so then it was
acceptable for me to also acknowledge
it to other people.
Yeah? Like before he wouldn’t want you
to say anything about it or something
like that? Or like you wouldn’t want to say
anything about it?
Well whenever I would say something
about it he would tell me I didn’t know
what I was talking about.
Oh yeah, like he was in denial.
Therefore, forcing that denial in my
face all the time and not acknowledging
the fact that...
He went to counseling before that
because I said I would leave if he
didn’t go for counseling. I didn’t want
to watch him spiral down and I just
didn’t want to watch him kill himself. Yeah.
That makes sense.
Yeah. In the end, I had no ability to
have an impact on that.
Yeah like you can’t save him if he doesn’t
want to get better.
And his anger at me, it was always,
“You’re spending too much money.”
And it’s like, Michael, you spend 60,
70 Thousand dollars a year on alcohol
alone, and if you didn’t spend that
able to do
in reality it was him
And it was very frustrating to me, but
no, I wasn’t really talking about that
Yeah I was much too young to
understand any of that for sure.
Right, right. And so protecting you
from that. Uh, Kyle with somewhat
aware of it at times...
but he was 10 years older.
So that would make sense. When did
Dad go to rehab again? Like twentytwelve
And by that time Kyle was also getting
himself into some trouble with alcohol
and they were drinking a lot together,
and they were doing drugs, and,
it became really problematic and Kyle’s
And I step back and look at it and
say Michael led a really charmed
life because... Yeah? he never got himself
caught? Whereas Kyle got himself
And... that’s been really painful for me
to watch and step back and say they’ve
gotta handle, they’ve got to deal with
demons as it were with alcohol and
Yeah, I mean- hm. I guess, I’m no
psychologist but I always just like wonder
where that comes from? I guess?
Because it’s like whether or not it’s the
environmental factor or like, uh, like I
mean nature-versus-nurture sort of thing.
I think with a lot of that stuff it’s both?
Yeah, that would make sense.
Uhm... Kyle gets it double because my
family also has alcoholic tendencies
and mental health issues and stuff like
that. Your dad’s family, his aunts and
uncles had issues with that.
And so, one of the things about the
addictive personality, and I’ll admit that I
have some addictive personality things,
I don’t gamble, I don’t drink much
because it affects me in a different way.
So it’s like, I can sit and play sudoku or
I can sit and do crossword puzzles and
all that stuff on the internet for hours
and hours and hours and hours.
And so that’s the addictive part of
the personality, it’s like I have for
ever looked at it that- I mean I can
remember the first time I drank and
it was like, it has such an effect of my
body that I’m not going to go there.
I won’t- I don’t have more than two
drinks EVER and I only have one drink
once- a couple times a month and
so it’s like, I’m not going to let my
addictive personality go there to where
I’m physically addicted to alcohol.
Your dad got himself physically
addicted to alcohol.
And... now he can never have another
drink because one drink puts him back
into, he doesn't know how to say no.
And that's the physical addiction that
came from the mental addiction that
he started with.
Do you think your, like,
aversion to alcohol was a result of seeing
your parents being like,
like having that addiction?
I didn't acknowledge that my parents
had that addiction until I was older.
And so, I... I like to be in control of
myself and my life.
And so, the fact that the first time I
had alcohol I was in college... first or
second night I went away to college
and people are drinking and I was
drinking. And I had several drinks and
I remember thinking I don't feel like
I'm myself I feel like I'm watching myself
And when I finally came to myself as
probably two or three in the morning
and I was really cold and I didn't have
my coat on. And I couldn't remember
where I'd left my coat and I thought,
I don't like the feeling of not knowing
that I had control over what was going
on around me.
And I just didn't like that. And so, I
can count on my hand, on one hand
how many times I've ever had more
like I don't want anymore, I don't need
anymore I don't want the feeling of
not remembering what's going on in
Yeah, that makes sense.
And so I think that was just me being
overly responsible personality and
just taking charge of, “Nope, I’m not
gonna let that happen to me.” Yeah.
And, I look at Mike, and when he got
to that point he decided to keep on
And keep on going
and keep on going
and keep on going.
And although early on in our
relationship, I'm going to say we had
been married maybe five years. And he
had too much to drink one day, and...
We were having a party at our house,
and they- he and a friend were
riding his motorcycle around the
neighborhood because we lived in a
neighborhood that was way way out in
Uhh... Outside of Denver.
And, uh, he and a friend, kinda, he
was driving the motorcycle when they
were way too intoxicated and they
wrecked the motorcycle. And they
didn’t really hurt themselves like,
banged up or something like that , it
was no big deal. They weren’t even
going fast, they just didn’t have enough
motor control at that point.
And I remember sitting him down and
having the conversation of, “I don’t
want to be married, I don’t want to be
watching kill yourself! You can’t drink
and ride your motorcycle.
Whatever it is, you need to talk it out,”
and he started crying, and it’s about
his relationship with his mom and
his mom being over-controlling and
him never learning how to make good
And so, he started going for therapy.
He wasn’t drinking near as much.
Again, that had been a party so he
didn’t get overwhelmingly drinking too
much for several more years after that.
But, that kind of crept up on me and
all of a sudden I’m aware that he’s
drinking too much, and then we would
argue about him drinking too much.
And so starting right around when
Kyle was born in the 90s was when I
recognized that was drinking too much
and he wasn’t making good choices
and decisions. And we had conversations
constantly about it.
Sorry, say that again? The last part. You
Yeah, we had conversations about it,
how often that he was drinking, he
wasn’t making decisions for the family.
he continued to go to therapy...
he never told his therapist that he was
there because I made him go to therapy
because he was drinking too much.
And so, he never admitted to his
therapist that he was drinking too
much so... Oh.
He continued, he did therapy for most
of his life since 19... 88...
he’s been going for therapy but he
never talked about alcoholism until...
probably two thousand-ten.
Yeah, I was going to ask like what was
the... what was the the moment or like the
impetus of him realizing that it was such
Well we’d been having the conversation
since 1990 and we even went out and
looked at a couple places for rehab for
I’m gonna say in 2003, 2004-2006
we went again looking at places. He
wasn’t in the frame that he would agree
to go. And then, his therapist here,
clearly she could tell that he was an
alcoholic. Because by this point his
alcoholism was so bad that his body
And so you could smell it on him.
Whereas he couldn’t tell it, everyone
around him could tell it, was able to
recognize that that was what was going
And then when his mom died... in
2011 he came back from his mom’s
funeral and he was so intoxicated for a
week and a half that his therapist said
that if didn’t he check himself into
rehab she was going to call the police
Oh, I see. It’s a pretty, uhm, obvious, uh, I
guess rock bottom that they talk about it.
But it wasn’t him recognizing it, it
was her pushing it. Because I’ve been
saying that for years,
and he didn’t do anything about it but
when his therapist said it, then he did
something about it.
At least he listened to somebody.
Because, he has a lot of health issues
from his abuse of alcohol for so long.
Going to the doctor’s and having
surgeries and all these different things,
because of his alcoholism he still didn’t
And.. nobody could do that for him,
he was the one who had to finally
decide to do it, and I’m very happy
that he did it because the therapist told
As far as that goes, ever since he went
to the rehab, once a year he would say
to me, “Well you know, everybody who
goes to rehab gets a divorce.”
So he had mentioned that about once a
year for a while. It just didn’t-
I tried to get him to go to couple’s
therapy and he refused...
He just went off on his own of, “I’m
an alcoholic.” He was-
before he went to rehab he was always
very angry with me that I wouldn’t
drink with him.
And I remember at one point, early
on in the therapy around 1990, the
therapist said something to me about
just because Mike drinks doesn’t make
him an alcoholic like your parents.
And I was like, “How does she know
my parents drink?” Because I went
to therapy with him once because I
had an issue that I needed, I needed
support from his therapist to tell Mike
that he couldn’t behave that way-
I went to a therapist after Mike hit
Kyle was eight months old and Mike
hit him so hard. That it was lucky that
Kyle wasn’t inured.
I told him that it wasn’t okay and
he told me I didn’t know what I was
talking about, so the next week when
Mike had therapy I went in with Mike
to the therapist.
And I wasn’t as worried about dealing
with Mike’s alcoholism at that point, so
I wanted the therapist to get across to
Mike that it was never okay for him
to hit Kyle again.
And he didn’t.
After that one time. But it was like, it
was very frightening to me that Mike
Yeah that’s- that is scary.
Yeah, yeah, oh yeah.
Because, I was in another room and
I heard him hit Kyle and Kyle went
flying and it was like, Kyle was only 8
months old, it’s like, that is NEVER
okay. And he, and Mike never hit
Kyle again and he never hit Erin and
throughout all of his alcoholism...
He hit me a couple times and we had a
huge fights about it. One time I had to
go to the hospital and it’s like I don’t
allow him to touch the kids. That was
not going to happen.
Did your fights decrease after he went to
He was not violent after he went to
rehab. Our arguments after rehab
declined. He checked out. He didn’t
talk anymore to me.
When he got out of rehab, for the first
three months I was going to meetings
with him, AA meetings with him
and stuff like that. And then all of a
sudden, he didn’t want me to be at the
AA meetings with him, and he stopped
communicating and talking.
That’s kinda what happened.
So that would cause some problems.
Yeah the lack of conversation, that
lack of communication. And so after,
so that would have been probably
the middle of 2013. He stopped
So sometime after about a year of him
not talking much about anything, I set
up that once every two weeks we would
go out for date night and talk.
So even though he wouldn’t talk in
between there, we would maybe have
conversation on date night. We did
that for... a couple of years he was still
very distant and then he got into do in
the pornographic movie.
Mhm. Yes I, uh, I remember that.
And so he had taken all of his his
addiction for alcohol and taken
that, and he had problems with
pornography and gambling and
But he took all the time, energy,
money that he spent on alcohol and
put it into pornography and, and
gambling and other things.
So he didn’t get rid of his addictions,
he just moved it to something else. And then
he started yelling at me about money
again and I thought, “What is going on
here?” And then he started signing my
name on documents.
And running up all these bills. So... I
feel bad for him at the decisions and
choices that he’s made.
I know that for me, it’s healthy or not
to be around him.
That makes me sad.
It makes me cry.
I’m sorry about that.