My Dad Is Just Not Around

I'm 35 and have dealt with an absent father since I was about 12.  He's drank heavily since I can remember.  He's a mean drunk and after telling him I'd prefer he not come to my wedding to my ex drunk he disappeared from my life for 14 years...until last year.  I've seen him once and spoke to him on the phone twice since he reappeared.  I feel as though he's a stranger to me.  January 1, 2007 I'd held a private "ceremony" where I said goodbye to him in my mind and heart since I'd not seen him in some time.  It was a year later that I heard from him again.

He's a drunk...as I mentioned, a very mean drunk.  I could go on and on with stories about the crap he'd pulled in my young life but I'll save it for later.  Right now I'm trying to decide if I want to put any effort into having any kind of a relationship with him.

LaughingSun LaughingSun
36-40, F
6 Responses Mar 10, 2009

I've not signed onto this site in some time and thought I'd update this post with the current situation with my dad. After a rocky beginning we've been working on our relationship with each other. Although he was supposed to come here for Thanksgiving he decided not to at the last minute and later admitted it was because he didn't want to put himself in an unfamiliar situation. So for the time being my husband and I make the trek over the hill (2 hour drive) to Sacramento to visit with him every couple of months. My niece, whom he has never met, will be visiting in mid-June and I emailed him to see if he was interested in coming here to meet her. He said yes....but we'll see. Either way I'll arrange for him to meet her....no point in her being only 2 hours away and not.<br />
<br />
He still drinks...a lot. The last time my husband and I visited him we went out for dinner and he completely embarrassed us by drinking entirely too much and hitting on every waitress that paid the table any attention. *Sigh* Just one of those things, I guess. Thank you for all of the support!

I am really glad I got back in touch with my dad. I would say it's not easy and he wasn't involved in my day to day life. But I am so glad that when he died he wasn't a complete stranger. I think you need to know your roots. However I too agree that it's not a disease. I know people, my stepdad (ex alcoholic) for one who took ownership of his problems and took responsability for his actions and STOPPED. My dad had a weakness and the more guilt he accumulated for the horrific stuff he did the less strength he had to fight it. It's called will power, I know talking as one who could very easily suffer the same problem. And don't let anyone guilt you into seeing him. You have to want to. I hope this was helpful. x

LaughingSun-<br />
<br />
There is no reason for you to feel guilt about abandoning you father as a result of his "disease." <br />
<br />
No matter your age, even if you are an adult now- your father is the parent, and when he decided to be a parent he made a promise to you, his child, that he would love you and be there for you no matter what. <br />
<br />
On the other hand, because your dad is an alcoholic, you can't rely on him to make you feel better about your relationship, because as we all know- alcoholics are self centered people who are oblivious to the needs of their loved ones. If anyone is going to make you feel better its going to be you. <br />
<br />
Just know that you did nothing to deserve an alcholic for a father. It has taken me a very long time to accept this myself. <br />
<br />
I get really frustrated when people talk about alcoholism as a disease, or compare it to the likes of cancer or HIV. <br />
<br />
I understand that alcoholism is hereditary, I understand that alcoholism is a predetermined to condition, BUT<br />
<br />
I don't believe in comparing it to Cancer. Cancer patients never engaged in risky behavior that led to their disease, cancer patients never had a choice. <br />
<br />
Alcoholics, on the other hand, have a choice. <br />
<br />
Good luck to you in your struggle, I hope that you can find peace.

I am so sorry you had to go through this!!

As to whether I would treat him differently if he had cancer...that would depend on his attitude. Same as now. I used to attend alateen and alanon to help me cope but stopped when he dissappeared. He makes no effort to even keep in touch and that really hurts. All contact has been initiated by me. It's just a difficult situation to be in.

He is an alcoholic and as such has a disease, if he suffered from cancer would you desert him so quickly? Even if he raged and abused you in his cancerous pain?<br />
Or would you love him and feel pity for him as he suffers from the throws of his disease?<br />
I am a 37 year old mother of four and partner to an alcoholic who was abusive in the throws of his diseaseand is now in recovery. He has been clean and sober for 18 months and the relationship we have now is one of communication faith and love. I have been a member of Al-anon for 7 years and they taught me about his disease and how i must cope with the behaviours brought about by this disease. They call it loving detachment, and it works, but inorder for it to work we must first look at ourselves and our behaviours and reactions to the alcoholics behaviours. The cornerstone of their program is honesty with ourselves and our motives and actions. <br />
You should check out a meeting it may help you with your dilemma. www.al-anon.com