Fathers Or the Lack There of

Well, I'm 24 years old and have been dealing with an alcoholic father for all of my life. My parents divorced when I was 2 because my Mom couldn't take it any more. He has been in and out of my life and I never know when he will show up next. It's been almost 5 years since I have seen him and around 8 monthes since I last spoke to him. Some times I just wish he would go away so that I wouldn't have to deal with him coming and going in my life.

Since I can remember when he was around and sober he would take me to his AA meetings with him so that I would understand the illness. This was probably the only thing that he ever did for me as a caring father. Because of the AA meetings I have a great understanding of what the illness is and how it effects the people around him. The thing that I don't understand and maybe someone can help me with is I have never been able to talk right to him about his illness. Every time I talk to him I turn into a 7 year old and can't have a grown up conversation with him. WHY IS THIS?

Anyway, I'm glad I found this site and if any one whats to talk... well we probably know how each other feels. Which for us it's not that often that we come accross others who do.

Thanks for listening!
-SweetPea

SweetPea15 SweetPea15
26-30, F
8 Responses Mar 19, 2009

I haven't been on here in a while so this comment is 8 months late! oops! <br />
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Anyway, I've never been in the position where my father is at family functions but... what I do know is that YOU are not the bad guy! You are angry with him and that is okay... they are your feelings and don't feel bad for feeling them! That said people around you may not understand. My mom has always felt somewhat sorry for my dad because he missed so much of my life (and continues to do so) and could never get it together. On the other hand, my mom knows that I am MAD at him for missing so much. I do understand it is an illness (mental or physical, which ever you believe) and that does play a role.<br />
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So do you want to have the conversation with him? Or do you feel like you should have the conversation? Because it's up to you and you don't have to if you don't want to! Some people would probably say that you should just to get your questions answered and to help you move on. I never have talked to my dad about it and I don't think I will. To much time has past and I don't want to pull all that up for no reason when I don't see him or talk to him anyway. <br />
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In your sitution though since you do see him at family functions (or have to worry about seeing him there) maybe you should. Even if its not to talk about the illness but to set your ground rules to get though those functions with out exploding on the inside.<br />
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Just make sure you are happy in your life and try not to let that anger rule all.<br />
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Hope I helped even just a little bit! Let me know what to decide to do or have done!

I am so glad I found these post. I am in the same dilema. It has been 6yrs since I last had a conversation with my alcoholic father. my whole childhood growing up my family and I were verbally and physically abused by him. when i got married I left town and decided to not have a relationship with him. I felt that even though he was not in my life I had some major issues because of him. For example horrible nightmares, trust and confidence issues, and even relationship issues. I am now 27 yrs old. I don't want to be his best friend. I don't think I even want a relationship with him. I think I just want to be able to let him know how he hurt all of us and How how much hate I had towards him. I feel bad because the whole family has forgiven him but me. When I go visit them I always have to make sure he's not there. Or when I'm there he's not allowed to come by. Everyone is getting mad at me like I'm the bad guy. They want me to make up with him so we can both be at family functions. I'm scared to be in the same room with him because I don't know what I'll say. And I feel like in gonna be weak and I never want him to see that. Please help. What would you do? How would you start the conversation?

Thank you all for your comments!!!! It's nice to know there are others out there who understand... Just from reading your posts I can see that non of us know what to do. We all have to work through our issues in our own ways.<br />
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The biggest thing I've learned in the last year is I have to make me happy... First and foremost!!! Good luck to everyone...

I never talked to my dad about his alcoholism. I never told him how it made me feel. I was so desperate for his approval and frightened he would disappear from my life again. This sounds harsh but since his death I realised I only need my own approval. My dad never spoke to anyone about his deamons and they killed him. They nearly got me too. After my own abuses of my body and those around me, I can safely say lesson learned. If you can't speak to him speak to someone else. B ut that's just my opinion, so I hope it helps even if you totally disagree.x

I completely understand where your coming from. I am 21 years old and have an alcoholic father who also does drugs and has stolen from me my whole life. I have never talked to him about his illness or even acted like it has bothered me because I am afraid to show my true feelings. My mother use to always get mad at my brother and I because for instance, right after we came home to find that my dad had stolen all of our clothes, we would never show that we were upset or anything. She would say things like..."aren't you mad or upset about this? Why don't you cofront him." I have just never ever been able to show or talk about how I have felt about all this. Still today, my dad is an alcoholic. Him and my mom divorced when I was about 8 or 9 and I have to say it was one of the greatest days of my life. By my parents divorcing, I knew then that there would be no more alcohol in the house, no more drugs, no more coming home to find that all of our belongings had been stolen. But that still doesn't mean that its out of my life. My father is around. He has been in and out of jail, shows up every few weeks or so, calls every now and then. But it never fails, almost everytime I see him, he is drinking or is high off something. Just the other day he came to our house saying that he was depressed and had took a whole bottle of pills...that was a disaster. I don't think my dad ever attended any AA meetings, although I he has been in rehab before but he never stays or makes any progress. I am glad I never attended those meetings though. I am not sure how I would feel after leaving!

the reason you cant talk to him is because he is your dad and your his little girl,he is supposed to be the adult,the one doing all the serious stuff not you its akward to talk to adults even more so parents who are so out of control you never know how their going to react. my mum stayed with my alcholic dad until i was sixteen i really wish she hadnt . my dad was abusive mentally and with his fists towards my mum and brothers(never to me) but i had to witness this for years. im glad for you your mum got out when she did.i personally dont have contact with my dad anymore so i have never addressed any issues i have with him but i hope you find the courage some day to be able to get your feelings across to your dad

I forgot to mention, the reason you cannot talk to him, might be because it is such a serious thing, it changed everyone's life when he started drinking and maybe your just a little bit afraid of what he'll say or what you'll say or how it will come out but don't think that this is necessarily a conversation you have to have right now, you might be more comfortable when you are older.

I think you should sit down think about the things you'd like to ask or that you'd like to say, organize your thoughts and then call him and tell him you'd like to talk to him. that way you can be prepared for the conversation. Remember your dad is the sick one, he has a disease, so maybe you could call him when too much time has gone by and you haven't heard from him.