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Tired Of It, And Completely Bewildered


So I wrote a story about this last year, and not much has changed. I'm a university student, living at home with an alcoholic father. I can't afford to move out because I can't really work - engineering school is difficult and I'm an anxious person as it is.
 

My father has been in a downward spiral in the last few years. At one point, it got so bad that he would lie passed out on the couch all day, waking up only to drink. He was arrested for driving drunk. Went to some enforced AA meetings, but their religious bullshit was inadequate for the highly intelligent, skeptical person that he is, or was.  He was hospitalized twice in two months last year because his liver was crapping out - jaundice, ascites, delirium tremens. So the doctors said he might have the beginnings of cirrhosis. So he stopped for a few weeks, but it has continued, on and off. He's somehow still keeping his job - probably because he works from home. I'm not sure how much lower he can sink. 
 

I can't feel anything, other than the desire to avoid all interactions with him. Going to school keeps me out of the house. I tend to hide in my room when I am home. Unfortunately, that makes me an ideal whipping girl. Everything I have ever done as a bratty teenager gets dredged up. Every infraction, every bit of affection I have ever failed to give my father (be it because of my own pigheadedness or his failures) is held against me. He says he's given up on me and would like to see me kicked out of the house. He asks me to do things, and I try, but he's never clear about what he wants. He gets angry when I can't read his mind. He invites himself into my room and imposes his presence on me when I want to be left alone. I get angry , impatient and upset, and this makes me a terrible person in his eyes.
 

The rest of the family seem to be okay with enabling him. My brother, also an adult still living at home, I think, is the worst offender. He offers an attentive ear but fails to call him out on his bad behaviour. Says our father is having a hard time, therefore we should let him be and he will get better. He thinks I should have compassion and try to heal the old wounds...But I'm so withdrawn that I think they both misunderstand me like nobody's business. My mother, who knows damn well what is going on, just tries to keep things from falling apart. All in all, I feel like my mother is the only one whom I can be relaxed around.
 

My boyfriend is loving and supportive, but he just wants to fix things. I can't allow him to get mixed up in any of this because it was hard enough to get my ridiculous, overprotective father to accept any boyfriend at all. He says I shouldn't let this go on and should stand up and firmly speak my mind at all times. But that's asking for emotional abuse.
 

I think that I'm up to my ears in this and I haven't a clue  as to what to do. I'm ******* spent, and I don't want to deal with this. I'm a shy, reserved person and all of this is so hard on me.  The only way I can see an end to this, is him being done killing himself with alcohol - one way or another. Maybe I fail as a human being.
DamageCtrl DamageCtrl 18-21, F 2 Responses Mar 31, 2012

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Thanks for that - it's one of those things I need to hear once in a while. As it turns out, that episode blew over and he's entered a relatively sane sober phase. Not that I think it will last.

You aren't a terrible person. Your father is an acute alcoholic. Protecting yourself from his insanity as much as you can is your only possible course of action. I hope you can move out of the house as soon as possible.