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Alcoholism

My father is an alcoholic, and has been long before I was born. My mom divorced him because of it when I was young. After the divorce my dad drank even more than before. I remember whenever he'd come pick me up from my mom's house, starting when I was four or five, we'd always go to Albertson's store and he'd leave me in the car while he went in the liquor store next to Albertson's. Another time I remember was when he was screaming at my mom and me, I was very young and it scared me to see him like that. I remember taking my mom's hand then running to my room with her and locking the door so we could get away from him. It's sad that those are some of my earliest memories of him. All while I was growing up he always had a drink in his hand. All of his drinking made it hard on me because he would always scream at me and lose his temper, then the next day he wouldn't remember any of it. As I got older I've learned how to deal with his problems better, but his drinking has hurt me and many other family members and friends countless times. Even though he forgets many things he does, everyone else remembers them.

LiquidNight LiquidNight 18-21, F 5 Responses Jul 15, 2007

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I completely understand. My mom would get SO drunk (I'm not even sure if you could still call it that) and chase me around the house with a knife and then the next day she didn't remember anything but I was expected to go about my day like everything was normal. <br />
Alcoholism is a family disease!! Everyone gets sick from it not just the drinker. Eventually the family becomes codependant and they think giving ultimatums and lying out rules will work but they don't. You have to focus on you. Ya know...you can still love your parent but you don't have to let him drag you down the hole with him. There is a saying we are born alone and we die alone. That means that at this point YOU are the most important person.

This may sound drastic, and maybe it is something that neither you or his girlfriend feel capable of doing, but if an alcoholic is having a negative impact on your life and is hurting you with his drinking, distance yourself. You've both told him how you feel about his drinking and he still drinks. Without consequences what incentive does he have? You can tell him you'll always love him, but you won't stick around and watch him kill himself, for your own sanity you don't want him in your life unless he chooses to stop drinking. That puts the ball in his court.

Thanks to both of you for giving me input, I really appreciate it. In response to telling my dad about his drinking, I've tried talking to him before. He doesn't admit he has a problem, he always just tells me that he is an adult who can make his own choices that I have no say in and shouldn't worry about. It's useless trying to get him to understand. His girlfriend, who he has been living with for about six years now, has also tried confronting him about it with more force than I used. She hasn't had any success, either, he just says he'll "try and cut back" which lasts all of a day or two. My dad's girlfriend doesn't drink at all, and she understands the issues my dad has with alcohol. He won't listen to her, he won't listen to me. I feel terrible just giving up on trying to get him to understand, but it's useless.

While I completely agree with Celainn about honestly telling your father about the effects of his drinking on you, know that it is up to him and him alone, to make any changes, you can't take responsibility for it. That is a common problem among alcoholics, they don't take responsibility for their actions. Many times the people who love them enable this behavior by taking responsibility on themselves. If you had talked to your dad Celainn, that does not mean he would have made any changes. I did talk to my dad, about 5 years before he died. The only progress I got out of him was he finally admitted out loud he was an alcoholic, but he never made any changes. He came home from the store one day throwing up blood and was dead hours later, his liver and kidneys gave up the fight.

It is very hard to deal with a parent who is an alcoholic. Your story brought back a memory of when my dad would take my sister and I into the Chief's Club (a bar) and we would get bored while he was drinking and playing some dice game. There are also the times my mom would send me (I'm the oldest) into the Chief's Club to get money for food. I hated doing that, to this day I think I have some resentment against my mom for making me do that.<br />
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Just remember, the alcoholic is a very insecure person with little or no self esteem. They often berate the people closest to them, it makes them feel better in some way.