Alcoholic Dad

My dad has been an alcoholic my entire life. The other day, while visiting home, I went with my parents to our old house. As we were leaving, I watched as my dad poured a full cup of beer, drank, and got behind the wheel to drive us home. I feel like that's basically my entire relationship with my dad; he has always put his alcohol ahead of his family, even in the most dangerous of situations.

I never got much attention or affection from my dad. He'd come home from work every day and lock himself in his room and drink, never caring to spend any time with me. My parents did separate for a while, and I was the only child who insisted on seeing him throughout this time. I also ended up in counseling around this time, however the counselor was upset with what I told her and contacted my mother, essentially cutting off the little support I had. My dad was still easily angered by all of us, and as a child, I couldn't understand what I did that would make him so angry. He did often resort to harsh physical punishment. My mother has a history of abuse, and also becomes easily angered. Walking on eggshells was an everyday necessity in our house.

I did have a couple of friends around that age (10/11), but once when my best friend was spending the night, my father got drunk and beat my mother in front of us. My older brother and sister did what they could to shield us and get the situation under control (though they were only in high school themselves at the time), but the damage was done. My friend wasn't allowed to visit after that, moved away soon after, and I became completely withdrawn. My two siblings both left for college not long after that. Throughout my middle and high school years, I had a total of two friends.

I was treated for depression by a psychiatrist last year (unsuccessfully), who recommended I try therapy. On my first (and only) visit to the therapist, she listened to everything I had to say, and explained that my "daddy issues" (as well as separate - but equally damaging - problems with my mother) seem to be the base for most of my issues, including low self-esteem and social anxiety. She also attributed an affair I had when I was 18 with a man in his 40s (and my attraction to older men in general) as part of my search for a father figure to provide the attention, love and support I wanted but never got.

I still struggle. My dad provides for me financially, and while I don't doubt his love for me or my siblings, he isn't there for us emotionally. He ended his football career early because my mom got pregnant, and I feel like that's where his drinking problem began. I'm in college now, and I don't live with my parents, so when I do go home, it seems to be more pleasant. An absence makes the heart grow fonder type thing, I suppose. But his drinking hasn't lightened up, and at this point I don't think it ever will. Even if it did, it wouldn't change all the damage it did to me growing up, which I still deal with every single day.

heypixie heypixie
18-21, F
1 Response Mar 1, 2010

My heart goes out to you, heypixie. Both my late parents were alcoholics and it just consumes not just the alcoholic, but also everyone, family and friends around them. Their alcoholism hurts not just themselves but all those who care about them. You have to be able to live your own life, and offer support if you feel able, there's support out there for you as well, but make sure YOU are ok :)<br />
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