A Hit and Run Saved the Day.
My father is an alcoholic and has been ever since I can remember. He is also very proud. He worked probably until 2 oclock each day, but spent until 6 in the bars. He came home every night trying to pick fights, belligerently screaming, and treating my mom like crap. I remember vividly sitting against my door at night listening to music. Now, he never touched us, ever, but I wished he had. It seemed ridiculously to me that we had to put up with this sort of abuse, yet nobody could do anything about it because it wasn't physical. It was embarrassing; one of his favorite drunk hobbies was calling the cable company or the internet company and screaming at the innocent customer service reps. I remember, the first time I brought home a girl from my new school, New Years Eve, my dad was drunk and threatened to hit my older brother. The cops were called, there was a huge scene, and my poor friend never came over again (which, I don't blame here). I'm sure some of you understand this; I felt trapped in the situation because my mother did not have the money to support us on her own, and there were no legal steps we could take.
The other problem is, I have a strong belief that you can't take things lying down. I got my pride from him, ironically. Which, I knew in this situation, was stupid. It was almost like, whenever he screamed at me, called me names, and tried walking all over me, I couldn't help but to fight back. It was so hard to ignore it; I never understood how my brother could. It seemed like he just took it and took it. It hurt me ten times more to see my dad scream at my little brother, simply because he didn't fight back. He did exactly what he said and took his mental beatings.
The thing is, my dad is a nice guy. There were nights when he came home sober and I talked about how much it hurt us for him to drink, and this big proud man, through tears, would say he'd try. And it killed me, because in those moments, I believed him. But then, the next night he'd be at it again. The last year and a half I lived at home, I spent most of my time at my friends' houses, simply trying to avoid him, to avoid this useless confrontation. This made me more and more bitter to be at home, and therefore, the clashes, thought fewer, were harsher. Though it was inevitable, it shocked me when he kicked me out. Over an argument about a camera he borrows, no less. In retrospect, it was immature and inevitable, on both of our parts.
Now, my mother met with me all the time; we played tennis, went out for lunch, craft fairs, etc. I still was ambushed with nasty looks and arguments everytime I went over their house to get my belongings (I was and am staying at my boyfriend's house). I still had a strong relationship with my brothers and I was actually a lot less stressed. In a way, it was a blessing.
Then, one night, there was a nice turn of events. My father got into a hit and run accident. I remember my brother calling me about it, and my first thought was 'good.' I'm pretty positive I'm the only person who's ever considered a hit and run accident a good thing. It wasn't too severe; the person on the receiving end of it had no injuries, was just a little shaken. My father was put into jail for a night (which my mother refused to pick him up from). He came home the next day and didn't drink. Two weeks after the accident, my mom and I met for tennis. She told me that my father hadn't drank since the accident, and that he had come to her, apologized, and told her that he would not drink anymore. The next time I went over the house, I told him how proud I was. It was the first time I have had civil words with my father in about a year.
It has been two months since the accident, and he has not had a drink yet. I say yet because I have been let down by him plenty of times before. I really do believe that this time, he has learned his lesson. I am not sure of any legal reprecussions that are going to happen to him, but there was talk of his vehicle being taken away. I am so proud of him for how far he's come, and hope to God he can make it.
Ya know, it really helps to let this all out on here. I've never had tears in my eyes while writing before. Especially since, I think, some of you will understand my situation better than say, friends with non-alcoholic parents. I've been a part of the story, and now (hopefully) I'm on the way to a healthy relationship with my father.