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Daughters of Alcoholics Support - Page 8

post #141 of 215
and to everyone.

I'm so glad this thread was revived. I've never actually typed out my feelings about my father's alcoholism before. Heck, I've never really spoken much about it, either....

My father became an alcoholic when I was a baby and stopped drinking after I moved out of the house. My younger brothers were able to live with him sober (especially my youngest, who doesn't really remember the drinking), but I never was.

It's like he's this whole other person now. Not the father I grew up with. I don't know what happened to that guy....

I was never good enough for the father I grew up with. An "A" should have been an "A+." I was constantly lectured - and most of the time, the lectures didn't make any sense. I remember the one time I made him happy. In fact, I made him so happy that he cried. I told him I was afraid to ask him for money. I guess he was thrilled that I didn't want to ask for a handout? I don't know. The one time I made my father proud.

He drank at the bar beneath his downtown office, and he'd often just stay at his office overnight. When he did come home, I knew to stay in my room. It was easier that way. But, I was still a child who really wanted her father's love and approval, so sometimes I'd venture out. If he was in a good mood, he'd tickle me until it was too much. And then keep tickling me until he hurt me. Then he'd get mad at me. But, for a few minutes, he was just a dad tickling me - a dad just like anyone else's dad....

When he was at home, he would fall asleep in the chair, snoring so loudly it was amazinghe didn't wake himself up. Many of my memories include my father snoring in the chair. My mother would eventually just leave him there and go to bed, herself. She hated him for a long time, but didn't leave because of money. I can understand that, but I can't imagine staying in a relationship like that.

I remember my father being angry. All the time. When he was sober, he would angrily clean the house. My mother's cleaning wasn't good enough for him, so he'd wake us up on Saturday mornings and make us all clean like madmen. Or, we'd be packing for a trip, and he'd be angry about how late we were. He was an angry driver. He was angry about my grades. My lack of friends. The food in the house. Anything and everything.

It was only when he was drunk that he might be in a good mood.... Maybe. And those were the times I would try to win his affection. But even then, nothing I did was ever enough.

When I was a teenager, his beloved bar closed down. He wanted to bond with me, I think, and he took me to his bar and let me taste his scotch. I didn't drink. At all. I remember the terrible burning sensation in my throat, and I couldn't fathom why he would sit for hours drinking that stuff, spending hundreds and hundreds of dollars every month on it.... Then, he ordered me a margarita, and I guess they were trying to get rid of the last of the alcohol, because the drink must have been half tequila. He was so happy to have me at his bar with him, and he introduced me to everyone there.... I'd never felt so awkward in my life.

I remember storming out of the house not long before I moved away. We had another argument - about what, I have no clue. I drove off, but had no gas and nowhere to go, and it was the dead of night in December. So, I stayed at the post office for several hours, crying. I stopped talking to him for a long time after that - even after he quit drinking a few months later. You know, his sobering up even bothered me - and I felt guilty about that.... But all my life, he drank, and as soon as I left, he quit. It was like giving a gift to everyone but me, if that makes any sense. He cared enough about them to quit drinking, but not enough about me. I know that's not what was going through his head, and I'm genuinely glad he quit, but that was always in the back of my mind. Still is.

He stopped cold turkey without any sort of support group. He's been sober for ten years now. I spend a lot of time at my parents' house, and I still feel like everything I do is failing him.... It's like I can't let go of that mindset. I live my life knowing he's disappointed in me and feeling that disappoinment like a great weight on my back. Who knows if he is or not, but I can't shake it.... I've gotten to the point where I can convince myself that I just don't care what he thinks, but it's a big ol' lie. I do care. Too much. Just once, I'd like him to say he'd proud of me (for something that merits being proud), that I'm a good mother, that I'm a good daughter, that I'm doing a great job with my life. I don't need this from anyone else - just him.

Wow - that was quite a post. 'Specially for my first one. Anyway, thanks for letting me get that off my chest.... There may be some typos, but I'm not quite ready to go back and reread what I've written.... I think typing it out is about all I can do today. Time to fix lunch.
post #142 of 215
thank you for that thoughtful sharing post. i can relate directly to a lot of your feelings and experiences regarding your father. i'm sorry that you have had to experience this. it was never your fault.
my father still suffers from alcoholism and deep depression and he smokes heavily. i don't know how his body and spirit hold on. he's a sad man. he and my mom have been married over thirty years. as long as my mom can keep shopping (her addiction, well that and eating) she's happy. but they often don't treat each other very well, and have more of a mother-son relationship.
anyhow, welcome to mothering.com! i've found posting here to be a great source of support over the years...though now i don't have as much time to post.
post #143 of 215
Thanks, Sparklemom.

I'm so happy to have found you guys.
post #144 of 215
Wow! Amazing thread! I still have to read a good portion of it, but was astounded by the similarities that I'm seeing here.

I come from a long line of alcoholics. Grandfather died at 55, the man formerly known as my father is still trying to drink &/or drug himself to death at the age of 68. All of his siblings are addicts to either booze or other drugs of choice, as are several cousins & my own brothers have alcohol related issues. I had a severe drinking & drug problem in high school, yes, by the age of 16 I was losing months of my life to blackouts. I am proud of the fact that I made the choice to stop the addictions & turn my life around.

When I had children (both adults now) I agonized over telling them the truth about not only their Grandfather, but also my own stupid choices. I believe in telling them the truth always (well, 'cept those Santa-type surprises), I did tell them about my choices, the consequences of those choices & the fears I had for them. They witnessed my father's behavior & how it tore my family apart. They've been incredible support to me as I made the choice after my mother's death to end the relationship with a man that caused/causes me relentless pain. Pain from never being enough for him to love me & pain watching him destroy himself.

I believe that both my daughters made much better life choices than I did because they were informed. I have a lot of healing still to do, but I take great joy in knowing that I’ve taken a step in breaking that chain.
post #145 of 215
Hi !
I am new here and I am not the child of an alcoholic but the daughter in law of one. My 12 yr. old daughter is now being affected by the situation. I found your post through an online search. My husband has never gone to an al a non meeting. For a little while he has not let it affect him but lately he has been pulled back in. Our daughter is no longer allowed to go to my in laws home. We DO NOT trust him. Our daughter has known about the problem since she was 5 yrs. old. We didn't want her to know but he came out and told her ( he was drunk when he did ) Lately she has been soo very worried about her grandmom. Our daughter calls her every day. And emails her as whenever possible. I am worried about my daughter .. so I now feel the need to get involved. I was wondering if any of you had any advice ?????

If any of you ever need a shoulder let me know ! Thank You in advance !
post #146 of 215
Originally Posted by Leatherette View Post
Have to add this:

When we were kids, we were left with our alcoholic grandparents for a week or two each year, with this instruction: "You know how grandma and grandpa act funny in the afternoon? Well, don't go anywhere in the car with them then."

Yikes, do you see that I am having to figure out the whole parenting thing from scratch?
My mother in laws excuse is that grandpop is feeling "under the weather" or "sick"
post #147 of 215
I understand what your saying about every member being affected. I have been dealing with this for the 13 yrs. my hubby and I have been together. He has been dealing with it since he was 17 (he's 34) We moved one state over about 80 miles away. For awhile we ignored it. Now we have been sucked back in. Hubby's upset ( I have always tried to help him but have never said a lot to my in laws. I only got into with my father in law once. HOWEVER now that it is effecting our daughter , I am like a mother lion.
post #148 of 215
My mother is a "functional alcoholic" I guess they call it. Not the kind that's always drunk, but the kind that's always buzzed, she's always got a rum and coke in her hand, that type. I think it's harder for people llike that to seek help because they don't see it as a problem. It isn't, most of the time. But she is with drinking how smokers are with smoking. If she's stressed, she makes a drink, etc. I think it's a way of dealing with her problems, and she doesn't see it as bad because she doesn't think she's a "real" alcoholic, her father was, so she says she knows what alcoholism looks like, but I guess there's a spectrum. She drinks and drives but isn't ever worried about it because she's "just a little over the limit" and so on. All my family is worried because she seems so unhappy all the time, but it just never seems quite bad enough to call for an intervention. I'm not all that worried about things like her dying from it or any of that, I just think there might be something she needs to deal with and she's avoiding it.
post #149 of 215
My father is an alcoholic. I can specifically remember every Christmas Eve where my Mother would have to hunt him down at whatever bar he went to. He had his *usual* bar, but on Christmas Eve he made sure to go to a different one so we couldn't find him. There were other *golden* moments of childhood, too.

My Mother is an enabler. He quit drinking when she filed for divorce, but four years after that he got a DUI so who knows how long he had been drinking... Now she enables my brother.

I haven't spoken to my father in about 12 years. When his parents died I did not attend their funerals because I did not want to see him. I did see him about two weeks ago when my maternal Grandfather died, but I was in my car and he was walking by...

He is now in the hospital because he has bleeding on both sides of his brain, a fractured skull, and a fractured cervical vertebra (think he fell down the stairs, but who knows). I don't think I feel anything for this, although curiosity has me wondering what is going on with him.

I have never been to Al-Anon, but did go through some counseling when he *quit* in 1992. I drink when the pressure builds, but not regularly and not a lot (don't ask about the pre-baby days!). I can't see making a place in my life for alcohol, and I certainly cannot see how I could place alcohol above my family!!!

I feel cheated! I really do. I don't see how it was decided that I deserve a less-than-ideal father, when I sure could use one right now. I want to know *why*! I can't forgive him for the horrible (although under the influence) things he said to and about me. He was so nasty to me but yet he was so extraordinarily nice to my brother, so I don't even have that common bond between siblings that we can share.

I guess I *do* have a lot of issues to work through!
post #150 of 215

Picking Up The Pieces

Good Morning Ladies! With the help of a wonderful wife, I have successfully raised two bright young men through college, while silently suffering chronic nightmares of my own childhood. I've given up thinking those nightmares will eventually end (I'm now 50). The experts say that the abused usually perpetuate generational abuse, but my reaction and life mission was to be the opposite of my parents. Although that allowed me to survive, it means I am looked to by the entire surviving family as the parent/ solver of all problems - a role I assumed when I was 13 when my mother forced me to begin protecting her from a man who became violent and utterly insane when drinking. When sober the man was obsessed with professional success and competition, and his expectations of offspring (mere extensions of himself) academic and athletic success to lend glory to himself were enforced by threats of violence (and actual severe beatings of me in particular framed as discipline)- as a child, the mere appearance of a bottle of scotch on a table would cause me to hide in attics or under blankets at the back of deep closets. As I young man I had to explain at school black eyes, split lips, back injuries etc. as weekend ice hockey injuries. Although he is long dead, my mother survives and refuses to discuss the past, particularly as it pertains to a younger brother who has become a reincarnation of the man. My advice to any teenage boy whose mother ever puts him in this position of family protector is to call the police immediately, and under no circumstances give in to a mother's plea to spare the parents' and family's reputation. Any mother who does this is worse than the sick and abusive husband and truly deserves jail time.
post #151 of 215
Originally Posted by Squasher View Post
Any mother who does this is worse than the sick and abusive husband and truly deserves jail time.
Well, perhaps not worse, but she certainly has problems of her own....

I'm reminded of the month or so during which I was abused by an older man. There was a woman who knew what was going on and said nothing. For years, I placed all of my hatred on her, when really, what she did was bad, but what he did was horrid. For her, it was the falacy of self-preservation (for her own reasons), just like it is for a woman who tells her children "to spare the parents' and family's reputation." Yeah, it's wrong, but it's not worse.

Anyway, welcome to MDC, Squasher. I'm new here, myself. There are lots of us on this board who, like you, have chosen to end the cycle of alcoholism and violence. It's good to have support.
post #152 of 215

New here---long

I am a daughter of an alcoholic. Its hard to THIS VERY DAY. I never know whats going on anymore...the lies and secrets in my family are just too much for me somedays. My dad (who adopted me when i was 10--he was my step dad until then) is an alcoholic. I wouldnt let him see my son when he was born 8 years ago. I said you are still drinking and I dont trust that you wont drink around my son. He got better a year later and i let him see my son, he was fine for about a year after that. Then i moved and wouldnt let him see my kids (id had another baby). He was kicked out of my moms and i still wouldnt let him see my kids. I didnt trust that he wouldnt be in a drunken stupor in front of my kids. I had my third baby, and he was doing a little better by then and he did see her in the hospital and came home with us when we came home. Soon after that he started drinking again. I moved farther away after my third was 15 months. He didnt see my kids until she was almost 2. Then he moved to where I moved ( my mother tends to follow me and i feel like i cant have my own life because i feel she is constantly judging me and i will never be good enough though i strive to be---why i strive, i dont know its a waste of time)and was fine. Then around March of this year, i called him from my house and he sounded funny. I said dad are you ok? (he had just had knee surgery) and he said fine....but he was slurring his words. I thought he was having a stroke, drinking crossed my mind of course, but i didnt think so because he was being so good. I told him stay put im coming to take him to the hospital, meanwhile my mom is sitting next to me screaming "Hes going to die! Hes having a stroke! oh my god!!" nothing like having panic. I am the calm one in situations like this of course, thats my role.....he told me he would walk to the hospital and his side is numb. by now i cant tell if he's slipped up again or if he really is having a stroke. I said stay put im sending an ambulance. Then he cursed at me and said he'd do what he damn pleases so i hung up on him and said ok he's drunk. My mother flew into a tizzy. I still wasnt too sure though, even though i thought he was drunk, something else was nagging that it could be a stroke too. So we get in the car and drive to the house but he wasnt there...my mother had called the ambulance and they said he wasnt at the house....he had DRIVEN himself to the hospital. We get there and my kids are sad over papa being sick...stupid me still thinking its life and death stroke thing....i let my kids see him. STUPID. hes limping with his cane and everything being all ridiculous, going along with the idea that hes having a stroke. i took him aside and asked him if he was drinking, please tell me no one is going to be mad (which is a lie). he looks me in the eye and says, barbara please help me something is wrong with me, am i dying? please help me i havent been drinking its something else. Well ends up he was drinking, .28 on the breathalizer. Scared the crap out of me though because seeing him shake and almost go into convulsions and him yelling help me! help me! i thought he was dying. stupid ass. sorry. anyway.....when i found out and confronted him (something ive never done) i said you are drunk, you lied, you deal with it. He said mom is going to kill me. I said i dont know what shes going to do but you lay here and get sober. bye. i left, disgusted. So a few days after this whole episode, he goes back to counseling (he was IN COUNSELING DURING THIS for a year!) and tells me he's sorry and i say next time you are drinking can you just tell me and be honest so i know? He said yes he promises, and it got out of control because he thought he could control it by having just a beer now and then in the garage. Then one turned to two and so forth. So i ve been thinking things are better...still knowing he could mess up,but he wasnt messing up so its been ok. Till last week. I found out that he's been drinking when he goes with my brother places. He didnt tell me. He's been lying to me...he thinks he can keep control of it but i dont think he can. My brother might be an alcoholic, i dont know i cant tell and at this point, i dont even really care. But when he goes to car races and baseball games with my dad, he drinks, which ok fine my brother openly drinks. He didnt want it to bother my dad, but he also says hes not going to be a parent to my dad and tell him no no you cant drink. He said he'll hand him a drink if he wants a drink....the way my brother sees it is that the man wants a drink he has a right to have one. What my brother doesnt understand is that it will get out of control again. I havent told anyone else in my family i know because it will be my fault for telling and my mother will just explode. my sister probably knows too i dont know. I just wont open my mouth its not my problem i dont care anymore. i just wont let my dad drive my kids anywhere because obviously, i dont know if he will have had a beer or two. My mom might be figuring it out though because the other day she said dont let dad pick up jade from school. I thought it was odd till i figured it out.....maybe shes sensing his moodiness that is classic for him when hes drinking but cant get to a drink. I am an adult...what do i do? i dont even know. I am so depressed that i cant escape this. I want to move again...seems to be my thing, i move to escape, but it just follows me. this time i cant move i bought a house in which my 4th child was born in and i cannot ever part with it.
post #153 of 215
SOOOOOO glad I found this thread!! I know that my story is not as horrific as many ae her but I ope that I can find help and understandings as well. My dad was an achoholics my whole life until 3 and half years ago It took him getting his fourth DUI in a ywo year period and me letting him know that my wedding would be dry and he a was not going to walk me down the isle. He had been sober once or twice growing up but he always ended up back at it. he was sent to rehab twice by his own emmployer because of his behavour at business dinners and functions.

I am beyond proud of the mans sobriety, he is a different man, he ADORES E., me and our family, It is sad in a way that I had to become and adult and married myself to see this side of him, the amazing parent that he was capable of. But I am overjoyed at his and my dicovery. WE have an amazing relationship that i adore. I can't say that he can still be an ass, but he is apologitc and sincre and amazing.
My mom attends all -aonon twice a week and is very active in her chapter. I would like to go because I still struggle with thoughts and emotions that I now know stem from growing up with an alcoholic. I have a a REAL problem wanting to apologize for EVERYTHING even if it is not my fault. I also twist peoples words around as well as actions. If my husband is being the great guy that he is and helps me clean or do laundry or anything like that I automaticlly think that he is doing it because I don't do it right or enough or well enough, and that he thinks that I am something negative becuase I think that he thinks that he has to do it becasue I am a bad wife or person or something construed like that. ( I hope that makes sense: ) I know that my way of thinking is wrong but I guess I have grown up thinking all kinds of unhealthy thoughts. I am looking forward to growing and healing here. It is always healing to hear from others and get advice from someone who actually knows what it is like to think this way.
post #154 of 215
hi eastonsmom....you arent alone. I twist things similarly like that also. its crazy. I also think people are always looking at me and watching my every move. (my mom used to peek in my windows at school almost on a daily basis since 3rd grade to make sure i was wearing my glasses and wearing what she wanted me to wear--which i did) I also take things people say and make them something they are not. I just wanted to say you arent alone....HUGS
post #155 of 215
thanks doulajela, isnt'weird how those who don't know can never understand!
post #156 of 215
My dad is an alcoholic. Ever since becoming a mama I feel myself being confronted with some scary memories of my dad being drunk when I was a little girl. It's hard to "get over it". What do you gals do when you feel scared about memories?
post #157 of 215
I dont know yet what to do with scary memories.....i do remember NOT to act on those memories as if they are happening to my kids because they are not. I rationalize things and slowly make educated decisions...but its so easy to overreact to things and make assumptions. Its really hard and I havent yet figured it all out.
post #158 of 215
That's a good point. I think that it's important to mourn our childhoods and realize that they are a part of the past. If we keep acting like we are still living in the same situation that we were living in as kids then not only we will be acting on fears of things that don't exist anymore but also we won't be able to fully enjoy the love and happiness of our new families and realities. I guess it's important to somehow learn how to get angry and sad about what happened when we were kids and then "let go" so that we can be free.
post #159 of 215
I'm having trouble dealing with the childhood aspects as well. Partly because of what they were & partly because I still have my mother telling me that things weren't that bad, or I didn't know my father before he was drinking so much. I've said "It's great that you have nice memories, but I don't so I have nothing good to compare his awful behavior to." Which also isn't true, because he was a heavy drinker since 15 & she met him at 25.

It still hurts to not be heard, and at times I feel like she's taking stbx's side on things, making excuses for him, etc. It all feels so familiar, just someone else she's making excuses for. I agree about not expecting much from her anymore, but it still is painful not to have the mother I need or want.

For dd, I'm really trying to be the mother she needs and not what I wanted. It's hard to distinguish sometimes.
post #160 of 215
I agree it really hurts to have someone who witnessed the same things as you did when you were a kid tell you that it wasn't so bad, etc.

It's hard to accept the truth about what kind of parents we have. Sometimes we live as though there's still a chance that our parents will somehow become the parents we needed as children. But there is no chance that this will happen because we are no longer children!

I also agree that it's hard not to see ourselves in our children. But if we see ourselves in our children then somehow our own fears, needs and expectations will be projected onto them. I think that it's great what you said bu's mama about being the mama that your dd needs instead of what you wish you had.
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