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|12-12-2005, 12:50 PM||#1 (permalink)|
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: falls church, va
I posted this on another board and I figured I would post it here as well.
On Friday, I went to a funeral.
This was the funeral of a close friend's mother. She was a life long alcoholic. She died lying on her old couch in front of the TV. She died doing the same thing she did every night. She died with the TV on and a drink in front of her.
When I got home from the funeral I felt I needed to speak with my mom. I started by walking downstairs into her "drunk dungeon". When I got to the basement the smoke was thick and the smell of stale food, beer, cigs, trash, and of course her wine hung in the air, as thick as it was the day before and the day before that and the day before that. This was nothing new, nothing out of the ordinary. It was a little past noon and my mom was sitting on her couch with the tv on and a drink in front of her.
I tried to open my mouth to tell her just how this funeral affected me. As I opened my mouth, she opened hers. Maybe to tell me she needed help, maybe she opened her mouth to scream out, the same way I wanted to, that alcoholism was a horrible evil and she wanted out of this madness; instead, she opened her mouth to take another long slow sip of her port, her wine of choice. I hesitated, unable to determine if I should just give up or if I should tell her (again) how this affected me. After 20 years of begging someone to stop drinking, one would assume you would give up but I can't, no matter how hard I try. I began with my story. With the beginning of this story I allowed myself to sink into her little world and I opened myself up for disappointment, again.
I began with, "The funeral was very hard for me. It was harder then I imagined." I paused expecting a response from my mother. I must have forgotten that she was under the spell. She wasn't herself. The port had trickled slowly through her body to her brain. She was already drunk but that didn't deter me.
"It was really really hard for me." I said over the blaring TV.
"They started talking about how 'Tony's' mom battled addiction and had a lot of pain in her life." The tears now flowing quickly from my eyes to my cheeks and down my neck, however my voice never cracked nor faltered.
"They spoke of her depression and her sadness. They spoke of her inability to live life feeling pain so deeply inside her that she felt the need to escape. They finished by explaining that she wasn't in pain anymore and that she had found her road home and this road was no longer marked with pot holes and speed bumps. It would be an easy ride for her now." I stared at my mother, hoping and praying that a shred of emotion would wipe across her face. There was none.
"I had to listen to the minister say this over the sounds of 'Tony' bawling. I had to listen to this while I could see him shaking uncontrollably. He was the one that found her, mother. Now you are putting me in the same position. I don't want that shaking, weeping, bawling adult child to be me. Yet, as I look at you, sitting on your couch, in front of your TV, with your wine in hand, I see a woman allowing herself to die. I see a woman that will allow her only child to find her dead on the couch."
There was never any emotion. I do believe at this point that there will never be any more emotion. I am sad for her. I feel the guilt of walking away from her. But there is nothing more for me to do but wait.
So I sit here typing this waiting for one of two things.....
Her soberity or her death.
The funeral was one of the hardest things for me to go to. My mother is staring death in the face, just as my friend's mom was. I pray that I don't come home to find my life long alcoholic dead laying on the couch in front of the TV. She will have died doing the same thing she did every night. She will have died with the TV on and a drink in front of her, just as my friend's mom. The life of an alcoholic is a sad, pitiful life. At the end of that sad, pitiful life is a slow sad ending.
"The death of an alcoholic"
|12-12-2005, 01:54 PM||#2 (permalink)|
Day by day....
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: NW GA
My therapist told me last week that she wants me to work very very hard at resolving some of my issues and resetting healthy boundaries with my dad BEFORE he dies. I always thought it would get easier once he was gone - I know how that sounds - but I'm just being honest here.
Life with my dad is hell. He's mean, angry, resentful, unforgiving and cold hearted. He is no longer an alcoholic - after he had a massive heart attack 13 years ago he stopped drinking and switched to something more socially acceptable. It is much easier for him to justify and explain his need for the pills he is prescribed. He abuses them taking 6-8 mg of Xanax a day. THe night he had that heart attack 13 years ago - the doctors said he wouldn't live through the night. He continues to baffle medical science - most people in his condition should be dead or bed ridden. He still mows his own grass.
I've decided God is keeping him around long enough for me to work through some of my issues. I know how that sounds too - but there must be a higher reason. I am not only an ACOA - I am a recovering daughter of a narcissistic personality disorder father and I am a recovering addict. Yes - I have lots of issues. Lots more than I ever imagined I had. I've known about the addiction issues for almost 12 years - the other things were always there I just didn't have a name for them until I became conscious they existed in the past few months through therapy.
My father was very controlling - if not the direct control exerted over me as a child - then later it was the emotional and psychological control exerted in my entire adult life. Right now we are at a crossroads because I am getting stronger and I am establishing boundaries ot protect myself - he doesn't like it much and he's testing me. I haven't talked to him in two weeks. Not since I refused to play into the family game at Thanksgiving. My house -my children-my serenity- I did all the cooking and planning - I'll make all the rules. It didn't go over really well. Oh the rules were obeyed - but they were not very well received. The last conversation we had was - well if it's going to be like this maybe I won't come for Christmas this year. Okay I said - that is your choice. Period. Not another word. No arguing - no pleading - no justifying - no explaination.
So I'm being punished now. What I'm getting to is this. My dad is very sick - he will die soon - although I've thought that for a long long time. I have this terrible fear that some day he will disappear like this - he's not talking to me now - and after a couple of weeks I'll get worried and go by to check on him and find him dead. To be honest - I think he'd like for it to happen that way - what better way to punish his disobedient daughter for all eternity? I told my therapist about this last week and she asked me why I call him after no contact for a couple of weeks. I always worry and break down and make contact - which I see puts him back in control. But sh says I also get something out of it. I never thought of it that way. She says I get to play the good little girl. Haven't I spent my entire freaking life trying to be good enough, pretty enough, smart enough and obedient enough?? By breaking down and contacting him I keep his power over me alive.
I guess that makes sense - but what of my fears of finding him dead? Again - she says I get something out of that. I am so accustomed to beating myself down in his honor, taking the bad stuff to build him up so he can feel good, listening to the abuse, agreeing with him even when I didn't agree just to stay on his good side and not "stir the pot" that if I don't break that habit and begin to honor myself - he will die and I will spend the rest of my life in that role. I need to resolve it now while he is alive. Otherwise - he will go to his grave and I will go to mine still feeling "responsible" for him.
I guess that makes sense too now that I think about it. I always thought I was checking on him because he's my dad - because it's what I should do - because I need to and feel guilty when I don't. My therapist says anything we do with "should" in front of it is usually not positive and good for our personal recovery.
So here I am - trying very hard to honor her advice and do something new. But it's eating me alive. What if something is really wrong with him? Can I live with that? I don't know....I guess I will cross that bridge when I get to it. For once maybe he will be the one to try and bridge the gap - but I"m not counting on it. I'm not living my life expecting it...only trying to take care of myself and letting things work out the way they will.
I don't know if anything I've said here relates to your story. But it's what I thought of when I read it and I wanted to share it. I have the same pain and frustrations as you do about trying to fix my father, convince him how wrong he is, repair the relationship and finally recieve the love and honor I've always wished for from him. I'm finally staring to see that it wont happen - I'm 37 years old and I;ve wasted ALOT of my life jumping through hoops to please my father. Never once realizing it doesn't matter how much I do or for how long I do it - it will never be adequate. I've even given up relationships and friendships with people I cherished - to keep him happy and to keep his approval. Not anymore - it's hard - very very hard to break these old patterns, but I no longer want to be an emotional slave to my father. I have to find a way to break the unhealthy cycle.
Thanks for letting me share - and for sharing your own pain.
Insanity is repeating the same mistakes and expecting different results!
|12-12-2005, 02:02 PM||#3 (permalink)|
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: falls church, va
B.A......thank you soooo much. I, too, have felt like my entire life, I've jumped through hoops to please my mom. I can't think of the words right now, my mind is spinning so much lately.
Thank you so much for sharing that.
|12-16-2005, 04:33 PM||#5 (permalink)|
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: washington pa
i hear ya
u know what they say jen u can lead a horse to water but ya cant make him drink(or not drink). my dad drinks everyday and afterwards he gets sick. now if that were me and drinkin made me sick i wouldnt drink,but im not an alcoholic. the doctors told him a few yrs ago that if he keeps drinkin hes gonna die. i told my mom i dont know what to tell ya, but get life insurance. i know that probably not what i should have said but its true. hes drank my whole life as far as i can remember and probably before that. they say that an acoholic has to stop drinkin becuz they want to not becuz someone else wants them to. good luck. hopefully one day your mom will wake up and realize what the booze is doin to her.
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