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Old 05-31-2012, 02:50 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Trouble with Forgiveness


Hi,

I am not sure if this is the right place for me to post this since I am a teenager currently dealing with an alcoholic (recovering) father. I am going to be a senior in high school and my life has been a struggle for around four to five years. This was around the time that I realized my father was an alcoholic. I have moved four times since middle school because of this issue combined with the market crash. Luckily, I have a wonderful mother and was never abused physically but I feel mentally exhausted.
I want to forgive my father and have been trying to for two years, but I am worried that if I do, he will disappoint me again. I have given him numerous chances to recover and he still resorts to drinking and pain medication again and again. This time, it's been a few months since any substance abuse (that I know of). I did not live my father for two years but I have had to live with him for the past few months. I feel like I have to fake my forgiveness in order to live in a sane household. I have talked to a counselor and she suggested that my parent's divorce would help to alleviate tension, but it never happened.
His addiction has ruined my mom's relationships with friends and caused a lot of issues within my family. My mother and father do not get along but we have to live with him due to financial issues. I wish my parents would divorce so I could start to have a normal relationship with both of them again. With everything that is going on in my life now, I just want to let go of the hatred I have for him that I have had to hide due to the situation. Has anyone else gone through a similar situation?
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Old 05-31-2012, 04:16 AM   #2 (permalink)
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you poor thing. Im an alcoholic and sadly have put myown children through similar things. Im sure they hate me but put on a happy face. The only thing I can suggest is to keep in counceling and find a way to lose the resntment. If you dont, you are sure to wind up repeating the cycle and will become an alcoholic yourself. IMHO that is what starts it for alot of us. Good luck
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Old 05-31-2012, 05:46 AM   #3 (permalink)
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It is not easy being where you are right now, I know, it has taken me many years working on issues and I am still finding things. Forgiveness is something I do for myself the others involved never need to know about it. I have learned that it will happen when it is meant to. One of the hardest things I learned and I am so thankful I did was acceptance and respect. I am not saying I liked my bio-parents or the things they did. What I am saying is when I accepted alcoholism as a disease I was able to respect them for being human and being sick. I can remember looking for the quick fix with forgiveness, learning to love, peace and serenity . . . unfortunately, it is not there it will happen when it is meant to. Counseling, journaling and talking with those that can relate were the best tools I had.
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Old 05-31-2012, 08:56 AM   #4 (permalink)
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So sorry you have to deal with this. It was hard for me too. I was about 15 when my father sobered up for good. I remember feeling like I couldn't trust him. It was very difficult, and yes, VERY exhausting! It is great that you are able to share. this is a great place for support. Alateen & Alanon would be something to consider. Alanon has helped me more than I can put into words.

Your father very well may drink again. My pops used to say there are no guarantees. He had 25 years sobriety before he died & still took it day by day. It took a long time for me to have faith in his sobriety. The three C's are one of the best tools for dealing with this. You didn't CAUSE it. You can't CURE it and you can't CONTROL it.

Forgiveness is a tough thing, but the forgiveness is for you, not for him. It is so YOU can move forward in your life. I read somewhere on here that anger is like holding a hot coal in your hand waiting to throw it at someone. Forgiveness is to drop the coal & stop burning your hand. Don't do it to release HIM from hurt he caused you, do it to release YOURSELF!

Keep reading, keep posting. It has helped me a lot. There is a lot of experience & wisdom here. You are not alone. I was where you are as well as others. Take care of yourself.
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Old 05-31-2012, 09:04 AM   #5 (permalink)
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We have all gone through the same thing forgiving our alcoholic parent. Welcome you have found the right place, we understand totally. I hope you will try Alanon and really research the forum right here it will help a lot.

My alcoholic dad moved us a lot. I was in 10 schools by 10th grade and we moved 4 times before I started school. (The up side is I actually know every single neighborhood in the metro area! ha ha) My parents stayed together till the very bitter end.

You are a senior and ready to start your own life. The best thing you can do is to move out as soon as possible, going to college? Live in the dorm, figure the room and board as part of your loan for the first year. The second year you can apply for Resident Assistant, RA, then you can get it free. Please focus on you and not your parents now, this is your life now. They have chosen their life.

It seems like you think a divorce will make it all better, it won't. There are a lot of issues with codependency why your Mom is still with your Dad, not just finances, and you can't fix that. A divorce won't fix that. Only your Mom can fix that. You have to take care of yourself, get free and get healthy. Then maybe your Mom will wonder what's up and follow suit. Even if you could fix everything, it's not your job, your parents have to find their way or it won't stick.

We have a saying here that is the Three C's:
You didn't Cause it
You can't Control
You can't Cure it.

Alcoholism is not something he can just chuck like that. He will have struggles and it might be a long road to get things worked out. My dad drank till he was 80 and finally incarcerated with court ordered AA lock up treatment. Only then did he quit. Please do not put your life on hold trying to fix this with your parents, it could take a lifetime.

Now for forgiveness. You are very mature to even be tackling this now, some people wait a lifetime to do that. Congrats. However you seem to mixing up forgiveness with trust. Just because you forgive him doesn't mean he won't let you down again, he surely will because he is human. Forgiveness is for you, not really for him. You need to let go of the bitterness because it can change who you are meant to be. Forgiveness will not change him, it will change you.

It was the hardest thing I ever did but I'm glad I did forgive him. Then years later as I matured I had a simmering hate for my Mom allowing us to live like that. Had to work that through and forgive her too. At first I saw her as only the victim but she really was a willing accomplice. We have a thread that explains how we have dealt with forgiving our alcoholic parent here:

http://www.soberrecovery.com/forums/...ve-her-no.html

Please keep in contact, we are here for you. Good luck, praying for you.
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Old 05-31-2012, 06:17 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Hello coco8, I am so very glad that you are here and that you have decided to share with us.

I am 50, ,y mom has been an alcoholic my whole life, she has never quit, the best she does is cut down from 6 bottles of wine a day to 3, then she gradually works her way back up to 6.

She is a mean, nasty, hateful person. I have been trying for years to forgive her, I have not been able to do it, it has resulted in pain, anger, and depression.

Please don't follow me down this road, get to an ala-teen meeting, join an acoa chapter of al-anon, stay in counseling.

Hate will eat you up, it has me, for a long time I was a person no one wanted to be around.

Please come back often and tell us how you are doing.

Bill
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Old 05-31-2012, 09:51 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I was in a similar situation as a high school senior. I had found out about 2 years before that my dad was an alcoholic and I was conflicted. I hated him for doing the things he did and seemingly causing my "perfect family" to fall apart. On the other hand, I was daddy's little girl and I wanted nothing more than to hug him and never let go. After all, he was my dad.

I'm 24 now and have been through quite a bit with my dad. I can't even begin to think about forgiveness. Things are still too raw and I've been out of the house for 6 years now. I know that forgiveness is for me, but I'm still angry and hurt.

I guess my point is please don't rush it. Forgiveness, in my opinion, is a huge deal. As you may know, there's no timeline for this stuff. It will be with you the rest of your life. Do it on your own time and in your own way. If now is good for you- then by all means, but know that no one here is going to blame you for not forgiving him right now.

Thanks for letting me share.
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Old 05-31-2012, 09:54 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Willybluedog View Post
Please don't follow me down this road, get to an ala-teen meeting, join an acoa chapter of al-anon, stay in counseling.

Hate will eat you up, it has me, for a long time I was a person no one wanted to be around.

Please come back often and tell us how you are doing.

Bill
Wow Bill, powerful. Very well said.

Coco8 you have every chance. We are behind you when you need us.
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