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Old 03-02-2008, 06:17 PM
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another new one...

Hi all. I'm new to the boards here, but just wanted to say i've been reading a lot of posts, and wanted to send out a general thank you to all who post here, for being so open and supportive. I know it's been said before, but it helps tremendously to know I'm not alone, and to learn from the wisdom of all of you.
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Old 03-02-2008, 06:21 PM
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Welcome -
When you're ready I look forward to hearing your story.
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Old 03-02-2008, 06:45 PM
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Thanks for the welcome... here's a short version of what is, of course, a very long story...
my dad is the alcoholic in my life. I lived with him for about 10 years, from 18 to about 27. During those years, his drinking got progressively worse. When I made the decision - at 27- to move into my own apartment with a friend, he used the opportunity to make me feel guilty for "leaving him." At 27!! His drinking got worse for a while, along with our relationship, until he had a health crisis in Dec 04 and almost died... then was sober for close to 2 years, then relapse, then sober for another year or so, until recently. During his times of not drinking, he never went to AA, counselling or anything... is that what they call a dry drunk? Anyway, he started drinking again recently. I had kind of suspected but then again, I feel like I'm always on alert. The confirmation basically came the other night when he called me up to direct me to read an email he had just sent me.. an email in which he announced he thinks it's a good idea for us not to have contact for a while.. this led into a long phone conversation, with him saying all I do is nag him and he needs to find peace and freedom and I am apparently keeping him from this. He's recently come into a little money and has decided he's going to take off in his car and drive off into the mist to find a better life somewhere... he hung up on me twice during this conversation, and yelled at me, which is something he never does unless he's drunk. I asked him if he was drinking, of course he denied it... later in the week I got a call from a good friend of his asking me if my dad was drinking again, that some of the guys he hangs out with had noticed my dad reeking of booze again lately.. so there is no doubt in my mind...
ha, you're thinking, that is the short version? Anyway what I'm struggling with right now is... I feel relieved. I haven't heard from him since, and I really don't want to. His friend that called me was trying to convince me, almost bully me, into having (yet another) "sit down" with my dad. And I told him no. I told him at this point, I don't want to have anything to do with my father. And I'm feeling guilty... for not feeling guilty. I'm feeling guilty that I know he is home drinking himself into a stupor and probably right into another health crisis... and I was out today with a friend at the movies. So far every day the phone has not rung, I feel grateful. But I feel cruel for being grateful...
thanks for listening. Sorry for the rambling...
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Old 03-02-2008, 06:51 PM
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You have nothing to feel guilty about IMO. You are doing what you need to do to keep your life as you want it. Not an easy thing to do. I understand the vague guilt about beling grateful not to be in the madness of it all too. I've experienced the same thing.

Have you considered AlAnon or an ACOA group? You may find either or both very helpful to you and understanding how your father's alcoholism has affectred you.
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Old 03-02-2008, 06:55 PM
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thanks for the reply Barbara.. I have been to alanon meetings in the past and really liked going, and have been thinking about going back. The only thing I didn't like was the feeling of so much of my life being related to my father's drinking... although obviously it still is, or I wouldn't be on this board! I'm definitely giving thought to going to another meeting soon... thanks
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Old 03-02-2008, 06:57 PM
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Detachment is one of the very BEST things we can do.
Having a front row seat to your dad's addiction has not been healthy for you.
You have your own path in life. One that can be free of being a codependent in his life.
You are powerless over him and his addiction.
Only when he gets sick and tired of alcoholism, will he change.
Set your boundaries w/ him. Tell him you love him but that you can't talk when he calls if the conversation is not a healthy one for you.
Don't feel guilty for doing what you need to do for yourself. it is also good for him to know that you support him when he wants to get sober but not in his sickness..
You sound like you are making great progress in your own life. Way to Go !!!!!!!!!!
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Old 03-02-2008, 07:03 PM
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thanks for the encouragement. I'm really trying. Been reading a lot about "detachment" and printed some stuff out to carry in my purse to read over the course of a day...
his last relapse was around last christmas time, 2006, and at the time I was going through a tough breakup and he was really supportive and helpful and really there for me... until all of a sudden, he just wasn't anymore. I think I realized at that point, for the first time, that I could just never count on him... it was still so painful to hear all the things he said to me on the phone the other night how I've never supported him and all the mistakes I've made... I feel ok but wonder if I'm fooling myself about feeling ok...
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Old 03-02-2008, 07:06 PM
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Hi,Alice. Glad you are here and thank you for sharing your story. Except for the parts about quitting,sounds a lot like the latest antics of my exAH. He became my "ex" as part of HIS getting away "from all that must tie them down and take the fun out of life", as evidently he thought that 30yrs with me was enough and it was time for him to spread the joy around! (He and your dad may be close in age...about mid-50's)

I am sorry you are dealing with this. I am sorry our two kids (almost 26y and 20y) are,too. They sound much like you. We've all talked to him,etc.,etc......the whole nine yards until we learned it made us all basket-cases and didn't phase him a bit (except "reason" to blame....as if he needed one! haha)

I'm so glad you are here with us. It has helped me a LOT! I learn something new every day. I finally this weekend resisted my natural inclination to answer an email just to save my own energy...what a novel idea....FINALLY!!! Must have surprised him,too (he probably knows how I'll react better than I do) because later last evening he called me over so non-issue, and he seemed a little off-center....not his usual arrogant-self. I didn't start up the dance that time either. WOW.....maybe I am getting somewhere. And best of all,I was not upset all evening!!!

Maybe if your dad's friends think "someone" should talk to him.........they'll give it a go. Good for you not putting yourself though that again...........I'm sure you have already said what you have to say to him. It is his choice what he does with it.

Sending you a mother's hug.........it's so difficult to feel all the feelings that go with this illness. I was thinking the other day how hard it is to love a person but hate their behavior. It is especially sad to have that person be your parent.

Stick around!

p.s. I just read you last post...the hurtful things are such awful NONSENSE.....please try not to even hear them. Have you ever read the "Getting Them Sober" books? (see Getting Them Sober- Recovery Communications) They are so helpful for me and give actual practical advice for common situations. They also explain how toxic an alcoholic's brain becomes,causing so much of the crazy talk and behavior. Try to think of your dad was waking up from surgery and still under the influence of the anesthesia when he starts to "quack",because basically,that's close to the truth....even if he is not drunk at that moment. I know the words sting and hit hard and deep,but that self-doubt it creates is one way the disease is able to protect itself and keep the insanity going.
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Old 03-02-2008, 07:17 PM
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Yes, exactly!! That's what it feels like, that he was looking for someone or something to blame... and lucky me, I won that lottery...
I read a post recently that someone had written, something about an alcoholic is always looking for a "reason" to drink... seems like he found one this time...
I guess today was tough because it was the first Sunday in a long time that we didn't spend together... usually it would be our day to "hang out" - like so many others, he's a wonderful person when he's not drinking...
thanks for the hug, I need it today!
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