at the end of my rope

Old 06-14-2012, 11:23 AM
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Unhappy at the end of my rope

My AF and I share a 4 yo daughter & have been together for 6(?) years. He has had a drinking problem since before we got together (and a drug problem, but has been clean for the vast majority of our relationship). Before I got pregnant I joined him in the drinking, but have since cleaned up. His drinking has more or less caused problems throughout my pregnancy and daughters life. For the most part he is a great father, but I know as she gets older his drinking will affect her more and more. At one time he was mentally abusive towards me, but has stopped that years ago. At this point I am tired of exposing my dd to this, his never being there for me, not ever able to drive after a certain time at night (which is also a good thing that he won't drink & drive), his going out EVERY night, the irrationality he displays, and I could go on.

While he has always had a problem, lately he has really gone downhill. He had an abusive childhood & mental issues through his teen and adult years. He had learned to somewhat control everything to get through his day to day life, but this year the sh** hit the fan so to speak. He started school in September & our 4 year old seems to be going through the terrible 2's now, which of course is stressful. Her actions are worse with him because he just can not handle fatherhood. He tries to overcompensate for his childhood by letting her get away with everything & can not stand to hear her cry, so of course she does not listen to him & throws tantrums when he is around. What really set him off was his mother who abandoned him many years ago suddenly showed up in his life. He has been having major anxiety attacks. He says he is not depressed, but I am not sure I buy that. His drinking has at times been totally out of control, not just at night & he has admitted sneaking alcohol. A couple of months ago (Easter weekend) he got so bad he checked himself into the psychiatric hospital and was there 5 days. They got in contact with an intensive outpatient program, when he went to meet with them there was a conflict with the schedule and he decided to wait until school was over (6 weeks). I assumed he would be able to start as soon as school ended, but they won't talk to me and give me any details. So he met w/ the counseler and they said he had to wait until June 11th (1 month away) to start the program. Meanwhile his prescription for xanax has run out & we can't get him in to see a psychiatrist (they all have long waiting lists) to get more. When he was on the xanax his drinking & anxiety was better. While waiting for his program to begin he gets a job in the field he his in school for & decides not to go to the program and work instead. I make suggestions to him to work around this, but it was a no-go. He knew my disapproval of this decision and says well I am moving out anyway. Fine w/ me I make no protest, I can't make him do anything. A week later he comes back and apologizes & doesn't want to move out, he says he will go to aa and stop drinking and he doesn't need the program because now he has a job to occupy him. I explained why he does need the program & he did listen, but was set in what he wanted. I know we are set up for a huge failure here. The past couple days he has been going downhill again. Last night he says I am going to check myself into the mental hospital again. He goes and says he needs help. I haven't gotten the entire story yet, but I guess the Dr. says something like "well you haven't cut yourself, so it must not be that serious", so he walks out.

I have been at the end of my rope for a while now. In many ways I am ready to kick him out. There is a few things holding me back. First I am starting nursing school in the fall, which is a very hard program. I worry that if I kick him out he won't be reliable to watch her while I am at work. I can afford the bills here, but I can not afford missed days at work or a babysitter. Also I am not sure if I can handle the stress of single motherhood, work, and a rigorous school program. The second reason I have put this off is that he does admit he wants help & I want to support him. But this is less & less becoming a reason as I see he is not taking enough action to actually get help.

I just don't know what to do anymore or how to react when he is being so self destructive. Last night I couldn't help but show my frustration when he wanted to go to the hospital, which I know is not the best reaction. After a while we did sit down and talk calmly about it. Now that we are back at square one I don't know how to react. I don't know how to support him and not show my frustration when he is being so self-destructive.
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Old 06-14-2012, 02:49 PM
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Welcome, I am sorry that you are involved in this situation.

A child should never be raised in such a toxic enviorment, he is not only an alcoholic but has significant mental issues. Children carry their childhood into adulthood, your 4 year old daughter has already inherited the gene that predisposes her to addiction, and, living
with one only magnifies her predisposition.

In no way, shape or form should he be left in charge of babysitting your daughter, this would be an irresponsibile action on your part.

He is responsibile for solving his issues and you are responsibile to make your child your priorty.

Read all the stickies at the top of this forum and that of the Family & Friends of Substance Abusers, lots of helpful information at your fingertips. I would also recommend that you read Codependent No More and start attending Alanon meetings.
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Old 06-14-2012, 03:41 PM
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Thanks for the reply. Until recently he wouldn't drink until later in the day, and she is in bed at 7:00, so she doesn't see it. I Know as she gets older and stays awake longer and longer she will see more and more of it. She won't be spending nights at his house if he moves out, so he will be watching her at my house and he won't drink and drive. This is where the unreliability comes into play. Also I will not be sucked into a situation where he is sleeping over, then what would be the point of kicking him out?

Thanks again, I need to hear the cold hard truth before it slaps me in
the face. I will continue to read posts here everyday until my life truly moves on.
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Old 06-14-2012, 03:49 PM
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Welcome to the SR family!

Thank you for taking the time to introduce yourself. I hope you will continue to read, vent, post as much as needed.

I am a single mom. Divorced my alcoholic husband after 14 years.
I went back to college while working full-time (cut my hours down to the minimum tho). I just finished my Associates Degree.

I was so wrapped up in my alcoholic's behavior, actions, in actions and craziness; that I forgot how to take care of myself. I needed to shift my focus from him and refocus on me and the children. I needed to let go of my adult alcoholic's life and take care of my own.

Things that helped me refocus were: Alanon meetings, SR reading and posting, and sharing with a friend that works as a Social Worker. Reading the permanent sticky posts at the top of this forum page continues to be a great source of wisdom and inspiration for me. Here is one of my favorite sticky posts:

http://www.soberrecovery.com/forums/...l-problem.html

Keep reaching out for support.
We care about you!
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Old 06-14-2012, 03:50 PM
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Originally Posted by lala27 View Post
Thanks for the reply. Until recently he wouldn't drink until later in the day, and she is in bed at 7:00, so she doesn't see it. I Know as she gets older and stays awake longer and longer she will see more and more of it.
It continues to amaze me how many people think that a child living in an alcoholic home will be okay as long as they never "see it." As the child of an alcoholic father, I can assure you that "seeing it," was the least of my problems. In fact, my father did the majority of his drinking away from home. Children of alcoholics are affected by every aspect of living in a dysfunctional family. I can honestly say that my mother's anger, sadness, instability, and lack of honesty-with me was much, much more damaging that my father's drunkeness. I have memories of being "in the way" and a burden as early as the age of three.

Please don't fool yourself into thinking that your daughter is fine as long as she doesn't see him drunk.

L
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Old 06-14-2012, 04:21 PM
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Sorry I double posted.
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Old 06-14-2012, 05:10 PM
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Thanks for the welcomes everyone. I read the link and am going to take some time to really take it in later. I have been talking to people and looking over sites like sr for years, so have been practicing some of suggestions in my life. I feel I am pretty detatched and that is why I am so ready to let him go. I have kept our finances separate, made sure he paid half the house bills so I could save my own money, and have basically lived a separate life from him even though we live together. Every time something would happen I would use it as an excuse to mentally detach and move myself further away from the situation. At this point I realize if he doesn't get help now my sticking around isn't going to help the situation. I will definately give the post a thorough reading as I know I have more work to do, which is why he is still around I suppose.

Lateeda- believe me I understand that this is affecting her, I said so in the first post, maybe you missed it. I just need support in following through in making this major step in my life. So you can direct your amazement elsewhere. I may have been a fool to start this relationship, but believe me I am a fool no more.

Most likely whether we are together or not he will be a part of her life, unless he totally goes off the deep end. Right now i think if we are not living together she should be able to see him if he is sober.
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Old 06-14-2012, 05:18 PM
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I'm sorry if my post offended you. I did not call you a fool. I was only responding to your comment of how your child is in bed by 7:00 so she does not see it.

L
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Old 06-14-2012, 06:24 PM
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lala27,
No one called you a fool, we do not shoot our wounded here.
I was raised by an alcoholic father until about the age of 12 years old. I rarely "saw" him drink, but I saw and felt that something was wrong every day. Every single day.
When I asked my mother what was wrong, she would say what do you mean, or nothing is wrong.
His moods would change drastically, he became mean and obnoxious to all four of us kids.
We all became used to walking on eggshells and being quiet because "Daddy is sick."
So, you don't have to see anything to be deeply affected by it.
You are learning and you will learn this and many things while trying to deal with an alcoholic.
Nursing school is hard and I applaud your determination. Is there a program at the school you are attending to watch children? My sister is an RN and her school had a daycare as part of the teaching hospital. There are other options available.
There are many people here who have been there where you are, and have solutions for you to consider.
This is the place you get help and educated about how to deal with alcoholism in your life.
:ghug3

Beth
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Old 06-14-2012, 07:48 PM
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My separated AH and I share a 4 year old daughter too. I sounded like you before. Id say what a great father he was when sober, etc...Truth is, a really great father takes care of himself and leads by example. I hurt and cry when I think of the ride my daughter is in for because of her alcoholic father. I have to share in responsibility that I had a child with him. Focus on you and her and hopefully if he finds sobriety over a long period of time, things can work. Until then, care for yourself.
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Old 06-14-2012, 08:08 PM
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Sorry, I know no one was calling me a fool, I know I've been a fool to accept the things I have accepted.

Wicked- I am in the day program for nursing and Childcare is taken care of during school, she will be there no matter what. The problem is while I am at work, I work sometimes until 9 which makes Childcare a little more difficult. I have had offers to help but everyone I know works too so there is some conflict of schedule. Part of my problem is that I hate to ask for help and depend on other people, but I guess I'll have to get over that if I want to have any normalcy on dd's life.

Sweetteewalls- I feel the same way as you, another reason I am here is to figure out how to help her grow into a responsible adult and not take on his problems. Yes I know getting him help or getting him out is step one, but there is so much bumps down this road.
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Old 06-15-2012, 11:54 AM
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I found out we have another chance with an outpatient program that will work with our schedules, so today there are NO excuses. I told him to call and make an appt today or start looking for another place to live. Yes, I guess I'm not giving him much time, but he's had enough time to get his act together. Now the tricky part is really sticking to it and actually getting him out of the house.

On another note, he's on a blaming phase at the moment, so I told him if I am causing that much stress I will stay out of his hair. I have done just that. My meals have been eaten on the back patio & I've been in and out all day, anything to not be around him. Hopefully he'll get the picture.
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Old 06-15-2012, 12:27 PM
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"I found out we have another chance with an outpatient program that will work with our schedules, so today there are NO excuses. "

WE is not addicted, HE is.

I understand your frustration, perhaps your load would be lightened if you allowed him to address his own recovery.

I hate this disease, and I hate how it affects and destroys families.
Stay strong. Hugs))))
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Old 06-15-2012, 01:03 PM
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Ha ha, I know, I caught that 'typo' after rereading it and I meant to fix it. I know it will be all him going through the hard work, not me. I've been here before, seeing him go through AA. When he came home I asked how it went and how he was and didn't pry any further. I let him share what he wanted and keep to himself when he wanted. And that is what I am trying to do now. I've been sitting back and waiting for him to make a move long enough and he keeps putting it off. I'm just trying to figure out what is best for me and my daughter. And how to go about accomplishing that.
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Old 06-15-2012, 01:29 PM
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This is 100 percent correct...

Lala, your daughter is not fine. Her father is an alcoholic drug addict and her mother is somebody who thought it was a good idea to marry and have children with an alcoholic drug addict.

While it's not too late to make the changes you need to make to be a better person and mother, don't think for a second that your daughter is not being profoundly effected by the environment in which she has , and is, growing up.

I say that as somebody with a daughter who grew up in the same environment and is now 16. You have no idea of just how bad this really is, and just how guilty you may feel when she is a 16 year old manifesting the behaviors she is learning from you and your husband.

Cyranoak

Originally Posted by LaTeeDa View Post
It continues to amaze me how many people think that a child living in an alcoholic home will be okay as long as they never "see it." As the child of an alcoholic father, I can assure you that "seeing it," was the least of my problems. In fact, my father did the majority of his drinking away from home. Children of alcoholics are affected by every aspect of living in a dysfunctional family. I can honestly say that my mother's anger, sadness, instability, and lack of honesty-with me was much, much more damaging that my father's drunkeness. I have memories of being "in the way" and a burden as early as the age of three.

Please don't fool yourself into thinking that your daughter is fine as long as she doesn't see him drunk.

L
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Old 06-15-2012, 02:11 PM
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Believe me I know how bad this is, you think I don't feel guilty every day since the day I found out I was pregnant? I sometimes cry at night thinking about the life I've brought dd into. I never thought any of that was a good idea which is why I never married him, and he knows exactly why we are not married yet. Not to mention that after that first oops I have been extra extra careful to make sure that it doesn't happen again. I am here trying to get support & figure out bring my daughter up to be a healthy & responsible adult not have my past mistakes brought up.
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Old 06-15-2012, 02:22 PM
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Wicked- I am in the day program for nursing and Childcare is taken care of during school, she will be there no matter what. The problem is while I am at work, I work sometimes until 9 which makes Childcare a little more difficult. I have had offers to help but everyone I know works too so there is some conflict of schedule. Part of my problem is that I hate to ask for help and depend on other people, but I guess I'll have to get over that if I want to have any normalcy on dd's life.
This was the hardest thing for me to accept and get used to, asking for help.
I tripped on myself many times with that. I am getting better, once I found out that people (well a lot of people not all) want to help. They honestly want to help you with your problems. Yes, its hard to ask and very hard to take it, but for your daughter, I know you can do it.

Beth
:ghug3
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Old 06-15-2012, 02:31 PM
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The YMCA offers babysitting on a sliding scale.
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Old 06-15-2012, 03:22 PM
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Past mistakes/ choices live in our present, and will continue to be a part of our daily life until we make the conscientious decision to do things differently.
You see, if nothing changes, nothing changes.

No need to feel guilty here, you are among friends. We all understand.

We will walk with you. We are here for you.
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Old 06-15-2012, 04:10 PM
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I think what I've learned is, the fun stuff that the dads win our children over with is only part of it. I thought my AH was a "great dad" too--and he was. They love him, he's fun, he took them fishing, he played goofy games with them.

But does that compensate for the times he drove them around drunk, or woke them up in the middle of the night to sing the Marine Corps Hymn? Or yelled at them because he thought they took his cocaine? Or practically poured liquor down their throats when they were old enough to drink? Or told them they were idiots when he was drunk and didn't remember the next day? It's funny how we define "great dad."

I had an alcoholic father. I loved him. I'm glad I can say I love him. But he was not a great dad.
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