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is my dad an alcoholic?

Old 12-18-2004, 11:00 AM
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is my dad an alcoholic?

Hi. I feel kinda silly for doing this but I really need some advice. I'm a psych major and should know the answer but it's hard when you are talking about your own family. I am pretty sure that my Dad is struggling with an alcohol problem. When my Mom is at work he starts drinking really early - I mean way before noon. I usually get up by 9 or so and he's already been drinking by then. At first he didn't hide it from me but now he is. He has always hid it from my mom. There are alot of problems from the past having to do with his drinking and gambling and they almost got a divorce because of it. I thought everything was better since they got back together the beginning of this year. I guess I was mislead because I just recently moved back home from school and have started to notice all these things. My mom is under the impression that he is only "allowed" to drink on her days off and he can only have 2. What she doesn't know is that he does the most drinking when she's at work. And she works mostly 7am - 3pm shifts so it's early drinking for him. Like I said before - at first when I moved back he didn't hide it from me but I have noticed recently that he's trying to be secretive about it. What he doesn't know is that I know what he's up to. He will make a trip to the fridge and sneak and beer into his pocket. Then he will proceed to go into the garage and open the can out there. I guess he thinks I can't hear the can being opened out there. It actually amplifies the sound more. As of right now he has gone into the kitchen twice this morning and done that - but those are only the times I was sitting right there. I'm sure he's drank alot more than 2 beers so far today. He also hides the empty cans in his closet in his computer room. He goes out and replenishes the supply so when my mom comes home she can't tell that he has drank any of the beers in the fridge. He's completely devious and sneaky. He also has a problem with gambling - scratch off tickets. He also hides them from my Mom. He hides the winners under the floor mat in his car. I am really starting to get concerned because I know once you start to hide things you really have a problem. He has his own business and keeps all the financial information hidden so I can't really say if there is a problem there. He does most of his work at home in his office so it's also hard for me to say if the drinking is interfering with his career. I just don't know how to approach him with this. It makes me so mad but yet as he's sneaking a beer in his pocket I still can't find the strength to confront him. Should I tell my mom? I know I should but I feel as though he will think I'm betraying him because it's going to start a huge fight between them. My brother thinks that I shouldn't tell my mom - he says that it's not my place and it will cause alot more problems. But I know I shouldn't be protecting him because it could end up killing him or someone else. I think the hardest thing for me is that I know all the answers but I just can't seem to make myself realize that this is actually happening to my family. I should know what to do because I spent 4 years studying psychology - but I don't. Sorry for rambling but this felt good to get out of my head. Any help would be appreciated.
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Old 12-19-2004, 07:15 AM
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Veryconfused,

Welcome to SR. It is one of the hardest steps to admit that there is a problem. I believe that we each found SR for different purposes, but the reason we were looking is that we knew there was a problem. There are some excellent Power Posts, which I would highly recommend.

One of the most helpful components of my recovery as a co-dependent, is to remind myself that I didn't cause it (the -ism), I can't control it (or them), and I won't cure it. I hope that you will read and read and read as there are many wise folks here who have gone or are going through much of the same challenges that you are facing.

One thing that I can guarantee - you are NOT alone. There are many folks on the road with you and we all welcome you.

Peace,
Petunia
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Old 12-20-2004, 08:41 AM
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I don't think anyone can answer whether you should tell your mom or not. Only you know your family well enough. I couldn't help but wonder though in reading your post if your mom doesn't already know somewhere in her heart. I can always tell if my bf has been drinking even when I haven't been around him. I can tell by the way he acts and even the way he smells, not just beer breath either but I can smell it on his skin. Could it be your mom already knows but doesn't want to face it yet? Sometimes I confront the bf, sometimes not but 9 times out of 10 I know.
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