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Mother of 14 year old who's father has wet brain

Old 01-29-2012, 06:43 AM
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Mother of 14 year old who's father has wet brain

Good Morning,
I am looking for information/guidance with explaining to my 14 year old daughter about the condition of her father (my ex husband). He shows all signs of 2nd stage wet brain..her father was in ICU for 2 weeks, moved to a regular hospital room than transferred to a long term care facility. He had been (before being found unresponsive in his bed) a heavy drinker for nearly 35 years. A doctor has not actually used this term for a diagnosis, but from my own medical knowledge & what I have read, in my heart I am sure this is what is going on. He does not remember somewhat recent events, like his mother & sister passing away, things like that. He tells stories of returning from Alaska, (even though he is in a care facility). He can't talk to his daughter on the phone sometime because he is the middle of fighting a war. Plan and simple, psychosis. I feel as though I should treat this almost as if my child has lost a parent. He has no recollection of her childhood. This is a big giant mess & causing severe mental distress on my daughter & me. Any help someone can offer would be greatly appreciated.

Last edited by KimS; 01-29-2012 at 06:45 AM. Reason: spelling error
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Old 01-29-2012, 10:29 AM
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Welcome to SR, Kim. There are many people here with long experience of addiction and recovery and they will be along to give you helpful feedback.

I just want to say I am very sorry for the emotional anguish you and your daughter are both experiencing right now. Your daughter's father is dying, and perhaps some grief counseling for her would give her a safe place to feel and express her grief. She may not be comfortable to be truly herself with you, in part because she may want to avoid upsetting you while you are already upset.

My father died of cirrhosis when I was 13. He had been missing since I was 4 and I did not know him as a father.

I know that for myself, at 13, it would have made things much easier had someone given me something to read about alcoholism so I could better understand why he abandoned me and why he was dying. Perhaps in grief counseling, your daughter would be also helped with some information about her father's disease.

Since he is your ex, your daughter already feels conflicted in her relationship with her father and with you. This is the natural outcome of any divorce, of course. It is no one's fault. But it could make her hesitant to rely on your fully for the support she needs.

It is a devastating experience for a 14 year old girl to see her father's body and brain dissolve before her eyes. I am so sorry for her. And your pain in witnessing her grief must be devastating as well.

God bless you both and send you angels in your lives to comfort you.
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Old 01-29-2012, 12:48 PM
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My heart and prayers goes out to all who have to watch a loved one go through this.

She is 14, old enough to have questions and I think just talking about this openly and honestly with her will help her feel supported and not alone. Perhaps finding some literature about the disease of alcoholism may help, and also maybe some daily support books, that offer uplifting messages of light in a time of darkness.

Good luck to both of you.

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Old 01-29-2012, 04:11 PM
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I'm glad that you are posting this question. Being 13 is very difficult as it is without having to deal with this sad news about her father. I don't know much about his condition, but I would expect there is a good chance he will not improve.

Teenagers often have not yet learned coping skills that adults may have learned. It would probably be helpful for her to have a counselor. This would give her somebody to talk to and a way to help process her feelings.

Any time that the two of you can spend together would be great. Do you like to go for walks? Maybe the two of you could take a daily walk together where you can just spend quality time together.

If she doesn't have a journal, she could probably benefit from having one. It helps teenagers and adults if they can write down their feelings.
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Old 01-29-2012, 07:31 PM
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Welcome to SR. I'm sorry that you and your daughter are having to deal with difficult situation.

Has your daughter had any counseling? Perhaps a good therapist who understands alcoholism and addiction can help your daughter process her feelings. This must be very difficult for her.

You, your daughter and you ex husband are in my prayers.

gentle hugs
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