So inspired by this post by my mom. I thought I'd write my thoughts on the subject, whether they are welcome or not.
Some back story for those of you that may not know. I was always very very much a daddy's girl and in no way to I think I had it rough as a child, in fact my parents were awesome, they set limits but let us do our own thing. They knew how to reign us in when it was needed and let have some slack when that was needed. For the most part I wouldn't change a thing. They worked hard to give us the things we had and I can't speak for my brother but I know I appreciated everything I've learned and was taught growing up. But, there always was an elephant in the room. Something we never talked about, because for the most part, it just wasn't THAT big of a deal. Of course I can honestly say I'm sure none of us imagined it would turn out this way down the road.
My dad is an alcoholic. I don't know for how long, I know for a very long time but I guess I never really noticed it as a problem until I was a teenager. My dad can be the most fun, loving wonderful person you could ever meet. OR he can be moody and one joke can send him over the edge and make you just want to run 100 miles in any direction just to get away. No, He never physically hurt anyone, but sometimes words have edges as sharp as knives.
About 7 years ago, a combination of Alcohol and Asprin gave my dad a perforated ulcer and he had to have a large portion of his stomache removed because of it. It's been a LONG, HARD journey for him and my mom since then. He can't work, which I think is a big part of the problem. Work grounded my dad I think. Gave him someplace where he couldn't drink, where he couldn't act out. And he was Awesome at what he did. I remember hearing stories about his day and how he could figure out things even the engineers couldn't see. I think that crushed him that he couldn't go back to work after the surgery. I think it still bothers him. Of course SEVERAL surgeries later and many doctors telling him not to drink anymore or it would kill him. Me hearing the words..."I will never drink again" come from my father, I thought that things would be ok somehow. He was wonderful when he wasn't drinking. Not moody or anything like what he was like while he was drinking. Then he started drinking again. Mix that with the pain killers he's on, that he also abuses now and what do you get. A man that brings people down. A man that is a shell of what he once was. A shell of what I KNOW he can be.
See, in this story, I am lucky. I got to grow up and move out, I got to go on and live my life and be happy with my wonderful husband and my beautiful little girl and now the new baby growing inside me. But what about those who weren't so lucky? My mom. I have no idea how she does what she does everyday. She is truly an inspiration. I know she's not feeling like it lately. And I know that she's having a rough time with everything that's been going on as of late. I can honestly say I'm not sure I would have stayed with my dad as long as she has. They've been together 27 years and I wonder how many times my mom has thought about leaving? My mom needs help. And I'm not sure how to do that. I feel lost and helpless and I'm sure she does too. But at the end of the day I don't have to deal with that every day and I feel bad about it.
His problems have become EVERYONE'S problems. Anyone who knows me will tell you have have irrational fears of alcohol and what it does to people. It's unhealthy and I know that. I guess call me afraid to go down the same path as my father, or if someone close to me was an alcoholic, I would be devastated. I am pretty sure that would be a deal breaker for me. I'm aware that he won't get help til he's ready but really if he hasn't hit is rock bottom and gotten his reality check by now, I don't think it will ever happen.
Man, I'm sorry for such a heavy post this morning. In fact I debate even posting this wondering if these feelings and thoughts I have would be better kept inside. But I guess the point of this is. This is what I know and I'm just a daughter. I can't imagine how much worse it is and I have no clue. But I do know this. Mom, You are not alone, I love you more than anything and want you to know that I may not be there physically to help but if you ever need anything or want to talk about it, call me. No one should have to deal with all of that on their own.