…the harder they fall

I think about my dad dying a lot. That sounds and looks horrible now that I actually typed it, but let me explain. Throughout the years, my father has done some terrible things and treated his family very poorly. Being an alcoholic has made him very mean, abusive and controlling. But I still love him and I worry about what is going to happen to him because of what he has done to his body. He drinks straight vodka, sometimes starting as early as 7 am, smokes about two packs of cigarettes a day, eats like crap and gets no exercise.

You know that expression “God protects fools and drunks”? My dad must have some kind of guardian angel that has protected him all these years because he has never had many consequences for his actions. Even when he was arrested for assault (lucky recipient: me), he only got a slap on the wrist. But lately, something strange has been happening that gives me a very ominous feeling. My father has been falling. Like, down flights of stairs. No one has been home to see him do it, but my mother has found the evidence. Two times we know about he put his head through a wall. He blames tripping or “carrying too many things at once” or his hip giving out. It is really scary to think that my mother could come home from work to find him unconscious or worse.

A few years ago, my dad was mowing the lawn and somehow rolled the riding lawn mower down a small hill. When my mother came home, he was still pinned underneath the running motor and blade. It was a scary near-miss, but afterwards we found it mostly funny…like a victimless drunk driving accident. It seemed like an isolated incident and because of the pain associated with the shoulder he dislocated, we thought maybe he learned a lesson. Nope.

Last night he fell again. My mother found him in bed with blood running down his elbow. He shrugs it off like it is normal and god knows a lot of really crazy things have become normal in my family, but it has to scare him. I used to worry about liver disease, lung cancer, etc. but now I worry more about him having a heart attack or literally breaking his neck.

On a lighter note: he now is saying he thinks he broke his thumb. My first thought: maybe now he can’t write emails! My mother burst that bubble by explaining he has always typed with two fingers.

9 comments on “…the harder they fall

  1. Sanna says:

    I can’t imagine how stressful that must be – knowing that you might get that call one day, but not knowing when or where. Your mother must realize that on some level too.


  2. Ever time I read your posts I feel for you and I know that you don’t want anyone feeling sorry for you (because that’s the way I feel) because you are fine. I just know that it is so hard and thankfully I don’t deal with it anymore. I can’t even imagine…but then again I can and I think that is why I feel for you so much. I am sure you worry about your mom too! Tough Stuff! I really hope blogging is helping you.


  3. @Sanna- yea, whenever my mom calls me late at night, it is my first thought!!

    @TOMB- thank you, I really appreciate you taking the time to read my blog and write. It really does help to know that other people have been in my shoes. It’s been my way of life for so long that it is just normal now and honestly, since I have been doing this blog, I have spent more time thinking about things than I have in years (which is a good thing bc it reminds me that this really is NOT normal lol).


  4. That is the only way that I can understand how my mother has stayed married to him for so long…she is just accustomed to what their lives have become.

    **Update: my dad, did in fact, break his thumb. What a dumbass.


  5. mindofshoo says:

    I was the same with my father. So again, know you are not alone. My father died when I was 18 but I would always go with him places cause it was like I was trying to protect him. Even if I had not interest in what he was doing I went. And I was young thinking this way. I believe that is a characteristic of ACoA if I am not mistaken. I used to check his breathing when he slept in. When he died after the sadness was relief. Like I was free. Good Luck..


    • Thank you so much…I am so sorry you lost your dad at such a young age. It broke my heart to read that you worried about him so much and tried to protect him (I kind of had the opposite, I was afraid to leave my mom alone with him). In a lot of ways, our childhoods were taken from us because of this awful disease. It makes me feel like a bad person to admit that although I will deeply mourn when my father dies, I will also feel a huge sense of relief…for myself, but even more for my mother.


  6. Reading your posts is bringing up lots of memories about my dad. I recount these episodes to my shrink like you write them. Like it’s just a day in the life. But it’s all so tragic.

    Right before we did the intervention for my brother, he was falling a lot. He had scrapes on his face. He’d be bloody. It was frightening.

    I understand what you mean by expecting to feel relief. It’s hard to admit, but I felt that when my oldest brother died.


  7. A day in the life…that’s a good way of putting it.

    My best friend has a younger sister who was heavily involved in drugs when she was younger (thankfully she has gotten better in recent years), but I remember her saying that she waited every night to get a call that her sister had overdosed. It broke my heart and I know that if she said that to anyone who didn’t have an addict in their life, she would be harshly judged.

    I am not sure if the relief is knowing that you do not have to worry any more or that the addict isn’t suffering anymore. Because even though I focus mostly on the negative things my father has done to our family, I know in his most private thoughts and feelings, he is truly suffering.

    Thank you so much for your comment.


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