I went home to my parent’s house for the first time in six months for Father’s Day yesterday. As I have mentioned before, this is one of my least favorite days of the year, so naturally I had some trepidation about the visit. I see my mom all the time because she comes down to where my sister and I live (about an hour away from my hometown), but I have not seen my dad since Christmas Day.
I am happy to report that everything went fine. My friend asked me today how things were and I told her there were no issues and so she said, “oh so he didn’t drink?” Nooooo…my father ALWAYS drinks, it is just a matter of how much and how early he starts. On the rare occasions that he does not drink at all, he literally stays in bed all day. But, it was a nice day. We had lunch, my sister helped my dad with some computer stuff, I helped my mom set up her patio furniture. My dad watched golf while we all just caught up. It was laid back and there was no drama. My dad even seemed grateful for the gift we got him (now we just get him Amazon gift cards- can’t go wrong with that!) I left feeling content and made a mental note to perhaps visit more often.
Until today. My father called my cell phone while I was at work and left me a nasty voicemail. It was about three minutes long and he just rambled on and on about nonsense, but at the end he started screaming into the phone. He ended his message by sarcastically saying, “oh happy Father’s Day…what a JOKE!”
So, I erased my mental note about visiting more. Unfortunately, his behavior on Father’s Day is the exception and the voicemail is the norm. It is like a roller coaster ride and reminded me how negatively I have always been affected by his unpredictable behavior and moods. I finally think I have the guy figured out and he throws me for a loop. I should have known better and I should not be surprised or disappointed. But I am.
Hey sorry to hear ur hopes were shattered
Yet again. Funny how we hold out hope for so long right? I think of it this way… I volunteer for animal shelters and one time there was a dog who I was trying to help/save. His owner left him outside in the snow day in and day out, and the dog literally dug himself a pseudocave to keep warm/ out of the elements. When I finally got to the dog to take him to a better place… He wouldn’t go. He loved that owner regardless. He knew nothing else. One day, I had too many of the
Experiences similar to the one u mentioned here.. And it hit me… If I had to break it down in a practical and logical fashion, what good was my mother bringing to my life? Nothing. Nada. Zero. Zilch. Just pain, grief, drama, and a heavy dose of manipulation with a splash of guilt for good measure. Fuck this.
I had done all I could to break the “cycle ”
And even begged her to work with me to do so. But ignorAnce and denial are welcome Friends to the personality disordered it seems. May u find peace or some semblance of it with this father of yours. I hear stories about my mother thru my sister, the last of four children who speaks to her. And I know nothing has changed. And I am at peace an actually
Relieved my kids won’t be exposed to her pockets of insanity. Lol. Was so happy to see a new post. I need to write one soon!
That is a great analogy (I’m a dorky English teacher lol!) I wish I had the strength you have to be able to just write my dad off. I use the excuse that because he lives with my mother and I am so close to her that it would be impossible. But there is some weird sense of responsibility that I have towards him, which is totally stupid bc I really don’t owe him a damn thing. My biggest fear is something happening to my mom and then what???
So, I am kind of that dumb dog lol. I wonder if I had a kid if things would be different. I would hope that I would be like you and finally draw the line. I mean, I have COMPLETELY given up hope that my dad will stop drinking- I literally think he would die. I just wish I had a crystal ball so I could predict when he is going to be “normal” and when he is going to be a psychotic asshole.
Was happy to hear from you- I have been reading your blog and would love to see a new post from you 🙂
My mother is the exact same way, thank you for sharing your story. Stay strong. You are not alone.
Thank you, Maggie. You, too!!!
First of all thank you for liking my post Disease of Secrets – hope you were able to read Part 2? As I have read your blog, I think of how much your life with your alcoholic father mirrors mine and how I could identify myself many years ago through your words! I was lucky enough to be able to afford good therapy, and I attended Al-Anon meetings which helped me to see how co-dependant my wonderful mother was along with my responses to my dad. In one of your posts I read that you wondered if having a child would change your response and I think it might as I was NOT going to have the next generation affected by this disease. But why don’t we value ourselves enough to say – enough is enough? Two great reads that might interest you – Codependant No More – Melody Beattie and The Emotional Toolbox by Daniel Bochner. Good luck!
I have read several of your posts and am flattered that you have read mine 🙂
I don’t know what will get me to finally say “enough is enough” if nothing has thus far! Thank you for the book suggestions…sometimes I feel like I have done everything over these past 20 years that my dad has been drinking (therapy, books, meetings), but just by doing this blog I know that there are many untapped resources for me still!
Honored that you have kept reading my posts!
The best untapped resource is within yourself! Dare to be drastic in your approach, buy a new pair of glasses through which you look at the situation with only one intention – does this serve ME, is it positive energy and if not – what can I do differently to achieve that? Allowing the alcoholic to have the upper hand is never a good idea, and if you do, the cycle continues…
I actually feel like that approach might help me in other situations besides just my dad! I like that a lot. It feels selfish to think that way, but you are right that in order to be happy, I have to put myself first.
Thank you!!!!!! 🙂
You are welcome! I only give advice that has worked for me – I think of it as “paying it forward!” We are conditioned (I think women especially) to take care of ourselves last, but we get into cycles of codependancy and shrink into the background of everyone else’s needs if we don’t self-care. The reality is – no one else can do it for us and the energy becomes positive and freeing. Good Luck finding YOUR happiness!
Thank you! The things you have written have really touched me and you are so right about me putting my own needs last. I don’t like to think of myself as codependent (instead I use the euphemism “people-pleaser” lol), but I know that I am.
I appreciate your comments more than you know!