Answer: My dad is great!!!


Question: What is a response you would NEVER expect to give when your friend asks how your day with your family was…

It’s just so weird. I still can’t wrap my head around it. My dad is sober. MY dad…sober.

Today, while my mom was at work, my sister and I went to visit my dad. Usually this is something we dread, but since he hasn’t been drinking, he isn’t being nasty or harassing us like he used to. I actually even had a pretty real conversation with him today that went like this:

Dad: “do you know that mom JUST told me last week that I went through withdrawal in the hospital” (for those who don’t know, my dad had a stroke in October and was in the hospital for a week with horrible withdrawal symptoms)

Me: “she just now told you that?”

My sister: “dad, you don’t remember ANY of it? It was really, really bad. I thought you were going to die”

Dad: “no, I couldn’t believe it when mom told me”

Me: “dad, you were freaking out and looked HORRIBLE. The doctors wouldn’t even let us come on the day that it was the worst, only mommy went”

This is where the conversation really got unbelievable…wait for it…

Dad: “I thought mom would be nicer to me now that I’m not drinking and smoking”

Me: “dad, can I tell you something without you getting mad??? When you were drinking, you were not the nicest person to mom or to us (um, understatement of the century!) You can’t just expect mom to be all lovey-dovey because she probably still is really angry with you at how you have treated her over the years”

Dad: quiet for a minute “yeah”

Wow. I mean, there have been moments where my dad has been relatively sober where I have been able to talk to him, but this is just so different. Everything is just so different. I think my mom and my sister and I are afraid to really trust his sobriety because he can’t drive yet. He might not ever be well enough to drive, but if he does get to the point where he can, that is where the real test of his sobriety will happen.

But, I have decided that I am just going to enjoy these moments I have with my dad while he is sober and stop thinking so much about what might happen. I mean, I can’t control it anyway! But it was nice to have an afternoon where we felt like a “normal family”, kind of like when I was a kid. In fact, while my sister was in another room doing something, my dad and I sat down with a clock that he built many years ago that I am going to inherit at some point (I was hoping today lol) and he showed me how he carved the inlay and taught me how to work the winding key and pendulum. It brought me back to when I was a little girl, back before he really became an alcoholic, when he would bring me down to his shop and teach me how to use his compressor or I would watch him cut wood on his table saw. It showed me that even though I know I can’t erase the bad memories from the past two decades, that there might still be time to make new, good memories with my dad.

Grandparents = LOVE


My grandmother passed away yesterday. Obviously losing her is upsetting, but beyond that I am so sad about the fact that my last surviving grandparent is gone. My grandpa (her husband) died in 1990 when I was 12 and my Mama and Papa (my mom’s parents) passed away within 40 days of each other in 2009. For my whole life, if you asked me to define the “roles” I had, granddaughter was one of the most important. I have so many wonderful and special memories of all of my grandparents. They all loved me, supported me and each played an important part in my childhood.

My grandmother’s passing also brings up other darker feelings, though. Over the past 10 years or so, she definitely became less involved with our side of the family, due to my dad’s alcoholism. Even though my dad was her son, I think my grandmother was very disappointed in him and it must have been very hard for her to see how he acted when he was drunk. My paternal grandfather was an alcoholic and I am sure it broke my grandmother’s heart that my father turned out like him. She became very close with my Uncle’s family…and I don’t really blame her. Therefore, over the years, she spent a lot more time with my cousins (who are also younger than my sister and me). Incidentally, my sister and I became much, much closer with my maternal grandparents. I was so devastated when I lost them (I was also going through my divorce at the same exact time which didn’t help), so there is a little guilt that I didn’t have the same reaction to losing my grandma yesterday. Although I am so sad she passed, she was not a regular, constant part of my adult life like my Mama was. My therapist today told me this was totally normal and that people have different relationships with various relatives in their family (the copay was worth it today!)

Regardless, I am so blessed to have had my grandparents for as long as I did. I have friends who never even knew their grandparents, so I know how fortunate I am to have all the wonderful memories of them that I do!!

My Liebster Award Post

liebsterblogawardThank you to (Becca Joyce) for nominating me for the Liebster Award!! I am so excited and flattered- this made my night!

The rules are:
*that the bloggers that have been nominated must link back to the person that nominated them

*nominees must answer the eleven questions given to them by the person who nominated them

*those nominated must choose eleven of their fave bloggers that have less than 200 followers to answer their own set of questions

*when you are nominated you cannot nominate the person that nominated you

*after nominating your faves you need to drop them a comment telling them that you nominated them

Here are my Nominees:

Here are the questions Becca Joyce asked me to answer:
1. Where do you tend to do most of your writing?
Actually just in my family room- I know that is kind of boring, but it is comfy and usually pretty quiet. And it is where my cats always are 🙂

2. If you could have dinner with any historical figure, who would it be?
Anne Frank. I am obsessed with her story and life! I actually collect “The Diary of Anne Frank” from other countries and in foreign languages- I have like 35 of them- from Australia, Estonia, Italy, Holland, Spain, etc., etc.

3. What’s the song you keep listening to the most currently?
I have been getting more into country music and I really like “Mine Would Be You” by Blake Shelton

4. What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever eaten?
Mexican food in Ireland. I know that’s not necessarily a “weird” food, but it was strange to get tacos my first night in Galway when I was expecting fish and chips.

5. If you could relive any age, which would it be?
Nineteen. It was a great year and a very hard year. It was the year that kicked off by me going to court to deal with assault charges against my dad (on my actual birthday)…but it was also the year I became much stronger and much more independent.

6. What book are you reading at the moment?
The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman (it’s very good!)

7. In your opinion, do aliens exist?
Um, no! (I hope not lol)

8. In your opinion, do ghosts exist?
I’m not sure, but I am terrified of them and have made all my friends and family promise to never come back to visit me after they die.

9. What’s your ‘go to’ comfort food?
Macaroni and Cheese…yum!

10. Who is your embarrassing celebrity crush? (C’mon, we’ve all got one.)
My hot celebrity crush is Mark Wahlberg. My embarrassing celebrity crush is Al Gore 🙂

11. Crossword or Sudoku?
Neither- I can never finish either one!!!

Here are the questions for my nominees:
1. Where do you want to live when you retire?
2. What is your favorite word?
3. Do you believe in heaven?
4. Dogs or cats?
5. Do you know why your parents’ selected your name?
6. What is your all time favorite meal?
7. Did you like high school? Why or why not?
8. What is your prized possession?
9. Do you vote?
10. What is always in your pocket/wallet/purse?
11. What is the best gift you have ever given to someone?

Check out the blogs and the nominated bloggers’ answers.

Thanks again, Becca Joyce!

So where does that leave me?

I feel like such a big part of my identity is wrapped up in my dad being an alcoholic. Let me stress that I have never used my dad being an alcoholic as an excuse for my own bad behavior, but rather that I have been a “child of an alcoholic” for over 20 years. Then very abruptly, my father stopped drinking- something that I never anticipated and still have a hard time believing. Even though he has been sober for a couple of months, I am still a child of an alcoholic and that hasn’t changed. Don’t get me wrong- I couldn’t be happier that he isn’t drinking (he had a stroke in October that I think scared him straight), but just because he is not presently drinking does not just make all of the years of abuse disappear. My mom thinks that he does not really remember the terrible things that he has done while he was drunk (which was every day), but we all do. I remember. I haven’t quite figured how to reconcile the old image of my dad and the new one and how my father’s newfound sobriety affects me. I am not being harassed by his drunk phone calls every day and am no longer receiving two to three crazy, nasty emails every day (can’t complain about that!), but that doesn’t erase all of the belligerent voicemails on my phone or mean emails in my inbox from the past 15 years. Am I just supposed to forget everything and have a magical “fresh start” with my dad?

New year…new dad?

Colourful 2014 in fiery sparklers

After being a raging, belligerent, violent alcoholic for over 20 years, my father is currently not drinking. He had a stroke at the beginning of October and was in a physical rehabilitation center until almost Thanksgiving. I figured that he would just go right back to drinking every day once he got home, but my mom says that he still isn’t. I ask her every day, almost expecting one day she is going to say that yes, he is drinking again (and smoking, which he quit too after smoking two packs a day since he was a teenage). It’s like I just can’t believe it. What I was even happier to hear is that he is actually being nice to my mom after treating her horribly for years and years. She described him by saying to me that “it is like a whole different person”. Obviously that is a huge thing and I am so glad to hear it, but it is just surreal. Hopefully he appreciates everything that she is doing to help him. I am actually even making more of an effort to call him and email him since he is no longer constantly harassing me (don’t miss THAT!!).

I looked back at this blog (since it was my new year’s resolution to write every month in 2013) and things have changed so much. It’s definitely a good thing, even though it was prompted by a scary experience (the stroke). I just look at how many times I wrote that my dad will never stop drinking- had you told me a year ago he would go a week without drinking, let alone months, I would have called you crazy!! I just wonder how long it will take me to really believe that he is going to stay sober…