One topic I hate to address is how inappropriate my father can be when it comes to issues related to sex. In his emails, he will bring up how he and my mother are not intimate. This is hardly a surprise considering he is drunk almost every day and he and my mom have had separate bedrooms for years. My sister and I will sometimes tease my mom about this and she gets visibly grossed out. As a woman, I can completely understand why my mother is not attracted to my father- both physically and emotionally. As their daughter, I want to think about their sex life about as much as any one else would want to think about their parents having sex…AKA: NEVER.
My father, however, crossed the line recently. Instead of a casual mention of my mother “not being a wife” (which is the euphemism he usually writes), he went into great detail about his libido, watching online porn, my mother refusing to have sex, him wanting to get Viagra and having erections during the night. This was all in an email he sent…to his two daughters. My sister and I were both completely disgusted and called my mother to tell her (she was horrified, of course). She obviously yelled about my father about being so offensively inappropriate because we received an “apology” email the next day. He seemed confused as to why my sister and I were so upset and stated that he would have thought that as his children, we would wanted to know about any medical issues he has. Clearly if my father has a disease that affected his private parts or anything like that, we would be sympathetic, but being a horny old man is not a medical condition last time I checked. What is almost worse than my father sending the email was his really not thinking that it was inappropriate.
When my sister and me (and my boyfriend) first read the email, we all kind of laughed it off, then got understandably grossed out. It was only after an hour or two that my boyfriend and I talked about it in more detail and I realized how upset I was by it. I have a lot of memories, some clear, some blurry, about my father saying and doing inappropriate things when I was younger. One example that stands out is when I was a teenager and went to the mall with my friends. I got home with a bunch of shopping bags from various stores, one of which was Victoria’s Secret. My father insisted that I show him what I bought. It didn’t come off like “I’m concerned that you bought age-inappropriate underwear so let your mom see and decide” kind of thing…it was creepy. My dad was always a butt-pincher (like when we walked by him or stood in front of the open fridge), he made a lot of comments about my body (like calling me “thunder thighs”), he made funny, but sexual, jokes about waitresses and actresses on TV (“look at the boobs on her!”). When he was drunk (which was most nights during my teenage years), my mother would ask my sister or me to go tell my dad dinner was ready. He would slur that my mother had to put on a skirt, pantyhose and high heels or he wasn’t coming to eat. He would lay out sexy lingerie on my mom’s side of the bed during the day (not exactly a subtle hint). All of this is just to prove that my father has always been a bit perverted and there have been many times in my life that he has made me uncomfortable.
It is sometimes hard to reconcile all the different aspects of my dad. I feel like if he read this, he would be genuinely appalled that I think these things about him. During the two year period he was sober, my mother explained to him all the abuse that she and my sister and I suffered from over the years by him and he was flabbergasted. I mean, unless my dad has Academy Award winning acting skills (doubtful) or is a complete sociopath (possible?), he truly did not believe he was capable of doing the things she told him he did. If he was sober, I know he would not be saying the things he is about sex to my sister and me, especially not in the blunt, very descriptive way he did. But him being drunk as an excuse is getting really old.
I have been reading your blog posts since the beginning. I am also a child of an alcoholic. Actually, alcoholic-s. Now I’m married to one (23 years and divorcing, 2 kids), and I totally understand this whole thing about them not seeing how their behavior affects the ones they love. Well, I don’t understand it, but I understand what you’re going through. My husband even went to rehab finally and then relapsed in less than 30 days. Now he’s back to drinking and I’m planning my exit.
It’s amazing how alcohol affects them. I don’t understand how a person can go from a loving, honest, sane person to a lying, deceiving, alcohol-hiding a-hole. Such denial! Yet, part of me still cares. I don’t hate him. I hate the alcohol.
Anyway, keep on writing. 🙂
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Thank you so much for reading and for your comment. I’m sorry that you have suffered so much from this disease, too, and trust me when I tell you that I know divorce is difficult. I agree with you that
I don’t understand it, either! When my dad is sober, he is funny and pretty normal and nice, which is why it is hard for me to cut him out of my life…I still see those good qualities, just not very often. And like you, I really just hate the alcohol.
Hang in there- I think you are so brave for putting yourself and your children first. I’m sure it wasn’t an easy decision to make. Xoxox
Wow, just wow. I thought no one else in the U.S experienced this family dysfunction. Thank you so much for posting
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Ha ha- my favorite quote from the Simpsons is when Homer says, “As far as anyone knows, we’re a nice, normal family”…pretty much sums it up. Welcome, kindred spirit! 😉