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Unread 03-27-2017, 02:26 AM   #1
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Trig Drunk dad memories

I'm trying to figure out my relationship with my dad, although he died years ago. I always thought we loved each other so much. Now, I say I'm not sure. If I'm being honest with myself...that was not love.

At some point, I became overwhelmed dealing with his behavior; so, I tried not to notice what he was doing..or care. Instead, I would find boyfriends/friends who also had dad problems, and just hide away in parties and stupors.

I think about some sad times when he was so drunk. i didn't know what to do. He has us kids for thanksgiving one year, after the divorce. He had always been a great cook; but he had minute rice and powdered gravy. He passed out before he even put the turkey in. It sat raw on the stove top. I probably cooked it. I just remember not knowing how to. He stayed passed out all day and night. He was blocking the bathroom door; we actually had to step over him to use the toilet. He snored loudly. It was the loneliest thanksgiving. I tried to feel thankful as I sat reading magazines and watching the fish tank, trying not to look at my dad there five feet away, face down on the carpet. I was crushed. I wouldn't sleep all night. I felt like I was abandoned. But I wouldn't be able to admit such a thing.

Years before that, my dad wasn't home hours after he was expected. My mom went to bed. I didn't know how she could do that. I was so worried. Finally, I heard the front lock. He was so drunk, but I didn't understand that at my age. He couldn't make it up the stairs. He crawled and stumbled up them. He fell to the floor at the landing and rolled around. I jumped down to him help him. Tried to pick him up. Couldn't, so I "put him to bed" there at the top of the stairs (in my little child mind). I got him water to drink. He was laughing, so I thought I was supposed to be happy, too. He said, "I was so funny tonight! I made everyone laugh! They love me." I wanted to make him happy, too. I tried to sleep there, but it was uncomfortable, he snored too loudly, and I didn't want to get in trouble. I went to my bed. When I woke up, the hall was empty, like it never happened.

I just could never help him. He was on his own path.
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Unread 03-27-2017, 06:25 AM   #2
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Default Re: Drunk dad memories

My own daughters would not have as many memories, but I was that kind of dad until the day I looked past their tears and moved away. I would guess your father wanted to be there for you and enjoy life with you, but the alcohol he needed for its effect to keep going also has an backside edge that cuts people and families to pieces.

Please know your dad's drunken absence in your life was not your fault. His behaviour was inexcusable, yet it can be understood and forgiven as the mad antics of a very lost-and-confused human being.

Thinking of you...

gPapaJoe
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Unread 03-27-2017, 09:28 AM   #3
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Default Re: Drunk dad memories

I have many more memories. He was most definitely very lost and confused, and mad. I always forgave him, but that is because I was never free to hold it against him in the first place. When I didn't show him affection and attention because I was in pain, he broke my toy in anger and frustration. I relied on him so much, all the way until the day he died. I was so isolated emotionally from everyone but him that I couldn't ask for help/tell anyone of the problems and the way I felt with him. We had a dysfunctional relationship which set the pattern for my many more dysfunctional relationships.

He would try to quit drinking a few times, never made it past 27 days. He told me it'd been 27 days, and he was pleased he'd done so well. I was hopeful. But in the same breath he said he would now start drinking again. I was so frightened to hear that. I asked WHY? WHY?! He said because he'd been so good he "deserved it." I once complained about the house being neglected by him, and he called me a selfish b**ch. My brother went crazy mad and scolded/screamed at him for treating me like that. I don't remember what happened after that because I was so afraid someone was going to be killed. Those later years were far rougher than the raw turkey times. It's all jumbled up and raw in my head and heart, which is why I made this post.

I thought about moving for a job, and told him about it in my excitement. He said he would follow me. He would buy a camper and live in my yard. He was dead serious and not being cute. I remember it felt very sinister, and I decided I should just stay. Before that, I was pressed by teachers to go to college, especially art college. It was completely unfeasible for me to do anything so big as college. My future had loooong been completely abandoned by my parents, and I was in the sorriest emotional state..and yet I was capable to carry such a front to others who had no idea what pain I was in. I could make the blankest face and say something clever or pleasing. I was trained to pretend I was okay, although my actions did say otherwise.

I could go on and on and on. I had to work past my intense fear of him to get to this point where I can sift through my memories to let that sadness, disappointment, and loneliness out. All the while I still hold onto the bond we had, trying to define it..trying to see how it affected/affects me.
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Unread 03-27-2017, 10:14 AM   #4
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Default Re: Drunk dad memories

Quote:
Originally Posted by it'sgrowtime View Post
We had a dysfunctional relationship which set the pattern for my many more dysfunctional relationships.
Yes, and that is true for many people since many of us tend to cling to the familiar and the familiar is all we had ever known.

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Originally Posted by it'sgrowtime View Post
He would try to quit drinking a few times, never made it past 27 days. He told me it'd been 27 days, and he was pleased he'd done so well. I was hopeful. But in the same breath he said he would now start drinking again. I was so frightened to hear that. I asked WHY? WHY?! He said because he'd been so good he "deserved it."
That was where he was "drying out" for a while on the belief or hope he could then drink with more control later...and then his "deserved it" comment when he started again was related to a combination of his awareness of his personal right to drink if he wants to and his having judged himself as having been "good" by not being drunk for a while.

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I once complained about the house being neglected by him, and he called me a selfish b**ch...
He knew you were right and you had pricked his conscience...and there is nothing wrong with your having done that.

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I thought about moving for a job, and told him about it in my excitement. He said he would follow me...dead serious...very sinister, and I decided I should just stay.
It is not uncommon for alcoholics to "take hostages" in that kind of way, and it would not be difficult to believe staying where you were actually might have been best at that time. Many people will argue with that thought, but anyone (including myself) who makes any kind of statement about the outcome is merely speculating.

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Originally Posted by it'sgrowtime View Post
...I was in the sorriest emotional state..and yet I was capable to carry such a front to others who had no idea what pain I was in...trained to pretend I was okay, although my actions did say otherwise.
It is great to hear you are aware of all of that and now working your way through it all!

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Originally Posted by it'sgrowtime View Post
I had to work past my intense fear of him to get to this point where I can sift through my memories to let that sadness, disappointment, and loneliness out. All the while I still hold onto the bond we had, trying to define it..trying to see how it affected/affects me.
As skewed and dysfunctional as it was, that father-daughter bond was there for a time and now you can leave it behind in favor of better ones today. Also, if anything I share does not sound right to you or whatever, please do let me know! My days of being a dominant monster such as your father had been came to an end long ago and you need never fear just being yourself as you continue on in life!
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Unread 03-27-2017, 02:36 PM   #5
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Default Re: Drunk dad memories

I'll admit that I cried instantly when I read your sentence about pricking his conscience. I do believe he had a conscience, which I speculate is one reason he drank so much. I imagine that he couldn't live with some of his actions; but, I can never know that for sure. Maybe I just want to believe he had great remorse for crossing lines (would be deal breakers) with me. I cried (and thank you for giving me insight to his behavior) imagining that my dad knew I wasn't a selfish...., and that he was just being aggressively, nastily defensive. I guess that father-daughter bond still wants my dads approval.

I feel like I have had to fight like a warrior to overcome what's familiar. I have compassion for him that he had to do the same. It hurts to know that his behavior was far better than his own parents. I think you're right that he figured he could drink again more responsibly. And I did feel like a hostage. I think he was the typical textbook alcoholic.

I insist on thinking for myself, but being myself is very difficult because I am fearful. I think I'm still trying to understand what's "normal" parts of me, and what's dysfunctional. I guess being afraid to be myself is dysfunctional I have repaired parts of myself, and I have overcome immense obstacles, but my dad is left on my plate. He did not overcome.
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I have benefited from this conversation, especially since I can more clearly differentiate the alcoholic stuff, from the other stuff.
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Unread 04-20-2017, 10:47 AM   #6
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My Dad was a violent, mean person when drunk.
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Unread 04-21-2017, 06:15 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by it'sgrowtime View Post

I just could never help him. He was on his own path.
I also have an alcoholic father. And your words made me thinking how I also couldn't help mine so I was trying to make it up to the world and I was helping every other person except myself..... Now I am still doing that but It is like less and less... And I see it and I am saying to myself: This person didn't ask for your help. Yes, this person has a problem. This person sees the problem or not. But it is this person's problem. I don't know all the solutions. I also have my problems which I am not solving.
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Unread 05-05-2017, 09:33 AM   #8
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I remember being scared to death when he would sigh heavily at the dinner table, I remember knowing what stairs creaked so I would not wake him up. I remember leaving the house in the middle of the night so I could go have a good cry and find peace and quiet. I remember him almost jumping off an ocean liner cause he missed his girlfriend.
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