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Old 09-02-2018, 01:08 PM   #1
BirdDancer
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I was crying this morning about my 78 year old dad and his situation (alcohol abuse, surely mood issues and/or severe late age mid-life crisis). Then this morning my sister wrote ne that my brother told her dad suddenly showed up with a black eye. He is often having injuries abd has twice had an ambulance called by someone at his regular bar, though he refused both times to let them take him to the hospital.

I've written about my dad here at more length several weeks ago. I don't have it in me to tell the whole long story again, but his most concerning issues started about 8 years ago and have worsened over that time.

His latest behavioral action was breaking up with his girlfriend of 7 years (with whom he broke up with and got back together with many times) and declaring love for his housekeeper. He brought her to a family reunion yesterday, which I didn't attend, and my sister said he was pawing at her in front of people like he often did to his other girlfriend. He never did that to my mother. His behavior has changed so much in these past years since my mother's death. He had behavior/mood issues his whole life that I've been alive, but the alcohol has really changed him. He was not a heavy regular drinker until his 70s. My husband thinks his fear of old age is playing a part. Another sad part is that he neglects my siblings, nephew and me in favor of bar and cafe cronies.

I almost wish that something would happen to necessitate a hospitalization for him (though nothing exceedingly bad, especially nothing affecting anyone else). We've tried family interventions, but they have not helped.
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Old 09-02-2018, 04:46 PM   #2
Open Eyes
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I am sorry BirdDancer, but unfortunately with this problem your dad has to realize he has a problem and WANT to change.
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Old 09-10-2018, 06:05 AM   #3
Ness102
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Default Re: It's worsening

Its such a familiar story! My dad is constantly having to go to hospital and having ambulances called for him. I don't know how to help him and usually pull away. That is what I have done at the moment.
My dad is one of the most selfish people I know... Mainly as a result of the drink but other underlying things. When he chooses the Alcohol and other things above us I choose my health over his!
I hope things start to improve but if they don't, maybe as hard as it may sound give him some time. Let him realise you aren't there to pick up the pieces for him when he wants you there just because he calls.
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Old 09-12-2018, 02:38 AM   #4
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I see a lot of sadness and helplessness here. You're saying 'I almost wish that something would happen' and that signals me that there's anger here but as if you're feeling guilty that you feel this way. I might be completely wrong here but I feel like there's even some kind of shame or a feeling of betrayal (where you mentioned the houskeeper situation and that he never did this to Your mother). It's completely natural given the situation.

Often when feeling negative emotions towards their parents people feel the immediate guilt (like I mentioned before) like they don't have the right to feel anger or shame, etc. Ask yourself how are you really feeling and let yourself like REALLY feel it and accept it, for example, be angry if you're feeling hurt. You are the child here, not your father and it's a really tough to feel like you have to take control and fix everything. But you really don't.

Ness102 is right, there are underlying things under every addiction. There are some emotions or thoughts that are too difficult for him to cope with in a mature way. When he's sober You can try to dig deeper into his inner world, engage him in the conversation about what he's going through, most probably he himself cannot identify what it is exactly that is so overwhelming for him (or maybe he can and it will be a great emotional experience.) Don't be afraid to say how you're feeling but in a calm way. Just let him be aware of what the loved ones feel about him. Don't expect him to change outright. Don't even expect for him to be open and emotional, there might be strong defense mechanisms preventing that. BUT this conversation could open a way for introspection on his part or maybe at least some understanding for You or maybe deepen the bond in your relationship.

Try to notice the tiniest positive things that he does and encourage him. Like if he even jokingly says 'I didn't drink the whole ... (day/weekend/week/etc.)' tell him how happy You are, give him a hug or an honest smile or tell him you love him. Sometimes we tend to noninentionally 'punish' for the accomplishments saying 'you shouldn't drink at all' or something like that but it only discourages them from further improvements. Just try to make EVERY improvement that you notice count.
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Old 09-14-2018, 01:36 PM   #5
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So sorry for what you are going though, BirdDancer. My mother is an alcoholic, so I understand that shame that goes along with it. I'm so sorry. If there is one thing that I have learned is that a person has to want help... You can't want it for them. You can't will it from them. Ironically enough, I find myself in a marriage with a partner who also suffers from an addiction, although it is not alcohol. I would have seen that right away. It's narcotics... While my mother has been sober almost 4 years, I find myself suffering yet again from another's addiction. It is truly a day by day. The hardest truth to accept is that you can't change that addiction for them.
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