Did I Do the Right Thing Confronting My Father About His Alcoholism?
I know that there are a lot of people that don't realize the affects of being raised by an alcoholic, until much later in their own adult life. And, I am one of those.
There has been a lot of emotions flying through my household since we confronted my dad with his alcoholism. I still have those nagging voices in my head that ask me over and over if we did it right? If I should of handled it different?
After, reading the article on having only one chance to confront the alcoholic and making sure to address the alcoholic the correct way, I am wondering if it was handled correctly?
After allowing my dad to move in a trailer in our back yard, I realized for the first time, yes, my dad is an alcoholic. It was like someone turned on the light. It took about one year to realize this.
On the eve of coming to this great revelation, my dad was in one of his bad mood drunks. So, he decided to challenge my husband with something he disagreed with that we choose to do as a family. My husband handled him very well...considering. To make a long story short, he went to bed angry at us , went to my sisters the next day and didn't hear from him for two days.
We needed to get a hold of him to know what he wanted us to do with his dog and when he was planning on coming home. I also let him know that we had the key to his house and the only way he could get in was by coming to see us first. We needed to talk with him.
He avoids confrontation at all costs. Sounds familiar because that is exactly the way I am...hmmmm??? It was hard for me to even call him at my sisters and tell him we needed to talk.
There happened to be a family dinner at my sisters that evening when all of this came down and we, my husband and I are now the black sheep of the family. My sister, mad at me would not answer the phone so, we finally got a hold of my brother in law and my husband talked with him to let him know what was going on.It seemed like they had a good talk.
Brother in law agreed to take my dad for the week. By the time they got to my house, which is only about 15 min. away, my dad already had used the 'alcoholic psychology', on my brother in law and caused him to side with him.
When he came in our house to retrieve the key to his house he had asked my husband something ... Miles addressed my dad as an alcoholic. Brother in law defended my dad and said he had not been drinking that much and he was not drunk. That's funny, why was he slurring then?
I have to admit,I was angry at everybody that night .... angry at myself for enabling my dad all these years, angry at my dad for who my mom, sisters,and myself have become because of his alcohol. I was so angry that my dad caused all my family to be mad at us. Alcohol lies, cheats, and destroys relationships.
Needless to say my sister is still not talking to me. She tried to email me and I deleted right away because she is approaching me as being the main problem of all of this. I am not the one to blame and it is not my fault. I will acknowledge her when I know she will not be controlling the situation because she is a major control freak.
I pray it will all come out in the wash eventually. My dad is now with his sister and we haven't talked since he left for my sister's. My emotions are on a roller coaster, because I want to talk with him so badly. But, I also know I am not strong enough. Hopefully, someday soon I will be strong enough.
My dad was told by my husband that he can't talk to me until he talks to him. I am not sure if this is right or wrong?
Honestly, realizing that my dad is an alcoholic took such a burden off of me but, opened up a new can of worms, so to say. I know now that I took the initial step to recovery, there is no going back. That would be the worst thing I can do to myself,my dad, and my family.
I need some assurance I did the right thing. Thank you for taking the time to read this.
Don't beat yourself up because you've done nothing wrong. It's amazing how cunning alcoholics can be and the deception they can cause - like you've now witnessed in your Dad - so that you almost feel like you're the one with the problem.
Confronting or initiating a conversation with someone to share your beliefs that they have a problem like alcoholism, isn't necessarily the same thing as performing an organised intervention
- which is a planned and organised family intervention where you're basically saying enough is enough and that the person in question better get proper help or there will be severe consequences. So you don't need to feel like you've blown anything.
Alcoholics are brilliant manipulators - so your Dad is simply doing what most addicts would do in his position - play you against your sister, and somehow make it seem that you're basically delusional and the one with the problem.
You need to understand that's just part of the 'game' of addiction unfortunately. There's nothing you can really do or say that will convince anyone of your argument. Your sister and the rest of your family have to see it for themselves.
Remember too these 3 key principles in relation to someone you know suffering from an addiction like alcoholism: You didn't Cause it, You can't Control it, and You can't Cure it.
The only person that can ultimately help your father is himself. In other words, if and until he acknowledges he has a problem and is ready to receive help for it - no matter what you say or do is going to change or make a difference to his situation.
Denial is the biggest obstacle to sobriety any person suffering from an addiction faces. And your Dad is a clear example of someone living with a massive dose of denial.
It's sad that he's managed to create a rift between you and your sister, but you simply need to see that for what it is, due to his ability to cleverly manipulate the situation.
What could be helpful for you is to spend time amongst others who know what you're going through and will be able to offer valuable advice and support. Al-Anon is a group for family members and loved one's of alcoholics - so you might want to check them out.
I know what it's like to see a parent manipulate and deceive due to their alcoholism. As hard as it is, you've now seen the light as to what's going on, so hopefully that will help you deal with the situation and realise there really isn't a heck of a lot you can do.
Best of Luck and God Bless