Confronting my Father about His Alcoholism and Abuse of my Mother and Self.
I am currently 17 years old. In January I shall be 18 and I feel as though it is time to confront my father about his alcoholism and abusive behavior towards my Mother, Sister, and Myself.
The first thing to ask you is, what is it you're hoping to get from 'confronting' your father? An apology, confession of his abusive and destructive ways, closure, to allow yourself to feel better for having gotten things off your chest?
Because it's important that you have realistic expectations of the outcome of the talk you plan on having with your father. He sounds like a sick man, oblivious to his destructive ways and hurt he's caused you and your family, still living in denial to his alcoholism and the havoc its caused.
Which means that he could just shut you out, laugh you off or twist the whole story to make himself seem innocent and even the victim. Because that's what alcoholics are capable of - lies, deception and manipulation. That's why I say you have to be very clear about what you hope to achieve - because it might not transpire how you imagine it will.
You and your family have moved on - your Mom totally did the right thing by leaving him - so the danger is if you confront him and things don't go as you had planned - you potentially make things worse for yourselves.
That's not to say you shouldn't confront him - its just important that you consider all the pros and cons before doing so. Sometimes out of anger we do things we end up regretting so just want to make sure you've thought everything through.
Then, if you do decide to go ahead - two key things you need to remember: 1) You've got to speak to him when he's sober. If not you're wasting your time because he's seeing things from his alcohol-crazed reality, and you create the potential for things to become extremely explosive because it sounds like he's especially aggressive when drunk.
2) You need to stay calm, cool and collected. Shouting or anger doesn't work. You need to speak your truth calmly and as unemotionally as possible, because that is likeliest to get through to him. It's not so much a question of what you say, but how you say it that will have the most impact.
And then it's just a case of speaking honestly and telling your Dad very clearly all the damaging effects his alcoholism has had on you and your family (give examples where possible) - and how that's left you feeling about him, e.g. you think very little of him and don't want anything further to do with him.
Don't get into an argument. Once you've had your say you then get up and walk away. Write down all the key points you want to mention beforehand, i.e. do some preparation because you'll likely be nervous, and so by preparing well and being clear on what it is you want to say you give yourself the best possible chance of things going how you want them to.
Good Luck with this. It takes a lot of courage to do what you're planning, but if you're sure this is what you want to do, hopefully some of the ideas given will help. Take Care.
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