Monday, June 8, 2009
Hi, my name is ________ and my father is an Alcoholic.
Growing up we had a lot of communication issues and looking back, it was mostly because he was always loaded between the hours of approx. 3pm and bedtime (which for him, was about 9 or 10pm). Don't get me wrong, my dad worked his ass off for my family...working crazy amounts of overtime while I was little to make ends meet. Neither of my parents went to college, and I have an older sister and brother. We were probably teetering on the edge between working and lower middle class growing up.
The majority of time I spent with him on weekends involved getting Shirley Temple's and playing the jukeboxes at the VFW and Legion Hall....I loved it then, and never thought twice about how taking your 10 year old daughter to a bar wasn't exactly appropriate.
He was never physically abusive, but there are a few select incidents that were pretty emotionally and psychologically trying. One of which took place when I was in high school. It was a screaming argument that ended with me locking myself in the bathroom because I was afraid he was going to hit me, and then I told him so through the bathroom door, which made him even more angry, that would I think such a thing.
As an adult, things really cemented themselves around Christmas of 2006. My brother was home from leave from Iraq (he's in the Army Reserve) and my dad began drinking around 8am the day brother was set to head back to his post before going back overseas. I was headed to my hometown to meet them, my dad, mom, sister and brother at the Moose Lodge (another "club" type bar Dad has added to his daily routine of drinking places) around lunchtime. Well, I get almost there, when my sister calls and says they called an Ambulance, because they thought my dad was having a stroke. He couldn't talk and wasn't coherent. By the time I was right near my parents house, my sister calls again and says they are headed home, he came to as they were trying to put him in the ambulance and was very angry and confused. So I meet them at the house, and they pull in, and I have to help my father into the house because he is completely blitzed, the drunkest I've ever seen him and he is yelling about my mom overreacting.
My mother is just about hysterical, crying out of anger, fear and frustration. The woman has dealt with this for almost 35 years at this point, and she tells us about how her father was the same way and she's done with dealing with Dad and it was a whole gnarly wad of awkwardness...since we're very uncomfortable with dealing with stuff like this in my family.
That was the day it all clicked for me. All the miscommunication as a child, and the repeating of myself because he wouldn't remember things the next day, because I told him the night before when he was drunk.
Now in the past few years since this incident, my dad has been diagnosed with Angina. Right now, he is on blood thinners and all kinds of meds to regulate his heartbeat, because its beating is irregular. My mom said the bottom part of his heart is right on but the top part isn't in sync.
Has he stopped drinking while on all this medicine? Of course not.
He had a procedure this morning, which was supposed to fix things, and it didn't work. Plus they told my mom it took a lot more than it should have to put him under. I don't know much about anesthesia, but I'm guessing since he is always drunk, it takes a lot more to make him pass out?
The man is seriously going to drink himself to death.
I'm sorry this post is such a bummer. I just can't quite get this out of my head today.