• Quote of the Day
    "There is nothing like returning to a place that remains unchanged to find the ways in which you yourself have altered."
    Nelson Mandela, posted by Daniel

Mattius_

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Nov 27, 2004
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Hello all, I posted a couple of years ago about some problems and depression I was having. For the most part things have stayed the same but I have not given up hope yet.

I have chosen to talk about my Dad today mainly because he crosses my mind a lot. I live with my Dad now after failing out of college. I still take college courses at my local community college but I have a hard time passing them. I have seriously mixed feelings on the matter because for one, he took me in when I failed out of school. He has spent lots of money helping me go to a psychologist, paying for medical expenses, and loaning me money now and then. On the other hand, I have grown to learn that he is not the hero I thought he was growing up (I did not live with him.) First, he is a textbook case alcoholic. He is retired and he spends most of his time at the bar. I'm not sure if it is the alcohol or the escape of his problems that lures him into the bar but he does indeed spend most of his time there. He lies about how much time he spends down at the bar and he comes home drunk at least a couple times a week. He blames me for his drinking. On top of that, he is a very negative person most of the time. He talks about the negative side of people about 90% of the time. He always criticizes everyone around him but the fact is that he is the saddest individual I have ever known. I cry a lot because of the fact that someone can be such a failure.

Overall I have recently realized that he has lived his whole life and accomplished almost nothing. It really makes me depressed to think that a person can live such a sad life. I get so incredibly angry with his hypocrisy and yet at the same time I feel like if I said to him what I and he know he is that he would be absolutely crushed. I feel sorry for him but also angry at him at the same time. My sister and I have spent a long time trying to get him to quit drinking and to spend more time doing productive things but I have given up. I guess right now I am struggling with the fact that my Dad is going to die an unredeemed failure. The frosting on the cake is that he is controlling, hateful, hypocritical, and in denial of everything he has ever lived for. I just cannot come to terms with a lot of things and I feel like these unresolved feelings are holding me back. I plan on moving out in a couple of months and I contemplate writing a big letter about all of my concerns/problems are with him.
 

adaptive1

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If there is one thing I have learned lately its that you can't control other people. I am very sorry about your dad, but it sounds like you need to save yourself at the moment as hard as that sounds. Maybe you need a plan to move out and figure out what you want to do so you don't have to live in such a negative environment. You could certainly talk to your dad about his drinking and see if that makes a difference but he will only stop drinking if he wants to stop. You could point him in the direction of resources that might help him and let him know you will support him, but at the end of the day, you can't make him take the right path.

I have spent alot of energy trying to get people to see things the way I wanted them too and in the end I caused myself alot of pain because they often never do. Try and figure out what you want in your life and go for it, you being unhappy is not going to help your dad at all.
 

lallieth

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Dec 21, 2007
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Hi Mattius

You cannot help someone that doesn't want help,its pointless.And you while you cannot control his character or behaviour you can control how you react and interact with him.

You are NOT responsible for this drinking.He is a grown man that has made the decision to live a life in a negative,self destructive manner,and will try and place blame on anyone else,rather than have to face his own shortcomings.

I too grew up with a father similiar to yours and realized early on that trying to form a relationship with a man that simply did not care,wasn't worth my time or my energy

The best advice I can give you is to go on and live your life,keep him contact with him but with the idea that you cannot change him.Don't allow yourself to be dragged down,as alcoholics crave company and will go to extreme lengths to bring other's down with them

Do not feel that you "owe" him anything just because he paid for certain things,who you owe is yourself,to lead a good life and happy life
 

Retired

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Mattius,

I would echo the sentiments of the others in that you cannot change someone else's behaviour, only your own... which is why you need to take control of your own destiny.

You may want to check out a local chapter of Al-Anon and Alateen the organization that provides local support to family members of alcohol abusers.

Are you able to live on your own at this time?
 

Mattius_

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Nov 27, 2004
Messages
15
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1
-I plan on moving out in 2 months time. My sister is moving out of the state and I am planning on taking over her apartment.

-I know this is not my fault. It took me a while to realize it but when I started improving in school and got a steady job he still drank. He used to come home and yell at me about failing but now he yells at me about dirty dishes. I see it now.

-I talked to a couple people about his past and apparently he has been a drunk for decades, he just hid it well.

-Last night when I was writing this he got home drunk as hell and then called the bartender where he was drinking and kept asking her to come over and get into the hot tub. The problem here is that he has been in a relationship with someone I would consider my second mother for years and years now. It isn't a huge surprise because he treats her badly anyways but I never realized he was trying to mingle with other women.

-I know that I have to look beyond him and just stop caring but it is a hard thing to do since he has helped me from time to time. Many times he was the only person who was there for me because my mom ran off and got married to some guy in Texas. I still love my mom and I do like my step-dad but she still left me behind and it took me years to accept.

-I dont have many friends and I have zero true friends. Basically my only friend is my sister.

It is just hard right now, but I think I'm getting it now. He was my role model for so many years but only because I didn't live with him and see who he really was. He talks big about morals and doing the right thing but he is truly the most sad human I've ever seen. I could thank him for 10 things but hate him for 100 more. I just have mixed feelings about moving on without him.

If I ever do get a degree should I thank him? Should I honor him? Sometimes I wonder if I should even go to his funeral, and sometimes I think that I owe him for everything...
 

Retired

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I think your analysis of your relationship is quite accurate, in that your father is not all bad, and in some ways perhaps, not all good. But I suppose that might describe all of us.

In your case, there may be some areas where your father's demons have impacted your life in a negative way.

As you grow older, your perspective may change, where the focus shifts from how his negative behaviour impacted you, to a better understanding of the reasons and causes of his behaviors.

Based on your comments, it would seem you have gained some insights into what might have been some of the causes.

By shifting the focus this way, you may find it easier to move on with your own life, excel in your own identity rather than be influenced by your father's own demons.

You really can be your own person.

Don't let his frustration with his own issues hold you back from achieving your own goals, Mattius.
 

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