I don’t normally talk about family stuff on here, but this situation has really been bothering me, so I decided to share. My dad is an alcoholic. He always has been. Growing up around him was not overly pleasant- he had a really bad temper and just couldn’t handle the day-to-day fatherly duties. He usually worked out of town, so he was only really home on the weekends. My brother and I were always asking my mom to divorce him (we were probably around 6 and 7 at the time… that’s pretty bad!) because it was stressful being around their constant fighting. They divorced when I was 12, and it was a welcome change. My mom has always been a single parent in my eyes because of how he was.
I don’t feel slighted for not having a dad that was involved in my life because my mom was SO involved in our lives, and did a great job raising three kids on her own. He didn’t pay child support for YEARS and owes my mom thousands and thousands of dollars. All that being said, I still love my dad and tried to continue a relationship with him. However, we’d make plans with him and he’d blow us off and cancel them because he was “sick” all the time. Recently, over the past few years, he has started to forget entire conversations with us kids. He’d call us, we’d talk, then he’d call back the next day and repeat everything he already said because he didn’t remember even talking to us. I am assuming this is because he was either drunk or the drinking has affected his memory.
I emailed my aunt, his sister, before Knox was born to tell her I was concerned about his memory issues. She was very relieved I had mentioned it to her because they (his family) had been worried about him for a long time, but he won’t listen to anyone, of course. He also thought we didn’t know… yeah right, it’s kind of obvious. I planned on having a discussion with him about it. But, after pregnancy issues, time went on without that talk occurring. Then, Knox was born. And my dad showed up drunk to the hospital to see him for the first time. That was really the last straw for me. It completely disgusted me. He put on a show in the waiting room, crying and acting all emotional about his new grandson. Really, he just wanted attention. He loves to talk about how much he loves us and how great we are when it’s convenient for him to look like a good father. He had nothing to do with how any of us turned out, as far as I’m concerned. My mom talked to him at that point, he said he’d been talking to an addiction specialist and had been getting a shot once a week to help him quit (the shot makes him sick if he drinks). We were happy to hear this, hoping things would turn around.
A few days later, he called me and wanted to come see Knox. I said okay, he just had to drop my grandmother off at the beauty salon for a perm, first. He called back thirty minutes later saying she’d finished early and would come back another day. Shady. Turns out, he was lying. My grandmother called me later that night, wondering if I’d seen him because he never picked her up that day. I hadn’t. He was in jail. He got arrested for DUI. Honestly, I thought it served him right, it’s so dangerous to drive drunk, he was putting his own life and everyone else’s at risk. After getting out, his license was temporarily suspended. He has been staying with my grandmother here in town (he lives out of town) since he can’t leave on his own.
Several days passed when I got an email from my aunt. Basically, my dad had been violently ill (I’m guessing withdrawal?) for days and my grandmother can’t handle taking care of him anymore because she’s older. My aunt told me “you kids need to take responsibility for your dad.” Uhm…. No? How exactly is it my job as the child to take care of the parent? And one that never took care of me to begin with? If this was my mom, sure, no questions asked. But that’s not the case. He needs to put himself in rehab if he can’t get sober on his own. I have no patience for his constant sob stories and need for sympathy. He drank. He drove. He deserved to get arrested! I don’t feel sorry for him!
I emailed her back and pretty much told her that aside from giving him a ride to rehab, I am not going to have anything further to do with this. What a shock, I didn’t hear back from her. He did a great job playing the role of awesome dad to his family, so they don’t realize what a horrible father he was to us growing up. I told her a little bit, but I don’t think she gets it.
Now, my grandmother calls me yesterday to give him a ride to his attorney’s office. Am I absolutely horrible for saying no? I don’t see how it’s my job to clean up his mess. I have honestly tried to give him my forgiveness, but he has abused it over and over again. I am so frustrated with this, and I don’t see how he can act like he’s this great father and that I should be oh-so-willing to help him with whatever he needs. I think it’s ridiculous.
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