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Alcoholic Retired Father

My father's drug of choice is Wallaroo red wine, boxed. He starts at lunch (11am) and will drink consistently until well past 11:30/midnight. His alcoholism has worsened within the past couple of years, after losing two of his oldest friends to Hep C.

I understand he is lonely, being retired and a notable distance away from those he shared many fun memories with (my mother notwithstanding). However, as much as I understand how difficult it is to deal with alcoholism as the individual experiencing it, it's thrusting me deeper and deeper into a hateful and bitter place.

He will accuse me of being a slut, of being stupid and a 'lost cause'. He perpetually threatens to kick me out of the house if my habits don't change. He says I have slimy intentions and need to 'snap out of it' otherwise I'll find myself on the streets.

At times, he can be a very supportive, understanding and pleasant father-figure who complains about the regular things. Sadly, those times are few and far between. He has become a recluse, rarely leaving unless it's to drive my mom to work or give my brother or myself a life to work. Mostly, it's to replenish the wine.

I'm petrified because I recently went on a bender, going out every night with friends or drinking two to three glasses of wine alone in my bedroom. I've recognized the problems that have started sprouting with my drinking and am dealing with them accordingly. It's for this reason that I can see through my father's eyes when it comes to his addiction.

Still, after his last outburst, I began to question how much I really want my father in my life. He's unpleasant, stubborn, angry and refuses to deal with the issue. He claims that he lived his life and now, in retirement, he has every right to sit at home and drink.

He criticizes me and my brother about our academic performance (my brother is in school, I haven't been back in almost 4 years and am finding it difficult to go back without the support of either parent -- though my mother's reasons are honest), he flips when he realizes his logic behind certain actions is wrong ... it's becoming unbearable.

On a good night, he'll laugh and tell (repeat) stories, he'll be genuinely concerned or supportive and reassuring. I'm happy that I have memories of my father before the alcoholism really took over a few years after his retirement.

He complains of constant nausea, forgetfulness and dizziness ... hangover? No, he insists it's his age (67). My grandmother is 89 and in much better shape than him.

This turned into more of a rant than an explanation. I was wondering if anyone else has similar issues.
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replied December 19th, 2011
I'm sure people have similar issues but I'm not one of them. First off, I wouldn't stay in an environment that wasn't healthy - good nights or not.

I'm afraid there's little to be done with a person getting drunk in their own home every night. Having a mother who tolerates this verbally abusive behavior doesn't exactly help. Some mothers obey their spouses out of fear they'll be "put on the streets".

Leaving this negative environment can only have positive results.

Going out on benders only supports the theory that alcoholism runs in the family.

I believe placing yourself in a clean, nurturing environment like your own apartment can and will have a positive effect on your own personal growth.

Perhaps you and your brother can share an apartment. Failing that, perhaps there's a women's safe house in the big city that will take you in and offer some sort of support for getting your life back on track.

Either way, it's a matter of leaving. I'd rather live out of my car than be abused.
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