Serious problem with my father: what should I do?


Ok, before telling you the main problem I should make a summary of what happened until now, thanks for the patience.

Before I was born, my father had a serious problem with alcohol, he was an alcoholic, always at the bar without worrying about how he was dressed or clean, he rarely took a shower. But my mother never gave up on him, and they worked it out together to make him stop drinking, and he did. He went for years in this group of alcoholics with other people, and I remember going there sometimes when I was little, but I never knew why, only now I know.

Well, long story short. After years he returned to drink: at first it was just in the evening before coming home, but it’s been already 5 years since he began again this bad habit, and for us it’s not unusual to see him drank even in the morning. The problem is that when he is sober he is not aware of his issue, and his character is slowly becoming worse. He is dirty, he is always nervous, and I know that he has already a bad character (he is terribly egocentric) but drinking makes him even more touchy (this morning we had a little discussion, and when I returned home he was drunk). My mum doesn’t believe him anymore, so she never give him money or things to do, also he stopped working, and while we’re having a bad period with financial problems, he doesn’t do anything, he just watch tv or sleep.

What should I do?
I admit it, at first I really hated him when he was drunk, so each time he returned home after drinking I never faced him, or I purposely quarreled with him. But I quickly changed, I wanted to accept him, and me and my brother were the only ones in my family that talked to him even when he was drunk, but as I said, things are getting more complicated. He became ill, and even our doctor said to him to do something about his problem, but he doesn’t. He doesn’t work, he doesn’t help us out, he always shut himself in his room, and when he comes out to talk, he always quarrel. I want to help him, but I don’t know what should I do. He’s already 60, and he really has a bad temper.
Thanks for reading this, I really hope that you can help me to solve this problem, thanks..

Category: asked October 14, 2014

3 Answers

I'm so sorry for your troubles. Nobody should ever have to witness this type of self-destruction from a parent. You're in a really tough spot, but you seem to be handling it with a good head on your shoulders. First things first, this is a disease he battling, even all of those years he was sober, he was still fighting for his life day in and day out. A true addiction, of any form, takes a constant struggle to overcome. He may seem like he is oblivious to the circumstances that the family is facing, but I assure you he is not. And him not quitting or helping out is not a sign of him not caring. He is just consumed by the alcohol, by his urge to drink. He is more than likely haunted by the situation he has caused, which leads him to "drown his sorrows" even more because he's already at a point where he feels helpless. I know that this feels unfair... that you and the rest of the family don't deserve this and the fact is, you're right. It's not fair and it's not how our home life should be. I suggest you yourself, or your mom and brother as well, go to AA or AlAnon meetings with or without him. There you will find loads of people in your exact situation. Some who are at the exact same spot as you, some who are in the middle, but also some who have gotten through the dark time. These people will be able to guide you, to give you the advice and support you all need. And I know this also sucks, but maybe you and your brother find part-time work to help your mother out financially. It's not fair that you have to be more responsible than your father, but that's just it. We do what we have to do for our family. In turn, we become better people. You'll be proud of yourself as you get older and who knows, maybe one day your father will wake up and actually see all that you've done to help. Maybe he'll say thank you, maybe he won't. But you will always know you did everything you could. I'm truly sorry for your troubles. I pray that they get better and that life can go back to being easy again soon.
Ok I'm no psychologist but your it sounds to me like your dad is really depressed. If you haven't yet, try to get him to talk to a psychologist. Also get him to go back to AA. He needs your support but he also needs to be stopped (like an intervention). He's not going to wake up one day and say "Today's a good day to stop drinking". He's stuck. Give him a nudge.I really hope you can help him out. I wish you the best of luck and my heart goes out to you and your family.
Thanks for your answers. I read what you wrote here, and I need to specify that he doesn't want help. As i told you, he seems like he's not aware of his problem, and yet deep inside he knows. Whenever my mother asks him to go a psychologist, or to a community for alcholics, he takes it personally, and he get angry (he's too proud, he doesn't even listen to the doctor). The fact is, that in the beginning, I knew for sure that he was drinking because he was depressed, so I used to talk to him a lot when he was drunk, he would tell long stories about his past, but now I'm rarely at home, and when I'm home, he's angry and grumpy, and I don't know what I should do.. it's useless to ask him to go somewhere, he knows that we care about him, but deep inside I'm sure that he thinks we don't give a damn..