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Forums / PTSD & Trauma / My alcoholic father

Topic: My alcoholic father

7 posts, 0 answered
  1. Puppies
    blueVoices member
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    Puppies avatar
    86 posts
    11 July 2019

    I hope this is the right space to post this.

    For as long as I can remember, my dad has been an alcoholic.

    When he drinks, he becomes loud, he yells, he takes everything out on my mum, he says mean things, and he slams doors. This is ‘normal’ to me. It’s how things always have been. It’s really affecting my anxiety.

    My partner and I live away, but if I’m not with my parents I spend all my time worrying about how my dad is treating my mum. When I am at my parents home, I spend all my time anxious about when he’s next going to yell at my mum.

    I was anxious last night and had difficulty sleeping while with my partner. I woke up at 2am, and texted my mum at 3am asking if she was ok. Because my dad is in a mood again and has been yelling at my mum. I couldn’t get to sleep again for a couple of hours, because I had a bad feeling as to why she hadn’t replied the night before. When she responded at 9am this morning she told me my dad had argued/yelled at her from 10pm-3am when he went to bed.

    I spoke to someone a week ago on BeyondBlue chat, and also 1800Respect live chat. They both said it was domestic violence, which I hadn’t considered before. I know what he does isn’t right, but I hadn’t considered it to be abusive until now. But it is.

    Now that i have this information I’m not sure what to do to stop it. My mum told me my brother has been trying to stand up to him but then my dad told my mum he wanted my brother to die. I feel like they hate each other.

    Living with my parents or living away and not knowing what’s going on brings me anxiety. I have no other options! I don’t know what to do!

  2. Peter0LX
    Peter0LX avatar
    7 posts
    12 July 2019 in reply to Puppies

    Hello Puppies.

    That's a good start to recognize your father's behaviour towards your Mum as abuse and to bring your feelings about the problem into the open.

    I understand the children of an alcoholic can be seriously affected by witnessing abuse of the other parent, by direct abuse themselves and typically by chronic abandonment by the alcoholic parent. So it's important to consider this and probably get therapy yourself which will put you in a position to be of better help your Mum and sibling in the long run.

    It sounds like it might be important for your Mum's and brother's safety and wellbeing for them to get away from her alcoholic husband, at least until he gets treatment, or get away permanently if he doesn't get treatment. This is a serious matter. There is no point in having three additional people, your Mum, your brother and you, more hurt than they need to be because of reluctance to get themselves out of the firing line. If your father is to be helped, if has to be by people who are functioning at their best, not people cowed by his abuse.

    Regards, Peter0LX

    1 person found this helpful
  3. Puppies
    blueVoices member
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    Puppies avatar
    86 posts
    12 July 2019 in reply to Peter0LX

    Hi Peter0LX,

    Part of the issue is that my mum doesn’t have anywhere to go. She’s studying and doesn’t have a job.

    I was talking to her yesterday and she said that this is her house too, and if she leaves for a while and then chooses to come back that my dad might tell her that she made her choice and she can’t go back.

    I don’t know what options we have. He blames my mum for ‘ruining everything’. In April 2017 he went to a hospital and stayed for a few weeks specifically to get help with his alcoholism. It was Easter weekend and he wanted us to visit but we didn’t. It’s not something we can change now, but he hasn’t let it go. We’ve discussed it as a family and I’ve told him that nothing can be done now and continuously getting mad about it changes nothing.

    But he keeps bringing it up, he rants for hours about things. Even things that aren’t even my mums fault, such as things on TV, advertisements, things other people do, he takes it out on my mum for hours.

    Ive been home since yesterday at about 3pm and now it’s Friday at 6pm, and I haven’t seen him leave the bedroom. I don’t even know if he knows I’m home. He’s not even angry at me for anything but he hates my brother and is often angry at my mum.

  4. Soberlicious96
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    Soberlicious96 avatar
    247 posts
    12 July 2019 in reply to Puppies

    Dear Puppies,

    Well done for reaching out with your concerns about your Dad and his behavior. I can't begin to imagine what it must be like to have an alcoholic parent .... but I do know what it was like for me to have an alcoholic/addicted sibling. I am the youngest of three children and my middle sibling was the addicted one. I often felt as though things could be great one minute, and truly awful the next, with no warning or even any apparent reasonable 'trigger' for her moods and behavior. She would go missing for months at a time, with no contact, and then just turn up as if nothing had happened. I lost count of the number of times, in her active addiction, that she told me she wished I had never been born, that I was the biggest pain in her .... she ever had. I felt like I was walking on egg shells .....

    I am pleased to say that she did get help and has now been clean for some 24+ years! We now have a great relationship and I am proud to call her my sister. But without help, we would not be where we are today.

    And while you may not be able to do anything about, or for your Dad, you can do something for yourself. I would like to suggest that you contact an organization called Al-Anon, which is a fellowship for those who are affected by someone else's drinking. The number for Al-anon is 1300 252 666 and the link for the website is here:

    https://www.al-anon.org.au/

    I do hope that helps a little. I know that Al-anon helped me tremendously and I will be forever grateful. It was there that I found people who understood without judgement. In the meantime please feel free to check in and post here as much as you like. I will be thinking of you. xo

    1 person found this helpful
  5. Peter0LX
    Peter0LX avatar
    7 posts
    12 July 2019 in reply to Puppies

    Dear Puppies,

    I think your Mum, your brother and you need to nut out a plan for your Mum's short term protection. She probably has to get out of the firing line for a while in order to recover enough to get started on the road to the life she deserves.

    Regarding the house your Mum shares with your father: If they are the owners, normally the title deed will protect your Mum's share. If they are renting, I guess things ought to be simpler in most cases. How much can an seriously ill alcoholic contribute to the rent anyway? A social work organization should be able to give you a realistic assessment of your Mum's legal position with respect to the home. No harm in asking.

    Too much emotional investment in your alcoholic father at this point in time does not seem like a good idea. I think the only practical option is to heal yourself first, your Mum and your bother second and your father last.

    Regards, Peter0LX

    1 person found this helpful
  6. Puppies
    blueVoices member
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    Puppies avatar
    86 posts
    12 July 2019 in reply to Soberlicious96

    Hi Soberlicious96,

    Your response was very helpful and non-judgemental. It has been recommended to me previously by people on other websites that I contact Al-anon. Thank you for the phone number and the website. I will use them.

    And yes things definitely go from fine one minute to terrible the next. I need stability. I often find that if things are finally good with my partner, that things turn to s*** in my family, or vice versa. My life is a constant ‘bout’ of anxiety. There’s only so much I can do to help myself.

    thank you again for your response - puppies x

  7. Puppies
    blueVoices member
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    Puppies avatar
    86 posts
    12 July 2019 in reply to Peter0LX

    Hi Peter0LX,

    I think I understand your response. I’m unsure of the details, but they do own the house.

    My dad is successful. He has had a good job for a long time (good - meaning that he earnt good money), but he’s recently been made redundant. Now he is unemployed. And I do not know if he is looking for a job. That bothers me a bit.

    I just struggle the most with my anxiety about it all. My partner is trying to be supportive, but it’s a situation he is unfamiliar with (his parents are still together and I don’t hear them ever argue; also neither of them are alcoholics).

    I just need the anxiety to go away. I wish I was strong enough to ask my dad what the issue is, and to tell him that yelling about it isn’t going to solve anything. I wish I could tell him that his depression is being made worse with the alcohol. I wish I could make him stop taking things out on my mum and trust that things were ok when I’m not here and when I’m with my partner. But I can’t.

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