Reading posts about alcoholic parent doesn't seem to cover the problem I'm having. Dad's been an alcoholic for as long as I can remember. After his wife died last year it has gotten worse than it's ever been. He doesn't eat anymore. He lies to his doctors who congratulate him on his weight loss. He lies to me and it's now progressing into abuse. I've been taking care of him from afar by visiting him every month for the last few years. I am a single mom with a full time job. And now the deterioration of my dad is about to snap me in two. His grand plan is to have me abandon my own life and move in with him! It's a thought I can't stomach.. the decay of his life becoming mine... I used to be able to bear his drinking, but lately, with my own stresses, his drunken states of abuse and stumbling and inappropriate behavior and self starvation... are unbearable. I have no one to turn to... I don't expect him to stop drinking, but how long can a person sustain life living this way? It's torture watching him deteriorate.

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This was my struggle too. Vodka was my dads liquor of choice also. He'd drink it straight out of the bottle. When I was a kid, I remember pouring it down the drain and refilling it with water.

My dad was an alcoholic all of my life. He and mom, who was a binge drinker, divorced when I was 5. Mom drank on and off for more years but dad drank constantly. No amount of begging or intimidation worked.
You can't stop an alcoholic from drinking.

In my 20's I went to therapy, therapist told me to stop contact with him. I didn't see him until my mom called and told me he was sick. (They kept in contact.) He would have died of a blood clot in the lung had I not taken him to the hospital.

For the next 2 years, I assisted him in an apartment near me, all the while fighting about the booze. He had a TIA and I moved him to a board and care home. He lived in 4 of them. Somehow he got liquor there too.

Through the years I told him how his drinking had hurt me.
A year before he died, I asked him, if he had it to do all over again, would he do anything different?
No, he'd do everything the same. My pain didn't matter.

Don't get yourself and your child involved with him. You KNOW what this life is all about. Don't subject yourself to it again. Nothing you do is going to change him.

I know how much it hurts. But your dad is an adult, no dementia and therefore can legally make all the stupid decisions he wants.

Somehow my dad lived to 85. He was a smart man who wasted his life drinking. The only thing you can do for him is to be a good mom to your child by not following in his footsteps.

I'm sorry, I know the helpless, heart wrenching emotions you're having. I wish there was a better answer.
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Thank you thank you thank you all for your posts! Every one of you made sense and hit home for me. I feel so much relief knowing that you all understand and care. It has been a lonely road thus far, but now I really feel I am not alone. So many questions and thoughts running through my mind... all I can say is thank you. Your shares are very much appreciated.
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Please join Al Non or see a therapist ASAP. It is to help you deal with this. Your father is jumping off a cliff and he wants you to hold his hand. DON'T !!!!!!!!!!
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You've already got a lot of great advice. I just want to give you a big virtual hug. I'm so sorry you and your family have to go through this. It sucks for everyone involved. Take care of yourself. {{{Hugs}}}
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Guess you have heard it all. There is no way of saving Dad. Take care of yourself and family. There is no way you can't works moving in with him or him with you is not an option. If you value your child's life and sanity concentrate on that for the time being. When things get critical with Dad you can step up and make the necessary arrangements for his care. Note I said make the arangement not step in and pick up the pieces. he has been an alcoholic for so long his liver is probably shot and he will likely become demented if he lives that long. Who needs you most you kid or your Dad. He is incapable of caring about your life in his current condition.
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SimpleLife - I grew up in an alcoholic family too. Al-Anon is the 12 step program for friends and families of alcoholics. I really, really recommend it. You can find a meeting in your area by calling the number for Alcoholics Anonymous in your local white pages.

Also, if you are torn in this situation, don't think of yourself, think of your child/ren. Do you want to put them through experiencing abuse by having to live with this man? I suspect you know the answer to that one. Your first and only obligation in this situation is to protect them from him. And....sorry to be blunt, but this is worth noting, if you put your children in a situation where they will be abused, you may be invoking the wrath of child protective services.
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Stop enabling him.
Report your observations and concerns to his doctor so doctor can ask right questions at dads next visit.
Try to learn as much as possible about his assets so u have some idea of what’s going on
Call social services and request they do a well check because you live long distance.
Not much you can do as dad is an adult and free to make choices even bad ones. Unless doc declares incompetence which they rarely will until pushed by family or social services.
You will never control dad.
You can control your own situation and protect yourself.

My mom hoped I would move and take care of her as well. Never was this my plan and I know it would be disaster.

I had to let her hit bottom. And finally social services documented enough that we got her placed in memory care.

I love mom and sure there was much guilt along the journey but she is in memory care and thriving and my worries and anxiety are over.

Btw, I have estranged brother who I keep informed but he wants no involvement so basically just me and mom for many years.
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Dear SimpleLife,

I'm so sorry to hear about your Dad and how is currently living. He is still your dad and it is sad to see him like this, we as daughters always want something better and different for our parents.

Please consider talking to Adult Protective Services, social worker, family therapist. Maybe there are friends or other family members that might want to consider an intervention. Is rehab an option? Moving a nursing home?

There are options and there is help. For yourself you might want to consider contacting AA for family members and see what resources are out there.

My dad was also very stubborn. I desperately wanted to help too. Sometimes we all just do the best we can. Thinking of you.
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I agree with rwb. Do not fall into his whirlpool of self destruction. If he's an alcoholic and has been your whole life, he's not going to change now. My father was an alcoholic, depressed, bipolar, and hooked on pharmaceuticals when he died (27 years ago). I was once so furious with him that I accused him of being a coward and that if he wanted to kill himself that it would be quicker to use a gun. Of course, that was a horrible, selfish thing to say, but it's how I felt. I was in my 20s and his sole caretaker.
Your dad will die. He wants to die. There is nothing you can do beyond wait for 'the call' from authorities when it happens. You cannot blame yourself for any of it. There is no way, no way, no way that you can do anything to change his behavior. You have to take care of yourself. I know it sounds harsh and uncaring, but he does not want to get better. He misses his wife and life sucks. He's self medicating. Slowly killing himself.
I don't have the answer for "how long". It depends on how much he takes in each day. My suggestion is to stop "watching him deteriorate". Try not to get sucked into any of his drama. If you talk and he gets abusive and heaps guilt your way, say you have to get off the phone. Don't answer your phone when he calls.
I will tell you that you will make peace with all of this one day. Be sure to tell him you love him and that you can't help him if he doesn't want to help himself. That way, nothing goes 'unsaid'.
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I agree with rwbpiano. Do NOT even think of living with him, either in his house or yours. That way lies madness.

I was staying with someone in the hospital, and couldn't help overhearing what was going on in the other bed in the room. The man was an alcoholic and in bad shape. Two young women visited him. One was his daughter and the other was there for morale support. He wanted her to take him home. "No, Dad, I can't." They left soon after. A little while later a nurse came in and scolded him for wetting himself. He should have pressed the button for help. She also told him the discharge planner had found a nursing home bed for him. That did not make him happy. My heart really went out to that poor guy. But I also was 100% in favor of his daughter's decision. Ruining another life would not cure and heal her father.

I knew another family in this situation. One of the daughters took charge of seeing that he had food, throwing out the junk mail and directing her dad to pay bills, cleaning the house. This did not last more than a few weeks. She told him she'd resume the help anytime he was ready for help. Nothing she was doing made a difference. This man drank himself to death. His family (except the local children, who knew what was going on) said he died of a broken heart after cancer took his wife. I guess in a way that was true.

You must protect yourself and follow a healthy path. Your first responsibility is for yourself and your child.

I wonder if it would be a good idea to call his doctor, say you have been visiting regularly but that was going to stop. And maybe call Adult Protective Services. Your father is drinking himself to death. You have been trying to help him for x months but it hasn't helped at all. You don't wish him ill, but there is nothing more you can do. You'd like them to check on him.

I surely do know you are in pain. You need to make rational decisions in spite of that. Not an easy thing at all. Is there someone you would be comfortable talking to, for support? A religious leader? A therapist of some kind? A life coach? You deserve all the support you can get as you go through this.

And come back here. Not many have your precise situation, though some do. And all of us understand emotional pain.
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Simplelife, there are no easy answers, as you likely already know. I can certainly relate to the feeling you expressed that posts concerning alcoholic parents don't seem to cover the problem you are having. When we're catching you-know-what from a declining parent, articles, posts, blogs, etc. can often seem like they are offering catchy, slogan oriented advice that goes nowhere near the pain and drama we are experiencing with our parent.

Whatever you do, do not abandon your life and move in with him. This may sounds harsh, but if someone chooses to kill themselves through alcohol, sometimes the only choice we have it to back off and save ourselves. If you let him, he will take you down with him. As I've had to tell myself often, do your best to take care of your parent, but if they choose a negative life, that's their choice. Sometimes we have to choose to not join them in that, even when they kick and scream about it.
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