I cannot cope or dissociate myself from the constant fear of my dad's dying and his disease, any suggestions?

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Hi all, I'm 25, and my dad is 52. He has diabetes, type 2, a depression and psychotic disorder. In reality, all his problems come down to the fact that he has always had alcohol problems. My mom divorced him 4 years okay - it was ugly. My father was abusing my mom psychically and psychologically, he is a very manipulative person. Since the divorce, he lost his job, he has no purpose, he is struggling with diabetes and making it worse with the fact that he doesn't seem to ever want to stop drinking. He'll be fine for a few weeks or months and then has a phase for 2-3 weeks. He doesn't see his faults, he thinks he is a very special, all-knowing person, who is truthful and godly. He still doesn't understand why my mom divorced him, because she's evil and he was always such an exemplary person. He's the most controlling person I know. Two months ago I went to visit him with my little sister (13) and my boyfriend, and when we arrived he was drunk and unpleasant. This never happened before, because he wouldn't invite us when he was drunk -now he doesn't care. I was so embarrassed. Today, I rang him to check how his hospital appointment for diabetes went and he didn't go. He sounded tipsy. He said to me I have no idea how much pain and suffering he has to go through everyday and did so for the past four years, that he is completely lonely and has no-one. To give some context - we all live in the UK, but aren't originally from the UK. I live 50 miles away and as I'm a student. I have only myself to count on and so I visit him every two weeks. He started telling me today how I don't visit him and he is lonely etc and I said I do, but when I do he is drunk and I'm so tired and scared and upset. Each time this happens I am unable to function properly for a few days. See, I have no family here I can count on, so I need to make my own living and in all circumstances count on myself as I have nobody to fall back on. Everyday, I wake up and I'm thinking about my dad dying and I'm so scared that one day I will wake up and he won't pick up the phone because he is dead. I don't know how to help him and what to do anymore. He doesn't listen, because he always knows best. He doesn't understand that anyone else might be suffering too. He likes to say things to make me feel guilty and when I point them out he denies saying them. He told me today 'I'm not perfect and I'm your father, so you have to love me however I am - nice, mean, drunk, sober, horrible, when I shout at you and when I don't, and when I speak you always have to listen because I always speak the truth'. In fact, I think he believes some strange things he tells himself and that's his truth. I don't know what to do and I don't know how to feel better, It's been like this for 4 years and I'm drained. Before then, I was scared of him as a child and a teenager, he was very controlling and manipulative, and now I'm not scared of him, I'm scared for him. I'm just really struggling and don't know how to go about this entire situation.

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Adult Children of Alcoholics saved me before I ended my own life from the insanity of addiction. It helped reframe much of what I was experiencing. It may truly help you
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Dear Orchid92,

I'm very sorry to hear about everything you are going through. There is a lot on your young shoulders. Please know you are not alone. If you can try to look for resources in the community or through church.

My father was a smoker and I tried to get him to stop but he wouldn't. We sometimes forget our parents have made their own choices and they alone will have to live with the consequences. I know in your heart, you want the best for your dad. But he has to be the one to get the help.

Thinking of you.
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Good morning Orchid,
Yes, I have some experience with this. Please, please, please, go online and check out Alan-on. It is an organization for friends and loved ones of alcoholics. There is probably a phone number of a local organization you can call because I believe it is world-wide. Being involved with someone who abuses alcohol or other substances brings with it a unique set of difficulties that I'm sure those caring for loved ones with dementia or Alzheimers can relate to. You can become as crazy as they are! Al-anon helps you to get uncrazy! Please get in touch with them, read some of their literature, take little baby steps toward emotional sanity. There is a whole world of healing available to you. Please let us know how you are. You are welcome to message me privately too.
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Orchid, sadly, your father had made poor choices and continues to make them, while taking out his anger on others. I honestly don't think there's anything you could do, short of getting him into some type of rehab program. But alcoholism at his age isn't easy to cure.

It's a sad fact of life that our friends and relatives don't always do the right things or take care of themselves, and we worry about them but are unable to make the changes.

I don't think there's any way to rationalize his lack of self care, nor is there any way you can change anything. Sometimes we have to just accept, difficult, painful and challenging as it may be, that our loved ones don't make the best decisions, and we often worry about them more than they can possibly understand.

I do think though that problem solving in life is learned at an early age. Some behaviors that deflect analysis of problems and difficulty in finding solutions evade many people for their entire lives. Sometimes life is more than many people can cope with, and they turn to unhealthy behaviors to dull the pain.

I'm sorry I can't offer any good things to say, do, or feel, but know that his decisions were and are his own, not yours, and you bear no responsibility for the lack of good choices in his life.
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