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Sun Jun 16, 2013, 01:21 PM

My dad was a drunk, a staggering lush who alienated every person he knew...

He had such promise. When he was blotto he was intolerable but on those rare occasions when he felt comfortable, he could be charming, funny and productive.

I remember him hitting my mother, having fist fights with his sister, who also was a drunk.

There were times when he was charming, engaging and smart, very smart.

He was a man of dreams but never had the ability to stay on task long enough to reap what he had sown.

There was this eight year period when he stopped drinking. He didn't go to AA. He stayed sober by working his ass off to pay my brothers way to John Carrol University.

He was a modern John Henry, trying to compete against the computers that were taking the skill out of the Tool and Di profession.

He finally got a shot at something big. He won a bid to make molds for aluminum casings for X-ray machines. He underbid and over promise but he worked like a man possessed. The tolerance was tight, less than .02 of a millimeter either way. He had to take the blueprints and then calculate by hand, no affordable calculators back then, what he was going to cut the next day.

He stopped drinking.

But when the company making these X-ray needed more molds to be made, they cut my dad out of the bidding process and so he was defeated.

Soon enough, he started to drink again. About three years later I was living with him. I was drinking hard then. I fooled myself that I wasn't an Alcoholic because I didn't drink to oblivion like my dad did night after night...

I got up one day to go to work and I saw my dad passed out on the floor. This was a crucial time in my life. When I came home that night I saw he was still on the floor. He had had a stroke. well, I drank that weekend and showed up to my job drunk. They sent me home and the next day I signed up for AA.

As soon as my dad recovered enough to go home, he started to drink again.

He died shortly after my wedding two years down the road.

I don't have many fond memories of my father but every now and then I am reminded of how he could be but chose not to be, if that makes any sense.

So happy fathers day to all of you dad's out there who take your role seriously but not too serious. Sometime it's just fine to enjoy being every sons first best friend.

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Reply My dad was a drunk, a staggering lush who alienated every person he knew... (Original post)
WCGreen Jun 2013 OP
hedgehog Jun 2013 #1
trueblue2007 Jun 2013 #11
demosincebirth Jun 2013 #2
Liberal_in_LA Jun 2013 #3
raccoon Jun 2013 #4
CaliforniaPeggy Jun 2013 #5
Jim Lane Jun 2013 #6
WCGreen Jun 2013 #35
LuckyLib Jun 2013 #50
Skidmore Jun 2013 #7
Exultant Democracy Jun 2013 #17
Hekate Jun 2013 #38
msedano Jun 2013 #8
MrMickeysMom Jun 2013 #9
Betsy Ross Jun 2013 #10
Faygo Kid Jun 2013 #12
timdog44 Jun 2013 #13
rox63 Jun 2013 #14
malaise Jun 2013 #15
Archae Jun 2013 #16
byronius Jun 2013 #18
duhneece Jun 2013 #21
Spitfire of ATJ Jun 2013 #19
Skidmore Jun 2013 #20
Spitfire of ATJ Jun 2013 #22
Skidmore Jun 2013 #24
Spitfire of ATJ Jun 2013 #25
Skidmore Jun 2013 #29
Spitfire of ATJ Jun 2013 #31
Spitfire of ATJ Jun 2013 #54
LanternWaste Jun 2013 #51
Spitfire of ATJ Jun 2013 #53
lumberjack_jeff Jun 2013 #23
Spitfire of ATJ Jun 2013 #26
Curmudgeoness Jun 2013 #33
Trajan Jun 2013 #34
ProudToBeBlueInRhody Jun 2013 #41
morningfog Jun 2013 #52
lumberjack_jeff Jun 2013 #55
lamp_shade Jun 2013 #27
Lady Freedom Returns Jun 2013 #28
brewens Jun 2013 #30
Douglas Carpenter Jun 2013 #32
pangaia Jun 2013 #36
FairWinds Jun 2013 #37
tavalon Jun 2013 #39
treestar Jun 2013 #40
snot Jun 2013 #42
Nanjing to Seoul Jun 2013 #43
Myrina Jun 2013 #45
H2O Man Jun 2013 #44
AtheistCrusader Jun 2013 #46
Treant Jun 2013 #47
greatlaurel Jun 2013 #48
zwyziec Jun 2013 #49
Lunacee_2013 Jun 2013 #56

Response to WCGreen (Original post)

Sun Jun 16, 2013, 01:42 PM

1. Alcohol can be very damaging. It caused enough distress in my extended family that i was never much

interested. I'm glad you were able to get sober!

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Response to hedgehog (Reply #1)

Sun Jun 16, 2013, 03:09 PM

11. MY father was an alcoholic a also. HE WAS MURDERED BY ONE OF HIS "DRINKING FRIENDS"

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Response to WCGreen (Original post)

Sun Jun 16, 2013, 01:42 PM

2. I'm glad you became a friend of Bill W.

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Response to WCGreen (Original post)

Sun Jun 16, 2013, 01:45 PM

3. glad u didnt go down the same path

 

[

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Response to WCGreen (Original post)

Sun Jun 16, 2013, 01:57 PM

4. I'm glad you found sobriety. My father died of alcoholism when I was a little kid.


I have no fond memories of him. All I remember was a mean, scary, unpredictable man.


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Response to WCGreen (Original post)

Sun Jun 16, 2013, 02:09 PM

5. How sad that he took that path...

I'm so glad you made the different one, the one that saved you from the same fate...



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Response to WCGreen (Original post)

Sun Jun 16, 2013, 02:12 PM

6. Thanks for sharing this.

My late father's last job before retirement was at a shelter for homeless alcoholics. Most of them, of course, became homeless because they were alcoholics. From what he told me, I knew that your story is far from unique -- in fact, your father, while failing in many ways, still managed to do a better job for you and your brother than did some other men with the same affliction.

My father used to grouse about the degree of public attention paid to drug abuse, meaning illegal drugs. His complaint was that the problems from alcohol abuse dwarfed those arising from all the illegal drugs combined. Grandstanding politicians still try to get mileage out of backing the "War on Drugs" while cutting funding for programs that address alcoholism.

My your dad and mine both rest in peace.

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Response to Jim Lane (Reply #6)

Sun Jun 16, 2013, 07:16 PM

35. There is so much damage caused by drinking...

I've been sober since March of 1984.

It wasn't all that hard once I decided to stop. I sure spread my share of misery.

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Response to Jim Lane (Reply #6)

Mon Jun 17, 2013, 01:12 PM

50. Alcohol is truly the most abused drug in this country. Many of us who

are boomers know of grandparents who struggled (and lost) the battle to live life fully, and so many of us have extended family and friends whose lives have been in some way affected by family alcohol abuse. Then you see a thread like this -- and realize how many people navigated their childhood through dysfunctional families that had alcohol as a main player in the mix. Your Dad was right on target -- our legal system cracked down on marijuana, but minimal attention paid to the scourge of alcohol abuse.

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Response to WCGreen (Original post)

Sun Jun 16, 2013, 02:12 PM

7. My dad had a similar story except

add in a diagnosis of paranoid schizophrenia and periods of psychosis or catatonic states. He was extremely abusive towards us. I have spent my entire adult life trying to sort out how I could extract a wee bit of normalcy from all of that chaos. I finally found it in watching my son-in-law parent my grandchildren in a loving and respectful way. I watch them light up and race to the door when he comes homefrom work. I like that they literally will talk to him about anything and he will listen to them attentively. I love that they have no fear of him even when they know they have been naughty and will be receiving a consequence for their disobedience. I like that he laughs with them. I get a glimpse of what a good father is like and am so happy that our young ones will experience such love and kindness firsthand and not have to grow old and watch it from afar to learn about it. I last saw my father nearly fifty years ago. I did not go to his funeral. I never let my children near him. He had hurt me too many times and in too many ways.

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Response to Skidmore (Reply #7)

Sun Jun 16, 2013, 04:01 PM

17. Well you done made me cry.

thanks

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Response to Skidmore (Reply #7)

Sun Jun 16, 2013, 09:16 PM

38. You are blessed with an open heart that allows you to be happy in others' happiness

"I finally found it in watching my son-in-law parent my grandchildren in a loving and respectful way."

It is a rare thing.

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Response to WCGreen (Original post)

Sun Jun 16, 2013, 02:16 PM

8. view from the west coast

http://labloga.blogspot.com/2013/06/to-best-bad-dad-in-world-tribute-to-my.html

Broken, damaged dads have wrought such pain and anger out of what should have been a joyous relationship.



This is for fathers day. Exiting the grocery store, I looked across the hot blacktop to the parking lot, remembered which aisle I'd parked in, and headed there. I spot a man kneeling next to a wheelchair. There's a teenaged boy seated. The man talks and smiles to the boy--this is what love looks like, I tell myself--then the man leans in and kisses the boy's forehead. As I walk alongside their van, the man has lifted the boy out of the wheelchair, cradling him like an infant, and is approaching the passenger door. "Do you need any help?" I ask the man. He turns with a smile and tells me he's doing all right, and thanks. Thanks to you, I whisper. Happy fathers day, gentle men.

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Response to WCGreen (Original post)

Sun Jun 16, 2013, 02:17 PM

9. Thank you for sharing this story... There for the grace of (insert) go we...

I can't always predict how and when I learn about life, but you helped me today.

Happy Father's Day to all...

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Response to WCGreen (Original post)

Sun Jun 16, 2013, 03:04 PM

10. My dad was a wonderful educator

whose goal in life was to learn as much as he could. He also abused me.

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Response to Betsy Ross (Reply #10)

Sun Jun 16, 2013, 03:19 PM

12. Wow. Take care.

I couldn't imagine such a thing with my own daughter. Not sure what to say, except take care of yourself.

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Response to WCGreen (Original post)

Sun Jun 16, 2013, 03:29 PM

13. I'm sure he had problems

that no one knew about. Not making any excuses. People pick a poison for reason unknown to most people. The fact that he was charming when sober means there was potential and a good man hiding from something. I am sorry you had to have this experience. Alcohol is a dangerous poison to lots of people. Good things to you.

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Response to WCGreen (Original post)

Sun Jun 16, 2013, 03:37 PM

14. My Dad was also a drunk with a lot of unrealized potential

He was the first member of his family to go to college. He ended up with a masters degree, and was an English teacher when he was able to hold down a job for an extended period, which wasn't all that often. Very smart, well-read, quite witty when he wasn't slobberingly drunk. Since he was the only child of my psychotic grandmother, I have a slight idea of the hell he must have endured growing up. I've thought for a long time that he was trying to self-medicate with alcohol. He finally got sober at the age of 62, when his doctor said he'd be dead in a few weeks if he kept drinking. Two years after getting sober (without AA or counseling, I'm sorry to say), he died of a brain hemorrhage when he suffered a burst aneurysm. During that short time of sobriety, he made some good progress in repairing his relationships with me, my mother and my brother. That was over 16 years ago. Mom still occasionally curses at the heavens for taking him from her when things were just starting to get better between them.

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Response to WCGreen (Original post)

Sun Jun 16, 2013, 03:41 PM

15. Sometimes I wonder if addicts really have choices

Most can't help themselves.

Happy Fathers Day

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Response to WCGreen (Original post)

Sun Jun 16, 2013, 03:52 PM

16. My Father wasn't a drunk, but he was bad.

I mean racist, viciously anti-Semitic, had to be "The Authority" in charge of everything.

He was very competent too, in older electronics, plumbing, carpentry, etc.

He was also German-Russian, so he got a lot of guff from the "pure Germans" about the stereotypes of German-Russians.
Lazy, dishonest, the works.

Yet his hatred of anyone not white was horrible.
He wasn't the Ku Klux Klan type, he was the "Keep them out of *MY* neighborhood" types.

He died three years ago, and I've got a lot closer to my Mom since then.

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Response to WCGreen (Original post)

Sun Jun 16, 2013, 04:18 PM

18. Ah, a thread after my own heart.

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Response to byronius (Reply #18)

Sun Jun 16, 2013, 04:35 PM

21. "There's a hole in everyman's soul the exact shape & size of their father" said someone, some time.

The 'ghosts' of our fathers....sigh

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Response to WCGreen (Original post)

Sun Jun 16, 2013, 04:24 PM

19. For some of us, Father's Day is NOT all about daddy being a role model...

 

It's an occasion to want to tell the folks who talk about how wonderful their life is thanks to their dad to STFU.

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Response to Spitfire of ATJ (Reply #19)

Sun Jun 16, 2013, 04:30 PM

20. I have never wanted to tell someone who has been

fortunate enough to have a great father to STFU. I do tell them to cherish that relationship and be thankful that they never had to experience a bad father. If anything, it makes me wonder how different my life could have been had that guidance and loving support been a part of it.

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Response to Skidmore (Reply #20)

Sun Jun 16, 2013, 04:45 PM

22. Try having your dad dump your mom for a hotter model and skip out on child support,...

 

....then have a mom who never dated again and slip into deep depression and alcohol and then find out later your dad became wealthy (as in millions) before he died. Then the ultimate insult, to read in the funeral announcement that he was well known and respected in the community. He was a member of the Elks Club, the Rotary Club, the Chamber of Commerce, etc. and he was described as a WWII Vet even though he was born in 1936 and was 9 when the war ended.

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Response to Spitfire of ATJ (Reply #22)

Sun Jun 16, 2013, 04:49 PM

24. I'm sorry he caused you so much pain.

See my post farther up the thread. So many people have lived with bad fathers, myself included. I just find myself living in the present and very aware that if I let the past dictate how I live my life now, I will continue that pain and pass it on to others. The cycle stops with me.

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Response to Skidmore (Reply #24)

Sun Jun 16, 2013, 05:49 PM

25. Trust me, once I decided to look to friends to be my family it got better.

 

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Response to Spitfire of ATJ (Reply #25)

Sun Jun 16, 2013, 06:04 PM

29. You find family where you are able to.

It is a healthy way to substitute for dysfunction. There is a book that I read long ago entitled "The Invulnerable Child" that dealt with the factors that contribute to children who have grown up in dysfunctional families and yet were successful adults. One of those factors was having a healthy relationship with a mentor from outside of the family. I can attest to how important a couple of teachers were to me and who taught me that beyond the narrow sliver of the crazy world I inhabited there was a whole world of possibilities. They gave me the feedback that I was worth something--I was of value.

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Response to Skidmore (Reply #29)

Sun Jun 16, 2013, 06:16 PM

31. Really? Wanna adopt me?

 

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Response to Skidmore (Reply #20)

Mon Jun 17, 2013, 03:00 PM

54. There's a post on here telling people to stop bashing the guy who paid their tuition....

 

....as if it's a universal given that daddy always does that.

I'm reminded of "The Breakfast Club" where the tough guy's dad gets him a carton of cigarettes for a Christmas present.

Sometimes no dad is better.

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Response to Spitfire of ATJ (Reply #19)

Mon Jun 17, 2013, 01:20 PM

51. I imagine that hearing the wonderful lives others may live may indeed,

I imagine that hearing the wonderful lives others may live may indeed, bring out the petulant school child in all of us. I suppose there are those that will rationalize the petulance to themselves, and others who will sooner or late admit its ineffectual peevishness for what it is.

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Response to LanternWaste (Reply #51)

Mon Jun 17, 2013, 02:44 PM

53. Then there are those who enjoy flaunting their superior status.

 

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Response to WCGreen (Original post)

Sun Jun 16, 2013, 04:49 PM

23. I have a suggestion.

 

How about we officially proclaim the third Monday in June as "Rant about my bad, no good, horrible scumbag father, day"?

If there were a day dedicated to this topic, then perhaps people wouldn't feel the need to use the third Sunday in June as an opportunity to express their horrible soul-crushing angst, and how they learned in college that the guy who paid its tuition is to blame for it.

Let's go a step further. How about we proclaim every day other than the third Sunday in June? One day. One stinking day. That's all we ask.

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Response to lumberjack_jeff (Reply #23)

Sun Jun 16, 2013, 05:50 PM

26. We already do that on Festivus.

 

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Response to lumberjack_jeff (Reply #23)

Sun Jun 16, 2013, 06:33 PM

33. It's not our fault that we are forced to endure

all the "wonderful father" stories on the third Sunday in June. There are two sides to this coin. Some of us don't have good memories, but we are inundated with reminders of our fathers.

Just be forgiving of the ones who don't want to be reminded. You don't have to read the "bad dad" stories.

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Response to lumberjack_jeff (Reply #23)

Sun Jun 16, 2013, 06:40 PM

34. How bout no?

 

I'm not surprised that one DUer is trying to Lord it over the others .... fuck that ... what you are saying, essentially, is "SHUT UP!", which should not be respected ...

It's Father's Day, and many fathers simply do not deserve to be honored on that day, and so they are not ...

Like it or not: Bad fathers should be discussed on Father's Day, and they will be ...

Nobody made you stop and read this thread ... you are free to ignore it, but your plea to SHUT UP will be disregarded, with prejudice ...

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Response to lumberjack_jeff (Reply #23)

Sun Jun 16, 2013, 11:24 PM

41. Every holiday, even the manufactured ones, is a chance for someone to shit on other people's joy

THAT is a DU holiday in of itself.

MLK day: You still haven't done enough to fell good about yourself, racist assholes.

Valentine's Day: You are a fucking mark for the flower and candy industry.

Flag Day: YOU FASCIST FUCK YOUR FLAG WAS MADE IN CHINA I BET!

4th of July: Fuck America!

Memorial Day/Veteran's Day: Warmongering fucktards do not deserve any honors.

Christmas: XTian oppressors worshiping a fat man in a red suit....FUCK YOU!

Thanksgiving: Enjoy your turkey, you Native American hating bird murderer.

New Year's Day: Enjoy getting drunk, last year sucked and this year will be worse.

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Response to lumberjack_jeff (Reply #23)

Mon Jun 17, 2013, 01:44 PM

52. I think you missed the point of the OP due to your chip.

 

I read the OP as an honest rememberance of their father. The OP learned much from his father, but positive and negative example. Humans are complex and not all good or all bad. I find much more value in a nuanced and balance story like the OP's than in a rosey-only story. It is more real and deeper.

You read an attack on men, as you so often do. Re-read the OP with the invaluable lessons that were taught directly and indirectly in mind.

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Response to morningfog (Reply #52)

Mon Jun 17, 2013, 03:55 PM

55. The same can't be said for the replies, nor in all probability, the recommends.

 

The apparent entry point to liberalism for most DU'ers is hating ones father. For some, I think that is the defining characteristic.

You will never, ever, ever, ever see a thread like this on Mothers day.

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Response to WCGreen (Original post)

Sun Jun 16, 2013, 05:57 PM

27. Your last sentence is beautiful. It choked me up.

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Response to WCGreen (Original post)

Sun Jun 16, 2013, 05:58 PM

28. At least it was due to the drinking.

Mine has no such excuse! He is just greedy and mean.

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Response to WCGreen (Original post)

Sun Jun 16, 2013, 06:13 PM

30. I had a great dad that was a "drinking man". There was always booze and beer

in the house. He probably drank something almost every day of his life. I remember fishing beers out of the cooler for him going down the road on fishing trips. I don't remember a single bad incident over his drinking though. My brother, sister and I remember some fights but not what they were about.

Some alcoholism is learned behavior I'm sure. I know a couple guys that swore they would never be like their drunk dad but couldn't be a bigger chip off the ol' block if they tried. They just can't see it. You can also learn good drinking behavior though. I probably drank a little more than my dad. For 30 years. Not once was I cut off or kicked out of a bar. No DUI's or accidents nor any domestic violence. I quit because I spent too much money on it and the hangovers were becoming too harsh.

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Response to WCGreen (Original post)

Sun Jun 16, 2013, 06:24 PM

32. my dad was "eccentric" - to be polite ------- CRAZY to be honest

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Response to WCGreen (Original post)

Sun Jun 16, 2013, 07:26 PM

36. My father was an alcoholic.

But nowhere near the situation you describe, even though he died from alcohol. I didn't know he was an alcoholic until I was in college. He and my mother both supported whatever I wanted to do and both worked hard for my sister and I.

He died in 1977, one year after my mother died of cancer... and I suspect running out of strength. He was 66. She was 63.
I can tell you what I did. Starting about 12 years after they died. I 'carried my father' on my left shoulder. And I 'carried' my mother on my right shoulder, for about one year, every day, every minute that I could remember to do it. This helped me. But more important, I believe it helped them.

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Response to WCGreen (Original post)

Sun Jun 16, 2013, 08:25 PM

37. My Dad Was Awol . .

 

when I was growing up for a lot of reasons . .
But what I would like to do here is give a huge shout-out to
all the gents and ladies who so readily stepped up to take his place.
I tried to be a good "Dod" (cartoon reference) to my kids, never bailed on them
like my own dad did.

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Response to WCGreen (Original post)

Sun Jun 16, 2013, 10:09 PM

39. It's strange, I just picked up a brochure talking about the stages of acceptance

that family members have to go through and one of them included understanding that while there is choice in the first drink, for the alcoholic, after the first drink, it's a disease not a choice.

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Response to WCGreen (Original post)

Sun Jun 16, 2013, 10:31 PM

40. My father quit drinking in mid 30s

Became a loud mouthed born again Christian, which seemed worse to me!

Basically he's been an angel since I became an adult.

People are so imperfect.

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Response to WCGreen (Original post)

Mon Jun 17, 2013, 12:00 AM

42. I think alcohol is far more addictive than most people realize,

at least for those susceptible to it.

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Response to WCGreen (Original post)

Mon Jun 17, 2013, 08:57 AM

43. my father was a nasty, abusive asshole to both my brother and me

 

belittling, condescending, psychological dominating and physically abusive.

It took a long time to get his weight off my back, but I did by punching him out. Screw him on father's Day, and the other 364 days of the year.

Mom was not much better, except she was passive-aggressive in her abuse, not physical.

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Response to Nanjing to Seoul (Reply #43)

Mon Jun 17, 2013, 09:51 AM

45. There must be a symbiosis there ...

... my dad was very similar to yours, and my mom was very passive-aggressive as well.
I wonder if it's their way of "dealing" with the abusive/alcoholic spouse.

I never got to punch my dad but on Father's Day in 1998, 5 years after he died and a week before I left the town I grew up in, I visited them both at the cemetery and I forgave him, because he came from a long line of abusive drunks so didn't know any better. That was the start of my healing. It's happened in fits n' starts over the years but I don't think those long-ingrained spiteful, demeaning messages he lobbed at my siblings and I will ever be completely erased.


Take care.

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Response to WCGreen (Original post)

Mon Jun 17, 2013, 09:34 AM

44. Rec. for "family systems"

Powerful OP. Thank you for this.

I hope it's okay for me to add my two cents.

It is good to examine the characteristics of individuals within a system. There are also some potential benefits to stepping back, and looking at the system itself. One example of what I mean has to do with your Dad -- and hundreds like him -- within a system.

Do they cause pain? Of course: it cannot be otherwise, for they are in pain, and thus channel pain. Yet, in a larger sense, which is not visible in a snapshot in time, it is often true that one person must be weak, in order for another (or others) to become strong.

Your Dad did his best to sacrifice himself for your brother's education. He gave up his weakness -- which was his identified pain-release -- for his child. That he did this is what is significant; less so is that he came to believe he "failed" because the larger machine failed him. Or that the bottle then began to consume him.

Likewise, his "weakness" led directly to your strength. Remember that always, my Friend. And always remember the Power of Forgiveness ..... which allows us to learn that in this cycle of our systems, that one person's weaknesses are not to be held in contempt, any more than another person's strengths are to be held in awe. For we are all both weak and strong -- that is the human experience.

Your Dad loved you. He did the best he could, even if it rarely felt that way then, or since. But trust me on this one: he was willing to sacrifice himself, in the larger sense, for you and those he loved.

Peace unto you, my Friend,
H2O Man

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Response to WCGreen (Original post)

Mon Jun 17, 2013, 11:23 AM

46. A lot of that sounds like my experiences.

My dad was a bit more successful maybe, as a provider, but also a bit more abusive (unless there is more to your story.). My dad drank and smoked his way through Chemo. Needless to say, he didn't make it long after the cancer was gone. He had given up, I think.


For some reason, I didn't inherit the physical desire, or cultural desire to drink, so I got lucky there. I'm glad you chose to get help, and I hope it holds for you over the long haul.

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Response to WCGreen (Original post)

Mon Jun 17, 2013, 12:20 PM

47. These always make me sad

It's horrible your father was that way.

Mine was...well, neutral, really, so I guess I was fortunate. Protective but not very giving and not at all affectionate. We never had terribly much in common, but there were no major issues. We spent most of our relationship circling around each other somewhat uncomfortably, but there were no blow-ups or severe problems.

If that's the worst thing I can say about my parents (and it is), I consider myself fortunate.

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Response to WCGreen (Original post)

Mon Jun 17, 2013, 12:41 PM

48. Parenting is the most difficult human behavior to do really well.

We are all products of our environment, genetics and epigenetics. In my opinion, my parents did a great job, especially considering the horrific tragedies they both experienced throughout their lives. A couple of my siblings are less kind to our parent's legacies, but they also have alcohol problems which prevents them from truly understanding what our parents did for us. The funny thing is the older siblings had a lot more attention and material goods such as swimming lessons, doctor and dentist visits. I was preschool to elementary school when the financial, personal, and health disasters really started rolling through my family. My parents stayed together and supported each other through one nightmare after another; cancer, serious accidents, weird illnesses and major financial setbacks. We became truly impoverished, luckily we lived on a farm we never went hungry. My dad was a wizard with raising plants and animals.

Both my dad's brothers had serious problems with alcohol abuse which lead to much heartbreak. My parents had the strength and wisdom to choose differently. My personal opinion is alcoholism is genetic for many people, but can be acquired by some, not genetically predisposed, if they really work at it.

So many people have terrible memories of their parents who had alcohol problems. The cost to all of us from this dread disease is incalculable for society and families. I honor the memory of my dad, because he had the strength to face all the problems that came his way clear eyed and sober. He was a survivor. No one could fault him for finding release in a bottle. He never did. He taught me to find something to take joy in every day. This could be the love he had for my mother and his children, a good story or joke, or something of beauty in nature.

However, the most important thing he did was he worshiped the ground my mother walked on. That may be his greatest legacy.

My heart goes out to you who do not have good memories of your parents and I hope you can find a little joy everyday to help you in your healing.

Peace.





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Response to WCGreen (Original post)

Mon Jun 17, 2013, 01:10 PM

49. My Dad sent me to John Carroll and was an alcoholic as well

I probably come from the same generation. I look back at my family in Newburg Heights, Cleveland and see people who suffered through the depression, and the second world war, and the economic collapse, who were not college educated, worked their asses off and only had alcohol to escape from their boring, lack of opportunity lives.

Whose wages were stagnant, who had a house but not much else. Who were the true working poor.

Whose lives were lived in "quiet desperation".

Your Dad and my Dad did the best they could. They worked, struggled and fought their demons. They couldn't take vacations.

But in my family, when they drank, they sang! All the old depression songs. I love them all and think of them often.

Thanks for sharing this. God bless all Dads! As imperfect as they may be.

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Response to WCGreen (Original post)

Tue Jun 18, 2013, 01:05 AM

56. I can relate.

My dad is the same way. Alcohol and bi-polar disorder do not mix well. He's really cut back on his drinking, but he still has problems with his anger. Like your father, he can be incredibly hard-working, smart, and kind when he's sober and taking his meds, but when he falls off the wagon...I just can't be around him. I know that sometimes his bi-polar disorder gets the better of him, but it's kind of hard to be around someone when you just know that a screaming match is right around the corner. However, to his credit, he has been working on it lately. For the past couple of years money's been kinda tight around here and that stresses him out, but he hasn't gone back to the bottle in quite awhile. He has a lot of issues with his side of the family too and he works at a similar type of job that your father did, so I can completely understand your post and how you feel.

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