This patient support community is for loved ones of people who drink and are trying to quit for discussions relating to abuse, behavioral issues, caring for yourself, counseling, divorce and separation, enabling, guilt, and when to get medical help.
I don't know if anyone's following, because I don't hear replies, but I'm desperate to talk to someone.
I'm 16, almosty 17, and I'm in high school right now. I live at home, with my mom, dad, and two little sisters (twins) Kelly and Shannon.
I've posted before about how my dad drinks and starts fights with my mom.
My dad has bipolar. I think my little sister and myself have it, too, but my mom won't take us to get evaluated because she's afraid that we do. Addiction is common on my dads side, too, and once a doctor even proved that suseptibility to be genetic, and made stronger by the bipolar, hence my mom's fear.
With all this, I'm really careful when my doctors give me medications (which isn't easy with all my medical problems). It's hard to watch my parents going back and forth all the time, usually over nothing. They'll be doing dinner, and all of the sudden they're fighting AGAIN. It's not one or the others fault, it's both. My dad knows he's bipolar, but he won't even go in to talk to a psychologist (no drugs, just talking, and he said no). He also knows he shouldn't drink and went through AA, but as soon as he got home, he picked up the damn bottle again. Then you have my mom, who won't listen worth a darn about mental illness and can't just shut her mouth when my dad is in a bad mood. She's also not helping with the alcohol, because she always just rolls her eyes or grunts, which pisses off my dad and causes him to drink more, instead of her voicing her opinion.
It makes me mad because we can rarely have people over, go anywhere, or even have a nice dinner without fighting or alcohol. They're always in a bad mood, so my sisters and I usually end up in a room that's anywhere but where our parents are, just to avoid the arguing. All this arguing makes Shannon---who is special needs---angry or upset, so then I have to listen to them fight about how to handle her, as well. Then they'll explode about each other almost immediately afterwards to me, and it drives me crazy!
I've sworn off alcohol forever. My parents have let me have little sips of wine and things like that (obviously I'm a minor, so I don't drink) but even the sight of alcohol makes me cringe. I'm starting to worry for my mental health, because I've found that I can't date anyone. The thought makes me flinch. All I can think about it, "My relationship is going to end up just like my parents". I don't want any children I ever have to be around that kind of fighting and stress, and I find that I just don't want anything to do with any kind of romantic or sexual relationship whatsoever. My little sister's are also suffering. Shannon's problems aren't getting any better, and Kelly is starting to explode at people by punching or yelling instead of handling things like a normal person.
I feel bad writing like this, venting. It's not like it's anyone's burden but my own. And there are good times, when my dad is in a good mood or not drinking. Or when my mom decides to just keep her trap shut. (Which isn't easy, because she's extemely opinionated and won't shut up to save her life). We've never been beaten or sweared at; the only times we've been yelled at are when we deserve it, I guess. This is my problem, I get so conflicted that I don't know what to do.
The saddest part is how I see my dad slipping. His dad, my grandpa, was a violent drunk. He would beat his children and my grandma, and he would explode with rage. We think he has bipolar too. The different is, now my grandpa is sober, though he and my grandma are divorced (and my grandma is remarried) and my grandpa got help for his mental health issues. My dad, on the other hand, can't let it go. He flashes back and talks about, "My dad wouldn't let us do that", "My dad would have hit us for that", and all these other things. My dad says he doesn't want to be like his dad, but he can't see how close he is to being his father. The problem is that my dad is a trucker, and feels bad for basically leaving my mom to do most of the child-raising and everything else, which just makes the drinking and bipolar worse. And then he slips further, I tell ya, every time he drinks. I don't want that for my dad. I would like to have some more good memories. Most of my good memories of my parents are from before I turned 10. And I don't know if that's because the drinking got worse after that, or because I stopped being so naive to the world.
I'm sorry this is so long, I'm sorry I keep rambling on. I justr... I really need someone to talk to. I need someone who understands without yelling at me, or rolling their eyes. My friends don't get it, and the one girl who might get it always tells me to suck it up because her step dad is worse (he's not, he's just a little strict).
maybe you should suggest family counseling everybody goes and everybody gets there thoughts out ...also you shouldnt feel bad about writing this you can help but help i guess alone i want you to know its okay ....if your parent reject that idea you should sit them down and tell how you really feel it sounds kinda odd because i understand as a teen you dont really ingage in much emotional conversations with your parents but you have to know that you parent love you and and if they knew how you really feel theres hope for chage you know? and should take into your hands to remove alcohol your your living enviorment ....and realize this (MOST IMPORTANT THING) you are who you want to be ..your relationship is not gonna end up like your parents if you dont want it too ...i dont mean any affence but just dont make some off the mistakes that your dad made like drinking and deffinelty dont avoid the situation because then things will only get worse.....tell you something do some reasearch or drinking because i can explain it all ...but it effect your brain liver and other important organs print out some picture and sit with your father and explain to him if he doesnt stop he can get very ill eventually and once you loose brain cells they dont come back ..=/ but if you ever need to talk inbox me and ill give you advice(: good luck with everything
I agree that family counseling would be a good idea, but I don't think it would go well. Everything you just described sounds familiar.
My sister was a meth addict and at 12 I had to decide between spending several hours after school with friends and being home as little as possible or taking care of my baby niece to make sure she wasn't around whatever my sister was doing.
For almost any one else I would suggest looking into emancipation, moving out of your house before 18- just get out of the situation. But with your health you cannot afford the bills yourself, you would be taken off your parent's insurance. And with a sibling with special needs in the mix I can imagine you feeling like you abandoned her if/when you do leave. So I don't know what to tell you.
If your father's been through AA before then you probably picked up bits and pieces of it enough to know that without the desire to get sober, no one ever will last long. I'm not saying your father is a lot cause, I've seen some miraculous changes in people. But you cannot make, force, or convince him to get sober if he doesn't want to. I wish I had something else to tell you besides the other side of that fence is really greener. The years my sister was using were a hellish nightmare, but now I have her back and I have a relationship with my niece that I couldn't have gotten any other way. Just try to have hope.
As far as your mom goes.. you're 16, allowed to take care of your own medical decisions. Without your mom present, talk to a dr about bipolar disorder and depression. Your mom can put her hands over her ears and hum all she wants, that doesn't change the facts. In fact that is what caused my grandma to ignore colon cancer for 15 years- enough to cause it to be a death sentence when she finally did something about it. Don't allow yourself to be defined by your mother's acceptance of reality. If you're feeling depressed or unbalanced you have the ability, power, and right to do something about it. Don't let anyone tell you how you're supposed to be feeling.
As far as relationships go. D*** skippy I've had my issues. My father is a child molester. There has not been a single man in allowed in my mother's house since I was 2 months old, she has not had a boyfriend since I was 5 mainly because of this. I have had periods of understandably severe depression and have made several mistakes as far as relationships go (especially because I had no one showing me the ropes). My mother had undiagnosed clinical depression that was ignored until was about 13. She used to cry in her room or have random bursts of anger that she was always embarrassed about after, so I grew up thinking I wasn't allowed to cry or feel anger; I had to be strong and never show pain. However, after going through counseling myself and learning to love me for me, I found the man of my dreams. He taught me to laugh, he taught me to cry. I've been happily married for almost 2 years. I may be a little damaged (he actually told me that I'm far more normal than I have any right to be), but that doesn't mean I cannot be happy or be in a healthy relationship. Because I am. Dating is a big learning experience and you probably haven't done much of it yet, but let me assure you that no matter how messed up your home is you can have a healthy and happy relationship. It won't be easy, it never is. But if you learn how to talk, how to listen, and most importantly how to compromise I promise you won't have a repeat of your parent's life.
I wish that counseling or getting rid of products would help. The main reason my dad slipped again is because my mom thinks he'd be able to handle little bits of alcohol. It's everywhere, all over the house. When I've tried to keep my dad from smoking or drinking, I'll hide the alcohol and cigarettes. They only buy more.
I also wish I could have control over my medical decisions, but I can't. If my mom isn't on board, I don't have any way of getting that help. She's my ride and my money, so I really don't have a choice but to go along with what she thinks is right. Just like everything else, I'm going to have to wait until I'm 18 to do anything.
I am trying to talk to them, however, and I'm hoping something will break through to them eventually.
Preaching to the choir, let me tell ya :) I've tried to get her out but she won't listen. And then I'm afraid that, should I talk to someone, she'll find out. It's frustrating.
She's more leaniant now. Sadly, it took my doctor calling her saying there's something wrong with my hormones causing by body to freak out to get her to listen. Maybe it'll carry over in to everyone else.
Unfortunately you are maturing at a very young age and not able to enjoy the closing years of high school. I have taught seniors for many years and have finished raising my 3 kids who are now in college. I grew up, however, in a very abusive home where my mother simply turned the other cheek. As a result, I think that I came to believe that I was only worthy of attaining men who abuse women. It took me many years to overcome my mother's ability to turn the other cheek to her childrens' undeserved pain. What I now wish I heard from others was to simply not create excuses for my father. I would state how he grew up in poverty...worked too hard...etc. And, I hate to say it, but I sensed a bit of that in you. Your father is failing you and your sisters as a loving dad and male role model. Your mother is failing you in what she defines is acceptable behavior from a husband towards one's wife and children. Do not ever, ever, ever, believe that you are only worthy of a man like your father because your mother has stayed with him. INSTEAD, allow yourself to see that he is EXACTLY the kind of man you will NEVER end up with. Train your brain to become emotionally detached from him. He has failed you girls and adores the bottle more than anyone else. If his own father role modeled beating his addiction, perhaps grandpa speaking to your dad is the last hope. Is your mother afraid of him? Perhaps he is easier to live with as a drunk than a man craving his booze? Can you have a deep, sincere conversation with her regarding the pain you feel? You have been raised in a web of dysfunction, but the good news is that you will be able to depart upon graduation.
I see what you're saying, but that's where things start getting complicated.
My dad is a good man, and an excellent father, when he isn't drinking. There are times when he's sober, but he can go more than four days without a drink. What life lessons I have learned, I've learned from him, one way or another. Either he actually taught them to me in the way that father's are supposed to teach things to their children, or I've observed him doing things that I don't ever want to do. And my father has never, ever hit me. (Spankings, yeah, but those don't hurt and everyone gets spanked.)
As far as romance goes, at this point, I don't want to be with anyone. I've never been connected to boys the way my friends seem to. I'm much more independent and strive for that independence. I think I get that from watching my mom. My dad was sober when she met him, and then fell back in the bottle, got sober again, and fell again. I can see in my mom that it hurts her to see him drink, and we all know he's throwing his life away. She doesn't want to leave him, and at the same time they fight because he drinks. My mom nags him to not drink (while he's drunk) and he doesn't see it a trying to be helpful, but trying to be a *****.
It's actually kind of funny, my mom is the one who's taught me not to trust men, not my dad. She didn't do it intentionally. I hear her stories from before she met my father, and she used to be... I would call her a flirt. A tease. She would be dating three men at once, no one seriously, just to have fun. She would only be with guys a few months and laugh when they got some attatched. If anything, I don't want to be with anyone because I'm afraid that's a trait I inherited, being a hoe. I would never be with an alcoholic, that's not going to happen. I'm smart enough to avoid men who aren't good for me. But being like my mom...that could happen.
It's hard for me because I love them both. I don't want to go out in to the world being jaded and cold to everyone. But going back to my father, I feel I've carried on his better traits. When my dad is sober, he's sweet and intelligent and funny. He's what you would expect from a father, and I've carried on some of that. He's taught me to be nice to everyone until they give you a reason not to be, to be thankful, helpful, loving, and polite. I'm not making excuses for him. When he's a totall *** to me, I say so. But the most he's ever done is lecture. He's not his father, not yet. I make sure to stand my ground so he doesn't turn in to his father.
Also, I will not abandon my father and I can't become emotionally cold to him because if I do, I know it will tip him over the edge. I'm his baby. I can tell that he loves me, and he just needs help. When I go away to choir camp every year, he's the one calling me every other day at the main cabin, while my mom texts me goodnight (like a normal person). And it's not that he's controlling---my mom is controlling---he misses us. He does the same thing when my little sisters go to Girl Scout Camp. When he has to go over the road and be away from us is when he drinks the most, and I think it has to do with his depression.
I thank you for your advice, though. Trust me, I'm strong enough to stay away from the men who hurt me. The difference is, my dad would never hurt me, not physically. And I know he's not hurting me emotionally on purpose.
I'm on a low-dose anti-depressant right now. But my grandparents are very old-fashioned, and they don't see the need to go to a doctor. Since they don't think I'm dangerous, they don't think it's needed.
I thank you for your concern, but I am already on a lot of medication for other problems and my liver is genetically in danger. I don't want to put a lot more chemicals in because fear for what will happen. I did talk to someone at school and they gave me some non-medicinal ways of handling the depression.
Hahahahahaha I should tell my mom that one :) I've been going for a dog for so long. Maybe that'll convince her...
Actually, my dad likes dogs, too. Big, hunting dogs, and he's really good with them. He stays sober when he's trainging dogs. (I know this because my uncle has coon hounds, and my dad's the one who taught them how to hunt). I might be on to something here...
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