Okay, please bear with me. This is a rather scattered, and a bit bitter, but it was quite difficult for me to write out in any form.
I am the daughter of an alcoholic, along with two sisters. Our family has been termed “quite dysfunctional” by a small amount of people who I’ve trusted enough to tell about the situation. My father, when not drunk, is, if not verbally, then most certainly emotionally abusive towards our entire family in varying degrees. My middle sister is his perfect little angel child, and she still gets it every so often. My youngest sister is more of my mother’s concern, as my mother is a special education teacher and my sister is dyslexic. Mom gets a lot of crap from him, but he respects her a bit more, being as she is his wife, and if she would leave, that would put him in a very bad position. This leaves me as the main dumping zone for a lot of stuff. I cannot say anything to him without having it twisted, torn apart, and shoved back in my face. It’s almost at the point that if I even say hello to him when he hasn’t had any alcohol, I can get into trouble. My mother is not able to even try to defend me, even if she wanted to. It only makes the situation worse, and gets her drawn into it too. If anything goes wrong in this family, it is somehow attached to me almost every time.
When my father drinks, he is very… nice. Because he never shows physical affection, hugs and such, towards any of his family when he is not drunk, it is rather frightening to be approached by him while he is intoxicated and to be hugged. While I don’t think he would ever go beyond that point, it’s always a possibility in my mind. When I get compliments from him about anything at all, it is usually when he is in this state. Compliments really don’t mean as much when the person giving them out is not in their right mind.
I’ve heard many, many things from this man. A few years ago, he gathered us kids in a meeting without my mom and declared to us that if we wouldn’t listen to what he said and follow any and all of the directions he gave us, our mother would get an ulcer from the stress, go insane and have to be in a mental hospital, and die. And we would be responsible for it. When you hear that as a child, that scares you. He had complete control. He still does, basically, even though we know now that we could not cause all that ourselves. There have been many other incidences similar to this.
It terrifies me, being at some place or another, having him pull up in our van, and having to get in there, not knowing if it’s safe, not knowing if we’ll make it home. It sickens me to enter our garage, kicking aside beer bottles just to get inside the door. And when he’s gone, out getting more to drink, or drinking with friends, and all of us are at home, not knowing if this could be the night when he finally gets into an accident, or gets caught driving drunk. When he looks into the pleading face of one of his children, and tells them that if they have a problem with his behavior, then it’s their problem, not his. When he is passed out in his chair in the living room with the TV blaring.
I have been told that there is no way I can be responsible for all this. It’s very difficult to believe that when almost every single day, I do something else to let him down, to disappoint him. When there is nothing, he will find something, or create another bad situation. The way he talks to me makes me feel like the lowest creature on earth, not worthy to be living, too much trouble to be alive.
There must be some of you out there who have been in, or are in similar situations. What can I do? Is there any way to rise above all this and eventually get out altogether? Coping tips? Anything? Any suggestions, stories, really anything at all would be helpful.