Just confronted father

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-30-2008
Just confronted father
Mon, 09-01-2008 - 9:59pm

tonight i just confronted my father about his drinking problem. this is actually the second time i've done this, but the first time as somewhat of an adult. (if anyone has the time to read this and offer advice, thanks very much! you can skim, i don't mind. unfortunately, it's a long story.)

my parents are divorced since i was 7, and my mother always said my father's drinking had a lot to do with it (and my sister's death--she passed away at the age of 10 when i was 4 after a 7 year battle with cancer. i am an only child as a result).

in all honesty, i never believed my father had a problem because from the age of 7 to 17, my father never drank in front of me, never acted out of line with me, always was there for me, always made monthly payments to my mother on time--a model father.

when i was 17 and i started to become less dependent on my parents (hello license!) and started having not as much time for family, whenever i did have time to hang out with my dad, i started smelling alcohol on his breath. i still didn't say anything to him though. as he was in denial, i was too.

by the time i was starting my second year of college, he got really bad. he stopped returning my phone calls for a month. i finally went over to his house because i was terrified something happened to him. he was drunk as hell when he opened the door. i tried to talk to him, but he was so gone it didn't register. i left his house and called his only brother, my uncle.

my uncle stepped in and moved my dad in with him for the duration of my college career (until about 4 months ago). my dad was ok with him, but when he moved out in May of this year, i knew it wouldn't be long before the drinking started again.

i knew when he started up again this summer--he would pick up the phone and not sound himself, and i could smell it on him sometimes when we went out.

i have been in therapy at college since my junior year, and i have always tried to talk with my therapist about why i was afraid to confront my father. i can't really talk about it with his side of the family, we're not that close. today, it was enough. i am 23, it's time to be an adult and face things, right?

i picked up my dad to go to dinner today, and i smelled alcohol. he was also acting a little off. when i was driving him home, he asked me to stop at the local liquor store. usually, he just buys seltzer water--i know, i've checked the bags. today, he bought bottles of liquor.

i looked at him and asked him what he bought, he said "stuff." i said "dad, i love you, but you can't do this. you're ruining your life." and went off on him, calmly though, and explained that yeah, we have all gone through stuff in life (my dad has definitely, which is why i can understand the motives and emotional pain behind WHY he drinks, even though he SHOULDN'T.) but alcohol is not the answer. i asked him to stop. he did the usual alcoholic dance that my mother and my boyfriend (child of alcoholics) have explained to me--denial, passing the blame, pushing the blame onto me.

i dropped my dad off, and now i feel sick to my stomach. i don't know what else to do. i'm not very keen on alanon programs--they didn't do much for me. i still see a therapist, so that helps some. but i just needed to vent to people that understand this situation.

thanks for listening. advice if you have any appreciated!

Edited 9/2/2008 5:07 pm ET by njgal525
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-15-2004
Mon, 09-01-2008 - 10:20pm

I guess I would ask you what you mean by they didn't do much for me (al-anon "programs").

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-30-2008
Mon, 09-01-2008 - 10:47pm
thank you for your help! i think i will try to go again.
iVillage Member
Registered: 09-11-2004
Tue, 09-02-2008 - 6:12am

Hello and welcome!

Sounds like you called your Dad on his stuff, and now it is out of your hands. Good job for you!

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-01-2003
Tue, 09-02-2008 - 10:35am
Once it leaves your mouth and hits his ears....he has heard you.
iVillage Member
Registered: 08-18-2008
Tue, 09-02-2008 - 11:22am

It sounds as if when

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-07-2008
Sun, 09-07-2008 - 6:41am

I just graduated college and confronted my alcoholic parents too.