Therapy. Talking about dads addiction

therapy today was intense. we discussed my dad and his alcohol addiction. that was hard. its something we hadnt really touched on before. i rarely bring it up to anyone. and i’d not really spoken to eileen about it. so i felt glad that i could. for those that dont know, my dad is an alcoholic. he still drinks now. he drinks almost every day. he’s not violent, but he is very controlling, and very obsessive, wired and always thinks he needs to be right. he doesnt listen to reason, or in fact listen to anyone when he is drinking. its his way or no way. today we talked about how argumentative liz can be with him. liz doesnt get along with him. she cant stand him in fact. he sets her off. she gets angry, their personalities clash. eileen tried to advise her today. she tried to tell her that you cant reason with an alcoholic. they blame everyone else. there is no reasoning with them. eileen was saying how we need to look after our own self care. we need to take care of our own mental health. she advised us that we have a choice. we can react, or we can change our responses. she encouraged us to put a reminder into our phone, that we can look at while we’re at our parents house. its stressful at our parents house when he’s drinking. our mom avoids him. we do too for the most part. we got in the bedroom and go on our laptop. we dont talk to him unless we have to. because talking only leads to him yelling, or arguing with us. eileen told us to put the reminder in our phone that we have a choice, and set it up so we can see it every hour. so we’re going to do that. she said a lot today about addicts. about addiction and the patterns of what goes on for both the addict and for us the person living with it. we talked about codependency. she offered up the names of some books i can get and i am going to get one or two and read them. it was a good conversation. even if it was difficult to talk about. im sure we’re not done with it by a long shot. we didnt really resolve any of it, other than to set up the reminders in our phone about choices. and even that, even the fact that we have choices. that goes right over our head. its like we dont see it. because for all these years our choices were taken from us. we never had a choice in how to respond or react. so now that we do, that seems odd to us. like its someone else’s life, not ours. anyway. we’ll do what she suggested and see what happens. i came home after therapy, and went in to work. then came home after work, ate and went for a rest. didnt really sleep though. im a little wound up. still reflecting on todays session. doubt i’ll sleep tonight. we’ll see. bringing up his addiction always effects us all a lot. living with an addict or having one in your life is so so hard. he’s not going to change now though. so we’ll have to try to change our responses. anyway. it was a good therapy session.

Author: Carol Anne

I am a woman in my mid 30's. I'm blind and I have dissociative identity disorder, I also have complex PTSD. I blog about my life with these disorders. I live in Ireland.

14 thoughts on “Therapy. Talking about dads addiction”

  1. One choice you have is to let someone else be out who doesn’t feel like fighting with your Dad. I can just imagine Liz’s cat claws coming out when your Dad gets combative, but there’s bound to be someone else that can just choose to ignore him or who won’t feel guilty about going in another room. Avoidance tactics may be the best and Liz might not be as good at that as others of you. xxx

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    1. No she’s not, you’re right she’s not good at avoiding confrontation, confrontation used to be what she did all the time when she would be angry I mean. Yes there is probably someone else who is better at dealing with our dad I have to keep working on it xx

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  2. Oh, that really must have been a difficult session for you and for Liz too. I like Eileen’s idea of having a reminder to help you, and unfortunately it’s true that the only way you can change anything here yourself is to change the way you react and engage, or don’t engage, with him. The rest depends on him.

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  3. Hello again! My mother is an alcoholic so I can deeply relate to your words. I just wanted to remind you that you do have choices and the ability to resolve it. Boundaries become essential between parents and children, especially when children become adults. I didn’t speak to my mother for years in order to protect myself, and it cost me my relationships with my siblings. I experienced great grief because it felt as though she had died. Not only were we not speaking, but the drinking had changed her demeanor, her mind, her heart. It wasnt until I laid down ground rules that we really started the chip away at the hurt that had been done. I realize that I was fortunate enough to have a parent who was remorseful. Not everyone has that and it really does make all the difference. An apology goes a long way when it’s genuine. These days, we are slowly rebuilding but I keep boundaries in place. I havent seen her in person in more than five years, but we speak over the phone. This time is limited and if she misbehaves (disrespect, abuse, infidelity, obnoxiousness, rude comments etc.) she knows I will end the conversation. Ground rules and boundaries return your power to you while allowing you to protect yourself. Likewise, I have forgiven her and love her where she’s at – unconditionally – because her pain has nothing to do with mine. Perhaps loving your father from a great distance will help. That way you can prepare to slowly rebuild if he is willing, or simply protect yourself from his blunders by freeing yourself from expectation. This has been my experience anyway. Best wishes in your sessions. I know how hard that work is. ♡

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      1. Don’t be too hard on yourself. It’s taken me many years and I still haven’t quite figured it out. I just refuse to let her trigger me.

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