so some of you might know i was looking in to going to college in september. i have been working with my OT mark on this. I had a couple of things in mind, mainly childcare, advocacy and youth and community work. I decided childcare is not for me. I’ve tried it. It is great, and I love learning about child development and education and stuff but its not practical really given my blindness. And doing another course in childcare would not be cost effective either because it would be a full time course and I’d need to take a taxi there and back each day which there is no way I could afford on my weekly budget. So i’ve decided childcare is now out. My next choice was doing an advocacy course. However I rang them up and it turns out the course only runs every two years, and its been running this year so wont be running again until 2019. So thats now out too. So my last option for now is a course in youth and community work. Its called substance use and misuse in youth and community work. When I first looked at this course I thought it would not be very benificial to me because I dont work with the youth or addicts. But then my mentor colette from the basement club said I should rethink because she had done it and she doesnt work with that sector either but she said there is lots of things it taught her and lots of stuff to learn about addiction and even if you dont work with young people it could come in handy for other communities that you are a part of. Well then I was thinking yeah, I work voluntarily with the basement club and I will be starting a volunteer position soon with cork city partnership working with vulnerable people in disadvantaged areas. So yes it would come in handy. I was also a youth club leader in the past, and I also have a diploma in youth and community work. So I filled up the application form today. The course is part time, one evening a week for 3 hours, and then some work to do at home like assignments and other projects. It runs for a year. There are only 25 places though and usually about 50 or 60 people apply to do the course. Interviews are run and I hope I’ll at least get an interview. So thats my good news of the day. I’m really hopeful that I will get to do the course. I think I would benefit from it and learn alot too along the way.
feelings of grief and sadness overwhelm me. hearing my mom bio mom play with my sisters kids, our littles are so jealous of her giving them all that attention. they want the attention for themselves. but it will never be that way because our mom will only ever see the adult body in front of her. she wont ever see that child, those inner kids, those little parts. that makes me incredibly sad, and it makes them even sadder. it also makes me incredibly grief stricken. thinking i’ve lost so much, so so much of my childhood, to abuse, a mom who wasnt there emotionally, a dad who never cared and always put alcohol before his kids, and yeah, he’s a little better now, but sometimes now is not good enough, sometimes its too late and you cant go back even when you desperately want to go back in time, redo things, i think of eileen as a mom, she isnt though, she cant be, she is only ever going to be my therapist, and no matter what we do that isnt going to change. i feel crushed. overwhelm threatens to engulf me. i’m even feeling a little bit suicidal. i think i feel suicidal at the loss of my childhood to all the trauma, yeah, thats it, all the fucking trauma, and boy was there a lot of it. i hate ptsd. i hate having did some days, like today, having parts is so much work, its so much work to just survive, and i hate just surviving, i want to live, live or die, one or the other.
i’m so conflicted. i have so many feelings surrounding our dad. his drinking. his behaviour towards us. his outbursts. his denial of his UC. on the one hand i want to support him, be supportive, help him to come to terms with the fact that he has this condition for life now. but every time i make any attempts to be supportive he throws it back in my face, tells me to shut up, i dont know what i am talking about, i’m not a doctor, no, i’ not a doctor but I do read, and I’ve read a lot about his condition. if he doesnt start doing what the doctor tells him he’s going to really suffer. he was told to stay away from certain foods like brown bread, fruit and veg with skins on, tc. but is he d oing it? noooo he’s not. and then he wonders why he’s on the loo for most of the day. honestly, he’s like a baby. moaning, with the pain. i did feel sorry for him at first, because pain is pain and who likes to be i n pain? but when he wont listen, and continues to do things to harm his body, my sympathy for him lessens. his drinking, thats the second thing. he’s constantly drinking. every night he’ll drink about 5 or 6 cans of beer. some times during the day he’ll go to the local bar and have 3 pints. then come home eat dinner and sleep for an hour and then have the 5 or 6 cans at night. when he drinks, his anger comes out. uncontrolled anger. he’s mean, nasty, calls me names, degrades me, degrades my mom, it really upsets me and gets to me. i try to love him. i want to love him and part of me does. ijust dont love is alcoholism. you’d think after he got sorosis of the liver in 02007 that he’d have said ok i’ll stop for good. he did stop for 5 years. but then he went to a friends sons wedding and that is when he started back up again drinking. and its gone downhill from there. mom uses the excuse that he cant drink as much as he did years ago. and i’m like so what? he still drinks, he’s still an alcoholic. she knows that. she just hates admitting it. and so does my sister. there is also the OCD traits my dad shows. my dad was abused as a kid. he was in an industrial school here in ireland. for 8 years. so i do get it that he was institutionalised and things are done a special way in institutions. i know that from being in one myself growing up. i wish he’d get some help. he refuses to go to counselling. he refuses to take meds for psych issues. he refuses to take a sleeping pill yet he wakes every hour and is always tired. honestly? i dont know what to do about all of it. i think a good chat to eileen is in order tomorrow to try and process some of it. i thought i’d write while i was up thinking at 2 AM. i’ve an apt with my gp at 10:15 to get the blood pressure 24 hour monitor on. why does life and family have to be so stressful? its not like i dont have enough to be dealing with.
Yesterday I had an apt with my OT mark. It was a really good apt. We talked some more about options for me to do a college course. I am still interested in something related to childcare. at least I was until I got a phone call yesterday evening from one of the tutors on the other course I am interested in which is called issues in substance use in youth and community work. When the tutor rang me she said she’d send me an application form and brochure which she did and i’ve sent it on to mark, I also sent him an email this morning asking him to fill out the application form with me. But back to yesterday and the apt. We talked about the childcare course. And the supports I may need in the college. Funnily enough the course in issues of substance use in youth and community work is taking place in the same college where the childcare courses I wanted to do are. The thing is I only want to go part time. And the substance use course is part time. The childcare one is full time and that is way too stressful for me. Plus I’ve gotten a volunteer position with cork city partnership as an office admin worker I’ll be doing up letters, writing email and answering phones. Its only 1 day a week but then I also volunteer at the basement club, I’ve taken a small break while I was hospitalised recently but I will be going back to it soon. I work better under less pressure so that is what myself and mark talked through yesterday. Then we got on to talking about the adaptive technology and home improvements. I had asked him to request a price on a frame that goes around my toilet, which he did, but yesterday he said that rather than having me pay for it, he should refer me to the community OT and she could do an assessment and then I should be able to get the frame on my medical card. Since I’ve been having balance issues and postural hypertention that is why I need the frame. I told him I am having the blood pressure monitor done next week to see if my meds are causing my blood pressure to drop. so we decided to wait until we meet again in 3 weeks time to make a final decision about the adaptions to my home. I also have to see what equipment I might need and send him a quote for it, then he will get Karen the social worker to do a funding application for me. That was the bulk of our appointment. I did talk to him some about my ongoing symptoms. He always checks in with me about how I’m doing, what is going on for me, etc. Which is really nice. He’s a good listener and I was able to get a lot off my mind before I ever went in to see dr. barry.
I found this quote, and thought given the circumstances with my dad, it was very apt for today.
Love people for who they are, not for who you hope they will be someday.
yesterday during therapy me and eileen talked about my dad and his alcoholism. it has been bothering me for a few days now, so i brought it into the therapy room. eileen thinks it would be a good idea for me to read up on alcoholism and its effects on the family. i told her i find it really difficult to talk about it and that is why i havent read much on the subject. i told her that i would try looking up some stuff on it. she gave me a few resources and names of people who have written extensively on the subject. its so hard for me to do this. it means i have to admit to myself that there is a problem. i know there is, i know my dads an addict, but i always thought i could change him somehow. i could make things better. eileen said i need to look after me and my own mental health. she said if i fall into the trap of allowing my dad to control me or lie to me that I’m finished. because addicts will do that, they lie, they manipulate, they will do anything to shift the blame from themselves to someone else. deep down i know this is true. it all just makes me so sad. but for years my dad has been this way. the fact that he lied to me and my sister last week, telling us that if he drinks by day he doesnt drink by night, that is a sure sign that he knows he’s doing wrong, and he knows he has a problem. I was telling eileen how he is so controlling, he’s like OCD about everything, everything has to be a certain way, everything has to be just so, he has to do things a certain way, all routine, and if it isnt his way, he gets really mad and angry and starts verbally being mean, putting us down etc. for years now I’ve been the scape goat of our family. I’ve been the problem. He uses my mental illness as being the problem. Saying that I am the one with the issue, because I see a therapist, I go to a psychiatrist, I take meds. Eileen said this has to stop. I have to start putting myself first. I said I try to avoid him now if I fear he is going to start anything. Even our mom told me not to answer him if he’s arguing, eileen said she is giving us good advice there, and its obvious she’s found ways of coping, of looking after herself. I told eileen that maybe my mom could come over to my house more, so that I wouldnt have to go to my parents house as much. because my dads drinking and lack of taking care of himself is really really effecting me more than I’d like to admit. And its something I havent really discussed a lot with eileen, I’m embarrassed that its like that. I’m feeling bad that this addiction is in our family. It just adds more disfunction to the already disfunctional family dynamics. I will do the reading though and try to educate myself more about the addiction and the process of what having this addiction does to the person and to the rest of the family. Talking about it yesterday did help me a lot. I felt lighter after the session.
so a couple of days ago my sister and me were in the car with dad. we were driving to my parents house. all of a sudden my dad said, i dont drink a lot. if i drink by day, then i dont drink at night. me and laura just sat there with our mouths open. because that is so far from the truth. if he goes out to a pub by day for 3 pints, then the same night he’ll drink cans of beer at home. it was like he was telling us this, and he really believed what he was saying. i said nothing, but i wanted to. laura said something to pacify him. that sorta denial and hiding things drives me crazy. he is an alcoholic, thre is no getting away from that fact. no he doesnt drink half as much as he did a couple years ago. but he’s still a bad alcoholic. so why is he trying to convince us he isnt? why, when we are adults now, and we know the truth? he’s just lying to himself, and believing his own lies. how sad is that?