Yep its fathers day. despite my dads recent behaviour and despite what my thoughts are on it, i spent it with him and the rest of my family. the weather here today was hot and sunny and so we spent the day outside in my parents back garden. it was a really nice day, and everything went off ok today which felt so good. i gave our dad a card with some money in it and some lottery tickets and he won 10 euro on the lottery tickets, I also played a request on our local radio for him. He seemed to like that I did that, he got a kick out of it.
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.
i just had my phone check in with eileen. i thanked her for responding to allie’s email the other day. she said she realised she broke her own rule of no replying to email, but that she really just wanted us to know she was ok so that we wouldnt be worrying. i appreciated that she broke her rule for us. we talked about the two weeks she was away. i told her it felt like an eternity. i told her about my dads UC and my moms results and how i’d been trying to be there for both of them to support them. she asked me who was supporting me? i jokingly said you are but really that isnt far from the truth. i told her my dad is in a lot of denial about his UC and he is drinking non stop. if i say something nice he loses it with me, if i say nothing at all he still loses it and starts arguing with me. last week he tried to convince me he’s not drinking that much, but in reality he is drinking every day. eileen said i am not going to change him, which i kind of know but hearing it really brought it home for me. she said you cant change another person, he will have to want to change himself, but he doesnt want to do that. he wants to go against all the advice his doctors are giving him and therefore make his UC worse. I told eileen I’d been isolating a lot these past two weeks. She encouraged me to go out to the basement club tomorrow. She said sometimes when we isolate we can stay in our heads. I agree this is so true. But I feel like I cant face anyone I really just want to hide. I’m not even going to my parents this weekend because I dont want to be around my dad. I told mom I’d come on sunday for dinner and go home again that evening. Eileen said to just see how i feel but that I am to look after myself and keep myself well. Think of myself now and put myself first. I know she’s right. So why then is it so hard for me to do it? I told her about last week and how I never went to see dr. Barry because I had a panick attack and my ptsd symptoms got very bad. So bad that I just had to go back to bed. She was really understanding and it felt so good to be able to connect with her and talk to her. I feel secure in the knowledge that she will look out for me and be there for me when I am unable to look out for myself.
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?
both of my parents are ill. first my dad has UC ulcerative colitis. he just found this out last week. trying to get him to listen to advice is just not going at all well for me. i told him he needs to not eat certain foods. he got a sheet from his dietician, foods to avoid. think he’s avoiding them? nooooo. same with alcohol. his gastroenterologist told him not to drink. it makes the UC worse. but he’s not listening. his gastro doc wrote him up for some tests. a kolonoskopy, an ultrasound on his liver, and a chest x-ray, all within the next few weeks. he’s also going to have a bone density scan as well.it worry for me. a lot of worry. he may in the future if things dont improve have to have an operation to put a stoma bag in place but they’re saying that is the last resort. that everything else that can be done will be done first. he’s taking nutritional drinks right now to try to put weight on him. he is skin and bones, always cold, and I am worried.
then my mom has COPD. she cant walk very far. she is on 5 inhalers. she struggles to catch her breath. she keeps trying to do things, and I keep telling her she’s doing too much. like for instance today she cut my grass. i told her not to do it. do ya think she’d listen to me? noooo. the middle of her right lung is collapsed. on friday she goes back to the surgeon to see what he is going to do for her. she had a bronkoskopy a few weeks back. i dont think she can be left with a collapsed lung. so it is probably going to mean surgery for her. i am soooooo nervous. its just a lot of worry for me and i find it hard to cope with both of them being ill at once.
my dad went to visit the gastroenterologist yesterday. he found out he has ulcerative colitis. he’s been having a pretty severe flare up of it for the last 2 weeks, with constant vomiting and diarrhea.
the gastro doc said she’d do a kolonoskopy in a couple of weeks, to see how things have progressed over the last 2 months. he may have to have an operation to fit a stoma bag, but that is the last resort. they are going to try every other option first to try and get it under control.
he saw the dietician too yesterday, she gave him info on foods to avoid, and she prescribed nutrition drinks to put weight on him.
Its a worrying time for the whole family.
There is no cure for ulcerative colitis. Just have to keep monitoring it and hope the flare ups stop and he goes into remission.
its been a relatively good day. my mood is up. i’m doing well the anxiety has lessened. i slept well last night and i took a nap earlier today as well. i wasnt feeling good this morning, physically. i had bad diarrhea, i think it was from the antibiotic i am taking. it only lasted about an hour though and now everything is good again. my friend rose texted me this morning asking if i’d like to come over tomorrow for tea and cake. i said i would so i’ll go after i have dinner at my parents house. my friend norma came over to my house this evening and we got take out food. it was really good. it was nice to hang out with her we always have a good time. my dad finally went to the doctor about his stomach and bowel problems. the doctor said she thinks its colitis and gave him steroids and tablets for the nausea. he goes to see the gastroenterologist this coming friday so we should know more once he sees her. i’m glad he decided to go, it took a lot of persuading to get him to see sense.