10/16/2008

Parents

I got an email from my brother today which was full of glad tidings.

The Beginning: Recovering alcoholic Dad broke up with his girlfriend as it appears he has been drinking again.

The Middle: Said drinking led to a car accident involving a few trees, a couple of houses, but thankfully no humans.

The End: Brother has to drive two hours to Philly at some stage to get Dad from wherever he may be - hotel? - to a rehab clinic. Last email indicated that the VA Clinic's system was down, so they were unable to tell my brother whether my Dad was admitted or not.

I deserve this. Just this morning The Dude and I were emailing back and forth from our dismal jobs, and I used the word "jollity". I used it many times, mainly referring to how nothing could infringe upon my jollity. Fortune, especially the good kind, does not in fact favour the bold.

My usual coping mechanism was fully in place. I panicked, felt my stomach drop to my toes, sighed, then got on with things. However, it all changed as soon as I had an unfortunate phone call with a colleague. She didn't really do anything wrong other than sound disappointed when it was me rather than the manager of my office, the person she was lead to thinking it was. I was telling her about the fax I was about to send, when she pissily said, "Sorry. I don't get remotely what you're talking about." For whatever reason, that sentence, said in a patronising tone, brought to the fore all of my job-related issues with a little alcholic, DUI Dad thrown in and I started to cry. She didn't know, and it suddenly became dreadfully hard for me not to tell her to go fuck herself and to also remember that she was a secretary to the Dean, not in fact the Dean herself. I got off the phone as quickly as I could, then cried in a bathroom stall like I used to in the heady good ol' days of infertility.

I'm in two minds at the moment. On one hand, I'm angry with my Dad. He's done this all before, though not since his alleged recovery. I hate that he has put other people at risk by doing this, and I hate that he is a grown man doing stupid shit that 18 year olds should know better than to do. I get that he's an alcoholic, I get that as a Vietnam vet he has PTSD, and I get that he is prone to depression. I got it back when I was a teenager and the smell of stale booze always accompanied his presence. I understood when he split up with my Mom and didn't see my brother and me for a few years. I made excuses, but now I'm confused as to when enough is enough. When does accountability become paramount? When is it time for a parent to not be the child anymore?

I am fortunate enough to be on my own with P tonight. I've already shouted at her twice for being her OCD self and I need a couple of Excedrin. I feel like such a ridiculous narcissist for having a rubbish day then blogging about it, but I am embarrassed to say that other than my husband, my list of real-life confidantes extends no further than an irritable toddler. Apologies to Twitterites for my earlier twittering outbursts of melodrama.

I shall get through the next hour with P assuming she doesn't again shout from another room - "I pooed! The poo is now on my finger!" Christ on a bike, I wish I was a drinker. Oh, the irony.

15 comments:

Aunt Becky said...

I don't think you're being dramatic at all. As a child of two (now recovering) alcoholics, I know the feeling after something bad happens AGAIN.

Many hugs and love and all that happy horseshit send your way.

deborah said...

I will have a drink for you tonight, Pru. No problem at all, really.

Major Bedhead said...

Man, I'm sorry you've had such a craptastic day. I, too, will have a glass of wine on your behalf tonight. Hang in there.

Tash said...

Woah Nellie, that's a day. I would've at least called a babysitter and tripped out to a lame comedy movie, even stone-cold sober.

I'm so very sorry.

Also sorry I'm wickedly behind on my music fill -- I really need to edit the ol' iDevice and I'm just looking for some uninterrupted time with your blog and iTunes, side by side.

Hang in.

Vacant Uterus said...

Sweetie, this isn't melodrama, this is real crap. I'm sorry you have to go through it.

FWIW, I think that NOW is the time for your parent to stop being the child and own his alcoholism and STOP already. It's not fair to anyone in his life, especially him.

And crying in a bathroom stall? Been there, done that. You weren't crying because a coworker was snippy. You were crying because you are stressed to the max. And it's okay to do that.

Please, have some chocolate or go for a good run when the Dude gets home and can take over the Dictator. I'm thinking of you. *hugs*

electriclady said...

I'm sorry. That sucks bigtime. Poo on a finger on top of that is just the (poo) icing on the (poo) cake.

Jenn said...

My dad has been sober for close to 15 years and I still worry about that happening.

I also got some less than thrilling news that i'm not quite ready to share yet, so I feel your pain. And I felt the poo finger pain yesterday. We ARE kindred spirits!

DD said...

I always feel a little guilt pouring a cold beer or wine in a plastic cup (since I hate water spots). Too many in both of our families dipping into the wacky well as it is.

All I can add is that I'm glad he didn't get hurt or hurt any one (physically). I hope he ended up with a killer of a hangover, though.

nutsinmay said...

Oh, sweetie. How awful and scary and miserable. I am so sorry. And I admire your restraint - I'd've totally told snippy secretary to fuck off to manners school. And then cried in the loo.

My Dad has recently developed heart problems. His big grumble was that the doctor had told him to stop drinking. Apparantly, no can do, not even to save his heart and watch his great-grandchild grow up. AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARGH.

Also, AAAAAAAAAAAAARGH.

*hugs*

hairyfarmerfamily said...

Have also experienced sinking sensation when a cared-for recovering drunk falls off the wagon with an almighty splash. The knot in the tummy is highly unpleasant. So sorry, Pru. There's nothing to can do to help him, short of pointing the way to rehab. He's got to get himself there.

And don't the younger generation know JUST when to put the behavioural boot in?! I already dread nappy change, meal times, and nap times because of the inarticulate screaming and kicking. How much worse I'm going to feel when the horror is vocalised - and personal! - I simply dread to think. P can come round here and be rugby-tackled and chewed on by my tiny tearaway if you like. She'll behave soooooo much better when she appreciates just how fabulous you are by dint of actual comparison!

Brigindo said...

Sorry to hear about your troubles. I agree with others--this isn't melodrama. I almost have too many alcoholics in my family to count (including both parents) and none are recovering. It sucks to care for someone who is so self-destructive and also doesn't see how they harm those around them. Physical and emotional distance helps but doesn't stop how you feel when you get calls like that.

elizasmom said...

I got nothing original or pithy here, just a heartfelt "sorry you're going through this." I hate when it feels like karma comes back on you like that. I hope you have a chance to go for a run/eat chocolate/whatever else you need to do to feel better.

Irene said...

Please, don't feel responsible for your father's returning bout with alcoholism. You don't have to go and sit and hold his hand. He is responsible for himself. You can completely ignore him if you want and get on with your own life.It's the school of tough love. Keep yourself clear of anything that is harmful like this. My father spent the last years of his life alone in a home and was cared for by strangers. He had a decent life without us. That's how it went for the good of all of us.

Molly said...

Life sucks and then you die.

But sometimes you have wonderful friends on the internet to help you through.

Thinking of you.

Betty M said...

Really sorry about your day. I don't know about alcoholics but I definitely know too well about tears of frustration and anger precipitated by things at work. Hope the weekend brings only fun things.