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.