Post # 1
I am not sure if this is where I should post this but I am feeling very emotional about it so here goes.
First I will give you a little back story. My father is an alcoholic and while he was a very loving father while sober he also made our lives very difficult due to his addiction. In May of this year he became really sick due to his addiction of the last 40 years and was in the hospital for two months. This was hard because his body was shutting down and we weren’t sure if he would recover. He did :)!!!! He was able to leave the hospital the morning of my wedding and was barely able to walk me down the aisle due to 100+ lbs of water weight. But he did and left immediately after the church. He missed the reception and went directly to a physical therapy rehabilitation center. About a month and a half ago and 150lbs of fluid lighter he was able to leave there and enter into a drug and alcohol rehab. Where he will be for the next 14 months.
I am very happy and proud of him for doing all of this and getting better. I love my father so very much and I think that is why I am having such a difficult time with this.
As I said I got married this year and this will be mine and my husbands first christmas together. We did not live together before our marriage and spent christmas with our families. We have been so looking forward to our first Christmas morning together just us. We have already refused both of our mother’s pleading to come over early christmas morning or spend the night because we really want to spend this time together just us.
Well I recentlty received a letter from my father saying he can’t wait to see us for christmas (news to me) and can he stay with us. I hate that I am feeling this way but due to his addiction my father has always been carried by everyone in his life. He has been unable to function in recent years and had been living with many different relatives as my parents had divorced (because of his alcoholism).
I spoke to my husband and though I could tell he wasn’t happy about this he said it was fine that he stay. Well then my aunt called about something else and I asked her if she knew that he was coming home and she said yes he was applying for a 72 hour pass and said he was staying with you. She said she told him he was more than welcome to stay with her but he said he doesn’t like cats.
What the heck?!!!!! First of all he just assumed that he could stay with us without ever talking to me about it. Second of all one day is quite different then 3 days and my husband and I are both on vacation that week together finally!
I haven’t written my father back yet because I don’t know what to say I don’t want him to be there for all that time. I love my father but my whole life I have been the one to solve his problems and take care of him and I just wanted this time for my husband and I to relax and enjoy each other. I know christmas should be about family but for a good majority of my life with my father christmas was more about the list of things he wanted us to gift to him.
To top it all off I was tallking to my mom this morning and she said that my sister was like no way is he staying with me! Why on earth do I have to always be the one to do what no one else wants to do? My sister never gives a crap about anyone but she still is treated the same as me. Also and this shouldn’t be a part of the equation but it is for me. My sister has been with her boyfried for almost 2 years she moved her ex out and her new man in in the same week! My husband and I did not live together before marriage and while that was our choice we are still newlyweds enjoying our privacy.
What would you do bees? I want to be honest with my father but I don’t want to be the one to hinder his recovery. Please help me!!!!!
Post # 3
@Fair-ytalelove: See if everyone else can come over as well. That way you can still have a good first christmas tradition and not just feel like he is butting in. Youll miss him when hes dead so just have a stiff upper lip and figure out how to be a family for those 72 hours.
Post # 4
I would write your dad back and let him know that you’d be happy to see him for Christmas, but perhaps suggest just a day visit on the actual holiday. I think it’s important to be honest and set up boundaries with him now, so he knows what his limitations are.
Post # 5
I am excited to see you over the holidays. Darling Husband & I have actually already made a number of plans to celebrate our first Christmas together as a married couple, so while we’re looking forward to spending some time with you, we won’t be able to host you. Aunt (name) did say that it would be perfectly fine for you to stay at her place. How does it sound if all of us get together on the 25th for dinner at 6pm? (or whatever, whenever)
This is a stinky position to be in – but it’s also a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to establish some new boundaries, carve out you and DH’s identities as an adult married couple in your dad’s eyes, and send a message that he needs to start being more considerate and less take-it-for-granted about you.
Post # 6
You mentioned that Christmas should be about family. The way I see it, my husband is my family now, and maybe you should think about it that way as well. Your husband is now your priority. You both already had plans, and since neither of you want to break them, let your father know that you’d love to see him, but unfortunately, he won’t be able to stay with you.
Post # 7
@thatredheadedbride: @KCKnd2: @Shosha1: Thank you all so much for your support and KCKnd2 thank you for spelling it out for me I was having the hardest time because I didn’t even know how to respond. I almost started crying because you put into words exactly what I wanted to say.
Post # 8
@Fair-ytalelove: ((HUGS)) Addictions and addicts are hard to deal with. I call those personality types “vampire people,” because they feel no guilt in continuing to suck the life out of anyone who will allow them too.
It is difficult loving someone, even a parent, who has this disorder. You are wise to keep this toxicity at a distance. The fact that you’re aware he usually chooses you to be the one to use, because you’re his daughter and he knows you have a soft spot for him (naturally, because you’re a good person) shows that you’ve come a long way in healing and having a clear and healthy viewpoint of his weaknesses.
He is an adult, he made his choice to live his life this way. Keep the boundaries firm and strong and don’t feel guilty for protecting the life you have chosen to live.
Post # 9
@Fair-ytalelove: Glad to be of help! That’s what the ‘Bee is for.
I was thinking about your situation a little bit more afterward, and I wouldn’t be surprised if you get some blowback from your dad about it. Not sure if he’s the type to argue, or sulk and then complain to others in your family, etc., but it might be wise to prepare for it and have a plan for what to say to defuse/deflect it. Maybe something along the lines of,
Dad – I can understand if you’re upset by this, but please try to understand that I’m married now, and Darling Husband and I make decisions together because they affect us both. This doesn’t mean that you can never stay with us; but in the future you need to ask us ahead of time so that we can talk about it and make our plans, not just assume that you get to make our plans for us.
(It’d be smart, too, to talk to your aunt and let her know what you want and get her on your side, since she will probably be in a good position to talk to your dad – and she may have to handle some of his grumbling).
Post # 10
You need to take care of yourself first. That is so important when you have someone in your life that is battling addiction.
It seems that you do not want him to stay with you, tell him no. Tell you dad that unfortunately you cannot house him but that your aunt has room for him in her home. Regarding the cats, beggars cannot be choosers. (with all due respect)
I have an alcoholic dad too and being around him during the holidays is very hard; unnerving actually. So, I have learned to remove myself from the situation by walking out of the room or removing myself from the conversation. I love my dad, not his addiction and currently, his addiction is ruling his life.
Post # 11
Thank you ladies for all of your advice and I have an update for you. I spoke to my husband this afternoon and he told me that if my father has no where to go then we should make the sacrifice and let him stay with us. I know that it wasn’t ideal for him but this is why I married this man because while he does not show his emotions well deep down he is the most amazing and intuitive man. I still didn’t feel 100% about the situation but I felt better after talking to him.
I was going to write my father when to my surprise he called. He asked if I had time to think about it and I said yes and we wouldn’t be home on Christmas Eve but he could stay and he said are you sure because I know that it is your first Christmas together. Bees I could not tell you how this made me feel that he was acutally considering us. I said it was ok and he said please tell me what your reservation is (he was really listening to me and not just my words) and I told him that we were just planning on spending that time together and he said its ok thank you for telling me. I told him that I didn’t want to hurt his feeling and that I love him so much and he said the only time you would hurt me is if you weren’t honest with me.
I am so happy to have had this conversation with my father and I feel as though he truly is a new man. This is just a testament to the treatment that he has been receiving. I have never had an honest conversation with my father because I have always been afraid of being a trigger for him. I know that that wasn’t correct but that is how I always felt. I love my father so much and am so happy to see this change in him.
Thank you so much for being here for me and I would like to recommend Teen Challenge to any of you that know a man of any age that is struggling with drug or alcohol addiction it is truly an amazing program.
Post # 12
@KCKnd2: exactly this.
You may love your father, but you and your husband have already declined other plans so that you can be together. YOU ARE NOT RESPONSIBLE for his recovery, or for him. If him staying at your Aunts would push him back over the edge, there is more of a problem there. As someone with an alcoholic issue in the family I can tell you that at some point you have to stop coddling them and start worrying about yourself and your new family. You cannot drop everything in fear of what it will do to them.
This is a special time for you both, and it should not be ruined because you are worried about what it will do to your father. He isn’t being left on the streets, you can still visit him and have xmas with him, but he doesn’t need to stay at your house at the expense of your happiness.
Post # 13
@Fair-ytalelove: so glad to hear of your update. Good luck, I hope that he continues his journey to happiness and getting better!
Post # 15
@Fair-ytalelove: wow that is truly amazing. I have no experience with an alcoholic parent so I can only imagine. I’m so happy for you!