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#331045 - 07/25/07 11:10 AM Father Daughter Relationship on a strain
lala21 Offline
Gecko

Registered: 09/23/06
Posts: 622
Loc: Canada
Some of you may know my dad is bipolar. Problem drinker etc...

Its only been over the last 4 years we've been close... but recently he started drinking again after a year and a half sober!!!! He stopped taking his meds and told the whole family basically that he doesnt need his meds and that he has control of his life... now he thinks hes in love with this woman he just met. I dont feel happy for him. I dont think its real. Hes on a HUGE HIGH and not thinking clearly. He told me that this woman looks like my mom (which he was obsessed with ever since their divorce.. and now this new woman comes along that hes "in love with") But ever since he started drinking and not taking his meds I feel this HUGE distance between us. I have nothing to say to him. nothing. and he notices it. I dont know what to say. Im at a loss for words, and thoughts. I feel like Ive given up. Ive been nothing but encouraging, non judgemental, loving, supportive, for the last 4 years with him when every one else in the family has given up and now Im at a loss. I dont know what to do. I cant help him. And ive found that not being arond him, and not talking to him.. im not stressed out anymore. Im happy. and that sucks! I want to be happy around him but I cant help him. he doesnt want it. everyone is worried that his high is going to plummet to his lowest low. I dont want to be responsible for making sure hes ok. I love him but its not my job. I cant make him my #1 priority.

Im just confused at why Im so distant from him. I literally have no words to say to him. He told me he doesnt want to hear anyone tell him to take his meds or see his doc. or not drink... he wants to live his life the way he wants... so he doesnt want to hear what I could say to him. and even if I did say something, I KNOW he wouldnt listen. And simply, im just not happy for him. i duno...

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#331069 - 07/25/07 02:43 PM Re: Father Daughter Relationship on a strain [Re: lala21]
MBrown Offline
Newbie

Registered: 02/22/07
Posts: 11
Hi, my name is Martha and I live everyday with the fears that have become a reality for you, and I am the spouse! I am so sorry this is happening to you with your dad. I am married to an alcoholic who has been sober for just over a year. He won't go back to the AA mtgs, says he doesn't need them, that he has beaten the problem he had with alcohol and says that one day he would like to be able to drink socially again when I am comfortable with it.

However he doesn't hear me when I say constantly that I will never be comfortable with it ever again and will not live with it in my home and around our children. I have done all I know to do by the book as far as letting him know I will not enable him by accepting it back in our lives. I have called his sponsor, his rehab counselors all asking what to do regarding his dangerous behavior and they all have said the same thing. I can not control him, but I can control whether or not to enable his behavior by allowing him to think I will stay if he starts drinking again, etc.

I have stepdaughters that feel the way you do about their dads drinking and the counselors have asked me to ask them(they didn't want to go to the counseling sessions) to verbally or in a written note let him know how much they hated his drinking and DO NOT ever want him to think it would be okay to start again. However these girls were raised very differently than I was and in the home they grew up in, nobody talked openly about their problems or how they affected the rest of the family. So the girls have chosen not to say anything to their dads face, but they come to me and asked me to tell him how they feel. I can not and will not do it, because according to the counselors it would not have the impact that it would if they told him. Also it would make me look like I was trying to use them for leverage for my own arguement about his drinking and that would put more strain on an already strained situation.

So I'm telling you all this in the hope that you can use some of the information I have gathered in talking to my husbands sponsors and counselors, etc. I also want you to know that your dad loves you, but he is very sick and when an alcoholic starts using again they don't sees things the way that others around them do. It is hard to understand I know, but chemically he can not see what he is doing because he is off his meds, etc. and his body is going back to old chemical routines, which of course are unheathly on many levels. I would suggest to you to try and distance yourself from him at this time and seek out an Al-Anon group for your age in your area. If you are still a minor and there isn't one for your age group then go to the adult Al-Anon mtgs. I assure you they will not turn you away. At least there you can express your emotions and feelings to those who understand the best. And I promise you will gain information as to how to proceed with your dad. My heart goes out to you and if you would like to talk to me again here I would be more than willing to listen and be a sounding board if you just want to vent or try and help if you feel comfortable with that.

Please know you are not alone and that someone does care about your pain and suffering. Turn toward the Lord for guidence and help with your emotions and he will help you know the road to take and give you peace. I promise if you do what is the right thing for you, which is to take care of you and protect yourself from being hurt anymore by your dad while he is going through this struggle you will become a stronger person and you will gain confidence that will help you for the rest of your life. Even though you may not see it now for all the hurt, you have an opportunity for your own personal growth during this time. Your dad will have to make his own decisions and they may not be the ones you hope he will. But again please do not take it personally, because it is the illness(while he is drinking)that is really making those choices and until he stops, all you can do is tell him you love him, and will be waiting for him to come back in your life when he is clean.

Good luck and may you be blessed with peace and knowledge.
Most sincerely,
M. Brown

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#331180 - 07/25/07 09:29 PM Re: Father Daughter Relationship on a strain [Re: MBrown]
lala21 Offline
Gecko

Registered: 09/23/06
Posts: 622
Loc: Canada
Thank you MBrown! That was very sweet of you... you have no idea how your words have helped. And thank you for reading my post.

See, I dont know how much he is drinking because I havent been around him much, but I know that he is drinking again. I dont know if he's drinking is controlled at the moment or not. I just know from the past that when he does not have control of it, he ends up doing stupid things when he's drinking. What my family and I are MOST scared of is his bipolar.. there's only so high he can get before he is on a low and he has a history of wanting to kill himself. But he will not take his pills anymore because they dont make him feel anything, they make him boring, numb, unemotional, tired, hungry, etc etc etc.. he hates all the bad side effects soo much that he wont take them anymore. And hes sick of doctors trying to find the right dosage.. its been years and years theyve been working with him and this must be the 3rd or 4th time hes gone off his meds that I know of. twice in the last 4 years. He says he wants to be normal with out having to take all these pills. He just doesnt see when hes too high. Hes in complete denial.

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#331197 - 07/25/07 11:32 PM Re: Father Daughter Relationship on a strain [Re: lala21]
nadaurz Offline
Shark

Registered: 02/05/07
Posts: 277
Loc: nebraska
Lala-My last abusive relationship was with a man who was bi-polar and a nonpracticing alcoholic. When I met him, he didn't drink and was taking paxil regularly. He, also, had a xanax prescription to help when his anxiety got out of control. He took his meds as prescribed in the beginning. He was a good, hardworking man. He said and did all the right things. I believed him. After 7 months, my children and I moved in with him at his request as I was having financial difficulty. Looking back, there was one time that should have warned me, but 2 dozen red roses the next day and him doing everything possible to make up for it, allowed me to forget it. After 6 months of living with him, his behavior began to change. It was very unpredictable and I thought it was having us around and thought we could work through it. Then I discovered he wasn't taking his paxil regularly and was abusing the xanax. I confronted him and he agreed to go back on the paxil as he was prescribed. Things smoothed back out. After a short period, signs were back and I asked him about his meds. He said he didn't need them. He was better now and in control of his behavior. After a couple more unrational outburst, I decided to leave. I began to pack, the kids were sent to town to a relative's, and my dad came out to help. At this point, he became extremely depressed and began crying and begging me not to give up on him. I stayed. He went back on his meds. Shortly thereafter, we found out my dad had terminal lung cancer. I was a basketcase, having been Daddy's girl forever and never having lost a close family member. My dad started an experimental chemo and was doing well most of the time. I adjusted as best I could, but I wasn't at my best to say the least. My boyfriend saw my weaknesses and fed on them. He started messing with his meds and I suspected drinking or taking some other kind of illegal drug, too. Six months later, I had to have my appendix out, and because of a bleeding disorder, suffered a massive hemorrhage. I was hopitalized for two weeks, before being allowed to go home on total bedrest for two weeks. My boyfriend came to the hospital once. They hadn't decided yet what was wrong, but suspected my appendix. He proceeded to ream me out left and right for not going in sooner, etc. He ranted on about totally irrational things. I realized he was off his meds, but vowed to deal with it later. Then everything went crazy for me. Had they not been prepared, I would have died. I weighed 89 pounds (down from 104) when I left the hospital and was very weak. My grandfather had passed away from old age the month before and my dad was showing the devastation being caused by his cancer and the treatment. I wasn't home a week before my boyfriend became totally enraged and irrational again about my illness. I had to flee in the middle of the night to my cousins house 13 miles away despite being heavily medicated. Meanwhile, to cover his [censored], he went to a mutual friend of ours, telling him I'd taken too much pain medication and had took off. He claimed I was suicidal. (homicidal maybe, but never suicidal!) They went looking for me. My aunt was dispatcher for county sheriff and was working that night. After being told she hadn't heard from me and turned away by my cousin, he went to my aunt. She was going to have to send deputy's out in search of me, so she called by my cousin and told her. We were forced to admit I was there, but added the rest of the story. My boyfriend was told to go home and leave me alone. I was in no condition to move and he promised once again to take his meds. My dad died six months later. It was like walking on egg shells for me, but things were liveable. Beginning 3 months after my dad dying, the signs were back. I was doing much better and began looking for a place to move to secretly. His erratic behavior came and went, but the lows were too much to handle. I eventually told him I was leaving as soon as I found somewhere. He accepted and understood. About two weeks before I rented something, his behavior went totally crazy-paranoid and schzophrenic. Iknew he'd gone off his meds. I made an escape plan with my kids. A "friend" who was helping me to move and knew I'd rented a place, decided for whatever reason, he had to tell my boyfriend. I was unaware. To make a long story shorter, after a 36 hour hostage situation, my children got out and got help. I left with a cracked vertebra, broken ribs, and a very colorful face, but I left with my life. As soon as he realized my kids had gotten away, he paniced and ran, but was arrested later. Within days he was calling and crying and so sorry-totally full of promises. I was done and have never considered going back. I could never trust him again regardless, but my love had died, too. I know the man was sick, but that was no excuse, because he knew he was sick. Bipolar cannot be cured. Your father's illness will get more and more out of control the longer he's off his meds, yet he will think he's more and more in control. The alcohol will complicated matters immensely. For your own well being and sanity, you have got to stay away from him. Tell him you cannot be a part of his life if those are his choices. You have to respect his choices, but you do not have to put yourself through the destruction. Tell him you will always love him, but he must take care of himself if he wants you to be actively involved in his life. Have you ever read anything on co-dependency. People who love someone with mental illness often suffer codependency. It might help you to look into this. I know it will help relieve you of any guilt you may be feeling. You deserve more than what your dad is giving you, but he is sick and won't. You owe it to yourself and your husband not to get sucked in to his illness. A book I remember helping me was called Codependent No More, but I can't remember who wrote it. I'm gonna find some other info for you and will be back. I'm so sorry you are having to go through this! I wish I could do more! MY thoughts are with you until I return! Sue

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#331206 - 07/25/07 11:49 PM Re: Father Daughter Relationship on a strain [Re: nadaurz]
lala21 Offline
Gecko

Registered: 09/23/06
Posts: 622
Loc: Canada
Wow Sue... I had no idea. Thank you for sharing.. and Im sorry you had to go through that.

I want you to know, that my dad is not physically abusive. Although I very much understand what you are saying! But what happens with him are things that end up hurting himself (drugs, alcohol) I know his actions, addictions, and manipulations are destructive not only to him but to those who love him but he was never physically abusive to me or my mom. There were a couple occasions with my brother where they fought years and years ago, but that was the extent of that....The things that ended up hurting the family was the mental turmoil we all have gone through. The worry, anxiety, stress, that was caused from his affairs (when he was married), compulsive spending money, obsessiveness, being manipulative and of course being suicidal. Im not saying that ANY abuse is ok because its not. Whether its physical, sexual, mental, emotional.. it all hurts and none of it is ok. But thats one thing I give my dad credit for. He was raised in awful situations, abused many ways in his life by many people and he tried so hard not to inflict those things on us. And in SOME ways he did good. While in other ways.. not so good. Im kind of getting off track here...time for bed, but I will be back.


Edited by lala21 (07/26/07 12:06 AM)

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#331217 - 07/26/07 12:55 AM Re: Father Daughter Relationship on a strain [Re: lala21]
nadaurz Offline
Shark

Registered: 02/05/07
Posts: 277
Loc: nebraska
I've been told my ex wasn't physically abusive except while he was drinking until me. I'm not sure I believe it, but I have discovered since then that violent rage is a side effect of paxil when not taken correctly and during withdrawl from it. The violence and rage weren't necessarily part of the original bipolarism. Do you know what kind of meds he was taking? I'm relieved to hear he wasn't physically abusive-A lot!!!! I hate to say it(and please do not take offense), but it almost sounds like there is some codependency in your words. Loved ones often make excuses and say it wasn't that bad,etc. Sometimes tough love sucks but really is in their best interest as well as yours. I'll be back.


Edited by nadaurz (07/26/07 12:58 AM)

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#331359 - 07/26/07 10:11 AM Re: Father Daughter Relationship on a strain [Re: nadaurz]
lala21 Offline
Gecko

Registered: 09/23/06
Posts: 622
Loc: Canada
I know that he was prescribed a mood stablizer called lithium. And an antidepressant but Im not sure what kind. Im not sure if he had any other meds.

Don't worry, I dont take offence, and I understand what you mean. I just wanted to be clear that I have never known my dad to harm anyone physically.

Things were bad up until I was 17 when he moved out. I couldn't even be in a room with him without getting screamed at. Or a simple comment turning into an arguement. There were times where I felt scared of him. His words were mean. And all I was saying before is that in all his rages that I witnessed, NOT ONCE did he even raise a hand to me. So that tells me that there was SOME control there.

Sometimes I do tell myself that things weren't that bad... and I do that because I have seen worse. My dad himself went through extremely devastating situations as a child. But this is all besides the point.

What Im finding strange though, is that since he moved out 5 years ago, we have been nothing but close. He went to councelling groups, AA meetings, he was hospitalized for a few weeks, 12 step programs etc... We talked ALOT about how his actions and words hurt me and others. He has taken responsibility for it. For the last 4 years he has done nothing but try to make up for his mistakes. Even with my mom he has spoiled her in hopes that she would take him back (then again he got obsessed with her...) but no one has seen his rage or heard his harsh words since he moved out. He's been nothing but caring and loving and supportive of everyone. He apologized NUMEROUS times for his behaviours and confessed about things that have eaten at him for years. (Im not talking about those apologies that end in the same behaviour.. he has sincerely apologized and has not repeated those things to us) So, because that's all I have seen and heard for the last 4-5 years, sometimes it feels like all the hurt from the past isn't very real. I was young when all that happened and I've moved on from it. So if I look at him NOW compared to THEN it IS much better. It's not perfect no, and it's still not good but it is better.

Like I said before I just dont know why suddenly after being soooo close for sooo long I have nothing to say to him. If he calls I am almost silent. I have no words for him. I dont feel angry towards him... Im just...unimpressed that he is drinking after he went soo long without it. And Im worried that without his meds he will try to kill himself again. That is the main worry about him.

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#331381 - 07/26/07 11:01 AM Re: Father Daughter Relationship on a strain [Re: lala21]
MBrown Offline
Newbie

Registered: 02/22/07
Posts: 11
Hi, I just read your last post and wanted to offer some imput from my perspective since I have been and am in your same position now.

Have you ever gone to counseling yourself to try and deal with the hurt and the trust issues regarding your dad? If you have and aren't going now, you might want to consider going back so a therapist can help you understand the emotions that(may seem sudden)are coming up. Everyone I know that has had a member of their immmediate family with addiction(and/or) psychiatric issues has themselves huge baggage that is still with them and may be brought back up by triggers without us even realizing it. I have to assume that is why you are having a hard time having any kind of communication with him. Your old hurt feelings and trust issues are back, and you are feeling betrayed again and it may feel worse this time because he was on a good track for so long, that I suspect you had your hopes up that maybe he was cured?? Please tell me if I'm way out of line, or off base because I don't want to upset you or add more stress to your situation. It's just that I myself have done that same thing in getting my hopes up only to have him start lying and drinking, etc. But it was only until I spoke with the counselor that was with my husband while he went through detox and rehab, that he explained to me that there is no cure for what your dad and my husband have. There is only management of the disease. And he also told me, that I had to let go trying to make him manage it. They HAVE to do it on their own or it doesn't register with them. They have to make their own choices everyday and live with the consequences that come from those choices. And all we can do is back away when they fall off their program, meds, etc. let them know we love them, but they have to get themselves back on track and we will be here waiting and praying that they can.

I think you are just putting up a wall to your dad right now, to try and keep yourself from being hurt again, because you already know by the way he is acting what's coming, so you are in self-preservation mode, which is not bad. But it helps them if you explain "why" you are becoming distant, etc. And if you can deliver your message with a calm, but factual manner it works much better. Then the user can not turn it around on you and deflect any part he is bringing to the situation by pointing the finger back at you and say "well you are so overly emotional and blow everything out of proportion", etc.

Then you have to back away and hope they have the strength to get back on track. But you have to protect yourself, your family, siblings, children, etc. from being further emotionally scarred by having to deal with your dad while he is in this place.

Also one other suggestion is to go online and look up as much info on the meds your dad is/or was taking. Knowledge is power, and you may find out that some of his behavior may be from whether or not he stopped taking his meds all at once or did he dradually wean himself off, and what are the side effects of either one. And I would still try and speak with one of his drs. or counselors if you caould and let them know what is happening. They take it very seriously when patients that are on certain meds that adjust a persons body chemicals which therein adjust their mental state. Believe me they take it very serious! And they would want to know. But only factual info. they have to have facts.

Please take care and know I am thinking about you and praying for you and you whole family.
M. Brown

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#331503 - 07/27/07 12:55 AM Re: Father Daughter Relationship on a strain [Re: MBrown]
lala21 Offline
Gecko

Registered: 09/23/06
Posts: 622
Loc: Canada
He just stopped taking his meds one day.. not slowly weaning himself off...i dont know who his doctor is or the phone number and cant get it unless i ask him and i guaranttee he wont willingly give it to me... i dont haave time to write more but i will be back sometime tomorrow

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#331779 - 07/28/07 10:39 AM Re: Father Daughter Relationship on a strain [Re: lala21]
MBrown Offline
Newbie

Registered: 02/22/07
Posts: 11
Okay if you can't get specific info regarding his personal dr. then here are the numbers and websites regarding abuse, etc. If you contact one or two of these site or call them and tell them all that has happened with as much detail as possible they will help you know how to proceed. What you should do in having direct contact with him , etc. But you need to ask detailed specific questions of what you really want or need to know. I would suggest writing your questions down on paper then taking notes as you go through each one.

You're in my prayers, goodluck!

Al-Anon Family Groups, Inc.
1-888-425-2666
www.al-anon.alateen.org

Families Anonymous, Inc.
1-800-736-9805
www.familiesanonymous.org

Please keep in touch and let me know how it goes. I'm not able to get on here consistantly, but I will still check so keep us updated and again goodluck.
Sincerely M.Brown

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