Our Christmas was really lovely. For all the hemming and hawing about not being able to drink on Christmas, the day came and went with little to no thought about drinking. At least not my own.
My dad was arrested on Christmas Eve for DUI. The details are exhausting, and I just don’t feel like typing them out. He’s really sick right now. All my siblings were in Utah to spend Christmas Eve with him, and I feel terrible for them. My full brother (29) did a fantastic job of pulling it together for them, and was able to get them back on a plane and home to their mom early this morning. Everyone is physically safe today, and I am grateful for that.
My oldest half-brother (18) is in college there and he called me late Christmas Eve to vent. He’s never called me before. Ever. I am just so grateful that he felt he could reach out to me and that I was sober to receive his call. He doesn’t want anything to do with my dad, and I told him I support him fully in that.
At one point during the day I got on Skype with my brother and my dad suddenly appeared in the background. I hadn’t been expecting that. I haven’t spoken to him in almost 2 years. I was holding my daughter who he has never seen before. He was mildly drunk/high and had a smile on, but looked aged and badly suffering. After hating him for so long and for what he just put the kids through, I was surprised to feel mostly deep pity. It’s all very sad.
But the worst part about it is that he was in the house with all those kids and everyone was pretending like nothing happened and that nothing was wrong. That brings up some anger for me, because I feel like that is the story of my childhood and it has caused so many problems for me in terms of knowing and trusting my own feelings. But what could I do? They are not my children. I’ve done my work on this, and hear my sponsor in my head. They are own path. I’ve been through it, and really I am fine. Some days now I am better than fine. And I’ve already seen my experience with him benefit others, because I was able to talk to my 18 year-old-brother and tell him I know exactly how he feels.
I’m sober. My kids don’t have to know confusion, fear, anger and abandonment because of alcoholism. I can be a sober voice in the lives of my siblings.
My intuition is telling me he’s not going to get better. I think this disease is going to take him out. I don’t think the DUI will wake him up. He may lose visitation rights to his kids. He won’t be seeing his grandchildren any time soon. I feel like this situation is going to deteriorate rapidly in the coming months. I don’t think it will matter. Maybe I’m just preparing myself for the worst.
This shit used to unravel me. I’d be raw and weepy and angry and drinking. Today I feel solidly powerless and strangely calm about that. I can stay present and happy in my own life. I’d be willing to talk to my dad, alcoholic to alcoholic, if he wanted that. And I’m available to my other family members if they need an ear or want my advice. Just… grateful. And for now, able to both love and let go.