Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The burdens we carry

I have desperately tried to forget. I have done so in an effort to survive. But some things don't resolve themselves, as people so desperately want you to believe.

My [estranged] father is a chronic alcoholic and is killing himself while on a path to kill others. Withing the last year, he was arrested for the #th (?) time for a DUI, and finally, FINALLY, after losing dozens of jobs over the last 30 years, been reported to the board to have his Pharmaceutical License suspended-- indefinitely. Yes, that's right, he filled your family's prescriptions. In addition, he had lost several jobs before that, was evicted, totaled a car, and completely isolated himself from everyone meaningful in his life, something he has been working as for 40 years. Despite the fact that my father is he most arrogant and pathetic person I have ever come across, everyone in my family who can afford to pay for his rehab is refusing to. I don't know if it would even make a difference, but I still feel I need to try to find an affordable program. This is a miserable situation to be in as a family member of an addict: your hands are tied, and you feel like it is your fault/responsibility, yet you have to sit back and watch the train wreck--and this can be LITERAL.

It was how my aunt was killed. She was drunk and tried to beat a train over the tracks- She was killed instantly. She was young, in grad school, her whole life ahead of her, as they say. This little story is amongst the dozens of stories of my family members who have had thier lives somehow sabatoged by alcoholism and fallen victim to their own personalities.
The reality is my father may not even do as he is required to maintain his only contribution to society- his employment. In all other areas of life, he greatly lacks any purpose. I fear that with this newest development, he will no longer have anything stopping him from complete obliteration of anything in his path.

For me, family is so important. It is not something I can just walk away from. This doesnt mean growing up e all sat around the dinner table and chatted about our hopes, dreams, desires, or even our day, but it is something innate. Not all people feel this way. I get comments all the time in reference to the fact I usually always answer my baby sister's calls (which often can be rather needy requests). This is not something that is negotiable: I am there for my family, no matter how crappy our relationships, pasts, and situations may be. Period.

My family is tiny and dysfunctional. Most people say that, and sometimes it is true, but mine are truly larger than life characters, as there are fewer characters filling the stage. This means each person fills a bigger role of importance. And part of this cast is my father. The man who wished I were a boy, and still does. The man who beat my mother as our tiny faces watched in horror. The man who paraded us around his girlfriends all disguised as ever growing adoration for us. The man who [insert horrid things, the list goes on]. That man. That man I cannot help but love and try to remember as the good father he occasionally showed us he was. He is the reason why I exist. He loves me. He is funny. He is smart. And he continues to break my heart every day. As grown as I am, as self-sufficient as I am, as loved as I am, as busy as I am, I cannot ever escape the destructive power of his situation, and by circumstance, my situation.

People have told me, "you just have to move and live you life in order to survive" or "you've done all you can do" or "he can't be helped unless he wants help" and other similar statements of resolve and encouragement. Well, I speak from experience and say: That does not work. You can do as stated above, but every day, little moments are stolen by the fleeting massacre going on in your mind, in your heart and worst of all, your conscience. Logic does not conquer emotion. In 'rock, paper, scissors,' emotion is the scissors that cut right through that paper, logic. Its useless.

One must learn to live with the reality. I will survive. It is those moments stolen from me by my father that won't.

3 comments:

  1. That is so true...you can't escape your family completly. I've dealt with some family members being alcoholics and fortunately they got help and are making amends. I'm sorry that your dad is on such a destructive path...I wish you healing and love

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  2. What a powerful post. I am so sorry you have had to deal with this your entire life. It is something that no one should have to endure. Thankfully, I have not had to experience this personally, so I do not know your pain. However, I DO know from working in the medical field that alcoholism is a disease. A very horrible, horrible destructive disease. It affects so many people in its path. It is really sad. I am so glad you have chosen to stick by your father through thick and thin. I believe one day you will be rewarded for that faithfulness.

    May God bless you and may He help your father to overcome this disease.

    I'm stopping by from SITS. HAPPY SATURDAY SHAREFEST.

    Blessings,

    Teresa <><

    http://toomanyheartbeats.blogspot.com

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  3. Stopping by from SITS! Thinking about you and your family. Hope you have a great week!

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