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Question
Posted by: Anon | 2011-07-20

Alcoholic Father - reply

Thanks for the advice doc. I''m seeing a psychologist to deal with this thing with my father. What makes it a very bad situation...besides the obvious drinking bit, is that he is a very difficult person. Eg: He plays on ones feelings, makes you feel guilty about not looking after him...even though he is fully up and running still, only 63 and can look after himself. He thinks my 2 brothers and I " threw"  him away, and don''t want him anymore. This idea he got from us not wanting him to live with us, because he is still fit and healthy enough to look after himself, but he wants someone to do everything for him like cook, clean, do his washing ect. To me that''s plain just laziness on his part. He acts as though he''s busy dying already, and always has some or other ailment he complains about, which I think he''s exaggerating about half the time. So I''m working on dealing with the fact that not everything he makes me feel guilty about, is my fault, and that no matter how good we are to him, and trying to help him, him being an alcoholic is always going to cause this behaviour from him. And I want to make doubly sure that I did what I could, but obviously, he does not think he has a drinking problem AT ALL, and so what is there that I can do right? Everything we do for him, we always have his best interests at heart, but because of his " warped"  sense of reality, he always thinks the worst. I need peace in my heart, because I feel responsible for him and his happiness, but there is only so much I can do. And I feel like the scum of the earth (that''s how he makes me feel sometimes), for not taking him in and essentially being his maid who does everything for him, the way I used to when I was younger. I''m 28 now with my first baby on the way, and I''ve had it with people drinking and swearing and making life very untasteful for those around them. I won''t right him off, he''s still my father, but I don''t want those negative things in my life anymore. Is that such a bad thing?

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

Some people, apparently he's one, are skilled at manipulating others, and at making you feel guilty for what he is actually doing. They make things miserable for people around them, drive you away, then complain that you left. There ae many people who are indeed helpless and have no choice but to rely on others to care for them, but there's no reason for him to expect you all to start doing everything for him simply because he's lazy.
I very much doubt whether ANY of the things he invites you to feel guilty about, are your fault. Stop accepting those invitations.
It sounds as though he is bored and totally unoccupied ( except for his hobby of feeling sorry for himself ). If he could rather get involved with helping people who genuinely need help, he would be less bored and have a better perspective on his situation.
These problems are not part of alcoholism ( though they might be exaggerated by it ) but part of a more basic personality disorder.
You are NOT responsible for him, and especially not responsible for his happiness. That is entirely his responsibility.
You are absolutely right to reject his outrageous expectations, and let him care for himself. And especially, you should not sacrifice your life and happiness, and the quality of your life with your child, for a greedy and selfish old man. Nothing he has done deserves any expecation that you should do that

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Our users say:
Posted by: cybershrink | 2011-07-20

Some people, apparently he's one, are skilled at manipulating others, and at making you feel guilty for what he is actually doing. They make things miserable for people around them, drive you away, then complain that you left. There ae many people who are indeed helpless and have no choice but to rely on others to care for them, but there's no reason for him to expect you all to start doing everything for him simply because he's lazy.
I very much doubt whether ANY of the things he invites you to feel guilty about, are your fault. Stop accepting those invitations.
It sounds as though he is bored and totally unoccupied ( except for his hobby of feeling sorry for himself ). If he could rather get involved with helping people who genuinely need help, he would be less bored and have a better perspective on his situation.
These problems are not part of alcoholism ( though they might be exaggerated by it ) but part of a more basic personality disorder.
You are NOT responsible for him, and especially not responsible for his happiness. That is entirely his responsibility.
You are absolutely right to reject his outrageous expectations, and let him care for himself. And especially, you should not sacrifice your life and happiness, and the quality of your life with your child, for a greedy and selfish old man. Nothing he has done deserves any expecation that you should do that

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