Young DCs & alcoholic parent...

(9 Posts)
Sameoldnewname Wed 31-Aug-16 01:04:53

My XP almost died earlier this year when his drinking spiralled & mental health plummeted. Following discharge from hospital he has cycled between drinking and "giving up".

DCs are 6&4, I desperately want them to have a good relationship with him if/when ever possible & have no motivation to withhold contact other than for reasons relating to his drinking (not physically safe, emotionally inconsistent etc). He has only seen them once since June, as I have now stopped taking them to visit him at his home (risk of us finding him collapsed on floor was becoming to great). He has contacted me a few times to arrange to see them during periods of sobriety, but on only one occasion did he follow thru with actually meeting us. I stopped telling DCs of possible visits/meetings after the first let down.

The whole thing is so hard, I still care but I know I can't "fix him" and for my own sanity have had to take a huge step back from trying to help/support him. However, my 6yo has recently started to ask to see him & I'm a bit lost at what to say, so far they think he's still simply "poorly".

Can anyone reassure me I'm doing the right thing by not pursuing contact for them? Any help with how to explain what feels like an increasingly dire situation to such young children?

Many thanks x

StirredNotShaken Wed 31-Aug-16 09:45:43

You are absolutely doing the right thing. Without a shadow of a doubt. Only he can save himself and it is not the job of you or your children to assist. Well done for moving on and keeping your children safe and your sanity intact.

StirredNotShaken Thu 01-Sep-16 23:08:48

I cant believe no one else has responded - I hope you get some other answers soon and that you are OK.

Sameoldnewname Fri 02-Sep-16 09:38:25

Thanks stirred, we are ok as in "getting on with life", but I feel very anxious about the uncertainty of the whole situation, and the best way to limit any damage to DCs. If he keeps going the way he was, I think he'll be 'lucky' to survive the next 12 months, equally he could keep going for years - I dread the thought that we'll bump into him somewhere.
I see quite a few posts on here by now adult children and the impact its had on them growing up, I'd really appreciate hearing anything from them about what they think would have been best for them retrospectively, in terms of both contact & explanations. I have been to al-anon which has been of some support to me but nobody else at my group has/had young DCs so really floundering with how to handle it with them.

StirredNotShaken Fri 02-Sep-16 10:18:18

Just for clarity, my dh passed away 6 years ago from alcoholism. We were all living together as I had not got the balls to leave and a part of me felt like I could not desert a sinking ship. He died after a fall at home which resulted in a bleed to the brain. He died in our bed. It was beyond horrendous. My children have definitely been affected by it as I now raise them alone (they were 12 and 3 at the time). My daughter is especially affected and it has altered the way she feels in her relationship with her b/f and how she is so strung out by any changes or decisions she has to make. Don't put your children through unnecessary stress - it always impacts on their lives in ways you cannot predict. Good luck.

thissismyusername Fri 02-Sep-16 10:20:50

Hi Same, sorry you are in this position its very difficult. I had a similar experience but not exactly the same. My ds is grown up now and XP died when he was 16, we hadn't seen him since ds was around 8.

I felt ds had a lot of emotional manipulation/abuse from him, which comes with the territory, when he was a similar age to your dcs, he had inconsistent contact - we used to go to a contact centre - then 2 years with no contact then he reappeared having been through rehab. Over all I felt terribly
conflicted as xp was abusive to me physically and mentally in the past before we split, still cared as you say you do, but was also under societal pressure to keep contact going if possible; 'its in the best interests of the child to have a relationship with both parents" type thing, and I was trying to protect ds from him simultaneously.

I don't know if anything I have said is of help, I can't offer any solutions, but I was in a similar situation as you are, sorry if my post is a bit garbled.

thissismyusername Fri 02-Sep-16 10:23:48

Stirred so sorry to hear your loss. My XP died in hospital of end stage liver failure, I wasn't able to be there but it really affected me more than ds (he says).

Sameoldnewname Fri 02-Sep-16 13:46:16

So sorry to hear what both of you have been through, but it helps to know other people have come out the other side, so thanks for posting x

StirredNotShaken Fri 02-Sep-16 14:33:08

Obviously my outcome was not anywhere near ideal! But with hindsight, we are better off out of life like that than in it. The effects have been catastrophic at times but now our lives are peaceful (mostly!). The tragedy is my dh never did get the chance to change his life. That is the worst part.

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