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So disheartened! Alcohol again

(36 Posts)
Squeegle Sun 18-Sep-16 12:29:45

I'm just so sad. Split up from xDP over 4 years ago due to long time drink problem (his). DCs have always known about it, they were 10 and 8 at the time. He actually stopped drinking completely for about 2 years. But has started to go back to binges- about 2 years ago. Generally I just make sure they dont go there if I knew he has been drinking, but as they get older I don't always know. He was supposed to have them yesterday but didn't as he was "not in a good place"

And today he texted my DD and asked her to meet her half way. I could tell she was worried, as she needs to do her homework, and she struggles with it (homework) big time anyway. So she asked me to call him. She was scared to upset him. Which I did. And he said fine, ok she can stay there. I asked if he was ok and he put the phone down on me. (Normal if he has been drinking)

My DD then looked all guilty, I asked her if she was ok, she told me she was worried about her dad. She said she is worried he will fall over and hit his head and hurt himself.

I'm just so angry. He can't see how much pain he causes to the DCs - they are worrying about him. I've tried to be really calm and say, look it's dad's choice, sometimes people don't make the right choices etc. But it's really hard to see her worrying about her dad and how he might injure himself if he's drunk.

Apart from their dad they have no one really apart from me . I feel so defeated, and don't really know how best to support them. Both DCs have problems at school, they're both young for their ages and not very savvy. It's very hard sad.

something2say Sun 18-Sep-16 12:33:34

Aww dear dear I am sorry.

Look the thing is, I don't think you are in control and nor will you ever be.
He is a drinker.
What I think is, explain honestly to them. They already know. They already worry, so have it out in age appropriate ways.
Yes daddy drinks. Yes it IS worrying isn't it.
Then limit contact from him to them.
It's shit of him to put them thro this because they are too young to be worrying about this stuff.
But I would minimize contact because they are better to suffer the I have no dad loss than to witness the scary demise of the alcoholic too much head on.

Squeegle Sun 18-Sep-16 12:56:57

Thanks. Yes. The disheartening thing is that he gave it up for so long, I thought we were out of the worst of it. We were living separately but with a reasonably good relationship. And now it's gone back to the cycle. And while the DCs are older now 14 and 12, they're very needy really and it's just so hard. I'm supposed to be going away for a weekend at the end of the month but I fear I can't leave them with him. May just have to cancel it :-(

Mamaka Sun 18-Sep-16 13:41:17

Get them to ala-teen. I've heard great things about the support they offer.

AttilaTheMeerkat Sun 18-Sep-16 13:47:33

Alateen's website is detailed below. What your children are showing you here is very typical of children who have an alcoholic for a parent, this is a manifestation of the emotional problems alcoholics bring down upon their children.

Can they go with you on this weekend away at the end of the month. They cannot be left with him at all.

Squeegle Sun 18-Sep-16 14:12:31

Thanks for the links. Poor DCs are overwhelmed at the moment with assessments for ADD, behavioural problems at school etc. I will share this with the eldest. Problem also with her is she is very shy and so will take a lot of persuasion to go to a group thing. I am supposed to be going on a weekend abroad, arranged when he was supposedly sober and he agreed to have them this weekend. So they won't be able to come. I'm just furious with him really. I know that my fury is ill placed and he is suffering too, but what does it take?

Ollycat Sun 18-Sep-16 21:28:24

Hugs to you.

My husband is a recovering alcoholic- nearly 1 year sober. He was drinking 1 litre vodka + several bottles of wine per day so I can sympathise with what you're going through. I checked him into a 28 day residential rehab with the understanding that it was this or the kids and I were gone. Could you do something similar?

You need to have very strict boundaries- if he is drinking he can't see the kids - if it were me I would want supervision of them with him.

Is he driving? In my experience he's drinking at least double what he owns up to. Remember alcoholics are v accomplished liars!!

Squeegle Sun 18-Sep-16 22:14:27

Thank you olly. No idea what he's drinking now, I have said he can't see em when he's drinking. The challenge is enforcing that - sometimes I don't know. Fortunately he doesn't ever drive when he drinks, thank goodness for that, that would be a whole different game. I just feel sad as I thought things were going ok, and then they're just not. My poor DCs are affected by it, although they are matter of fact about it and I've tried to be upfront and matter of fact. The thing is he is their dad and they do care about him!

nulgirl Sun 18-Sep-16 22:20:30

It's shit for the kids isn't it and puts so much pressure on the non-alcoholic parent. It's hard not to feel resentful that all the responsibility lies on you especially if he has been sober for a while.

I've just thrown my husband out after he started drinking again after a few years of abstinance. It's awful knowing that the kids are being exposed to behaviour and emotions that they shouldn't have to face.

Can you limit contact for until he is more stable? You might just need to accept that you will be fulltime parent for the foreseeable future as it wouldn't be fair to them to leave them in his care.

Ollycat Sun 18-Sep-16 22:22:44

Statistically if he's drinking then it's going to go downhill - he needs some sort of rehab to stop - how did he stop before? Could you go and ask your GP for advice?

Of course your children love him but I really wouldn't let them see him unless he's in treatment. The problem with alcoholics is that nothing is ever their fault and they're master manipulators. He is no role model for your kids and not safe to be their carer. He needs treatment- do you have someone to support you - I know how stressful and exhausting this is xx

Squeegle Sun 18-Sep-16 22:27:28

He used to go to AA, I think it was a real system of support. I don't really know why he won't go back. If I ever mention the subject of drinking he tells me I am being judgemental and why can't I leave him alone,me have been split up for 4 years! It's as if I am being insulting even suggesting he may drink.
I am used to being sole carer for DCs, however he lives very near, and as they're older now, it's hard for me to completely limit them seeing him. But I definitely take on what you are saying. Thanks both for your comments, I do sympathise with anyone who has been in this boat, it is just so tiring emotionally.

Ollycat Sun 18-Sep-16 22:31:56

Sorry I know I'm banging on ...

Tell him he must go back to AA if he wants to see the kids. Offer to drop him off? Does he have a sponsor he could ring?

You are not being judgmental you are keeping the children safe. He knows this on some level he's just trying to manipulate you. Remember if he's drinking however much he claims to love the kids he loves the drink more.

Squeegle Sun 18-Sep-16 22:39:52

Yes, I can try that. I know I'm not being judgmental.... But what is hard is the scenes with him, he will shout etc, tell them I am being unreasonable etc, now they are older they can go round in their own. I think you are right I have to have that firmness with him .

Wolfiefan Sun 18-Sep-16 22:43:37

If he creates a scene they won't want to see him.
Your kids need to know.
They didn't cause this.
They can't control it.
They can't cure him.
It is unutterably shit but they need to be your priority. Do you have a formal custody agreement? Can he have supervised visitation or can you agree he won't see them if he has been drinking? (You can buy breathalyser type things.)

Squeegle Sun 18-Sep-16 22:49:47

He has said in the past he won't see them while he's been drinking. And I did trust him as he had been sober for so long. But it's crept back under the radar. We had no formal agreement - there is no way he would see them supervised. I have to just say to him , you need to stop drinking or you won't see them. The problem is not just him it is them as they want to see him and they think they are old enough to look after themselves. The oldest is 14 now. It is shit because they have enough challenges without this too. They need a dad who is there for them.

But I have to just let him know that. Then we will see where we are.

Wolfiefan Sun 18-Sep-16 22:53:49

The trouble is that alcoholics lie. If you say he can't see them if he's been drinking then who says he won't lie about if he has been drinking or start drinking once he has them already.
You need to keep them safe. He won't have supervised access? Well then maybe he doesn't see them for a while. Hard but the not knowing if they will see him or not has to be harder.
Your poor kids. And stay strong Squeegle.

Squeegle Sun 18-Sep-16 22:58:27

Thanks wolfie. I know that tomorrow he will be remorseful again. That is when I need to have the conversation. But like you say, it's hard to tell whether he is ok or not - we don't live together any more and he tends to make arrangements with them directly. I'll have to change that again. Challenging.

Squeegle Sun 18-Sep-16 22:59:58

Like I say also, he refuses to talk to me about whether he drinks - even if it's just in relation to DCs. He's not logical of course. Turns it round into me nagging him even though we are no longer together.

nulgirl Sun 18-Sep-16 23:01:51

Oh the lies. An alcoholic when drinking is almost incapable of telling the truth so you can't rely on him to let you know when he's drinking and you can't guarantee that he won't start drinking when they're there. Supervised contact seems the way to go. Have you got anyone who could help with this - a friend or family member so you don't have to be involved?

It's so hard for children as they love their parents even through the awful times but they need you to be strong for them even if it makes you unpopular. I'm hoping that some day they'll realise that I'm looking out for their best interests and not just punishing their dad.

ProjectGainsborough Sun 18-Sep-16 23:12:22

flowers you sound like you're doing an amazing job in a shitty situation.

I wish I'd gone to ala-teen. I think anything that helps you to see you're not the only one struggling would be great. I doubt they'd make anyone speak against their will.

Sending good will your way - it will get better.

Squeegle Sun 18-Sep-16 23:17:24

Thanks for all your support, it helps. And you're right - the lies! And now we are apart I don't have so much of it to out up with now, but it's the DCs I am most concerned about. There is no way he would ever do supervised contact, so I guess it is for me to insist that he will not see them unless he demonstrates he is sober and I am convinced he wants to stay that way. I don't know if legally I can enforce this, but I will see how I get on. A lateen is a great organisation, and I will share the website with DD and DS, in some ways they are much harder to deal wit now they're older. They don't necessarily articulate what they feel. And don't forget mum is the meanie and Dad is the hero. So they're hard to get on side sometimes, although underneath I think they get it.

Wolfiefan Sun 18-Sep-16 23:21:15

As someone who has come out the other side. They might not always get it now but they will. Continue the awesome job you are doing and making them the priority.

Squeegle Sun 18-Sep-16 23:32:47

Thank you wolfie, are your DCs older now?

Wolfiefan Sun 18-Sep-16 23:40:46

Ha! No I was the DC. Alcoholic father. Crappy times. I'm NC now. I have an amazing mum who stayed strong (like you). That means the world. X

Squeegle Sun 18-Sep-16 23:42:13

Ah I see. Well I am glad you are OK now. Shame isn't it - alcohol is such a bummer.

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