Feeling Resentful in a Challenging Situation
(St Paul, MN)
My dad is in his early 80's and has many health issues including in-stage renal failure for which he receives dialysis 3 days per week. My dad has been a very functional alcoholic for as long as I can remember, but even though he was a hard working and outstanding provider, I still experienced the shame and self blame that comes with being a child of an alcoholic.
My mom passed away 10 years ago and my dad has been stuck in grief ever since. He went at least 5 or more years without drinking before her death after becoming an officer in his church. For the first years after her death we thought he was still abstaining from alcohol.
However, we found out about a year ago that he has been drinking for a while now and it is having a very negative impact on his already poor health. He refuses to get help or even admit he has a problem.
He also refuses assisted living, home health care, meals on wheels, giving up driving, and anything thing else that makes sense in his situation. I happen to be the closest relative to him and therefore have been volunteered to be the "care giver".
I am feeling such a mixture of things right now: resentment,frustration, compassion, anger, and guilt, all at the same time. It's exhausting and I never imagined that things would happen as they have. I'm really trying to compartmentalize the drinking, him being ill, his refusal for help yet obvious need for help, and have a great attitude while doing so, but I am failing miserably.
I basically only have "phone support" from family and that's getting old too. Thanks for letting me vent.