I've accepted the fact that nothing I do will change my parents or their behavior. My mom will always be depressed and self-hating and my father will always be an alcoholic until they choose to modify their own thoughts and behaviors. What I still have problems with is accepting my parents and their faults without getting sad or bitter or angry.
I realize they're human and both came from really really nasty upbringings that make mine look like a cakewalk. There's no way they're ever going to be perfect. I'm very thankful they did so much better for us than their parents did for them. In some ways they've done wonderful jobs: we always had food and shelter, we always got as many books from the used bookstore as we wanted, we got to go on awesome trips around the United States and to beaches and amusement parks. I know they're doing the best they can. So whyyy am I still so angry?
My father's still an alcoholic. For a few years he was sober, so I got in the habit of saying he "used to be" an alcoholic, but he still is. And he's drinking again.
Today's my mother's birthday. I called home to see if she was there to wish her a happy birthday, and my dad was drunk to the point he could hardly talk straight and will be passing out shortly. My mom, when I got ahold of her at work, sounded happy. It breaks my heart to know that she'll come home to a passed out, reeking husband who may or may not have made it to the bedroom. Have you ever seen someone passed out while sitting on a toilet with their pants around their ankles? It's funny… and yet, not.
So that makes me want to take a baseball bat to his head and beat some sense into the man. Buuut, it won't help any. I know logically that alcoholism is a disease and you can't just shake yourself out of it like you can't shake yourself out of deep depression. You gotta take steps and keep working at it and keep on top of it or it will swallow you again. And the steps my dad tries to take don't seem to work very well.
His doctors have tried putting him on every kind of anti-depressant or anti-anxiety pill I can think of. Paxil, prozac, zoloft, effexor… His body's reaction to those drugs turns him into a happy man who can't think and can't function, and then he STILL drinks. So instead of a cranky man who works part of the day efficiently and then gets smashed in the afternoon, you have a happy man who doesn't do anything but drink. And did you know that combining anti-depressants and alcohol is a very bad, unhealthy idea? Like, a potentially lethal idea?
Under it all, I think he's extremely stressed about life and hates himself. He's been to therapy many times and I don't know that any of it's helped. I can't seem to do anything for him except try to express love instead of anger. Keep the bridges open and whatnot. The anger only hurts me, so I'd like to let it go but don't know how.
I can't help but think that if things had been a little bit different, we would have been very good friends. My father and mother would have been a good, equal match instead of the conflict that is there. Sometimes he does nice things for her and sometimes he tells her she's fat and stupid and lazy. Thinking about the life that I think should have existed makes me bitter. Sad, bitter, and angry. It's like my mantra: depressed, frustrated, and angry about soooo many things.
I dunno. I just needed to vent. Nobody really wants to hear these things, so I'm dumping them here instead of somebody's IM window. I would like to be able to let go of my anger and replace it with compassion (even while I hold onto anger as a young child clings to a familiar, comfortable teddy bear that protects her from the world).
I keep waiting for the phone call that tells me my father's had a heart attack. He's moved on to Jack Daniel's, a step up from vodka (his previous drink of choice). I wonder and wonder and wonder if he's just trying to kill himself. His father didn't live to age 55, and I don't think my dad expects to, either. He can't have much of a liver left. He's combining drugs that don't mix well. He's drinking and driving. He's been taking trips to Hawaii every six months.
There's nothing I can do. So I dump it here, give a voice to the feelings and thoughts that I prefer not to think about before I bury them again and move on. It's not my problem. It's not my life. It's not my responsibility. It's not my fault. There's nothing I can do or should do to try to "fix" things.