Daughter of alcoholic father help

This is the first time I've reached out for support regarding my alcoholic father. I'm 24 years old and began living with him full time when I was 12 years old. My parents were divorcing and Mom found a new husband whom she moved away with, and I moved in with my father. He gets worse as the years go on but I have this constant sad feeling in me. He ruins so many family functions becoming belligerant and doesn't remember the next day. I have a younger sister who has been through it all as well. Both of us have sat down, begged and pleaded and he refuses help. This weekend was the last straw and I'm desperate for help/advice. I have exhausted all of my family mentally with my depression about this. I recently got engaged and it constantly strains that relationship as well. Thank you for reading and any words you have to offer are appreciated.

Hi Starfly, Welcome to SupportGroups.com . Your dad has to be willing to help himself. Have you ever been to Alanon http://www.al-anon.alateen.org/ ? Alanon is for loved ones of alcoholics. There you will find support and understanding from others like yourself. There is also ACOA - Adult Children of Alcoholics - http://www.adultchildren.org/ .

Listed below are some links on intervention that may be of help to you:

Keep coming and sharing with us. We are here for you. ((((hugs))))

Starfly, please follow bluidkiti's advice as it can point you in the right direction to begin & please take care of you as your dad will have to do this himself as bluid mentioned. Am glad your aware this has taken enough toll on everyone w/doing damage patrol. We're here to talk with if & when you feel like it.

Take care friend.


Thank you bluidkiti and April. I didn't know about the sites mentioned and did take a good amount of time reading through other people's stories. Its so hard to talk about this as I feel like I'm betraying him. I have this constant guilt for feeling bad about it. I have tried depression and anxiety medication but none of it seems to help. Its an overwhelming feeling of sadness and anger, I'm hoping talking about it will help things.

It would be doing him & yourself a disservice to let this continue as your depression will progress & your new relationship may dissolve as sometimes people new in a relationship dont want to deal w/drama or be neglected cause your doing damage patrol. Again we're here for you & your not alone.

All my strengths.


Hi Starfly....unfortunately I am also a daughter of an alcoholic father but the difference is my dad died in 1997 from cirrhosis of the liver and it was absolutely what has brought me to this site. I was 17 when he died and I still carry the burden of how our last hours were together. I said awful things and I have suffered many years because of it. I am now in a relationship with someone who is exactly like my dad was and I am suffering and reliving that nightmare all over again...you would think it would just be easy to leave ....unfortunately it isn't or I would have done so a long time ago....hang in there and my advice to you would be, stop trying to hold it together for everyone else, or it will eventually come back on you and make you feel worse than you already probably do....

A few years ago I dated someone like him. I wasn’t strong enough to see it, my sister had to tell me it was me or him and it woke me up enough to realize he was the same, so I understand what you’re going through.

My dad had an episode a few months ago where he was hallucinating and seeing people that were not there. Thinking his girlfriend had been kidnapped and people were after him. He has never had a history of mental illness but now I think about it all the time that something more is wrong with him. When he was in the ER and they didn’t know what was wrong they did several tests which showed liver damage, high blood pressure and heart palpatations. He swears hes as healthy as a horse but the doctor told my sister and me he would be lucky to see 60(9 years from now) and I think about it constantly that I won’t have more than 9 years with him. I know I need to worry about my health but I don’t know how to stop thinking about him.

oh my goodness starfly....i remember when my dad started having those hallucinations. he was in the hospital for some reason, there were so many i cant keep track, and i was the only one in the room with him when he starts freaking out about the cop car lights going off. it is like it just happened yesterday, i remember the details like they are burned on the back of my eye lids. i started resenting my dad so bad and I hope you wont go that route if you already havent. the hallucinations will start getting strange so prepare yourself for that. I dont think there is a way to stop thinking about him, it has been almost 14 years now since my dad passed away and i still think about him...

Its hard to come to grips with all of it. He's had a problem since he was 14 but never this bad. Of everyone in my life he truly has the biggest heart and would give the shirt off his own back so through all the terrible things he does I still think about the man he used to be when I was little and it breaks my heart. He used to be so intellegent and I could talk to him about anything, and now hes starting to repeat himself about the same things over and over again. He doesn't remember conversations, even the sober ones. Even if he did commit to getting help, is it too late for his mind? I don't know how bad the damage is to his brain.

No matter how hard you try, helping one that won't help him or herself, won't make you happy, but rather drag you down slowly to a place you no longer recognize. so remember you are strong because you know your weaknesses. you're alive because you're a fighter. And you laugh because you've known sadness.

Now only if i could take my own thoughts into consideration....

I'm the daughter of a very bad alcholic. growing up my mom worked (and still does) and my dad didn't and he was home to take care of (drive me to school, make lunch, go on class trips, start homework with me, make dinner) and around 4:00 everyday, he would make a vodka and water with ice. He typically only had one. As I got a little older, it seemed like each year or every two years, his drink time would come a little earlier in the day and he would have two or three instead of one. then it became noon and he would drink all afternoon. that brings me up to college graduation (where he had to step out to go to the bar bc it was long). i moved home after college and walked into hell. my mom tried so desperately hard to kinda shield me from the reality - which was no longer possible once i was living there again.
regarding hallucinations - my dad never had them, but there was a period when he had some serious delusions. alcohol so often replaces food and vitamin - and when you're b12 deficit as a result of not eating and drinking too much, you hallucinate and become delusional. just he's also 67...thinks like a 97 yr old, is VERY old school, very stubborn, a heavy smoker, a victim of several larger 'mini' strokes and as a result has limited mobility and impaired speech for which he doesn't have the will or desire to go to rehab and improve, very weak-willed and very abusive in his speech.
current day, his teeth are rotting out of his mouth bc he eats about 200 calories a day and replaces everything else with alcohol, he has HORRIBLE and DISGUSTING personal hygeine - doesn't care to shower or change his clothes very often (one or twice a week), he drools constantly everywhere bc he's too drunk to keep his bottom lip up, he falls everywhere - partially bc of the brain damage from mini strokes but also from being ridiculously drunk, he can't even speak words when he is drunk now - he makes hands motions, he doesn't recall events or conversations from day to day, he ignores birthdays and anniversaries, he barely participates in holidays, he HUMILIATES my mother and i everywhere we or they go (if anywhere), my mother has stress 24-hours a day - afraid of what he's going to do, or say, or how he will embaress us. he keeps my mom prisoner in the house - wont let her use the car - rare occasions does she use it, he abuses her mentally and emotionally, and now, the strongest person i know in the world who shielded me from everything and who made me the person i am - is breaking down bc for the past 10, she's had to live with, cope with, clean up after, lie for, be humilated and feel the most painful anguish and despair possible bc my dad became a severe alcoholic. she's weakening and that hurts me more than anything. she doesn't deserve this and all she wants, regardless of the COUNTLESS and selfless things she's done for him and our family and all she wants is a normal relationship. leaving him is not an option given his health...my mom is too loyal. he refuses assistance of any kind - he gets violent and aggressive and more hateful when it's suggested.
we don't know what to do...we've tried so much and nothing helps bc he doesn't want to help himself - it seems to me like he just wants to die in the house. he no longer has any interest in anyone - not me, not my mom, not his family, not the dog - NOTHING. he refuses any sort of anything that would improve his life, unless it's the miracle pill that he's been waiting for to cure every mental and physical problem he has.
i've conceded and know he's going to die, probably soon, and that he's not going to improve. doctors said it's almost so bad that if he stops drinking now, he might die sooner than if he never stopped. my mom has more hope than i do and feels horrible bc she feels like she failed at making him better. only he can make it better. ironically, he calls other people alcoholics, but doesnt see himself as one! another delusion.
present day - he wakes up at 4:30-5:00am - starts drinking warm, CHEAP, vodka from his shot glass at the kitchen table. if he's up at 2:00am - he drinks then too. doesn't matter the time anymore. while he watches tv in the living room (which is the only thing he does during the day as difficult as it is to believe), the bottle of vodka sits next to him. if u come home unexpectedly during the day, he used to try to hide the half gallon under a blanket.
for months, every single night, my mom and i would empty out whatever vodka was left in the bottle down the drain. then he started hiding the vodka so we wouldnt throw it out, so we found it. then his hiding spots became more tricky. this went on for about a year and we gave up. someone who counts pennies had no problem buying another plastic bottle of cheap $11.99 vodka every single day.
now, he doesn't really leave the house - unless it's to get his vodka or cigarettes, that my mom picks up a lot now bc if he asks and she refuses, he makes her life even worse.
the pain, the anger, the resentment, the hurt feelings, that i have from watching my dad slowly die is hard to even measure or describe. everyday, i think, this could be the day my mom gets home from work and he's dead. that's what we have to look forward to. if you've ever seen that nicholas cage movie with elizabeth shue - leaving las vegas, my dad is like nicholas cage in that movie. never getting better...just waiting to lose the official battle.
the solutions seem to be - 1. leave him or 2. wait for him to die bc he's not getting better and in the interim, my mother and i are breaking apart and need help - need strength, need friends, need support - not pity.

although this may seem surprising, im a positive and optimistic person and yet find no positivity from this situation. i want to help my mom, but we both don't know what to do and in the meantime, he's breaking my mom and destroying our family.

i sympathize with you and im glad that i could share part of my story and hear part of yours.

Well done jburger, very informative/insightful & thank you for sharing your experience & knowledge. Would be wise to convince your mom to not enable/co-dependent the situation as your correct that it will destroy all & take your mothers esteem down further & if your unsuccessful w/that at a point, is better to move somewhere else as you have so much of life awaiting for you.

Take care of you.